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Old 24-07-09, 06:42 PM
sriyanj sriyanj is offline
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Default Fr. Baldwin on his trip to Sri Lanka

It was good to have been here - Fr. Baldwin on his trip to Sri Lanka
When Fr Baldwin Daniel (former Chaplain, student and teacher), was requested to say a few words on his recent trip to
Sri Lanka at the AGM, he surprised those present delivering a magnificent impromptu speech, recalling the many
great moments he had. Subsequently, at the request of Thomiana, Fr. Baldwin kindly transcribed his speech.
I visited Sri Lanka, India and Singapore from mid
November last year to late January this year.
On 4th December, I was privileged to be invited to
attend a unique STC Mt Lavinia celebration. The
Old Boys had organised a Felicitation for former
teachers who taught during the tenure in office of
Wardens Davidson, Selvaratnam and
Anandanayagam (known as the DSA era). This
was at the Sasakawa Hall near Prep School.
There were over 100 of us, Old Boys and Teachers
and we former teachers were treated
magnificently. Ronnie Peiris, in his keynote
address, paid a moving tribute to former teachers.
It was indeed a very memorable evening.
I attended the STC Prep School Kollupitiya Carol
Service held at the Cathedral of Christ on 6th December. I was taken there by Fr. Sunil de Silva, former STC student and
Chaplain and wife Priyani. The service was well attended and the Choir, music, singing and readings were inspiring and
a fitting beginning to the season. I was happy to meet Head Master (Prep-school) Mr Yohesan Casie Chetty, also a
former student of mine.
Sunday 7th December was my 80th Birthday. The Chaplain Fr Lloyd Weerasuriya had kindly invited me to be at the
7.30am Sunday Eucharist and also at 6.00pm for the Carol Service in the Chapel of the Transfiguration. The 7.30am
Eucharist was also a service of thanksgiving for the re-dedication of the Chapel after the renovations to the fabric of the
Chapel. Many Old Boys and well wishers throughout the world and in Sri Lanka have contributed to meeting the costs
involved. The Chapel was full and the service was a fitting act of thanksgiving. It was also Fr. Weerasuriya s last
celebration of the Eucharist as the College Chaplain and David Ponniah s as Warden. The Carol service was an emotive
experience for me. It was above all a complete worshiping experience. It was good to have been here. Congratulations
would not be out of place to STC Mt Lavinia, the students, staff, choir, Mr Vinod Senadeera the Choirmaster and
organist, Chaplain Weerasuriya and Warden Ponniah.
Abbas Eusufually, Dirk Grigson, Sunil de Costa, Renganathan, Arun Dias-Bandaranayake, Nalin Jayasuriya, Maurice
Wambeek, Michael Anthonisz and John Attygalle felicitated me at the Colombo Swimming Club with a dinner on 12th
January 2009. It was good to Catch Up with former students. I thank them for their generosity and kindness.
On 18th January, I was entertained to dinner by a group of 15 former students at the Bay Leaf. Among them were
Kitto Dias, Thangavelu, JD Bandaranayake (former STC Cricket Captain), Watawala, Yatawara, PMR Mendis and
others whose names I have forgotten. It is gracious of these Old Boys and generous of them to give a moment of their
time to meet and entertain a former teacher.
In Singapore, Dr Chrys Mendis and wife Shirani provided hospitality to me in their home, on my way back to
Melbourne. Chrys made it possible for me to meet my former Chaplain and STC s distinguished Chaplain, Fr Roy Yin
who is 98. He lives with his adoptive grandson Andrew Ang and his wife. Fr. Roy had a fall last year and was in a
wheel chair. He conversed with me about the former days in Mount Lavinia and was his usual imitable self. He sends
greetings to all who know him.
In closing, I wish to thank STCOBA Melbourne and the STC DIASPORA for their generosity and kindness to me. God
Bless You!
Fr. Baldwin Daniel
Fr Baldwin with Kesaralal Gunasekera at the teachers
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Old 08-12-09, 11:25 PM
sriyanjay sriyanjay is offline
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Default Rev. Baldwin J. Daniel

Rev. Baldwin J. Daniel

by G. Thambithurai

It is said that a man’s character is reflected in the quality of his friends. If this is true, I may think a little more highly of myself, from the fact that during the period that I was at STC (1963-1980),Father Baldwin Daniel honoured me with his friendship and instilled in me – a Jaffna boy – a
measure of confidence that made my teaching career a very enjoyable one.

