Celebrating Anne the journalist and writer
Saturday, February 9 saw friends and family of the late Anne Abayasekara, gather to celebrate her life as a journalist and writer. The event organised by her seven children, held at Ferguson Hall, Cinnamon Gardens Baptist Church, focused on Anne’s long and distinguished writing career from 1947-2014. It included reflections on the recently published book ‘Telling it like it is: Selected Writings Volume 1 Anne Abayasekara’.
Rohan Abayasekara welcoming the guests and Dr. Nimal Sanderatne delivering his tribute to Anne
Anne’s son Rohan welcomed the guests and among friends and family members who lit the traditional oil lamp was Anne’s only great-grandson in Sri Lanka; seven- year-old Yannish. Another son Dilip
Family and friends: The audience at the launch
delivered an opening prayer after which his sibling Ranjan spoke at length on ‘Telling It Like It Is – Anne the Writer’. He traced her extraordinary writing career beginning with his earliest recollections of her as a writer, and up to the evolution of the book. Daughter Sarla read extracts from the book, followed by a tribute to Anne, both as person and writer, by Dr. Nimal Sanderatne, distinguished economist and a literary figure in his own right. His speech titled ‘Anne – A Personal Reflection’, drew on long years of having known Anne and her husband Earle, including early beginnings in the same village community as that of Anne, about a decade apart. He emphasized the importance of her writings to what the country aspires to today, in terms of reconciliation and good governance. Ranmali, the eldest of the seven then spoke of ‘Anne, the Person’ both from the perspective of a daughter and as a global citizen.
Anusha the youngest offered a prayer of thanksgiving after which she and Dilip led the participants in singing ‘How Great Thou Art’. After a Vote of Thanks delivered by son Ranil, the rest of the evening was taken up with refreshments, book sales and plenty of fellowship among the 170 plus guests.