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DSA Era Group 1959 to 1976, those under Wardens Davidson, Selveratnam and Annadanayagam

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Old 19-07-09, 05:52 PM
sriyanj sriyanj is offline
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Default A teacher whose heart though on the left was always right

A teacher whose heart though on the left was always right

~ D. S. Jayasekera ~

If the walls of S. Thomas’ College could talk, they would speak volumes of D. S. Jayasekera who held no wall between teacher and student; a master who saw through the students and yet made a positive impact in their lives. Having served the college for over 50 years as a teacher, Head Master of both Junior and Middle schools, he knew every inch of it, and he knew everything that a teacher should know about his students.

To me as well as to thousands of his students he will always remain the epitome of a teacher. He was a strict disciplinarian whose firm grip we never escaped. I still remember how he detained many of us after school as punishment. It did not take us much time to realise that his motive was never a sadistic one but was only prompted by a sincere wish to see us become men of worth; men who would outshine all others as Thomians. What he has left in our hearts is his imprint that he meant well; that his heart though on the left, was always right.

To say that D. S. Jayasekera was a kind-hearted man is an understatement. There was more than kindness in all his deeds. He gave a patient hearing to the students but the difference was that he understood his students. I still recall how he wanted us to take care of the school stationary cupboard. To us playing cricket was more important than the task he had in mind for us. We always came up with excuses to avoid his ‘book cupboard’ duties, but all those were tactically confronted and reverted by him. He had time for his pupils at any given time. He has proven over many years that the teacher was always ahead. And every time any student or group tried their boyish pranks he effortlessly ensured that the master was fool proof. He stood out not only because he taught Buddhism and Sinhala and taught it well, but also because he spent his time and energy for the betterment of the college and for generations of Thomians. Blessed are we who were nurtured by dedicated teachers. And I know that I am nothing without my teachers, Mr. Jayasekera in particular. The worth of his deeds is invaluable to me today as I recollect the events in my mind’s eye and take stock of the wonderful childhood memories he has given me.

The calibre of teacher he was is the kind that we need today, for there was dedication and devotion towards the school and the profession which is unmatched even today. He was a gem of a teacher who was rare and precious and will never lose his worth wherever he may be. Never did I see a teacher to whom college was more a home than a place of work. And thanks to him S. Thomas’ College will be the home where we come to rest in mind, body and soul.

I wish for him the supreme bliss of Nirvana.

~ By S. V. D. Kesarralal Gunasekera, Former Member of Parliament.
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Last edited by sriyanj; 16-05-15 at 12:07 AM.
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Old 10-09-09, 12:59 PM
sriyanjay sriyanjay is offline
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Default A teacher whose heart though on the left was always right

Sriyan ,

I remembered your father my illustrious guru when reading the text of the Buddha and my Upper C 2 days . Mr DSJ was a great man par excellance and may he attain Nibbana .

My distinctions & credits were due to him for which I am ever grateful with renewed thanks .


From: Nihal Tudugalle <nihal@singnet.com.sg>
Date: Sat, Nov 8, 2008 at 5:43 AM
To: Milinda Hettiarachchi <rpmilinda@gmail.com>

Thanks Milinda.
D.S. Jayasekera was one of my teachers in 1953 (Upper 4) & 54 (5 th form).
He had also been one of my sisters teachers at St. Pauls Waragoda Kelaniya in late 1945- 47 era
Regards Nihal.

from Gunaratne <malinga@bellmail.lk>
date Mon, Nov 26, 2007 at 2:08 PM
subject Re: Felicitation for Our teachers,

Dear Sriyan,
I will be sending you a cheque for the felicitation even if I do not come.Your father taught me and I hold him in great veneration.He was one of the greatest teachers that walked the corridors of the school.
A suggestion please- I do honestly feel that STC must move away from the predilection that all Sri lankan's have of inviting political personalities to adorn important occasions.Like the tomb of the unknown soldier,it is the unknown Thomian whom your father helped fashion that brings honour to STC, like General Srl Lal Weerasuriya
S.L. Gunasekera.I will try to come even if it is to hear G.L.Pieris!
Please accept what I say in the spirit that it is intended

yours sincerely
Malinga H Gunaratne.

Thanks for organizing this felicitation for the great men who made us what we are.

Last edited by sriyanjay; 28-08-10 at 12:49 AM.
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Old 15-01-10, 05:33 PM
sriyanjay sriyanjay is offline
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Default I had the greatest admiration & respect for Mr. D.S. Jayasekera

Dear Sriyan,

Thank you very much for your kind mail & my apologies for the delay in replying. What I wrote about our great Guru (your Dad), came straight from my heart. I had the greatest admiration & respect for Mr. D.S. Jayasekera & it was no secret that he was very fond of me too.

