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Dr. A. P. de Soyza

On his 119th Birth Anniversary

A couple of decades ago Dr. A. P. de Soyza conducted my initial reading
At an auspicious moment in Sinhala ’n English, a wonderful meeting
I recall with great reverence, versatile gentleman so compassionate,
Who taught me lucidly letters in the alphabet, I’m really fortunate.

A close trustworthy colleague of C. E. P. Kumarasinghe, my late beloved father,
Once in a way they met to discuss matters on education sober rather
Both friends, playmates in languages Latin, French, English, he a genius in a way,
He predeceased my father, the departure unbearable pathetic a long way.

To pen a few lines of a veteran educationist a great privilege
Prestigious Dr. A. P. de Soyza, a stalwart par excellence, never a sacrilege
My father spoke highly of his meticulous irresistible integrity
Led a simple exemplary life appreciated ’n adhered to frugality

Devout Buddhist social reformer, brilliant scholar
Better known popular as poor man’s devoted lawyer
Support minority rights, opposed dowry system, death penalty
A member of State Council unil1947, intervened in controversial issues deeply

As a Municipal Councillor several years, campaigned improve city amenities
Upright gentleman not connected to political parties
Dedicated to work, epitome of simplicity key note of life
Displayed courage, perseverance, endurance throughout life

Knew no bounds in hospitality, generosity, charming serene personality
Exceptional human being decried hypocrisy, eschewed pomp ’n pageantry
Vivacious mental powers, rare calibre, the thought of his demise is poignant
Irreparable loss, irreplaceable vacuum, but his memory fragrant.

To me my guru inimitable inestimable illustrious celebrity
On March 5, 2009 a stamp issued in his honour ceremoniously
His selfless outstanding service, though late, duly recognised recently
Indeed, a man of unfailing patience filled with transparent sincerity

Translated Tripitaka to simple Sinhala for benefit of majority
To understand Buddhist teachings, produced forty-eight volumes, a reality
Compiled ‘n printed in two volumes an English Sinhala Dictionary
A legend in his time, decades in field of education profoundly.

Castle of fame built by inborn cherished valour methodical
A Good Samaritan of unstinted principles systematical
A pleasant sight to see him talk, childhood memories never fail they say
He was held in high esteem by all his friends in a magnificent way.

Sterling admirable qualities adorned multi-faceted career
Fathomless yeomen service standing monuments amidst barriers
By virtue of myriad meritorious deeds performed in Samsara
May you my guru attain the Supreme Bliss, Noble Nirvana!