A treasured friend | Daily News


 

Sampath Agalawatta

A treasured friend

August 29 signified the 2nd death anniversary of Sampath “Agale” Agalawatta: our captain, teammate, friend, and colleague. He would have celebrated his 55th birthday on September 7.

Sampath was a very helpful person to everyone who knew him and he went to extraordinary lengths to help out anyone in need. We know how much he did for his parents; lovingly looking after them when they were indisposed and the many sacrifices he made. It defined who he was: an unwavering supporter of his family.

We all know that Agale was a sportsman par excellence. He excelled in Rugby, Athletics, and Basketball, obtaining colours in all those sports; and the icing on the cake was him winning the Donhorst Memorial Prize in 1983, which is awarded to the most popular student at Royal College.

The award is made based on a vote of the student’s peers and teachers, and Agale was second to none that year. One of us had the good fortune of playing Under 9 Rugby with Agale, both at Royal and on various playgrounds in Thimbirigasyaya.

Even in those early days, Agale had a deceptive sidestep that baffled not only those on the opposing team, but sometimes, also his teammates. One of the international players Agale idolized and tried to emulate was the great J.P.R. Williams of Wales; we know he fashioned his own jinxing sidesteps by watching videos of JPR in action, over and over again. Agale was a loyal and faithful friend, and we were blessed to have been the beneficiary of his friendship over the many decades we spent together. In order to identify the essence of Agale’s personality and what he meant to all of us, we his old teammates decided to pen a few words.

Agale left behind his family, Dilhani, Samali (completing her degree program in Business Management at Monash University, Malaysia), Samal (completing his advance diploma in Hospitality Management), and Sahan (Grade 9, at Royal). He also left behind his brothers Dhammika and Manjula, as well as their families.

Sampath, we can talk about him for hours and hours. A true friend and a gentleman. His humble nature and kindness touched the hearts of many people across society. He was a friend who stood by you in your happiness and sadness.

His love for Royal College was unwavering. He defended Royal College even when the odds were stacked heavily his beloved alma mater. He was a fantastic sportsman who won colors in Basketball, Rugby and Athletics.

Above all, he adored his family, and they were his jewels. He has left this world too early, reaffirming the saying ‘the good die young’. He may have left us too soon, but his memory will live in our hearts forever.

Words are not enough to describe this amazing personality. An eternal memory to a special human being. Sampath was an inspiration to us all, and it was a remarkable experience to play under his captaincy.

Certain memories in life cannot be erased, and we will always cherish my memories of Sampath. Agale, you were an amazing person whom we will never forget. We will always treasure your friendship forever. Agale, you were a great friend and captain. We all miss you dearly. You were a gem of a friend who was loved by all. Sampath was always there to help us in times of need. We will always miss him. May he attain the Supreme Bliss of Nibbana.

Jehan CanagaRetna, Duminda Senaratne,

Chiranjaya Nanayakkara,

Mahil Kuragama,

Keemal Ousmand, Harith Goonewardena

 


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