ACE Koch-Ariya


Batch'64 Prof

Prof ACE Koch great teacher and an excellent human being


Prof Koch A great teacher and a fantastic human being



More about Prof Koch,

Learning the basics in Physiology…

The Physiology Department had an impressive array of academics. Prof Koch,Dr Jansze and Dr

Carlo Fonseka, to name three. At our first physiology lecture Prof Koch projected a slide of a worn

out looking female medical student in a saree and wearing an L-board. We were so nervous that

none of us laughed in appreciation. He must have thought we were a dull lot. However as times

passed we learned to pick up the jokes and stamp our feet on the wooden floor.

Very little love was lost between Prof Koch and Dr Jansze. Dr Jansze had a mischievous sense of

humour and rumour has it that he used to cycle along the corridors of the General Hospital. He

demonstrated to us our physiology practicals. They were the most way out and archaic practicals;

judging from modern standards. There was a tallish student called Heather Knower to whom Jansze

said “Heather Knower, tall as a tower, come here my dear, the weather Heather is cold.”

Once at a tutorial Jansze wrote a question on the black board and having discussed it said “you can

call me Koch if you do not get that question at the examination”. The question appeared in the

examination paper and Jansze fell into deep trouble.

Reprinted from

CoMSAA Newsletter, Vol 7, Issue 1

11 thoughts on “ACE Koch-Ariya”

  1. Thank you Sam and Ariya for the nice write up on dear Prof Koch.

    We all loved him dearly -a very cheerful person, with lots of good jokes, to keep us awake during the afternoon lectures .
    However, I could never really understand what he was talking about , as his lectures to me were a bit over my head- or perhaps, my understanding of the English Language at that time was not the best .

    But, never the less, I really did enjoy his lectures and his jokes and loved the way the guys would stamp their feet and Prof Koch would smile and aknowledge the appreciation of his joke !

    Love the old photo of the cricket match !

    Heather Knower- was a student at Holy Family Convent and was a few good years senior to us at school, and at Medical College .

    Praxy, Ranjini and Maithri will remember her .

    I cannot remember Dr Jansze.

    Dr Carlo- I know him well- a relative of mine from my father’s side from Tudella- Seeduwa .

    Nice story Ariya- and Thanks a lot- Deepthie .


  2. I forgot to mention- the old joke back when we were attending the Phys lect- —- ‘ Physiology was nothing but a Cock and Bull Story ‘ and Prof Koch him self would laugh at this !!!


  3. Our golden past

    I am sure my mates must be having,

    wonderful stories and anecdotes

    About our beloved late professor Koch,

    as well as other devoted teachers

    Please send them to batch web site,

    Sam enthusiastically created and runs

    To reminisce our care free golden era,

    would be Caviar to our dwindling nerves

    Ariya De Silva


  4. Thanks Ariya and Sam,
    The comments and details posted ,allow others to engage in discussions,and share your thoughts about Pro Koch.
    My view is that blog comments have transformed a static space toa 64 batch interactive community, reminiscing the highlights of faculty anecdotes.


  5. Thanks Ariya and Sam and Deepthie for keeping this conversation going.
    Prof Koch’s teaching was didactic, not the favoured method now.His lectures were based on the textbook of physiology and biochemistry by Bell, Davidson and Scarborough.An uninteresting book.Dr Harold Scarborougnwas the professor of Medicine at the National university of Wales.Many of his sudents were in awe of his clinical skills.The better book at that time was Applied Physiology by Samson Wright.However, in later years I preferred Clinical physiology by Campbell Dickinson and Slater.A great book with a wealth of information.
    There is one story that I remember very well from his lecture when he was doing the CVS.He told the story of an English train driver who collapsed briefly every time that he looked out of the engine cabin to check the railway signal on the same bend in the line.The reason for the collapse was the tight collar and tie causing pressure on his carotid sinus resulting in the well known carotid sinus syncope.He must have heard this from one of his teachers as Prof Koch was not a clinician.
    When I did see a couple of cases in later life, it did remind me of him.That is one story that I did remember from his lectures.!!


  6. One of the topics I remember was the oxygen debt during exercise and his fading slide on Roger Banister, first man to run the sub 4 minute mile as a medical student at Oxford , who qualified and became a Neurologist later. Sadly he passed away recently at the age of 88 having suffered from Parkinsonism in later years.


  7. Hi Arya, The photograph that you posted does not show the cover drive.,!.From the position of the wickets and the fielders, it looks like a sweep to the leg boundary.Cover drives are strokes on the off side field but this pic shows a sweep to the leg side.!,


  8. Ariya,

    Unless we were in two different batches, Dr Jansze was in Peradeniya & never taught us. Carlo Fonseka, never taught us as he was abroad, when we were in the block. All the physiology we learned were “Koch & Bull Stories”!. Correct me if I am wrong, unless I have memory loss.

    Thanks, WIMAL.


    1. My dear Wimal,

      For God’s sake do not attempt to split the batch

      Everyone was in that erudite well behaved clutch

      Over enthusiasm and over stretched memmories

      Do play tricks in the minds of the septuagenarians

      Even I was bemused to read about Dr Jansze

      Whom I had never seen even as an examiner

      You are correct about Dr Carlo Fonseka too

      Our physiology was a ‘Koch & Bull story, that’s true



  9. You are completely correct Wimal. Carlo came to the department after we were in 3rd or 4th years. I did not know Janz at all. All our physiology we learnt from Prof Koch and Dr Bull. They were very good teachers.


    1. HI Swarna and Dostara Wimal !

      Dostara Wimal – you have not lost your marbles and your memory is right on the money !

      Both of you are dead right –
      All our Phys was ‘ Koch and Bull stories ‘ as I mentioned earlier .
      It was a lot of fun- though I must say, I learned more from ‘Bull’ rather than from ‘Koch’ !

      Carlo never taught us , as I know this for a fact , as he is my relative .
      Yes- he was in UK when we were in the Block .
      When Carlo returned from UK- he was all over the News, with his new interest in the Fire Walking theory — Why the feet dont get burnt when doing Fire Walking .

      By the way- how many of you have actually seen a case of ‘ Carotid Sinus Syncope Syndrome ‘ ?
      I have not- but, then again, I did not practice medicine for more than 20 yrs, maximum , after I left the Old Country as I was too busy raising 3 kids .

      My memory- comes in ‘fits and starts ‘ seems like !
      Anyway- nice discussion to trigger the memory .


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: