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THE MULTI-FACETED EXCELLENCE OF THE CLASS OF ’49: 50TH ANNIVERSARY.

ADDENDUM FOR THE 175TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ESTABLISHMENT OF ROYAL COLLEGE, COLOMBO.

The Class of ’49 continues to add accolades to itself by its performance in service and dedication to Royal College and to the country.

From the period of 1999 when the 50th Anniversary was held till 2010 the following notable events and awards have added to its lustre.

The Institute of Neurology was established in Sri Lanka which was a milestone in medical history of the country. The prime mover in this was our own dr. J. B. Pieris. It was an outstanding achievement. He was also elected the President of the Sri Lanka Medical Association, and for this and other services to the country in the field of medicine he was awarded the high national honour of "Deshamanya", deservedly.

Dr. R. S. B. wickremesinghe another member of our group was appointed Director of the Medical Research Institute in Colombo. His was a job of dedication and hardwork that brought rewards in this appointment. Unfortunately he passed away a few years ago.

Jayantha Gunasekera was honoured by the award of the title "President’s Counsel" for outstanding work in the legal profession. He joins former Justice of the Supreme Court S. W. B. Wadugodapitiyia who has honoured our Class of ’49 by being elevated to the Supreme Court from 1990 till 2002. Punya Edussuriya also added lustre to our Class of ‘49 when he was appointed as a Justice of the Supreme Court from 2002 till 2004.

Channa Amerasinghe was appointed the General Manager of the Ceylon Electricity Board for a period of over 10 years during the 1990’s. He is an engineer by profession

Dr. Gamini Jayajuru was considered a role model for health care professionals in the field of venereal disease. He was the director of the national STD/AIDS control program and former Head of the Department of Venereal Disease in the National Hospital in Colombo. He is said to have taken a pivotal role in the control of AIDS in Sri Lanka and played a major role in the establishment of the College of Venereologists. He,unfortunately passed away in 2010 quite suddenly.

Dr. Brendon Gooneratne was elected President of Australia’s premier Whale & Dolphin Conversation Society - Project Jonah - and has successfully fought along with others to prevent whales and dolphins from being wiped off the face of this earth. He has represented Australia at the International Whaling Commission.

He has also established the Pemberley International Study Centre which hosts research scholars from all over the world in a tea estate in Haputale which he bought for this purpose and has transformed it as Pemberley House. This was in fulfilment of a promise he made to his father 20 years previously – to give something back to the country that gave him free medical education.

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