The certainty of death has removed from our scene Comrade Vijaya.
At the University of Peradeniya, very specially in my hall and I was involved in student politics. I was the Vice President thereby of the Hall.
When I left Peradeniya and became an Anglican Priest, I became a subscribing member of the Christian Workers Fellowship of which Vijaya was the founder.
Vijaya was a son of an Anglican Priest. He began his education at S. Thomas’ Prep School at Kollupitiya, after which he went to Royal College. From Royal he entered the Law Faculty at Peradeniya. After graduation he joined the Income Tax Department and when he retired he was the head of that department.
He married Christine from a well known Kandyan family, the de Alwis’, and the couple had a daughter and a son, both of whom are married and have their own families and are working.
Comrade Vijaya was the dynamic force behind the Christian Workers’ Fellowship. Mass was held at Polwatte either at the end of April or beginning of May and on the first Saturday in May in the Plantation district. Vijaya was also involved with the workers of the country.
The Christian Workers’ Fellowship spread to various parts of the country. Vijaya began to write his autobiography and for some strange reason he did not complete it. His son’s father-in-law insisted that he completes it and it was launched.
I was invited for the launch which I missed. However I reviewed the book and I want to repeat in this tribute to Comrade Vijaya that his autobiography is a must reading for an Anglican who wants to combine his Anglicanism with Marxism.
I say this because Comrade
Vijaya while he was involved with Marxism, was the founder of the Christian Workers’ Fellowship and was a very important member of his home parish of Polwatte.
I have seen his daughter and son-in-law, bring him on a wheel chair to St. Michael’s and I know that his brother-in-law arranged that a retired priest of the Cathedral compound visit him at home and give him communion.
Vijaya we will miss you. That is why we called “Sahodaraya” which means comrade. Your kith and kin and all your comrades can be assured of our continued interest in them.
May your soul rest in peace and rise in glory. Amen