Archive | In Memoriam


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Posted on 03 March 2022 by admin

It is with profound sadness we report that Benito de Silva, popular community leader in Toronto who was a beacon of light in the Sri Lankan community for over four decades passed away last Wednesday (9th February) at Michael Garron Hospital in Toronto.

By: Upali Obeyesekere – Josephian-Peterite Global NEWS NETWORK


Benito de Silva was the Josephian arm of the Josephian-Peterite Alumni Association of Canada (JPAA Canada). The two co-founders of JPAA Canada in 1984 were Benito de Silva (SJC) and Upali Obeyesekere (SPC). JPAA Canada prides itself as the first Sri Lankan Schools’ Alumni Association to be formed in Canada. JPAA launched the Canadian Series of the “Battle of the Saints” in 1985, that drew large crowds since its inception. Rev. Fr. (Dr.) Stanley Abeysekara, Rector of St. Joseph’s College Colombo was Chief Guest at the 1985 inaugural match in Toronto.

Educated at St. Joseph’s College Colombo, Benito excelled in athletics, swimming, cricket, and field hockey. On leaving school. he joined the volunteer service of the Ceylon Army, worked in the private sector at Carson Cumberbatch Company and at the state-sponsored Insurance Corporation. Benito represented Insurance Corp., in Cricket and Hockey.

Benito was the consummate gentleman and a proud Josephian. His younger brothers are former Army Commander Gen. Gerry de Silva, Eugene de Silva and well known theatre personality Jerome de Silva.


Benito was the much-loved husband of Annette (nee Chapman) for 58 years, beloved father of Gavin (Erika) and Diane (Roy) and doting grandfather of Nicolas, Marisa, Michael, and Victor. He leaves behind numerous nephews, nieces, cousins, and large coterie of friends who were near and dear to him. The Toronto-based Sri Lankan-Canadian community at-large are heartbroken as their beloved friend Benito – known as a man for all seasons is no more.

Anthony Gene Benito De Silva was born in Colombo on 28th September 1935. He was predeceased by his loving parents, Walter and Etta De Silva and his infant son, Glen. He was the eldest in a close-knit family of six – two sisters Therese (Jay Liyanage), and Clementine (Sumith Liyanage) and three brothers – Gen. Gerard de Silva (Junie), Eugene de Silva (Madonna) and Jerome de Silva who live back home in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon him. MAY BENITO REST IN PEACE, AMEN!

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Posted on 25 December 2021 by admin

07 June 1944 – 24 Dec. 2021

It is with profound sadness we learn of Lyn Wiratunga’s demise in London, England on December 24, 2021. He was a Pre-70s Peterite who excelled in sports – Rugby, Basketball, Hockey & Tennis. Lyn’s late father was the brother of our second Rector, Rev. Fr. Basil Wiratunga. Lyn lived on Davidson Road, Bambalapitiya close to college. He had a few first cousins at college too – Nihal Wiratunga, Lalith Wiratunga, Asoka Wiratunga and Lal Wiratunga. Lyn’s sister Shirani is married to another Peterite sportsman Daya Chandraratne of Davidson Road – both residents on Toronto, Canada.

Lyn passed out as an Engineer but changed course whilst in the U.K. and became a Professional Accountant.

May Lyn Rest in Peace!

Photo: L to R: Upali Obeyesekere, Lyn Wiratunga & Lalith Wiratunga taken in Toronto when Lyn was visiting his sister.

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Tribute: Deshamanya Dr. P. R. Anthonis


Tribute: Deshamanya Dr. P. R. Anthonis

Posted on 30 December 2019 by admin

In Memoriam! DR. P. R. ANTHONIS (1911‐2009)

Dr. P.R. Anthonis: A humanist par excellence

Dr. P.R. Anthonis

Dr. P.R. Anthonis[/caption]Born on January 21, 1911 as the second child of a family of 16 children, Polwatte Arachchige Romiel Anthonis learned the Sinhala alphabet under the tutelage of Ven. Vajiragnana Thera at the ‘Dharmasalawa’ Bambalapitiya (Presently Vajiraramaya). A year later, he moved on to the Milagiriya Sinhala School (which is now non-existent) where he studied up to the fourth standard, walking barefoot, dressed in sarong and banian.

Young Anthonis was admitted to St.Joseph’s College South, as St. Peter’s College was known then, at the age of 11, on the condition he improved his knowledge of English. He made headway within three months and in the fifth standard, won the class prize for English. The brilliant student he was, he ended up carrying away almost all class prizes at the annual prize givings at St.Peter’s College.

