GALLERY OF EVENTS - Mrs. Mary Hayman bids farewell - Images, Eulogy and Appreciations



Hayman Mary. Wife of the late Dr. R.L. Hayman, Sub Warden S.Thomas' College Mount Lavinia and Headmaster of S.Thomas' College at Gurutalawa, passed away peacefully on Saturday the 17th November 2007.

The funeral has been arranged for Tuesday November 27th 10.30.a.m.GMT at the Crematorium, Astwood Road, Worcester.

There will be a Speical Service in the College Chapel at Gurutalawa on the 27th of November at 3:30 p.m. for the school community at which Fr. Goodchild will deliver the Eulogy.



A Service of Thanksgiving and Remembrance for the Life of Mrs. Mary Hayman will be held on Saturday January 12th, 2008 at 9.00 a.m. at the Chapel of Transfiguration at S. Thomas College- Mt. Lavinia.


A description of the events by Kamal Gamampilla

Mid morning, Tuesday, twenty seventh of November in Worcester was a quintessential autumn morning befitting the occasion. Overnight mist was lifting to a thin and crispy hue she was so familiar when at Gurutalawa looking ahead to the rising sun across the paddy fields from headmaster’s bungalow, a daily occurrence during almost her entire days in Sri Lanka. Then, it was a nature’s deliverance of a cheerful bright day with beaming sunshine in an orange hue through the disappearing fog awakening its elements in full glory. Today, though, sun was beyond sight, air denser and heavier, an appropriate sombre ambience in empathy with the gathered congregation to bid farewell to a beloved one.

Mrs Hayman’s family, friends, the chaplain and Old Thomians were gathered at the Astwood Crematorium in the outskirts of shire city of Worcester in the midlands of England to pay respect and bid their final farewells. The hearse carrying Mrs Hayman in her final journey rolled its way gently through wooded landscape only to be caressed by an occasional but symbolic descending leaf, once green and full of life but now, brown and withered devoid of same, having performed its duties throughout its life. Trees in preparation for the winter, and the flower plants having bloomed and blossomed in the seasons of Spring and Summer come to rest, as if to comply with Mrs Hayman’s request, ‘no flowers, please’.

On arrival at the forecourt, the casket draped in the College flag given by K.N.Amerasinghe an Old Boy who was in Guru in the late Fifties,.
was carried by representatives of her family, friends and Old Thomians in to the chapel for her deliverance. Sister Joan Hudspeth conducted a beautiful Service, narrated chapters of Mrs Hayman’s life from her birth in Sutton, Surrey through a lifetime of wholesomeness to parting days. Don Lear Iddamalgoda, a student from early years of the school, delivered a eulogy embracing her years at S Thomas’ and the indelible mark she left behind. The funeral service was completed with the College song in the background.

True to her beliefs and values, she had requested a simple funeral with no flowers, and any customary donations to go to the welfare of others, through the nursing home where she spent her final days.

At the invitation of Mrs Hayman’s nephew, we all met at a local hospitality hall where we reminisced the life and times of Mrs Hayman with the family, friends and fellow Thomians over refreshments. Unfortunately, Mrs Hayman’s brother could not be there owing to his own health concerns. Nephews, John and Brian, their families, Mrs Hayman’s neighbours David and Alison Briggs, their daughter, and other friends from Bournemouth with the Thomians formed the gathering.

The Pallbearers were:
Mrs Hayman’s nephew, John Rudd
Her neighbour from Bournemouth, David Briggs
Don Lear Iddamalgoda
Ranjith De Silva
Harish Nilaweera
Kamal Gammampila


Eulogy delivered by Don Lear at the Funeral Service of Mrs Mary Hayman

Mrs Mary Hayman was a nurse by profession. She epitomised its highest standards. It is said that God works in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform.

