Lions Club Colombo East 40th Charter Annual celebration

Text and photo by M. Farook Lentra
The District 306 ‘B’ 1, Lions Club of Colombo East held its 40th Charter Anniversary Celebration and honouring the official visit of District Governor Lion, S. Raghavan (MJF) and past governors, at the Capri, on February 23.

The Chief Guest was the District Governor Lion S. Raghavan and his wife Lion Lady Ranjani. A large gathering of District Cabinet Officers, Presidents and visiting Lions and Lion ladies and Leos also graced the occasion.

Lion Raghavan speaking at the ceremony appreciated the efforts of theClub President, Sam Macan Markar and his team for the steps taken to bring in new young members to the club.

Charter Chairman, Lion Dr. D. K. Derrell Mathew (MJF) addressing the gathering appreciated the commendable services rendered by the Lions Club of Colombo East which is one of the most senior Lions Club in Sri Lanka. Club President, Sam Macan Markar thanked the Chief Guest, the past governers, Cabinet Officers, Presidents and Lion Ladies for their presence. Presentations were also distributed to past governors etc.

The Club has served the less fortunate communities, not only in Colombo but also in some of the remote areas of the country. The club has adopted a remote village in the Hambantota District and serviced its community’s basic and other requirements for over a period of 10 years. The Children’s Ward of the Maharagama Cancer Hospital was also constructed by the Club 10 years ago.


Gift from Bangladesh

The sacred Hair Relic of the Buddha gifted to Sri Lanka by the Chitagong Purana Viharaya in Bangaladesh was brought to Temple Trees by a special motorcade on February 28, and a special ceremony was held with the participation of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Madam Shiranthi Rajapaksa.


WISH launch

 J.M. Wickramarachchi and Company launched their auditory verbal therapy centre, the Wickramarachchi Institute of Speech and Hearing (WISH) along with the Warren Estabrooks Centre on January 30, in Delkanda, Nugegoda.
Education Minister, Susil Premajayantha declared WISH open, while the Warren Estabrooks Centre was opened by its namesake, Warren Estabrooks, President, WE Listen International in the presence of a host of distinguish guests.
Sarashi Samarasinghe


Presbyterian Girls School (Regent Street) 90th anniversary celebrations

90 years of education is indeed a great milestone in the life of a school. On January 19, students and teachers of Presbyterian Girls School, Regent Street Colombo 10, gathered at the Christian Reformed Church to give thanks to God for this special event.
The celebrant at this service was Rev. Charles Jansz. A flag parade was presented by the present students. Another key figure at this thanksgiving service was the Anglican Bishop of Colombo Rt. Rev. Duleep Chickera. The service was followed by a grand lunch at the Raja Bojun Restaurant, where teachers and students indulged in a time of fellowship. A souvenir was also published to commemorate this special day.


Dr. J. J. visits World Bank Headquarters in Washington

MP, Assistant Secretary UNP, Dr Jayalath Jayawardana, during his recent visit to Washington DC to attend the 56th National Prayer Breakfast Chaired by President George W Bush, visited the World Bank Headquarters in Washington, DC, USA.
He paid a courtesy call on Director, Operations Services, Peter Harrod, who was the earlier Country Director of the World Bank in Sri Lanka.


Stamp for NU

First day cover and stamp issued to Commemorate Deshamannya N.U. Jayawardena Birth Centenary being presented to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and Tourism Minister, Milinda Moragoda at the Temple Trees recently


Sajith opens an IT Centre

MP for Hambantota District and Chairman of the Janaswuaya Development Foundation, Sajith Premadasa, at the inauguration of the fourth Centre of Information Technology Excellence in the DS Division of Hambantota District. The Centre was constructed at a cost of Rs. 2 million from the funds provided by Sarinda Unamboowa. The running cost of all the training centres is provided by the Royal Norwegian Government.


Norwegian band Safari

March 10 -16 from 8 p.m. to midnight
Norwegian Band Safari will keep your toes a tapping for six days at the Thorana Lounge, Hilton Colombo. Enjoy Dixieland Jazz music and the lovely atmosphere in the evening.


Elected President

Former Deputy Director General, Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation and Consultant, Rupavahini and ITN Ltd, V. A. Thirugnanasuntharam has been once again unanimously elected as the President of the Carl Duisberg Alumni Association of Sri Lanka (German Extrainee Scholars) at its Annual General Meeting held on February 9, at Howang Ho Hotel, Borella.
In the past, he had occupied the positions of General Secretary and President of the Association on several locations. He was one of the few founder members of this association, which was established in 1992.




