REV. THEO INDURUWA A dedicated and caring priest I came to know Rev. Induruwa well only late in his ministry as a Methodist priest; in fact, after he became a supernumerary- that is a retired minister of the church. We became such good, mutual friends; a firm and admiring relationship between a younger layman and [...]

The Sunday Times Sri Lanka




A dedicated and caring priest

I came to know Rev. Induruwa well only late in his ministry as a Methodist priest; in fact, after he became a supernumerary- that is a retired minister of the church. We became such good, mutual friends; a firm and admiring relationship between a younger layman and an elderly ordained minister. When he was fit and able to travel by bus he would visit me at my home at least once every month. When he could no longer take the bus, I would visit him once a month at their house at Delkanda, where he stayed with his son-in-law Brigadier Rizvi and his daughter Shiranthi.

Rev. Induruwa had a deep understanding of Wesleyan Methodism and its founding principles and we used to share our ideas on such matters as the necessity for regular cell meetings; for weekly Bible studies and a commitment to personal holiness; notions which were dear and central to John Wesley’s life and teachings.

Both of us used to worship at the Nugegoda Methodist Church.As a retired minister, he an occasional preacher of practical and pungent sermons and I, a more regular lay preacher.   When I started holding weekly Bible cell meetings at various centres like Rajagiriya, Kirillapone, Nugegoda, Mirihana, Delkanda and Kohuwela, he would patiently accompany me as I drove to these places in the evenings and sit through those study meetings with few appropriate comments and generally giving his imprimatur as an ordained priest to my interpretations and expositions of various books of the Bible. In order to encourage the practice of singing of hymns at these cell meetings he brought out a hymn book, containing a collection of popular Methodist hymns, chosen, arranged and published by him

Besides being a very effective pastor of many Methodist churches across Sri Lanka, composed of various strata of society ranging from the rural poor in the outskirts of Gal Oya in the Eastern province to the urban, and educated of the towns such as Maharagama, Nugegoda and Katunayake in the Western Province, he was a first-rate English scholar. He was meticulous in the use of English spelling, pronunciation, words and phrases. One could never guess this scholarly aspect in the man by looking at the exterior: in order to melt into the rank and file of Sri Lankan society among whom he served his God, he early on abandoned his coat, trouser and clerical collar and preferred to be dressed in the cloth and banian of the average Sri Lankan.

The major part of his success as Methodist minister and pastor was due to the close attention he paid to pastoral care through regular home visits as a minister. Even after his retirement as an active minister of the Methodist church, while he was supernumerary at the Methodist church at Nugegoda, and had no vehicle of his own, he would either travel by bus, when he was well past 80 years, to visit homes of home-bound parishioners or where he could not take the bus easily he would persuade other younger members of the church to drive him on his visits.

When my wife was breathing her last, the one I turned to for final prayer and comfort was Rev. Induruwa. That day is still clear in my mind. It was a Sunday morning, I knew that Rev. Induruwa would be at the morning service at Nugegoda. He was already in his seat awaiting the commencement of the service when I spoke to him and without a word of hesitation he just got up from his seat and accompanied me to Apollo Hospital to pray for her in her last moments. Even before this, Rev. Induruwa was a regular visitor to our home and the hospital during her long illness bringing comfort and solace to me and my two young children.

It was Rev. Induruwa who persuaded me to take up the editorship of the Sri Lanka Methodist Recorder which task I was able perform for the satisfaction of all for more than four years.

I was happy my son, Dr. Douglas, was able to return to Sri Lanka in time to attend Rev. Induruwa’s funeral. I was reminded of a remark that Rev. Induruwa had made at the sudden death of my younger brother who died in his sleep. He said, “What a blessed death!” I am glad Rev. Induruwa too experienced the beautiful Biblical way of death of the righteous.

Rev. Induruwa would have been 94 years old this October had he lived. I am told that he just complained of a palpitation of the heart and yielded up his spirit on the way to the hospital!  “Blessed is the death of a righteous man in the eyes of the Lord.”

- Shirley Somanader

Mary Monica Aquilina Fernando   

Our guiding star          

On the twenty-ninth day of March, this year
It was ten years since you left us mother dear;
Life’s challenges faced, would have been much easier
If you had been there, giving strength as a pillar.
when you, lost your beloved mother,
Just one year, was your little brother;
You cared for your brothers and sisters, there on
With a motherly love, that you were, deprived of.
A hardworking wife you were, declared even your father,
You never failed to fulfil your duty, even as an administrator
Faithful to God, were you, in your daily endeavours
A role model you were, to all your peers.
The only daughter, was your gift from God
Whom you never wanted to feel lonely at all;
Your nephews and nieces were kept close with each other
Never missing a wish or a gift on their birthdays every year.
Gathered the family and relatives together each year
Helped in word or deed, or a prayer was offered when in despair
Always imparted your knowledge freely, to the needy
And charity shown to the poor, wasn’t known to many.
Two granddaughters were angels from heaven, that made your life complete
They still remember the care shown to them, as a loving grand mum indeed
And in their hearts they miss the affection of an adorable grandmother
Just as much as you are missed by your husband, son-in-law and daughter.
Though life wasn’t a bed of roses, yet you kept our family together
And even though ten years have passed, without our beloved mother
We still need you as a guiding star, as life is not a smooth sail by far
So do look down from heaven and aid us, to courageously go on afar.
We pray to God, whenever we remember you and miss you
To keep you in his care, with your loved ones gone before you;
Till someday, we all meet again, in a land that’s fairer than this
Far, far away… at Jesus’ feet… beyond the stars.

- Daughter -
Hiranthi Silva


He lived a simple but jolly life    

Wanagurus hail from Hokandara” is not a dictum but a truism.

The late Percy Douglas Wanaguru, the third child of the late Don Wilfred  Wanaguru – the doyen and the Coroner of Hokandara – was a symbolic personality.

During my relationship and friendship with Percy Aiya, I observed in him some uncommon traits. The most conspicuous was, the fact that, fortune was thrust upon him threefold:

Firstly, his wife: Percy’s widow, Ayur Dr. Kusum Mangalika – my wife’s elder sister – is a goodly lady. She was his wife, doctor, nurse, companion, house-keeper and even “mother”. Such commitments deprived her, an efficacious and accomplished physician, from setting up her own doctor’s office even after retirement from government service.

Secondly, his two daughters: Percy had no sons. Everything Percy’s elder daughter Harshini touched has turned to gold, as it were, including marriage. Harshini is a resident of Australia. Her two children, Ashwyn and Monique were Percy’s only grand-children, with whom he had an endearing camaraderie.

His other daughter Kaushalya too is a citizen of Australia. Kaushalya was formerly a teacher beloved of the Junior  School children in Trinity College Kandy. She is a teacher luminary in Australia. Percy was fortunate to have her by his bedside whilst ailing and at his death.

He had a unique fortune to be showered with their love which was incredible, phenomenal and exceptional.

Percy visited Australia with his wife many times.

Thirdly his siblings: Percy had four sisters and four brothers (two deceased). They treated Percy with utmost affection and respect. Their mainstay in the affairs of the family was Percy.

His liaison with his neighbors was commendable. There seems to be no one within a considerable radius of his home who has not been a welcome guest.

Percy’s love towards animals was extraordinary. Most of his diurnal attention was devoted to the four domestic dogs and two cats. Percy prepared their meals himself. Even a wayside stray dog would not go untreated with some bread or a biscuit by Percy.

Percy lived a simple but jolly life. It was a treat to watch him nurse a drink. He was a hard smoker too. And with all that he was sturdy enough to live reasonably healthy to be 78, until illness gripped him and proved to be terminal.

“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.” – PROV. 17:22

Here’s to you…Percy Aiya… CHEERS!

- Bandula Jayaratne



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