Death of Dhanasiri Weerasinghe – Funeral oration by Dr. Ranjith Hettiarachi
Posted on July 20th, 2020

Dr. Ranjith Hettiarachi delivered the Funeral Oration

WEERASINGHE. — Dhanasiri H.A.

Son of Hector and Vivien Weerasinghe.

Passed away peacefully on the 7th of July 2020 at home in Melbourne surrounded by family.

He was best known in Sri Lanka for his cricketing prowess as an all-rounder. He attended Ananda College, Colombo, captaining the Ananda cricket team in 1955 and eventually being selected for the Ceylon Cricket Team. He captained the All Ceylon Cricket team in 1969. At the age of 20, he joined the Colombo police force and attained the rank of Inspector. During this time he married his teenage sweetheart, Chatra Tennakoon in 1965, followed in quick succession by the birth of their 3 daughters. Migrating to Australia in 1974 with his family, he formed strong and lifelong friendships, contributing in roles such as the President of the Sri Lanka Club for many years.

His funeral was held on Saturday 11th July, 2020 in Melbourne.

Dr. Ranjith Hettiarachi delivered the Funeral Oration

DHANASIRI WEERASINGHE

A FUNERAL ORATION

THANK YOU SEPI AND THE FAMILY FOR INVITING ME TO DELIVER THIS TRIBUTE TO Dane at his funeral. SEPI ADVISED ME OF A FIVE MINUTE ORATION, BUT I MUST SAY THAT I WOULD NEED 5 MONTHS TO DELIVER A PROPER TRIBUTE TO DANE.

IT WAS THE YEAR 1951. TWO HANDSOME, CHARISMATIC YOUNGSTERS DANASIRI AND HEMASIRI WEERASINGHE HAD WALKED INTO ANANDA COLLEGE FROM ST. JOHN’S cOLLEGE, PANADURA. THEY WERE WITH TIME, SHINING, OUTSTANDING PERSONALITIES AT ANANDA, PARTICULARLY IN THE SPORTING ARENA.

DANE, HAVING PLAYED UNDER-SIXTEEN CRICKET, IMMEDIATELY FIGURED IN THE FIRST ELEVEN CRICKET ARENA AS A STAR ALL ROUNDER, ULTIMATELY CAPTAINING ANANDA IN 1955 AND SCORING 4 CENTURIES IN THE SEASON. ONLY TWO YEARS BEFORE, I WATCHED HIS MATCH BAG OF 9 WICKETS FOR 93 RUNS.

HE WAS SEEN as a member of A FEARSOME FOURSOME- CHAMPION CRICKETER DANE, CHAMPION BOXER CP( KAPILA’S FATHER), STAR BOWLER NIMAL TAMMITA AND CHARISMATIC FLAMBOYANT PERSONALITY ASOKA WARUSAVITANA. REVERED MONK VENERABLE KOTAGAMA VACISSARA DELIVERED A THUNDERING SLAP TO ONE OF THEM ON ACCOUNT OF THEIR MISCHIEF TO CORRECT THEM.

HAVING ENTERED THE THEN CEYLON POLICE force, HE DUTIFULLY EXCELLED AS A POLICE INSPECTOR, DURING WHICH TIME HE MARRIED DR CHATRA- HIS CHILDHOOD LOVE AND PRODUCED THREE DAUGHTERS- SEPI, TAMARA AND SURAMYA. IN THE SIXTIES HE PLAYED FOR BLOOMFIELD CRICKET CLUB, CAPTAINED SRI LANKA AND COACHED ANANDA CRICKET. HE WAS A MEMBER OF THE OUTSTANDING SRI LANKAN CRICKET TEAM, THAT COMPRISED OF h.i.k FERNANDO, CHANDRA SHAFFTER, MICHAEL TISSERA, BUDDY REID AND SONNY YATAWARA.

HE MIGRATED TO AUSTRALIA IN 1975 AND HERE IN MELBOURNE HIS OUTSTANDING PERSONALITY WAS REFLECTED IN ALL SPHERES OF PUBLIC LIFE. ANOTHER GIANT PERSONALITY FROM THE YESTERYEARS HIS FATHER DON HECTOR PASSED AWAY IN MELBOURNE IN THE LATE 70’S. IN THE 1980’S HE SERVED ON THE committee OF THE THEN SRI LANKA ASSOCIATION OF VICTORIA AND LATER AS ITS PRESIDENT.

