Dedicated to the memory of Gerard Nihal Lionel Pancratius

Gerard Nihal Lionel Pancratius, loving son of Antonia Selvaranee and the late Edward (Appucha), respectful son-in-law of the late Pearly Ambrose and the late Saverimuthu Ambrose, beloved husband of Antoinette, devoted father tof Sujit, Pio and Francesca, proud father-in-law of Shejal, adoring grandfather of Jay and Shay, a caring brother of the late Julie, Shiranee and Niranjan, compassionate brother-in-law of Vetha, Joseph Paul, Ranji, Jayantha, Nimi, Jeeva, Mahendran Rasiah , Mahendran Hayacinth and Glen, much loved uncle of Mario, Jude, Shaun, Dylan, Kishani, Pia, Piolyn, Kisho and Gerrard and a dear friend to many.

Nihal was born on 12th January 1951 in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. He lived his formative years in Jaffna. He was a talented musician and therefore a very popular young man. His love for music began at an early age, after he was gifted a guitar from his uncle Rasa. He composed and performed songs with his friends and even sang regularly on the only national radio station in Sri Lanka (SLBC). His remarkable and distinctive voice along with his catchy tunes assured him a life-long fanbase.

In 1971, whilst attending a college party, he met and fell for his future wife, Antionette. Upon graduating from St Patrick’s College Jaffna in 1972, he went in search of better opportunities and subsequently moved to England in 1975. In London, he qualified as a registered psychiatric nurse. In 1978, he returned to Jaffna to marry Antoinette. Soon thereafter, they immigrated to London to start their new life together. They settled in Tooting and raised three children: Sujit, Pio and Francesca.  

Music continued to be in the backdrop of his life. Although he was a nurse by trade, music was his heart and soul. Accordingly, he continued to compose and perform music throughout his life. In the 1980's and 1990's, he organised numerous events which brought hundreds of people together; thereby, kick starting a social community which is still in place today. He later became a well sought-after one-man band and would regularly perform at various events, whenever asked and always free of charge. He never failed to support his alma mater, St Patrick’s College, who honoured him for his life-long dedication.

To his many friends, Nihal was a hugely caring and generous man. He was always there to offer help and support. He sang, danced and laughed with all throughout his life. His light shone brightly to all who knew him.

To his family, he was an inspiration, a one-of-a-kind dad who stood out from the crowd. He was a source of support, guidance and a trusted friend. We love him tremendously and now miss him so dearly. He fought a courageous fight to the bitter end, which is a great source of pride to us all.
 
He passed away peacefully on 5th January 2020. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

 

IN LEU OF ANY FLORAL TRIBUTES,  PLEASE MAKE A DONATION HERE TO MACMILLIAN CANCER SUPPORT

 

 

Funeral for Gerard Nihal Lionel Pancratius

 
Service
20th January 2020 at 12:00 pm Saint Boniface R.C. Church Saint Boniface R.C. Church, 185 Mitcham Rd, Tooting, London SW17 9PG
London Road Cemetery
20th January 2020 at 2:00 pm 59 Victoria Rd, Mitcham CR4 3JB
Wandsworth Civic Suite
20th January 2020 at 3:00 pm Wandsworth High St, London SW18 2PU

