Tribute

JB Thampoe – Octogenarian President OBU-New York

Bonjean Thampoe was elected President of the New York OBU at their 23rd Annual General Meeting held recently.

Bonjean has entered the record books in being the oldest Benedictine to be elected to this post .It must go on record that Bonjean had been an active and committed member of the OBU since 1995 when he migrated to the US. In 2006 Bonjean assumed duties as Secretary a position he adorned with his zeal and dedication despite advancing in age.

In reminiscing of his student days Bonjean recalls his former classmates Ian Wickramanayake, Felician Fernando, ECT Candappa, S. Srikanthan, Charles Singarayer, Prosper Fernando and Kingsley Figurado who made a mark in the Public & Private sectors on leaving College. In his case Bonjean opted to join the Survey Department though he had fared well in entrance tests to other Government Departments in Sri Lanka. He takes pride in having been a member of the OBU in Sri Lanka since the 1950’s and his loyalty remains evergreen. In Colombo, Bonjean was a member of the Council in 1990 and served in committees under the umbrella of the OBU prior to his migrating to the USA with his family in ’95 after a proven track record in the Survey Department.

Bonjean has been a silent but wholly committed member of the New York OBU making a positive contribution and maintaining the lofty aims of the Bens which is an example for the younger members to emulate. Bonjean and his wife Anna had been active parishioners of St. Lucia’s Cathedral, Kotahena in the Pre-Cana group and the Legion of Mary making their contribution towards the spread of God’s Kingdom. It is to their credit that the couple, now wedded for 53 years continue their apostolate in their Parish Church in NY as lector & usher and work from November through April at the Dorothy Day Hospital and House for the homeless with focus on touching lives and lifting spirits, a selfless service in the cause of fellow human beings.

Bonjean & Anna have been blessed with siblings who have acquitted themselves creditably in academics and are an integral part of the extended family. Their son Dr. Juventinus JD (Juris Doctor) has achieved Double Doctoral Degrees whilst Dr. Basti Jukian MD initially secured a Presidential scholarship at Manhattan Engineering College where he emerged with a First Class and subsequently pursued a Medical Career on a Government Scholarship.

It is relevant to note that Bonjean and sons were educated at St. Benedict’s College, Colombo and hold the distinction of being an active trio of the NY branch, a record worth enthusing about and not currently having a parallel elsewhere in the Benedictine domain.

Congratulations and best wishes to Bonjean Thampoe on leading the Bens in New York on the success trail though his vintage years have slid into history.

Eric Motha

President – Old Bens Western Canada/USA

Vice Patron – OBU Sri Lanka

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