Search This Blog

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Wake me up byMahendra (Speedy) Gonsalkorale




Speedy's own composition - the music, the lyrics, the singing , the arrangement and the video. He accompanies himself on his Yamaha Tyros 4.

The song is called "Wake me up".

Monday, August 24, 2015

A Brief Rendezvous

 By Nihal D Amerasekera



We chose the hottest day of the year to meet at the Côte Brasserie, Soho, Wardour Street,  London on the 22nd of August 2015. As Mahendra Gonsalkorale, Zita Perera Subasinghe and her husband Joe sat in the restaurant we could feel the warm air waft across the large open window by the pavement. After the usual pleasantries, we started our chat. We accepted gratefully that none of us have changed much since those days.  The furrows and marks on our faces are an acknowledgment of the knocks as well as the joys that life has brought us. We reminisced, remembered and recounted those happy times of long ago.

All four of us were born during ravages of World War II and grew up in the aftermath. We were kids in a fledgling democracy as Sri Lanka was finding its feet. We were teenagers in the hedonistic 60’s of sex, drugs and rock and roll and survived it all to step on the treadmill at the GCE only to get off on retirement when we were 65 or thereabouts. It’s been a rollercoaster to say the least.

It took us back to the tall grim building called the Block  and the very first time we met in June 1962.  The silent human torsos lying on those porcelain slabs and the strong pungent smell of formalin ushered in our careers in medicine. We had all our lives before us. Its been a long journey since. Zita I met last when we gathered in the lobby of the faculty to say goodbye in March 1967. Mahendra  and I met at the Royal College of Physicians in London while sitting for the MRCP in 1975. How time has flown. The stress of building a career and raising a family has invariably taken its toll.

Our families took pride of place as we discussed their part in our world. Each one of us outlined our passage through the various stages in our careers up until retirement. We never knew Zita has had a remarkable career as an Ophthalmologist at the Sri Jayawardenepura hospital where she started the Laser service. Her photo adorns the department to remember her contribution to ophthalmology in Sri Lanka. Joe is the man from Raybans, that famous upmarket optometrists back home.

We discussed our hobbies and how we spent our days at leisure. Mahendra and Zita are fine musicians. The many songs that are on the Blog by them show their talent and also their love and commitment to music. I personally have some of them in my iTunes, a reminder of my roots.

The topic of religion and after life or the lack of it featured prominently. Although we had differing religious backgrounds that didn’t seem to hinder a rational discussion trying our best to remain scientific and logical. That is never easy discussing a topic so etherial. I am a great believer in the awesome force of destiny when the unpreventable happens. This aroused much interest and a lively debate. Suddenly, I noted a change in Mahen’s expression, a slight widening of the eyes, and a smile to indicate he has reservations.  We have all had our share of misfortune in this long and tortuous journey through life. Despite this it is heartening to note the four of us are still having such a marvelous time as we grow old gracefully.

We mentioned the gradual but inevitable decline since being septuagenarians and the importance to maintain a sense of purpose minus the driving ambition and rivalry. I should have mentioned in the same vein that it is vital to get rid of the baggage we all carry called “regret”.

There is always time to discuss mutual friends on such occasions, and we did. The mention of names always brings back loads of memories of those younger days and more recent meetings. We remembered most fondly those who have since departed this world and their part in our lives. These are reminders of our own mortality and the primal fear of exit from this world.  It is a world which we have come to love and also despise.

Our Blog has been our unifying force thanks to Lucky Abey and we discussed ways to improve and also expand so that it will remain viable for longer. I am sure these will require further thought before they see the light of day.

This was a memorable meeting which we all enjoyed immensely. The food was exquisite, service was brilliant and the ambience most appropriate.  We must meet again. Joe as treasurer is irreplaceable. I sincerely hope we see each other before long as time is fast catching up. We thank Zita’s daughter - Nisha for her recommendation of  the Venue in London which served us so well.

Good and reliable friends are worth their weight in gold.  They are the greatest source of pleasure and support in later years with whom you can laugh at the travails of youth.

Take care - until we meet again. 






Saturday, August 15, 2015

Creative Spot - My Heart is in Sri Lanka by Mahendra (Speedy) Gonsalkorale

This song is sung by Speedy to a very popular English song, "Sailing" by Ronald Binge, not the "Sailing" by Rod Stewart. It is used by the BBC before the late evening shipping forecast. Zita had suggested that he write his own lyrics and sing it and had thought why not, and this is the result- a nostalgic song about beautiful Sri Lanka.


