God-given

When I met Angeline Goonetilleke for the first time, I immediately felt her warmth and kindness. Of course now she is frail, suffering from a partial paralysis. We did not speak for a long time, yet throughout the interview she impressed me with her faith and I understood why she is loved by so many people. In addition to having been bestowed with the gift of singing she is a lovely person. Last May Angeline suffered a stroke and a blood clot hit the right side of her brain.

“First of all I must thank the Lord my God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit, because they saved my life. I feel that day god was with me with two guardian angels. So I must thank God saving my life,” said Angeline.

It was then that Angeline sang a hymn for me.

“O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder,

Consider all the works Thy hands have made;

I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder,

Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee,

How great Thou art! How great Thou art!

Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee,

How great Thou art! How great Thou art!

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,“Still I cannot sing because, after my physiotherapy, my voice went out because I was screaming and shouting in pain. My doctor has asked me not to talk much because I am a singer. It will take a little time for me to sing again. But I must thank the god who saved me. I must also thank Jesus and the Holy Spirit,” stated Angeline.

And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.

Then shall I bow, in humble adoration,

And then proclaim, “My God, how great Thou art!”

Angeline was highly regarded by anyone who had the fortune of listening to her angelic voice.

I was in the ‘Lama Pitiya’, a children’s Sinhala radio program co-hosted by the legendary Karunaratne Abeysekera, where I sang live. All children under the age of 13 sang. I was then Angeline De Lanerolle. My name was very popular then. Then I married Leslie Goonetilleke, but the popularity remained the same. When I took part in Lama Pitiya, from that first day onwards I became very popular. When you become 14 you have to leave Lama Pitiya,” said Angeline.

I asked her to what she attributes her success to and Angeline was resolute that she attributes her success to God.

“My everything is God. The person I am now is due to God. Everything is God. I won’t go beyond God. I listen to God and I fear god. I love God,” pointed out Angeline.

When I asked Angeline what the important milestones were in her career she was quick to say that it is God.

“Everything I must thank God. God is my milestone. My popularity and everything is due to God. He is my milestone. There is no other person, I love God very much,” said Angeline

At this point in the interview Angeline was overwhelmed with emotion and said that god has given her a voice and that she loves God very much. She said that she is now unafraid and knows that she will get her voice back. “I trust God and my trust is in God.”

Angeline is the seventh in a family of 10.

“I must thank God first of all and then my doctors- Prof. Ravindra Satharasinghe and the nurses who were with me in the hospital. So I must thank everybody. I can’t do anything these day. Even cooking I have stopped. I have also gone down. I used to cook nice curries. However I am very positive about the future. God is the one who can do everything in his own time. He has a date and time to cure me. I will wait until that day and time comes,” explained Angeline.

Mostly Angeline has sung in films. She was a film play back singer.

“I am proud to say that I am a film playback singer. When I am completely healed I will re-enter the field and that will be very soon. I am very proud of that. I cannot fully raise my left hand. I am undergoing Sinhala Native Treatment which is the best treatment. There is a young lady doctor visiting me. She is treating me. She is Doctor Amali Perera,” added Angeline.

Recently she has gone to around three weddings which show that she is recovering.

“You must have hope and faith in God. I also want to thank Father Angelo and Father Sam. I also want to thank Father Anton Dinesh. They all came to see me at the hospital and gave me communion and everything. Bishop Silva came home to see me. Sujatha Aththanayake and Latha Walpola came to see me in addition to many other artistes.” 


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