Fundraising

Fundraising for

Fundraising

Fundraising for

Thoughts

A tribute to Nihal Pancratius I was deeply saddened to hear of our dear friend Nihal’s passing. Nihal and I first met in primary school at St Patrick’s in Jaffna. He also happened to live in the same street as me. For as long as I knew Nihal, I was impressed by Nihal’s ability to maintain a close relationship to his friends and family which meant that he was constantly surrounded by a lot of people who cared about him. Nihal was a hard-working, intelligent, responsible and very thoughtful person. As we know, Nihal was also a talented musician. Ever since Nihal received his first guitar as a gift from his uncle in year 8, he was not able to put it down. He shared his passion for music by utilising his talents and bringing joy to all those around him. The Sri Lankan community has lost an amazing artist last week. Music leaps across language barriers and unites many. Through music people from different cultural backgrounds come together and make the world a more harmonious place – and Nihal did just that. Nihal started his first charity music event at ‘flag day’ when we were in year 10 to raise money for the disabled residents at Prethipura Children’s Home. His next event was much bigger and better. After completing his A levels Nihal attended the Acquinas College of higher studies to pursue his studies in accounting. It was during this time that he contacted some famous singers in Colombo and brought about 23 singers to Jaffna to perform in an open air theatre and fundraise money for St Patrick’s College. It was a very memorable event. Nihal continued to raise funds for charities and continued organising musical events in Sri Lanka and in the UK, which focused on education and religion, as well as other charitable causes such as orphanages. Even after Nihal lost his vision he remained determined to raise funds for charities by organising musical performances. Nihal was a positive person and he would not want us to be sad today. If he were here, he would tell us to cheer up, smile, and remember all the great memories we shared with him. Nihal’s life was taken away from us too soon, but he will remain in our thoughts as a dear friend, husband, father, son, and brother. "God saw him getting tired, and a cure was not to be So he put his arms around him and whispered “Come to Me”. With tearful eyes we watched him suffer, and Saw him slowly fade away. Although we loved him dearly, We could not make him stay. A golden heart stopped beating, hard working hands put to rest, God broke our hearts to prove to us He only takes the best." Our heartfelt condolences go out to Nihal’s loving wife Antoinette, children and grandchildren, as well as Aunty Rani, the Rajakone family, Vetha/Shiranee and Niranjan/Jeeva.
With love, Richard and family (Canberra, Australia)
Mike & The Mechanics - The living Years Every generation Blames the one before And all of their frustrations Come beating on your door I know that I'm a prisoner To all my Father held so dear I know that I'm a hostage To all his hopes and fears I just wish I could have told him in the living years Crumpled bits of paper Filled with imperfect thought Stilted conversations I'm afraid that's all we've got You say you just don't see it He says it's perfect sense You just can't get agreement In this present tense We all talk a different language Talking in defence Say it loud, say it clear You can listen as well as you hear It's too late when we die To admit we don't see eye to eye So we open up a quarrel Between the present and the past We only sacrifice the future It's the bitterness that lasts So Don't yield to the fortunes You sometimes see as fate It may have a new perspective On a different day And if you don't give up, and don't give in You may just be OK. Say it loud, say it clear You can listen as well as you hear It's too late when we die To admit we don't see eye to eye I wasn't there that morning When my Father passed away I didn't get to tell him All the things I had to say I think I caught his spirit Later that same year I'm sure I heard his echo In my baby's newborn tears I just wish I could have told him in the living years Say it loud, say it clear You can listen as well as you hear It's too late when we die To admit we don't see eye to eye Together with "Our hearts are restless until it rests in Thee, O Lord" - St Augustine.
Deva
G E RA R D N I H A L L I O N E L P A N C R A T I U S A N A P P R E C I A T I O N Parishioners of St. Antony’s Church, Mathagal , a village in the Valigamam West Division of Northern Province celebrate their Patron Saint’s feast on June 13th annually in grand style. Parishioners’ family members living elsewhere make it a point to assemble for the feast while there will be devotees in their hundreds from the village as well as from adjoining ones. The feast is preceded by Novenas from June 1st to 12th and normally vespers are sung during the last few Novenas with three or more Priests in attendance. . On the feast day, High Mass is sung by several Priests followed by a procession. The feast is concluded with an almsgiving in the evening. The procession is the highlight of the feast when the beautiful statue of the miraculous Saint is placed in a decorated wooden platform and carried by parishioners on their shoulders taking turns. To carry this statue is considered a blessing and there is always a scramble . During the procession prayers are said and hymns sung fervently by the devotees. Time honoured hymns are sung year after year but there would also be new ones composed for the occasion. Back in early 1960s during one of these processions, a young teenager turned up and began singing in a stentorian voice which captivated the devotees . Who is this youngster and where is he from? Someone said he is Nihal, Pancratius’ son and Appiah’s grandson. The Pancratius family was living in Jaffna town then and hence the handsome sprightly lad who had suddenly showed up was new to the village.I immediately felt that this boy had a great future in music . God has gifted him with not merely a scintillating voice but also talent to compose music . Not all musicians are so gifted. They sing but the composition is by others. Nihal grew up in Jaffna, graduated from St.Patrick’s and moved first to Colombo and then to U.K. There he chose a profession where he could serve others. This he did it from the bottom his heart, but his soul was in music on which he was fully engaged right up to the time he fell sick. He did not earn his living from music but gave recitals obliging religious and charitable organizations as well as his friends . He was free with his enormous talent. In recent times his recitals found a place in the social media and I for one always looked forward to his recitals. I also enjoyed the affectionate exchanges between the brothers. Nihal was an idol, devoted husband, father son, sibling, grandpa cousin and uncle, not to mention his friends . He was always cherubic, exuberant and generous .It is indeed a tragedy that he had left us all quite early in his life. His memory however will last forever. My heart goes out to all his family members Goodbye Nihal !. May His Soul Rest In Peace.
Benedict Thomas ( Benny )
Fundraising for
Recent Activity