So it was that with the out break of war in Europe the guiding hand of destiny in its benevolence brought her to Ceylon as Sri Lanka was then called and to my old school S. Thomas’College which had been requisitioned for a Military Hospital .In due course she met Our Headmaster Dr R. L. Hayman and came as his wife to a part of the College which perforce was relocated in a show piece Farm of 36 acres in a hamlet called Gurutalawa .There she established serving as The Sick Room Matron, her own particular Regency over the Thomian community of which we were a privileged part.

If Gurutalawa was a show piece farm set in the Hills with its Keatsian ambience, Mrs Hayman made the Sick Room a show piece of Care and Love. Apart from ministering to the Boys of The College she opened its doors to the surrounding villages.

She was a committed environmentalist and set the standards for the general house keeping of the extensive campus redolent with its Gum and Fir trees, fruits of every kind and flowers of every Hue. Grass was mowed, hedges were trimmed, flowerbeds bloomed. Roofs and Gutters were cleared of leaves and twigs and no one dared to throw litter even into some hidden gully. Her Ubiquity kept every one, Staff, Boys ,Domestics and Farm Labourers on their Toes.

The preservation of trees which abounded was aggressively pursued by her and she extended her instinctive vocational concern for the sick to the vegetation around and to all natural life. Once she received a live Turkey as a gift for Christmas and you would have guessed correctly if you said the Turkey saw many Christmas’ through alive and well. She had a pet deer and a resplendent peacock and empathized with them even as St. Francis would have done presiding as he was as the Patron Saint of the College Chapel.

Mrs Hayman retired in 1963 when Dr Hayman himself decided to leave. It was a wrench for the School which has still to recover from the wound. She returned again and again 5 times in all 3 of them after Dr Hayman’s Death in 1983.On one such occasion she came as the most acceptable Chief Guest for the Schools’ Golden Jubilee Celebrations.Her visits were at her own expense and was a great source of strength to the Thomian Community. She gave generously from her limited resources without ostentation.

She was laid back ,soft spoken and modest but with nerves of Steel and a heart of Gold.

Mrs Hayman in her own right will assuredly have her place in the annals of the College.

She lives on according to her faith elevated by the quality of her life in a Kingdom beyond the ken of human consciousness but still her memory remains within our ken; Inspiring and Nurturing us to care and to love, not merely the School but all life and indeed Life itself as a gift to be shared and given in the service of others.


Eulogy by Dr.Nimal Jayatilaka to Mrs Hayman - Distributed to mourners

Dear Friends

"As we gather here today on this sad occasion to say farewell to Mrs Hayman,there are many others around the world who are unable to be present. I am sure they join us in spirit.

We will always remember Mrs Hayman rushing around at STC Gurutalawa, doing one thing or the other. She was a strict disciplinarian, like Dr Harman. Together, they taught us right from wrong. They taught us loyalty and brotherhood. It was a sad occasion when we gathered before at Dr Hayman's funeral. Today, as we bid goodbye to Mrs Hayman,it will be the end of an era.

Together, they gave many Thomians at Gurutalawa a great education, which will remain with them for ever. Many of them are here in the UK ,contributing in their own way and using the skills taught by Dr and Mrs Hayman.

Mrs Hayman was in charge of the sick room. It was a pleasurable experience to be admitted to the sick room! She would bake special cakes and serve them to the sick boys. That is where we learnt to play Canasta, now long forgotten. It is the one card game which requires two packs and at least 108 cards.

Mrs Hayman was always on the look out for raiders. These were boys who plucked fruit from the orchard. The purpose of this was to teach us discipline-the fruits were unimportant, it was the principle.

Whenever, Old Thomians visited Dr and Mrs Hayman in Bournemouth, she would make a special rice and curry, not forgetting paripppu or lentils - and the famous Thomian Polkudu Sambol.When departing after meeting her, it was like saying goodbye to your own mother.

Mr Abeykoon, the old Sinhalese teacher, used to describe the sadness of parting at death as 'viyo dhukha'. It is the greatest sadness of all. Today as we say good bye to Mrs Hayman,we echo the sentiment.