I suppose it would be true to say that as a teacher, who has spent most of his working life inside a classroom, and who has in his time been concerned with almost every aspect of contemporary life, not least as a boarding house-master, I have most likely met more parents of varied types than the members of any other profession.

As I look back over the years to the days when I began earning my living as a teacher, I recall some good men on the staff, of whom there were two individuals whose friendship I valued most. One was Quentin Israel, who is no longer with us; the other was Father Baldwin Daniel.

Father Baldwin’s most obvious characteristic was a beautiful serenity of spirit, which he tried to share with staff and students, especially during his period as Chaplain of the College. I think this serenity came about through his implicit faith in the Almighty. I recall how he would sit with the Scouts at the campsite in Nuwara Eliya (Pedro), and recount ghost stories, of which he had an extraordinary repertoire.

Another incident that comes to mind was the time when we went to attend a Christian camp, after which the group decided to climb Sigiriya rock. There must have been about 30 of us. Halfway through the climb, the resident bumble bees near the Lions’ Paws got disturbed, and I was one of three unfortunate recipients of their angry stings. We were rushed to a hospital in
Matale, accompanied by Father Baldwin, while the others returned to Colombo.

Whether it was a basketball tournament or a scout camp, or even taking the boys to the Royal-Thomian matches, Father Baldwin was always there to help me out.

Father Baldwin always made you feel young at heart. The boys simply loved him. I can still remember him walking into the classroom, in his khaki pants and light-blue, short-sleeve shirt, carrying a small stick.

Whenever he was invited for a meal by either parents or his parishioners, he would take me along on his Vespa scooter. Sam Wijesinha’s house was one of his favourite haunts, where Mrs. Wijesinha would serve up the best egg-hoppers!

Schools, like people, develop what might be called a distinctive personality of their own. S.Thomas’ College, Mt. Lavinia was one such school. People feel it, and experience it, but cannot explain it. Fr. Baldwin, as Chaplain and teacher, has touched the lives of many Thomians over many years.

I, for one, deeply value him as a friend, a colleague, and as my spiritual mentor. I certainly hope I would be able to meet him in person, when I visit Australia in September 2009,God willing.

Scout Motto Be Prepared Scout Slogan Do a Good Turn Daily
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Old 08-12-09, 11:30 PM
sriyanjay sriyanjay is offline
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Dear Sir,

Lucky we both spent time in a good school – you as a good teacher and me as a reluctant student!

The influences we had due to tradition, custom and on each other molded us into the people we are today.

One of those attributes is to be able to express feelings of gratitude comfortably.

You kind Sir wrote for us when we requested you to write. You got out of your comfort zone, poured yourself a stiff glass of red wine, wrapped a wet towel round your head, found your feather pen and ink pot and retired to your palatial study. Before closing the great oak doors behind you, you pined a note on the door, “Do not disturb.”

That done, you worked away diligently with great care and compassion to craft your script. Script that will outlive you and me by, a hundred years or more. Script that brought smiles of delight to Rev Daniels face mixed with feelings of great emotion. It enriched his moment as it did many others who have read it.

Today you want a copy of that manuscript that has added to our collective historical record of an era gone by. Thanks to your colorful recollections we can sit back, relax, read and enjoy.

All of the above would not have happened if not for YOUR individual effort. You have been so generous with your time and your vivid memories.

It is my great pleasure to oblige by sending you a full copy of your great work. I suggest you print it, laminate it and place it on your coffee table so that all your guests, children, in laws and grandchildren will learn about some of the great pleasures that made your life what it is today.

And while you are in that mindset think about an article on that Romeo and Juliette tale you enacted for us in real time!!!! Speak to Mrs T and I am sure she will be a rather willing co-author.


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