Entering the University College to do the pre-medicals, he came first in the batch. He entered Medical College in 1930, excelled in his studies and won the Loos Gold Medal for Pathology, the Mathew Gold Medal for Forensic Medicine, the Rockwood Gold Medal for Surgery and the Government Diploma Medal. He passed out of the Medical College in 1936 and took up appointment as a Medical Officer in the public service.

Dr. Anthonis was awarded a scholarship to study surgery in the UK in 1937, but the second world war prevented him from going abroad. However, he proceeded to the UK in 1945 to obtain his FRCS and was the first to be successful in the Primary and the Final Examinations in the first sittings thereby not only creating a record at the Royal College of Surgeons, but also becoming the youngest Fellow of the College. Dr. Anthonis was also the first non-university officer to be appointed by the Royal College of Surgeons of England as an Examiner to Primary FRCS, FDS and FFA Examinations.

Returning to Sri Lanka in 1947, turning down a lucrative job in the UK, being eager to serve his motherland, he was appointed Consultant Surgeon to the then premier medical institution in the Island, the present National Hospital. Until his retirement from public service, the healing angel saved the lives of thousands of people serving in hospitals in many parts of the country, working from the early hours of the day and going up to late hours in the evening. Dr. Anthonis, the trade unionist, led a strike of Medical Specialists on February 1964, against the Government’s decision to abolish private practice in respect of the Doctors as from August 1, 1964.

He retired from the public service at the age of 60 in 1971 and took to private practice. Until his demise, he operated on nearly 50,000 persons from all walks of life without stress on the financial aspects.

Dr. Anthonis was bestowed the highest National Honour Deshamanya in 1986 and was also honoured with the Visva Prasadini Award. He was the Chancellor of Colombo University from 1981 to 2003. The Government of Japan awarded the “Order of the Sacred Treasure of Japan” in 1981 in recognition of the services rendered by him in promoting Sri Lanka – Japan cultural and friendly ties. The medical profession extended him the honour “Pride of the Medical Profession”, the only professional so honoured.

His surgical prowess was legendary, and his stamina for service to the people was boundless. He was one of the few who could operate with both hands.

He was a learned, well-informed person versed in classics, philosophy and arts. He cherished traditional cultural values. He was a well-poised personality uninfluenced by fame and success. He was a humanist par excellence. That was Dr. P.R. Anthonis, the Everest among professionals.

Dr. Anthonis was a supreme being who certainly had reached the first stage of deliverance from Sansara as a Buddhist.

May he attain the Supreme Bliss of Nibbana!


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Obituary: Herbert Alagaratnam


Obituary: Herbert Alagaratnam

Posted on 10 April 2019 by admin

The death occurred early this morning in Colombo of Herbert Alagaratnam formerly of St. Mary's Parish, Bambalapitiya. Herbert is an alumnus of St. Joseph's College, Colombo 10, and played rugby for his alma mater.

Brother of Stephen, James, Geoffrey, Rosemary and Benjamin.

May his soul rest in peace.

OBITUARY – ALAGARATNAM – HERBERT – Husband of Ayesha and father of William, Akosua and Joseph, son of late William and Myrah Alagaratnam James, brother of Stephen, James, Geoffrey, Rosemary, Ben and Sharmini Casinader, nephew of Grace Casinader. Remains will lie at A.F. Raymond’s Funeral Parlour from 10 a.m. on Friday 12 April and leaves at 4.30 p.m. for burial at the Jawatte General Cemetery.037669

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Obituary: Dr. Darrel Weinman (1929-2018)


Obituary: Dr. Darrel Weinman (1929-2018)

Posted on 19 October 2018 by admin


Dr Darrel Felix WEINMAN

WEINMAN, Dr Darrel Felix
Born 20.11.1929,
Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Died 14.10.2018, Sydney, Australia.
Passed away peacefully.

Loving husband of Brinda, father of Jacqueline & Andrew & grandfather of Hannah. Brother of Dawn, Oenone (dec), Willie, Eric, Anne,Rosaine & Lester.

A private funeral will take place. Please respect the privacy of the family during this time.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to a charity of your choice.

He touched many lives and will be sadly missed.

Traditional Funeral Directors
STRATHFIELD 02 9746 9666
Published in The Age on Oct. 16, 2018.

