Eighteen years ago on 19th of September, Kandy lost one of its top journalists, who was a versatile sportsman, sports promoter and above all a gentleman, in M.E. Marikar.
Many are the instances in his illustrious career and public life where he displayed his integrity and honesty which was a shining example of clean life. Late M E Marikar was a fine cricketer, footballer, athlete, boxer, cadet and he also played hockey. At cricket he was a fine medium pace bowler and a hard hitting middle order batsman.
ME or Mariks to his friends, he was a household name in sports. He worked for the Times Group and later for the Wijaya Newspapers for thirty-five long years from 1962 to 1997. Mariks used his pen to tell the country what was happening in Kandy in his own inimitable style of writing. He was an outstanding gentleman and highly respected journalist, who kept his levels.
He was an old boy of St Sylvester’s College, was gifted and was able to write on any topic from sports to news. He took over after late T B Marambe, the well known cricketer and coach of Trinity College, wanted a break from writing. It was he who introduced Mariks to the Times of Ceylon.
He was appointed to Times Group of Newspapers. His efficiency helped him go places. Mariks succeeded that veteran Cyril de Silva Ariyaratne and was absorbed to the permanent staff of the Times of Ceylon. His journalism was based on balanced views. Mariks with his Yul-Brynner-like look was a familiar figure in Kandy and in most parts of the country. Mariks, who worked for years for the Times and Daily Mirror, knew about sports and news and it was he who wrote an exclusive on the notorious “Maru Sira”.
When the Daily Mirror and Times papers closed, he joined Wijey Newspapers. His journalist line is maintained by his nephew Hafiz Marikar who was a well known City Father. He too like his uncle is very well known in the sporting, political and social fields. He was amiable sporty and generous individual. Enver had a commanding personality, tall and well built. His majestic and dominant physical stature drew a smile or a good morning from the general public as he went about his work. He hailed from a well known and respected family among the population of Kandy.
During his schooldays, he was under the principal ship of that famous educationist late D J N Seneviratne. At school he was a top-class sportsman, was a fine boxer in Stubbs Shield meets, a public school athlete, also played football and hockey and led both teams. After leaving school he continued his sports, played football and hockey for Young Stars Sports Club, also football for Green Field Sports Club, Kandy YMMA. He also played for Saunders S.C Colombo. While in Kandy he played for Kandy District and Up-Country.
He started his career with the Marketing Department, played football and cricket and also for the Government Services team. He led the Government Service Football team in 1956, later served the Army 2 SR and played and led their football and cricket teams before taking to journalism.
Mariks also played cricket, for Moors SC in the premier league and became the first Sylverstian to play Premier League cricket. When he was schooling there was no cricket. He took up cricket later. He also played for Kandy Lake Club, Kandy United, Kandy District, Up-Country, Times of Ceylon, Government Services, and Sri Lanka Press. He was a well known figure. Once on his way for the Inaugural Test match at the Oval, President J R Jayewardene spotting Mariks gave him a lift in his official limousine. Again when he was on his way for a football final, President R Premadasa saw him and offered a lift to the Sugathadasa Stadium.
Mariks had a warm and generous heart and went out of his way to help a friend or journalist from any newspapers. His contribution for the citizens of Kandy in the field of sports and in general will be long remembered.
He lived a simple life and moved with all and had connections with many leading figures of almost all political parties and in the business world. Kandy lost a sincere friend, a helpful colleague, and a man of rare qualities and principles.
We share the sorrow with his widow Hidaya (USA), sons Hilmy (Switzerland), Foumy (Luxembourg) and daughter Soraya (USA).