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appreciations

His demise brings painful
memories

K.D.C (Kai) Perera

My association with Kai Perera is over five decades having lived in the neighbourhood at Mount Lavinia and above all, our families too knew each other very well. Kai was the youngest in a family consisted of five brothers and the solitary sister. Coincidentally he was the youngest of the triplets, the elders being Daya and Neil. He was born in the year 1941 and had his education at Prince of Wales College, Moratuwa where he excelled in academic studies as well in sports, cricket in particular. Cricket was in the blood of the triplets and the three were equally talented and well known cricketers who were all very humble and unassuming.

Having played and excelled in cricket for the Cambrian team,he was an automatic choice to represent Moratuwa S.C., in the early sixties it was Division 11 in our then BCCSL grouping of teams. He soon established a permanent place when he scored a swashbuckling unbeaten century against star-studded more formidable SSC team. He was selected as a junior clerk at the country’s leading state bank, Bank of Ceylon and while learning the routine banking procedures he was selected to open batting for the Bank of Ceylon, first team as an opening batsman. His contribution with the bat was mainly instrumental in assisting Bank of Ceylon to win several State Services and Nationalised Services tournaments

He worked initially at the Kollupitiya branch and later was transferred to the new Head Office building and worked for the Branch Investigation Department and later served for a longer period for the Secretary’s Department until his retirement in the year 2001 as a senior officer having served for nearly four decades. He was a dedicated and committed worker who was hailed and acclaimed by his superiors. He was such a humble person and moved closely in unison with his colleagues, subordinates and superiors. He was a permanent member of the Bank’s cricket team for over three decades.

He was ever willing to lend a helping hand and advice to sort out banking matters to a large cross-section of the society he moved with. He was held in esteem by all bankers and outsiders on account of his loyalty, sincerity, dedication, devotion and the high sense of discipline which he possessed in sheer abundance. He found a place in the hearts of everyone. “Love and forgive, live and let live” were his prime motto. Having associated closely for decades and being a banker myself about three years his junior I am sure many would agree that we all cherish his memory with deep gratitude. He was an inspiring person, someone with whom one could develop a lasting friendship as he possessed high moral principles. He was an ideal example of an exceptional human being, having human sympathy, unfailing patience, transparent sincerity, gentleness and goodwill.

Kai’s demise having faced a prolonged terminal illness is irreparable to his wife Janaki, the two daughters Iromi and Kanushlani, his brothers and sister Anula and thousands of employees at Bank of Ceylon and to his large cross-section of friends he had earned.
May he attain Nibbana!

A soul very close to God

Vajurdeen Dyan Cassim

First of May 2009 marks the 40th death anniversary of my father Vajurdeen Dyan Cassim who died of a heart attack on May 1,1978. My father having done a white collar job in the Civilian Army later involved in the business of importing and distributing pens under the trademark ‘JOYRITE’. Due to some financial problems he closed down his business and joined a tea firm where he continued working up to his time of falling sick. As my father was a trustworthy employee, the Muslim employers in showing their gratitude paid my father a considerable sum every month till he breathed his last on May 1, 1978.

Being religious, he prayed, fasted and recited the holy Quran since his child­hood. It was our father who taught us the holy Quran without sending us to Quran classes. That helped us to recite perfectly for him after his death and to a few others as well. He was one of the oldest Trustees at the Wekande Jummah Mosque, Colombo 2, till his death.

My father was such a calm, harmless, pious and kind person that neighbours would say if he walked even the ‘grass would not die’. But he died at his early fifties. He did a lot of covert charities and we, his children, are reaping the fruits of them.

He was very much saddened when my brother Shibly died at the age of four plus - a chubby, fair kid with a smiling face.

I still remember my first day to school being accompanied by my father and his good friend Clement Fernando who dropped me in his car.
On that sorrowful May Day around 2 p.m. when I came home having enjoyed a sea bath with friends, I saw my father resting on the bed. His look showed me as if was asking why I had missed the noon prayers. Having had a hurried lunch I changed my dress and went to the mosque and later joined my friends again. That was the last I saw him alive. Around 3 p.m. I was informed that he had collapsed when taking ablution for the evening prayers and when I reached home he was dead.

He fathered four children; myself and the second son died and daughters Thakreema and Marhooma. Had he been alive he would have been happy to see all of living well and also his grandchildren.

He is unaware that our mother Gnei Mass is in her late eighties - feeble and sick. He is unaware that my maternal uncle, Mass Thajon Usuf, whom he loved very much, and with whom he would spend his weekends playing draft passed away in his early eighties in Mecca after performing ‘Haj’ in December 2008.

My father’s death was a great blow to our family. My sisters and I underwent many difficulties in life but we managed to overcome them. God often takes the souls of those who are very closer to Him without realising with what an anguish their families will continue to live till their life comes to an end.
May my father continue in the comforts in the Jennathul Firdouse.