News has reached us that Dr. Darrel Weinman, Neuro-Surgeon passed away in Sydney, NSW, Australia on Sunday, October 14, 2018. Funeral details are not known as at going to press. The Weinman family lived down Hildon Place, Bambalapitiya and the boys (Darrel, Willie, Eric and Lester) all studied at St. Peter’s College while the girls (Dawn, Anne, Rozanne) were at Holy Family Convent, Bambalapitiya.

Dr Darrel Felix Weinman. Born 20.11.1929, Colombo, Sri Lanka Died 14.10.2018, Sydney, Australia Passed away peacefully.

Loving husband of Brinda, father of Jacqueline and Andrew, grandfather of Hannah. Brother of Dawn, Oenone (dec), Willie, Eric, Anne, Rosaine and Lester. A private funeral will take place. Please respect the privacy of the family during this time. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to a charity of your choice. He touched many lives and will be sadly missed. (The Sydney Morning Herald on Oct. 16, 2018)

Darrel Weinman played cricket for St. Peter’s College in 1947, under Dion Walles – in 1948 under Mike Chanmugam and had the honour of captaining his alma mater in 1949. The Peterites recorded a resounding victory in 1947 under Dion Walles by an innings and 19 runs. However, the Josephians rallied to win the Big Match in 1948 and 1949.

Darrel Weinman team mates in 1947 were Dion Walles (Capt.), Shelly Wickramasinghe, Neville de Silva, Mike Chanmugam, Malcolm Van Arkadie, Harold de Silva, Hugh Fernando, Douglas Fernando, R.B. Wijetunga, O.S. Peiris. St. Joseph’s College were captained by Neil Weerasinghe.

In 1948, his team mates were Mike Chanmugam (Capt.), Oswald Martinus, Carlton Seneviratne, Gerry Jayasuriya, Malcolm Van Arkadie, M. Ghouse, Harold de Silva, D. Fernando, C. Hingert, A. Nathan. St. Joseph’s College were captained by Joe de Mel.

In 1949, Darrel Weinman captained St. Peter’s College in cricket and his team mates were Pat Kelly, H.I.K. Fernando, Ago Paiva, Tony Don Michael. L. Weerasinghe, I. Newman, A. Nathan, M. Kerkoven, Bobby Ghouse, D. Abeysekara. St. Joseph’s College was captained by Tommy Rodrigo.

It was 69 years ago that Darrel Weinman captained St. Peter’s College in cricket.

Having entered the medical faculty from St. Peter’s College, Dr. Darrel Weinman served as a Neuro Surgeon at the General Hospital, Colombo prior to emigrating to Australia.

May his soul rest in peace!

Editor’s Note: Dr. Darrel Weinman’s youngest brother Capt. Lester Weinman was a classmate of mine at college in the Senior Prep and Senior.

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Tribute to the late Ebert Silva - Old Peterite


Tribute to the late Ebert Silva – Old Peterite

Posted on 28 March 2018 by admin

Ebert Silva, a pioneer and a legend in Sri Lanka’s travel and tourism remembered on his 6th death anniversary

The 6th death anniversary of Ebert Silva, the late chairman of Ebert Silva Group and a pioneer and a legend in Sri Lanka’s travel and tourism industry falls on March 28.

March 27, 2018, 8:15 pm 


Born on November 2nd 1932, he had his education at St. Peters’ College Colombo. Nomis de Silva (1894 – 1953), father of Ebert Silva founded a passenger transport company in the early 1920s and later named it after his eldest son as ‘Ebert Silva Omni Bus Company Limited.’ Ebert Silva as a young 21 year old was compelled to take over the reigns of the company at the untimely death of his father in 1953.

As one of the youngest entrepreneurs of the bus company era that spanned across about three decades, he was successful in expanding and operating a model transport service that complied to high standards of quality and service. His sheer determination, resilience and commitment made the Ebert Silva brand the only survivor of the Nationalisation of the 36 bus companies in 1958 to form the Central Transport Board. Enduring the excruciating loss of the Omni Bus Company almost overnight, he nurtured the Touring Company which he incorporated as a young 22 year old to cater to tourism. His astute and visionary leadership was a success story that withstood the test of time giving rise to a national brand that had made lasting contributions pioneering Sri Lanka’s travel and tourism. Ebert Silva was a passionate lover of motor vehicles that led him to have a unique and rare collection of vintage and classic motor cars. He was also be a founder member and later the Vice President of the Vintage Car Owners Club of Sri Lanka, founded in 1987, with the intention of preserving and conserving these rare automobiles in the island.

