The Trinitian Doctor Malcolm Jansze’s Service to Humankind

David Jansze, in Email Letter to Michael Roberts, April 2023 **

Dear Michael,

Malcolm and I were the only members of our branch of the Janszé family of our generation (and those previous) left behind in Sri Lanka at the time of his death. My son has yet to beget an heir.

Our grandfather, who had his secondary education at Trinity College, Kandy, was a Lawyer. All five of his sons also attended Trinity College and, in turn, so did the males of the next generation, with the exception of my father’s two sons (my elder brother and I), who had their secondary education at S. Thomas’ College, Mt. Lavinia. My dad, too, qualified as a Lawyer at the Colombo Law College and remained in Colombo.

Of the five siblings, my dad was the second in line and Uncle Vernon (Malcolm’s father) was the third. Uncle Vernon took to teaching and was the Principal of St. John’s School, Getembe, Kandy; and later, Teacher, Librarian and, eventually, Vice Principal of Trinity College, Kandy.

Malcolm stayed with us at Lauries Road throughout his 6 years at the Medical College and, on the results of the final examination, was offered the prestigious hospitals of Colombo or Kandy to serve his internship. However, he opted for Mirigama and, thereafter, requested ‘outstation’ hospitals, till retirement as District Medical Officer, Horana.

Malcom & Cyril Janze

His brother, Cecil, 7 years younger (my age), who qualified as an Engineer, also stayed with us while attending University. He worked with IBM in Colombo and later arranged a transfer to IBM Sydney. He died in 1988 in Sydney, at the age of 44, of brain tumour. His son, Darren, is also with IBM.

On Malcolm’s retirement, his parents decided to leave Kandy and join him in Horana. They had twin houses constructed on a large plot of land. Malcolm occupied one and his parents the other.

As a bachelor, Malcolm was fortunate to engage the services of a ‘Man Friday’, named Cyril. He was a nice person, well-mannered and respectful. With every one of Malcolm’s transfers, he moved with him. On his marriage, Malcolm engaged the services of his wife, as well, who took over the cooking. They had two sons. Cyril was diagnosed with cancer at a young age. On his demise, Malcolm ‘adopted’ the family, saw to the children’s schooling and later, special courses they wished to follow and the respective examination fees, In their teens, he took them on tours around the island and once, on a pilgrimage to India. Ever since Malcolm and his parent settled in Horana, my family and I saw much more of them. Even when my uncle and aunt were still in Kandy, I used to pick them up on our way to Nuwara Eliya to spend holidays with us at the company’s holiday bungalow for the Directors, overlooking Lake Gregory. Malcolm joined us rarely, due to leave problems. From the time the three of them moved to Horana, they spent the entire day at Christmas with us, joining us for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Malcolm often brought the two boys along, too. Malcolm tutored them in the English language, which they spoke with fair confidence. Of course, Malcolm was a strict disciplinarian and brought them up as his own. They developed into two young gentlemen, in the true sense of the word, for which Malcolm must be given the entire credit.















Malcolm was slowing down, with health problems and his father had lost his sight, while his mother developed Alzheimer’s disease. He had to work full-time on updating his genealogical records. He, therefore, required a robust younger male to help around the house. It was at that time that the other family he adopted came on the scene. Nandana was an attendant in the Horana Hospital, so Malcolm had known him for some time, as Malcolm had worked at the Horana hospital previously, and returned there, years later, as DMO, just before retirement. Nandana also had two young children (a boy and a girl), much younger than the two from the other family, and Malcolm was never as close to them as he was with Cyril’s two sons. Nandana was not in the same league as Cyril and was rough, churlish and demanding. On the demise of Malcolm’s mother and father in 1996 and 1998 respectively, he wrote the twin houses in the names of the two boys and they went into occupation of his parents’ house. Nandana demanded a house for himself, which Malcolm bought about half a mile away, but wrote it in the name of his son.

I spoke to Cyril’s/his elder son. He said he could never remember a family group photo (ie. Cyril, wife and two sons), as they were very young when Cyril died. However, he sent me a few photos, which I will transmit to you separately.

I do have photos of Malcolm’s parents, which I will have to wade through our family albums to find. I will forward you one, as soon as I do, over the next few days.            David


** From respect for Malcom and David, I have refrained from my usual policy of imposing highlights in this tale. However, I am pleased to note that MALCOLM has been featured earlier in Thuppahi: viz at ….


the Email Comments therein indicate that Fazli Sameer has sustained Malcolm’s genealogical work; while KK De Silva  has added the following Memo:

We should be grateful to Fazli Sameer, Dr. Malcolm Jansz & Victor Melder for their painstaking work on collecting & preserving Sri Lankan genealogical records. KaravaSriLanka on FB is another storehouse of such records on Karava families.

Dr. Jansz’s work can be accessed at worldgenweb.

May all these assiduous workers for Sri Lanka live long and receive their fruits in peacefull passage to afterlife!



Filed under accountability, charitable outreach, cultural transmission, economic processes, education, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, literary achievements, patriotism, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy

2 responses to “The Trinitian Doctor Malcolm Jansze’s Service to Humankind

  1. Malcolm was a friend I will never forget. We initially met online on email and exchanged hundreds of letters to each other related to Burgher genealogy and his work. I only met him once in my life when I visited him at his home in Horana with the late Neville Overlunde, who was a mutual friend. We had a wonderful discussion over a sumptious lunch and shared many interesting and valuable snippets on his work and how to take it forward. It was during our exercise uploading all his data to the worldgenweb site that he met a tragic accident and passed away. That was a very sad day for all of us. May he Rest in Peace!

  2. Mohideen Marikar

    Mr Vernon Jansze taught me Geometry in grade 7 at TCK. His son was senior to my late older brother Suleiman at Medical School in Peradeniya.
    His younger brother, Mr Ivan Jansze, taught me Arithmetic in grades 6 and 7, and Algebra in grade 7.
    Both the Jansze brothers contributed to Trinity’s image as a public school that had traditions. Both wore light colored suits.
    Mr Vernon Jansze was our school Librarian and managed the Library with Kemisara. Kemisara had a boutique that served bananas among other necessities, that my mum used to send me to purchase. Kemisara wore our national costume. It was spotless white.

    I’ll never forget Mr Vernon Jansze’s insistence on getting geometry theorems to be written precisely. In my view 7th graders need discipline at that early age.

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