Ayiah was born in a little village in Sri Lanka called Alaveddy.  His mother gave birth to thirteen children but only the eldest and the youngest survived; Ayiah was the youngest of them.  He had an interesting and hard life as a child, interesting because they had a farm and farm animals to look after but hard because he had to work to look after the farm.  His mother, that is my great grandmother whom never knew, was said to be a very kind hearted lady and loved her children and grand children.

Although Ayiah’s parents were advised by his family and friends to get Ayiah to work on the farm, Ayiah’s intellectual curiosity made him plead and beg his parents to let him continue his studies.

At the age of 19 he got his first appointment as a land surveyor and he worked in the jungle. He had a very hard working work ethic which he instilled in his children.  His hard work ethics and intellectual curiosity led him to study and pass all the department exams and he worked his way up to become the Deputy Surveyor General. The next promotion was a political appointment and he did not want to wait for it, so he took the retirement option at the earliest opportunity which was at the age of 55 moving back to his home village to do farming which was his hobby and passion.  He did his dream farming between 1972 &1985, which he told us was the best time in his life as he could do what he always wanted to do.

Later as the political situation changed in Sri Lanka, he moved to Canada and there his intellectual curiosity led him to learn computing and take on some part time work.  In 1992 he moved to the UK to live with us and in the early days he would go for a 3 mile walk in the morning and again in the afternoon.

During the later years his illness deprived him of his love for walking and he was confined to his bed and a chair.  During that time and even before he repeatedly mentioned that these words “I do not want to be a burden to society I want to contribute to it”.

Ayiah you have contributed a lot to society and although your physical body and spirit are no longer here, we feel you are immortal as you live on in your children and their children’s children, going and on and on.

As said in the words of comfort, there is

a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,

This is the time to not to weep or laugh, not to mourn or dance, not to search for answers or give up but the time to be silent and remember the good things Ayiah brought into everyone’s lives and things he did to be where we are now.




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