Monty dies at age of 91

monti.jpg (5970 bytes)Mr. Montague (Monty) Jayawickreme, a former Cabinet minister and one of the last surviving members of the first parliament, died last Friday at the age of 91 years.

At the 1947 election to the first parliament, Mr. Jayawickreme came forward as one of the nominees of the UNP for the Weligama seat, which he won comfortably. In 1948, he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour and Social Services by Mr. D. S. Senanayake, and in 1949 was transferred to the Ministry of Defence and External Affairs as Parliament Secretary.

Born on January 15, 1911, Mr. Jayawickreme received his education at Richmond College, Galle, from where he entered the School of Agriculture, Peradeniya. In 1934, he was commissioned in the Ceylon Light Infantry (CLI). He was mobilised during the second World War in 1939 and rose to the rank of Major before he went on the Reserve in 1943.

At the age of 23 years, he entered local government politics and was returned to the Weligama Urban Council and later elected Chairman of that council.

Mr. Jayawickreme was re-elected for Weligama in the 1952 general election for the second parliament and was made Parliament Secretary to the Minister of Transport and Works in the Dudley Senanayake government. With the resignation of Mr. Dudley Senanayake, his successor, Sir John Kotelawala, appointed Mr. Jayawickreme as Minister of Transport and Works in 1954. But at the 1956 general election, he like most other UNP ministers was defeated at the polls.

He returned to Weligama in 1977 and was elected and served in the government of President J. R. Jayewardene as Minister of Public Administration and Plantation Industries. After he retired from active politics, he was appointed Governor, North Western Province by President Premadasa in February, 1989.