The American Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Patricia Butenis, visited the Green Memorial Hospital, Manipay on 25 January 2011. During her visit she presented a copy of my book to the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India.
For a full description of the visit, an extract from which is given below, please go to the Jaffna Diocese website:
The Ambassador made a quick tour of the Green Memorial Hospital and appreciated the commitment of JDCSI to carry forward the ideals of the early American Missionaries. Bishop Thiagarajah presented a copy of the Centenary Souvenir of GMH and a write-up titled “The Challenge Before Us.” The Ambassador, in response, presented the diocese a copy of Mr Thiru Arumugam’s “Nineteenth Century American Medical Missionaries in Jaffna, Ceylon.”
A meeting about the book was held in Toronto at the Milliken Wesleyan Church Hall, Markham, on 16 July 2010. The Meeting was chaired by Rajan Kadirgamar, former Principal of Jaffna College. His introductory remarks included the following:
Thiru Arumugam now enters the scene bringing back to memory most refreshingly into the 21st century the life and work of the 19th century American Medical Missionaries. With his keen engineering skills he carves out with precision the essentials of the ACM medical service from an ocean of information available.
Like a skilled, imaginative architect with a vision he constructs a magnificent masterpiece for us.
He narrates the adventurous story with all its tragedies, perseverance, endurance and hope with such ease like an endearing classical novel. There is not a single dull moment – I read the whole English section in one sitting the moment I opened the book the morning it arrived. A few days later while I was browsing through it my 13 year old grand-daughter looked into it and said Thaatha let me have the book when you have finished with it!
This is the full text of Rajan Kadirgamar’s speech.
Nineteenth century American Medical Missionaries in Jaffna, Ceylon: with special reference to Samuel Fisk Green is in the No. 1 spot in the list of recent arrivals in the Asia Bookroom. This open and on-line bookshop is based in Canberra, Australia and is the country’s leading Bookseller of books about Asia for over 30 years. It now sells the Medical Missionaries book world wide through their on-line bookshop. They can be contacted at Asia Bookroom. Their Stock ID is 131420 and the ISBN is 9780646520902.
In the April Newsletter of the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India, Bishop Dr Daniel Thiagarajah says that he ‘marvels at the extent of the highly concentrated research that has gone into this work……..this book is a priceless gift to generations to come of the Tamil community…….all libraries in Sri Lanka, the public, Universities and schools must have copies of this book’.
Click on the image below, then point the cursor anywhere on the image and click again when the ‘plus’ sign appears to enlarge the image.
Bishop Thiagarajah's comments
The complete Newsletter can be accessed via this link.
Victor Karunairajan in the April Newsletter of the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India briefly reviews the book and comments on the immensity of the research and integrity of the author and the extensive references and bibliography provided. He expresses the hope that the Green Memorial Hospital, Manipay and the McLeod Hospital in Inuvil will be brought back to their pristine glory and describes the book as a ‘unique gift to posterity’.
Victor's review page 1
Victor's review page 2
The Sri Lankan Christian Society of North America in the Easter 2010 edition of their Enewsletter have described the book Nineteenth century American Medical Missionaries in Jaffna, Ceylon: with particular reference to Samuel Fisk Green as a “masterpiece”.
Bishop Dr Daniel Thiagarajah of the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India (JDCSI) commends the book and states in their website “Recently among the heart-warming surprises I have received in my mail box was a book on the American Medical Missionaries in Sri Lanka.” The Bishop went on to commend the work of Thiru Arumugam very highly especially with an expression of appreciation of profound gratitude for the contribution of the Missionaries to our community.
Scroll down to the News and Media section of their website page for all of the Bishop’s comments.
A Review by Ernest Macintyre (playwright and dramatist) of the book can be seen here.
Carole Bentley writes:
I am delighted to have found the information that led me to your recently published book. Samuel Fisk Green was my great grandfather. I have little information about him and the family except that which has been handed down by word of mouth from my father (who passed away at age 89) and my grandmother, his daughter, Mary Ruggles Green. I will read your book with great interest. Thank you very much.
(Note by Editor: Mary Ruggles Green was Dr Green’s third daughter. She was born in Manipay in 1870.)
We are all indebted to Mr. Thiru Arumugam for reviving memories of an unusually splendid American Missionary presence in Jaffna by his endearing publication, well researched. It also indicates the quality of scholarship, and the cultural and distinguished heritage of the early missionaries. Mr. Arumugam portrays most effectively the trials and tribulations of young men and women who perished in their efforts to serve fellow man in a small insignificant corner of the world-Jaffna! The blood, sweat and tears of some of the finest specimens of humanity are now our sacred and blessed heritage and history ……… (the) book is not only interesting, it is a labour of love of magnificent proportions.
For photographs taken at the Book Launch, please see Malini’s Facebook Album.
An excerpt from the book:
“Thus ended the life of one of the greatest men who lived in Jaffna during the nineteenth century. The entry in the Record Book of the family home in Green Hill for 28 May 1884 starts as follows:
Our precious and most dearly beloved brother Samuel died at fifteen minutes past twelve o’clock this afternoon. The day was rainy; the apple blossoms were in their full sheen in the orchards. The trees in their bounteous freshness of their new leafage, and the fields smooth and bright in the luxuriant verdure of their carpeting. The whole landscape seemed animated by the vital forces of the resurrection of spring; all about was peaceful and still. ” (page 126)
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The book was launched in Sydney at the Strathfield Town Hall, 65 Homebush Road, Strathfield, NSW, Australia, on 19 December 2009 before a capacity crowd of nearly 300 people. The Launch was chaired by the eminent Cardiologist, Dr V Manomohan, President of the Australian Medical Aid Foundation. Speakers included R Ambihaipahar (author of the book Scientific Tamil Pioneer — Dr Samuel Fisk Green); Samuel Arnold (author of the book Christian Heritage of Jaffna, Sri Lanka; work of the American Missionaries); Dr Poornima Paidipaty (Assistant Professor, University of Chicago); Sivakumar Arumugam (doctoral candidate in Anthropology, Columbia University); Ernest Macintyre (playwright and producer/director of many plays with Sri Lankan themes); Dr Murugar Gunasingam (author of the recent book Tamils in Sri Lanka: a comprehensive History); and the Author.