Rodney Vandergert - a gentleman who was held in high regard

We were fortunate to come to know Rodney Vandergert 14 years ago, when we took up residence in Palm Grove in Ratmalana. In a short time our two families developed a close and abiding friendship, which increased with the passage of time.

Rodney was a gentleman who was held in high regard in the community. He was a public servant who was transparently honest and dedicated to duty. His conduct and his actions were guided by his conscience and would not bow to pressure.

Rodney held several prestigious offices during his busy life. These included the Sri Lanka Ambassador in Russia, China and Canada, the Foreign Secretary and later the Chairman of the Public Services Commission. We are reliably informed that he declined National Honours.

In spite of his several accomplishments he remained an unassuming, well mannered and soft spoken person. Where-ever he worked he was popular with his colleagues and staff. He was extra kind and helpful to the minor employees. He was a devout Christian.

To us he was a very close and dear friend and a very helpful neighbour. We met him very often, We enjoyed chatting with him especially when he came for his frequent, early morning "blood pressure check". We discussed various topics such as politics, religion and culture. Rodney was well informed and widely read and we benefited from our conversations with him. He was one of those who vetted every article we published in the past decade. It is difficult for us to accept that Rodney is no longer there to talk to and help us.

Rodney was a loving and caring husband to Cheryl, his wife for 31 years. He transparently adored his only child, his daughter Niloufer. He was a family man and Cheryl and Niloufer provided several years of joy and happiness.

Dennis & Chrissie Aloysius

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