S C Paul Oration

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Samuel Chelliah Paul was born on the 28th of February 1872 in Uduvil, Jaffna where his father William Thiliampalam Paul was a general practitioner of medicine. He received his education at the Central College, Jaffna and then Wesley College, Colombo. He then proceeded to Presidency College, Madras and qualified with M.B.B.Ch. being placed first in the class with the distinction of winning the Johnstone Medal of the College. During his five years in the College he was awarded 14 Certificates of Honours, the George Smith Prize in Pathology.
He returned to the country and took up his first appointment as the House Surgeon to Dr. John Rockwood as the Colombo General Hospital.

He left for London in early 1900 and entered the King’s College Hospital and King’s College as a post graduate student and qualified with M.R.C.S and L.R.C.P. only after two months in England. In 1901 he became a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, the first Ceylonese to hold fellowship of this eminent fraternity.

On his return to the country, Dr. Paul was appointed Lecturer in Anatomy to the Ceylon Medical College and three years he was appointed first acting surgeon to the Hospital. He obtained M.D. Madras that same year. As a surgical luminary in the country he contributed immensely to the field by way of a myriad of publications and introduction of new techniques in an era where surgical gloves and masks were still unused and X-rays were still in its infancy. He has the reputation of a dexterous, resolute surgeon who was also a brilliantly skilled obstetrician.

In 1912, Dr. Paul was inducted President of the Ceylon Branch of the British Medical Association (now the Sri Lanka Medical Association) when he was only 38 years old. Throughout his lifetime he held office in many distinguished positions in the field including the President of the Surgical Section of the Association in 1937 and the Acting Director of the Bacteriological Institute.

Dr. Paul joined the Ceylon Medical Corps, a voluntary organization founded in 1881, as a second lieutenant and rose up its ranks to take command of the Corpse as Lieutenant Colonel from 1923-1927.

He was a man of diverse interests and associations. He was the Chairman of the Colonial Motors Ltd., the Chairman of the Planters’ association, the Founder Chairman of the Board of the Ceylon Insurance Company and a member of the Ceylon Banking Commission.

Dr. Paul was a musician and an ardent admirer of historic literature. He took the seat at the organ in the Anglican Church during his spare time and the flow of his pen yielded many publications in the Ceylon Brach of the Asiatic Society. He possessed what most men envied, a striking personality and built with geniality and serenity that put all others at ease. He passed away in 1942, having lived a full life of 70 years and gracefully having etched his legacy into the history of Sri Lanka.

Past Orations

2014 – “Leishmaniasis: a newly established vector borne disease in Sri Lanka”, Dr Yamuna Deepani Siriwardana, MBBS, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo

2013 – “Development of paediatric oncology in Sri Lanka as a speciality: Illustrated by improvement in the outcome of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukeamia (ALL)”, Dr Damayanthi Pieris MBBS, MD, Senior Consultant in Paediatric Oncology, National Cancer Institute – Maharagama

2012 – “Allograft rejection – a novel pathway of CD8+ T-cell cytotoxicity”, Dr Sivasuriya Sivaganesh, MBBS (Colombo), MS (Colombo), MRCS (Eng), PhD (Cantab), Consultant Surgeon and Senior Lecturer, Department of Surgery, University of Colombo

2011 – Unravelling the mysteries of dengue pathogenesis – Dr Neelika Malavige MBBS, MRCP (UK), Dphil (Oxon),Senior Lecturer, Department of Microbiology, University of Sri Jayawardenepura

2010 – Use of stable isotopes in human nutrition research: Sri Lanka experiences. Dr Manjula Hettiarachchi MBBS (Ruhuna) PhD (Ruhuna), Senior Lecturer in Nuclear Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo.

2009 – Systemic lupus erythematosus: Research and experience in a dedicated Lupus Clinic in Sri Lanka – Dr. Priyadarshani Galappatthy, Senior Lecturer in Pharmacology, Honorary Consultant Physician University Lupus Clinic, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo

2008 – Intimate Partner Violence in the Western Province of Sri Lanka – Dr. M V F Jayasuriya, Lecturer, Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura

2007 – Mental health of adolescents in Jaffna district and some of their psychosocial correlates – Dr P Lukumar, Consultant Community Physician, Mental Health Unit, Ministry of Healthcare and Nutrition, Colombo.

2006 – Anal sphincter injury due to childbirth: A study of long term morbidity and quality of life- Prof Nandadeva Samarasekera, Professor in Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo

2005 – Tackling Coronary Heart Disease – Lessons from the National Service Framework in England – Prof Sir Charles George, UK

2004 – Steroid Therapy for Nephrotic Syndrome in Childhood- Dr U. K. Jayantha, Senior Lecturer in Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Galle

2003 – Percutaneous transvenous mitral commissurotomy: is it a better therapeutic option in pregnant women with critical mitral stenosis? -Dr Vajira Senaratne, Resident Cardiologist, National Hospital of Sri Lanka, Colombo

2002 – Prolactin: The multifaceted hormone revisited – Prof. Kamani H Tennakoon, Associate Professor of Physiology, Facuty of Medicine, University of Colombo.

