Peterite cricketer David Stewart passes away

It is with deep sadness we announce the passing of Peterite cricketer of the 1960s David Stewart.

David, who passed away in Melbourne on June 5, will be remembered as a tall, stylish opening batsman at St Peter’s.

David’s life will be celebrated on Thursday, June 13, at 11am at the Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 120 Oban Road, Ringwood North, followed by the burial service at Lilydale Memorial Park, 126-128 Victoria Road, Lilydale.

The viewing will take place at Le Pine Funerals, 132 Mt Dandenong Road, Croydon, on Wednesday, June 12, from 4.15 -5pm.

Anyone wishing to post a tribute to David can do so by filling the form below and submitting it.

Messages of sympathy:

I am sorry to hear of the passing of David. He was a classmate of mine for a number of  years. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend his funeral as I am overseas at present. My condolences to David’s family. – John Rodrigo

I am saddened to hear of David’s passing. David was well-liked at St Peter’s College, and we played cricket together.  He was a fine, technically correct batsman who bowlers found difficult to dismiss. David played with a straight bat and we would fondly refer to him as Alan Kippax (an Australian cricketer of the 1930s who was a real batting stylist). Deepest sympathies to David’s family, and I am sure the thoughts of all Peterites are with them at this time.Lawrence Heyn

David was a classmate and was part of a gang of us that hounded Edmund Paiva’s place down Albert Place, Dehiwela or at David’s. I have many fond memories of these get-togethers. My wife, April, and I are glad that we were able to spend a night with David and Sandra during one of our visits to Melbourne. It was a pleasant time going down memory lane with them. David and Sandra always made it a point to meet up with us whenever we visited Melbourne. David was a fighter and was always positive about his illness. We are going to miss catching up with you my friend. Our deepest sympathy to Sandra and the family and to his sister, Gillian, and her family. May his soul rest in peace and eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord; and let light perpetual shine upon him. – Malcolm Atton

It’s with deep regret that we learned of David’s passing. We take this opportunity to convey our deepest sympathies to his wife and family and pray for you during these sad days. David was a gentleman and a wonderful role model. RIP – Dalston de Rozairo

We were fortunate to visit and spend some time with you. God Bless. Deepest sympathies to Sandra and family. – James & Dilky Alagaratnam

I still recollect the days at St Peter’s and wish to convey my deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences to the family members of the late David Stewart. I pray that Jesus will give you all the strength and peace during this time of sorrow. My deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences to you.  – Aloysius Gomez

Last week, I happened to see some pix of David in hospital on FB which really saddened me. Somehow, I felt his time was near and made it a point to say a special prayer for him. The very next day I heard the sad news, and the rest of the day I was reminiscing about the days in the late ’60s, early ’70s; Some of the highlights were “Muthuvelu’s class”, Albert Place, Ratnakara Place, cricket at Fraser Ave, and on the vacant land next to 22 Albert Place. David was always well-dressed/groomed. By all accounts, David seems to have done incredibly well in ALL departments of life. Thanks David for the friendship, and Rest in Peace, buddy. – Edmund Paiva

I am grieved to hear of David’s passing. I studied with him at SPC in the early ’60s for 3-4 years, if my memory serves me right. I remember him to be very nattily dressed and soft spoken. I also recall he was very much into cricket – a great opening batsman and very difficult to get out, being the bane of most schoolboy bowlers. My prayer is that David is up in heaven and likely smiling down on us lesser mortals. – Tilak Fernando, Negombo, Sri Lanka

My dear David, your kindness and leadership will always be remembered. Vashdev Suresh Melvani

Some of my brothers and I got to know David, not only at college, but in the area where we lived – Campbell Place, Dehiwela, and other streets within close proximity. We played tennis ball cricket either on the road in front of our house or Fraser Avenue, both of which were close to sea breeze and wind, which taught us how to play a “moving ball”. Our leather ball team was known as the Campbell Rovers. David  joined us on a few occasions. Sadly, we lost touch with David when we shifted from Dehiwela to Ratmalana in the late ’60s. By then, elder brother Peter and I were playing cricket for college and shortly after that at the Nondescripts Cricket Club (NCC ). I caught up with David about 20 or so years ago at the annual cricket match against the Old Josephians. I wish to convey my deepest sympathies and God’s choicest blessings on David’s wife and family. May he Rest In Peace. – Stephen  de Niese

I am saddened to hear of the passing of David Stewart.  David was a classmate and teammate of mine as we played for college in 1968.  He was a fine opening batsman, and also a very good left-arm leg-spin bowler, and a safe slip fielder; in other words, David was a very fine all-rounder, and a captain’s dream! David was a very soft-spoken, polite and likeable guy, which I will always remember. My deepest sympathies to Sandra and family. May he Rest In Peace – Rodney Paternott