Herbert Lionel Perera - a dedicated social and religious worker

Any human being born, bred and passed away on the planet earth has a sacred duty. His sole endeavour should be to live and die without becoming a burden to mother earth. Some are able to fulfil this task. Others fail miserably. The man who dies after fulfilling this noble task is not dead. Although we could not see him physically he 1ives among us.

The late Herbert Lionel Perera was one such exemplary person with very rare qualities. We fondly called him “Our Herbert Uncle”.

Our Herbert Uncle lived a very fruitful life for 83 long years, doing all the possible family, social, religious and other duties expected of him. Certainly he did more than anyone expected him to do.

He was the fourth child of Mr. and Mrs. L. P. Perera, born on July 20, 1925. He had his education at Ananda College, Colombo, an institution which has become a living symbol of Buddhist revival in this country. ‘Mother Ananda’ taught him all the essentials of a good citizen. Like a fragrant flower that carries its scent through out the length and breadth of the area, he spread all that he learned to all directions of society. Our Herbert Uncle occupies a pride of place among our hearts because of his selfless dedication to the society. He was a true friend to me, my wife and daughter. He was a great neighbour. He extended his true friendship to all - his relatives neighbours and others.

He was like a massive tree with a wide canopy giving shelter to all.
He started his life as a draughtsman at the Railways and retired as an assistant draughtsman of the Ratmalana office. Integrity, dedication and his skill were the trademarks of his life.

A man of endurance, “Our Herbert Uncle launched his own company. ‘Rail Quip’ after his retirement. It was a success. The corner stones were his untiring effort, determination and commitment. One of the salient factors that he instilled in the hearts of his relatives and friends was his entrepreneurship.

Many forget that they will leave this world one day. But nature has taught us that we will have to depart one day and in departing no one will take physical wealth amassed during his life time. He takes only the good deeds or the spiritual collection. Herbert Uncle had grasped this noble and deep rooted doctrine fully. Therefore he lived a life devoted to meritorious religious and social work.
He was an active member of the Wijaywardanaramaya at Kandewatta Nugegoda, and saw to it that the temple developed in every aspect. His guidance helped to develop the Dhamma School there to its present state.

He was instrumental in planting a sapling of the historic and sacred Bo Tree in Anuradhapura at the Kethumathi Temple, Madiwala. We will ever remember and acknowledge this pious effort towards enshrining our Buddhist heritage.
Most of all we will remember him as an exemplary man who endeavoured to make our society a better place.

He was a social worker who had won hearts and minds of people. We saw a testimony to it when he was made a Justice of Peace by late Minister Dr. Anandatissa de Alwis who was a close associate of his. He was an ardent supporter of Dr de Alwis. All his meetings of local UNP representatives were held at Herbert Uncle’s residence through out his tenure.

Herbert Uncle was simple, calm and collected. He left behind him his two sons and two daughters who are following in the foot steps of their beloved father. This is a great consolation to the whole family circle.

Until his last moments he never distanced from those great qualities.” Our Herbert Uncle” death proves once again the emptiness and transient nature of the cycle of Samsara.

May he attain Nibbana .
Siri Ranasinnghe


Remembrance of Ruvani Aloysius

Days pass by – as time flies
It’s 10 years since your sad demise
You haven’t really gone away
We feel your presence every day
We hear you speak and laugh with glee
At every turn your face we see
Your footsteps follow everywhere
Wherever we go, you are there
You are the joy of our lives, our hearts delight.
The star in our skies, our beaming light
And when you bid us sad “adieu”
You took a part of us with you.
It’s said to think those days are gone
Without you – life drags on
Wounds heal as time goes by
But scars remain all the while
Thoughts of you still crowd our minds
Memories last for all time
We love, miss you and you’ll always be
Fondly treasured in our memory
We’ll meet again in Heaven above
United in God’s infinite love.
Chrissie and Dennis Aloysius



Fr. Martin Quere: A missionary with a unique record

“Rectors, professors and students may come and go, but I go on…” These words may very aptly fit the case of Rev. Fr. Martin Quere OMI, who marked the diamond jubilee of priestly ordination, golden jubilee as a professor at the National Seminary of Our Lady of Lanka, Ampitiya, 66 years as a professed religious, and a life span of four score and four years on February 25, this year.

Indeed, an occasion to thank God for the wonderful benefits showered on this French missionary.
Fr. Martin Quere arrived in Sri Lanka as an Oblate missionary along with six other confreres, embarked from the port of Marseilles in South France on August 31, 1948 and disembarked at the Colombo Harbour on September 17, hardly six months after his priestly ordination.

