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.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Mohamed Rafeeq Moosa

Mohamed Rafeeq Moosa

“Life is finite and accruals matter not a whit unless they are of the philosophical kind! We harvest, then we gather and we gather yet once more, and we capriciously yearn for yet another harvest of riches only to find Death as the farmer, which is when we cower in fear at the sight of our mortality in all of its dismal glory!”

This is an extract of the note I received from my brother when I informed him of my shock, sadness and grief at the sudden demise of Moos (as he was affectionately called by his friends).

Moos actually accrued nothing material during his lifetime and this is a fact; his was a life only full of memories, experiences and righteousness. Moos had always told me he wished his departure would be like a bolt of lightening and that was just how it was. He never wanted to be a burden on anybody. His family suffered a double tragedy when his only brother Abdul passed away in the same house, no sooner Moos’s mortal remains were carried away. His wonderful mother whom Moos cared for and doted on, is left floundering in unimaginable grief.

Moos belonged to the lively “friends for ever” 1962 batch of Royalists and networked faithfully with them all the way. He never missed a class reunion. Although a keen Ruggerite, he excelled as a cadet and as Platoon Sergeant won the coveted Herman Loos Trophy for Royal beating over 100 schools at Diyatalawa. He was also chosen to take the salute in front of Indian Premier Indira Gandhi during their Republic Day Celebrations in New Delhi. He was a live wire at Royal and later in the RCU, supporting every sport and activity with gusto. He was appointed a Prefect which was at that time a very prestigious achievement because only 12 made it. His attachment to Royal is unique in that he remembered minute details of specific matches that were played over the years, and never missed a Bradby or a Royal-Thomian. Passa’s bus and The Stallions will surely miss his “sobering” presence!

His memory and ability to recall specific incidents and relate spicy anecdotes involving masters, minor staff and class mates at Royal is indeed legendary and has been fortunately recorded by his 62 group. To celebrate 50 years since joining Royal he visited the primary school with his childhood buddy RH, and took photos outside his first class room, and then one riding a swing(!) and another with “ducky” at the RCU. Such was his attachment to his school and the memories he cherished.

Moos was an outstanding A division rugby referee and went on to become the President of the Referee’s Association later on. He was also called upon many a time to take up duties as an Assessor of Referees during International matches and was also a die-hard member of the CR&FC. He coached the Royal Junior teams with great enthusiasm and there is many a player who went on to represent the first XV and play club rugby who remember him with love and gratitude.

Although Moos was about 5 years my senior at Royal we always recognised and acknowledged each other, whenever our paths would briefly cross. By a very happy circumstance he commenced working for my Company in 1995, where he remained until his demise. Moos was truly a remarkable human being, and as the years went by, my respect and love for him grew. He was an exemplary employee and his Punctuality, Loyalty and Integrity was absolutely unquestionable. It was so easy with Moos to implement our code of business ethics because it was exactly what he believed in. He was loved and respected by all his colleagues because he never hesitated to reach out with kindness to assist, advise, inspire, motivate and empower anybody who needed it.

In his 13 years of dedicated service to the Company I can’t remember him taking even a single day of leave! He was a whiz at working cryptic crosswords, word games and mind games and never started the day without unscrambling “Jumble”. There wasn’t a day when Moos would not stroll into my room, sit down, cross his legs and shoot the breeze. The topics we discussed were diverse, ranging from, politics, hospitals and pharmaceuticals, to the origin of life, UFO’s, corporate social responsibility, farming, sport, where the youngsters of today were heading and, how our generation existed and enjoyed life with almost nothing in our pockets.

Moos loved his family and supported them unconditionally. He gave of his time (at any time) to his mother and until the end went shopping by foot for her groceries. He took her to Mecca to perform Hajj, shielded her during the fire and stampede amongst thousands of sandals left behind, and brought her home, safe and free. Although a devout Muslim, he never allowed his beliefs to come between himself and his friends or, anything for that matter.

He was cosmopolitan in the true sense.Above all, Mohamed Rafeeq Moosa was a simple man and lived a simple life. He took nothing from life excepting some happy memories. There was a certain sadness about him, which I could not take away. I wish I could have.

Jomo Uduman


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