Any happy occasion is worth celebrating and there isn’t a better reason to blow the candles on a cake than during the commemoration of a 100th birth anniversary. And so the residents, staff, board members and guests of Sir James and Lady Peiris Cheshire Home joined hands on September 7 to celebrate the 100th birth anniversary of Lord Leonard Cheshire.
The Sir James and Lady Peiris Home renders valuable services to the severely and permanently handicapped, to whom hospitals can give no further hope of treatment. This home is run with affection and freedom. Residents to the home are admitted according to their needs; creed or social status does not stand in their way. The home is commendably a place of equality.
The Home renders valuable services to the severely and permanently handicapped, to whom hospitals can give no further hope of treatment
The celebrations hosted a day of festivities for everyone at the home. Happiness was shared with those near and dear to the home too. The attendees included British High Commissioner James Dauris. A great friend of the home, President of the Association of British Residents, Averil Nathanielsz, also graced the occasion, accompanied by fellow members.
Mala Salgado, granddaughter of the home’s founders, ushered the guests. She said Lord Cheshire declared open the home on March 19, 1966 and had visited it on four occasions since.
Board member Sir Ian Jennings delivered an opinionated oration on life-changing experiences of Leonard Cheshire. These encounters included those of the 617 squadron where Leonard Cheshire survived near-death incidents. Cheshire’s experiences range from witnessing the atomic bomb attack on Nagasaki to heart-warming moments of meeting a cancer patient at Leonard Cheshire’s mansion. The Sinhala version of the oration was given by fellow board member Raja Lal De Soysa.
A tribute was made to the founders by James Dauris. He mentioned that Sir James had proceeded to St. John’s College in Cambridge on a scholarship, where he obtained a Double First in Law.
Cheshire’s experiences range from witnessing the atomic bomb attack on Nagasaki to heart-warming moments of meeting a cancer patient at Leonard Cheshire’s mansion
“Sir James had the honour of being elected as the first Asian President of the Cambridge Union in 1882,” Dauris said.
In addition to the tribute, the British High Commissioner distributed centenary birthday gifts to residents and staff.
Being the most awaited moment, the birthday cake was cut by James Dauris amidst applause and joy.
“A memorable day for a memorable person, Lord Leonard Cheshire, whose legacy will live on,” said Mala Salgado on a final note.