Ebert Silva was a pioneered domestic tourism, who as a young entrepreneur initiated many tour packages to less seen and travelled places in the island and was among the first to introduce ‘package tours’ to promote places of historic and scenic importance in Sri Lanka. Building a brand synonymous with Sri Lanka’s travel and tourism industry the company under his leadership, vision was felicitated on numerous occasions for its quality of service and contribution to the industry with many Presidential Awards as the Best Domestic Tour Operator.

As a pioneer in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry his contribution was generously extended to its advancement and promotion with him also serving as the President of the Travel Agents Association of Sri Lanka. In recognition of a lifetime of committed contribution to Sri Lanka’s travel industry he was honored with the Presidential Award as a ‘Legend’ in Sri Lanka’s Travel and Tourism in 2009. Ebert Silva was also among the legendary individuals felicitated at Sri Lanka Tourism’s Golden Jubilee celebrations for his outstanding contribution to the development and growth of the tourism industry through the years.

With roots going as far back as the 1920s, the ‘Ebert Silva’ brand stands out with its time-tested contribution having being interwoven with the long history of the island’s transport and tourism industries. Well after 9 long decades today, his vision has enabled Ebert Silva Holidays make the pioneering contribution of open deck city sightseeing services to the present tourism arena together with Sri Lanka Tourism, enabling Sri Lanka’s premier city offer a distinct touristic to the world.

Ebert Silva gave life to a significant and splendid chapter in Sri Lanka’s travel and tourism and motoring industry amidst many obstacles and formidable challenges. The commitment and vision of legendary pioneers as Ebert Silva enabled the industry to reach the present heights and play a pivotal role in the advancement of the Sri Lankan economy.

Ebert Silva will be remembered with deep love and honour and gratitude by the family and staff marking his 8th death anniversary on March 28th.



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Posted on 05 January 2018 by admin

Lashan Abeygoonewardena


Hamza Hidayathullah and Algi Wijewickrema have conveyed the sad news of the demise of Lashan Abeygoonewardena. 

With profound sadness, we announce the death of Lashan Abeygoonewardena, beloved son of Camillus R. Abeygoonewardena (Past President of SPC-OBU), brother of Sanjeewa Abeygoonewardena (SPC 1st XV Cpt. 95) and Dilan Abeygoonewardena (SPC 1st XV Cpt. 2001).

His death occurred while under treatment at the Monash Medical Centre (Clayton, Melbourne).

Lashan has been called to the safe hands of Lord God Almighty and the family wishes to communicate the below death notice.

Abeygoonewardena – Lashan Clement (of Melbourne Australia)
Beloved Son of Camillus and Marli. Brother of Sanjeeva and Dilan. Brother-in-Law of Kheshini and Sandra. Loving uncle of Cheval , Janik and Seth. Passed away on 4th January 2018. Cremation, Sunday 7th January 2018, 11am at Springvale Botanical Cemetery (Boyd Chapel) Melbourne Australia.

(Date and location for the thanks giving mass in Colombo to be notified later)

Cremation will take place on Sunday, 6th January 2018, 2.00 p.m. at Springvale Botanical Cemetery (Boyd Chapel), Melbourne Australia.

Date and location of a thanksgiving mass in Colombo to be notified later.

We offer our deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to Camillus and family and share their loss at this time.

"Life is impermanent, but death is permanent". We pray and ask the lord to bless the family and give them strength to face this sudden loss!

May Lashan rest in peace.





Posted on 14 December 2017 by admin

GABRIEL – TIMO. Beloved son of late Mr H.A. Gabriel and late Mrs Rita Gabriel,​ loving husband of Maureen,​ brother of Tyronne,​ Tania,​ Rev. Fr. Travis Gabriel and Tamara. Cortege leaves residence 258/​2,​ Kotte Road,​ Nugegoda at 2.30 p.m. for Mass at St. Thomas’ Church Kotte at 3.00 p.m. and thereafter for burial at Kotte.155662.





Posted on 19 November 2017 by admin

Christopher Harridge


HARRIDGE – CHRISTOPHER,​ husband of late Antoinette,​ son of Noel and Norma Harridge,​ brother of Michael and Desmond Harridge,​ brother-in-law of Liz and Suzi. Remains will lie at A.F. Raymond’s Funeral Parlour from 9 a.m. on 22nd Wednesday,​ onwards. Cortege leaves the Parlour at 4.30 p.m. on Thursday 23rd November,​ 2017 for Cremation at General Cemtery,​ Kanatte at 5 p.m.145946

Sunday, November 19, 2017 – We mourn the passing of Christopher Harridge this morning in Sri Lanka. May his soul rest in peace!

