Monday, December 15, 2008

Achilles Joseph

Achilles Joseph

A year has passed since the demise of Achilles Joseph, who influenced most of us through an example of personal and character development. He was formerly a Deputy Inspector General of Police, a man of high standards, complete integrity, and boundless enthusiasm for whatever task he took in hand.

I remember him taking up the post of President of Alumni Association of St.Patrick's College, Jaffna Colombo Branch on my request and regenerated the organisation which is now a strong and vibrant association. I was so fascinated by his epitome of courage in taking on very difficult tasks.

No one whose privilege it was to know him, is likely to foget the candor of his exchange of ideas, the courage of his faith, the warm and glowing brightness of his friendship. For me personally, Achilles Joseph's greatest legacy was that he lived a full and meaningful life.

He had a vision in his mind and a mission in his heart. The intensity of such mission and vision translated into action that enabled him not to waste time in any trivial matters but rather devote all of his time to the accomplishment of the mission and vision that he believed was given to him. Sri Lanka Institute of Training and Development (SLITD) was his vision, founded on December 3, 1998 for the mission of establishing a centre of excellence in building competencies which now celebrates its 10th anniversary today (5) at 'Tigo Zone' Duplication Road. He was also the founder of Centre for Human Resource Development.

He was vigorous, smiling and friendly - a complete human being, concerned about all other human beings. Words cannot describe how the people of these organisations felt when they lost their founder and the leader. What matters is that feeling of loss-that personal sense of emptiness-that all of us felt because we have lost a great man who understood the institution of human development, gloried in its overwhelming responsibilities, and discharged his duties with dash and joy which were an inspiration to everyone

We all felt his severe loss very deeply, but some small measure of consolation may be found in the words of the poet, Walt Whitman: He is not gone..He is just away. With a cheery smile and wave of the hand. He has wandered into an unknown land. And left us wondering how very far that land is.

May be, since he tarries there, may the bereaved family find solace in the inspiring memories of the exemplary life of the departed legend. A memorial service will be held on Sunday, December 7 at 4.30 p.m. at Nirmala Chapel, Clifford Place, Colombo 4.

- Lakshman David President AASPC - 2008

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