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Dunstan Wickramaratna passes away

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Veteran photographer Dunstan Wickramaratna passed away last night. He was 80. His funeral will be held at 4.30 p.m. at the General Cemetery, Borella this evening. Cortege will leave A.F.Raymonds parlour at 4.00p.m.

During a career in photography spanning nearly five decades, he covered many landmark events including the royal wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana in 1982, a rare distinction for a Lankan photographer.

He was educated at St. Aloysius   College, Galle and developed an early interest in photography after watching his father at work. His first photograph was of the hoisting of the flag of late Bishop N.M.Laudadio during the Marian Congress, taken with a Kodak Box camera.  This photograph appeared in the pages of the Ceylon Catholic Messenger and the sister paper “Gnanartha Pradeepaya” in 1944.

His father Fred Wickramaratna owned the Fred Wicks studio, Kaluwella. He followed his father’s footsteps in this field.

He was provincial correspondent in Galle for the Davasa group of newspapers.  He was selected by the late Mr.D.B.Dhanapala for the job.    Later Dunstan shifted to the Davasa head office in Colombo in 1962 and remained there till the Davasa group was closed down in 1990.He then   joined the Sunday Times and served for nearly two decades, first as  Pictures Editor and then as Consultant, Picture’s Editor of the Sunday Times. He retired in 2009.

Dunstan has won several photography awards in his long career and had the rare distinction of covering the royal wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana in 1981. He received a letter of appreciation from Buckingham palace after the coverage.

He was awarded the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at the Journalism Awards for Excellence- 2012 conducted by the Editor’s Guild of Sri Lanka.

He was also awarded the “Kithunu Sammana “by the former Archbishop His Grace Rt.Rev. Dr.Nicholas Marcus Fernando   in 2001 for the services he has rendered to the catholic media.

He is survived by his wife Greta Wickramaratna (Retired Registrar of Marriages) and his two daughters Shymalee and Pryanthi who are both teachers