David was a classmate and a good friend. We used to play cricket at Fraser Ane grounds in the weekend and at Albert Place in the evenings. David would join us and it was fun. David was a good dependable cricketer for his school. I remember one Josephian-Peterite cricket match when it was ending in a draw, David (his last year in school) was quite aggressive in his batting and I believe he scored 34 in a short while in the second innings, with about 4 boundaries, and this was the first I had seen David being this aggressive. Rosemary and I were very fortunate to have the opportunity to spend a week with my cousin, Sandra and David in February 2018 and it was nice reminiscing all the memories of our teachers and friends during college days. We also met his children and their families and this is something we will cherish for a long time. I knew his whole family. David was a polite, loving caring father and husband. It is with sadness that we heard of David’s passing. We extend our deepest sympathies to Sandra and the family and to David’s sister Gillian and her family. He will be missed. May his soul Rest In Peace – Cedric Scheffer








    Captains Fantastic at Melbourne reunion

    The Blue That Crowns the World reunion in Melbourne on October 4 is gathering momentum, with a number of past cricket captains confirming their attendance.

    Captains from the 1970s, Rohan Buultjens, Charinde Perera, Michael Elias and Bernard Wijetunge, are arriving from overseas to join other previous skippers such as Tyrone Le Mercier, Ranjan Perera, Gamini Goonasena, Ruwan Jayaweera and Denham Juriansz. Also attending are a host of former cricketers and ruggerites, travelling from other states in Australia.

    The reunion at the Springvale Town Hall, Melbourne, is expected to attract a large gathering. The two previous reunions in 2008 and 2011, organised by a group of old boys from Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, were well attended and happy memories were shared (Photo Gallery).

    The organisers have promised a night packed with fun and surprises, in addition to unique entertainment and a menu designed for the Peterite palate.

    Conrad de Silva, of Jetliners fame, will be a guest artist along with other Peterites on parade. Music will be provided by popular duo Chris and Lozaine.

    Silken-voiced Conrad de Silva

    Silken-voiced Conrad de Silva

    Lozaine & Chris will entertain you.

    Lozaine & Chris will entertain

    While there will be activity on the dance floor, there also will be plenty of time to meet and chat with schoolmates and recall the good old times.

    The organisers have added value by planning some unique gifts for those attending the function.


    There also is a tie on sale for $20 – see previous post on this website.

    Malcolm Schokman, from the organising committee said: “We are committed to giving Peterites an event that will help them recall and go some way to re-create our glorious school days – as our anthem says, ‘while in boyhood here we linger … when such joys were ours’.

    “So look forward to another great night to remember. Bring your school mates along to enjoy their company and relate all those school yarns.”

    Tickets are $65 a head and can be bought from any member of the organising committee.

    The reunion committee would like to see many of our past cricketers, rugby players and other sportsmen attend this reunion to make this a memorable event of reminiscing and renewal of friendships.

    Anton Perera: the legend will live on

    The exploits of fiery fast bowler Anton Perera. has been part of St Peter’s  cricketing folklore which has been passed down through the generations. Anton passed away this week and is being mourned by the Peterite community the world over. Upali Obeyesekere, President of  JPAA Canada, has penned this tribute with assistance from Rontjen Perera – a close friend of Anton’s.

    News has just reached us of the passing of ANTON PERERA – a Peterite legend of the 1950s going into the ‘60s. Anton was in a coma for the last two to three  in a Los Angeles Hospital, arising from a complicated medical condition. Sadly, he passed away on the morning of February 20, in hospital, surrounded by his beloved wife Marlene, only son Yohan (Joey) and daughters Charlene and Cheryl . Funeral services are not known as at time of writing. Anton has lived in Southern California since 1962, one of the early settlers to the U.S. from Sri Lanka.

    Anthony V. Perera, fondly known as “Anton” was a legend at St. Peter’s College. He was one of the most celebrated sports icons who left an indelible mark on the Peterite landscape. . He was a prolific athlete, exceptional cricketer and also played rugby until his coach Jackie van Twest advised him not to play as it would hurt his athletics. Anton was also a good tennis player and his father was a tennis player of national repute.

