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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Prof. Valentine Basnayake

One of the very few of our teachers who are still living had passed away on June 10th.

BASNAYAKE - VALENTINE - Age 89. Professor Emeritus of Physiology, University of Peradeniya and accomplished Classical Pianist. Founder, Physiological Society of Sri Lanka. Passed away on June 10, 2014 in Colombo. The remains were cremated soon after and his ashes scattered in the ocean based on his wishes. Professor Basnayake is the proud husband of Dr. Mrs. Stella Meriam Collinette Basnayake nee Henry, son of Arthur Valentine (pre deceased) and Elsie (pre deceased) of Nugegoda. Beloved father of Nihal (Deborah Smith), Amal and Lilani (Lal Nugaliyadda). He is the proud grandfather of Danica and Laura Smith (Canada) and Ayushka Nugaliyadda (Sri Lanka), brother of Arthur, Sita Yapa (pre-deceased), Kamala Gunasekera, Mahinda, Malini Wijesinghe, Prema and Rohan. A Memorial Service will be held mid-to-late August, details forthcoming. Our family would very much like to hear your personal anecdote of Valentine at the following website: 107388


  1. I was a medical student in 1962-63 when I first knew of Prof Valentine. My recollection is that of a gentle, cultured and soft spoken man with poise and presence. I honestly cannot recall what he taught me! What I recall is him lecturing to us and at times pausing and looking across "without seeing" as if in a trance and then snapping back to reality!I also remember him as a Pianist and of his association with Prof Earle de Fonseka who was also a great musician and personality. I was amazed to learn that he start learning the piano at a relatively mature age. I shall always remember him with fondness and admiration, personifying a very special generation.

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  3. Prof Valentine Basnayake belonged to a fast vanishing era of privileged aristocrats of the Medical Profession. He wore those privileges with modesty and charm. In an era when some Senior Professionals had big egos and treated students with contempt Prof Basnayake treated each of us with respect. That is how I would remember this erudite scholar. May he find Eternal Peace.