Journalistic doyen celebrates 85th birthday
Mr. W. V. Abeygoonewardene, one of Sri Lankas most senior journalists, celebrates his 85th birthday on June 11.
Popularly known as Wavy (because of his initials) he has worked both at Lake House and the now defunct Independent Newspapers where he edited the flagship Rividina Sunday paper.
Abeygoonewardena entered full time journalism as a sub-editor of the old Peramuna newspaper. Prior to that he had been a prolific contributor to the national press having his verses and short stories published in the Silumina during his teen years.
During a visit to the US under the State Departments International Visitor Program in the middle sixties, he held an American family whose guest he was enthralled with an anecdote of how he, as a small boy, had scrambled for five cents to buy a copy of the Silumina which had published some of his verses.
The tall, erect Abeygoonawardene, immaculate in his white national dress, was for many years a familiar sight at the Gampaha railway station from where he used to take train to Colombo every day. Asked once why he didnt get himself a car his children have done well in life he laughingly said: "If I dont walk and use public transport, I wont be in this shape at my age."
Abeygoonewardenas last appointment was as Secretary of the Mahawansa Compilation Board where he succeeded Prof. Nandadeva Wijesekera as the editor-in-chief.
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