Vidya Jothi Emeritus Professor, University of Colombo
At 09 we look forward to the future, we have great expectations and dreams. Now at 90 the joy is looking backwards, realizing that you have attained the dreams.
Were they the same only Mr Fernando will know. Did he succeed in achieving the goals set? From all I know about him, Yes he has and above all he has set an example to all. I am no business person, but the achievements are an example for all business persons who care for the country. I think he has been swimming against the tide. There are a very small number, not even equal to the fingers in the hand that have considered “country first” and dreamed to make it the brand and make it work.
My association with Mr. Fernando is not to with his Tea Business, but with his heart that wanted to serve the people from tea, to contribute to NATURE that is the backdrop of his tea and life. The best way to describe him can only be done by the powerful language for which I and Mr. Fernando belong which is Sinhala - Ohu Manushsheyek Embedded in this word are all the good, best qualities one can think of in a human, such as - honesty, fairness, straight forwardness, dependability, cooperativeness, determination, imagination, ambition, courage, caring, maturity, loyalty, self-control, and independence. I may have missed some, that is only because of my limitation of the English language. Over the years associated with DILMAH CONSERVATION I had the rare opportunity to be with Mr. Fernando. His commitment to nature and conservation is unparallel.
Standing tall (I am short) looking up to him, literally had always been a pleasure. Will always recommend as a character to emulate to my students and colleagues etc.
A very unique "tea". I wish him long life, good health, and prosperity – Chiran Jayathu , Theruwan Saranai.