Monday, December 15, 2008

Viji Weerasinghe

Mr. Viji Weerasinghe - First death anniversary 2008
An educationist par excellence

31st October 2008, marks the first death anniversary of a true, dedicated, humble, and humane son of Mother Lanka, an institution at our “Alma Mater”, Royal College, a colossus in the field of education, Vice President and Advisor of the Royal College Old Boys Union. Readers, and Friends, I refer to none other than Mr. Viji Weerasinghe, whose first death anniversary was on the 31st of October, 2008. F

riends, and Readers, he was indeed a “Patriarch” and an “Institution” at our “Alma Mater”, Royal College, and most importantly a humane, humble, and benevolent son of Mother Lanka.One of the noble and gifted characteristics that this humane individual possessed was that he never ever basked in the glory of public patronage, a unique feature, which is, very seldom found among, the “so called educationalists” of today.

A statement made by the Principal of Royal College, at the funeral a year ago, when I, and scores of others from all walks of life, who were there to hear the speech was the Prophetic words uttered by the Principal which is still itched in my memory. He said “ He was the Mahatma Gandhi of Royal College,” and it goes, without any exaggeration whatsoever, he commented. Friends, this bears ample testimony to this remarkable individual who was a martyr to our Royal College, and has left an indelible mark not only at Royal College, but also in the field of Education.

Our Honourable Sir, Mr. Viji Weerasinghe, should be bestowed with the highest title in the country, not only for his yeoman and dedicated service in the field of Education he had served for over 50 years, but also for being a true, dedicated, humane, humble son of Mother Lanka. It is my earnest hope and prayer, that even, at this late stage, in hindsight, the Government of Sri Lanka, bestows this honour on him. Friends, I wonder, how many are aware of the fact that he was the oldest, and most senior, living educationist in our Mother Land at the time of his demise, and also how many are aware of the fact that lakhs of people from the Corporate World, and all walks of life, came for his funeral. It was something like a State Funeral, of a high public official, from the top echelons of State, who had expired while holding office, but in reality, he was only a Senior Advisor to the Royal College Old Boys Union having an office in the OBU complex.Another unique and noble characteristic he possessed, was that it went against his grain, to speak any evil or ill against anyone, at our Alma Mater, or anyone, for that matter. I have never seen him getting angry or having vengeance, malice or vendetta against anyone, even if harmed or provoked.In Conclusion, it is my earnest hope and prayer that his Soul rest in Eternal Peace and Happiness in the world beyond.

Amyn Chatoor

Nation Nov 2 2008


Man to be taken for all in all
A year passed of thy presence unfelt
Only in person for thy persona lives in the hearts of old and the young
All those fortunate to have had a glimpse of you.
Still yearn for your magical touch
On the eve the 175th Birthday of Royal
The only man served the hallowed place for 72 years !
Few men would create history and fever would be revered like you
We mortals still wonder the secret of your health and happiness
We still wonder how you were numb to pain
Was it your strength to renounceThe worldly possessions
Caring for nothing, but the human worth
The moral sensibility never unaffected
Or your single ambition to be near your loving Glado
All those who came through the mighty Boake gate
If lucky enough, to receive your gentle smile
Saw the real world.
Good old Viji one would say yet in a rebels shoes,
I would say
No traditionalist you were for the traditions sake
Boldly advised the Principals
Discarded bravely all what was outdated, counter-productive
Of an institution facing the time and tide tuned by the global trends
Many young ones at times failed to comprehend
The blunted purposes should not get better of Royal
Yet a strong defendant of the same when the tradition called for
Thus “threw away the worser part of it
nd lived the purer with the other half’
Music, Literature your food for life
The youngest cast King Lear Coming home with the coveted Trophy
Passed your empty office
The castle thousands found a “pleasant seat”
Air nimbly and sweetly recommends itselfUnto your gentle senses”
Being thankful Children
Sang in your praise “
He was a man;
Take him for all in all I shall not look upon his like again”

Lakshmi Attygalle
Deputy Principal
Royal College

Generations of Royalists will treasure the memory of a mentor

Vijitha Weerasinghe

Among the great men produced by a hallowed institution, he stood taller than the rest. Mr. Viji Weerasinghe, former Deputy Principal of Royal College, Colombo, and one of the greatest Royalists ever (if not the greatest), was a rare and exemplary individual.

Viji had the rare distinction of being closely associated with Royal College for a record 73 years. During this span he played many roles, from schoolboy to teacher and deputy principal and finally as adviser to the Royal College Union.

Most old boys, as they step out of the Boake gates, move on, leaving the school far behind as they enter the real world and get on with their lives and careers. Mr. Viji devoted all his time and energies towards his alma mater. The college was his, and helping to maintain it became a full-time job.

His vision forged Royal College anew, fusing old and new, time-honored traditions and experiences with new briefs and trends.

Some might wonder why he was so involved in the school’s daily activities even during his last days. Aged and rather feeble, he still came to office, never a minute late; never a day missed.
The immense importance of his role in the life of the school should not escape mention. His hand guided many a policy of school administration. The number of principals, deputy principals and teachers who drew wisdom and inspiration from him is too great to mention. He was the link between school and authority and the union, and both sides gained immensely from his patient mentoring.

He possessed a wealth of knowledge relating to Royal College. Having been an integral part of the school for more than 70 years, and having witnessed so much, one could always rely on him to provide an answer to a pressing problem or extend a helping hand and offer truly worthy advice. This ensured that his office was never empty.

Looking back, we smile as we reminisce on all that was great and good about him. It cannot fail to stab our hearts with pain to know that never again will we behold his angelic smile and hear his words of courage and hope.

We really miss your presence, as there is no one else who can advise us on Royal College or Royal College Union matters as you did.

Yet our memories of you and what we learnt from you will last a lifetime, and more. Sir, your spirit will never leave your eternal home.

Rizan Nazeer,Secretary,
Royal College Union


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