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.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Spicy Snippets from RPS 1953-58

Mrs De Alwis & the Rickshaw Man

Mrs De Alwis, who was a retiring teacher soon after we joined RPS was my grand aunt. I remember my first days in school when I used to travel at her feet in her rickshaw (drawn by her faithful rickshawman Sandanam) along with my cousin Alaine who was in a parallel class at Ladies. Must have been some sight... three in a rickshaw!!!

Jeremy Perera – May 17 2006

RPS English Medium Mafia

Schoolboy gang warfare at RPS was at its peak with the two big gangs from the English Medium class, led by Maurice Chapman (Maurie’s gang) and Nigel de Kretser (Naiya’s gang), which I am sure many of you will remember. Although I was not a member of either of the gangs and never got involved in the many confrontations and fisticuffs that took place by the drain near the maypole and on the grounds behind the pavilion, it was always fun to keep abreast of the latest situation on the ground and who had beat up whom and when and where and why and how. I bet many of you must have lots of interesting episodes to tell on the RPS “mafia”? It was true Al Capone style in its own small and special way.

The Sinhala and Tamil medium boys too had their own little gangs that did their own little things within the confines of the school.

Smashing Golubellas

I also remember smashing Golubellas into the drain behind the 1C Class during lunch breaks. It was a pastime and funny to see the shells crackle on the cement. I know its cruel but at the age of 5 who knew about cruelty and stuff? Imthiaz Jaffer and I never failed to break the back of a snail whenever we found one.

Mrs Croning and poor ole Gramps

My paternal grandpa, May God Bless his soul, used to bring me to RPS in a rickshaw too and he even used to sit in the circular cage meant for the “abbots” (maids or ayahs) until school was over during my very first few days at RPS in Jan 1953. I used to peep out of the door of Mrs Cronings class and call out for him, saying, "Appa Appa" which meant "Grandpa" as we used to call him, in order to make sure that he was still there and had not gone home.

One fine morning, Mrs Croning seeing me calling out to him, called out for him very sternly and chased him away from the school saying “these grandfathers are the ones who are spoiling the kids today” and telling him never to stay in the abbot cage anymore. That incident is so vivid in my mind I can still picture the whole scenario with Mrs Croning screeching out in her hot black curls and poor old Gramps slowly walking away. She was a great teacher and he was a wonderful Gramps for all of us too.

May God Bless them both!

Fazli – May 16 2006


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