He started his teaching career as far back as September 1949 at St. Bernard’s Seminary Borella, the buildings of which form a part of Aquinas University College today. Ever since, except for the three years he spent at the Gregorian University Rome, doing his doctoral studies, from the year 1958, all the rest of his life he has been attached to the National Seminary, teaching several subjects – Church History and Patrology, which are his specialised areas – and also from time to time, Islam, Homiletics Ecumenism, etc., to several generations of priests from all parts of Sri Lanka, both diocesan and religious.

It is indeed to his credit that he has taught almost all the present Catholic bishops of Sri Lanka and most of the present professors of the National Seminary have been tutored by this revered guru.

His keen interest and skill for research work enabled him to work on a second doctorate in Church history in Sri Lanka, at the Peradeniya University, which produced a very valuable work in his doctoral dissertation entitled “Christianity in Sri Lanka under the Portuguese Padroado – 1594-1658.”

He is therefore credited with two doctorates in Church history, one from the Gregorian University and the second from Peradeniya University, which has made him one of the great authorities on the history of the Church in Sri Lanka.

Several other research papers have been published in journals both in Sri Lanka and abroad – thus his contributions to the Aquinas Journal, to name two outstanding articles, “St. Francis Xavier and Sri Lanka” and “Christians in Sri Lanka before the coming of the Portuguese.”

Most of his work has been highly recognised and acclaimed by even non-Christian scholars. As a loyal son of France he has presented several research papers on the French presence in the East, for which he has received several awards, even the highest award given to a French citizen, by the French government. Fr. Quere has had the singular privilege of having served under 10 rectors of the seminary, holding several offices. A unique record indeed!

Fr. Quere, a true and faithful son of St. Eugene de Mazeno, the founder of the Oblates, was ever willing to undertake any job entrusted to him without the slightest hesitation. Thus, he has been a professor for 50 years and more, a part-time chaplain to the Leper’s Hospital at Hekitta, Hendela, assistant parish priest at Bolawalana, chaplain to the Good Shepherd Sisters at the Sericulture Centre at Nilambe, and during the holidays he would go to assist the missionaries, especially the Europeans in the Chilaw, Colombo and Jaffna dioceses.

As a result of this, he has been to Iranathivu, Jaffna almost 17 times, acquiring sufficient knowledge of both Sinhala and Tamil to help him in this work. Although he was primarily a formator of missionaries in the seminary, he also tasted a bit of real mission work for which he came to Sri Lanka. He had been well groomed to face the hardships of missionary life from his boyhood.

Born to a farmer family of Brittany in Northern France, at the age of five he left home to attend a boarding school quite far away from home. There he was fascinated to be a missionary when a French Oblate Missionary from Sri Lanka, late Fr. Charles Mathews, addressed the students on the missions, which prompted him to join the Oblates.

As a seminarian he tasted the bitterness of World War II when Hitler’s Armies invaded France and took them prisoners. He had been a prisoner of the Germans along with other seminarians and their superiors and spent almost six months in a prison camp. Thus he tasted hard life, hunger, fear and torture under the Germans. This experience left a lasting mark in his life.

As a member of the staff at the seminary he is a model of regularity at daily religious exercises and participates devoutly in all liturgical services. He is a very serious and observant religious, quite faithful to the vows taken and given to a very simple, poor and austere way of life – satisfied with the minimum in food, clothing and other comforts.

He is very humble, unassuming and obedient in spite of his wide knowledge and long experience. He has a very soft corner for the poor and extends his arm to those who come for alms, in a most hidden and silent way.

A thanksgiving mass will be held at the National Seminary on February 29 with the participation of the members of the teaching staff and students, joining Fr. Martin Quere in thanking God for the many graces he has received during his long life of dedicated service to the Church in Sri Lanka.

Congratulations Fr. Quere from bishops, priests and students both past and present. Ad Multos Annos – may you continue to serve the Church in Sri Lanka for many more years.
Fr. Alex Dassanayake



March 9 - 31
Rencontre Avec Les Mots, an exhibition of posters, at the Alliance Française Auditorium.


March 4
Personal Velocity, (2002, 86 minutes) at the American Centre, Galle Road, Colombo 3, at 6 p.m.

March 4 & 5
La reine Margot by P.Chéreau (1993, 100 minutes) in French with English subtitles, at the Alliance Française Auditorium, at 3/6.30 p.m.