Advanced Search:

Regular Search
❮ Go Back to Listings


Born: Dec 18, 1931

Date of Passing: Apr 06, 2017

Send Flowers to the Family Offer Condolences or Memory

Adjust Text Size: A+ A-

HERBERT SARATCHANDRA EMBULDENIYA It is with great sadness that the family of Herbert Embuldeniya announces his passing on April 6, 2017 in Makati City, Philippines. At his time of passing, he had his wife Nieva (nee Tesoro) and his daughter, Winona at his bedside. Herb was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend. In addition to his wife and daughter, he leaves behind his grandson Marc and Marc's father Sylvain Villeneuve; sisters Ira (Leonard) Opatha and Manel (late Dharma) Thrimawithane, brother William (Ngana) Embuldeniya; brothers-in-law Armand (Linda) Tesoro, Gabe (Melba) Tesoro, and Jess (Celia) Tesoro, sister-in-law Mary Grace Tesoro-Wilson, good friend Darren James and a great number of nephews and nieces and their families, having been most recently blessed to hold the hand of Brooke-Hera, the newest addition to the family. Herb was born on December 18, 1931 in Sri Lanka, where his love for education and boxing began. He was an athlete, winning gold medals in the flyweight category, while he attended the University of Colombo and the University of Peradeniya attaining both his Bachelor of Arts degree and teaching certification. With these qualifications in hand, he taught in Pakistan in 1960 at the Karachi International Grammar School and then came to Canada in 1968 to further his education at Queen's University in Kingston. Ontario. An opportunity arose for him to begin employment with the Department of Indian Affairs in 1969, first as a teacher at Black River First Nation and Bloodvein First Nation and then as a principal at Fisher River Cree Nation. While employed full time and working at Black River, he successfully satisfied the requirements of the Bachelor of Education degree at the University of Manitoba enabling him to continue further advancement within the department, becoming an Assistant Superintendent of Education. He retired in 1998 leaving behind a lasting reputation for honesty and transparency throughout the communities with which he worked and great friendships and memories with his colleagues. For those who met him, they knew he valued education and the opportunities it unlocked, but they probably remember him more for his love of boxing. If you had been his student, you knew he kept boxing gloves in his desk drawer and would encourage children to come out and box at the end of the day in the gym but not to the detriment of homework. He had a passion for amateur boxing and eventually found his calling not as an athlete but as a coach and an official, starting off first as a referee/judge, juror and finally as technical delegate at many international competitions, World Cups, World Championships, Pan Am Games, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, and Olympic Games. It became a game for family to declare who saw him first when boxing was televised during the Olympics. While he received much from these rich experiences, having travelled to 88 countries for various boxing events in his lifetime, and making lasting friendships along the way, he also returned as much to the sport and the people in it, as he received. He was gracious with his time, filling various posts in the amateur boxing world, first as the Vice President of the Manitoba Amateur Boxing Association in 1968, President of the Canadian Boxing Association in 1986, and Executive Committee member of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) from 1990 to 2002, He was a Director of the Manitoba Sports Federation, a member of the 1999 Pan Am Games bid delegation that secured the Pan Am Games for Winnipeg and Chair of the Manitoba Boxing Commission. In recognition of his work, he received the key to the City of Manila, Philippines in 1990, was inducted into the Canadian Boxing Hall of Fame in 1991, was recognized as a honorary life member of the Manitoba Sports Federation in 1996, was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 1999, and was awarded the Order of Merit by AIBA in 2011. More recently, his achievements were recognized by author Asoka Goonetilleke who featured Herb in his book entitled Legends All, Firsts in Sports in Sri Lanka. He inspired a love for the sport of boxing for many, most significantly with his wife Nieva, now an accomplished amateur boxing official in her own right. He also inspired a love for high level sports competition by his daughter, sponsoring her amateur athlete dreams in fencing and encouraging her attempt to qualify for the 1996 Olympics, while at the same time reminding her to keep her grades up and apply to law school thereby ensuring that if one dream couldn't be achieved, that others would. In addition to volunteering his time to sports, he supported the Sri Lankan community in Winnipeg, having been one of the founding members of the Sri Lankan Association of Manitoba. He was also the Chairperson of the Scholarship Committee of the University of Santo Thomas (Philippines) Alumni Association in Manitoba. And in his retirement years, he spent his winters in Sri Lanka and sat on the executive board of the Boxing Association of Sri Lanka helping develop the boxing officials in that country. He was also the President of the Kandana/Ja-Ela (Sri Lanka) Lions Club. More recently, however, his attention to boxing was diverted often by his love for his grandson Marc, with whom he shared a remarkable bond. Watching the two of them as they aged, with one growing taller as the other less so, was a gift for those who were nearby to observe their antics and turn a blind eye to their mischief. There was plenty of laughter, hand holding and hugs between them and Herb was even known to share his bacon with his grandson whenever they had Sunday breakfast together. Visitation was observed in the Philippines but viewing will be held on Friday, April 21, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. to 12:00 midnight at Chapel Lawn Funeral Home, 4000 Portage Avenue. The funeral service will be held on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. at St. Edward's Roman Catholic Church, 836 Arlington St. with Fr. Sarce presiding. A reception will directly follow the service in the parish hall with Interment to follow at Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens. The family would like to thank all those in the Philippines, here in Winnipeg and across the world who showed their love by comforting them, either by their presence as they observed Lamay or through various means of communication during their time of sorrow and as they made efforts to bring Herb home as he had wanted. Gratitude is also extended to the doctors and staff at the Makati Medical Centre who cared for Herb in his final few days. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you please consider donating to Kids Sport Manitoba, as Herb was grateful for the opportunities that sport provided to him starting at a young age and he demonstrated this by also serving as a co-chair of Kids Sport Committee during his time with the Manitoba Sports Federation. For those who wish to sign the online Guest Book please visit our website. CHAPEL LAWN 204-885-9715.
Publish Date: Apr 19, 2017

