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Readers please note it is essential that all letters to the Editor carry the full name and address of the writer, even if it has to appear under a pseudonym. This applies to all email letters as well.



Children and crackers

An advertisement wich appeared in the newspapers of April 12, 2009 regarding the New Year by a mobile phone company is of very bad taste and insensitive to the effects of advertisements.

It shows three children lighting up a string of crackers at close quarters. The immediate reaction of any responsible adult when they see this picture is to shout “Don’t! Get away! Stop!”

Such pictures lull the sense of danger of the crackers and fireworks. Only the doctors and the parents see the havoc these fireworks play in the lives of so many unsuspecting victims.

In my opinion, fireworks are but a roll of paper with a mini bomb with fire at one end and a fool at the other. It is an utter waste of money. In fact, it is just a matter of burning money and causing havoc. It should be banned totally from any civilised society. There are umpteen number of ways of entertainment nowadays.

Most of all, we should never use the children in advertisements, specially if it will persuade them to do what is depicted in the ad.
Hope the company will take notice.

Saviours of the nation

Hail Sri Lanka, Hail the Heroes
You men and boys of the forces
Braving guns, missiles and shells
Saved our beloved country
You began the fight at Mavil Aru
Continued with Thoppigala
Then the great battles
Containing the terrorists from
East, west, north and south
You sacrificed your lives
Your limbs, voices, even eyes
We offer our humble salutations
To you the Greatest and Bravest
Sons of Mother Lanka
May those who gave their lives
Be born again in our beloved land
To witness the prosperity you heralded
This is our hope and prayer
For our country, Hail the heroes

Tribute to a grandmother

Genevieve Stella Fernando

My grandmother Genevieve Stella Fernando or ‘Jenny’ as she was affectionately known by her friends and relations, died six months ago on October 4, 2008. October is of special significance to Catholics and it is called the month of the Holy Rosary Archie and Dadda (which was our name for our grandfather) recited the rosary together daily for 62 years.

When I was four years old, I came down to Colombo from Rakwana, where my father was planting, to live with Archie and Dadda. I recall walking to Woodlands Montessori on Kirula Road from Park Road where Archie and Dada lived. Archie would drop me in school, walk to St Theresa’s Church where Dadda worked after his retirement as parish secretary.

Fr Glen Fernando was the Parish Priest at that time. Archie would assist Dadda in any small way that she could and return at 11:30 to pick me up. Sometimes Fr Glen would come on his scooter to pick me up – I loved being picked up by Fr Glen.

Fr Glen, Archie and Dadda played a big part in my life and that of my younger brother’s in those early years.

Archie was loved by her numerous nieces and nephews, who called her Jenny Anta. Her friends’ children and the younger neighbours in Thalawathugoda called her Aunty Jenny. When the babies started appearing one by one in this close-knit neighbourhood, they learned to call her ‘Archie’ too.

Archie lived an exemplary Christian life. When Fr Glen took over the ‘reins’ of SUROL or the Society for the Rehabilitation of Lepers, Archie used to help him a lot going to SUROL headquarters daily from Thalawathugoda.

Archie was a National Contract Bridge player; she represented Sri Lanka in numerous tournaments both here and abroad. She was a member of the Women’s International Club and played regularly at their weekly tournaments partnering her dear friend Aunty Rita.

When I first introduced my future wife to Archie and Dadda, Archie took to her instantly and when we got engaged it was Archie’s engagement ring of 50 odd years that I placed on my fiancée’s finger.

When Archi died, Aunty Indrani from Canada wrote “I will always miss Aunty Jenny’s patties and iced coffee.
Archie, Malli, Small, and I are sorry that we were not there when you passed away so peacefully, Ammi and Thathi were there as well as your favourite nieces.

We will miss your smile and humor but you will always be in our hearts. We thank you for all those years you looked after us and most especially Archie, we thank you for the ‘GOOD TIMES’



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