IN 1988, DANE AND CHATRA BOUGHT AND DEVELOPED AN ATTRACTIVE FARM HOUSE IN TOORA GIPPSLAND (HAKGALA) WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF NIHAL & SRIMA DE ZOYSA, WHERE PUSHPA & i, VAJIRA & SONIA FERNANDO SPENT MOST ENJOYABLE AND MEMORABLE HOLIDAYS SEVERAL WEEK-ENDS A YEAR FOR WELL OVER 10 YEARS, AND SO DID MANY OTHER MELBOURNE FRIENDS/RESIDENTS ENJOYING THE LARGE HEARTEDNESS OF DANE & CHATRA.

AT A MEMORABLE EVENT IN THE YEAR 1994, I STOOD AS A YOUNGER BROTHER TO DANE & CHATRA, AND AS AN UNCLE TO SEPI IN CONDUCTING HER WEDDING CEREMONY.

CHATRA AFTER A LONG PERIOD OF ILLNESS PASSED AWAY IN 2004. IT WAS A TRAGIC BLOW TO DANE AND THE FAMILY, BUT THEY NEVERTHELESS STOICALLY ACCEPTED HER SAD DEPARTURE AS PART OF THE REALITY OF LIFE AND INDEFEASIBLE IMPERMANENCE. 

i HAVE TRIED TO GIVE YOU HERE A BRIEF INSIGHT INTO THE LIFE AND TIMES OF DANE OVER A 70 YEAR PERIOD.

dANE, SINCE HIS TEENS, HAD SHONE IN MANY SPHERES OF LIFE THAT INCLUDED HIS PERIOD AS AN EXCITING BATSMAN AND CRICKETER IN SCHOOL, AND THEN PLAYING FOR SRI LANKA, AND LAST NOT THE LEAST HIS ROLE AS A SRI LANKAN COMMUNITY LEADER IN MELBOURNE. WITHOUT A SHADOW OF A DOUBT HE DISCHARGED A CHALLENGING ROLE SPREAD OVER SEVERAL DECADES.

AS A HIGHLY SOCIABLE PERSON, DANE COULD BE CONSIDERED AS HAVING HAD ONE OF THE LARGEST SOCIAL CIRCLES OF FRIENDS AND ASSOCIATES IN MELBOURNE.

HE WAS HONOURABLE, A MAN OF INTEGRITY, MAGNANIMOUS AND DOWN TO EARTH PERSON WHO HAS ALWAYS REMAINED firm and UNSHAKEN BY THE PASSING CLOUDS OF THE DAY WITH A CAPACITY TO WEATHER THE STORM IN WHATEVER WAY IT CONFRONTed HIM. THIS IS THE CONSIDERED VIEW OF ALL THOSE WHO HAD KNOWN HIM CLOSELY.

AS A CRICKETER, HE WAS A STYLISH, ELEGANT AND RELIABLY CONSISTENT PLAYER AT ALL LEVELS OF THE GAME.

AS A FATHER,   HE WAS MUCH LOVED AND ADORED BY HIS DAUGHTERS AND GRANDCHILDREN.

HIS STATE OF MIND, IN SPITE OF THE UNRELENTING PAINFUL AILMENTS WAS IMPECCABLE AT ALL TIMES, MEMORY AND MINDFULNESS FLAWLESS AND PERFECT.

WE REMEMBER HIM AS AN ILLUSTRIOUS AND HIGHLY VALUED SRI LANKAN BORN PERSONALITY WITH OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTS IN CRICKET, AN UNTARNISHED REPUTATION IN PUBLIC LIFE AND AS A DISTINGUISHED AND RESPECTED MEMBER OF THE SRI LANKAN COMMUNITY.

DANE, WAS A DEVOUT BUDDHIST, WHO SOUGHT REFUGE IN THE BUDDHA, DHAMMA AND THE SANGHA. HE WALKED TO THE BATTING CREASE, RECITING /CHANTING THE STANZA ‘ITI  PI  SO  BHAGAVA’ (THE NINE ATTRIBUTES) OF THE BUDDHA.

MAY HIS SANSARIC JOURNEY BE SHORT AT THE END OF WHICH HE WILL ACHIEVE THE BLISS OF NIRVANA LIBERATING HIM FROM THE Mortal COIL of PAIN and SUFFERiNG. 

THANK YOU, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.

Dr. RANJITH HETTIARACHI

Melbourne

July 11, 2020

One Response to “Death of Dhanasiri Weerasinghe – Funeral oration by Dr. Ranjith Hettiarachi”

  1. dhane Says:

    As an old Anandian when I was in middle school I did not missed any cricket match you played. Specially Ananda Nalanda Big match played at Over grounds. When I migrated to Melbourne in 1996 with my family until I settle down we were living with another Sri Lankan reputed personality. I met you again at my relation’s home for the first time after many years. You were the same personality & handsome Dane when I saw you in 1996.
    I too share with Dr Ranjith you may achieve the bless of Nirvana liberating from mortal sins & suffering. Good Bye Dane

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