Royal People

A dedication to those wonderful people who served Royal Primary School & Royal College, in Sri Lanka, since 1835, and, who will be remembered for their committment, sincerety and unselfishness.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Dr John Wilson

Dr. John Wilson's royal gesture
Richard Dwight Daily News Wed Mar 7 2007

CRICKET: As the open clear blue skies and bright sunny weather herald, yet another Royal - Thomian cricket encounter, young and old, staunch and true, together with those who departed after learning and, those who left without learning, will converge in large numbers along with many others, to witness the 'Battle of the Blues' and partake as well, in the festivities that centre around the event.

And so we step aside to nod in an acclamation, and congratulate these two leading colleges on this their remarkable unbroken partnership of 128 years. Organising a traditional match of this magnitude and nature is by no means easy.

On the contrary it could prove to be exacting, exciting and an exhausting ordeal. But if in the end you achieve a measure of success, that it could be both a rewarding as well as a satisfying experience.

The organisers responsible for these encounters through the years, must therefore be highly commended for their sincerity of purpose, loyalty and devotion, It is undoubtedly because of their untiring efforts that these encounters year in and year out remain to be a source of delight to many, and are eagerly looked forward to by one and all, and have now come to be regarded as an enjoyable social event in the calendar of Sri Lanka.
These encounters in their wake have produced men of great eminence, who in their time have made a tremendous impact on the life of this country; some even guiding the destinies of is as well.

Perhaps these men may have learnt a thing or two on the playing fields of Reid Avenue and Mount Lavinia.

Quite naturally therefore our minds these days will travel through the corridors of time, it will may be, pause for a while in a classroom, stray into the library and lab, amble about in the lobbies, compound and grounds and relive with nostalgic emotion those glorious days in school.
As for me, I would for the benefit of the young wish to recall to memory, the 'Golden Jubilee' match of 1929. I pick this match because of a significant incident which took place even before the game itself began. N. Kandiah was the captain of Royal for the 49th encounter in 1928, and in the fitness of things it was John Wilson's turn to captain Royal in 1929.

The year 1929 was an important one for both colleges since it was the half way mark to the 'Royal-Thomian Centenary'.

This being so Royal was keen on Kandiah continuing as skipper, confronted therefore with this embarrassingly delicate situation, it was left to the master-in-charge, L.V. Gooneratne to make Royal's intention known to Wilson.

Having patiently listened to his master, Wilson with a calm reassuring voice replied "Sir if it is for the sake of the school, I am even prepared to forego my place in the team, quite apart from captaining the side".

It was indeed a grand and noble gesture worthy of emulation. The result of this match pales into oblivion in the light of this deed. For deeds such as this, in a sense, has life, to influence and inspire others to greater heights. Wilson's act was devoid of malice or rancour and it had to eventually in this course of time bear fruit.

It did so when in 1964, to the immense joy and satisfaction of Wilson, his son 'Shaw was appointed captain of the team. The late Dr. John R. Wilson, apart from being a cricketer, also boxed and played hockey for Royal. He was the eldest amongst four distinguished brothers, all of whom attended Royal College.

The late Rev. Dr. David K. Wilson, a clergyman was fine cricketer and athlete, who on one afternoon in the public schools meet broke 4 records. Dr. Daniel Wilson the only surviving brother was a quarter miler, and an orthopaedic surgeon, now very much retired in California.
Dr. Benjmin Wilson, the youngest an athlete and cricketer, practise medicine in the UK, until his death. All four Wilson brothers, true to their Biblical names, were devout christians to be men of virtue, given to sober, disciplined ways, with honesty and integrity as their watchwords.
Dr. John Wilson a name synonymous with Tuberculosis, did much to control and restrict the scourge of TB, which at one stage was threatening to get out of hand.

We did ask him some years ago to elaborate on his achievements in the field of medicine - Typical of the man he modestly said "Good wine needs no bush", that was plain and simple Dr. John Rasiah Wilson a proud product of Royal College. If there be at least one student, who on reading this, will strive to emulate such men, then this article would certainly have served its purpose.

"It is not for the sake of a ribbon coat nor for the selfish hope of a season's fame, but his captain's hand on his shoulder smote, play up, play up, and play the game."


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