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A Celebration of a life


It is with a sense of admiration and sadness that I received the news of the death of Julie De Silva Jayasundera, nee Aluwihare.


Julie was the seventh daughter of the late Loku Bandara Maralande Aluwihare and of the late Mrs. Julia Nuwerawewa Paranagama Aluwihare Kumarihamy of Matale. Her Paternal Grand father was the Disawa for the matale district during the British occupation of Sri Lanka.


Julie received her education at Hill Wood College Kandy., and has had the honor of being the first Kandyan Girl in the whole of Sri Lanka to be awarded a fully funded scholarship to the London Schools of Music, unfortunately at that time her very conservative parents did not permit her to take up this Scholarship. However Julie learnt the Piano under Mrs. Marion Stanton in Kandy. She married Rudolph De Silva Jayasundera, who hailed from Denagomuwa Polghawela in the Kurunegala district. Rudy and Julie settled in their cozy home at Woodlands Ranawana Kurunegala, Julie raised a family of two sons, gave music lessons, and played at concerts, and was the organist at the Kurunegala cathedral. When Rudolph died she moved out of Woodlands and settled in Kurunegala town, but later moved to her elder son’s home, in Talangama. Julie wished to live with her second son in Canberra and in 1997 at the age of eighty years she moved to Canberra, Australia, the ever so independent Julie moved into her flat in Canberra and with her piano playing, Bach Beethoven Chopin Schubert, Mortzart she made a very wide circle of friends. Her impeccable English had the admiration of many an Australian.


I think Julie was a remarkable person, who had a great sense of humor, loved people was totally unselfish, never went for cheap fame even though she was connected to the late Srimavo Bandaranayake, and knew the Late Mr Dudley Senanayake,she never asked for favors. Julie would entertain both the rich and poor with the same generosity, and kindness. Her giving sprit had no limits


Julie was converted to Christianity at Hill wood college, one wonders to this day if it was by faith or fear, however when her nephew came to the Buddhist Vihare in Canberra as its chief priest, she asked him over and had long discussions about her faith and beliefs in the Teachings of the Buddhist Philosophies.


Truly she was a wonderful woman, whose forgiving sprit made her a loving kind generous person who truly had a great circle of both Australian and Sri Lankan friends. This was evident at her cremation.


She died peacefully on the 26thof October, and the Buddhist rites were performed by the ven Saranakaraa Aluwihre maha thera, and on the 28th of October the Rev Ian Wright and the Rev Ian Hopkins conducted the Anglican service.


Julie had planned all the hymns for her funeral, and they were all the Hymns sung at her wedding, she wanted people to celebrate her life, the casket was white with gold trimmings, in laid in south sea mother of pearls, and it had 50 red roses displayed over the lid, in a lateral arrangement. As the Casket was lowered to the crematorium, her favorite piece of music by Chopin was played; it was Fantasy Impromptu in c major The Organ was played by one of Canberra’s famous Organists Mrs. Susan Reed, and Mr. Ronald Hoskin sang amazing grace.

In their eulogy her grand daughters spoke of the loving grand mother they had, who was unselfish, loving, and humorous, had the ability to laugh at her self, and had a giving sprit, she readily forgave anyone who might have wronged her, and this is the loving kindness that is taught in all faiths, Julie had a full measure of this.


 It was a celebration of a life.


I assure to all who read this that this was Julie for I should know her well, as I am her son.



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Julia Aluwihare (Jayasundera)

Julia was born to  LB Aluwihare and Julia Nuwera Wewa Paranagama Kumarihamy, on the 5th of December 1915, at Pahala Walauwa, Aluwihare, MataleThis aristocratic Family was connected to all the aritocratic Kandyans such as the Ratwatte's, Halangoda's, Nugewela's, & Madawela's, to name a few She is a cousin to the late Mrs Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias Bandaranayake

Julia was named after her mother, who incidentally was one of the first girls to attend the Hillwood Mission School Julie too  attended Hillwood College in Kandy She was known as Julie at School, and is the name by which she is known to this date 

One of Julies great achievemts was to win the Royal Schools of Music London Scholarship This was in the early nineteen thirties Julie, coming, from a very conservertive Kandyan Family was not permitted to go to London, but she did excel in her music, and taught many a Sri Lankan to play and appreciate classical music Later she married the very handsome Rudolph De Silva Jayasundera, the son of Jonathan and Maud De Silva Jayasundera of Kurunegala Jonathan was one of the early Lawyers of the N>W>P> and his grand mother was known as the Denagomuwe Kumarihamy, whose ancestors were involved in accompanying the sacred Bo Sapling from India, Ref 20th Century Impressions of Ceylon

Rudolph was the opening batsman at St Thomas's College in the nineteen twenties and was on the Cricket Team with Mr Dudley Senanayake Rudolph and Julie settled in their cosy home at Ranawana, in Kurunegala, and on Rudolph's death , Julie  left Kurunegala to live with one of her sons in Colombo, and after some years she migrated to Canberra Australia to live with her second son

Now (2005), Julie is 90 years old, and she enjoys good health and has her piano with her and still plays Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin She has a large circle of friends and talks with pride on the achievement of winning the Scholarship to London for music Her secret to a healthy life is to have happy thoughts and drink a glass of sherry before lunch and a Cognac during winter  

Rohan De Silva Jayaseundera


l to r: Julia Aluwihare & great g-daughter, Chenaiyah Tyrah D'Costa, next, Julia with son Rohan, daughter-in-law Indira and daughters, Zonelle & Shahiliya with baby Chenaiyah Tyrah D'Costa, next, Rohan, Indira and their proud little grand-daughter, Chenaiyah Tyrah D'Costa