Lanka’s oldest engineer passes away
Sri Lanka’s oldest Engineer who was attached to the Department of
Telecommunications during 1920s, Edmund Charles Wijekoon passed away on
Tuesday at the age of 104. Wijekoon had joined the Department in 1923 as
a District Inspector of Telecommunications and retired as a Senior
Engineer in 1962.
During his 39-year-long career in the Telecommunications sector,
Wijekoon served at the Colombo and Kandy telecommunication offices.
It was during his time Sri Lanka started the first radio transmission
station. The first transmission station was set up in Welikada and he
was in charge of the Welikada Transmission Centre until he retired from
service in 1962.
During a recent interview with Wijekoon and his wife Ratnavali
Wijekoon (nee Sirisena), made by Sunday Observer journalist Lakmal
Welabada in her weekly magazine column, titled `Darling we are not too
old, though we reached the jubilee gold’, Wijekoon had proudly said that
he never forgets an incident that he was able to repair some
telecommunication equipment used during the World War II, where even
engineers from England could not repair.
In recognition of his invaluable service he rendered during the war
period, he was awarded a silver medal by Queen Elizabeth.
Wijekoon leaves his wife Ratnavali, two sons, Asoka, a consultant
doctor in the UK and Senaka, a meteorologist in Australia and four
daughters, Indrani, Rohini, Amitha and Bimba.
He also has 12 grand children and six greatgrandchildren. His remains
will lie in State at his residence Elvitigala Mawatha, Colombo 5 and the
cremation will take place today at 4.00 p.m. at General cemetery,