BY PETER JASINGHE
It was a sad moment to note the passing away of a doyen in the motoring heritage of Sri Lanka. On 9 January, Farih Fauz bade farewell having done yeoman service to the protection and preservation of the motoring heritage of Sri Lanka.
For those who had the pleasure of knowing him, there was always a humble smile and a warm greeting that held sway whatever the circumstances were and would part ways with his traditional “God bless you”.
Farih’s affection to motoring was paramount from his childhood which is evident with the memorabilia and collection of motoring miniatures which I am sure is second to none on local soil.
He was one of the key figures that was instrumental in creating the Vintage Car Owners’ Club which took over from the Veteran Car Club and was appointed the Founder President of the club. He was an avid car enthusiast from his childhood. Much of his interest was also spurred by his uncle Mueed Khalid who used to take him to watch the motor races as a youngster, which may have been the root to the cause.
It was a delight to all veteran car enthusiasts when Lord Montague of Beaulieu fame visited Sri Lanka and a vintage car exhibition was put together to coincide his visit and Farih played a major role in ensuring the exhibition was up to mark with his meticulous manner of handling the event.
AHis ardent passion towards miniaturesnother passion which is evident if you had the pleasure of visiting his residence at Manthri Road was a great collection of miniature model cars on display that may be second to none. Along with a band of miniature enthusiasts, the Miniature Model Club was formed and took off to a flying start with many collectors both young and old who came together to host two exhibitions at the Hotel School premises and the Mount Lavinia Hotel, and his one wish was to keep the interest growing with the many young enthusiasts who took great pride in their collection.
This brings me to his encouragement and support he extended towards the VW Beetle Owners’ Club where he never missed an event and his warm presence at the start of an event which was of great encouragement to the organisers. He did recall many years ago, when the local agents Car Mart Ltd., drove four brand new VW Beetles in different colours through the in-gate of his uncle’s residence to convince him of a purchase. This would have been a unique advertising tool that won many customers and certainly left a great memory in young Farih. He would always encourage the activities of the club, and was of the view that a happy car would be the end result of a happy member which was his sound advice that he extended to the club. I would recall his parting words saying “You jolly fellows, keep it up!” and “Keep it up!” would be the best honour we could give to our dear departed friend. We will miss him and his encouragement dearly, and may his soul rest in peace.
(The writer is the President of the Volkswagen Beetle Owners’ Club of Sri Lanka)