You and Dr Hayman will live in our hearts for ever.

May you rest in peace.

Esto Perpetua

MNDP Jayatilaka (Nimal) (1954-1958)

Mrs Mary Hayman, wife of the late Dr R.L.Hayman passed away in a private nursing home in her home county of Worcester shire on Saturday the 17th November.The funeral has been arranged for Tuesday the 27th November at 10.30 hours G.M.T.

Guru Old Boys of the years 1948 to 1963 will remember her with affection and gratitude as a Sick room Matron par excellance.She also spent her time seeing that the campus of 35 acres was kept spick and span and maintained the highest standards of conservation.

She was soft spoken and kind but brooked no nonsense from mala Fide miscreants.She was a source of great strength and support to Dr Hayman as Head master and as the head of the the community that was Gurutalawa.

She enjoyed keeping in touch with the school and the old boys after her retirement and made five memorable visits back to Sri Lanka and the School,the last two of which was after Dr Hayman's death in 1983 ; the first being to open the Canon R.S.De Saram memorial Library in 1987at Gurutalawa and finally as Chief Guest at the 50th Anniverary dinner in 1992.

She spent her retirement as was Characteristic of her in visiting and ministering to the needy elders at Bournemouth..She was also persuaded to be the President of the Joint Uk O.B.A.Branch till her health precluded her from making the Journey as required to London for the meetings.

The College at Guru will remember her at a special service on the 27th itself and there will also be a special Memorial and Thanks giving service for her life, at S.T.C Mount Lavinia in the Chapel of the Transfiguration, as will be noticed .

Mrs Hayman started her stint in Ceylon as it was then known as a nurse in the Military Hospital at the College premises in Mount which was requisitioned for the Purpose (Thus Gurutalawa) and returned to serve the Main School as sickroom Matron in the years 1946/1947, when Dr Hayman was recalled By Warden De Saram after the War was over
to assist in the Rehabilitation of the College.


I came to know Mrs. Hayman long before I joined Guru as a student in the Lower Fourth Class. My father was teaching Sinhala at Guru and he was living in one of the married quarters set aside for Staff. Mrs. Hayman used to visit the married quarters of the Staff at least every other week. She inquired about the health and welfare of the entire family of the Staff Member. We all knew how she cared about the health and food of the students. She was very concerned about the cleanliness of their living conditions. She was particular that the Dorms and the toilets including the night toilets were regularly swept and washed and maintained properly. She was equally concerned that the kitchen, the food stores, the pantry, and the dining room were spotlessly clean. She ensured that these areas were washed every weekend with detergents. She was in charge of the sick room and the Isolation Ward. The sick room had a regular stream of boys each evening, to be treated for their colds and coughs with the mixtures; to be dressed for their invariable cuts and bruises earned during the regular sporting activities each evening. The Isolation Ward came in to use when boys in large numbers contacted infectious illnesses in the nature of chicken pox, mumps and measles. The boys loved being her in-door patients when suffering from any of such illnesses or common fevers. Unlike their mums at home who put them on starvation diet, Mrs. Hayman insisted on the boys being served with a hefty plate of regular rice and curry. She together with Dr. Hayman supervised the weekly attendance in the sick room of Dr. Blaze ,the medical practitioner from Welimada who was the Physician attending to the needs of the College and who was responsible for the immunizations and inoculations that had to be administered at various ages. Mrs. Hayman was also very concerned about the garden and orchard and their orderly maintenance. She had a pet Deer at one time by the name of Rani and was very attached to her. Although Dr. and Mrs. Hayman had no children of their own the hundreds of boys who passed through Guru were made to feel that during the College Term the places of their parents were taken by this couple. Indeed the two of them definitely felt that they were morally obliged to take on that mantle. Whilst Mrs. Hayman was of the very strong view that the boys in their charge must have proper food and health care etc. and every thing had to be done to make them happy whilst in College she was equally of the very strong view that for the sake of the students the entire staff must also be treated in the same way. That is why as I said before she paid regular visits to the Staff Quarters. Few people would know that she did not stop at inquiring about the health of the wife and children of the Master. She went in to the toilets, bath rooms, bed rooms and kitchen. She inspected all these areas on every one of her visits. She made sure that the electricity and water service was in order. If she found that any of these services required attention she made sure that the maintenance department of the College sent the Electrician, Plumber, Carpenter or Mason the same day to have the short coming rectified. On one occasion she dropped in to see us, my mother was cooking in the kitchen. Mrs. Hayman would walk in to the kitchen without any hesitation and continue to chat to my mother. Although my father was not very fluent in English and more comfortable with Sinhala, on the other hand my mother was able to carry on a conversation with her in English. When Mrs. Hayman found that my mother kept standing during the entire time it took her to prepare the meal in the kitchen, Mrs. Hayman on her return made sure that a stool from Dr. Hayman’s Physics Lab was requisitioned and sent for my mother. Mrs. Hayman took a great interest in the Staff and as Guru was for both of them, their home, continued to take an interest in the Staff even during the holidays. I am now in my sixties. Mrs. Hayman died at the age of 94. I knew her when I was a small boy between the ages of 9 and 16 ie, about 45 years ago.. My memories of her are still fresh. She was such a gentle soft spoken and gracious lady. I have never seen her angry. Such people cannot be found any more. All those who were fortunate to know her and Dr. Hayman will always carry those very special memories. For all the love comfort and care she gave those hundreds at Guru may she be blessed with absolute and everlasting peace in her final resting place.