Monday, August 10, 2015

V.P.H. Rajapaksa in New York

Preethi Rajapaksa (aka "Victor Procter Hector") met Indra Anandasabapathy recently in Staten Island, NY.


Preethi is called by different names - Preethi, Pakse, Rajapakse, VPH. "Victor, Procter, Hector" etc. The last was coined by none other than our late friend "Sunna" (S.R. De Silva). I had a time deciding which one to use.

I knew about the Rajapaksa visit to NY beforehand as I had met Preethi and family at dinner at Gnanissara's place in Sri Lanka a couple of months ago. 

Indra and Rani seem to be having a flood of visitors these days!


The Laughter and the Love of Friends

By Zita Perera Subasinghe



In mid July this year, there was a red-letter day on my calendar. It was the rare chance to meet a special friend. There had been three such people from whom I was inseparable in our medical school days i.e., Sujatha, Suriyakanthi and Malkanthie. The two former I had the chance to meet a few times in the years that followed while we worked in different parts of the world but Malkanthie and I barely crossed each other’s paths in all those years when she lived in the United States. So when I had the chance to meet her with her family for a couple of hours in London I was full of anticipation.

It was triple the joy as her husband Jim and her daughter Megan accompanied her. It was perhaps about two hours we spent having a leisurely lunch in a busy restaurant in Central London but every minute was packed with exchange of news, catching up on all those past years and getting acquainted with Jim, a greatly friendly and interesting person and Megan, a beautiful young lady who was a delight to talk to and get to know.

Jim and Malkanthie have each reached the top of their field and held very responsible positions in the University where they worked. Megan was a delight to talk to. She is a beautiful, cheerful and accomplished young lady. She graduated with honours and high Distinction in Education and anticipates studying further to work with individuals with learning difficulties. Meeting Megan was the highlight of this meeting for me. The time went very fast and soon it was ‘Good bye till we meet again.’ The thought of an entry in the old autograph album of my schooldays came to mind. It was written by a school friend and dated 23 -09- 1959.

‘From quiet homes and first beginning
Out to the undiscovered ends
There’s nothing worth the wear of winning

But the laughter and the love of friends.’

Am I a "Para - Hambaya or a Parvenu or what?

I am posting Razaque's article (UNEDITED) as promised. I am so sorry, but as I have been extremely busy, I have not had time to read through it.

Lucky

Am I a "PARA-HUMMBAYA" or a PARVENU or WHAT???.........
This is a conundrum that I have faced and now sorted out --I thinkt!! The reason for this posting is,---- following an 'incident' that occurred on the way to 'Cinnamon Lodge' to enjoy our Reunion in 2007. We all got into the busses that were laid on at 'Cinnamon Grand', to be transported to 'Cinnamon Lodge'. I weaved my way to the rear of the bus while my wife Farina, met up with a wife of one of our batch- mates from an earlier Reunion and our Kusuma whom she knew from earlier contacts---  this is what these Reunions are all about---making friends, catch up since the last event & reminisce!!. At the tail end of the bus, Ranjith Kurruppu & Lameer were chatting away & when they saw me coming towards them, Lameer said " Onna enawa ape PARA-HUMMBAYA". To this remark I retorted "ANEY BUNG.... PARA-THAMBIYO, mama PARA- HUMMBAYEK neve, mama PARA-JAVEK wath neve, mama NIYAMA JAVEK --It is RICH COMMING FROM YOU". We had a good old  hearty laugh and greeted with our Batch's hallmark -- hugs, laughs & being pleased to meet up again, & we continued catching up on what we were all up to since we met last. Here once again the purpose of Reunions at play and what it is all about!!!.. Long may it last.......

The above incident and two postings-- one by Our Lucky Abey's stint in Indonesia & the other by Our ND's 'antics' when on holiday in Penang, Malaysia prompted  me to investigate "MY ANCESTRY and question " AM I A PARAYA  OR OF NOBLE BIRTH OR JUST A PARVENU"???..........."MAMA KAWDA KIYAL DANNA WADA?? 
 I shall leave it you to be the jury, judge & executioner after I present my evidence!!!!!........

