Eng. Tilak Wijewardane - passed away early this morning in Melbourne, after a brief illness. He was 80 years old. Tilak was the Founder President of the Melbourne Branch of the Old Rajans’ Association and the continuous Hony. Secy thereafter, till today.
He joined Dahrmaraja at the Kindergarten level and left only in 1955 to join St. Anthony’s for the ‘A’ Levels. He thereafter left for England where he qualified as an electrical engineer . After retirement he translocated to Mebourne with his family.
Tilak was the son of Mendis Appuhamy who had his bakery named Wijesiri Bakery, next to the Lyons Cafe, on Peradeniya Road, next to the Police Station. Their house was on Katukelle Lake Road. Tilak had two brothers at Dharmaraja. They were P.G. Dharmasiri and P.G. Karuasiri who later joined the SL Overeseas’ Service and ended up as SL Ambassador in Phillippines. In fact Tilak was then P.G. Tilkasiri.
Tilak and I were close classmates from the Billimoria Building days. His was one of the few families of Rajans who had a car at that time. It was a Vaxhaul Wivern On rainy days, we used to get a lift in it up to the Ismail Clock Tower. On other times we walked to school. Our class teachers were Mr. Dharmakeerthi Mr. , Amarasekera Mrs. Kurien, Mr. Denlow and Miss Sally. Our classmates in the Billimoria buildings were the Late Yasaratne Tennakoon, Minister Janaka’s eldest brother and former Gen. Secretary of the SLFP. Sonny Yatawara, later All Ceylon fast bowler, was in the adjoining class.
In the Upper School he was known as ‘Lolly Pop’ Some others in the Upper School were, late Premadasa Welliange, Lt. Col. K.B.S. Welagedera and his other friends were Major W. M. Weerasuriya and Captain K.W.P. (Kaputaa Waage Paata Ethi) Gunaratne, both Sandhurst trained then in the Sri Lanka Army. I recall that we all attended Snr. Cadet Camp at Diyatalawa in 1957 and we won the Battalion Banner that year. In fact, if I remember correct, Tilak was also a member of the Firing Team that came first.
Tilak was continuously involved in many projects on Dharmaraja. He visited College whenever he visited Sri Lanka. He was also one of pioneers of the idea of the Wadugodapitiya Commemoration Project.
May he continuously be a supporter of Dharmaraja and may his sojourn in Samsara be brief.