Deane - Family # 154

Dr. Abdul Rasheed Deane : 

A fond tribute to a dedicated patron "Padang Complex"

by Fazeer Radin (Rawdin) - Daily News Tue Dec 9 2003

Thaha Mohamed, president of Sri Lanka Malay Association (SLMA) advised that we reminisces Dr. Abdul Rasheed Deane's fond memory in the media, whilst his portrait is displayed at the Colombo Malay Cricket (CMCC) on Friday 12th November 03.

I feel it is a privilege to cover the good deeds of an amiable and distinguished personality and pay due tribute to him for his dedication and sacrifice towards the CMCC and the SLMA Rupee Fund.

Dr. Deane was born on 23rd February 1918 and passed away at the age of 85 on 21st July 2003. The epithet quieted in Arabic "Inca Illah, We Inna Illah Rajioon" meaning that from him that we came and into him we return did not have its desired effect to overcome the grief of the mourners, whilst an elderly educated person was attempting to console the dear ones by explaining "a man is a thing of nought born but to die" and therefore it is indeed a matter of time for all of us to traverse to the very same destiny of the deceased sooner or later was also of no avail.

This reminded me of Mary Copt, the one and only to give holy Prophet Mohamed a son, who was named Ibrahim.

When he died in childhood, holy Prophet was overwhelmed with grief, sobbing bitterly, until he was reminded that he often proclaimed against the onward expression of grief.

Why was he sobbing when the child was so soon to enter paradise? Holy Prophet answered softly "It eases the afflicted heart. It does no harm to the dead, and does not profit him, but it is a comfort for the living".A massive crowd that was present at the internment of his remains prayed May Allah grant Dr. Deane "Janaothul Firdouse" meaning he be blessed to the heaven. We have lost another human being who had a human heart. His demise will cause a vacuum among his family members, members of the "Padang Complex" and several others.

His second home was the Padang Complex where he never failed to be present at all events before time like an early bird.

Towards his advanced age he was compelled to confine himself at his residence and c eased to appear as he practised in the past at the "Padang Complex" to the disadvantage and disappointment of the members.

I consider myself to be extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity of a formal discussion with Dr. Deane in September 2002 during CMCC's 130th Anniversary celebration. I shall brief this dialogue.

Here he expressed cheerfully that the "Terang" the one and only news bulletin that covers Malay interest in Sri Lanka and circulated throughout locally as well as abroad need be highly praised. I posed him the question for those who have immensely contributed towards the interest and well-being of the country, religion and community, whether they distort history by keeping under blanket from recording their glorious achievements on grounds of modesty?

After a moment of silence, Dr. Deane smiled and made a humble request from me to pay a visit to his place and collect some clippings and to publish them in the "Terang" for posterity. Subsequently his sister-in-law Fareed Deane reminded me in this regard. It is a matter for regret that I fell seriously ill and was unable to keep up to my promise to Dr. Deane.

Had I have been fortunate to collect those documents from Dr. Deane I believe I could have written volumes covering him. While gleaming through the dilapidated records in my possession I gathered that the attachment and contribution towards the Padang Complex is not only confined to Dr. Deane alone but his forbears too. It has come down the line.

Dr. Deane's grandpa Amja Deane was a founder member of the CMCC established in 1872. He was its president in 1908 and compiler of the CMCC Jubilee Book printed in 1908 by the Ceylon Observer press. Similarly his beloved children, whose name appear below have also contributed articles in the periodicals of the "Padang Complex".

Dr. Deane's father A. A. Deane was the chief accountant in the H. M. Customs. He was highly acclaimed by the authorities concerned for launching of the famous "Harbour Lights" carnival splendidly and earning colossal profit.

A. A. Deane held office in the C. M. C. C. as the club captain 1919-1923, 1925, Hony general secretary 1908-1909, cricket captain 1912, 1911, president 1949 in the ACMA, general secretary 1925-1929. The portrait of A. A. Deane was unveiled at the CMCC on 23rd December 1961. Dr. Deane's brother Fareed served as the CMCC general secretary from 1972-1973.

I have gathered by heresay quite a lot of Dr. Deane's achievements, contributions, yeomen service and in cricket his stylish and elegant bowling, medium pace bowling and brilliant fielding. Regrettably most of the important events that have taken place in the Padang Complex after 1972 have not been recorded or may be I have not traced them. I therefore prefer not to pen what has not been recorded.

Dr. Deane and his wife Kathija are graduates of an English university. Dr. Deane was amongst the first batch to have passed the M. B. B. S. examination. Mrs. Deane was the first Muslim lady to be appointed in 1947 as a labour officer. She was later attached to the Royal College as a teacher. Dr. Deane was in the staff of Cell Barnes Hospital in England.

Dr. Deane was unanimously conferred to the esteemed positions mentioned above on recognition of his contributions to the service. His ancestral home was Slave Island where they lived at Union Place adjoining "Frostaire", Dr. Deane had his dispensary here and another at Hunupitiya, Wattala. He was engaged by the Colombo Commercial Company to treat their employees. Patients who had taken treatment from him had much to say of his benevolence. The most famous is that he advised them they fell sick because they are under nourished and in addition to free consultation he had provided them money to have a proper meal.

The members of the "Padang Complex" will now miss the most senior member and close companion and wish to convey all our sympathy to his beloved family members.