HERBERT SARATCHANDRA EMBULDENIYA It is with sadness that the family of Herbert Embuldeniya announces his passing on April 6, 2017. A visitation will be held on Friday, April 21 from 6:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. with Prayers said at 7:00 p.m. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, April 22 at 1:00 p.m. at St. Edward the Confessor Roman Catholic Church, 836 Arlington Street, Winnipeg. Interment to follow. A long obituary will appear in the Wednesday edition. Chapel Lawn Funeral Home, 204-885-9715.

Publish Date: Apr 18, 2017

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Apr 19, 2017

Condolences & Memories (10 entries)

  • We have fond memories of Herb & Nieva when Nieva worked in x-ray at Percy E. Moore Hospital in Hodgson & Carol was a nurse there. (Herb worked @ Fisher River at the time.) We became friends, and, in fact, our wedding dates were originally set for the same day, & one was delayed a week so we could attend each others' special day! Our deepest sympathies to Nieva & family. With much love & prayer, Ted & Carol Hartog - Posted by: Carol & Ted Hartog (friends & colleague of Nieva) on: Apr 21, 2017

  • Herb was well known in our First Nation Community in Fisher River. He was an excellent principal and teacher, in addition to this he brought boxing to our community. He taught many of the youth how to box. They loved it, and today many our youth are grateful for what he did for them. He not only taught them how to box, but also instilled confidence into their lives. Sending my heartfelt Condolences and prayers to Winona and all the family. Marge - Posted by: Marge Murdock (Friend and co-worker with Daughter.) on: Apr 21, 2017

  • My condolences to Nieva and family. I met Herb and later his good wife through Boxing. He was a true gentleman, quiet and unassuming, one who left an everlasting legacy through his involvement with Boxing. - Posted by: Alison Arsenault () on: Apr 21, 2017

  • On behalf of all members of Boxing Canada, we offer our condolences to Herb's family. Herb had a positive impact on many of us in Boxing Canada. His international boxing experience allowed him to share his knowledge of the sport with us. Some of us had a chance to continue to work with Herb after he moved to Sri Lanka. We were able to spend time at different boxing competitions around the world. In many cases where Herb was, his lovely wife Nieva wasn't to far away. They really were a team. Our thoughts and prayers our with the family. - Posted by: Pat Fiacco (President-Boxing Canada) on: Apr 20, 2017

  • In my duties as Executive Director of the Manitoba Sports Federation, it was a privilege to have worked closely with Herb on the growth and development of the MSF, during those years of his service. He was always a true gentleman and a tireless volunteer on behalf of amateur sport and in particular, his passion, the sport of amateur boxing. He always added thoughtful input to discussions and international experience to the Board's deliberations. Herb was a class 'A' person and an outstanding role model for other sport leaders. He was a great ambassador for Manitoba and Winnipeg wherever he went. My condolences to Nieva and family. He will be missed and not easily replaced. - Posted by: George Fraser (Colleague) on: Apr 20, 2017

  • The face of Canadian boxing will never be the same. Thanks Herbert for all you did for the sport and for its members and coaches. You were truly in the corner for all of Canada's athletes and you will be missed by all who knew you. - Posted by: Terence Fowler () on: Apr 20, 2017

  • So sorry to hear of Herb's passing. Herb and I were on many Boxing trips around the world together, and I will cherish those memories of our time together. Herb was a big part of the Boxing Canada family and he always had a positive spin and contribution to our sport. Thoughts and prayers go out to Nieva and family. - Posted by: Domenic Filane () on: Apr 20, 2017

  • Meet Herb through Boxing, Very Nice Man. My Condolences to the Family! - Posted by: Doug Bolianatz (Friend ) on: Apr 19, 2017

  • I met Herb Embuldeniya when I was a high school student at FRCN back in the mid 1970's, first as a teacher and then as a Principal. All of my fellow students referred to him as Herb (never mind the formal Mr. Embuldeniya) as he was always so friendly and personable. Herb was also my collegue when I started working with INAC in the early 1990's. I've always had (and still have) a lot of respect and admiration for Herb. May God bless him and his family. - Posted by: Gale Govereau (Former Student) on: Apr 19, 2017

  • Herb was inducted as a builder in Boxing back in 1999 and his work took him all around the globe. He was also a key part of the Manitoba Sports Federation and an all round gentleman in every way. Our condolences to Nieva and the family on their loss. - Posted by: Rick D. Brownlee (MB Sports Hall of Fame) on: Apr 19, 2017

Chapel Lawn Funeral Home & Cemetery

Chapel Lawn Funeral Home & Cemetery

4000 Portage Ave. (Map)
Ph: 2048859715 | Visit Website

❮ Go Back to Listings