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To one of his younger cousins of the Mendis clan
Simply Derrick Aiya, omitting volumes that made the man,
He lived and breathed a celebration in the race he ran
With a poker face, twinkle in his eye no one knew his game plan
Until…..he drew out from those aroundthe giggles, the chuckles, laughter without rein
And then came the Derrick Mendis brand of laughter as infectious as a raging flu
Never failed to release tensions, flaring stresses one may be going through

Yes, out of his lasting legacies if I were to pick butone
Was to make the world a happier place for the young, the old, the sick, the wounded, powerless, voiceless, lord or serf… bar none

Admirable was his love of Mother Lanka, his native land
Pride oozing out of every pore, he spoke of her beauty and magnificence so grand
Many a watering hole off the beaten track he would describe firsthand
Where he sat at the waters’ edge with his beloved ukulele, his travelling band
Numerous friends he has made island-wide, lasting ones not mere lines drawn in the sand
With humility and love he would embrace the lifestyle of a farmer, fisherman, always willing to give a helping hand

Academic excellence must have been in his veins, for surely who imagined he had time for books
A jubilant Derrick appears after the results are out, passed with flying colours he’s off the hook
Derrick aiya in all your accomplishments you stood tall
What an inspiration to us all!

Derrick aiya, you left us when you had your Damascene moment rather early in life
Alas! We sighed we lost him, now preparing for priesthood, coming out all pious and priest-like
How wrong we were: the family, friends, country and world at large gained a uniquely qualified, compassionate, God loving human being elevated in stature, a Derrick renewed
Larger than life, you were still the life of the party your musical talent, sense of humour guaranteeing everyone was on board and ‘in the mood’

Charmaine Akka (Rev. Sister Charmaine), it’s an underestimation to say
He was your pride and joy as was to the rest of the family at home and away
A devoted sister you were, close to him always as in the final days
With Derrick’s cousin/buddy, fondly referred to by him as Eggie (Rev. Father Egerton Perera S.J)
Till the last rays of sunshine went strangely dim, you were with him; to you both we say, THANK YOU.
Derrick aiya, you will live in our hearts forever

Mathew 25:23 (KJV) His Lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

Loise de Silva, P. Eng
Ottawa, Canada