Mr. Hemasiri Perera
The Sri Lankan Association of Manitoba (SLAM) utilised his extensive knowledge to script and train performers in a drama and folklore performance highlighting Sri Lankan heritage. Mr. Perera’s talents were in evidence at the grand annual event held during the Sinhala and Tamil New Year celebrations. Sometimes he joined in singing folk songs as well. Subsequently, he joined the Sri Lankan Seniors Manitoba and in 2018 was elected as a Board Member. He was re-elected to the Board in 2020. He also joined the South Side Seniors - the senior’s group of the Trinity United Church and was very popular among non-Sri Lankan members too.
Ms. Sasanda Nilmalgoda
She and her family arrived in Winnipeg in October 1999 and Sasanda quickly got to work involving herself in the Winnipeg community. She was an active member of the Manitoba Buddhist Vihara and Cultural Association, where she volunteered her time for almost 20 years as both a teacher and then principal of the Dhamma school. As a devout Buddhist, Sasanda spent her free time pursuing her own spiritual development through reading, discussion, and meditation. She also administered and marked special language exams in the Winnipeg School Division. The preservation of her language, religion, and culture through education was important to her.
Ms. J. Pauline Curpen
She was a loving daughter, sister, aunt, mom, grandma, and friend. She was born and raised in SriLanka, and was the youngest in a family with 10 children. She had the opportunity to live in Calcutta and then England, before immigrating to Winnipeg, Manitoba. Winnipeg became her home, and that is the place she spent the majority of her life. She became a single parent when her two children were toddlers. She was a loving mother, who made great sacrifices so that her children could have all the opportunities she did not have while growing up. She adored her grandchildren and they enjoyed grandma's sense of humor, stories, cooking, and playtime. She retired from her job as a billing clerk after 35 years of service at the Family Medical Centre (St. Boniface Hospital). Throughout her life, she demonstrated compassion, gratitude, love, friendship, faith, and perseverance.
Mr. Herb Embuldeniya
After retirement, he returned to a passion from his youth, amateur boxing. He worked as a coach and official, starting as a referee and judge, juror and finally, a technical delegate at many international competitions including World Cups, World Championships, Pan Am Games, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games. He was Vice President of the Manitoba Amateur Boxing Association (1969), President of the Canadian Boxing Association (1986), and an Executive Committee Member of the International Boxing Association (1990-2002). He was Director of the Manitoba Sports Federation, a member of the 1999 Pan Am Games bid delegation that secured the Pan Am Games for Winnipeg, and Chair of the Manitoba Boxing Commission.
Ms. Doreen Mendis (No Photo Available)
Doreen's interests were wide-ranging: travel, photography, cooking, sewing, gardening, crafts – and volunteering. She also liked animals. She has been to all the continents (visiting 38 countries), and to every province and territory of Canada. When in her 70s she hiked up to and around Machu Pichu in Peru, and twice climbed Mount Sinai in Egypt. In previous years she had clambered up several pyramids in Mexico, and hiked the trails in New Zealand. Her photographs of these journeys fill many albums. She was also an innovative cook. Never at a loss, if necessary, she would substitute alternatives for the ingredients called for and still come up with tasty dishes. Gardening was another interest. In addition to a small garden, she always had potted plants around the house. She liked to sew and found time to make her own clothes or alter store-bought items to meet her needs.