Firstly, my Dad's ancestor, Ismail Ahamat was sent to the then Ceylon by the Colonial British in the then Malaya, in 1810AD to run the Prison Services in the then Ceylon.He was Superintendent of Prison, in Ratnapura where he was a very close friend of Sir Nicholas Attygalle's ancestor.This came to light when in 1948 my Mum had a large ovarian
tumour (14 lbs!!!) removed by him and Sir Nichola  had  told my Dad that how he ate the likes of "Wattalappan" as a boy at my ancestor's home!!!  Now talking about Wattalappan (--- not "WATTALA-PAN!!), which was 'highacked' by the Moors in the then Ceylon and given that term which  I believe has a Tamil origin. In fact it is a Malay / Indonesian desert that we call SIRI-KAYA---  in Malay meaning a very rich desert made mainly for special celebratory occasions. I have corrupted the term 'wattalappan' even further and now I call it "WHAT-'LL-HAPPEN"!!!!  My Dad's ancestor originated from Penang, in the then Malaya, where Our ND (HANDY ND!!)  said he spent his holidays recently. This  brought back fond thoughts of my Dad's origin

Now, for Mums ancestry gets even better!!! Our Lucky Abey, I understand was in Indonesia during his professional career-path. My Mum's ancestor was sent to CEILAN as it was known then, by the colonial Dutch in 1742AD---- colonizing Indonesia then. My maternal ancestor Radan JAYAH was one of 15 Noblemen and their families, believed to be  members of the Royal Family /Sultan in Java, Indonesia, who were said to have been 'thorns' on the side of ruling Dutch!! Probably sent away in order to quell any uprising in Indonesia??.Up to their last days my Mum and family believed that they were of "ROYAL" heritage!! So, next time you guys meet me make sure to have the usual protocols in place --like "SIR or ROYAL HIGHNESS" will do fine!!!!!! I do play on this as well, and whenever introducing my wife, I do not fail to mention that 'I MARRIED A COMMONOR' ,to her obvious 'fury' - -- of course it is all in jest!!.It did certainly  raise eyebrows & horror when we were in NZ--- they have no sense of humor!!.  I am surprised that I am still happily married and she has put up with me for 43 years!!!. In fact, some of the folk were also sent away  to the other Dutch colonies -- Madagascar and South Africa-- the present day Cape Town --  Cape Malays (sound like a BREED OF COWS!!), in order to quell dissent in Indonesia. My Mum's family carry the 'Jayah' name and I am the 13th generation of this Clan in Sri Lanka!! My Granddad's brother, my Great Uncle, was  Dr.T.B.  Jayah, who was MP for Colombo Central  and a Minister in the first post-independent Cabinet under Prime Minister, Mr. D.S. Senanayake in 1948 and subsequently Ceylon's High Commissioner in Pakistan.

I shall summarize what other folk from both sides of my family were up to. Most of them were Professionals -Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers, Accountants and of course  in the forces-- Army, Navy, Police, Fire Service..etc. Also in the Plantations Industry , Mercantile service, Teaching, and Government Service, Politics and so on........ hardly any Businessmen to talk about,..... only those 'minding their own business' !!!!!!!............ I like to believe and feel proud that they  were responsible for Security, Education, Health, Saving folk from fires, Building and Engineering, and improving the Economy of our Beautiful Resplendent Island of Sri Lanka---- The land of my birth..

