Friday, September 22, 2006


This is a tribute to my first teacher at Trinity College, for all that she has done, who she was and what she stood for. May her soul find peaceful rest with God.

Twenty years have whistled past since the first day I walked into Trinity. Hardly six years old then, I have very few memories of that first fretful year in school. Apart from the fact that I was in Mrs. Weerakoon's class, there are a few incidents that I can recall in great detail. Still the reason why those memories and their little lessons have been engraved so deeply in my mind so clearly does not amaze me anymore. When I left Trinity fourteen years later, Mrs. Weerakoon had finished her Earthly race. I missed her very much, for as she had greeted me with that memorable warm smile on that very first day in school, she has been an inspiration ever since.

As many six year olds would be, my parents and grand parents were the only people I was intimately attached to. However, as embarrassing as it was then, I remember running up to her on many occasions, calling out "Ammi" or "Achchi". That is probably how close she was to me and possibly to all those who were entrusted to her care for the brief first year in school, throughout the decades that she served Trinity with love and devotion.

My family and I still remember the day she visited me at home, when I had fractured my leg in a car accident. For all such memories we will for ever be grateful. The memory of Mrs. Weerakoon and the way she touched their lives is still alive in many generations of Trinitians. The kindness and sincerity with which she embraced them have since found its place among the many legends that echo in the halls of Trinity.

Her passing away came as a great shock even to those who knew what she was going through. Her last message to all Trinitians was read out by her daughter a few months later at a memorial service held in the College Chapel. It was a request for "Every Trinitian to give back Trinity, at least a fraction of what Trinity had given them" These words have mingled with the beat of our hearts ever since and made us realize that when great men and women are lost, their legends inspire others to rise up and carry the world forward. The legend of Mrs. Cynthia Weerakoon will live on and inspire many.

When angels walk among us
Without the floor touching their heel
And when they stoop to bless us
So gently that we don't feel
We often fail to realize
That we still feel their loving care
Even after they have left our midst
Like the light of a long dead star

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