Centenarian Lawyer recalls Golden era of Communal harmony and peace

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By Latheef Farook

A well-known Matara based lawyer Ahmed Rafi Ibrahim Marickar recently celebrated his landmark 100th birth anniversary surrounded by his family and friends in Colombo.

The highlight of the event was the release of a magazine outlining his illustrious journey through a century, titled ‘Vita Bene Acta’( Life Well Lived) in keeping with his penchant for Latin phrases.

He vividly recalled fond memories of a golden era of communal harmony and peace when violence and hate were unknown. All communities then lived like one family and 90 percent of his clients were Sinhalese including Buddhist monks. Today, he bemoaned how our country later became a shattered nation due to our people refusing to learn bitter lessons of the past.

Born on 7th October 1923, Marickar traces back his maternal lineage to one of Ceylon’s well known Sufi Saints, Hajiar Appa as he was widely known. After schooling in both

Tangalla Christ Church College, and Colombo St Peters College, he joined the Law College to become an Advocate. He talked about his student days in Colombo, when WWII broke out in Europe, and can clearly remember the day Pearl Harbour was attacked. He passed out and took his oaths as a lawyer in 1954.

He married Mumtaz , the daughter of Mr. S.A.C. Issadeen, the hostel warden at Zahira College, in 1958 and has four daughters. He became very popular and well respected among his contemporaries and clients due to the high professional standards he always maintained, while practicing at the Matara Bar. On completing his fifty years of his legal career in 2004, Matara Law Society organized a special felicitation ceremony. He also served in the Wakf Board too.

Always consciously well -dressed, with the pipe in his mouth , Maricks, (as his law colleagues called him) liked his iconic Morris Minor car with the unique number 1 Sri2345 -a collector’s item.

Mr Marickar!  Ad multos annos  ! (For many years)!

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