Category Archives: S. Thomas College

The Captivating “Story of Sri Lankan Cricket” by Nicholas Brookes

Martin Chandler:…. in CricketWeb, 14 August 2022, reviewing Nicholas Brookes: An Island’s Eleven: The Story of Sri Lankan Cricket, The History Press, 2022, 535 pp, Rating: 4.5 stars …. with highlighting emphasis imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

In the final sentence of his preface Nicholas Brookes expresses the view; For as much as I’ve tried to ‘tell the story of Sri Lankan cricket’, this work is merely a starting point. This is, I presume, a reference to the paucity of existing literature on Sri Lankan cricket rather than an attempt to downplay his own contribution to that particularly genre. It is inevitably unfortunate and disappointing that, to date, none of Muttiah Muralitharan, Arjuna Ranatunga, Samantha Jayasuriya, Chaminda Vaas, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara or Rangan Herath have been persuaded to write an autobiography, but the game in Sri Lanka does at least now have a comprehensive history, and one I hope might become the touchstone for similar histories of the game in Ireland, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.

The full Sri Lankan training squad in Colombo with the bus taking them to Nuwara Eliya for acclimatization & training prior to the journey to England for the 1975 World Cup  with Asst Manager Neil Perera standing on the left and Trainer Raja Wickremasinghe and Manager KMT Perera standing on the right

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, art & allure bewitching, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, cricket for amity, cricket selections, cultural transmission, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, patriotism, performance, photography, politIcal discourse, S. Thomas College, self-reflexivity, Sri Lankan cricket, sri lankan society, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes

Bertie Wijesinghe: An Appreciation in 2015

Mevan Pieris, an essay presented in The Sunday Times on 24  May 2015 with this title:  “Bertie Wijesinghe: 95 Not Out”

R.B. Wijesinghe, son of former Trinity cricketer Alexander Wijesinghe and of his wife Beatrice Gunasekera, is the oldest living Thomian cricketer whose 95th birthday falls on 24th May 2015. RBW, known to all as Bertie, entered the great school by the sea in 1926 when Warden MacPherson was about to hand over the reins to Reginald de Saram, and where his elder brother Alex was already studying.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under cricket for amity, life stories, S. Thomas College, self-reflexivity, Sri Lankan cricket, sri lankan society

Facing the ‘Music’ at Cricket with David Ponniah …. for S. Thomas’ College

Ajit Jayasekera, …. in a post from Sydney: https://www.stcobasydney.org/articles/ajit-jayasekeras-fond-recollection-of-david-ponniah

Dr. David Arijunan Ponniah, Warden S.Thomas’ College, my friend, colleague and partner. I have been inundated with requests for speeches, articles and insights into my association with this magnificent cricketer and scholar, from the day he took over as the Warden of our great school. At least now, when some young Thomian stops me on the street and asks “hey, old man, what did you do at S.Thomas’?” I can proudly say, “I batted with David Ponniah”!

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, Australian culture, cricket for amity, cultural transmission, education, heritage, life stories, patriotism, performance, S. Thomas College, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, teaching profession, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes

The Senanayakes at STC, at Cricket and in Politics in Ceylon

Michael Roberts

In seeking details relating to DS Senanayake’s career at S. Thomas’ College after I received a copy of his school-leaving character reference from Warden Stone,[1] I received a fascinating note from Mevan Pieris[2] about young DS Senanayake’s school career and his cricketing ‘achievements’ at the big match against Royal.

“Indeed, a valuable item [referring to Warden Stone’s certificate]. At least a certified photocopy of it should be maintained at the College Library and at the National Archives, especially since he was known as Kele John who could not pass any examinations and was in what was called the Commercial Class of STC. No doubt he was physically strong and tough and would have been an ideal dormitory prefect to keep the guys quiet. ”

 ‘By the sea’ at Mutwal looking at Colombo Harbour — scenic paintng from O’Brien the 1860s

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under accountability, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, constitutional amendments, cricket for amity, cultural transmission, education, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, language policies, Left politics, legal issues, life stories, politIcal discourse, power politics, S. Thomas College, Sri Lankan cricket, sri lankan society, unusual people, world events & processes, World War II and Ceylon

Warden Stone’s School-leaving Endorsement of Young DS Senanayake

Michael Roberts

Chandra Schaffter discovered a short note of commendation provided as a school leaving certificate in 1902 by Warden Stone[i] of S. Thomas College at Mutwal to young DS Senanayake. Apparently, DS had been “irreproachable” in his schooldays and had even been a dormitory prefect. Such a school-leaving certificate[ii] would not have been unique; but it is one of those historical artefacts that is so common that they merge into the wastelands of mundane taken-for-granted facts ………….. and then disappear from sight.

 

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, architects & architecture, British colonialism, constitutional amendments, cultural transmission, economic processes, education, ethnicity, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, language policies, legal issues, life stories, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, S. Thomas College, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, teaching profession, unusual people, world events & processes

Warden Billimoria’s Letter to Old Thomians, 3 July 2021

 

Dear Fellow Thomians,

Fraternal greetings from the School by the Sea.

As we start the second half of 2021 still in a situation where S. Thomas’, together with all schools in Sri Lanka, remains closed, I thought I should write to you to keep you informed of how things are going at the moment, so you will have accurate and up to date information about the state of things for your various alumni groups.

Sad Realities of 2020 …. tcmloba.com/newsroom/news/Wardens-Letter-to-Old-Boys—July-2021.dz

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, architects & architecture, cultural transmission, education, governance, heritage, historical interpretation, life stories, patriotism, performance, S. Thomas College, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, unusual people, world events & processes

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

2 Comments

Filed under art & allure bewitching, cricket for amity, cultural transmission, education, heritage, historical interpretation, life stories, performance, Royal College, S. Thomas College, self-reflexivity, Sri Lankan cricket, sri lankan society, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes

Defining Ethnicity in Sri Lanka and the United States: David Graham’s Story

David Graham

I only refer to myself as a Burgher or lansi with people who are likely to know who Burghers or lansis are–or rather, were. It wasn’t until 1986 that I was required to classify myself racially. This was in Grand Junction, Colorado. I needed a social security number to open a bank account, and back in those days the application form said nothing about Eurasians. Since Asian was the closest it came to describing what I was, that was the racial classification I was obliged to choose. Pursuant to U.S. law, my race isn’t mentioned anywhere on my passport or driver’s license.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under accountability, art & allure bewitching, British colonialism, communal relations, cultural transmission, economic processes, education, ethnicity, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, language policies, life stories, literary achievements, modernity & modernization, patriotism, politIcal discourse, S. Thomas College, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, tolerance, travelogue, unusual people, world events & processes

The Nomenclature and Lineaments of White-Brown Cohabitation in British Ceylon: A Puzzle

MEMO from Michael Roberts, October 16 October 2021

Moving from BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI to the Greet and Paynter lineages in British Ceylon-and-thereafter has raised a query in my mind: how is it that the category “ANGLO-Ceylonese” did not take root in Ceylon and Lanka in contrast with British India where the label “Anglo-Indian” became well-entrenched[1] and therefore was carried over to the era after India secured Independence in 1947? As we know,[2] Revd Arthur Paynter was an Anglo-Indian missionary who established the Paynter Homes in the Himalayan region of India and then set up the Paynter Home in Nuwara Eliya. He had also married a fellow-missionary in the Salvation Army who was pursuing her commitment in India, one Miss Weerasooria from Dodanduwa … and together sired a talented lineage.

Photograph on display at the Paynter Home of the Paynter family. David Paynter stands at the centre, behind his mother Agnes

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under accountability, architects & architecture, art & allure bewitching, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, discrimination, disparagement, economic processes, education, ethnicity, female empowerment, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, Indian traditions, landscape wondrous, life stories, literary achievements, paintings, patriotism, politIcal discourse, religiosity, S. Thomas College, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, teaching profession, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes

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.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under cultural transmission, education, heritage, historical interpretation, life stories, Royal College, S. Thomas College, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy