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Monday, January 16, 2012

The Unforgettable Final Year Trip - 1966

The last important event in our calendar was the traditional Final Year Trip exclusively for the males in the batch (Oh! What the females missed!). It had to be completed and done with during our fourth year before the final examination which was due in March the following year. Let's remember with gratitude at this time, the hospitality of our respected seniors (who were well employed by that time) who so graciously hosted us in those provinces that we visited.

Okay! Let's re-live those few days (with these pictures that I have preserved to this day) when we forgot everything else and concentrated on the fun and frolic that was in store for us.

All set and ready to go.

Let's see if we can identify the young boys. Please correct me if I am wrong. Squatting in the front row from left to right (as I see them) are: Ganesan, Gnanissara, Attale, Fabian Perera, Chandrasiri ("Johnny"), Saparamadu, Drahaman, JC, Yoga, Lubber (Wjeyekoon), Lameer, Nihal (Gompa) Goonetilleke, Suren Iyer, Bandula, Sumathipala, Somasunderam, Rajan (Patas) and Vishwe. Lying down on the Kynsey Road pavement near the Koch Clock Tower, is none other than Anton Ambrose.

Standing in the back row (L to R): Lareef, Jaimon, Collure, Lucky Weerasuriya, "Yankee" Bala, Sanath Tissera, Lakshman Jayasinghe, Bertram Nanayakkara, Lalantha Amarasinghe, Lameer, Douglas Mulgirigama, Chittamparanathan ("Chitta" now known as Thiagarajah), ND Amarasekara, Sanath Lama, Maheswaran, "Thattta" Bala, Harsha, Victor (VPH) Rajapaksa, Lucky Abey, Viswanathan, Sivananda, Chanaka Wijesekara, "Speedy" Gonsalkorala, "Con" Bala" and HN Wickramasinghe.

(Missing in this first picture are Nalin Nana, Razaque Ahamat, Sarva and Tudor who probably arrived late, but were definitely with us on the trip as you will see in the other pictures).

                                                 First Stop - Planters' Club, Kegalle


Standing between Ganesh and Yoga in this picture are Drs Titus Perera and RSB Wickramasinghe who were then stationed in Kurunegala.

                                                          Singing Our Cares Away

Playing the piano accordian is Mahendra (Speedy) Gonsalkorala. I am happy to recall here that I composed the lyrics of our theme song of the trip - "Carnival is Over". It was our own version of the song made popular by the "The Seekers" in the 1960s. If I remember right, we had a grand party in the Masonic Hall in Kurunegala where I was asked to sing this particular song over and over again especially at the request of one of our hosts - Dr. Asoka Jayaweera. Another of my compositions was to the tune of "Janwar" - a very popular Hindi song made even more popular by Jothipala with the Sinhala version. I was pleasantly surprised that when I met "Speedy" in Colombo late last year, he still remembered the unprintable words that I had inserted!


Looking out of the window with "Chitta" is Dr. Nagendra (a Demonstrator at the time) who accompanied (or rather chaperoned) us on the trip.

The old House Officers quarters in front of which this photograph was taken was called "The Igloo".
In this last picture, on extreme right is "Marker" who was in charge of the billiards table in the Men's Common Room. He would have been in his forties at the time and he travelled from Ganemulla. I don't have any information about his present whereabouts. As you all know, our colleagues Ganesh and Soma are no more. Wearing a tie and in full white is one of our hosts in Badulla - Dr. Chitsabesan.The man in sarong behind me is the driver of the CTB bus that took us around the country on this trip.
Our last stop was in Ratnapura. But unfortunately, I couldn't find any pictures taken there.

That "Carnival" is over, but most of us will meet again at our 50th Anniversary Reunion which is scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka from August 31st to September 2nd, 2012.


  1. Amazing stuff Lucky. I remember parts of the trip but would not be able to replay the whole thing in my mind. Never realised you had so many photos at all and to think that you preserved them all these years! I a afraid I don't have any. I think I have posted the story about Victor Hector Proctor but it is worth repeating in the context of your blog. Victor was a teetotaler and he was unfortunately singled out for "treatment against this what was regarded by some of our colleagues as a terrible condition, purely from an altruistic view of course, one does not want one's fellow medics to miss out on the joys of alcohol. He was "offered" arrack with gentle persuasion and some precautions were taken such as holding his hands behind him (in case he got too excited) and pinching his nostrils to ensure that he would be reminded to swallow the arrack as it was poured into his mouth. Being a very sensible and pragmatic chap, he decided to swallow the stuff. An hour or so later, his facial landscape changed and he began to display an inane grin. He then staggered his way joyfully to an anthill outside the Doctor's quarters where the merriment was taking place and sitting on his haunches and peering through his thick black rimmed spectacles, began to count the ants as they emerged. I think he counted up to 789 before he passed out. While this was going on, Sunil Abey was sobbing uncontrolably as he was wont to do when he imbibed the soothing stuff and Lubber Wijekoon was strutting about wearing shoes, socks... and nothing much else apart from a tie gracefully adorning his waist and gently flowing downwards, then forwards and downwards again over his very personal possessions, calling himself "Argyle Robertson's Pupil"....... Those were the days.......... Mahendra

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  3. Dear Dr. Lucky

    My name is Ashwini and I am a lecturer at the Medical Education Centre (MEDARC) of the Faculty. I was wondering if I could have your kind permission to include one of the photographs above (the one with the clock tower in the background)in the latest student handbook (section on history of the faculty).

    Thanking you in advance,

    Ashwini de Abrew

    Please email me :

  4. Hello,Ashwinie,
    What you have proposed is a very memorable action.
    Every one in the 1962 batch will appreciate.

    DR.Sumathipala,exile in UK.