Friday, July 27, 2018

email from Nana - 1960 Medical Entrants Batch ReUnion – successfully completed

Dear Batchmates
Let me  at the outset offer my very sincere thanks to the Organising Team led by Asoka Dissanayaka and ably supported by the local Team- Mana Wedisingha,Jayalath De Silva, Philip Veerasingham, Piyaseeli Wedisingha and Lucky Jayasekera and all others who worked behind the scene.
I am sharing this  on behalf of quite a few batchmates who attended the ReUnion on the 7th July. They were delighted with the wonderful opportunity  offered once again to hold the latest ReUnion 58 years since our entry into the Colombo Medical Faculty in 1960.
It was quite apparent that the Organisers had taken so much  of effort, time  and energy over many months even at the expense of their family and social life to make this special Event  a great success.
Those of us who were lucky to be participants of the latest ReUnion would recollect that we all entered the  Colombo Medical Faculty in the swinging sixties- to be precise on the 7th June 1960. As Asoka  had stated in his most illuminating article published in the Island  newspapers on the 7th July, we were a unique ‘Batch’ in many ways- unique group of individuals much like the United Nations. Each of us with a very different view of ‘Fame and Success”, from different schools across the country, different socio-economic backgrounds and different faiths, but united in eagerness to begin  our medical journey.
 Unique, in that we had multi-talented mixture of academics, sportsmen & women, musicians and a jolly and carefree  types. We were , and are, a unique group because, despite the hard work to get into medical school and come out alive, we have each forged our path to success, and yet still  share a common bond- that of being the ‘300 batch’. It was so apparent that we were able to mix and gossip along on an equal footing as one family.
 Those who stayed overnight  had much more opportunities to meet and greet and reflect on the ‘good old days’ and share some of their family and social gossip.
As in the past, we found many ‘regular attendees’, not so regular ‘attendees’ and ‘non attendees’. This year too, there were quite a few ‘regular attendees’ and couple of ‘1st time attendees’. There may be variety of  genuine reasons  for those who did not attend but quite a few who have never attended our ReUnions, may  not have found these ReUnions  of any great importance.
We had app. 50 of our batch mates from across the globe along with some of their spouses and close families swelling the numbers to almost 90 on the day.
 The venue was superb except that the hotel owners would have thought the participating medicos were a bunch of spring chicken as some of the facilities available was not meant for the old and the frail( do not get offended if you are still fully able bodied).

 The Days  Event was well organized to gave more time to share personal glimpses in a light hearted way, rather than engaging in a serious ‘academic session.’ We had once again shared our sweet memories of all those who had departed over the  years ( 75 and counting) and showed our respect and gratitude by 2 minutes silence at the start of the proceedings.
 The production of a souvenir( for free distribution) and the plans to  provide  a Group Photo  of the participant batch mates  with all their names added on ( for those who were keen to purchase) must be  greatly appreciated  by most as these could be added on to the collection of   memorable souvenirs
 The Evening programme had much more variety with  light music throughout the evening.  The dancing troupe had a selection of Kandyan, modern and Indian dancing which was most eye catching for a wonderful start. The specially prepared ‘Goden Oldies’ booklet gave an opportunity for the participants to have a lovely ‘Sing along’  spell guided by the talented Live Band.
The Organisers had tried to cater to most of the burning needs of the participants- plenty of refreshments- soft and hard liquor to quench  their thirst, wonderful array of hot and spicy  food Sri Lankan Style for the Gala Dinner, to  fill their empty  stomachs and  mixture of selected   scintillating live  music to show their muscle power.  Many of us also admired the hidden  musical talents of few of our batchmates and their dancing prowess.
Most of the attendees stayed till the music was stopped later in the evening.
It is unfortunate that we had such a wonderful evening of entertainment and refreshments & tasty food along with the excellent company, to be enjoyed only by those who stayed in the hotel.  The ReUnion was held in Sri Lanka over the years since 2005 mainly to encourage the ‘locals’ to participate but the ‘locals’ may have other reasons why they do not find it appealing to stay overnight.
I am so pleased that even after 58 long years, we have continued to organize these ReUnions successfully and to the satisfaction of most. There may be few ‘brick bats’ on the way I guess.
I am happy to offer a big Bouquet to all the Organisers for a job ‘Well Done’ and to all those who took the trouble to come along and make this once again a great success.
 I can vaguely visualize Sarath Kapu in the distant horizon far away, grinning and whispering ‘ Machang, I never thought you guys could organize another batch Reunion without me’
Very best wishes

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