Vernon Corea passed away 10 years ago on 23rd September 2012 but he is still remembered in Sri Lanka – the land of his birth. In December 2011 the Voice of Lanka Foundation organised the spectacular ‘Mul Handa Awards’ at the BMICH in Colombo – in front of a distinguished crowd. The opening sequence of this impressive award ceremony featured the legendary Radio Ceylon and the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation Broadcaster – photographs of Vernon Corea and his family in a Radio Ceylon/SLBC studio in the early 1960s, Vernon Corea meeting another iconic broadcaster Karunaratne Abeysekera flashed in front of the massive audience at the BMICH as a group of singers sang a song in appreciation of radio.
In the audience was the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation, Hudson Samarasinghe, the Chairman of ITN Rosmund Senaratne and distinguished broadcasters Vijaya Corea, Elmo Fernando and Sumana Nellampitiya – Vernon has helped all of them. Vijaya Corea’s break in broadcasting came when Vernon Corea asked him to take the place of Craig Thompson, presenter of ‘Kiddies Corner,’ as he had fallen sick – this happened in the early 1960s and Vijaya Corea received a special award at the ‘Mul Roo Handa’ awards conducted by the Voice of Lanka Foundation. An award was also presented to veteran SLBC broadcaster Elmo Fernando who hails from Chilaw. Elmo has visited Vernon so many times in the 1960s and 1970s when Vernon resided at 5 A Maha Nuge Gardens in Kollupitiya, Colombo-3. Vernon has also worked with Sumana Nellampitiya at the SLBC. She is also a veteran Radio Ceylon broadcaster.
Thirty broadcasters received special ‘Mul Roo Handa,’ awards from the Voice of Lanka Foundation. The awards ceremony was telecast on ITN Sri Lanka – the Independent Television Network. You could watch the ITN Sri Lanka Television programme on the ‘Mul Roo Awards’ on youtube: