Gamini Fernando: Live-wire, legend and charismatic figure of Havies no more | Sunday Observer

Gamini Fernando: Live-wire, legend and charismatic figure of Havies no more

28 November, 2021

Sri Lanka’s rugby fraternity mourned the passing away of Havelock Sports Club legend Gamini Fernando who was described as a “perfect gentleman” by his erstwhile friend and team mate Ana Saranapala.

“He took on the mantle of Havelocks and moulded us right throughout. He was a perfect gentleman,” said Saranapala paying a glowing tribute to the patron of the club who passed away on Friday after a brief illness. He was 80 at the time of his death.

Havelocks was the second home for Gamini Fernando who represented the club from 1961 to 1969 after playing for Trinity College, Kandy in 1958 during the captaincy of Ken de Joodt and in 1959 with Denzil Kobbekaduwa as captain.

“Gamini was a pillar of the Havelocks and often found time to spend an evening at the Tamil Union with some of his die-hard Havelocks mates particularly in our centenary year 99/2000 and I have not forgotten his generous financial support as we embarked on our development programme in that period,” said S. Skandakumar, a former secretary of Sri Lanka Cricket and High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in Australia.

Fernando represented the golden era of Havelocks leading the side to a Clifford Cup triumph both as captain (1967) and coach (1974).

A former national player, a respected referee and fine administrator, he has done everything for Sri Lanka rugby being national coach, national selector, president of the Sri Lanka Society of Rugby Football Referees and president of the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union.

A Life Member of Havelock Sports Club and Sri Lanka Rugby, Gamini Fernando is survived by his wife Helen and twin daughters Maneesha and Nirukshi. - (Allaam)