Mr. H.E. Upasena - Versatile Teacher

Mr. H.E. Upasena, our beloved English Literature Teacher, was our Arithmetic / Mathematics Teacher too. He was energetic and adventurous and always dressed in a white national dress. He pronounced English in a very fast tempo with very clear vocal stress and diction. He was a multi-subject, multi-disciplinary teacher. He provided us excellent subject content and programmed our minds to study arithmetic in easy steps.

Mr. Upasena, combined algebra and arithmetic together to show students a seamless transfer to mathematics. He spent his time travelling to Colombo by bus to bring the gramophone records from a source in Colombo and played the gramophone records in his English poetry classes. It was a fascinating experience to have access to a gramophone in a classroom and listen to English poems and poetry - a rare and uncommon exposure to most of us.

Mr. Upasena taught us many poems. “Fair daffodils we weep to see you waste away so soon” : When I go back to this poetry session a classic incident comes to my mind. After reciting the poem you told students – “Unfortunately daffodils are not there in our Country. The nearest flower that I can think of is Sinha-Mukha type but larger. But the plant will be of a different shape”. That is exactly what you gave us in mental pictures. We are fascinated about it today.

In another poetry session your choice was - “Elegy written in a country Churchyard” by poet Thomas Grey still lingers in my mind. You recited the poem with us and explained the flow of thoughts of the poet. You created in our mind, a “video clip” in a way in today’s language and with your dramatic posture and the flow of special words to give us the literal meaning of the poem too. We still retain an excellent memory alive and fresh even today.

“Full many a gem of purest ray serene,

The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear:

Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,

And waste its sweetness on the desert air.”

-Poet Thomas Gray –

What a treasure of English Literature and Language you cultivated in our minds in the formative years of our character and life.

We register you as a versatile bright product of Sri Palee who took up to teaching at Sri Palee. I’m certain all Students retain a soft corner in their hearts for you. You trained the students to dramatize Romeo & Juliet few sections, which I recall today as an uncommon experience for Sri Palee students in that era. Among the others Sir, you were our renowned “wes” dancer. You brightened up the Drama of Sri Palee Mela. I can still remember “sathutu tharanga” song and your accompanying dance. Sir, you have put in your best and achieved results. Thank you very much for your contribution to us and Sri Palee. You are with us in our treasured memory.


Last Updated on Friday, 25 December 2009 15:27