[APPRECIATIONS - (07-10-2019)] | Daily News


[APPRECIATIONS - (07-10-2019)]

W.D.S. Fernando

He was a dynamic individual

My father, W.D.S. Fernando, was the youngest in his family. In 1919, 100 years ago, he was born in a village called Mederigama in lower Kadugannawa. As he was the youngest, he was called Podi Eka (small fellow) by his two brothers and three sisters, who all loved him very much. Their love was unconditional as he lost his mother when he was just one-and-a-half years old. He was brought up by his sisters, and an aunt and her husband.

His sisters, brothers, and father gave him the best education available during his childhood in the 1920s and 1930s. He studied at Prince of Wales College, Moratuwa, which was then an English school. He was fortunate to study with eminent people in his era.

During the Second World War, in the early 1940s, he joined the British Royal Army in Sri Lanka.

He married our mother, Lavinia Margaret Perera (Neeta), in 1947 and they were blessed with over 69 years of wedded life, until our mother’s passing in 2017. They were also blessed with three sons and a daughter.

After the war, he started serving the Irrigation Department, where he worked until his retirement in 1976. He was one of the first persons in Sri Lanka who had training in American field costing, and worked tirelessly in preparing feasibility reports of many agricultural development projects of the government throughout the island.

After his retirement, for nearly 20 years he worked for the Holy Emmanuel Church in Moratuwa as the Parish Clerk by handling the management of this large Anglican congregation in Sri Lanka.

He was one of the Original altar servers of the Holy Emmanuel Church in the 1930s under the guidance of Rev. Harold de Soysa, who later became the first Sri Lankan Bishop of Colombo.

For many years in the 1940s and 1950s, he was a Sunday School teacher at Holy Emmanuel Church.

He was involved in the indigenisation process of the Anglican church headed by Bishop Lakdasa de Mel and worked as the first Secretary of the Church of the Healing Christ in Kadalana, Moratuwa; a product of the indigenisation of the Anglican church in Sri Lanka.

He was a simple person who followed his principles of life. He never had lands in his name; that was the responsibility of our mother. He encouraged us to do well in our life by showing kindness to other people. He often said, “When you get blessings, you need to be a blessing to others.”

Thaththa, God will take care of you—be not afraid. He is your safeguard through sunshine and shade.

Rt. Rev. Keerthisiri Fernando

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