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My Appapa Is Turning 100! Here's What We Can All Learn From His Long & Healthy Life
Karthigesu Sinnathamby, my appapa, has lived a fulfilling life and is celebrating his 100th birthday this month.
Garthigga Yoganathan
Federal government
Canada
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Sinnathamby Karthigesu (Principal) of Delft is celebrating his centenary birthday.

Sinnathamby Karthigesu (Principal) of ward no-1, Koddaikadu, Delft, Sri Lanka was born on 15-12-1920.

His lineage is as follows:

Periya Nachiyar, daughter of Ambalavanar, descendent of Velalar clan of Chola Nadu.

Sittampalam, son of Thummunayar, descendent of Navundar(the first notary public of Delft), lineage of Velaalar clan, of PandiyaNadu.

The late Mr. NAGAPPAR      The late Mrs.Nagamuththu

The late Mr. Sinnathamby    The late Mrs.Sinnathangam

Mr. Karthigesu was married to Mrs. Kamalambikai on 12-10-1955

Punithavathi      Putkaladevi        Vasanthadevi    Yoganathan        Kathirkamanathan

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My appapa had four siblings and lost his father at the age of four, and was raised by his mother and relatives. Mother Sinnathankam, a goals oriented, self-taught woman of keen intellect, was a passionate devotee of their family deity, Sri Ayyanar Uyarappulam temple, where her ancestors were the trustees. In the spirit of her religious fervor, she had her son Karthigesu attend Saivaprakasa Vidyalaya, situated in Delft west, about 2 km from their home. He successfully completed his senior school certificate with skills in accounting. When he was very young, he was to be elected to be a representative of Ward No-4, Delft. Mr.Karthigesu worked tirelessly with his cousins in the development projects of Delft. He also served as a manager and assisted in the management of Delft’s multi-purpose cooperative society.

It was a time period when conversion of one’s religion would have given incentives and facilitated easier entry into civil service, instead he opted to pursue a career as a volunteer teacher through the Saiva Vidya Development board in Musali. After becoming a government appointed teacher, he served in places such as Bandarawela in the hill country and in Pesalai. Before retiring in 1984, from 1963 onwards he continued to serve as a teacher at Maheswary Saivaprakasa vidyalaya, and finally as the principal of Bharathy Vidyalaya in Delft.

He married Kamalambikai, daughter of Kanagasabai Ayyaththipillai, in 1955 and was blessed with 5 children who were educated in Delft and in Jaffna. His two children pursued careers in the field of health, two in education and one in social services. A very dedicated mother, Kamalambal was careful in preparing and providing nutritious food and maintaining proper hygiene to the kids. During his stay in Delft, until 1984, he served as the treasurer of Delft West Rural development society and of Delft Sarapiddy United monetary society and later as the chairman of the society and received much acclaim and appreciation.

He has led a very self-contented lifestyle and firmly believes that the maintenance of proper accommodations and availability of food be the priorities in life. He is a nature lover, with the habit of sleeping in places where nature blows a gentle breeze. He has maintained a strict dietary discipline and always maintained a calm mental state and focused on tasks at hand- living in the present moment.

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He's a man of good work ethic and high morals, respected for his work, while managing to maintain a peaceful family atmosphere throughout.

When the people of Delft started leaving in large numbers to resettle in Vanni, he was concerned about the health and safety of his family from the malaria epidemic there and managed to keep his family in Delft until 1984, and ensured and paved the way for his children to choose the right path for a bright future. In accordance with the wishes of his children, in 1984, he moved to Mallavi, where he served as the chairman of the Thunukkai Thrifty Co-operative society and later as a member of the branch committee of Thunukkai MPCS.

He was a role model to his son Yoganathan who was actively involved in several community and social service projects there.

Due to the internal conflicts in his homeland, he left for Canada in March 1994 to be with his children and has since been living with his eldest daughter Punithavathi. Although he has become slightly physically weaker due to the aging process, he has otherwise been mentally very strong, with the ability to think clearly. He continues to contribute his support to the development of his ancestral deity of Uyarappulam Ayyanar Temple in Delft.

What we have learned from the successful completion of his centenary birthday is that the secret behind his healthy and long life is his diligence and discipline in consistently maintaining a simple, serene, and self-contented lifestyle- with a calm mental state, and healthy behaviors which include proper sleeping and dietary habits.

Everything was all over long ago-Be still (Just be) - Yoga Swami.

 

 

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Garthigga Yoganathan
Federal government
Canada
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