When we graduated in March 1967, very few from our batch were posted to Colombo South Hospital. They were Lucky Weerasooriya, Dawne de Silva, Surangani Abeysuriya, and myself. Rest of the Interns were either from our senior batches (who had fallen back to graduate with us) or those from our parallel batch in Peradeniya. Thus they comprised of N. Satchithanandan, V. Sri Krishnarajah, Rex Perera, Mani Kandiah, Kamala Velupillai, Swarna Samarasinghe (all seniors). From Peradeniya we had Adiel Anghie, Chandana Bopitiya, Ranji Richards, Nithi Tharmakulasingham, Srikanthi Perera, Philomena Perera and Rita Saverimuttu. There were two foreign graduates namely John Mahadeva and Devasagayam. After the August results were released, a few more joined us. They were, Padmini Karunanayake, Ananda Hettiarachchi, Anandan Jayaratnam and Devayani Gunasekara (from our batch in Colombo), Shanthi Karalasingham (Peradeniya) and Walter Jayasinghe and Siri Nanayakkara from our senior batches.
On our "off" days, we invariably went out for dinner somewhere. One of our favourite haunts was "The Terrace" at Mount Lavinia Hotel. Siri Nanayakkara had a car (Morris Oxford EN 524) and that was our usual mode of transport. Most of our male colleagues like Lucky Weerasooriya, Adiel Anghie, John Mahadeva, Satchi, Hettiarachchi, Krishnarajah were engaged to be married (or had confirmed girl friends) and they obviously didn't want to waste their non "on-call" days in the quarters. So, it was mainly Siri Nana, Rex Perera and myself who frequented the Mount Lavinia Hotel which was not far from the hospital.
Although the bill came to something in excess of Rs 10,000 last night, in the mid sixties, a beer and good dinner cost just a few rupees. Our monthly allowance of Rs 475 as an Intern was more than sufficient to cover our "Buth Bill" and other such "luxuries".
47 years later, when I visit "The Terrace" with my family, it brings back fond memories of the distant past. The refurbished hotel looks different and certainly more crowded. Try getting a room there - they have 100% occupancy even in this off season! The Colombo skyline along the new Marine Drive, Colombo Fort area with the high rises and the expanding Port has changed. But the nostalgic memories remain. Pictured here, I am flanked by my three grandkids - Prashan, Anisha and Nimesh.