A Tennis Gathering at Nomads, 1926
Young J. R. Jayewardene is standing second from the left (facing); while young SWRD Bandaranaike is seated.
NOTE from Arun Dias Bandaranaike: “This image of SWRDB with his ‘golf cap’ and sports jacket et al, matches other pics of him in that period shortly after his return to Ceylon from his sojourn at Oxford. In fact, there is in the family collection a photo of Solomon in a group photo of 1935 as a member of the Nomads Tennis Club, assembled in the garden at the home of Walter Dias Bandaranaike which was on Silversmiths Street off Armour Street, Colombo 10. The image there is pretty much the same as this, which appears to be taken either in Nuwara Eliya (most likely) or Bandarawela.
The person who is standing two places away from JRJ in that same row and in the centre of the picture dressed in a striped cardigan, seems to be George R. de Silva, who married Walter Dias Bandaranaike’s daughter Evelyn, and lived in Kotahena.
Back row, second from left is a lady I surmise is Irene de Silva, the sister of George R. de Silva, who married Copleston Dias Bandaranaike. Irene and Copleston are the parents of Justice Tissa D. B., who served in the Supreme Court during Chandrika’s first tenure as President. Interestingly, Solomon was Copleston’s Best Man at his wedding to Irene.
CLARIFICATION from Lam Seneviratne, 30 October 2016:
“This was no Ceylon team of circa 1926, SWRD and JRJ though winning the highest accolades in National Politics never came close to National Tennis honours! The Nomads Tennis Club had been formed a few years earlier and SWRD was the Men’s singles winner in those early days. JRJ then 20 years old must have been an invitee as he was in their social circle. For Michael’s benefit, the Obeysekera’s were accredited Nomads members and two of the young ladies may be sisters Nedra and Yolande Obeysekera. Nedra was later the woman’s tennis singles champion and married F. C. de Saram. Yolande was also a Nationals player.
Arun, …. your ‘guesses’ of the identity of several persons in it must lead us to conclude that it is indeed a Nomads photo. Looking at the background of the photo, no tennis courts are seen. Could this photo be at Mahanuga Gardens with the group seated beyond the sidelines of the only court? An umpires high chair is on the right outside the half wall. If I have not further added to the confusion I shall be happy………………………………… Kind Regards…………………………….Lam
PS from Michael Roberts:
- The pith helmets and the white ‘bamboo’ longs generate an old-world quaintness that is only outdone by the bathing costumes of that era — in comparison with the bikinis (or less) and the tennis ‘knickers’ of today.
- The figure that intrigues me most is the easy-going bloke in the middle row extreme right whose stance suggests cheekiness and bonhomie.
ALSO SEE Roberts, “Social History within Cricket,” 18 July 2016 https://thuppahis.com/2016/07/18/social-history-within-cricket/