Message from President
The Chief Guest – Professor Michael Keighley, Guests of Honour – Professors Arjuna Aluwihare and Channa Ratnatunge, Professor Mandika Wijeyaratne and the council of 2014, members of my council, friends and relatives.
The legacy I will inherit for this year is steeped in history and tradition and from its humble beginnings in 1971, where Dr.PR Anthonis was our founder President, this College has grown in stature to become a much respected organization in Sri Lanka. Sadly, giants of the likes of PR Anthonis and Noel Bartholomeusz have left us but other giants continue to live on and contribute to this society, and society at large, as it seems to me, until they will breath their last on this earth. Such, ladies and gentleman has been the dedication of these greats, two of who you witness up on stage – both of whom were my teachers at the Peradeniya Medical School.
And many others have passed before us, people who were game changers during their time – the likes of Dr. Tony Gabriel and Dr. Lakdasa Dissanayake who popularized oncological surgery, Professor Dayasiri Fernando, who will be remembered for his efforts in the progress of intestinal surgery in this country. Then there are Drs. Yoheswaran, Zoysa and Jayaratne, workhorse health service surgeons, Professor Sheriffdeen – known for his pioneering work in renal transplantation and vascular surgery in Sri Lanka, and the list is endless. To all those surgeons, too many to mention, who, above all, have worked tirelessly and trained us all to world class standards, Sirs, this talk is dedicated to you.
This year we chose to welcome our guests differently from previous years; an orchid was pinned to each of our distinguished male visitors, to remind us of the benevolence of Dr Noel Bartholomeusz and his wife Nora. At a point in history, this was their home, and I am told the outside, where now concrete and cement meets your eye in whichever direction you choose to look in, was once a plethora of colourful orchids in bloom.
Also, I thank the members of the College of Surgeons for placing your trust in me as your 33rd President – a job I will not take lightly, and in return, I pledge to you a year filled with commitment to its fullest. Speaking of trust, ladies and gentleman, we must not forget the reason we are all here this evening, and that is to contribute in whichever way we could, to engage in academic dialogue for the rest of this year and beyond, and ultimately ensure the well being of our patients – this to us surgeons is the reason we have been placed on this earth – and I hasten to apologize to our dear spouses for our failure in communicating this to you when we married you!
To the citizens of this world I say “we cannot achieve anything great without trust” and I beg you, my colleagues, to picture the patient who presents at your consultation chamber – you a total stranger, and the patient, all willing to be examined from head to toe.