The passing of an icon
In Colombo, this morning, Merrill J. Fernando, the iconic Teamaker, Disrupter, and Servant, passed away surrounded by his sons and grandchildren.
His greatness as the visionary founder of Dilmah Ceylon Tea Company stemmed from his unwavering faith, integrity, and love for tea and family. With boundless devotion and a sense of urgency, he pursued his desire for integrity and quality with remarkable humility and kindness. His accomplishments in disrupting an exploitative colonial industry forever transformed the lives of producers worldwide, heralding a paradigm shift in ethical business long before ethics and sustainability gained the prominence they hold today.
His mission was simply driven by his passion to improve the lives of others. Rooted in his humble, rural Sri Lankan beginnings and shaped by Christian family values, his life was devoted to tea. He worked diligently every day until the age of 91, maintaining his vigilance until passing away at the age of 93. He fought relentlessly against any attempts to compromise or adulterate his beloved Ceylon Tea.
Merrill J. Fernando leaves behind two generations who share his unwavering conviction. As he is called home to rest in the arms of his beloved Lord Jesus, his achievement lies not only in inspiring future generations to carry the torch of integrity and commitment to tea but also in bolstering the dreams of producers. His passion, devotion, commitment, love, and kindness will forever serve as an inspiration, pushing us to strive for the excellence he always demanded, without compromise.
Merrill J. Fernando will be fondly remembered for his humanity and for personally and passionately creating a global family united by the cause he pursued every day: Ceylon Tea with Taste, Goodness, and Ethical Purpose. All are welcome and invited to celebrate the life of Merrill J. Fernando and the profound impact he had on the world.
His remains will lie at the Restpect Funeral Parlour on Friday, 21st July 2023, from 8 am to 8 pm, and Saturday, 22nd July, from 8 am to 12 pm. A Private burial will follow at St. Mary's - Pallansena, Negombo.