This blog is about new entrants to the Colombo Medical Faculty of the University of Ceylon (as it was then known) in June 1962. Please address all communications to: firstname.lastname@example.org.You may bookmark this page for easier access later.
Header image: Courtesy Prof. Rohan Jayasekara, Dean, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo (2011 - 2014).
At Medical College he was known as RADW
Bernard. Although we were in the same year, I got to know Bernard when my
parents moved to his home town of Wattala in 1963. We travelled daily by train to
Maradana with Razaque Ahamat. We began to study together for the intensely
difficult 2nd MB examination and struck up a friendship which lasted
a lifetime. During those heady days of our youth, there were many fun filled events
like the Block Nite, Colours Nite and other Medical College functions. Those
bring back numerous memories of music, dancing, fun and laughter. Bernard
always featured in them prominently and never missed an opportunity to enjoy.
He immersed himself fully in the life of
the University playing a full part in its activities, always. Bernard took part
in the festivities of the infamous Law-Medical match with the rest of us. I
recall with much fondness the camaraderie during a trip to Kandy with Bernard, Lucky
Abeygunawardene, Sanath de Tissera and Lakshman Jayasinghe.These are memories that will remain with us
for many more years.
After Internship in Ragama he married
Ranjani Wijetunge, his sweetheart from schooldays. I visited them when he was
DMO in Rattota, MOH in Minneriya, Medical Superintendent in Kalutara and also
when he was the Director of the Cancer Institute, Maharagama. In this his final
postingI was immensely fortunate to be
his host in England when he visited the UK for a Conference. Each time we
reminisced at great length the good life in Medical College and the wonderful
friendship we enjoyed.
was held in high esteem in the Health Service as one of its most colourful and
successful managers, and as a man who led from the front and inspired all those
who worked with him. His great professionalism was accompanied by an infectious
enthusiasm for life and mischievous sense of humour. He used his charm and
skills of persuasion to obtain expensive equipment for the Cancer Institute to benefit
the numerous patients who came for treatment. Despite his achievements, he was
also a modest man, protective of his privacy, embarrassed by praise and with a
deep aversion for publicity.
In early 1999 when we met up in Colombo, he
gave me the sad news of his illness which proved terminal. I kept in touch with
him and admire the courage which he showed until the very end. He passed away
with great dignity in November 1999 at the age of 58 years. Bernard was a
devout Catholic . His Faith gave him great comfort during his final illness.
cheeky grin and infectious laugh are precious memories for us all. Bernard was
my best friend and I will miss him. He was far too young to leave us.