R.I.P. Sripathy

Kudigram Ramachar Sripathy was among the early Indians who settled in Australia having migrated in 1967. He passed away on 21 May 2017 peacefully, coincidentally on the day of his 59th marriage anniversary, having decided to voluntarily cease dialysis several weeks earlier. Srip, as he was popularly known among all his friends, was 85.

Sripathy was born in Kudigrama, Karnataka, and was educated as a chemist/food technologist. He started to work with Coca Cola in 1959 and the company posted him to Australia in 1967. The young family ”“ wife Rathi, son Ram and daughter Vani arrived when White Australia policy was still in force. Another daughter, Meena, was born two years later.

There were only a few migrants of Indian origin in Australia then. But the few who met became very close friends, like a family. Srip’s nature was such that he helped everyone around him. He played crucial role in forming early Indian associations.

Having developed extensive expertise in quality control and manufacture of soft drinks, Coca Cola found the right man in Sripathy to post him to Jakarta, Indonesia, initially to help set up a new plant. But the assignment extended to six long years.

In 1983, Srip left Coca Cola and joined Quest as a specialist consulting chemist in the manufacture of flavours and fragrances. He was known for his fastidious work ethics and attention to detail.

Sripathy’s exuberance was charming and it attracted everyone towards him. He was an excellent tennis player and loved the game, continuing to play even as he entered into his 80’s.

Srip loved his food and was an excellent cook himself, often in competition with his wife, the two making delightful hosts for many memorable evenings at their residence. He mixed his own spices and made authentic pickles sometimes creating dishes from age-old recipes from his mother and grandmother times. He also loved gardening; the mango trees in the backyard will always remind of him.

Sripathy was a disciplinarian, except when it came to his six grandchildren from one son and two daughters. The children absolutely adored their grandfather.

He leaves the Indian community in Sydney with a void, his cheerful greetings always to be missed.


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