Now a little about my own family. My parents moved to Wattala just after their marriage as they wanted a 'quiet' life away from the 'rat race' of Colombo in the mid 1930's!! My siblings and I were born and brought up in Wattala while I was the only one to be born in an 'upstair -house' - the one in Wattala!! We were looked upon by our relatives as the "Village Folk"!! My parents -- bless them were very practical sent us to the local school --St Anthony's College. As such we were called the "village school children" and at family functions we were "wallflowers" while my cousins were the focus of attention as they were at Colombo Schools -- Royal, Wesley, St..Benedict's etc......despite my Dad being at Wesley College and having Captained the Cricket Team and also the Combined Schools Cricket Captain in 1925 My parents were very strict on us in real military style -- my Dad was an Officer with the Ceylon Garrison Artillery--- CGA, during WW2 (& my Father-in Law was an Officer in the Royal Signals Corp) .Little did they realise that 'tables will be turned' on them soon or later. We progressed in our education without any 'BannerS OR BUNTTINGS nor Drum beatings or Trumpets" !!  My eldest brother was doing his University Entrance exam hoping to do Medicine when tragedy struck us like a thunder bolt. My Dad at the age of 46 died suddenly following a massive heart attack -- which condition all we boys inherited & carried  round our necks! like the proverbial "mill-stone" I have now lost 3 of my brothers (2 older and one younger) and I have been very savagely mauled  in the recent years by this scourge & have lived to tell the tale...... for now!!! Next time not so "lucky".
My eldest brother had to seek employment to support my Mum & his siblings. It was fortuitous that My Dad, who was an Executive at Carson, Cumberbatch & Co. in the Shipping Dept. and also an Export (Outward) Freight Broker, had built a large comfortable(6 bed roomed) family home and also one 2-bed house & two 4 bed roomed houses to rent - of which one was latterly rented out to our Senior Batch's Alex Paul & his parents. This gave us the income supplement to exist. My Mum was even more strict now as she had to bring up 6 children, with my youngest brother being only 4-WEEKS old when my Dad passed away!!! My eldest brother joined an Accountancy firm and progressed on to be a Charted Accountant  in the UK. As for me it is history-- I have said a lot about me, in my earlier postings and shall not repeat myself. It is a case of "the Village Boys DONE GOOD"!!  None of my so called cousins could even step on to the pavement / sidewalk of a University, let alone step on to the steps of those great hallowed Institutions!!!
 I have outlined my ancestry and some of my early life. "NOW YOU KNOW WHO IAM" (-DHAN DANNAWA MAMA KAWDA KIYALA??? ") If the 'dice of fate' had fallen favourably in 1742AD, today I could have been a SUTAN (MALAY PHAROAH) in the Malay World ---- 'dream baby dream', --its good for the morale. At the same token my dear wife would have been a SULTANA---- "I HEARD YOU...... STOP IT... SHES IS NOT AN 'OLD GRAPE'"!!!! She is my dear FLOWER of my life, a TOWER OF STRENGHT and the POWER HOUSE in my children's lives. It is her musical talents -- Singing, Dancing, Drama and Musical Instrument playing genes that my children have acquired. Having said that,I believe that I have passed on MY genes of BRAINS AND BEAUTY to them !!! I must pass on something!!! 
So, Lameer & other batch mates, please take note that I am  not a PARAYA or a PARVENU nor a HAMMBAYA (Hammaba-karranna -- in Sinhala or plain Businessman) as I have shown in view of the evidence placed above. Certainly, a JAVA, maybe a NOBLE / ROYAL JAVA!!!. So the next time we meet make sure that the usual Protocols, Etiquette and Decorums are in place to greet us!!!!!.------( ???BIG HEADED Axxx HOLE!!!!)
I am sorry if this is a long Posting, but I hope you all have enjoyed my 'TONGUE IN CHEEK ' & sometimes downright CHEEKY comments ------ THAT'S MY STYLE..... cannot change NOW---- TOO OLD

Thank you  for your patients,

Razaque Ahamat..

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Condolence messages on Veda's Passing Away

From D.S.C. Attale

Dear Abey

Thank you for the mail,  I met  Vedavanam  last at   Bobby somasunderams funeral   and  also  we were together  at the coroners court too,  he was the same  energetic talkative veda,  I knew before,  sad I lost contact for the last two years.

Attale.

*****************************************************************************
From Nihal D. Amerasekera

Very sad news. We worked together in the Blood Bank and I will write an appreciation but this will take time as I m off on my holiday. tomorrow.

Annichchawata sankara!!

ND

*****************************************************************************************************************************
From Mahendra (Speedy) Gonsalkorale

Thanks for passing on the information Lucky. Yet another reminder of our mortality. Sadly, I have had no contact with Veda although he has been in London.

Please pass on my condolences to the family if there is a way.

Speedy

*********************************************************************************************************
From Bandula Jayasekara

Thank you, and Thanks to Lakshmi for the information. Let me join you and other
batch mates in conveying our Condolences to Veda’s family.

I too have very fond memories of him, of being pleasant, friendly and innocently jovial,
with a smiley face-  ALWAYS, even though I did not have the opportunity to
develop a close relationship with him (partially due to  J & V being  so far apart in the Alphabet).
May be, we’ll meet him again somewhere in the long journey of “Sungsara”.

******************************************************************************************************
From Ravi Nadarajah

Dear Lucky

I am sorry to hear the sad news of sivakumar passing away. He was a good friend and a neighbor of mine in wellawatte. I met him in  London at a wedding 2 years ago. We were talking for a long time that day. His family and our family being neighbors were very close. What was the cause of death?


Please convey my deepest sympathies to Dushyanthi, children and their families.

******************************************************************************************************

From Nihal D. Amerasekera

Lucky

I couldnt leave home to go on holiday without paying tribute to my friend Veda with who I spent a happy 4 years in the Central Blood Blank. Attached is my tribute. I spoke with Vedavanam's wife today and passed on my condolences

ND

************************************************************************************************************
From Malkanthi Wijesuriya McCormick

Please convey to the family our deepest condolences.

Thank you for keeping us all informed. I know this news must be particularly hard for you because you were close buddies at one time and then life intervenes.

Blessings!

m
**********************************************************************************************************
From Rohini Senaratne Anandaraja

Hi Lucky

Thanks for keeping us updated- It is sad indeed. I remember Vedavanam as a jovial nice guy-
I guess you've returned from your travels now- It must have been lovely catching up with your daughter and it was nice seeing the photos too-

Keep well and happy

**********************************************************************************************************
From Razaque Ahamat

Lucky,
We have had a long chat with Dhushyantyh, Veda's  wife and she wanted me to pass on her e=mail address to you!!


It was very sad to hear this news. Like all good things, they all have to come to an end.
None of us are immortal, which we all should be well aware.

**********************************************************************************************************
From Appu Sumathipala

Hi Lucky


I am deeply sadden to hear about Vedavanam's death.

I had several jokes with him during our medical student days. It is a pity I never had a chance to meet his  in England before his death.

*************************************************************************************************************
From Sanath de Tissera

Dear Lucky

Thank you for letting us know. Veda I remember as a friendly chap always with a smile and mixed with all. I am sorry to lose yet another batchmate.

Our thoughts are with the family in these difficult times

Warm regards

Sanath

Dr Sanath & Kanthi de Tissera
*************************************************************************************
From Kumar Gunawardene

Dear Lucky,

Thank you for letting us know. Its really sad to hear  another colleague  (of those heady days of our youth )passing away.

I remember him as a cheerful guy with a cheeky grin most of the time.

Please pass on my condolences to his family.

Kindest Regards
********************************************************************************************************
From Mahendra (Speedy) Gonsalkorale

Dear Lucky,

ND has written a wonderful obituary notice and you too have sent one but I suspect you posted one written by another person as you said "On receiving the sad news from Luckey Abey, we got in touch with Dhushy".

I am attaching his Medical Faculty Entrance Photo which I hope you can include in the Blog.

Speedy,

*********************************************************************************************************
From Zita Perera Subasinghe

Thanks Lucky!

He does sound a real 'Human Being'. We need many more of them in this world. I didn't unfortunately meet him after we qualified. 
 
Anyway he was our batch mate and I want to send my condolences to the family. 
I'll visit our blog and add my condolences as I am sure your mail appears there.
Thanks for letting us know.

Zita

********************************************************************************************************


S. Vedvanam - "Veda" as he was better known to us all

By Razaque Ahamat



I knew Veda, less well known as Sivakumar to his mates  at Med school, quite well as a good hearted, cheeky, and very cheerful batch mate. In the subsequent years our families became very close. When I was DMO at Ittapana, he visited me and spent a night with me when he came to attend a blood donor session at Matugama. He was so friendly and his classless nature was such  that he had a long jaw with my "home help" man in Tamil, which my 'house-keeper, never forgot . That night we went out to dinner at Beruwela Beach Hotel and the next day he was off to Matugama. Then in subsequent years we got together again in the Blood Services fraternity.

I was in London in 1975, fairly well settled when he came to UK. I went to Heathrow Airport to meet him on his arrival and he stayed with us  at my place at St.George's Hospital Medical School doctor's residence at Tooting London for a while till he found a suitable career posting at St.Alban,s, Herts  When his wife Dhushyanthi and his children joined him in UK, our families moved very closely till my move to Scotland  in 1984. Whenever we visited Sri Lanka, we never failed to see up his Mum for which he was ever  so grateful.Then on we lost contact till Dhushy got in touch with us some years later to pass on the news that he was not in the best of health..

On receiving the sad news from Luckey Abey, we got in touch with Dhushy, and had  a long chat with her. It transpired that he had recovered quite well from major surgery in 2013 and was up and about despite his other ailments!!!! He had gone to the Town Centre for his usual stroll and a spot of shopping when he had suffered a massive heart attack that took him away from us all for good!!! Both his children have followed him in his footsteps  into our profession and are me Members of respective Royal Colleges and both have moved on to be GP's .We wish them all, including Dhushy, our good wishes and best of good health for the future.