You are thrice blessed to have had him as your Dad.

Believe me, Sriyan, he was so very kind to me that not a day passes without my thinking of him.

Yes, I am aware of the Teachers' Felicitation organised by the DSA Era Group. Hats off! to your Group. You are doing a great job. I am very impressed.

"Tyretracks" is also a job very well done.

May the noble "Triple Gem" bless & protect you & yours.

As always,


Last edited by sriyanjay; 16-06-10 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 10-06-10, 06:20 PM
sriyanjay sriyanjay is offline
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Default D.S.Jayasekera-Unassuming in disposition, he walked tall.

D.S.Jayasekera-Unassuming in disposition, he walked tall.

"An Institution within an Institution"' is how best I would describe Mr.D.S.Jayasekera, a colossus who strode the portals of S.Thomas' College, Mt.Lavinia, for almost half a century.The Warden at that time, Canon De Saram was thoroughly impressed with the young Jayasekera, so much so that he placed him on a graduate's scale even before he graduated and encouraged him to further his education. He taught in the vernacular but his attire and outlook were in keeping with the rich Ox-bridge traditions, and that of Eton and Harrow- traditions the college is proud of to this day.

He stood tall amongst his peers, both literally and metaphorically. His immaculate white dress complete with coat and tie was also a reflection of his inner purity. Mr. Jayasekera's serene countenance, soft heart and kind words appealed to one and all. This is not to say he was not firm. when the occasion demanded he could be very firm, but always very fair too. If ever he resorted to punitive measures, it was to make his charges solid "Thoras" and ensure they did not end up as "Moras" (Sharks!)

He was in charge of the "Book Cupboard", and did a fine job having "recruited" a set of students who were neat and methodical in their work, to as sit him. One such who comes to mind is, former parliamentarian Kesaralal Gunasekera. Spotting me among the jostling crowd at the "Book Cupboard" window, Mr.Jayasekera would come up and serve me personally. To this day I do not know why he did it, but this and many other acts of kindness on his part make me believe I must have lived up to his expectations as a student.

Mr. Jayasekera played a pivotal role in organising the prize-day as well. As always he had the knack of picking the right boys to help him and together with other staff members did a wonderful job. Yohesan Casie Chetty, I remember was of immense help to him. If I may digress, Yohesan, a fine product of STC, has "blue/black" blood running in his veins. If he continued in the legal profession he would probably have ended up as an AG or SG, but opted to guide the destinies of the young Thomians at STC Kollupitiya. Indeed a Thomian staunch and true!.

Mr.Jayasekera was well known for his meticulous planning and precision execution. He had tremendous organising capabilities, but always remained an unassuming man. Mr. Jayasekera was greatly instrumental in bringing Sinhala Literature, Music, Drama, Debating, Buddhism etc. to a very high standard in the college.

I vividly remember Mr.Jayasekera always getting me to read aloud, chapters from "Manuthapaya" (the sinhala translation of "Les Miserables") before he explained it to the entire class. Why he chose me, I do not know. Did he feel I should not merely learn the language but master it?

To this day I can picture the expression on his face when I informed him that I had excelled in his subjects at a public examination. He was simply delighted- overjoyed to say the least. He stopped his class in mid-session held me by my hand and dragged me to every parallel class of students who were to sit the examination that year. He told them a story which does not war rent repetition here. I owe my success entirely to him for he made me love the subjects he taught. Some decades later, I continue to study, fairly in depth now,one of the subjects he taught me, namely Buddhism. It is Mr. Jayasekera who ignited the spark of interest in me and the great respect and reverence I have for the "Enlightened One" makes me do so.

Mr.Jayasekera proffered advice freely. It has stood me in good stead to this very day. Even after we moved over to the "college forms" whenever he saw me he would never fail to stop and make kind inquiries. Mr. Jayasekera was not a past pupil of the College but was so dedicated and devoted to the school spending his entire working life at "Mount", that every nerve and sinew of his was saturated with the "Thomian Sprit" and "Thomian Grit".

However, some bright sparks of my vintage are shining stars in the galaxy of professionals. They sure would have made you proud. Brilliant students, deeply religious and cultured, they are publicity shy and shun the limelight. Even at the risk of incurring their displeasure, nay wrath, I take cour rage in naming them. Professor Deveka Fernando (Medicin), Dr. Uthum Hearath (Economic Research), Russell De Mel ( Development Banking) and top notch Engineer, Dulip Gunawardena.

