Lives of the fellows

George Rajanayagam Handy

b.29 October 1902 d.22 March 1995
OBE(1954) LMS Ceylon(1926) DTM&H(1938) MB BS Lond(1939) MD(1947) MRCP(1947) FRCP(1970)

George Rajanayagam Handy was an eminent Sri Lankan cardiologist. He practised for over sixty years and was a founder president of the Sri Lanka Heart Association. The son of an Anglican priest, he was educated at St John’s College, Jaffna, and Trinity College, Kandy. He joined the Ceylon Medical College and graduated with first class honours. He went on to London University and obtained the MB BS from University College. He returned to Sri Lanka and served as a resident medical officer and as a medical registrar at the General Hospital, Colombo. In 1947 he obtained his MD and was appointed a consultant physician at the General Hospital, the first cardiologist at the hospital.

He was an astute clinician and his gentle and friendly manner kept his practice active right up to his last illness. In the early years there was no plethora of drugs or heart surgery as we have today, but his cheerful assurance and excellent rapport with patient’s families was sufficient therapy even for the desperately ill. His calm and unruffled manner under any circumstance gave patients an unfailing confidence in him.

As well as becoming the founder president of the Sri Lanka Heart Association, a post he held for over ten years, he was also president of the Ceylon Medical Association. He had an amiable and friendly disposition which endeared him to his colleagues and friends.

In 1954 he had the honour of having the Order of the British Empire bestowed on him by the Queen. The Ceylon College of Physicians has established a G R Handy memorial lecture endowed by his family. He married Edith Rose Kanmanie in 1930 and they had two sons and one daughter. He suffered from ischaemic heart disease and died of pneumonia.

Theva A Buell

(Volume X, page 188)

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