Press Release - Pictures by Gihan Jayathilaka
Thames Vihara says good-bye to Ven. Kothmale Sumedha Thera
The members of the Thames Meditation Society, parents, teachers, pupils of the Sunday Dhamma School and devotees gathered, in large numbers, in the appropriately decorated main hall, on Sunday 10th September 2017, to pay tribute and convey their heart-felt gratitude to Venerable Kothmale Sumedha Thera, who was due to leave for Sri Lanka, after serving two years as a resident Venerable, at the Thames Buddhist Vihara.
Acting Head of the Vihara, Venerable Kanthale Wijithawansa Nayaka Thera, extended a very warm welcome and thanked everyone for attending the ceremony organised, especially, to say good-bye to a worthy member of the resident Venerables, Venerable Kothmale Sumedha Thera, for the services rendered. Venerable Dodangoda Sumedha Thera of the Athula Dassana Temple, Heathrow was accorded a special welcome.
The speeches by Venerables Kanthale Wijithawansa Nayaka Thera, Kohukumbure Siridhamma Thera Dodangoda Sumedha Thera, President of Thames meditation Society Dr. Herath Kularate and pupils of the Sunday Dhamma School Achinthya Samarasekara (English); Niduki Botheju (Sinhalese) were interspersed with performances, which among others, included an impressive dance choreographed and presented by Maduwanthie Jayathilake, teacher of the Sunday Dhamma School, performed by pupils Madushi,Niduki and Sanuji dancing to the rhythm of a well known song, by the late Pundit Maestro Amaradeva; the teachers and parents singing a moving song, lyrics of which expertly composed, by Panchali Herath, to music by Chamara Dondeenu, incorporating a felicitation to Venerable Kothmale Sumedha Thera.
All speeches by the clergy, laity and the pupils, highlighted the exemplary conduct of Venerable Kothmale Sumedha Thera in attending earnestly and diligently to the spiritual needs of the devotees with devotion and dedication, while supporting, helping and assisting senior Venerables and closely involving himself in the affairs of the Society, which included the upkeep of the Vihara premises. In his reply Venerable Kothmale Sumedha Thera, while paying flattering compliments to his teacher Venerable Pahalagama Somaratana Nayaka Thera, who ordained him when he was only a youngster, profusely thanked everyone for the support, encouragement and care, he received during his stay and begged for forgiveness, if in the conduct of his duties, he has unintentionally or inadvertently, offended, in any way, anyone’s feelings or sensitivities.
In his vote of thanks, the honorary Treasurer, Kumudu Premathunga, on behalf of the Thames Meditation Society expressed his gratitude and thanked everyone who helped to make ‘the thanks-giving ceremony’, an outstanding success.
As tokens of appreciation, many items comprising plaques, souvenirs and other gifts were formally presented to the Venerable by the Thames Meditation Society, devotees individually and by groups. After the usual Sunday Pooja, everyone enjoyed a sumptuous evening meal laid out by the organising Committee of the celebration.