TRIBUTEs | Sunday Observer


 G.E.E. Noeline de Silva nee Perera:

She led a graceful life

Affectionately known as Noeline teacher to her students, the lovable erudite English teacher par excellence who was an inspiring individual and a leading light to many of her students passed away on November 2, 2017.

An old girl of Good Shepherd Convent, Nayakakanda, she joined the tutorial staff of St.Anthony’s College, Wattala. Later, she was selected for the special English Training course at the Teacher Training College, Maharagama. After passing out, her first appointment was at Ruwanwella Central College. Thereafter, she served in various schools such as, Vijaya College Matale, Gonsalves MV Pamunugama, Jinaraja MV Niwandama and finally, at St.Mary’s MV in her home town, Mabola Wattala, until her retirement.

She always advised her students regarding the importance of English and helped those who were anxious to study English. She conducted free English classes for the less privileged students and in the process, faced many obstacles which she overcame with courage.

Recently I met a couple who had visited Italy. They had put up at a hotel close to the Milan Airport, the manager of which was a Sri Lankan. He had inquired from them whether they knew Noeline teacher and had said, “I am here because of her” and had remarked that she always went out of her way to help anyone anxious to study English.

After her retirement, Noeline joined the staff of Aquinas College, Colombo 8 and served for over ten years as a senior lecturer in the English Diploma course during the Rectorship of Rev. Fr. Crispin Leo and Rev.Fr. Placidus Silva.

Besides teaching she was also involved in various religious and social activities at the Mabola parish and engaged in a silent service for the uplift of the less privileged people in the area. She was an active member and one time President of the Legion of Mary and an inspiring Sunday School Teacher.

Noeline was a gifted teacher and inspired interest in the subject she taught. She was a strict disciplinarian but earned the affection and loyalty of her students as they knew that she had a genuine concern for their welfare. She was a soft spoken, gracious lady, extremely polite, and always avoided hurting others.

Her compassion and loving care knew no bounds, she was ready to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. Apart from the treasure of knowledge that she imparted to her students, she inculcated in them good qualities such as patience and the willingness to help those in need. She would often say - “give till it hurts”.

A beautiful life of kind deeds, unselfish and caring for others are the memories she has left. She had in some way or other touched the lives of many, and left us with precious memories that we would always treasure.

We come into this world with nothing, and ultimately leave with nothing; but the impact on those we encountered would last a life time.

Though a year has passed since you left us, your absence is felt every single day. We pray that your gentle soul rests in the peace of Lord Jesus.

C.D.M. De Silva

Prof. U.S. Jayawickrama:

A man of letters

After a distinguished medical career of 36 years, Prof. U.S. Jayawickrama passed away at the ripe age of 88, recently. A southerner, hailing from Galle, Prof. Jayawickrama had his early education at Richmond College, Galle and later joined Royal College, Colombo for higher education.

A brilliant product of Royal College, he won several Art prizes and the coveted ‘De Soysa Science Prize’. He entered Medical College directly from school in 1949 ‘skipping’ a year in university. At the Medical Faculty, Colombo he obtained distinctions in Anatomy, Pharmacology and Medicine and passed his MBBS in 1954 and MD in 1958. Later he went to London on a scholarship for his MRCP (London) in 1963.

He was appointed Physician, General Hospital, Colombo at the relatively early age of 42, which post he held for 18 years until his retirement. He was elected President of the Ceylon College of Physicians in 1980.

A man of letters, he functioned as chairman, Board of Study for Medicine at the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine, Colombo for ten years.

With a few top medical experts, he initiated the establishment of the Diabetes Association of Sri Lanka, a social welfare project to ensure the well-being of diabetic patients.

In the dizzy heights of his career, Prof. Jayawickrama was appointed Consultant Physician, National Hospital, Colombo. He pioneered the set up of the Medical Intensive Care Unit and became its Physician-in-Charge.

To add to his fame and credentials he was appointed Professor of Pharmacology of the Colombo North Medical College, Ragama. Perhaps, it would not be incorrect to say that Prof. Jayawickrema strongly believed in clinical diagnosis in preference to investigations with sophisticated instruments of modern technology.

In his private life Prof. Jayawickrema was a connoisseur of arts, a master of copper handicrafts. His Colombo residence was a mini art gallery with its walls adorned with his superb artistic creations.

Ars Longa, Vita brevis (Art is long, life is short)

His demise even at the age of 88 is an irreparable loss to the country.

May he attain the supreme bliss of Nirvana.