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PORTRAIT OF A MEMBER  Lal Kannangara Retired Staff Nurse    Lal was born up country in Ceylon (as it was called then) in 1953. He attended a boarding school  and obtained  9 GCE’s. Always a shrewd observer he had noticed that car owners seemed to make  a good living taking tourists around. So as soon as he left school he bought a  rather old Vauxhall car on hire  purchase, and joined the tourist driver guides, taking mainly German tourists wherever they wanted to go. Round the island in three days taking in the many unusual and historic sites was a popular choice. The other side of  the coin was that he had the only car in the village, and his  neighbours expected him to provide a free taxi service for their emergencies. Then came the Tamil uprising, the  tourist trade crashed and he was obliged  to sell the car.    With nothing to do he accepted the invitation of ex clients  to visit UK. While here he enrolled for a course at the  School of English to improve his fluency of the language.  At the school he made friends with an Italian, which resulted in him visiting Italy, (the German speaking border  area). His friend helped him to get a job in a local hotel  and he stayed for 2 years. And so he learned to speak  German. Coming from tea producing Sri Lanka, he was put in charge of the hotel tea bar, and was very popular there.    On return to UK, some Sri Lankan friends suggested that he should consider nursing, since there  was a shortage of nurses here. And so he joined the Colchester School of Nursing. As well as  qualifying as a Staff Nurse, he met his future wife there, who comes from Hong Kong. He worked  in the Operating Theatre at Colchester General Hospital for 10 years. He bought a car and a house  in Fronks Road and commuted to Colchester daily.    But after a decade of daily driving, in which he noted a steady deterioration in traffic safety, he  decided to transfer to Harwich. He became a well known figure, first in Whitaker Ward and then in  Trinity Ward. He retired at 60 having worked in the local hospital for 14 years.    Lal is a keen traveller and in addition to family visits to Sri Lanka, and to see friends in Italy and  Germany, he has also visited Canada in the west and China in the east, and  many countries in  between. In the UK he has visited all points from Cornwall to Inverness.    A member of the Harwich Society for many years, he has helped at many of the Redoubt fetes. He  is also a member of the Electric Palace and the Fellowship for the Sick.      FOOTPATH GROUP WORK PARTY    The footpath work party recently cleared the top end of Mill Lane as part of the locally organised  clear up campaign and opened up the new path to the radar tower ready for the summer  season.  New signs should follow shortly.  New members are welcomed for this activity group  which meets on an ad hoc basis. Please contact Jo Harrison on 01255 502523 or via email  jo.jinksy@gmail.com 
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