Lankem Paints Ltd, manufacturers and marketers of Robbialac Paints has completed painting the centuries-old Madhu Church for the recent Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary and this month's (August 2012) Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Heaven.
This project was done under the guidance of the Bishop of Mannar Rev. Dr. Rayappu Joseph and the supervision of the Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Emilianuspillai.
The Madhu Church is one of Sri Lanka’s most important Catholic places of religious worship and dates back to the 1670s. At that time the invasion by the Dutch led to 20 Catholic families fleeing from Mantai, along with the statue of Mary to a safer locality in Madhu. Around the same time around 700 Catholics from the Jaffna peninsula also migrated to the Wanni forests. These two communities met in Madhu where they built a new shrine and installed the statue. This is how the Madhu shrine came into existence.
Over the years the jungle shrine at Madhu began attracting pilgrims from all over the country. In 1924 it was officially crowned by the Papal Legate, who came in the name of Pope Pius XI. Two decades later despite travel restrictions and difficulties finding conveyance during World War II, more than 30,000 people came to the jungle shrine of Our Lady of Madhu for the consecration in 1944.
It was in 1870 that the annual feast Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary began to be celebrated on 02 July. However in recent years it is the August 15th feast which draws the biggest crowd. It is one of the most hallowed days for Catholics who celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven.
Ruwan T. Weerasinghe, Director Lankem Ceylon PLC said, “We at Lanken consider it both an honour and a privilege to paint the Madhu Church for the annual feast. This is part of our continuous dedication to contribute to Sri Lanka’s rich culture and heritage through initiatives such as this. It was only recently that we painted the Dalada Maligawa for the eighth consecutive year in preparation for the Kandy Esala Perahera. Since Lankem Robbialac is a fully Sri Lankan company and one that touches the lives of hundreds of thousands of citizens, we do owe a debt of gratitude to the people of Sri Lanka”.
Resident Priest is Rev. Fr. Emilianus Pillai thanked Lankem Robbialac for its generous gesture in painting the Church for the annual feast this year. “We warmly welcome all devotees and pilgrims to Our Lady of Madhu, the Roman Catholic Marian shrine in the Mannar district of Sri Lanka. With a history of over 400 years, this shrine is a place for pilgrimage, miraculous healings and worship for all people”.
Reputed for manufacturing and marketing its flagship brand ‘Robbialac’, Lankem Paints Ltd is today, Sri Lanka’s largest 100% local coatings manufacturer and marketer. As pioneer in the local paints industry, it counts more than 28 years of wide ranging experience.
Lankem’s portfolio includes decorative, industrial, epoxies, primers, ancillary, anti corrosives, auto refinish and wood care ranges which cater to all needs of the Sri Lankan paints consumer. It recently ventured into the water based wood coatings market in collaboration with a reputed Italian company with its brand ‘Acquashield’.
The Lankem paint factory at Ekala was the first paint manufacturing facility to receive SLS ISO 9001:2008 for Quality Management Systems and is also the one and only paint manufacturer as at date in Sri Lanka to be awarded with ISO 14001 for Environmental Management Systems, in addition to the SLS mark.