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Sunday, June 28, 2015

NICU in New York named after Sri Lankan physician


NEW YORK – At an official ceremony last week, Richmond University Medical Center (RUMC) dedicated the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in honour of the late Dr. Anantham Harin, a Sri Lankan physician, who directed the unit at the time of his death in 2010 at age 65.
Dr. Anantham Harin
“This is a simple honour for a man who earned the recognition and admiration not just of his colleagues here at Richmond University Medical Center, but served as a leader and role model in the Sri Lankan community on Staten Island,” said President and CEO, Dr. Daniel J. Messina, who delivered remarks during the dedication. “It is truly fitting that his memory be honoured in our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, among the vulnerable babies he dedicated his life to.”
During his 30-year professional career at the NICU, more than 15,000 infants passed through him recording one of the lowest mortality rates in the State of New York. Described as a brilliant physician and a warm hearted humanitarian, Dr Harin was regularly featured in the New York media for his work with premature babies and was repeatedly listed among New York magazine’s list of Best Doctors.
While a resident of Staten Island, New York, Dr. Harin emerged as a leading figure in the borough’s Sri Lankan community, which at over 5,000 estimated residents is one of the largest outside of Sri Lanka itself. His career was described as an American success story.
Dr. Harin graduated from the University of Colombo Medical School in 1970 and migrated to the United States in 1973 to begin a residency at what is now SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, and an internship in pediatrics at Kings County Hospital Center.
After completing a fellowship in neonatology at North Shore University Hospital in Long Island, Dr. Harin worked as an attending physician in neonatology at Bellevue Hospital Center and NYU Medical Center in Manhattan. Having relocated to Staten Island in 1979, Dr. Harin began working at the former St. Vincent’s Hospital (now RUMC) in the early 1980s where he worked until his passing.
Last week’s dedication ceremony was held at the University hospital auditorium in the presence of doctors, nurses, medical staff, his wife Nirupa and his friends in the Sri Lankan expatriate community.
The official unveiling of the plaque at the NICU preceded a memorial lecture.
 
This news item was sent by Indra Anandasabapathy who is also a resident of Staten Island, NY.  Dr. Harin was our colleague Satchie's brother.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Creative Spot - A Poem by Mahendra (Speedy) Gonsalkorale

Tropical downpour
 
A darkness creeps over the town
as angry black clouds gather in force
sweeping aside soft white ones with disdain.
The calm and gentle breeze is cast aside
as the howling wind gets stronger and stronger
causing trees to sway to and fro helplessly.

Leaves blown everywhere,
ladies holding on to their hats.
An old man digs his stick to the ground
as he defies the wind that pushes him.
Frantic umbrellas being unfolded
only to turn inside out, defeated.
People running for shelter
Swarms of frightened birds flying to their nests

A flash of lightening illuminates the sky,
the haughty rumble of thunder follows.
Sheets of rain pour unrestrained
the torrential downpour pelts the ground,
raising little flowers of water at impact on the ground.
Rivers of water lead to pools by the roadside.
Happy children run laughing and screaming.
Some huddle under trees for respite,
soon their clothes soaked to the skin

The rain continues unabated.
The horizon is a blur in the watery shroud.
More flashes of lightening,
loud claps of thunder strike and rumble on.
The wrath of the wind mercilessly swaying hapless trees.
Pieces of paper and plastic bags flying in gay abandon.
The busy road now deserted. 
Mud pools everywhere.
Gushing muddy water flows into drains.

Then as suddenly as it started
the rain ceases and the World brightens.
A fresh crispness is in the air.
Little by little life reappears on the roads.
First a few and more and more resume
As people carry on with their lives.
This was but a passing distraction. 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Cuba Libre

By Nihal D. Amerasekera 

Cuba Libre to a tourist is a glass of Rum and Coke with a slice of lime. To the Cubans it is freedom from tyranny and oppression. This came about after a bloody revolution that ended in 1959 but at a price – lack of personal freedom.

 

Photo- A typical street view of Havana

The travel guides and the travelogues never describe Cuba accurately.  I arrived in Havana with preconceptions and prejudices but it is far better than what I was lead to believe. When the opportunity arose to tour Cuba I was prepared to leave behind the June sunshine and the cricket, back in England. I first came to know about Cuba when Castro’s revolution toppled Batista’s despotic regime. I was then an idealistic teenager with a jaundiced vision of a fast changing world. The history of the revolution 1953-59 is a gripping tale of selfless courage. Subsequently with the failed Bay of Pigs invasion and the Cuban missile crisis, Cuba remained a thorn in the side of the Unites States for decades. Many rich Cubans fled the country to settle in Miami. 

Fidel Castro, a qualified lawyer, brought in wide ranging reforms including equal rights for Blacks and women. Significantly reduced corruption and unemployment. They eliminated illiteracy and brought in land reforms. Great improvements were made in hygiene and sanitation. Supposedly the country has the best free health care in the world. They make their own vaccines and medicines and even export doctors to other Spanish speaking countries in South America. Education is free to all. The man on the street is well informed and civil. Many seemed happy with their lot.  Those Cubans we met were kind and generous. No one was allowed to travel abroad until recently when restrictions have been removed. There is a possibility that the American embargo will be lifted. The Cubans have mixed feelings about this. They fear the arrival of drugs, mafia, casinos and the return to capitalism, the very climate that brought on the revolution. Fidel Castro in a speech whilst on trial during the Batista regime said “History will absolve me”. The world can decide!! 

As I set foot on Cuba the warm breeze and palm trees brought back memories of my beloved homeland. The airport is small and seemed very basic. On the way to our hotel the narrow roads and the tired looking old buildings with plaster peeling off reminded me of Ceylon of the 1950’s. There are no skyscrapers. The popular Russian Lada  and old American Dodge, Buicks, Pontiacs and Plymouths plied the streets of Cuba. Import restrictions have made all foreign goods expensive and beyond the reach of the people. They call Miami the 2nd capital of Cuba as many Cuban émigré live there sending money to their relatives in their homeland. Cuba depends on tourism, Sugar cane, Cigars and money sent by émigré to balance their budget.  Cuba received considerable economic support from the Soviet Union. The American embargo since 1959 and the dissolution of the USSR in 1991 , have had a crippling effect on the Cuban economy but it has survived the worst. They have 2 types of currencies. One for the tourists called CUC and that for the rest it is the  CUP. 

The hurricane season runs from June to November. Cuba is very well organised, disciplined and prepared for such events and there are excellent evacuation procedures. This is in stark contrast to other Caribbean countries like Haiti.
 

Photo – Vinales Valley

All businesses are owned by the state. People can rent a property to farm or to open a shop but have to give the state a percentage of their income. Although theoretically all the houses are owned by the government there are some houses owned by individuals and I was unable to get to the bottom of this issue as much of this information is shrouded in secrecy.  The Cubans have ration books to obtain essential items of food at below cost. If more is needed they got to pay. Towards the end of my stay I asked our guide, most discreetly, if their was a secret service in Cuba like the CIA and KGB. After a short but distinct pause she said, yes, and went on to illustrate the point that such an organization is needed to safeguard the country and its leader Castro. There has been 600 attempts on his life since 1961 and far too many bids to destabilize the country. 

The Castros and the political hierarchy maintain a low profile. I saw so very few inscriptions or statues of the leaders although they have been ruling the country since 1959. There is a mausoleum and a museum for Che Guevara in Santa Clara. He is considered a martyr for the cause and is remembered with great awe and affection. I read his memoirs in my youth and saw a film about his “Motorcycle Diaries”. As a young man he travelled widely in Central and South America and witnessed the poverty and oppression due to dictatorships and authoritarian regimes. With his Marxist ideology Che felt the only solution was armed revolution. He gave up a comfortable life as a doctor in Argentina to fight for the people. The rest is history. I wore my Che Guevara T-shirt with pride to visit his mausoleum and pay homage to a man who had the courage to give his life to make it better for others.  He died at the age of 39 and left a wife and 4 children. Personally, I have no strong political affiliations, convictions or ideologies. My revolution will remain against disease and the resultant suffering. 

The author and journalist Ernest Hemingway loved Cuba and its people. He bought a house and named it  “Finca Vigia” in the outskirts of Havana where he spent time writing his books. Two of his best books ‘For whom the bell tolls’ and ‘The old man and the sea’ were written while in Havana. Hemingway loved fishing for Marlin in the waters around Havana.  He held lavish parties for his Hollywood friends at Finca Vigia and the lovely Ava Gardner was a regular visitor. The house is well maintained as it was during his day and is a monument to this Nobel prize winning writer. 

