Category Archives: British colonialism

A Rare Photograph of the Old Lighthouse at Galle Fort

Ismeth Raheem ++

Presented here is the stone and concrete lighthouse constructed around 1851-52 at the south-western corner of Galle Fort ………. replacing the cast-iron structure that was specially fabricated in England and shipped to Ceylon. That cast-iron lighting ‘unit’ was burnt down by accident in 1849-50.

The rare image was recently made available to Thuppahi by Bunchy Rahuman — an old Aloysian mate of Michael Roberts and one time resident in the fort.

The image is one of the earliest datable calotype photographs the world has seen. Calotype photographs are partly hand-coloured. Calotype was concurrently invented not soon after the Daguerreotype.

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Queen Elizabeth in Parliamentary Pageantry in Ceylon, 1954

Queen Elizabeth honoured by and honouring the House of Representatives

Prime Minister John Kotelawela greets the Queen …  and she  is ushered in pageant mode into the chambers

 

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Queen Elizabeth in Ceylon, 1954: Pomp & Pageantry in Picture Mode

the Cadillac that conveyed Her Majesty Queen elizabeth

 

 

 

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Rare Items marking Queen Elizabeth’s Visit to Ceylon in 1954

The Rupee Notes and A Stamp

 

 

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Thoughts on Planter Lifeways in Ceylon evoked by the Braine Biography

Joe Paiva[1]

Camellia sinensis is a species of evergreen shrubs or small trees in the flowering plant family Theaceae. Its leaves and leaf buds are used to produce tea. Common names include tea plant, tea shrub, and tea tree. Wikipedia. If allowed to grow freely can reach up to 6 ft or more. For commercial agronomic purposes they are maintained as a compact shrub at approximately 4 ft, to increase productivity. And to suit the stature of female tea pickers.

Tea plants grow at the tea plantation in Trabzon, Turkey on June 27, 2022. (Photo by Resul Kaboglu/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Ratnapura, Sri Lanka – April 23: R. Chitrakumari (left) and K. A. Punchimeneke pick tea leaves in a tea garden on April 23, 2022 in Eheliyagoda, Sri Lanka. 2022

BOP = Broken Orange Pekoe, the very best grade of marketed tea. Flavour. Aroma, Colour. A very refreshing brew.

 

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Charles S. Braine: A Rajah of a Planter in British Ceylon

One of the Braine Progeny presenting an Item in the History of Ceylon Tea website, entitled “Charles Stanley Braine (1874-1944) – The Rajah of Mawatte”…. https://www.historyofceylontea.com/ceylon-publications/feature-

Charles Stanley was born in Ceylon on 25 December 1874. He was the eldest son of Charles Frederick Braine and Adeline Mary Becher, who had married in London earlier that year.

   

  Charles Stanley Braine: rajah-of-mawatte.html

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“Ceylonese” Fighting for Britain during the Two World Wars

Michael Roberts

Following the recent publication of the book Volunteers from Ceylon who served in the British and Commonwealth Forces during World War I (1914-1918) and World War II (1939-1945) . I asked the assiduous compilers of this work to provide a convenient statistical summary of the number of personnel from Ceylon who decided to serve the British Empire in its hour of need (with all the political and cultural implications of these decisions in my ‘compass’).

So, Thuppahi can now present the statistics courtesy of Kumar Kirinde (ex-Trinity College and SL Air Force).

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Exposing Sachi Sri Kantha: A Tangential Tamil Sniper

Michael Roberts

In presenting an article on Duncan White’s achievement at the World Olympic Games held in London in August 1948, I limited my focus to the 1940s. Sachi Sri Kantha in Japan has often entered comments on Thuppahi items and on this occasion ventured a point-scoring set of remarks on this item. At times these comments have proceeded tangentially to topics straddling the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

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Queen Elizabeth in Ceylon in 1954 in Pictures

The Queen and Prince Philip visited the island of Ceylon in 1954 and participated in striking ceremonies in Colombo, Kandy and Peradeniya University. The Senate Building at Peradeniya University was formally ‘consecrated’; and the Queen also visited the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. The Queen also visited the famous Trinity College with the Mayor of Kandy (EL Senanayake) as Aide of Honour. Here she honoured and was honoured by the Trinity cadet corps …. a set of actions that reminds us of the “Empire loyalism” that had prompted a number of Westernised Sri Lankans to enlist in the British armed forces during World War I as well as World War II (a topic recently documented** in the new illustrated book edited by Kumar Kirinde et al — entitled Volunteers from Ceylon ………………………………………….. (https://thuppahis.com/2022/09/02/fighting-dying-for-britain-during-the-two-world-wars/) and also referred to earlier in a book where I was the chief hand, namely, People Inbetween (Ratmalana, Sarvodaya Publishers, 1989, pp. 114-119 & 121ff ) ………….  MICHAEL ROBERTS

The Mayor of Kandy, Mr. E.L. Senanayake escorting the Queen through the College premises (College car park at present)

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Vignettes of Colombo: Some Place Names & the Tramcar

Vinod Moonesinghe

 

 

 

A historical vignette: The Colombo Electric Lighting and Tramways Co Ltd was a British company represented in Ceylon by Boustead Brothers. The Tramways were ready for operations by 1899/1900. This company owned and operated the Pettah Power Station at Saunders Place which supplied the 110 volts DC power to propel the trams.

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