My cousin Arunakirinathan was on my father’s side of my family. My paternal grandmother was the elder sister of his great grandmother. His mother was very close to my parents and I had the opportunity to know Annai at ’s College Jaffna where he excelled in studies and sports. He was quite a bit older than I was and when I joined in primary he was in the senior class. In 1952 he represented the college first XI cricket team captained by Thevanayagam whose friendship he continued even after Thevanayagam retired as Major General and was living in Wellawatte Colombo. Annai was loyal to his Alma mater and helped them to design and supervise the construction of college buildings during his tenure as Engineer in Jaffna without receiving any remuneration.
I remember getting a word that he was proceeding to the UK to do his AMICE exams after being granted study leave by the Irrigation Department. When he returned I met up with him at the Irrigation Department Club in Anuradhapura.
He was well respected in the Anuradhapura District by civil servants; government ministers as well his own staff.
He has read widely with a lot of passion for adventure in jungles and was fond of animals. When we took residency in Canada, my wife and I spent many evenings with him, and his wife in Toronto. We enjoyed reminiscing his time in Sri Lanka, the UK, Saudi Arabia, the Caribbean, and Nigeria.
I feel honored to be related to him and will not forget him. We will miss Annai as much as his family and friends all over the world. He was a stature of a man who was kind, bold, generous and giving person.
May his soul Rest in Peace.
Raj and Ranji Thiagarajah
North York Ontario.
17 May 2020