I have left the descriptions of hotels, scenery and landscapes to the last as it is no different from the rest of the world. The internet is painfully slow  and the Wifi virtually non-existent. With its Caribbean sub-tropical climate the fauna and flora are very similar to Sri Lanka. The many different and colorful plants reminded me of the taxonomy in Pulimood and Joshua. Delonix regia are in plenty and were in full bloom as if the trees were on fire. Ipomoea biloba, Antigonon leptopus, Magnolia, Thunbergia grandiflora, Nerium oleander were all in flower in June. There is manioc and bread fruit in plenty. Although they have many snakes non of them are poisonous.  

The capital Havana looks tired and old and needs a lick of paint. The people are discouraged from demolishing old buildings.  When painting they have got to use its original colour. Cubans are very musical and their favourite instrument is the guitar. Whenever we had a meal in a restaurant there was a group to serenade us playing the old favourites – Guantanamera and Cielito lindo.  I visited the famous Buena Vista Social Club. It played  the perennial favourites of the  1950’s.  Buena Vista Social Club’s popularity was revived by Ry Cooder in 1998 with a famous album and a film of that name. Cubans are born with the natural rhythm to dance. Their evocative hip gyrations and rhythmic movements have given rise to the ever popular Cha cha, mambo and the Salsa. It is indeed a great pleasure to see the dances performed in their native environment. 

Vinales Valley is a UNESCO World heritage site. It is encircled by green mountains and is a pretty sight. They use traditional techniques for agriculture using cattle. Much of the best tobacco is grown in this region. Their staple food includes rice which is cultivated here. 

We moved on to Cienfuegos where they grow sugar cane. This again is a World Heritage site. Its buildings and architecture show their French and Spanish past. 

Varadero has beautiful beaches and many plush hotels. This is a city which shows life is changing fast in Cuba. Do visit the country before it loses its old world charm and values.

 

Photo – The Beach in Varadero

It is indeed a beautiful country. Cuba is just beginning to open up to the outside world. I hope I have succeeded in giving you a birds eye view of Cuba and an overview of its tormented past and its less troubled present.  

Perhaps the present regime in Cuba has done their best.  They need to tweak their dogma to improve the quality of life of the people.  In a democracy the people decide but in Castro’s Cuba it is much harder to change. The Cubans deserve peace and freedom like us all without returning to the problems of the past. I wonder for how long they will continue to chant “Viva la Revolucion” Long live the revolution?

Friday, June 19, 2015

Creative Spot by Mahendra Gonsalkorale and Zita Perera Subasinghe

A combined effort between Zita and Speedy. Zita played this beautifully on her Yamaha Clavinova and Speedy  accompanied her rendering his superb voice. The result is the "Whispering Hope" YouTube video.
A bit of history on the song itself, sent in by Speedy.
There is very little information regarding the circumstances of the writing of "Whispering Hope" other than the  fact that the song was written in 1868.  But one thing is certain, the song was written by prolific songwriter Septimus Winner who released much of his work under the pseudonym, Alice Hawthorne.  The text of this  song appears to be based on the scripture from Hebrews 6:19 which refers to the anchor that keeps the soul steadfast.  That anchor is also the "Whispering Hope" of the Christian.
Septimus Winner was an American songwriter of the 19th century. He used his own name, and also the pseudonyms Alice Hawthorne, Percy Guyer, Mark Mason, Apsley Street, and Paul Stenton. He was also a teacher, performer, and music publisher.

Click on:

 
 
 
 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Sri Lanka Medical Council - Notice

Some of you who are domiciled abroad may not be interested in this news item. However, I am sharing this information in case any of you are interested. The following advertisement was published in the Sunday Times of 14 June, 2015.

Sri Lanka Medical Council - NOTICE
 
Applications for renewal of registration were sent by November 2014 to all Medical Practitioners (Sec. 29), Dentists (Sec. 43) and persons entitled to Practice Medicine and Surgery (Sec. 41) registered in the Sri Lanka Medical Council.
 
Notice is hereby given to those who failed to renew their registration, that applications will be accepted only up to Tuesday 30 June 2015.
 
If you do not renew your registration before that date, your name will be erased from the register under Section 23 of the Medical Ordinance and the restoration of the name will be done on payment of a penalty of Rs. 2500/- in addition to the renewal payment of Rs. 2500/-.
 
Dr.  H.M.S.S.D. Herath
Sri Lanka Medical Council
31, Norris Road, Colombo 10.

Some random recollections of our Teachers from Faculty days.

The transition from an ‘A’ level Student to Medical student did not come easily. I was just past my 18th birthday and had led a relatively sheltered life and my fear and anxiety about surviving the Rag is something I can still recollect with distaste. I never approved of the Rag and thought it should have been banned as it is a form of “partially legalised” torture and no amount of justification on the grounds that it “matures you” and that it  “broadens your outlook” can take away the fact that it is a form of inhuman terror inflicted on you by basically sadistic seniors. My view has not changed.

I can remember a lot of our Teachers but some stand out. Prof Abhayaratne or “Patchaya” was a character and who can forget his “tins and cans, and pots and pans”. Public Health is an important area of study and I wish we had more imaginative and inspirational teachers and this takes me to Dr Carlo Fonseka, surely one of the best teachers we had. The Pharmacology Department also had another colossus, Prof N D W Lionel. When that name is mentioned, you immediately visualise a kind man with an engaging smile on a bespectacled face. His hair was neatly combed back with a side parting and his ample abdomen upon which rested a long tie, preceded him by a few inches when he walked up to give a lecture. And what a lecture! Clear, methodical, interesting and relevant. I had the good fortune to work with him later as a Demonstrator in Pharmacology and he was, in a very large measure, responsible for making that period so enjoyable. Our pre-work morning chats covered a wide range of non-medical topics. He was a wise man, and much loved and respected by all those who had the good fortune to be associated with him. He was a good man. Prof Kottegoda, or “Kotte”, in the same Department is remembered fondly for very different reasons. I recall seeing him for the first time in the Physiology Lecture Theatre. We trooped in and took our seats and there he was with his arms folded and leaning on the table, ready to embark on a lecture which can only be described as a random walk through the subject with very tenuous connections between one sentence and the next, all accompanied by his careful inspection of the ceiling of the theatre, as if looking for errant ants. The vocals were accompanied by visuals on the black board which at the end of the lecture resembled a graffiti board.All of us furiously wrote down what we heard and later combined together to produce a comprehensible document. How can I also forget what happened when he stood up from his stool to deliver the lecture. As he stood up, he seemed to disappear and only his head was visible above the table, the first realisation on my part that he was vertically challenged! I had the good fortune a few years ago to give “The Kottegoda Oration” and although I am not tall, I managed to display a bit more of my anatomy than just the head. The Physiology Lecture Theatre was quite imposing and “intellectual” and revered.  This was Prof Koch’s (or “Koka” as he was affectionately known), hunting grounds. He always wore a white cotton suit and had a file under his left arm pit. His style was stimulating and interesting although not as methodical and powerful as Dr K.N. Seneviratne, later Professor, tall, booming voice, specs and amused look with dancing eye brows and hair groomed like a “kadurugediya”. He was known as “Bull” Seneviratne and hence the epithet “Cock and Bull “stories in Physiology.  The other Professor using the same theatre was Prof Hoover, anatomically a short but sturdy man who I thought was rather limited as an Academic and my apologies to him for saying this if by some chance he is tuned in. Talking of Anatomy, the genial Prof Wass comes to mind. We didn’t see much of him but heard of his pranks as a Medical Student. I have no idea whether it is true but apparently, when he was a Medical Student, he moved a cadaver to the Men’s common room, dressed it up, painted the chest area with tomato sauce and called the Police saying that a man has been shot in the chest. He was suspended for 2 years after pleading guilty (or was it insanity?) and during this period, he joined the Police Force as a Sub-Inspector! The irony of it! Our best Anatomy Lecturer was without any doubt Lester Jayawardena, tall, receding forehead with ample curly hair, thick lips and a clear, deep voice. He made full use of the fact that a lot of Anatomy was structural and open to imaginative visualisation. I distinctly remember a lecture on the uterus even after 40 years, and that is saying something! He said, “as I stand inside the uterus, I cannot move easily as the anterior and posterior walls are so close to each other and as I look down, I can see that my feet are in the gutter of a rim, with an opening which is the escape route to the vagina and as I stand and extend my arms out, they go into tubes that open from just below the roof of the uterus which is dome shaped”. Wonderful stuff!
I think I shall pause here and return later but only after recalling another thick black rimmed spectacled, slightly greying hair combed back (probably with the help of Brylcream), stern and authoritative man, Prof Cooray or “Path Cooray”. He was a very good teacher and was also a strict disciplinarian. When we attended his lectures, there was that “fear factor”. We were always on time and sat quietly till he made his entrance with fanfare. I still recall him encouraging us to “question the teacher and clarify what we heard in the lecture”. “Don’t be afraid, ask me questions and then I know that you are keen to learn and understand”. However, he left only a minute for questions as he said “Any questions?” while shuffling his papers ready to leave! On one occasion, (I can’t recall who it was, but it could have been the late and humorous Punsiri), a student had the temerity to ask him for a clarification and he pounced on the hapless chap and said “you have not paid any attention to what I have been saying because if you did, you wouldn’t have asked that stupid question”. That was the last time anybody asked a question.

