Appreciations

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The world is not the same for us any more without you 

LAKSHMAN HULUGALLE

It is still hard to believe you are gone for over a year. It is a year since we heard your voice, your laughter, saw your smile or touched you. However, your presence is still vibrant in our memory. To live in the hearts of those you love is not to die.

Yes, you were surrounded by your friends and colleagues when you were active and alive and they would not budge from your side. I wish you were allowed to spend more time with your family who always will miss you and grieve for you. You may even have lived longer to enjoy your adorable grandchildren.

The call of duty was too strong for you as you had been instilled with that thought from childhood. You were happy to be of service to others  and enjoyed every moment of it. However, everything in this world is transient. Those who benefitted from you and those who impinged on your personal time have moved on.  But for us, you are more than a smiling face in a picture frame. Those moments you just opened up your heart were the most precious moments. In the setting sun, sitting on the wooden bench on our balcony, we recollect those times you would talk to us while Appachchi would hover around to eavesdrop on the conversation. What glorious days they were!

Every song we hear brings back memories of you rolling in; in every picture we see you, we remember you growing up from a toddler to a strapping six-footer. Every laugh reminds us of your wisecracks shared with us. Every time we eat chocolate or an ice cream, we remember your devious methods to eat sweets. That was one of the bad habits which you shared with Appachchi. If you were alive your grandson and grand-daughter would have enjoyed your pranks to hoodwink others to taste chocolate.

Your penchant for clothes was well known. My nieces say that what you discarded before you left for Sydney had been replaced again. Your closets are still full of those shirts and suits and I for one cannot still go there to pick up one as a keepsake. How can I open the closets to see them hanging there forlorn? So the invitation to pick one up is still open, till I steel myself to look at them again. May be, I might see you before I act on it.

The world is not the same for us any more without you. You are sure to be in a better place.

So long Malli till we meet again in this long journey of Sansara!

Amma and Akka


 She won the hearts of everyone she met

Svetlana Wijayadasa (nee Alexeyeva)

Svetlana Wijayadasa (nee Alexeyeva) of Stamford, Connecticut, USA, passed away peacefully at home on May 3, 2023 – with her husband and son by her side.

Svetlana was born in Moscow, and married Somar, a native of Sri Lanka, in 1966. They lived together in Sri Lanka for five years and in 1973, Svetlana worked for the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in Vienna, Austria, and later at the United Nations in New York until her retirement.

While working for the UN for over 25 years, she and her family travelled the world extensively – mostly in Europe, Middle East and Asia. Svetlana loved to visit historic and archaeological sites, old palaces, and botanical gardens in Europe and Asia.

She won the hearts of everyone she met, and for almost 60 years Svetlana was Somar’s companion and obviously his great friend and support. She loved her home in Stamford and enjoyed tending to her many plants, flowers, and her outdoor garden.

Svetlana was a modest, loving and strong-willed person, as well as a loving and caring wife, mother and grandma. She is survived by Somar (her loving husband of 58 years), her son Jag and daughter- in-law Eva, and her granddaughter Lucia.

May her soul rest in peace.

Jag Alexeyev


 

 The last of an illustrious proprietary planter family of Mahawela

Siri Sena Gooneratne

Siri Sena Gooneratne,  popularly known as “S.S.” last of the Gooneratne brothers of an illustrious proprietary planter family of Mahawela, in the Matale District, passed away after a brief illness, on May 30, 2008.

S.S. was born on March 19, 1915, and had his education at Trinity College Kandy where he represented Napier House and the College, in rugger. After leaving school he went to India for specialised training in agriculture and on his return he undertook the responsibility of managing the 400-odd acre Mahawela Estate which his father had farsightedly planted with diversified cash crops consisting of tea, rubber, coconut, pepper and paddy.

His father D. M. Gooneratne, was not only an astute planter and businessman but, also a philanthropist who had donated almost 100 years ago, his land and constructed the local school now known as D.M. Gooneratne Maha Vidyalaya, the local temple for the spiritual needs of the villagers and also public wells and other amenities for the welfare of the villagers.

SS was a member of the Matale Planters Club, which at that time consisted exclusively of European planters.

He was a sports car enthusiast. He drove an MG Magnet, and on one of his frequent trips to Kandy he crashed into a lamp post at the Mahiyawa paddy field stretch, opposite the Ratwatte house. Fortunately he escaped injury.

SS married Somila Peris, daughter of Mr. Peris, who was then the Chief Accountant and Shroff at the Kandy Municipal Council. Mr. Peris lived in a sprawling mansion at Katugastota, opposite the present Elephant Bath. Somila predeceased him on October 8. 2006.  They had three sons (one predeceased SS) and three daughters who are all doing well in their respective fields.

Mahinda Gooneratne


A kind and loving friend

CHITRA SIMITHRIARACHCHI

Chitra was a dear friend of ours and we were very saddened by her sudden demise a few weeks ago. My husband Simon was a student at Trinity College Kandy and as a young boy knew her father, C. E. Simithriarachchi, who was one of the former Principals of the school.

I got to know Chitra and her sister Rupa when we attended the Cathedral of Christ the Living Saviour where we became close friends and worked together for various church activities. They were regular members of the congregation for the Sunday service and also for the Bible Studies and other get-togethers. They were both on our tea-makers programme where we served tea to the congregation every Sunday and also on our Welcome Roster – a group which welcomed people when they walked into Church.

I well remember the annual Church Pola  – having several stalls selling different varieties of items – the proceeds being used for the numerous charities the Cathedral supported. Chitra and Rupa were always on our team and helped us to arrange the items, price them, sell them – never ending work!

We also shared a love for dogs and the stories of our doggies and the experiences  with them would be embedded in our conversations.

Some years ago Chitra had a fall and because of her injuries was not able to attend church regularly for some time  – but yet we kept in touch.

We shall miss her presence and the long chats we used to have but we know she is safe in the arms of the Lord. May she rest in peace.

 Anthea Senaratne

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