It is with great sorrow Final Voyage announces the passing away of Mrs. Lilly Rasamalar Stephen (Retired teacher, Chundikuli Girls’ College, Jaffna) on 16th November 2020 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Dearly beloved wife of late V.S. Stephen (Retired teacher, St.Johns College Jaffna), loving mother of Ranji Anketell, Jayanthay and Vasanthan, loving sister of late Nesamalar Ponnuthurai, late Selvamalar Dharmanandan, late Poopathy Chellathamby, late Ariamalar Paranirupasingam, Mahilmalar Sivagnanampillai, Ratnamalar Bhuvanaratnam and late Dr.Ariaraj (Kanthi), loving grand mother of Priscilla, Niran and Ruth, adorable great-grand mother of Aara, Prashi and Aadhavan. A private funeral was held due to the prevailing COVID crisis. “Safe in the arm of Jesus”
Mrs. LR Stephen was a teacher at Chundikuli Girls’ College for more than a quarter of a century. She is fondly remembered as “Mrs. Stephens” by her students. “A gentle teacher who has taken a hand of a student, opened her mind and touched her heart“
May her soul rest in peace and the good Lord give guidance to her loved ones during the difficult time.
CGC Tutorial staff during the late fifties under Miss ST Mathai (Principal: 1951- 1961) and Miss E.I Kelk (Vice Principal: 1952-1959). Mrs. LR Stephen is in the front row, second from the right
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One thought on “Lilly Rasamalar Stephen (Nee Periathamby)”
Mrs Stephen was a soft spoken gentle teacher liked by many of her students. I was fortunate enough to be in her grade 7 class. She also taught us social studies and Christianity.
When I look back, Mrs. Stephen was the one who opened my eyes to our country’s history and places that I would still like to visit to date. Basic geography, history and social sciences were covered in her classes and her little stories and anecdotes made the students think for themselves. In other words she inspired us to think in our formative years.
I vividly remember the day when she explained the concept of gravity to my class. It was the last period before the lunch hour. When the bell rang for lunch break it finally dawned on me that we are all held by the force of gravity to the earth’s surface. I kept thinking “what if the force of gravity fails me?” during my long walk home. It was indeed a very long, carefully stepped, walk down Old Park Road. I do chuckle every now and then when I remember how much it scared me.
Mrs Stephen once organised a day excursion for our entire cohort. We set off early in the morning on “Yarl Devi” to Anuradhapura and caught the returning train to Jaffna around 6 pm. A coach was arranged for us in Anuradhapura and we visited most of the historical sites within a few hours. The excursion was well organised and had a great impact on the girls. My classmates still reminisce about the sweet memories of that day and those black & white photos are still shared among our group chats.
Some of the anecdotes that Mrs Stephen shared with us during Christianity class continue to pop up on social media. When that happens it always triggers my memory and takes me back to that grade 7 classroom with the creamy yellow walls next to the big mango tree!
A student meets many teachers during their formative years of study. Some teachers stay in their young minds for various reasons. For me Mrs. Stephen, a gentle soul has been an inspirer.
I am indebted to Mrs. Stephen not just today but every day. May her soul rest in peace.
Ranjana Thambirajah (nee Sabaratnam)