    In athletics, Anton was a Publics School champion in the field events and did the sprint relays as well. This was the time college had a crack athletics team. In 1957, He captained the junior athletics team which went on to win the Junior Tarbat at the Public Schools Championships in 1957. Desmond Moraes, Rontjen Perera and Linus Jayewardene (since departed) were the other members of the team. Some names of Peterite athletes during his time who come to mind are Ranjit Wijeyesekere, Ranjit Weerasena, David Van Dort, Errol de Silva, brothers Andrew and Godfrey Goonetilleke, Rontjen Perera, E.L. Fernando, N.B. Wilson, Didacus de Almeida, Roger Wright, Kevin Ruberu, Vinitha Rakajaruna, Elmo Perera, Carlyle Rudolph, Ranjith Alwis, brothers Winston and Stafford Tambimuttu, and a host of others of repute who later went on to join Ace Athletic Club or CT & FC.

    Anton dabbled with rugby and played for college as a wing three-quarter – much to the displeasure of athletics coach Jackie Van Twest.

    But it was at cricket that Anton was best known. His baptism into the First XI was in 1957, at the age of 15, under the captaincy of Jayantha Fernando. In the big match, Anton clean bowled opener Claude Perera and then took out two prolific Josephian batsmen Priya Perera and Tissa de Soysa. He had match figures of 3 for 69 in his first big match that was drawn. Anton played from 1957 to 1960. St. Peter’s were captained by Russel Duckworth in 1958, Brian Seneviratne in 1959, and Premasiri Athukorale in 1960.

    I cannot remember which year, but Anton caused a sensation at the St Peter’s-Ananda game one year. He took 8 wickets for 21 and at least six Anandian players were injured. At this time, he was rated the fastest schoolboy bowler in Ceylon, with Ananda’s Sonny Yatawara a close second. Anton’s opening partners were Maurice Deckker (1960), Desmond Dharmaraja (1958-1959) and Anton Paulpillai (1957). Anton best partnered with Maurice Deckker when the Peterites had the most fiery opening bowling attack at the time in school cricket.

    Cricket at St. Peter`s enjoyed a great period in the ‘50s and ‘60s  – there was a galaxy of stars who played for college.

    Anton`s teammates who played alongside him are shown below:

    1957 – David Muthumani, Nihal Wijesena, Darrel De Silva, Jayantha Fernando, Brian Seneviratne, Russel Duckworth, Lakshman Serasinghe, Premasiri Athukorale, Christy Marthalingam, Anton Paulpillai.

    1958 – Randy Layman, Adiel Anghie, Desmond Dharmaraja, Elmo Gunasekara.

    1959 – Richard Alles, Mark de Silva, Richard Heyn, Tyrone Le Mercier.

    1960 – Maurice Deckker, Didacus de Almeida.

    Anton played club cricket for the Sinhalese Sports Club while in school. He left for the United States in 1962, and lived in Southern California with his wife Marlene (primary school teacher at college) and their three children. He was involved in developing and promoting cricket in southern California in the 1960s and played locally with Dr Tony Don Michael (another Peterite), M.L. Idroos (S,. Thomas’), Dr C. Balakrishnan (Jaffna Hindu), and a host of other players who made California their home in the post-sixties.

    Nihal Perera, a Peterite of my vintage who now lives in the US has sent in this comment. Very sad to hear he is no more. Still remember him almost skittling out St Thomas’ in their second innings ending at 39/9 (St Peter’s almost snatched victory from the jaws of defeat as they say) and he ended up with 7 for 11. Fr. Arthur Fernando called him on to the stage on theMonday after and presented him with a pair of bootlaces (since he had constant issues with the laces coming undone during his Herculean effort). Man with a big heart.”

    A Peterite colleague of Anton’s – Kevin Ruberu (domiciled in Australia) says: Anton was one of the best sportsmen we ever had. He was on top of his cricket and athletics. In athletics, he was a superb all-rounder (shot putt, javelin, long jump, 100m sprint – he excelled at it all); I think he also played some tennis and rugby (not encouraged by Jackie Van Twest of course).”

     Anton visited Sri Lanka often and had many friends all over the world. He was one of the most popular sportsmen to emerge from St. Peter’s College. One distinct character trait that stood by Anton throughout his life is that he had a mind of his own. Most times, he was right in his convictions. He would call a spade, a spade and there was no “beating round the bush” with him. With Anton, it was a case of “what you see is what you get”. He was a good family man, a good human being, loyal to his multitude of friends and a very good Catholic to his dying days.

    Marlene was the love of his life, and they were married for just over 50 years. He worked at 3-M for most of his life in Los Angeles and stayed in the Canoga Park area of Southern California. He leaves behind his beloved wife Marlene, and three children Yohan (Joey), Charlene and Cheryl.

    May his soul Rest in Peace.

     Post a tribute to Anton Perera on the Peterites Reunited Blackboard.