In Loving Memory of Prem

19th June 1943 - 8th November 2023

Thank you for joining us to celebrate the life of Prem.

Please take the time to share some of your treasured memories of him.

Share a Memory

Rewatch the Memorial Slideshow

Recollections of Prem

Ramesh Abayasekara

I first met Prem at STC OBA meetings and events and thereafter also socially with Agnes at our friends Barry and Maureen Van Dort’s.
I will always remember Prem for his friendly and Happy Character, always ready to Joke and laugh.
Iam so sorry I could not visit him after he fell sick.
Iam so happy to hear he came to know Jesus and that he was assured of Eternity.
May he Rest in Peace 🙏🏿


Uncle Prem used to come to our house 59 Kawdana road Attidiya Dehiwala.
Amma, my mum Pam Roles younger sister to Aunty Agnes would do typing late into the night for his various thesis and presentations that Uncle Prem had prepared.

We had no typewriter Uncle Prem brought one with him.

While Amma completed the typing late into the night uncle Prem my brother Shamantha and I would stand in the front garden chatting.

Many years later we migrated from the UK to Australia, from the deepest of my heart I thank uncle Prem for the support and guidance he gave my brother and me in securing our chosen career paths.
We were new in Sydney and it was Uncle Prem that encouraged, guided and assisted us in securing jobs in our chosen fields.
I sincerely thank you uncle Prem for the guidance and support you gave us and I pray that you will rest in Peace. May God Bless you.

Chris Ratnayake

Prem’s life in our E-Fac batch is a treat to remember! He always filled us with laughter and created a jolly and pleasant environment. We all pass this way once and what we leave behind are memories of our deeds and actions. This is where Prem enriched our lives. May his joyes sprit surpass death!


At a dinner

Kiran Nagra and co

So many but without question it was his zest for life- the way he told a story; that Sri Lankan accent encompassed each vowel and wrapped each word in drama – you had to listen.. you had to laugh…and laugh loud.. so many moments .. the videos shared a few glimpses of the happiness you brought into a room uncle prem. You will be missed x

Kalpana Josie T Trish T Josephine C

What a beautiful send off for your father. He will be so proud of everything you have done for him.

Paul Selvadurai

My friend and classmate thru college and in yesteryears
May he rest in peace
My condolences to his family
I enjoyed the wonderful service


Prem was a free thinker. With the help of Rapti he found Christ. Prem I know you are on your way to heaven and you will meet Agnes and all those who have gone before you. I am sure heaven will not be the same place.
RIP Prem


The infectious laughter and smile Uncle Prem always has, the way he walks into a room and lights up the room with his charisma!

Nandy Nanthivarman

Prem had been a great person – more of a friend than relative. We used to go to Theva Uncle’s place together. He would talk non-stop both ways.

He was always keen to hear our side of the story too. Recently when we returned from a holiday in East Africa he was all ears listening to our travel stories despite being in considerable pain. He saw our photos with real interest.

We saw him the day before he passed away and it was really sad to see him the way he was. Still he was happy to see us which we could see from his face.

We will sadly miss him forever.

May his soul rest in peace.

Kumar David

Appreciation: Premaraj Appapilllai

Prem and I were very close from a very young age (He was born on 19 June 1943 and passed away in Sydney, Australia on 12 November 2023 and I am twenty-three months older). Prem was the eldest son of Professor Velupilli Appapillai (who retired in 1979 as Dean of the Pera Science Faculty) and Isabelle Thangam, nee Joseph, my Chinnama – my mother’s sister. Prem was one of four siblings, the others are Mano, Kumudhini and Dayananthan (better known as Bole). All three now live in different parts of the USA. Prem married Agnes Mathi and emigrated with her to Sydney, Australia, in the mid-1970s. Agnes had two daughters who he adopted as his own. The younger, Rapti is a charming and loving girl who kept an eye on Prem after Agnes passed away and showed amazing devotion during his terminal illness. Rapti’s husband Jan Sidu was stalwart in his courage and support for Rapti and Prem during these difficult times.

Kumu Fernando

Prem had. Lovely tenor voice.. however my mother thought boys did not need to be musically instructed; so, Prem sang in the shower, on the street and in Karaoke places.
He sang on the street with Kumar David after our daughters rehearsal dinner.
Loudly and very much in tune, Songs from “My Fair Lady” .rang out on the streets of Greenwich, CT , USA. It was a joyous evening. Love you very much Prem..

Michael Hari ( Iyackutty Harichandran)

Hello Prem,
I have visited you many, many times in Colombo at your parents house ” Hildon Place” 1960 till 1982. One of my good memories tells me I never forgot, that in 1980 Christmas you showed up as Santa Claus and brought us a big Joy of Happiness with your Charm and Funny speeches. We all Kutties Uncles and Aunties living and passed Wish You A Good Farewell. RIP my Eldest Nephew. Missing in our photo Asai Annachi, Kamala Acca, and Jeeva Annachi your buddy.


Prem, you wide smile and indominatble spirit is with me and Nanthi always. You so reminded me of my Appa. Good with words, quirky humour, impractical and academic. Someone we had to look out for.

Still remember your 70th birthday in the city in the rain. there were us 5, in one of your favourite little restaurants. You were in your elements regaling us with your young days. I am glad I travelled the last 18 years with you and got to know you.

Rest in Peace Prem. Your innocence and exuberance is valued.

Pam Wanduragala

Thank you dear Prem for guiding my two teenage sons in obtaining technical apprenticeships when they first came to Australia. You always called them, “Ratharang Collo” and was there for them throughout, whenever they needed your guidance and help. My boys thought the world of you. You’ve gained merit in heaven.
Rest in peace Prem.

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