Category Archives: Royal College

A Royal-Thomian Cricket Match Remembered Not Only for the Cricket

Hugh Karunanayake

                                               “Oft in the stilly night

                                                Ere slumber’s chains has bound me

                                                Fond memory brings the light

                                                Of other days around me

                                               The smiles, the tears,

                                               Of boyhood years”  

The Royal Thomian match of 1951 will for long be remembered for its nail-biting finish, and for the manner in which the Royal College team led by skipper T. Vairavanathan  extracted a victory from the jaws of defeat. It will certainly occupy a top position in the history of the series, the second oldest school cricket encounter in the world, (the first game being played in 1880).

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Michael Wille: A Necessary Hero

Eardley Lieversz

I spoke to Michael Wille over the phone on 7th July of this year. I was visiting a former neighbour and she got Michael on the line.

I confessed to him that he was my first cricketing hero and that the 1957 Royal-Thomian was the first one I remember watching. I repeated what my dad told me about him sleeping on his late father’s bed before the game.

 

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Michael Wille on His Cricketing & Migrant Journeys

Michael Wille passed away in Melbourne this week. His account of cricketing life at Royal College in the mid-1950s and his experiences in Melbourne in subsequent decades was, I am proud to say, featured in oneof my defunct websites a few years back and Ralph Wickremaratne & Justin Labrooy brought it to my attention.  HERE it is word for word. May he rest peacefully …. with a bat alongside him Michael Roberts

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Leslie de Saram and Aubrey Martensz: Straddling Ceylon & the British Empir

Hugh Karunanayake, in The Ceylankan, Journal of the Ceylon Society of Australia, No 100, vol 25/4, November 2022, where the title reads “Two Acclaimed Lawyers who migrated from Ceylon During the Days of the ‘White Australia’ Immigration Policies” … with the highlighting here being an imposition by The Editor, Thuppahi

The names Leslie de Saram and Aubrey Martensz are not likely to evoke sentiment of any kind from contemporary Sri Lankans. They were two outstanding lawyers who not only dominated legal practice and legal education, but also were very influential members of the profession and of Colombo’s social scene. Both de Saram and Martensz were at various times partners of the well-known legal firm FJ and G De Saram, founded by Leslie de Saram’s grandfather, FJ de Saram Senior, in 1841.

FJ De Saram (Snr) was the grandson of Maha Mudaliyar Christtofel de Saram the son of Johan Henriques de Saram who was only 14 years old when taken to England by Governor Maitland, handpicked from among the leading “native” families as suitable for higher studies. That headstart created a dynasty of lawyers.

Leslie De Saram 

JA Martensz

 

 

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Remembering George Turnour: Scholar & Administrator Extraordinary

Hugh Karunanayake

Thirty seven years ago, on 13 April 1985, the British Prime Minister of the day  Mrs Margaret Thatcher during her visit to Sri Lanka to open the Victoria Dam, said  in an address to the Parliament of Sri Lanka  “The remains of an ancient civilization are visible in many parts of your island. Two thousand years ago, your irrigation system far exceeded in scale and sophistication anything existing in Europe. That great chronicle the Mahavamsa, has passed down to us the story of your island’s development.”

 The Mahavansa and the history it contained would probably  have been lost in the mists of antiquity if not for the  indefatigable efforts of a Civil Servant by the name George Turnour.

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Cricketing Stalwarts farewell Vijaya Malalasekera

Item in The Island, 8 February 2022 …. https://island.lk/crickets-greats-bid-farewell-to-vijaya-malalasekara/

A large gathering was present yesterday at Kanatta to bid farewell to former Sri Lanka Cricket chairman Vijaya Malalasekara. Malalasekara represented Royal College and then Cambridge in cricket. He opened batting in the varsity match of 1967 against Oxford. Incidentally, Malalasekara and Mano Ponniah became the first Asian pair to open batting in a varsity match. Ponniah was one of the pallbearers at the funeral.

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Constantine’s Coaching Spell in Ceylon in 1953: Assorted Notes

Michael Roberts

 Following my decision to present the accounts of the Australian cricket team’s whistle-stop match in Ceylon in March 1953 as presented in Crosscurrents,[1] I ventured on a search for more data on Learie Constantine’s stint as a coach in the island. Several friends and acquaintances have responded in fruitful ways. So, what you will see here is a compendium that is the product of several hands: titbits that are as enticing as revealing.

 

In the manner typical to him, my Aloysian schoolmate KK De Silva receives pride of place because he has pointed to an entry in Ferguson’s Directory which pinpoints Learie Constantine’s arrival in Ceylon on the 4thJanuary 1953 to assume his tasks as cricket coach. KK’s data, as well as titbits from many others, indicate that his tasks were not confined to the leading club cricketers, but extended to some schools and included visits to Galle and Kandy. It is these reports that are assembled here. The picture, nevertheless,is incomplete. Continue reading

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Laki Senanayake As I Knew Him

Ismeth Raheem: An Appreciation of Laki Senanayake (1937–2021)

Given Laki Senanayake’s stature and personality, I am confident that there will be a fair share of obituaries and appreciations that will attempt to capture something of the man and his work. This is a more personal account of my encounters with Laki, which span over half a century. By no means is this an overview of his life or work. For the most part this account is anecdotal, but it does strive to convey aspects of his personality, his passions and the work he created and inspired.

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Felix Dias Abeyesinghe: A Mentor without Peer and a Man for All Seasons

Dushy Perera 

“With malice towards none and charity to all” Abe Lincoln’s famous words from his inaugral address come to my mind when I reflect on the life and times of Uncle Felix, who passed away in Australia a few days before his 88th birthday which fell on 16th May. Hence, it was fitting that a Service of Thanksgiving was held at St. John’s Church, Nugegoda on 16th May, where Uncle Felix devotedly worshipped every Sunday.

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The Ceylon University College: Its First Fifteen Years, 1920-35

Thiru Arumugam, reproduced courtesy of THE CEYLANKAN August 2019 issue.

The Ceylon University College (CUC) was founded in Colombo in 1921 and prepared students for the external degree examinations of the University of London. It ceased to exist in 1942 when it was transformed into the University of Ceylon. This article traces the progress of the College during the first fifteen years of its existence and concludes with biographical notes about twenty distinguished alumni of the College who studied there during the first fifteen years.

College House, former “Regina Walauwa” beloging to the Warusahannadige De Soysas Fig 3. Former Royal College building transferred to University College, 1923

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