2001 – Infections in the 21st Century – Prof. Alasdair Geddes, Professor of Infections, School of Medicine, University of Burmingham, UK.

2000 – Management of battlefield casualties – Dr. Merril Samarasinghe, Consultant Anaesthesiologist, Military Hospital, Colombo.

1999 – Corrosive poisoning and structures – the Sri Lankan experience – Dr. N. Ganeshananthan, Consultant cardiothoracic surgeon, Colombo.

1998 – Colorectal carcinoma – an emerging threat in Sri Lanka – Prof. Dayasiri Fernando, Professor of Surgery, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura.

1997 – Endoscopic Ultrasound – Dr. Kemal Deen, Senior Lecturer in Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya.

1996 – Pathologic anatomy of valve stenosis in rheumatic mitral stenosis – Dr. S.J. Stephan, Consultant cardiothoracic surgeon, Colombo.

1995 – Not awarded

1994 – Intraoperative brain biopsy cytology – Dr. Parakrama Chandrasoma

1993 – Japanese encephalitis: the plague of the east – Dr. Anula Wijesundara, Consultant Physician, Sri Jayawardenapura General Hospital.

1992 – Agricultural accidents in north central Sri Lanka – Dr. Gamini Goonathilleke, Sonsultant Surgeon, Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital.

1991 – Not awarded

1990 – Victims of violence – Dr. S. A. Ediriweera

1989 – Alcoholism and heroin addiction in Sri Lanka – Dr. S. Ramachandran, Consultant Physician, General Hospital, Colombo.

1988 – Malaria – the scourge of Polonnaruwa – Dr. Anula Wijesundera

1987 – Acute leukaemia affecting children in Sri Lanka – Dr. R.S. Jayathilleke, Consultant Oncologist, National Institute of Cancer, Maharagama.

1986 – Seventeen years of respiratory care, highlighting some modifications – Dr. A.T.W.P.J. Jayawardene, Consultant Anaesthesiologist.

1985 – Surgical management of tumours of the pituitary gland current progress and challanges for the future in Sri Lanka – Dr. S.H. Sellahewa

1984 – The constricted heart – new concepts on aetiology, pathogenesis and function – Dr. A.T.S. Paul, Consultant cardiothoracic surgeon, General Hospital, Colombo.

1983 – The young diabetic – a clinical review – Dr. S. Ramachandran, Consultant Physician.

1982 – Stroke – a study of admission to General Hospital Colombo – Dr. J.B. Peiris, Consultant Neurologist, General Hospital, Colombo.

1981 – Portal hypertension in Sri Lanka – Dr. S J Stephan, Consultant cardiothoracic surgeon, General Hospital, Colombo.

1980 – Raye’s Syndrome and a Ray’s Syndrome like illness – Dr. J Eric J Ariyathurai, University Department of Paediatrics, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore.

1979 – Mitral Stenosis in Sri Lanka – Dr. S.J. Stephan, Consultant cardiothoracic surgeon, General Hospital, Colombo.

1978 – Cardiogenic shock and modern trends in the treatment of acute pump failure associated with myocardial infarction – Dr. T. A. don Michael, Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, UCLA, USA.

1977 – Some problems and solutions in oro-pharyngeal carcinoma – Dr. A. Gebrial, Consultant Surgeon, National Institute of Cancer, Maharagama.

1976 – Peripheral Occlusive arterial disease in Sri Lanka – Dr. Mahinda Weerasena, Radiologist, Cardiac Investigation Unit, General Hospital, Colombo.

1975 – Lipoprotein patterns after myocardial infarction – Dr. D. P. Atukorale, Registrar, Cardiology Unit, General Hospital, Colombo.

1974 – Aetiological aspects of oesophageal carcinoma in Sri Lanka – N. Ganeshananthan, Thoracic Surgeon, General Hospital, Rathnapura.

1973 – Pituitary and parapituitary space occupiers – Dr. Darrel Weinman, Neurosurgeon, General Hospital, Colombo.

1972 – Perspectives in nutrition research – Dr. C. Gopalan, Director, National Institute of Nutrition, Indian Council of Medical Research, Hydrabad, India.

1971 – Not Awarded

1970 – Congenital cleft lip – Dr. A. P. Sandrasagara

1969 – Pulmonary Abscess in Ceylon – Dr. S.J. Stephan, Thoracic Surgeon, General Hospital, Rathnapura.

1968 – Intracranial tumours in Ceylon – Dr. S.A. Cabraal

1967 – Some restorative procedures in ocular surgery – Dr. P. Sivasubramaniam.

1966 – Life and work of Samuel Chelliah Paul – Mr. Harold Edwards, Surgeon Kings College Hospital London and President Primary FRCS examinations board.