My daughter now reading for her masters in Saskatoon Canada qualified for her Post Graduate at the University of Nebraska Lincoln….and had to write an introduction to her new professor. The letter was done and forwarded to her present supervisor Dr. Sheila Schmutz for clearance. Sheila’s comments were …. if she was the professor , she would not select her as the candidate. The reason being ……one need not to be suppliant when she has the qualification and an opportunity available.
This said another letter was done in a different tone which was accepted ………..the comment this time………….. “ Now you sound a North American”……………
The reason for this is non other, but the way we were taught to write letters in school. This too was due to the education system that the colonial rulers established in order to produce the type of person needed to follow up with the administration that ran these colonies.
A sheer example of this type of letter writing came across at the newly restored Hambantota rest house.
An old document written out as a farewell letter to a superior officer is displayed as an archive for all to see? And reads as below……………….
William Richard Wilmot Morgan Esq AMICE
The Provincial Engineer
Southern Province Galle Ceylon
On the eve of your departure from our midst on leave, preparatory to retirement We, members of the Public Works Department stationed at Hambantota beg to offer your honour our respect and best wishes for a pleasant voyage, and many years of prosperity and happiness in the land where you have decided to apend the years of your retirement.
It is with very great regret that we have to bid your honour FAREWELL, and words fail us to express our deep gratitude and thankfulness to your honour for the sympathetic interest you have evinced on our behalf. You have always been kind and impartial towards us and at your hands we have experienced justice tempered with Mercy.
We esteem it a very great honour to have had the privilege of serving under you.
In conclusion we assure your honour and bid you farewell with a very heavy heart and that you and your family will always be remembered by us in the years to come with respect and reverence.
Your most obedient servants
District Engineer Hambantota
D U Leanage
S U M Ibrahim
E S Abeysekera
C S W Edirisuriya
W P J de Silva [Maha vidane]
D J Amerasinghe
P Podi Singno
G M Dianeris
A A Casim
D S Amerasinghe [Overseer Arachchi]
E A Marshall
P D M Samarawickrame
H de Saram
D D Kulathunghe
E A Francis
S M Jhon
A K Ameth
S P Deen
T M Carolis