The NOH and Galle in January 1988: Exquisite Images

Joe Simpson’s Lens captures the scenes of this famous hotel and its environs in Galle at a time when Nesta Brohier was holding the reins of this iconic hotel within the Fort of Galle

  The spacious front verandah-cum-lounge of the New Oriental Hotel

  The main lounge of the NOH in 1988

  Joe Simpsons’ Guest Room during his short stay

  the old-fashioned washroom

With the swimming pool that Nesta Brohier installed in the early 1980s – now gone & replaced I’m told by a much fancier version elsewhere in the back garden where her father Len “Zambuk” Ephraums once chased a polecat!

 the Inner Hallway then — keeper of a thousand secrets if walls could talk
 the approach to NOH from the Entrance to the Fort

  Harbour view from the NOH – image taken from the top corner room of the NOH

  Harbour view from the NOH – image in early evening from same room

mosque and lighthouse in evening twilight

 The Rubasinghe’s House in Middle sSreet with the NOH on the left in the far distance

  A now-vanished mode of transportation in Galle Fort … Photo taken from upper floor of NOH looking down on Church Street, Jan 1988

 Outriggers on beach near Galle –pr obably replaced by fibre-glass boars

 Beach seine fishing , or madal, near Galle … a practice still sustained in Sri Lanka

 The “Grand Old Lady”, as Joe recalls the NOH. In 1988.


Anestasia (Nesta) Brohier (nee Ephraums) with her N.O.H., Galle staff and two pet dalmatians, taken a few years before her death in 1995, aged 90 years ……

ALSO SEE   ,,,, For the NOH transformed into the AMANGALLA

Amangalla - Exterior


Filed under cultural transmission, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, sri lankan society, tourism, transport and communications, travelogue, unusual people

12 responses to “The NOH and Galle in January 1988: Exquisite Images

  1. Eddie Wijesuriya

    On Fri, Feb 23, 2018 at 6:34 PM, Thuppahi’s Blog wrote:

    > thuppahi posted: “Joe Simpson’s Lens captures the scenes of this famous > hotel and its environs in Galle at a time when Nesta Brohier was holding > the reins of this iconic hotel within the Fort of Galle The spacious > front verandah-cum-lounge of the New Oriental Hotel ” >

  2. Gary Ellis

    I have Stayed there Many times.What a History. A lovely old Hotel. Gary Ellis AUSTRALIA.

  3. Trevor LaBrooy

    My family and I knew ‘Aunty Nesta and uncle Hal very well, when Uncle Hal was planting on a rubber estate near Dangan Estate, Matale.. Their son Gordon, was a good friend and we used to play together as young boys.

    Your article brought back many memories.

    • Joe Simpson

      So happy to hear that, Trevor. I have a longer essay specifically about the Ephraums long family history in Ceylon-Sri Lanka – involving much research & correspondence with far-flung informants around the world about 15 years ago. if you would like a copy, please email me at (substituting @ for AT of course – this message is designed to avoid roaming bots harvesting my address!)

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  8. raigam

    Michael, you are treasure trove of happy memories!
    Thank you very much.

  9. Dhilanthi Fernando

    I wonder if the Ephraumses mentioned here were related to the piano tuner – I don’t know his first name – he was blind – we just called him Mr. Ephraums. And Mr. R. L. Brohier was the Sri Lankan representative for Trinity College of Music exams. We went to his house for the exams. I believe he lived on either Elibank Road or Layards Road. My grandparents lived in the Galle Fort and I was born when my parents lived on Richmond Hill – my father was a teacher at Richmond) I visited Galle a couple of years ago and did go to the Dutch Reformed Church that has the cemetery showing the above tombstone. They still have the original organ there. Important piece of history.

    • Joe Simpson

      Hi Dhilanti, Rod Ephraums the blind pianist & piano tuner whom you mention, was a much younger brother of Nesta and Richard (Dick). His date of death (still only in his early 60s) is shown on the DRC memorial plaque that is the subject of one of my 1988 slide photos kindly posted by Michael here. Dick Ephraums, Rod’s older brother, also blind and a piano tuner, eventually emigrated with his wife to the USA where he still has family living. When was your father teaching at RCG? I was a VSO English teacher & school hostel resident at Richmond 1973-4. I think I recall a Mr. Fernando on the academic staff at that time but it could have been a different gentleman of course. Best Wishes, Joe Simpson ( – ampersand not shown to try and avoid robot online email address harvesters)

  10. Christopher Duff-Tytler

    Filled with nostalgia remembering being there as a lad; born in Beruwela 1943; and riding a bike from Kandy to Galle with my 2 brothers and close Family friend Mike as teenagers; and last visit in 2004 May before the Tsunami. My happy Family memories of my beautiful Island Paradise island, will always keep me connected to my “roots”

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