10th October 1999

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A Candle for Lylie - a concert inspired by the life and work of Lylie Godridge will be held on October 30 at the Bishop's College auditorium to raise funds for the AFLAC Cancer Fund.

Lighting a candle for Lylie

Capt. Anthony Snelgar-International Representative AFLAC International

We came to a country where the sun changes place with the moon - Serendipity. We were, for the first time spending a Sri Lankan holiday with our AFLAC friends. Our plane touched down in the early hours of the morning and we felt like children during Christmas eve, rapt with expectations.

We came here not only to share the serendipity but to meet its cousins - poverty and hardship. We wanted to discover what made this place so special, and what we can do to participate in AFLAC programmes.

Through AFLAC's Education Programme, we had been sponsoring a student for the last four years, Sulalith, an 18- year-old. My wife, son and I wanted to meet him. The next day we made our way to Sulalith's home. There they were. At first, just the mother appeared. Sulalith waited quietly inside while his sister hid with bubbling excitement behind a makeshift curtain. The house was no bigger than an average American's closet - yet home made lime juice was served with a palatial air. The green plastic cups could have been Waterford Crystal. Sulalith never sat down - he stood straight-backed, quiet and respectful - his eyes shining with a mixture of uncertainty and gratitude. When the time came for the photographs, my wife could no longer hold back her tears - and we parted feeling enriched, poor, sad and happy, all at the same time.

Next was an evening meeting to discuss a cancer project and a musical concert called "Candle for Lylie". A flock of handsome men and beautiful young ladies arrived at the AFLAC President's home by a riverside. The sarees were a flotation of colours, and the smiles bounced off the rippling waters into our hearts. Here were capable people who could have been discothequing or taking in a movie, but their energies were directed here, a wonderful project to help the needy.

They discussed the details. A concert would take place on October 30 at the Bishop's College Auditorium - "Candle for Lylie", in remembrance of one Lylie Godridge on his first death anniversary. They said everyone knew him as an extraordinarily talented musician, who had touched many lives in an even more extraordinary manner. The concert would be sung by prominent artistes, many names were mentioned not familiar to me. The money raised would go to help poor cancer patients.

So many nations and people in history have preoccupied themselves with life after death, from the ancient Egyptians to modern Hari Krishnas. Isn't it time we began to pay more attention to a man's voyage on this planet - Life after Birth.

Come and celebrate life with us - support the AFLAC concert.

AFLAC Cancer Concert October 30 1999, 7.00 p.m. Bishop's College Auditorium. Tickets and Information: Contact Inakshi Amarasekera (578775/6 or 582251), Himali Senanayake (698926).

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