Details of funeral services are not known at time of posting this notice. As per news conveyed by Stanley Lumanauw, Christo resided in Ja-ela. Brother of Michael and Desmond (Australia) Harridge. 

Many thanks to Rodney Paternott (Melbourne) for providing details of Christo's sporting career at college. Christopher Harridge earned the enviable sporting double having represented college in Cricket & Rugby both.

RUGBY – Christo played, rugby from 1962 to 1965.under Jeyer Rodrigues '62; Steven Alagaratnam '63; Rohan Abeysundera '64 and Darrell Wimalaratne in '65. 

CRICKET – Christo was a member of the winning Peterite team of 1965, led by Travice Fernando.

St. Peter's College won the big match by 6 wickets thanks to a sensational spell of medium-pace swing bowling by skipper Travice Fernando who bagged 5/45 and 6/44 in the 1st and 2nd innings, respectively totalling a haul of 11 wickets in the game. Christopher Moreira captained St. Joseph's College.

The Peterite XI comprised of (in batting order) Darrell Wimalaratne, Charlitha Goonesena, Peter de Niese, Christo Harridge (Wk), Travice Fernando, Aubrey Paternott, C. Christoffelsz, Everard Hoffman, Tony Opatha, Rodney Paternott and Mervin Fernando.

The Josephian Xi comprised of (in batting order) Polycarp Jayasekara, Brian Perera, Christopher Moreira, Alan de Costa, Sunil Atukorale (wk), Victor Vimalasingham, Bede Johnpillai, Sarath Wanigasekera, A. Rasanayagam, Anil Peiris, and T. Mitchell.

Scores of the 1965 Josephian-Peterite played at SPC Grounds in Bambalapitiya on March 19th & 20th.

SJC -130 (Allan de Costa, 40, Victor Vimalasingham, 33, Polycarp Wijesekara – Bowling: Travice Fernando 5/45; Peter deNiese 3/25) & 164 (Victor Vimalasingham, 50, Polycarp Wijesekara, 36, Allan de Costa, 22, Sarath Wanigasekara, 20 – Bowling: Travice Fernando 6/44; Rodney Paternott 3/31)

SPC – 201 Charlitha Goonesena, 68, Tony Opatha, 42, Aubrey Paternott, 25, Rodney Paternott, 23 & 94 for 4 wickets Aubrey Paternott, 31 not out, Darrell Wimalaratne, 29, Charlitha Goonasena, 27.




OBITUARY: DODWELL DE SILVA - Leader, SPC Fife & Drum Band in 1956


OBITUARY: DODWELL DE SILVA – Leader, SPC Fife & Drum Band in 1956

Posted on 12 November 2017 by admin

News has just reached us of the passing of DODWELL DE SILVA on Saturday, November 11, 2017, in Cerritos, California.

Dodwell was fondly known as "Doddy" in school and is a pre-70s Peterite who was at St. Peter's College in the 50s and early 60s travelling to college from his parental home on Pereira Lane, Wellawatta.

Dodwell is best known as the band leader of the first St. Peter's College Fife & Drum Band in 1956, brainchild of Rev. Fr. Arthur Fernando – Rector (1955 – 1963). In fact, the band at St. Peter's College was the very first School's band formed among schools in Sri Lanka. Dodwell, as band leader looked dashing in the white Tunic Uniform. So did the rest of the band members. The only other members of the band that I recall are Carline Perera, Carline Nugara, Hector Pietersz and Royce Moldrich.

If some Peterite reading this post could recall the full list of band members of 1956, this would be historical information. In the meantime, we mourn Dodwell's passing and extend our sympathy to his wife June and two children.

Dodwell was a Past President of the Sri Lanka America Association of Southern California and lived in Cerritos, California for over four decades. Cerritos is a suburban city in Los Angeles County, California.

May god grant Dodwell's soul eternal rest!


Dodwell Palitha De Silva, 78, born on September 11,1939, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, passed away November 11, 2017. He resided in Cerritos, California at the time of his passing. Arrangements are under the direction of Forest Lawn, Cypress, California.


Sunday, November 19 
9:30 AM to 11:30 AM     

Forest Lawn – Cypress – Hope Chapel

4471 Lincoln Avenue Cypress, CA 90630

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