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A shining star in the cultural and social firmament in Melbourne


A shining star in the cultural and social firmament in Melbourne

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A    shining star in the cultural and social firmament in Melbourne
     Malini Jayasinghe passed away on the 15th January 2010 at the
Clayton Monash Medical Centre and the remains of her body were
cremated at the Springvale Botanic Cemetry on the 17th attended by a
large gathering of relatives, friends, fans and associates.

Malini was born on 04th January 1939 at Galle and had her education at
the Kandy Convent and the Science Training College at Maharagama.

She was employed as a science teacher in government schools in
Sri Lanka for 20 years until 1979 and at the Musaeus Girls College,
Colombo for another 15 years. At the same time, she was instrumental
in the use of radio and television for the promotion of science teaching
in Sri Lanka.

She came on the stage with Dayananda Gunawardena’s production of
Amathi Pattama. Veteran actor AP Gunatatne played the lead role as the
minister and Malini as the minister’s recalcitrant wife. Shyaman was in
the audience intensely watching. And when he saw Malini on the stage,
it was a case of love at first sight. In no time they met and married.
                                                                             and Mahasara.
I met Malini in the course of my association with Shyamon which
                                                                             Malini’s contribution to the promotion of our cultural identity and
commenced in the late fifties when I joined the team of make-up artists
                                                                             the social wellbeing of our people was quite extra ordinary. She
of Professor Ediriweera Sarachchandra’s Maname. Shyamon was often
                                                                             served her beloved SCATS organisation in the capacities of President
accompanied by Malini when he came to the theatre for his role as
                                                                             and Secretary and organised cultural and social events presented on its
Pothegura. As I attended to Shyamon on his make-up, Malini would
                                                                             behalf. Through drama festivals and short-film workshops she sought to
be seated by the side watching or would be mingling with the rest of
                                                                             explore and harness the creative talents of the youth of our community.
the cast. As always, she was elegantly dressed and moved with quiet
                                                                             She served as the cultural co-ordinator for the Committee for Sri Lanka
                                                                             and organised cultural segments for the National Day celebrations. Her
                                                                             service in voluntary counselling for the families in distress meant so
Shyamon and Malini migrated to Australia in 1994 and were settled
                                                                             much to the community. And she did many things more!
down in Melbourne. Since their arrival here Malini began to play an
active and inspirational role in the ex-patriate Sri Lankan community.
                                                                             Malini was a beautiful lady with a beautiful mind. She was gracious and
She became a catalyst in the promotion of our own cultural identity
                                                                             a great source of inspiration to us all. We shall celebrate the memory
here, particularly in the field of performing arts and a host of other
                                                                             of her life and always remember her with her enchanting, luminous
social activities.
Shyamon used to tell us quite impassionately that in Sri Lanka Malini
                                                                             She is survived by the love of her life Shyamon, son Ashok and daughter
was known as Shyamon’s wife and in Melbourne, the other way around
Shyamon as Malini’s husband. Some shifting popularities! We all had
a hearty laugh.
                                                                             May she attain whatever blissful emancipation she aspired to achieve in
                                                                             the course of her cosmic journey.
Malini’s earliest theatrical involvement in Melbourne was to assist in
the production of two English plays: Lanarole’s Welmudaliar produced
by Karu Liyanaratchi and Senator produced by Joe Sinnathamby.

Her pioneering efforts to introduce the outstanding theatrical productions
of the Golden Age of Sinhala Theatre into Australia coincided with the
productions in Melbourne of Dayananda Gunawardena’s Nari Bena,
Kamare Pore and Bakmaha Akunu, Ediriweera Sarachchandra and
AP Gunaratne’s Kapuwa Kapothi and Henry Jayasena’s Hunuwataye
Kathawa. She was also instrumental in the production in Melbourne of
                                                                                             Padma Kumar Ediriweera
Professor Ediriweera Sarachchandra’s theatrical masterpieces Maname

                                                                                                       FEBRUARY 2010 PAHANA - LIGHT & LIFE        31

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