NCRTA Award for Community Leadership - 2011
Recipient: Mr. Ponnambalam Adcharamoorthy
Mr. Ponnambalam Adcharamoorthy was the recipient of the NCRTA Award for Community Leadership in 2011.
"Do what good you can when you pass by, for you may not pass this way again" has been Mr. Adcharamoorthy's principle in life to-date.
NCRTA has chosen to honour Mr. Ponnambalam Adcharamoorthy for his relentless volunteer services to the Ottawa Tamil community in 2011.
Mr. Adcharamoorthy was born in Maathahal, Jaffna, Sri-Lanka. He came to Canada in 1983 and has been living in Ottawa for the last 28 years. Over the past few decades, he has been a pillar of the Ottawa Tamil community. As the Tamil residents of Ottawa get caught up in the roller-coaster ride of life and death, immigration, unemployment, education of the next generation, world peace, social services, Mr. Adcharamoorthy has been their first point of contact and the main support person until the issues are resolved. A trained accountant, he has taken on varying roles depending on the need. He has been a legal aide, insurance broker, funeral organizer and an information source for Ottawa Tamil immigrants on health, employment and housing.
He has a very happy and successful family of five daughters, seven grandchildren and a lovely wife. In ensuring the happiness of his own family, he has gifted the society with credible citizens. Notwithstanding that achievement, he has volunteered his life for the betterment of others.
Mr. Adcharamoorthy is a strong advocate for the rights of Tamils in Sri-Lanka. He has been vocal about the human rights violations perpetrated against Tamils. He tirelessly worked along with others to help and re-settle people affected in the riots of 1958. In Canada, along with like minded Tamils, he brought forward the plight of Tamils in Sri-Lanka.
In addition to the above, he was also involved in easing the pain of Tamil people in their day to day lives in Ottawa. Seven years ago, one of the Tamil families of Ottawa was involved in a car accident. The husband died on the spot and the wife was rushed to the hospital with injuries. They had a two year old daughter. Even though he didn.t know the family very well, Mr. Adcharamoorthy understood their plight. He volunteered to deal with the police inquiries, conferring with the insurance company and organizing the funeral. The young widow has since moved to Toronto and has graduated from a university and is working as an accountant. She acknowledges that she would have been lost if not for his help. This is one of the many cases where Mr. Adcharamoorthy has helped a family in crisis.
Mr. Adchararamoorthy as a volunteer was involved in the following
- Member of the Make Room 4 Peace in the Canadian War Museum.
- Member of Religions for Peace of the Ottawa Chapter-WCRP.
- Member of the Advisory Committee for RCMP National Security Policing Program.
- Special Adviser to the Ottawa Tamil Seniors Association.
- Member of the Citizens. Advisory Committee of Ottawa Parole Board-Correctional Services Canada.
- Officiant to solemnize marriages in the Province of Ontario
- Chaplain for the on-call Multi-faith Spiritual and Pastoral Care Services
- Participant at the All-Party Interfaith Parliamentary Friendship Group
- Member of the Steering Committee of Interfaith Ottawa.
- Member of the (CRIC) Capital Region Interfaith Council.
Through his activities on the board of various Ottawa organizations, Mr. Adcharamoorthy has enabled the minorities to have a say and made them feel part of the Ottawa society and proud Canadian citizens.
Mr. Adcharamoorthy has been recognized and honoured twice by the City of Ottawa. First in 2007 as the Ottawa (senior) Citizen of the year and in 2010 by the Mayor of Ottawa for his devoted service in promoting interfaith dialogue and understanding among faith communities. Mr. Adcharamoorthy celebrated his 80th birthday this month and it gives NCRTA immense pleasure in honouring him for his noble volunteer services at such an important milestone in his life.