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My tribute to Christie Gunaratnam He was sustained by his faith

25 May 2017 12:00 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Late Mr. Wijeratnam Christie Gunaratnam was born to orthodox Catholic parents on January 15, 1940 in Jaffna. He was ailing with a terminal illness for few months and treated by specialist doctors in the best nursing homes in Colombo. His family and friends hoped for his recovery but suddenly he developed a severe heart attack and died on May 10, 2017 at the age of 77 years. God summons the virtuous irrespective of their age. As a young lad in Jaffna he became an altar server in his Parish at the Church of Our Lady of Refuge (OLR) and also he joined the Church Choir where he was recognized by his gifted voice. He had his education at St. Patrick’s College, Jaffna and on completion of his secondary education he moved upcountry for employment and worked as an accountant at The Scottish Tea & Lands Company of Ceylon Ltd. He married Miss Catherine Nesamalar on August 22, 1973 and blessed with two sons Mervyn and Malcolm and daughter Melonie. He was a devoted husband and an affectionate father and a loving grandfather ever dutiful and concerned of their blossoms. He carried out his paternal responsibilities with commitment and grace. He brought up his children in the fear of God, instilled noble qualities giving priority to their education. His attachment and love towards his family ignored all other activities in life.

He was a faithful friend at times of need; many were privileged to have moved with him closely and for having enjoyed his love and wisdom. He adhered to his convictions and never wilted under pressure or for benefits. 

After his retirement he settled in Colombo in January 1996. He became a Parishioner of St. Lawrence’s Church, Wellawatte and was actively involved in church activities Gunam rendered yeoman services to his Alma Mater and to St Lawrence’s Church. He was the Chief Editor for the annual SPC OBA Colombo souvenirs and also the news bulletin, “Bottle Sunshine”. He had a great passion to drawing caricatures and relating anecdotes and his articles were appreciated with much interest by all Global Patricians. He was a prolific writer who had enlivened his Alma Mater and Parish. He had contributed volumes of tributes to Patricians and even to his brother Ganam.When the Patricians heard about his illness they volunteered to help him financially for the services he rendered to our Alma Mater which was acknowledged with gratitude. He was a unifying force among the Global Patricians. Gunam a stalwart of St Lawrence’s Church, Wellawatte who had served as Editor of Church Quarterly Bulletin ECHO which provided monthly service programmes, the achievements of the parishioners also with lifegiving articles and beautiful quotations from the learned which had a great demand among the avid readers. He was an active member of the church choir and was also an organizer of Holy Mass for the elderly and the sick on anointing day during festive seasons, and also conducts the Way of the Cross which inspires them to experience Jesus’ passion and death with prayers. Ardent devotee of Divine Mercy of Jesus he never failed to attend the first Friday novena and played an important role at Divine Mercy Feast celebrations. He was also the Chairman of the “Platinum Jubilee” Souvenir Magazine Committee which produced very valuable data and photos of the Church history which stands as treasure for parishioners. He served with utmost zeal and dedication in the parish and earned the admiration of the young and old. He was a faithful friend at times of need; many were privileged to have moved with him closely and for having enjoyed his love and wisdom. He adhered to his convictions and never wilted under pressure or for benefits. He was a man of principle and discipline with sound character and charisma with virtuous 
adorable qualities.   

As Choir member of Our Lady of Refuge Jaffna, he earned a name for his golden voice. He sings the Hymn “ADDAIKALLAME” with his stentorian voice which brings in a heavenly atmosphere and very often his positive contribution in singing at wedding services etched everlasting memories. A most love able personality gifted to entertain with witty jokes and laughter and spirits up all at parties.His faith in God sustained him in all his triumphs and trials  

His demise is an irreparable loss to his family and friends. May the Merciful Lord of Love receive him into the Heavenly Kingdom and grant him eternal Bliss  

MAY HE REST IN PEACE  

“Sorrows tried him,
Faith sustained him,
Earth lost him, 
Heaven gained him.”

S.B.David

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