I was overcome with grief when the passing away of my dear friend Dion was conveyed to me by phone on the morning of 18 December 2020.
Death is inevitable. It comes to all, but when it comes to one who is so close in a relationship, built on values that have mattered, parting is indeed extremely sad. Dion was a gentleman and a friend par excellence.
As a man condemned today to lose his dear friend, tomorrow himself to pass through the gate of darkness, I propose to pen a few words about a companion in a long march, snatched away recently as all the participants in the march are destined one day to be.
Dion was educated at St. Thomas College, Mount Lavinia. He was actively involved in all the college activities and a member of the Old Boys Association, in which body he held many positions in Committees. He was a live wire of ‘The Thomian Freshmen of 59 Group’.
After leaving College, Dion joined Pure Beverages Company Ltd. as an Executive Trainee. Thereafter joined Carsons Cumberbatch PLC as a Management Executive and became a Director in 1987 when I was on the Board of Directors. Later he became the Managing Director of CML MTD Construction Ltd.
Dion was the former Captain and President of the Royal Colombo Golf Club and was also elected President of the Sri Lanka Golf Union in May 2004. He was a very keen golfer and won many trophies.
Dion was gentle, upright, kind, loved and revered by all who knew him well. Honesty and integrity were the hallmarks of his life. His multifaceted personality was characterised by truly rare qualities by which Dion made tremendous contributions in every human activity he undertook. He was a devout Buddhist and also regularly visited the Kataragama Temple.
Dion was a fine conversationalist with a flair for public relations. He was a great asset to his company, to his friends and to his family. Notwithstanding his busy schedule and social activities, he was also a workaholic.
He was a loving husband to his wife Rouza and devoted father to his two children Dmitri and Nadira. Rouza was a great strength to him providing strong support in his challenging duties. She looked after him with admirable care and affection right to the end.
Throughout his life he gave generously to the underprivileged. He was honest and forthright in his speech, whist at the same time always demonstrating love and compassion towards the poor and marginalised.
Dion had an inane smile pasted on his face. Due to his immense capacity for making friends, he had a wide circle of friends. He was a wonderful friend who reached out to his friends particularly in times of distress. He was steadfast in his loyalty to his friends. This was evident from the very large crowd at his funeral including eminent personalities.
Dion illuminated any and every task with unique organising ability and with a dedicated harmonising touch. There was a ring of authenticity and nobility of courage and earnestness in whatever he did and said.
The death of my dear friend Dion has created an irreplaceable vacuum in my life.
I wish to end this appreciation by quoting William Shakespeare: “His life was gentle, gracious and elegant that forces of nature may stand up and say “This is the Man”.”
I thank god for his life. I will not say farewell because I know we will meet again.