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May the Rugby turf lie gently on this outstanding flanker

Ralph Wickremaratne

Ralph first represented Royal College (RC) at Rugby under Lionel Almeida in 1956 vs D.N. Frank’s mercurial Trinity College, Kandy (TCK) team. As Vice-Captain under Roti Sivaratnam in 1957 he scored a try vs Ken De Joodt’s TCK team at Longden Place and won his Rugby colours.

He also represented Royal and won his Athletics colours under T. Perirewere and J.C. Fernando becoming a member of the Public Schools championship relay quartet, along with W.B.M. Abeysekera, Lorenz Pereira and J.C.Fernando.

He was also a Lance Sergeant with Rohantha Gunaratna in Cadeting for Royal under RQMS Roti Sivaratnam. His school friends were Patrick Poulier, Rohantha Gunaratna, Roti Sivaratnam, V.G. Samarasinghe and N.D.J. De Silva.

Forsaking the Rugby captaincy in 1958 at the insistence of his father to commence planting at Wikiliya Group, Balangoda, he followed the Royal College KV team captaincy of T.L.K. Mendis, Lionel Almeida,  Ken Balendra and Keith Paul.

He represented both Dickoya under David Bretherton and Chris Bean and Uva under Franklin Jacobs and Michael De Alwis in the Clifford Cup distinguishing himself partnering as flanker with John Bousefield.

Ralph left South Springvale, Melbourne after his decision to wed Dr Sriani Dissanayake (my classmate Dr. Laki Dissanayake’s sister)  and return to Sri Lanka.

He leaves his own family, his sisters Carmel and Joyce and RC ruggerite and veteran planter Brian Wickremaratne, who all adored Ralph.

May the Rugby turf lie gently on this outstanding flanker who was a gentle giant and may Ralph rest in peace.

Mithila Gunaratna


A talented and very dedicated teacher

M.I.M. Ansar

M.I. Mohamed Ansar was a veteran English teacher and former In-Service Advisor (ISA) in English attached to the Matara Zonal Education Office. Mr Ansar was a talented and very dedicated teacher who produced thousands of worthy citizens during his teaching career spanning more than 30 years. Many English teachers benefited from his in-service seminars.

He was also a fine sportsman who coached the teams of several schools in the Matara and Matale Districts in soccer and hockey.

He was a good writer and versatile poet in English, whose language was always very elegant. His poems appeared many times in the newspapers. He also had a valuable collection of poetry.

He rendered a commendable service as a project officer in the SIDA funded Matara District Education Development project.

A pious and God-fearing person, he never missed his five-time prayers in the Matara Meera Masjid.

I was closely associated with him and had the opportunity to read his final poem ‘Last Farewell’ written shortly before his departure from this world.

‘Verily we are from Allah and

Unto Him is our return’.

May Allah reward him with Jannath.

Dahlan Salahudeen


 

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