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Monday, September 28, 2015

Farewell Dinner to Felicitate Outgoing Dean Professor Rohan Jayasekara

A farewell dinner to felicitate former Dean of the Colombo Medical Faculty Prof. Rohan Jayasekara was held in "The Victorian" at the Kingsbury Hotel on 23 September, 2015 evening. He retired a few months ago.

There was a large predominance of Academics and a few Consultant Clinicians in the gathering. I received an invitation to the dinner probably because I was a friend of Rohan! The organisers had also requested me to contribute an article to the Felicitation Volume that was presented to Prof. Jayasekara at the recently held Valedictory Academic Meeting in honour of him (a news item on the event and my article was posted on the blog earlier). There were over 100 guests and I had a time trying to spot someone senior to me in that crowd! I succeeded in spotting three guests who I was sure were senior to me in the profession. I am almost certain that all others were younger and junior to me.

One such senior was Prof. Shanthi Goonewardene (I think she was fondly called "Sweety") who was a Demonstrator in Anatomy when we were Block Students in 1962. She had then risen up the ladder to end up as a Professor in Anatomy during the time Prof. P.S.S. Panditaratne was the Senior Professor and Head of the Department of Anatomy. The late Prof. Panditaratne was a Senior Lecturer in Anatomy during our time. She retired from the Colombo Medical Faculty some time ago, but now works as Professor of Anatomy in the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) 
which is the only private medical school in Sri Lanka at present. SAITM was founded by Dr. Neville Fernando who is a former MP and prominent politician of yesteryear. Readers may have heard that SAITM has now run into problems with the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) in obtaining recognition for the MBBS degree to be awarded by SAITM, although the private medical school has been recognised as a degree awarding institution by the University Grants Commission. SAITM has already taken in about 700 students and the first batch of doctors is expected to pass out very soon.

Another senior was Major General Dr. C. Thurairajah who retired from the Sri Lanka Army Medical Corp some years ago and now works as a Consultant Radiologist in the private sector. He was three years seniors to us in med school and was well known as an all round sportsman. He excelled in Basketball and Badminton (where he represented the country) and many other sports including Rugby. Apart from his pet sports Basketball and Badminton, Dr. Thurairajah played for the Army in Rugby. Prof. Rohan Jayasekara and Dr. Thurairajah were two pioneers in the field of Sports Medicine in Sri Lanka. 

The only other senior was Professor A.H. Sheriffdeen who was also three years senior to us. He is a well known academic who is a Past President of the Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA). As a former Dean, I am sure that Sanath Lamabadusuriya would have been an invitee. His busy work schedule including visits to the Rajarata Medical Faculty may have prevented him from being present. 

I could have easily missed a few more in the large gathering, but this just goes to show how old we are!

1 comment:

  1. Luckey,
    I have no recollection of Prof.Jayasekere.
    Nevertheless, I respect ALL teaches in every field, as it is a very NOBLE profession that enlightens the unenlightened.
    May he and ALL teachers attain NIBANA (or its equivalent)