Muthu Banda Mathmaluwa, a person who was held in high esteem as an English teacher of a rare caliber passed away recently after a brief illness. He was ninety-two years old at the time of demise. He hailed from a respectable Kandyan family. His native place is Kambarawa, a rural village off Matale situated in the Laggala electorate.
He was educated at Vijaya College, Matale during the stewardship of late V. T. Nanayakkara, as Principal, who gave up teaching to become a Member of Parliament so that he could serve the people of Matale better.
Mathmaluwa was appointed as an assistant teacher to Buttala Sinhalese School in 1941. Having served as an assistant teacher in a number of schools in various districts, he entered the Maharagama Training College in 1953. After completing his training at Maharagama he served as assistant teacher at Matale Akuramboda Central College, Pujapitiya Maha Vidyalaya and Matale Science College. Thereafter he served as Principal of Tri/Ganthalawa Maha Vidyalaya, Mt/Kongahawela Maha Vidyalaya, Millawana Maha Vidyalaya and Matale Christ Church Maha Vidyalaya until retirement.
He authored and published three books entitled “Selected Essays” in 2004, “Buddha and Emperor Aurelius and Other Essays” in 2007 and “Musings of old age on books and events’ in 2012.
Mathmaluwa has translated Eithihasika Matale which was published in 1996, Heritage of Knuckles published in 1998 (translation of Satadandu Kanduwetiya) and Happiness and Beauty by Premananda Dissanayake which was published in 2010 (Translation of Sathutat Suhadatuvaya) He was a voracious reader. In keeping with Frncis Bacon’s sayings “Reading maketh a full man” he inculcated the habit of reading from his younger days. He made it a point to purchase at least two new books each month. This is how he came to possess a vast collection of books on various topics including novels by famous authors such as Bernard Shaw, Alexander Dumas, Emilzola, D. F. Karaka, Daphne Dumarier, Pearl S. Buck, Charles Dickens, Raphael Sabatini, Alberto Moravia, Victor Hugo, D. H. Lawrence, Somerset Maugham and a galaxy of other celebrated authors. The large collection of books he possessed at the time of his demise is sufficient for a mini library. The books are well preserved by stacking them in specially made book racks and almirahs.
Another pastime of his was to contribute articles on various themes to the newspapers which kept him fully occupied.
In spite of his busy schedule he did everything that was possible to look after his ailing wife who is almost bedridden. She needed the tender loving care of her husband and this was extended to her in full measure to keep her happy and contended.
Mathmaluwa led an exemplary life with adorable qualities. He was a gentleman with sterling qualities. He leaves behind his beloved wife and dearly loved sons Laxman, Wansa and only daughter Sepali.
Members of my family join me to convey our deepest sympathy on the irreparable loss to Mrs. Mathmaluwa and children.
May he attain the bliss of Nibbana on completion of sojourn in Sansara.