Death has removed from our earthly scene my senior in the Anglican Church in Sri Lanka. Fr. Harold, as I called him in the recent past, began as a teacher at St. Paul’s School in Kandy when he was a lay person. In Kandy, he was known for his interest in scouting. From there, he moved to the North and East, where he tested his vocation to be a reverend in the local monastic movement.
Suggestion to rename annual hockey match between Mt. Lavinia and Gurutalawa as ‘Rev. Fr. Harold Goodchild Memorial Trophy’
It was in the North and East that I got to know him well, for Bishop Lakshman who was our chaplain at Peradeniya and we used to call him Fr. Lak. He used to ask me who the Secretary of the Peradeniya University Student Christian Movement was in order to visit the North and East with our president. When we had our meals and used to go on walks, I realised Harold Goodchild had a deep inner-life and spirituality.
At that seminar, I realised Fr. Goodchild was not the person I met in the North and East. The double tragedy at Gurutalawa had completely changed him
After his experience in the North and East, he sought ordination in the Anglican Church and his Bishop sent him to Calcutta to be trained before ordination.
Afterwards, as far as I know, his most important contribution as a Priest of the Diocese of Colombo was to be Chaplain of our school at Gurutalawa. There he looked after the head of school, the support staff and the boys. He used to take the boys on walks and on scout camps.
Sadly and suddenly, tragedy struck the school for one morning the headmaster and his wife were found dead. The headmaster was an engineer from our university and his wife hailed from a well-known Jaffna family who contributed to Church music. To this day, nobody knows who murdered the couple.
Following the tragedy, Fr. Goodchild moved to Colombo where I kept in touch with him. Since I was then working in Colombo at the Cathedral and looking after Kitu Sevena, I used to have regular and periodic seminars and for one of them I invited Fr. Goodchild to lead the discussion on spirituality.
It was in the North and East that I got to know him well, for Bishop Lakshman who was our chaplain at Peradeniya and we used to call him Fr. Lak
At that seminar, I realised Fr. Goodchild was not the person I met in the North and East. The double tragedy at Gurutalawa had completely changed him. However, I kept in touch and continued my prayers for him. I used to remember him on his birthdays. It was then that I realised he was moving from place to place, living in houses of his past students. He became a recluse; never attended our Diocesan Councils or Area Deanery meetings.
From the local press I have gathered that there is an annual hockey match between Mt. Lavinia and Gurutalawa. May I, as an admirer of Fr. Goodchild, rename this trophy as the Rev. Fr. Harold Goodchild Memorial Trophy, and suggest that the hockey game be played one year in Mt. Lavinia and the other in Gurutalawa.
Fr. Harold, as an admirer of yours, may I assure all those who loved you could be assured of our concern in them because you were a very good priest. May your soul rest in peace and rise in glory. Amen!