Royal People

A dedication to those wonderful people who served Royal Primary School & Royal College, in Sri Lanka, since 1835, and, who will be remembered for their committment, sincerety and unselfishness.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Royal College Cricket XI 1962

Standing, left to right: S. Mendis, V. Gowrishankaran, J.D. Wilson, R.C. D. de Silva, T.R. Jansen, S. Rajaratnam, V.P. Malalasekere and S.D. Jayaratne

Seated, left to right: S.S. Kumar, M. Rodrigo (Coach), D.W.L. Lieversz (Cpt.), D.K.G. de Silva (Principal), S. Thiagarajah (V.Cpt.), E.C. Gunasekera (Master-in-Charge) and P. Withane

Of the persons in the above picture, Darrell Lieversz, Jansen, Wilson, Gowrishankaran and Withane are in Australia. Wilson is a teacher, while Gowrishankaran and Withane are accountants. Jayaratne and Thiagarajah are in America, the former an academic and the latter a doctor. R.C. de Silva is a successful businessmen and entrepreneur, and the current president of the Nondescript Sports Club. His business involvements are more diverse and buoyant than his overarm deliveries ever were.

Malalasekere and Mendis are in Sri Lanka. The former is the director of Ceylon Tobacco’s legal division, while the latter is the Chairman of Hayleys. Rajaratnam recently returned to Sri Lanka after working overseas as an engineer.

Mahes Rodrigo celebrated his 70th birthday in 1998 and these days plays with a very straight bat after surviving a close appeal. S.S. Kumar was not so fortune, being shot dead by a gunman in 1998 whilst playing golf. Dudley de Silva passed away in the seventies while E.C. Gunasekera succumbed to cancer on 10 June 1994.

Darrell Lieversz turns out for his old school in the annual Royal-Thomian match played at Melbourne. These days he is better known for his paintings than his late in-swingers. He mows the lawn, washes three cars, rides go-carts, watches his grandson grow, dabbles in genealogical software and fields frequent questions from the writer, in his spare time.

Darrell frequently ponders what might have been if E.C. Gunasekera hadn’t changed the batting order in Royal’s second innings, without him knowing, which saw Jansen go ahead of Rajaratnam, thereby insuring Royal against loss but depriving her of any chance of victory. E.C. Gunasekera (EC) resigned as master-in-charge mid-way through the 1967 season.

In the mid-sixties, R.N. Mudalige, under XVI captain of 1962, out of contention after crashing the GCE ‘O’ level barrier, held forth at the entrance to Royal College that led pass the cycle sheds, expounding his theory that Royal would never win the “big match” as long as EC was in charge. This was as much an attempt to find a scapegoat for Royal’s lack of success, as much a reflection of the mixed feelings school going Royalists had for him. However, although the writer most certainly would not have obtained cricket colours if EC hadn’t abdicated, like every other old boy, on leaving school he came to admire, and identify with, the very characteristics of EC that he once despised. Even those old boys who were at the receiving end of his martinetism felt a deep sense of personal loss at his passing.


Post a Comment

<< Home