Mahendra (Speedy) Gonsalkorale

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Another incident at a Supermarket! - Sent in by Razaque Ahamat


Yesterday my wife and I went to the Dundee Railway Station to drop off my son Hajji  on his way for a job interview in Aberdeen and we dropped in at the nearby Supermarket. It was a very hot day and I removed my cap and placed it in my anorak pocket. After finishing our shopping we returned home only to find my cap was missing. Rushed back to the supermarket and enquired at the Customer Service if my cap had been returned. To my delight it was and the woman at the counter said that I was VERY LUCKY that such a quality cap was returned. I just smiled and replied "The person who returned is also VERY LUCKY,... otherwise that person would have RECEIVED A GIFT FROM ME ALONG WITH MY CAP---- A HEAD FULL OF DANDRUFF or ALOPECIA or BOTH UNLESS THAT PERSON IS BALD!!!! "
 
This once again shows that there is humour all around us --- only to be found appreciated and enjoyed!!!
Now....... TAKE TWO........
The above reminds me of a joke related to me some time back.
One wet, drab, cold, wintery Sunday morning at a Church service, the Priest noted that an older man soaking wet, looking angry and miserable seated at the end of a pew.  At that time the topic of the sermon was the Ten Commandments.
 
When Sermon came to "Thou shall not commit adultery" this miserable man was all smiles , happy and elated!!! The Priest was puzzled and after the Service was over, he went up to this man and asked why all that change in his mood during the course of the Sermon???The man replied..... "Father, when you came to the commandment 'Thou shall not commit  adultery', I remembered where I left my Umbrella and RAINCOATS (condoms) on my way to Church"!!!!!!
 
DIRTY OLD MAN!!!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

A Reply to ND's Open Letter - Sent by Razaque Ahamat

 
I know I have not replied soon enough to ND's 'Open Letter' to me posted some time back ..Any way better late and concise than never.
 
It was events pertaining to our days as Med Students living and travelling from Wattala to Med School. ND touched upon those lovely carefree days scrounging upon our parents and getting in to some 'ungainly situations'!! We ND, Bernard, and I used to 'study' and revise Physiology and Anatomy at my former school, St Anthony's College, Wattala. ---mostly Physiology as I 'studied' Anatomy elsewhere.!!! Shall leave it at that.!!!!! 
 
Of course there were others from our junior batches who used to be regular train travellers to Med School, namely Ananda Cooray, Ananda Perera, Jayasinghe (a childhood polio victim) ) -- all now deceased, including our Bernard.
 
In his posting ND speaks about a Johnny Jayasundara, who was living next to his home in Wattala whose family I believe were at one time very close family friends, but fell out in the 1940's. I shall refer to this episode/saga at a later posting in order not to repeat myself.
The three of us used to meet at occasions at my place for a meal etc.. At ND's place we gathered for a meal, that I quite vividly remember having the privilege of meeting his uncle Group Captain Rohan Amerasekara, Head of Royal Ceylon Air Force.
 
As you all are aware. I am not one for long drawn out postings as I suffer from 'verbal constipation'!! This is mainly a throwback to my childhood when I suffered from a speech impediment -- severe stammerng, and was bullied by name calling --- 'Gohtaya' and 'Goluwa'.
 
