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DR DANNY JAYAKODY: FROM APPRENTICE TO A COMMISSION IN THE ROYAL AIR FORCE

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Extract of article published under the title ‘The Lambent Lad from Ganemulla’ in the FB blog of Menaka Ashi Fernando https://aviadoradeceilan.medium.com/the-lambent-lad-from-ganemulla-407e06a1e3b6

The year was 2008, and the majority of the 94th entry at RAF College Cranwell were contemplating retirement, except for one dynamic individual — Dhanapala Jayakody Arachchige. At 61, Dhanapala or Danny as he is popularly known had plans that were 180 degrees opposite to that of his cohort. He had won an international PhD scholarship to study Air Cargo Safety at the Air Transport Department at Cranfield University, and that shelved his retirement plans forever and a day. Danny was sponsored by the engineering and physical sciences research council, UK CAA and The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) to research airworthiness risk assessment for large old cargo and passenger aircraft. His PhD thesis was titled “Bayesian Model for strategic level risk assessment in continuing airworthiness of air transport’.

RAF HALTON 102 ENTRY | RAF CRANWELL 94 ENTRY

In 1962, Danny joined the 102 entry at RAF Halton as a trainee engine fitter, on a commonwealth scholarship from Ceylon. At Halton, it quickly became apparent that Danny was academically gifted. Many of his cohort buddies benefitted from his help in maths, science and English homework. This scenario, coupled with his infectious smile gradually broke down the social barriers in the entry. During this time, Danny won the national prize for the lecturette competition organized by the Royal Aeronautical Society. He topped the batch and went on to win the English prize too, despite it not being his first language!

 

“My arrival at Halton, a small UK rural community was a great cultural shock for me. The military environment of the sixties was far from ‘politically correct’. I was the only non-white face in the entry, and had far greater cultural differences to assimilate” — Danny

 

Rolls Royce was so impressed with Danny’s paper on rocket propulsion that they invited him to visit Spadeadam and witness a static firing of a Blue Streak missile. “Workshop sessions, particularly the basic Fitting exercises, showed a different characteristic; a dogged determination. Blood was repeatedly drawn as the hammer hit hand more than the chisel! That perseverance, and the patient coaching of George Edwards, our civilian instructor and father figure, hel

ped me through the final lap” — Danny Danny’s academic and engineering ability were soon recognised by the RAF, and he was commissioned to be an Engineering Officer at RAF College Cranwell (1968), where he gained his BSc, after which the RAF also funded his MSc in aircraft design at Cranfield. All this was put to good use in a succession of RAF engineering and Ministry of Defence and Industrial management posts.

 

THE BRILLIANT LAD FROM GANEMULLA

Danny was born in a village near Ganemulla, Ceylon, in December 1945. The youngest boy in a family of 4 boys and 3 girls, Danny studied at the Galahitiyawa Primary School (1949–54), and then at Galahitiyawa Central (1955–62). Danny’s entire life can be characterised by his continued learning and the application of knowledge. He gained his teaching talents and experience from the Sunday schools that he attended. Being a bright student, he was initially entrusted to teach at the Sunday school. He later progressed to teaching higher level classes. He had no formal teacher training; but simply observed adult teachers and followed suit. Danny was just 16, and studying for his GCE Advanced Level, when he embarked on his first serious job — a most creative and satisfying task. He started a tuition school, initially with only 2 students and went on to develop it to accommodate up to 80 students! The school taught English, Maths and Science to GCE Ordinary Level students and had teaching facilities for pre-school kids. The school had 7 teachers (all Danny’s friends), the oldest being just 20. Danny was the principal, accountant, publicist, purchaser, teacher and paymaster all rolled into one!

