A gentle, beautiful and useful life
Kolitha Ratnayaka
Kolitha Ratnayaka passed away recently at the comparatively young age of 65. Born in 1936, the youngest son of Mudliar A.A.W. Ratnayaka to a wealthy land and plumbago mine owning family in Deniyaya, Kolitha had his early education at Rohana Vidyalaya, Matara. Later he joined the 1948 group at Royal College.

At Royal, Kolitha was loved by his fellow students and teachers alike. He was an excellent swimmer, member of the rowing team and played for the school's first XV rugger team.

At George Steuarts, where Kolitha worked for 20 years except for a brief spell with E. Coats, Galle, and a short stay abroad, he rose to be a senior manager in charge of plantations. From George Steuarts, Kolitha moved on to the Janatha Estates Development Board in 1977. As the General Manager of JEDB, he was instrumental in introducing CTC manufacture in tea and the factory at Katubowitiyana will bear testimony to his involvement with the Sri Lanka tea industry.

He also initiated steps to bring on par wages paid to female workers in the plantations with that of their male counterparts.

It has been said with authority that Kolitha's tremendous contribution to the plantation industry in Sri Lanka may never be properly recognized or recorded. Kolitha worked at JEDB for 17 years. He also held the posts of Chairman of the State Plantations Corporation and Chairman of the Tea Small Holdings Authority before doing a spell of five years at the Planters' Association as Assistant Secretary General. He had been working for over 40 years.

During his "retirement" Kolitha worked, if anything, even harder than during his working days. He published several books on agriculture which was his life-long passion.

He had the greatest respect for the Buddhist clergy and had close links with several temples and their incumbents. The letter written by Ven. Galboda Gnanissara Mahanayaka Thero of Gangarama to fellow members of the Buddhist clergy recommending Kolitha's son Sagala as a suitable person to represent Matara district is a prized possession. It describes father and son as true disciples.

He leaves behind his beloved wife, three children, his daughter-in-law and two grandsons to whom go our sympathies on their sudden loss. They can however, be consoled by reflecting on his gentle, beautiful and useful life and the fact that his memory will continue to live on in so many others besides themselves.
S. K. Samaraweera

All-rounder and courageous fighter
Nimesh Anjana Wickramasinghe
Liyanarachchige Nimesh Anjana Wickramasinghe known to us, the class of '96 at S. Thomas College, Mt. Lavinia, as 'Wicky', passed away on July 17, after a three-year battle with cancer. It was a tragedy for the batch, his family, relatives, friends and his beloved Avanthi.

Wicky hailed from a family of distinguished old boys and great sportsmen of STC. His father L.M. Wickramasinghe was hockey Captain of the college from 1961/62. Both his brothers Viresh and Dinesh were great sportsmen.

Wicky was one of the rare finds of the college because of his all-round capabilities. He entered STC in 1985 from President's College, was college prefect in 1995/1996 while leading the college hockey 1st Eleven team and captaining the college boxing team.

He played for the 1st Fifteen rugby team in 1996, was a member of the Sri Lanka national hockey side and played hockey for Sri Lanka schools and Colombo schools.

He began his career with the Hayleys group of companies and moved on to British Airways and Mobitel.

Suddenly in 1999, he was detected with a brain tumour.

In this period Wicky displayed superhuman courage. He never gave up hope, not even when the medical experts did.

Wicky was a great man at heart and courageous fighter. With a heavy heart I quote Hemingway: "You can kill a man but you never can defeat him."
Harinda Vidanage
STC Class of 96

Friend and counsellor
Ivy de Silva
It is with deep love, we write this appreciation in memory of our sister-in-law Ivy, who went to be with the Lord on July 13. She was a Florence Nightingale who cared for the sick and suffering, working in major govt. hospitals in Colombo, until her retirement as a nursing sister.

She was a counsellor and guide whenever anyone needed her.

She was a great mother to her daughters, Nirmali and Shamila, and her sons-in-law Jeevalal and Paul, were a tower of strength during her sickness.

She was cheerful and withstood the pain and suffering with fortitude. Ivy had a loving, understanding and supporting husband in Gordon.

May the Lord give him the strength and grace to face her loss.

I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race; I have redeemed my pledge.
Ruth and William De Silva

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