As mentioned earlier I shall refer to ND's Open Letter' in some of my future postings.
After qualifying we all parted company and went our own ways in different professional career pathways only to meet at Batch Reunions (London 1992, Hihhkaduwa--1996 & Cinnamon  Lodge 2007). Besides this, I remember ND visiting us on a Sunday at Tooting, London when I was working at St. Georges Medical School Hospital.
 i

Friday, June 5, 2015

General Guidelines for Contributors

It's almost five years since this blog was launched, but it's not too late to provide general guidelines for prospective contributors. As most blog viewers know, I have always been trying to get more contributors from our batch to get fully immersed and involved in this blog. I have encouraged, persuaded and cajoled, but stopped short of coercion! Please consider this too to be just another step in that direction.

Guidelines

1. A contributor must usually have some affiliation to the 1962 Batch (June 1962 entrants to the Colombo Medical Faculty). But if someone who does not fall into this category wishes to make a contribution which would be considered of interest to the Blog readers, he/she could submit it to the Blog Administrator (BA) and the BA's decision will be final.

2. Qualifying contributors should submit articles (or other material) of potential interest to the Blog readership, to the BA who will publish after due consideration.

3. Qualifying articles (or materials/items) are in general:
 
(a) Related to the Medgrad 1962 Batch period (entry to graduation)
(b) Related to Sri Lankan and World events, especially in that period.
(c) Related to Medical Education.
(d) Related to significant achievements of members of the batch.
(e) Obituary notices and appreciation of colleagues, teachers and people who have contributed in different fields
     (especially Medicine) in Sri Lanka. Appreciations pertaining to persons who are still living are welcome.
(f) Artistic, musical or other creative contributions suitable for the "Creative spot".
(g) Anything else that is deemed to come under the categories listed on the right hand column of this blog.
 
4, In view of the popularity of sharing of jokes and other humourous material, the BA shall post at suitable intervals, what he considers to be among the best contributions that are received. Submission of original humourous stories based on one's personal experiences are encouraged. Those who like to share their jokes can also submit them selectively as comments to the jokes that are posted.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Lucky
(Blog Administrator)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Summa Navaratnam - An Appreciation

By Sriani Dissanayake Basnayake
 
Recently a family friend of ours, Summa Navaratnam, celebrated his 90th birthday, and I wrote a tribute to him and sent it to several newspapers to be published on his birthday. The secretary to the Editor of one newspaper informed me that they don’t publish appreciations of “dead people”. I told her that he was very much alive, and that I wanted him and others to read my tribute. However, they ignored my request. Another journalist thanked me for my article and said, “Doctor, if not for your article, I would never have known that Summa had died”. When I told him that Summa had not died and was very much alive, he wanted to know why I wrote all those nice things about him before he died! I asked him to read the entire article, and especially the part which said that it is important for the person to realize that he is appreciated, while he is still alive.

It went like this  “In our country, people go to great lengths to write flowery or grandiose accounts of their friends and relatives once they have crossed over to “the other side”, and often, it makes one think that people are appreciated only after they have left our earthly shores. I am sure that the dear departed will be scanning the newspapers from their heavenly abode, and appreciating the sentiments expressed, but how much nicer it would be if we honoured a friend, and wrote all those wonderful things while they were still with us on terra firma, and not when fluttering their heavenly wings in some celestial abode.
 
It is for this reason that I pen these lines to salute Summa Navaratnam, one of the greatest sportsmen that Sri Lanka has produced in the last hundred years.”
 
Additionally, I sent him this poem, by an unknown author.
 
         He cannot read his tombstone when he’s dead.
If with pleasure you are viewing
Any work a man is doing,
And you like him or you love him,
Say it now!
Don’t withhold your approbation,
Till the Parson makes oration,
And he lies with snowy lilies o’er his brow.
For no matter how you shout it,
He won’t really care about it,
He won’t know how many teardrops you have shed.
If you think some praise is due him,
Now’s the time to hand it to him,
For he cannot read his tombstone when he’s dead!
 
More than fame and more than money
Is the comment kind and sunny,
And the hearty warm approval of a friend.
Oh, it gives to life a savour
And strengthens those who waver
And gives one heart and courage to the end.
If one earns your praise, bestow it!
If you like him, let his know it!
Let the words of true encouragement be said.
Let’s not wait till life is over
And he lies beneath the clover,
For he cannot read his tombstone when he’s dead!
 
Blog Administrator's note: As Sriani says, Summa Navaratnam is one of the greatest sportsmen Sri Lanka has produced. As an athlete, he was once hailed as "Asia's Fastest Human" at the time he held the Ceylon record for the short sprint. He was also a superb wing three quarter (in rugby) who represented CR & FC and Ceylon.