1 Amja Deane

    2  A A Deane

        3  Deane, Dr. A R, b:23-Feb-1918, d:21-Jul-2003  + Khadija, b:1922

            4  Hamze Deane + Mumtaz Aliph (120)

            4  (son) Deane

            4  (daughter) Deane

        3  Farid Deane + Name Not Known

            4  Ameen Deane + Sayang Aliph (120)


Mrs Deane’s 90th Birthday

Descendants of the Rasheed Deane Family, Ladies and Gentlemen.

 

It took me five days to prepare this speech. So please bear with me if I take equally long in delivering it.

 

This is a really special occasion and it is all about that very special lady Mrs. Kathijah Deane. A loving daughter, a dear sister, an understanding wife, a caring mother, a wonderful mother-in-law and a doting grandmother. The family thinks the world of her to say the very least and why not?

 

To me, she is one very special person and it certainly is a great privilege to stand before you this evening, to speak a few words on this occasion as this grand dame and mater-familias of the Rasheed Deane clan turns ninety years today.

 

Auntie Kathijah, I am sure you will agree with me in Jack Benny’s quote:  Age is strictly a case of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.” And I can certainly vouch that she doesn’t mind – and hence age doesn’t matter.

 

I came to know Auntie Kathijah in the 1960s when I was drafted into the Colombo Malay Cricket Club by none other than her genial husband, the late Dr. A.R Deane.

 

She has brought forth into this world five lovely children who have done well for themselves in their chosen fields and I am sure this must be a sense of great pride to her. Hamza, the grumpy one (Humpy….. sorry I have to reveal some state secrets)…yes Humpy the grumpy one with a passion for flying is now gracefully growing old in his role as an airline pilot.  A bit of advise to him in his dotage: Hamza, before taking off on each flight make sure your bladder is empty and your fuel tanks are full and not the other way about.

 

Next is Haroon, the quite kid. In Sinhala parlance a r-e-a-l Seethala Kotiya. His motto…ACTIONS speaks louder than words. How else can he account for the fact he was able to produce three children, which is 50% ABOVE Sri Lanka’s current.... national.........average of two per family. His three boys are all rugby players. However, I do not remember Haroon playing rugby expect watching the game and on one such occasion, having gone up to Kandy to witness the Bradby, he fell short as he passed out completely drunk even before the game could even commence. I understand it was the first time he had consumed alcohol and may have also been the last! With no rugby in him, I am now convinced that it is his wife Jean’s rugby genes that have passed down to the boys.

 

Then Azhar. I am astounded, that he being a logistics guy, wanted to know about the universe when it is hard enough for him to find his way around Colombo.

 

Razmani....being the only girl among the siblings…how can I forget her. She went to the UK, qualified as a hotelier and returned to Sri Lanka. She was the witty one and if today she was at Mount Royal Hotel and they were running a promotion of a diet meal comprising Coconuts and Bananas and Razmani was asked whether the diet meal really did work, she would have responded, “Madam. Even if you don’t lose weight, I am sure you will be able to climb a coconut tree!” She now continues Dwelling upon her imagination.

 

F.i.n.ally Asthar, the baby of the family who was still wearing shorts at Royal when I left college. He moved to the UK and qualified as an Electronics Engineer........YES Ladies and gentlemen, the only engineer I am aware of who hardly knows the difference between a nut and a bolt.

 

Notwithstanding her five children, auntie Kathijah’s greatest labour pains were when she conceived, gave birth in 1967 and nurtured the Teen Twenties – the very first youth arm of the Sri Lanka Malay Association – as it’s Social Service Branch Chairman.

 

A year later I was heading the Teen Twenties as joint Leader – in fact the de-facto junior president of the Malay Association.


Being the mentor, Auntie Kathijah was the guiding light and my association with her grew even closer.

 

There are many amusing anecdotes that I am privy to, but I do not think it is right for me to reveal these at her 90th  Birthday.

 

So, I will not tell you how a team of the Teen Twenties headed by auntie Kathijah went to the Welimada YMCA on a Youth

Leader Training Camp. On the final evening of the camp, each group was asked to present an item of entertainment and auntie

Kathijah entrusted the task to me.

 

When the evening’s programme was in progress and it came to the SLMA turn, the Master of Ceremonies made the introduction with the words “and now ladies and gentlemen, in the Sri Lanka Malay  Association team there is a great exponent of the Bharata Natyam. Please welcome their leader Mrs.Kathijah Deane who will render this performance.”

 

A clapping of hands was followed by pin-drop silence and I could see Auntie Kathijah turning colours like a chameleon.

 

With no Mrs. Deane coming forth, I had to stand up and admit it was a  puckish sense of humour from one of the team members to have this itemised in the programme and that our real act was the traditional Malay Rongeng, which our team performed......of course sans Mrs. Deane!

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, today, as we celebrate this landmark event in her life, it just seems incredible. Incredible because she has the remarkable energy and enthusiasm of someone many, many years younger.

 

Auntie Kathijah…. for all that you have accomplished over the years – your education, your career, your loving family, friends, associates, your energies, your inner strength and also the various ways in which you continued to inspire the many young minds that passed through you at Royal Primary, this birthday, I am sure, will be immensely happy and very memorable.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have trespassed on your patience for a sufficiently long time and if I continue any further, my dear wife has promised to slit my throat to make sure that I will be precluded from speaking ever again. So, I would like to conclude by saying:

 

True beauty is enriched with each passing year. So here’s to dear Auntie Kathijah who is truly beautiful in heart and soul. May she have many more years of life and love.

 

Thank you!

Branu Rahim
Colombo, Sri Lanka, Mar 2012