www.pahana.com.au 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 reserve. 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. smile. 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 Vindi. 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
"A shining star in the cultural and social firmament in Melbourne"