Class of 74, S. Thomas College, Mt. Lavinia




Aruna Batuwanthudawe
18th May 1958 - 18th Feb 2008

Niral Fernando Thu, Feb 14, 2008
I remember a young boy, no, no more than a child as was I in form 1 B, way back in 1966 rather shy also like I whose company I enjoyed occasionally through the years leading up to when in Lower 6th  and beyond under  the magnified watchful eyes  of old HR Perera it grew into a more regular companionship and with you all my fellow classmates we enjoyed Batu's obvious intellect and wry sense of humour evident even recently when I happened to mention the name of ‘Barr' and  ‘alcohol' in the same sentence! In these years affected possibly by the music of Queen which I seem to recall re enjoyed immensely or perhaps not Batu began wearing a chain with what I gather was some sort of tooth hanging at the end of it – somehow complementing the length of his hair at this time.  That's how some how I remember old Batu even though his  views and attire became more orthodox in later years! It is an enduring image which will remain with me.

Sereno Barr-Kumar Thu, Feb 14, 2008
Batu, was part of my other crowd I hung out with. (Anil/PN/CH/Batu/Heshan/Sanath Jayamanne/Wiraj DeMel etc). In Coll forms Batu and I used to often go to the Rock Concerts at Kokos (I think Darups family owned the place). Richard Simon was another one, many a joint we did together. I would buy it from a watte right in front of Sepala's house in Havelock Road. (I met GHT De Silva who left in Form 5 there)

Anil and crowd were the Eras classes and thats how I knew Shiranthinie and her brother. Would add I would borrow Batu's record collection of rock stuff. Who was it who was thrown into the pond at Batus house on one of his Birthday parties.

Remember, batu being the first to read Agatha Christies in Lower 4th. I recall not being able to figure out what was about the Mysteries.  My level was i think Hardy boys at that time.

PN, I do remember the tooth. Also you guys (I think Heshan/wiraj/CH), pushing Batu to pay for the Bill at Saraswathie while purporting to support him against Eshantha (?)
Hiran Mendis Thu, Feb 14, 2008
Many memories come flashing back of the good old times from Form 1 to the College Forms, the escapades at Bandara's and Errol Fernando's classes and Batu's “all black” kit. Batu was a close friend right through out.
Anil Dias Sat, Feb 16, 2008
I think it was Batu who was pushed into the pond much to the dismay of his parents. Possibly you are right about Saraswathie lodge – but I cannot remember it though. I do remember the issue between Eshantha and Batu and his side arm for defence – a pen knife. Incidentally when we met at a Class of 74 get together some years ago he had worn a Swiss army knife on his belt.

Thinking of Batu these days certainly reminded me of you (Chandu). In fact, the last time I visited Batu in Colombo (when Lakmal was also there), I reminded him of how he came to your house to record rock albums on to cassettes ( I joined in to "borrow" your books). Technology at the time, required one to actually play the album on the turntable, to record on to the cassette. How the sleepy environs of Uyana Road (not to mention the shocked members of your household) were rocked to the strains of Queen and Deep Purple etc ! I think Lakmal and I actually got Batu to smile, reminiscing about this and other college memories ("Pann Karaya" helped quite a bit !).
I have had this thought in the back of mind for some time, that if Batu recovers sufficiently, some of us who can, should take him to college, for a stroll down memory lane.

If I recall correctly, the tooth was actually a tiger's claw and yes, Eshantha was a rival , I can't remember whether it was for the affections of Shiranthinie or one "Kokilani". In the case of Kokilani, I remember Batu gallantly buying her bus ticket on one occasion, only to be reciprocated by a cold stare from the lady ! You can't fault Batu for any lack of balls, amplified right now as he battles his harrowing condition with tremendous dignity .

I was one of the group in the bus stand (as was, I think, Batu) ! It was a term ending dinner at Semiramis. Settling the bill around the table itself was bad enough, as a mound of crumpled (lower denomination) Rupee bills were extracted from collective pockets onto the table -generally lowering the tone of the place . However, that was not as bad as Tea boutiques opposite the Majestic. Here I recall the waiter totted up the bill in relation to bananas by counting the skins on the table and we used to hide the skins under the table ( ! ) - here I blame CH/Wiraj/RT ( I think), for leading my innocent footsteps down the path of crime.

Dushyantha Peter Wed, Apr 9, 2008
Though I was with Batu from Form 1, we did not know each other very well because I was in the boarding and he was a day scholar. Scholar is the right term because he was bright from those days.

I very much appreciated the help I recieved from Batu at our gatherings to collect funds, issue tickets etc as the front / entrance table can be a bit lonely while others are having a good time.

After Batu fell ill, I was awed by the unselfish manner in which he went about life - with least bother to his family or friends though he must have been having such a painful and difficult time. He even wanted a fund set up for others in distress if there were any left over after his time with us. He took time to see me when I visited him at home after the surgery though there was nothing special that I could offer. I also appreciated the fact that though he held strong views on many things, he did not try to impose them upon others.

Such a wonderful man. Pity he is no longer with us. Many he rest in peace now that his wordly problems are over.



If you are heading back to Sri Lanka and want to meet up with the class of 74 contact either
Dushyantha Peter
Shantha Weerakoon

If you need info or add info to these pages contact barr

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