Sir, we loved, admired and respected you. You gave off your best, always going beyond the call of duty. You were a gentleman to your finger tips, mentor par excellence.

To Sir, with love. You will live forever in the hearts of your grateful students.

May you attain the Supreme bliss of "Nibbana"

Gadendran Marcandan.

Daily Mirror, 24 th August 2006
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Old 10-06-10, 06:24 PM
sriyanjay sriyanjay is offline
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Default Appreciation D. S. Jayasekera

Appreciation D. S. Jayasekera

"Not to name the school or the masters of men illustrious for literature is a kind of historical fraud by which honest fame is injuriously diminished" Dr. Samuel Johnson.

If the place held by such masters of men is worthy of mention the training they gave and the fortunes that went with it are doubly worthy of appraisal.

Mr.D. S. Jayasekera after successfully completing the S. S. C. and the London Matriculation Examination at St. Joseph's College, Colombo entered the University of Colombo to follow a Diploma in Education. Some of his lecturers were Profs. Malalasekara, D. E. Hettiarachchi and Julias De Lanerolle.

Mr.Jayasekara started his teaching career at St. Joseph's College. During the war, the school was shifted to Homagama, Gampaha and Waragoda. He was assigned to the Waragoda Branch and the classes were conducted at St. Paul Girls' School in the evenings. At the request of Fr. Peter Pillai he was entrusted to teach at St. Paul's during the mornings.

It was here that he met Sirimathie. Later they were married at Sedawatte and the occasion was graced by the father of the nation D. S. Senanayake.

In the year 1947, Mr.D. S. Jayasekera was offered a teaching appointment at the school by the sea. He took over from Mr.C. H. Davidson, and was the master in charge of class Lower 4 B until 1960 when he had to undergo eye surgery.

During his teaching career which spanned almost half a century he was fully involved in the community life of the college and was the live wire in maintaining the high standards of Sinhala at S. T. C.

For a long period he was the master in charge of the Sinhala Literature and Debating Society and was also in charge of the Sinhala Music and Drama Society. He deviated from the normal practice of electing office bearers and had hand picked, efficient students depending on their past performance to run the societies.

Mr.Jayasekara was also in charge of De Saram House and did a fantastic job by grooming future leaders. Fine and meaningful stage dramas were produced by this House for the Old Boys' Day celebrations. He not only produced actors but also moulded young Thomians to be efficient and trustworthy.

I take the liberty to narrate here a story that was told to me by a confidant. The college office has a system where they send to the class teacher a list of names of those who were in arrears of school fees. One particular boy had not paid the fees even after he was noticed to pay up. Hence he was summoned to the office and was issued a letter to go home and bring the fees.

Mr.Jayasekara who saw this letter promptly gave the boy the fees to be paid to the office. This student who is living in the lap of luxury now says that he was able to continue as a Thomian because of Mr.Jayasekara. Gentleman of the calibre of Mr.Jayasekara are quite rare these days and we Thomians are a very privileged lot to have studied under him and to have associated him closely.

His life was one of simplicity and sincerity. He was a strict disciplinarian with a soft heart. At times did not spare the rod, but he always gave a chance to the culprit to turn a new leaf.

Mr.Jayasekara was responsible for forming the Buddhist society at STC and along with Mr.Arisen Ahubudu made the Buddhist children feel quite at home in an Anglican school.

When one day, I asked him about the great Thomians who passed through his hands , I remember how he mentioned with pride the names of David Peiris, Sangabo Corea and Gamini Fonseka. Out of the younger generation he mentioned the names of Harsha Abeywardena, Priyanka Perera and Shalinda De Soysa as outstanding students. On the academic side he spoke highly of Prof. G. L. Peiris, Dr. Palitha Kohona and Prof. A. P. De Silva.

Mr.Jayasekara's funeral was well attended with many of his students participating. The funeral oration was delivered by Mr.Rupe Wijesinghe who was very close to him.

At the funeral ceremony I met the principal of Mr.Jayasekara's village school who had come to sympathise with Mr.Jayasekera's son Sriyan. He mentioned to me me that his school held a special assembly as a mark of respect for their old student who brought honour and fame to the school and helped the school in many ways.

As old boys of the school we remember Mr.Jayasekera with respect and gratitude for the long and loyal service rendered by him to STC, our Alma Mater.

May be attain "nibbana".

M. S. Ranasingha

The Sunday Leader 1st October 2006.

Last edited by sriyanjay; 10-06-10 at 11:29 PM.
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Old 25-12-10, 08:40 AM
sriyanjay sriyanjay is offline
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Default Mr.D.S.Jayasekera, Head Master- Lower School.

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