Mr. Senaka Kulathika, retired teacher in Logic and Scientific Method, passed away a month or so ago. Mr. Kulathilaka — fondly referred to by boys as “Kule” or “Lojja” — taught me briefly as I was an A/L student between 2001-2003. However, his service at Kingswood has been long in years, which came to a close with his retirement in 2008. From what I remember Mr. Kulathilaka was a fairly popular personality among both students and staff, with his anecdotes and baggage of endless stories with which he was always equipped.
Mr. Kulathilaka was a widower at a young age, and one thing I clearly remember is the fatherly side of his personality — where he single-handedly brought up his 5 children throughout their formative years. As a student, back then, I have often been a witness to the concern and care he imparted on them. To the boys, “Lojja” was strict at the outset (Kingswood Arts / Commerce back then, was “Gods Must Be Crazy” I, II and III all together). However, the boys knew how to win over the master and as it happened on most occasions he would melt and things would end with a joke on either side.
My earliest memory of Mr. Kulathilaka, however, was way before I entered the A/L class — when I was freshly into the Middle School, in Grade 6. I remember his curly head and hoarse voice in the middle of my Grade 6C class, trying to recruit students to the boxing team, of which he was in charge at the time. I remember how Mr. K was trying to coax us with the merits of boxing, the need for a balance between education and sport and so forth.
Mr. Kulathilaka ended his career — a career full of colour and adventure which he freely shared with the boys during Logic periods — with a brief stint as the Head of the Arts Section.
His demise was notified to me in a week where I was tied down with work and I still regret being unable to pay a visit to the humble fellow’s for the last rites. It was the logical thing I could have done. But, scientifically, I hope, his spirit will not know.