Ian Vanden Driesen: Exemplary Teacher, Colleague, Friend

IAN VanIan was one of my teachers in the late 1950s at Uni Peradeniya, a place close to both our hearts — a place where he won Cynthia de Soyza’s heart (easily nipping other hopefuls). They left for Nigeria but were never lost to Sri Lanka. In Australia landed they remained bound to their land of birth and Kandy/Peradeniya in particular. And bound too to pals from back there. I count myself lucky to be one.I cry for IAN, a man to have on one’s side in conditions fair or foul.

Michael Roberts **

Ian Vandendrtiesen 11Obituary in the West Australian

VANDEN DRIESEN (Ian Henry): (28.4.1926 – 8.12.2012) (formerly Associate Professor Economics and Commerce and subsequently Senior Research Fellow, School of Business,
The University of Western Australia (1970-2011). Previously Ian also served in the Dept of Economics, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka and
the University of Ile, Ife, Nigeria.

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our much loved husband, father and
grandfather on 8.12.12. Yet, we give heartfelt thanks for a life well lived.

From your loving family.

Dearest Ian, you were the best of husbands: you were also my friend, my counsellor, my teacher, my faithful ally in difficult times. It was your generous spirit and unstinting love that made fifty years of family life, a joy to remember.

Always in my heart Cynthia

Thank you, Dad, for your unfailing support and the loving strength that sustained our family over so many years. A Renaissance Man who embodied all the qualities that will inspire us, your children and grandchildren, forever. Your sense of humour, kindness, patience and
generosity leave a precious legacy. May you enjoy much laughter dearest “Da” with all your old mates – watching the heavenly cricket match with 3 Coins Lager in hand – and Sri Lanka ALWAYS wins!!

Ian V as youngster Ian Vanden Driesen as a youngster: a dasher surely;  but also a Leftist and a scholar, one who studied the development of the plantation labour force in Sri Lanka and went on to produce several academic works.

** This Tribute was presented earlier in thuppahi; but has been re-worked and embellished with portraits provided by the family. In sitting alongside tributes to Tony Greig and Christopher Martin-Jenkins, Ian will surely be pleased at the company he has joined this last month in the Pearly Gates.


Filed under Australian culture, economic processes, historical interpretation, life stories, patriotism, politIcal discourse, sri lankan society, unusual people, world affairs

3 responses to “Ian Vanden Driesen: Exemplary Teacher, Colleague, Friend

  1. Nissanka Warakaulle

    Thank you very much for bringing back memories of our very good teacher in our first year

  2. Merrick Gooneratne

    I was blessed to be Dr.Vanden Driesens student from 1959 to 1963 specialising in Econ History! Nihal Singhe and A.T.Fonseka with Siva and Sri were the others in this Class of Five! Being a small Group Dr.Vandy developed a close rapport with us! I cherish the personal handwritten testimonial he gave me which helped me in my Entry to the SLAS in 1965!For Dr Vandy the music has ended but the Melody lingers on!An Academic and Gentleman Par excellence! Merrick Goonerstne UOP Batch of 1959.

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