In a poignant moment of remembrance, we gather to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Herbert Christopher Dharmasiri, a distinguished alumnus of St. Anne's College. With heavy hearts, we bid farewell to a remarkable individual who left an indelible mark on our beloved College and the lives of those he touched. Dr. Dharmasiri, whose passing occurred on May 9th, will forever be cherished as an exceptional member of the Annite family.

Throughout his journey, Dr. Dharmasiri harbored a profound love and gratitude for our esteemed institution, along with a deep appreciation for the Reverend Brothers and dedicated teachers who shaped his formative years. St. Anne's College held a special place in his heart, and he spoke of it with great fondness and pride. His eyes would light up with joy and nostalgia as he regaled stories from his time spent within the hallowed halls.

During his schooling, Dr. Dharmasiri resided at the College hostel, immersing himself fully in the vibrant community of Annites. It was during these years that he developed lifelong friendships and forged bonds that would withstand the test of time. Worth mentioning is the fact that his cousin, who happened to be the cricket captain, played a significant role in leading our College to numerous victories on the field.

Dr. Dharmasiri's journey was one of inspiration, as he achieved the significant milestone of being the first student from St. Anne's College to be selected for a Medical College. This remarkable accomplishment paved the way for future generations, exemplifying the potential and excellence inherent in the Annite spirit. His dedication to the medical field was mirrored within his family, with several relatives following his footsteps to become accomplished doctors.

While Dr. Dharmasiri himself holds the distinction of being the first student from St. Anne's College to qualify for the Medical Faculty, his cousin, Robert Wickramage, achieved a similar honor as the first to qualify for the Engineering Faculty. Together, their names found a place of honor on a plaque which was once displayed at the College, symbolizing their exceptional achievements in their respective fields.

After graduating from the Colombo Medical Faculty in 1958, Dr. Dharmasiri embarked on a distinguished career, serving communities across Sri Lanka. As his journey progressed, he assumed the vital role of the District Medical Officer in Galle, where he diligently contributed to the healthcare needs of the local population. In 1975, he ventured to the United Kingdom, where he continued his medical practice until his retirement in 1996. Dr. Dharmasiri's expertise and compassion touched countless lives, having left an indelible impact on those he cared for.

Rooted in a devoutly religious background, Dr. Dharmasiri drew strength from his faith. One of his brothers devoted his life to priesthood, while his cousin Andrew Oliver Kumarage ascended to the esteemed position of Bishop of Kurunegala. Driven by his religious convictions, he found solace and guidance in his spiritual journey.

In his final years, Dr. Dharmasiri's love for St. Anne's College only grew stronger. Longing to revisit his cherished alma mater, he made a heartfelt visit earlier this year. During the visit, Dr. Dharmasiri made a point to dress in attire that perfectly matched the colors of our beloved institution. This gesture further emphasized his deep connection with the College. The photographs accompanying this report capture the warmth and joy that emanated from Dr. Dharmasiri's face as he met with the current Principal, Reverend Father Chandana Hapuarachchi, and former Principal Reverend Brother Ignatius Warnakula. These snapshots embody three generations of Annites, bridging the past and present of our storied College.
During this memorable encounter, Brother Ignatius Warnakula reminisced about the College incidents from their shared past, recalling the teachers who had imparted knowledge and wisdom during Dr. Dharmasiri's boarding days. The second photo captures the genuine and endearing smile on Dr. Dharmasiri's face as he receives the commemorative umbrella, specially crafted to mark the College’s 150-year celebration, from Father Chandana Hapuarachchi as a token of appreciation. In this poignant moment, it becomes evident from his facial expressions that his love for St. Anne's College endured throughout his life.

Only two months ago, on March 9th, Dr. Christopher celebrated his 92nd birthday with great joy. It was a time filled with warmth and appreciation, as admiration flowed towards him from every direction. Little did anyone know that this significant milestone would be a bittersweet moment, marking the final chapter of his extraordinary life precisely two months later, on May 9th.

Today, while Dr. Christopher Dharmasiri was laid to rest, we reflect on the exceptional person he was—an inspiration to all Annites. His unwavering dedication, remarkable achievements, and profound love for our College leave an indelible imprint on our collective memory. Dr. Dharmasiri's life serves as a testament to the values and virtues instilled in every Annite.

Let us join together in a prayer for the eternal repose of Dr. Christopher Dharmasiri's soul. May he find solace in the loving embrace of our Heavenly Father, and may his spirit find everlasting peace. We take solace in the knowledge that his faith guided him throughout his journey, providing strength, compassion, and unwavering devotion. As Dr. Christopher Dharmasiri found his final resting place, we honor his memory and bid our final farewell to an extraordinary Annite.

We, the St. Anne's College community, will forever hold Dr. Dharmasiri in our hearts and memories. His legacy will continue to inspire generations of Annites, as we strive to embody the values of excellence, compassion, and dedication that he exemplified.


Dear Departed: Dr. Christopher Dharmasiri