Our ‘youthful’ cousin loved the world and the world loved her
Carline Giragama

My mother’s cousin, Aunty Carline, peacefully drifted away from this world on November 10. She had a youthful, outgoing personality that never quite left her, even when she passed her 85th year. She radiated fun and laughter and made any outing a special event.

The family trips – to her parents’ home at Warahena Walauwa, in Bentota, or to Beruwala, or to Dallkeith Estate, Lathpandura, for a holiday with her brother Denham and his wife Sita, or simply spending time at her former home in Boralesgamuwa – evoke idyllic times that are gone forever.
Although Aunty Carline had no children of her own, she had a big heart large enough to embrace the children of all her loved ones.

She was a good dancer, and took readily to the floor at family functions, while ladies of her generation would sit and look on. I can picture her in her younger days, clad in a Kandyan saree and dancing to the strains of a “baila”.

Aunty Carline had poise, grace and style, and was one of the best-dressed women in the family circle. She knew exactly what to wear for the time and the occasion. I would admire the lovely sarees and matching accessories she wore to weddings and parties.

She had an extrovert personality that served her well in the community work she so loved. She was a committee member at an orphanage. Towards the end of her life, she lived alone with a care-giver. By then she had been a widow for many years. She was not one to indulge in self-pity or allow herself to succumb to depression.

Aunty Carline brought to mind lines by David McKay: “The most important of life’s battles is the one we fight daily in the silent chambers of the soul.”

As she lived close by, I would visit and help her with her crosswords. I knew she looked forward to my visits. We would put our heads together and try to find the answers.She was also an expert in Scrabble.
Farewell, Aunty Carline. May you be happy and at peace wherever you are. You will hold a special place in my heart and remind me that “to live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.”

Anoma Fernando

He was thoughtful, generous and patient

Shirley De Mel

It's almost a year since Shirley de Mel passed away but he will always be remembered for his kindness, thoughtfulness, humanity, generosity and patience by those who knew him. An old boy of S. Thomas College, Mount Lavinia he started his career as an officer in the probation and child care services, and finally retired as Assistant Commissioner of Probation and Child Care.

He was a conscientious officer who took care of the young children in the homes. He was deeply interested in his work. The orphanages and the juvenile homes which came within his purview were well managed and he saw to it that the homes were well run. Many youthful offenders in juvenile homes were advised and rehabilitated by him and their future made secure by teaching them a trade or business. He was a good friend to them and not a hard task master. After retirement he worked as a counsellor.

He was also a founder member of the JC movement in Moratuwa. On account of his far reaching social welfare activities he was appointed as an All Island Justice of the Peace. His laughter and joviality will be missed by all who came into contact with him.

Nilusha de Silva

In memory of a fine and caring son

D. R. M. Hiripitiya

Departed son, my dear,
You were my eldest,
Helpful, kind and obedient –
All loved you, at home and out.

You were not even twenty-two
When your dear mother passed away;
Dreaded Cancer struck her, and
Since then you were in my care.

A Royalist, you did well
With minimum facilities –
Passed your exams
And joined the SLRC as a Tech;

I helped you build a house
To live in happily thereafter;
Time passed, you found
Your partner and
Tied the nuptial knot;
You were blessed with a daughter
Quiet, pleasant, obedient.
I loved you so much,
I was living with you when
The same dread disease attacked me
How much pain you took
To attend to my daily needs;
When I was operated on,
You were always with me
Like a mother, caring for her baby
Cleaning me, washing me
Day and night.
Fifty-five days you took me to the
Cancer Hospital for radio therapy
And chemotherapy,
Not missing a single day.

For those endless tests and consultations
You took me gladly, without neglecting
Your office work, by exchanging shifts
With your dear friends.
You have a son, just like you, But
you were given little time to caress him;
Your son was not four months
When you met with your tragic end.

Every day I think of you;
My heart burns;
I think of your two little children
And feel a deep sadness.

My dear son, I am cured now,
But how can I be happy?
Every day I think of you
And cry in silence – my son.

May you attain the Supreme
Bliss of Nirvana.

G. Hiripitiya

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