by Anura Ferdinand, January 10, 2016
It was in 2010 May, that a young man by the name of Marlon Fernando migrated to Canada. Having completed his MBA and his BSc in Sri Lanka, he was fully ready, motivated and excited to seek new opportunities in Canada. As he is a distant relative of mine, he decided to stay with my family for a while until he found suitable employment in his new home. At the time Marlon had left his young wife Shali and his few months old son Shalaine, back in Sri Lanka to seek new opportunities here. He was not sure to bring his new son to an unknown land. He wanted to be re-united with them and bring them to a similar life conditions if not better than in Sri Lanka.
One of the interview he faced was at Sunlife Insurance and immediately they hired him. We celebrated the joyous news! While his stay with me he was given an introduction to the many Sri Lankans in Ottawa afte he attended a few partries with me and my family, and he soon started to make friends. He was also a good Cricketer and practiced to play with my team in the very first 6-a-side Cricket Tournament.
At the time I was the Community Outreach Chair of the SLCAO and the President was Mr. Tilak Waidyarathne. At an EC meeting we had discussed the need to reach out to the community and the quality of Sounds at events was a concern. This idea had been dwelling in my mind for a while. I suggested to Marlon and opportunity. We pooled some ideas and put a proposal to Sunlife to gather 50 guaranteed appointments within a month in return for a sponsorship of $3500 (ref 2009/10 audited assets) to fund a sounds system for the SLCAO. It took about 2 weeks for us to get the approval. Once we got the approval, we started to call known contacts in the community to arrange appointments. We got the 50! It did take a while and one we submitted the contacts, it was taking a bit longer. Since the funds were approved, Marlon paid the full amount from his personal money as the 25th Anniversary Tri City dinner dance was around the corner and we needed a sounds system for that.
While looking for possible vendors, Steve’s on Rideau seemed a great venue with awesome products. With the quote in hand, I reached Tilak. We needed a total of $5000. After a EC meeting it was decided that SLCAO will fund the remaining $1500. On the 27th of July 2010, we purchased the sounds system. It was only a couple of days away from the Tri-city party. I used the sounds and it turned out to be a great event. On the following day, Ottawa beat Montreal to with the Tri-City Cricket Tournament of 2010.
A few passed and Marlon was landed a great opportunity to serve in the Scotia bank and it was in Toronto. The new job offered much more benefits and great pay. Because he accepted the new job, Sunlife refused to provide the sponsorship. He did not ask the money back. Instead, I gave him a promise that one day if you needed community exposure to reach out to SLCAO and I will make sure to mark his name on the tremendous contribution he made to the SLCAO. The continuation of the contacts we received was handed over to Maleena Haile, with the direction of Marlon Fernando, in the hopes of recuperating some of the costs he incurred with a commission arrangement. It is unclear as of today if the costs were fully recovered.
In 2010, Marlon was invited to attend the 25th Anniversary Tri City Cricket Tournament Dinner dance as a special guest to hand over a token of appreciation for his contributions to the SLCAO. The Tri-City Dinner Dance was held at the Jim Durrel Center on Walkley Avenue. (see the full picture album here). He also was invited to umpire 2011 TriCity final match between Ottawa and Montreal, which Ottawa won by a close margin.
Marlon, went out to Toronto and accepted his new job. He went on to be a Senior Personal Banking Officer at a Scotia Bank Branch downtown Toronto, got himself a nice condo and got his family into the new condo. He worked at Ria and BMO financial institutions thereafter.
As of January 2016, Marlon is a fully licenced Mortgage broker and a partner at Invis. Marlon and his wife Shali lives in Toronto with their two sons Shalaine and Shevin.