Sydney Abeykoon (1958-1963)
November 29, 2007

As for me I will constantly call her Florence Nightingale to all the Thomians of the past . During my training for the Public Schools Athletics Championships, my ailments & minor injuries were promptly cured by her magic touch. I am lost for words to express my sincere appreciation.

M Jabir Junaid (Injured Athlete)
November 29, 2007


Politeness & concern was her way of life
She was none other than Dr Hayman's wife,
As a unique lady I would always hail
A twin sister of Florence Nightingale.

Gardening was her part-time pleasure
Trees & plants were a part of her treasure,
Doc's bungalow was a mini paradise
Hey! you hurt a plant & you'll pay a price.

A disciplined Deer she did rear
Rani was her name under her zealous care
Scruffy the cat was intelligent & smart
With these two pets she never did part.

May her soul rest in peace in paradise, in the hands of god.


M Jabir Junaid (Injured Athlete)
November 29, 2007

We are all saddened by her demise. She was best remembered for her motherly care to all of us who visited the sickroom. On an occasional day, the lady of the lamp, although she saw through the pretence, yet she treated us, probably saving us from punishment in class.

She was admired the way she helped Dr Hayman in managing the campus at Guru. Her love of gardening, care of nature & punctuality gave us the leadership to be disciplined men in today's society. Her loss is irreparable to all of Guru Thomians.
May her soul Rest In Peace!

Nihal Wanniarachchi (1959-1964)
November 29, 2007

Mrs. Mary Hayman –The Last of The Triumvirate.

She lived her life to the fullest assisting those Giants Dr.Rollo Hayman and Fr A.J. Foster in their tireless endeavours to create Gurutalawa what it used to be She has now taken leave of us to enjoy a well earned Rest, Peace, and Quiet. She has not died. She continues to live in the hearts, and minds of all of us who were cared for by her.

Mrs. Hayman, Fr. Foster and Dr. Hayman

November 30 2007

Mary Hayman - An Appreciation.

'Though fragile you gave 'Doc', the strength to Dare,
Your kindness and concern were qualities so rare,
A nurse by choice, you played the role with us in your care,
Farewell Mary Hayman - for we hardly could bear'.

Buddhika Kurukularatne, Advocate, former Member of Parliament, S.T.C.G. (1955)
December 4, 2007

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