Sivakumar, better known to us as VEDA, will be long remembered for his always bright, cheerful, and good nature that  endeared him to us all. Of course his cheeky manner was also his characteristic demeanour that none of us can ever forget!!!.                 

In Memoriam - Dr. Sivakumar Vedavanam


Remembered by Dr Nihal D Amerasekera



I write this with great sadness over the unimaginable loss of a close friend.  After his early education at Jaffna Hindu College Veda joined the Faculty of Medicine Colombo from St Peter’s College Bambalapitiya. We met during the ‘carnage’ called the rag in 1967.  He wasn’t pleased with the indignities but complied.  Throughout the arduous course he worked diligently and enjoyed the camaraderie and the friendships like the rest of us.  All through those years of hard study and fun his effervescent character remained his hallmark.  Veda was widely and genuinely loved for it. Although he was swept along by the humour and the buffoonery at Medical College there was the serious side to him where he drew the line. As we left the Faculty and went our separate ways in 1967 I thought I would not see him again. But the forces of destiny worked in our favour. We started work at the Central Blood Bank in Colombo in 1970, almost on the same day.

In the Blood Bank we became closer. I recall the many evenings we drifted towards the Health Department Sports Club to put the world to right and enjoy the amber nectar that flowed so freely. That was a time when the Medical Officer in the Blood Bank had to go to all parts of our island to collect blood. On many occasions when he went on these journeys he asked me to join in for company. We did have a jolly good time. During those trips he showed tremendous kindness to the PHI’s, attendants and labourers  who were part of the team. They loved him for his classless friendship and lavish hospitality. Those were indeed memorable years. He will be fondly remembered for the work he did for the National Blood Transfusion Service of Sri Lanka 1970-75.

He was the proud owner of a VW Beetle, a car which was in great demand in those days. Veda was a bachelor then and was ever ready for a dinner and a drink on an evening. During my years of personal hardships he was there to comfort me and keep me focused on life and the future. I will always remain grateful to Veda for his friendship during those turbulent times. All I could do then was to help him to pass the Sinhala examination to get to his next grade in the Health Service. I can still hear him speak Sinhala with that strong northern accent which amused us no end.

I left Sri Lanka for the bright lights of London in 1974 but Veda remained for a further  year in the Blood Bank.  He soon became disillusioned with the lack of progress for doctors in that institution and made plans to emigrate. He came to the UK and qualified in Psychiatry and worked for many years as a Forensic Psychiatrist  in Durham before moving to Bedford. Neither he nor I remained in haematology. Hence our career paths diverged and sadly I never met him again. When I phoned him ten years ago he gave me the impression he was now a recluse and was not keen to keep in touch with anyone. I agreed to respect his wish with a heavy heart.

Veda married a Solicitor and had two children, a girl and a boy, both of whom are doctors in England. He had his share of ill health and had stroke in 2001 and surgery for prostate cancer in 2007. From both these events he recovered fully. He passed away in June 2015 of a sudden heart attack.

Veda was one of the youngest in our batch and was 71 this year.  His cheeky grin and casual manner are memories for us all. He accepted life with good grace and was great company and a wonderful friend.. I will always remember him as an honest and dignified person. He had a strong sense of right and wrong. Veda had a heart of gold and helped many who came into contact with him. He spoke of his friends for their past loyalties and said nothing about his enemies – typical of a man with a large heart, a fine brain, a broad and generous spirit.

We pass our condolences to Dr Sivakumar Vedavanam’s family


May he find Eternal Peace





Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Sad News - S. Vedavanam has passed away

Lakshmi (Chellappah) Ganesvaran has just informed me that S. Vedavanam
of our batch had passed away in London about a month ago. He leaves
behind his wife Dushyanthi and two children and their families.

Veda was a particularly good friend of mine some years ago. For a
short period of three months in 1974, I shared with him his room at
Regent House when he was attached to the Central Blood Bank. I was
stationed in Matara as an MOH in 1974, and I had to proceed to
Berkeley, California for my MPH on a WHO Fellowship. I managed to work
up a temporary transfer to the Health Education Bureau to facilitate
my travel arrangements in Colombo. I was married at the time but Veda
was still single. He invited me to stay with him as I too was going to
be a bachelor for three months! I returned to Sri Lanka in September
1975 with my wife and three year old son, but I found that Veda too
had left for UK during my absence. I was not sure whether he had
resigned or left on no-pay leave for post graduate studies.
Unfortunately, we lost contact with each other and remained so until
his unfortunate demise this year.
May he rest in peace.