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Old 18-06-17, 11:49 AM
sriyanj sriyanj is offline
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Default Mr B D Jayasinhe in hospital

Visit Mr B D Jayasinghe (Past Teacher STC)

When we met at the beginning of May we decided that we must visit and spend some time with Mr. Bernard Dias Jayasinghe (BDJ). We arranged to meet him at his daughters place in Bramptom. A few days before we visited we heard that he had been hospitalised after a fall but fortunately he was only under observation and visitors were welcome.

So we went to the hospital with some nervousness and apprehensive as to how our conversations would proceed. We need not have worried because as soon as we walked in he greeted us very warmly. He took us completely by surprise and we were not sure whether he knew who we were!, After a few minutes of chatting it became clear that he knew exactly who we were, two former students of his paying respects to a teacher who had influenced their lives.

BDJ was remarkable. His memory was vivid, his humour undiminished, and his wit as sharp as ever. We could have closed our eyes and imagined him standing in class teaching maths, and then saying something ‘outrageous’ which would wake us and keep our interest. He was one of the characters of College and made our ‘education’ that much more worthwhile.

We spent the next hour and a half (2 periods of class!) listening to him and his life in Sri Lanka. He was born in 1923 and started his schooling at Trinity in 1929. He was born into a Buddhist family and going to Trinity, he said, gave him the best of both Religious traditions. He said that he is a Christian, and he believed that everyone were children of God, Christians, Buddhists, Muslims and all other traditions. He is trying to teach his grand daughter these values and disagrees with what is being currently done in schools.We spoke for a considerable amount of time but we cannot recollect all what was said. One topic we did remember was his reference to the 3 greatest temptations, of the ‘flesh’, of the ‘I’(ego) and of ‘pride’. This was in the context of sports at College, where, he said, the emphasis should NOT be about winning but about participating and making friends.

After completing his schooling at Trinity, excelling in athletics, he went to Colombo University, then on to teach at Richmond College, Galle. He moved to STC in the fifties when Mr C H Davidson was the Warden. He taught a range of science subjects, as he recalled, including chemistry. He did not delve long on his involvement with academic subjects but moved very quickly onto his involvement with sports, clubs and societies. He was MiC of hockey, athletics and a number of age groups in cricket. He was a little disappointed that he was MiC only upto 2nd XI, unfortunately because there were others such as Orville and Lassie, ahead of him. What gave him most pride was being appointed Master in Charge of Wood House and particularly ahead of Mr. Jayakody. He did refer to Wardens DeSaram, Davidson, Selvaratnem but he was particularly happy under the guidance of Warden Anandanayagam. We certainly got the impression that his time at Mount were very happy years, but there was a touch of disappointment.

We did not raise the issue of his nickname but he himself said how Veddah named him ‘paan karaya’ having been seen riding a ladies bike (with a front rack?). We did not get the impression that he was particularly upset with his nickname but was really pleased. What he definitely disliked was being called Paan to his face or in his presence.

His humour was as good as ever and we will end by referring to the three incidents we recall. While we were talking to him the nurse arrived and inquired on his welfare. ‘Have you got any pain’ he asked and BDJ started looking everywhere! The nurse thinking BDJ was short of hearing and went upto his ear and repeated the question. With a big grin BDJ says ‘ah! You mean pain and I was worried it was a pin!’

Walks in another nurse and asks BDJ whether he was GIVEN a bath/shower today. BDJ for effect makes her repeat the question and then with his customary grin says ‘have you come to take it back?’ We start laughing and the young nurse looks confused!

As we were getting ready to leave BDJ says to us ‘I am sure you realise that I have been talking a lot’ and we very seriously nodded our heads. Back he quips ‘ I did it to keep the two of you quiet!’ Marvellous.

Meeting BDJ rejuvenated us as we recalled what he had said, and laughed at his humour on our way home.

David Ponniah

D R Weerasinghe

P.S.
Mr B D Jayasinha had request his daughter in Sri Lanka Roshi, tel 0112833910 to remit his pension money to Canada to settle his hospital bills.
She finds it difficult to get the necessary approval.
If any one wishes to help Mr B D Jayasinha you could make your contribution to.

Name Chandralekh Abeysundera ( daughter in Canada)
A/C number 00512 5000138
Royal Bank of Canada.
swift code R O Y C C A T 2
Address 66 Appleaire Cres, Brampton, Ontario L6R 0V9, Canada.

Last edited by sriyanj; 01-09-17 at 11:54 PM.
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