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His story...

Lasith Elmo Fernando who was born on 1st September 1984, was the only child in his family. After finishing nursery school, entered Maris Stella College at Negombo in 1990,where he received his primary and secondary education. As a young lad he had an inquiring, intelligent mind and never felt shy to speak out which won the hearts of several teachers.

He showed great respect to his Parents, Teachers, and Elders and also demonstrated a strong willingness to help anyone in need.

During his adolescence Lasith developed the skills in languages, and was competent to deliver a speech in either language at short notice. He was the unanimous choice, as an announcer in many a school program. Adjudged as an all island winner several times, Lasith won awards for recitation and drama in competitive festivals held by several Institutions.

Lasith was a member of the English Drama team which won the ‘best outstation school’ award in a Shakespearian Drama competition. As an active member he had contributed to the improvement of the Science Students’ Union of the College in many ways. Exceptional leadership qualities were demonstrated by him when he led the fellow members in organizing a swimming meet for the Leo Club of Negombo Orient for which an award was given in recognition of his achievement. As a young lad he took keen interest in the activities of the Leo Club and was very popular among its membership.

He was a student of Maris Stella College, in year13 (Maths Section) preparing for the Advance Level Examination, when it became an untimely end on the 3rd day of March 2003. (03. 03. 03)

Losing a precious Son at the tender age of 18 years as a result of a motor car accident was unbelievable. As he was the only child in the family so much loved, protected and cared for, it was a traumatic experience for the Parents. A very friendly person, loved by all his friends, teaches and both parents, faded away overnight, at a moment, least expected by the doctors who treated him. It was the most saddening & heart breaking day for everyone who new Lasith, who would be no more physically in this world. This was a turning point in the lives of the Parents. With nothing to look forward to in the future, engulfed in sadness, were groping in the dark so as to understand the very meaning of existence. It was hard to accept and moreover to fill the vacuum that was created by Lasith sudden departure from this world. Apparently there was no future for both parents to look forward to other than to talk about his good deeds, the kindness and the exceptional qualities that he possessed as a young lad.

His ambition was to help every one whom he knew, specially when someone was left behind or was not noticed by the others around. Lasith would sacrifice his time or spend his pocket money on some one to make him happy if he thought that the person was in need of it. He was never selfish even when it came to parting of knowledge just before competitive examinations. Speaking of his own achievements were rare when compared to the appreciation he gave for his friends on their success. This was a unique quality that He had which was very rare among youth of his age. “Let everyone succeed” was basically the motto he had. This was the inspiration that prompted the Parents to formulate a Foundation to help young people.

The “Lasith Elmo Memorial Foundation” was inaugurated on 1st September 2003, by Lasith’s Parents who were inspired by their Son’s vision. This coincided with the 19th birth anniversary of their loving son. His friends and close associates formed the initial membership of this Foundation. A bank account in the name of the Foundation was opened with the Savings that were put aside for Lasith’s education. Generous donations from well wishes and friends helped in initiating a Scholarship Fund.

An undergraduate along with four other advanced level students were granted with “Lasith Elmo Memorial Scholarship” on the inauguration day.

Within one year, 15 exceptionally talented students received scholarships from the Foundation, who were selected form the less effluent families. Free distribution of school books and accessories to the needy was an annual event at the beginning of the school year. This year it was carried out in the tsunami affected areas. A major fund raiser was organized by the members last year by staging a musical show titled “Golden Memories” featuring artiste of yesteryear which was a great success. A proposal has been formulated to establish a “Library and Information Center” in Negombo, in memory of Lasith. It would fulfill a great need of the area and help a lot of students in their pursuit of knowledge. His vision would come true and a lot of youngsters would definitely benefit by it.

Lasith was able to win the hearts of so many friends, colleagues and teachers with his pleasing mannerism and friendly smile. Though physically not present, his memories linger a lifetime with all of us. We miss our darling son very much until we meet him again in the garden shore of our Lord.

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