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Friday, September 30, 2016

Royal College Cricket Team 1957

Mahinda Wijesinghe is Prof Chnanna Wijesinghe's brother and still writes to Sri Lanka newspapers. Ben Eliyathamby was a lawyer with a lucrative practice whom I used to meet at JC's place until he passed away recently. Perayerawar was a good athlete. I met him once at JC's. NJS de Mel was in the University Science Faculty. EL Pereira is best known as Prof. EOE Perera's son. An outstanding sportsman who is now in Australia. I hva met RK Samarasinghe at one of Senerat Jayatilake's parties. Sarath Samarasinghe is RK's brother and a close friend of Ken Balendra. Their father Dr. AM Samarasinghe was an Appointed MP like Revo's father.


  1. Royal showed humility in victory and were gallant losers. Their sportsmanship was commendable. I have great admiration for the way they played the game and conducted themselves on and off the field.

  2. Thank you Lucky and Nihal for your comments. Michael Willie scored a century at the Royal Thomian. Sarath Samarasinghe who is a friend of mine played for Royal for 5 successive years, a rare achievement. He captained in his 4th year and played under Michael Dias in his 5th year. After leaving school he joined us in our"old croc" ,enjoyed himself thoroughly and told me later that it was the best "Royal -Thomian" he ever had. Sidat Jayanetti used to play the piano accordion inside the "old croc."

  3. As you all know, I had my childhood in Manning Town. Most of my neighbours were Burghers and practically all of them were at Royal. The medium of conversation among the boys was English. Until we came to Manning Town in 1949, the only language I knew was Sinhala. My brother and I had no choice but to learn to converse in English. At Ananda (the school I attended), Tamil was a compulsory subject from Form I. Tamil was one of my favourite subjects and I became trilingual. So for me, the Departmental exam in Tamil was a breeze! I owe a lot to Manning Town.

    One of the Burgher boys in particular was a close friend of mine. He was Geoffrey Assauwe. He was a good cricketer but I think he couldn't get a permanent place in the Royal First Eleven as the Assauwe family migrated to Australia after 1956. I had a huge surprise when Geoffrey called me from Melbourne about an year ago!

  4. Professor Sanath P. LamabadusuriyaOctober 1, 2016 at 12:58 AM

    Dr AM Samarasinghe was not an appointed MP but a senator. Geoffrey Assauwe was a good cricketer but did not play for the first eleven. He was my class mate and I met him few years ago at our 54 group re-union.

  5. Sorry I made a mistake. Dr. Samarasinghe was a Senator.

    The other Royal College boys who lived in Manning Town during my time included the late Shanthi Canagasabey (planter), his brother Nihal, Rohan Balasuriya (now in LA), the late Lindsay Wickramasinghe (died of leukaemia at the age of 13), the late Wadham Dole (Tennis player and professional dancer),the late Mervyn Jebarajah (Navy and Diver), Mahen Wijesuriya (Physician), Kirthi Rasaputra (Textile specialist), Gunasiri Weerakoon (former Commissioner of Labour, now aged 86). Mahen W moved out of MT soon after we moved in. Some of them may be known to Sanath.

  6. Yes Lucky,Rohan Balasuriya and Kirthi Rasaputra were my classmates. Mervyn Jebarajah was in the 1953 group but I caught him up . He was the National Diving champion of Ceylon.