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.
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”!
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, I received a fascinating note from Mevan Pieris 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
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.
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
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,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 Silvareceives 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 →
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.
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 and therefore was carried over to the era after India secured Independence in 1947?As we know, 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
“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.
The Anglican Church in Sri Lanka (Church of Ceylon) has made an immense contribution to education. The great school by the sea has educated thousands of young men, imparting in them core values of Christianity. When we read the Bible we find that Jesus was taken to the synagogue by his parents and continued to learn the scriptures, which shows the importance of a holistic education. To all who have been associated with S. Thomas’ College (STC), the magnificent College chapel has influenced their lives, touching them in significant ways. It is the vibrant heart of STC. This beautiful chapel and more importantly the good work done through it enriches the student mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Thuppahi's Blog · This web site presents the interventions of MICHAEL ROBERTS in the public realm with reference to Sri Lankan political affairs. It will embrace the politics of cricket as well. ROBERTS was educated at St. Aloysius College in Galle and the universities of Peradeniya and Oxford. He taught History at Peradeniya University and Anthropology at Adelaide university. He is now retired and lives in Adelaide.