 

OBSERVATIONS

There are not many who can combine the practical with high academic ability in engineering proud of his exceptional achievements — Peter Allen In mid-2012 Dr Jayakody worked as a Senior Systems Engineer initially for Cyber Security related work. He then moved on to Airworthiness and Certification, mainly in the Chinook MK 6 delivery programme, and subsequently in strategic and policy work, setting up long term A&C infrastructure and internal processes — Boeing Defence UK “The application of Dr Jayakody’s work to the air cargo industry is most relevant. The hull loss rate of cargo aircraft is several times higher than for passenger aircraft. The most obvious reason is that the cargo fleet is considerably older than its passenger counterpart. The aircraft are very maintenance intensive and are thus more exposed to maintenance error. This makes all the more reason to concentrate on aligning cargo fleets with the new European Aviation Safety Agency-type processes.” – John Snow, senior lecturer, Cranfield “Our largest annual scholarship award attracted a number of excellent submissions. However, air safety is the most compelling issue for our industry and the outcome of Dhanapala’s study will help identify further ways to enhance the global reputation of our industry.” – Dora Kay, chair of TIACA’s education committee.

Despite his 56-years of work Dr Danny still feels restless and yearn for work. Yes, he is no longer driven by the clock and recurring deadlines. Yet he aspires to plough back his knowledge for the benefit of the younger generation.



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Fashion

For modern day power woman

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The traditional soft and sensual label Anaya aesthetic was transformed into a sophisticated, strong, bold and powerful fashion reflecting the modern day power women.

Paying homage to the postwar era of the 1950’s glamour and drawing inspiration from the fashion muses by the likes of Dovima, Audrey Hepburn and the works of Richard Avedon with his strong black and white contrast of austere sophistication. Our mood is not only visual yet musical with retro music inspired by Frankie Valli and the flamingos taking us all back to romanticism and pure pleasure of the times when everything was slow and dreamy.

The brand broke boundaries of its traditional soft pastel aesthetic to a monochromatic palette with all blacks, shades of off-white ,nudes, botanical greens, and clashing reds. The Fall wardrobe was revitalised with uniquely constructed silhouettes, handmade three-dimensional botanical motifs, beading, figure hugging corsets and delicate embroidered laces and sparkling sequins. The collection with its uniquely deconstructed fabric manipulations with micro velvet, shiny satin, silk taffeta, mecado, and laces with a modern twist of liquid organza, sequins and double-sided silk satins made a fashion statement.

Chathuri, the creative director’s vision for this collection was the transformation of the modern-day women to a powerhouse of strength and independence, fusing the signature Anaya silhouettes with strong elements of high pressure corsets, over exaggerated sleeves and elongated capes and 3D draping.

“This collection was was inspired by the 1950s, the time when the darkest nights were passed with a touch of hope for a beautiful future of women transitioning from a more submissive role to powerful role being able to express themselves through Fashion”.

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Create unforgettable moments…

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GM Elton Hurtis with sales and marketing team

The much-anticipated Wedding Show 2024 at the Courtyard by Marriott Colombo unfolded on recently, leaving an unforgettable mark on the landscape of the Sri Lankan wedding industry. Courtyard by Marriott Colombo, in collaboration with Asia Exhibitions & Conventions (Pvt) Ltd, successfully orchestrated a two-day celebration that transcended the traditional boundaries of a bridal expo.

The festivities commenced with an inaugural ceremony graced by key figures in the local wedding industry, vendors, and potential clients. The hotel, adorned in wedding-themed splendour, served as the perfect backdrop for the occasion. Elton Hurtis, General Manager at Courtyard by Marriott Colombo, expressed his delight at the turnout, stating, “The Wedding Show is not just an event; it’s a celebration of unity within the wedding industry. We’re thrilled to witness the coming together of vendors and clients in this vibrant community.”

The exhibition hall buzzed with activity as visitors explored a diverse array of offerings from the finest wedding vendors in Colombo. From exquisite bridal wear to innovative event decor, the show showcased the rich tapestry of talent within the local wedding industry. Attendees had the opportunity to engage directly with vendors, fostering connections that extend beyond the event itself.

One of the highlights of The Wedding Show was the inclusive atmosphere that permeated the venue. Vendors, irrespective of their scale or specialization, collaborated to create an environment where diversity and creativity flourished. This collaborative spirit echoed the sentiments of Courtyard by Marriott Colombo’s commitment to building a more supportive community within the wedding industry.

In addition to the vendor stalls, The Wedding Show featured insightful panel discussions and workshops led by industry experts. Topics ranged from the latest trends in wedding planning to sustainable practices within the industry. The interactive sessions provided attendees with valuable insights and inspired meaningful conversations about the future of weddings in Colombo.

Imran Noordeen, Director of Sales & Marketing , reflected on the success of the event, saying, “The positive response from both vendors and attendees affirms the need for platforms like The Wedding Show. It’s clear that our community values the opportunity to come together, share ideas, and contribute to the growth of the wedding industry.”

As The Wedding Show 2024 drew to a close, the echoes of joyous conversations, newfound connections, and shared enthusiasm lingered in the air. Courtyard by Marriott Colombo and Asia Exhibitions & Conventions (Pvt) Ltd succeeded in not just hosting an exhibition but creating an experience that celebrated the spirit of unity and collaboration within Colombo’s wedding industry. As the event concluded, it left participants eagerly anticipating the continued growth and success of the local wedding community, inspired by the bonds forged at The Wedding Show 2024.


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Life style

latest cancer treatments give families hope

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Dr Tanujaa Rajasekeran

T anujaa Rajasekeran, Senior Consultant Medical Oncologist Parkway Cancer Centre was in Sri Lanka recently to take part in an exclusive medical workshop with CanHope Colombo.

In an interview Dr Tanujaa revealed the latest developments in cancer treatments. She explained how Cancer slowly becomes less of a catastropic moment in families as new research and clinical trials reduce its physiological effects to something more chronic, While some get cancer from the toll of thier risky lifestyles,while others have it in thier genes.

Some families are more genetically pre-disposed to develop cancer. Cancer treatment doesn’t mean eliminating the cancer. It also means helping the patient adjust to thier new lifestyle, especially when they take on these treatments reveals Dr Tanujaa.She also said when you are diagnosed with cancer, it is not immediately a death sentence, there is always hope for patients now with advanced technology. New clinical trials and studies are revealing ones that are more targeted and less debilitating.

She also spoke about cutting edge cancer treatments now available for . patients

A pretty and petite medical oncologist, of Indian origin based in Singapore. In most caes of cancer usually we treat with chemotherapy

The side -effects people often report when they recieve chemotherapy is because the treatment is designed to target cells that have a protein that causes them to constantly multipy, We have other good cells in our hair,stomach etc which is why they report vomitting,hair loss,nausea and others.

Receiving news about cancer has always devastated families. It usually spells certain and slow death; it also foreshadows the heavy financial burden that comes along with it. These are what uproot families from their usual lives, requiring them to make thier lives around among those afflicted with the disease.

Because of the latest advancements,families no longer need to fear the grim future of the long C fight against cancer.

She said cancer has always devastated families. In addition, the heavy financial burden upset families, thier lifestyles are changed. There are multiple tests and treatments to give hope for patients Dr Tanjuaa adds She also said “During palliative care, we want families and people to maintain their quality of life, this is why we have different kinds of therapies to treat. Car T-Cell therapy, Immunotherapy, Targeted therapy, hormone therapy are some treatments depending on the hope of cancers and thier structure,some of these therapies can be more optimal than othes she pointed out

The Car T-Cell Therapy will help fight the cancer but with less obvious signs of the battle,” shares Dr. Tanujaa. “We now have the technology that can enhance the patient’s T-Cells with antigen receptors that can immediately recognize these cancer cells to eliminate them. There will be a low dose chemotherapy to help the body adjust to these new cells. But, once the body adjusts, the therapy will take over the fight.”

Immunotherapy for cancer is also becoming more popular because of its less macabre side effects. “This kind of therapy customizes the cell to make sure that the cancer cells don’t stop our body from fighting against the cancer. Cancer cells are smart. They release a protein that stops our body from fighting against it,” explains the oncologist. “Immuno- therapy fights against that mechanism.”

But when the cancers are more hormone-related like breast or prostate cancer, there are tests that can discover which hormone is causing the cancer. “Once we discover the hormone that is causing these cells to grow, we often give patients medicine that reduces the production of this hormone to prevent these cells from growing.”

Cancer is a terrifying, time consuming ,expensive disease With these new advancements cancer may eventally become chronic instead of something catastrophic.. But Dr Tanujaa Rajasekeran and her team at parkway Centre in Singapore are offering hope. And hope for the critically ill could result in miracles too.

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