Whoever Said History was Boring?
“They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot.Once a day it was taken and sold to the tannery.If you had to do this to survive, you were‘piss poor.’
But worse than that were the really poor folks who couldn’t even afford to buy a pot.
They ‘didn’t have a pot to piss in’ and were considered the lowest of the low.”
“Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June.  However, since they were starting to smell, brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.”
“Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water.  The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women, and finally the children. Last of all the babies.By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it.Hence the saying, ‘Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!’”
Houses had thatched roofs with thick straw-piled high and no wood underneath
It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained, it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof.
Hence the saying, ‘It’s raining cats and dogs.’  There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. 
Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That’s how canopy beds came into existence.”
“The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt.
Hence the term, dirt poor.’ The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way.  Hence, ‘a thresh hold.’”
“In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire.
Every day, they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while.
 Hence the rhyme, ‘Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.’ Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could ‘bring home the bacon.’ They would cut off a little to share with guests, and would all sit around and chew the fat.’”
“Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.
Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.’”
“Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days.  Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up.  Hence the custom of ‘holding a ‘wake.’”
In old, small villages, local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave.
When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch markson the inside, and they realized they had been burying people alive.So they would tiea string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the groundand tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (‘the graveyardshift’) to listen for the bell.Thus, someone could be ‘saved by the bell,’ or wasconsidered a ‘dead ringer.’
Now, whoever said history was boring?”

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By Des Kelly


Gary Ablett Senior

Image Source: Herald Sun

desmond kelly

  I have never been a sports-person. Played a bit of ping-pong in the good old days,but that was it. Memories flood back. I wonder how many of my readers remember the Y.M.C.A. in central Colombo ?, this was where billiards and ping-pong were regularly played and I would enjoy a game or two with a cousin of mine, Eardley Demmer, who, in addition to handling those little table-tennis racquets very well, was also a top musician (pianist), studied under one of the very well-known piano-teachers in Ceylon, by the name of Mary Pestongee, came to Australia during the 1950’s, like so many of us, and pursued a career in music in Melbourne, as well. Eardley ended up as the band-leader at the Ascot Vale hotel in Melbourne, contracting his band, Lee Demmer & the Rhythmaires, and, also like so many of us, used “Showbiz” on a part-time basis. By day, he was a Health Inspector for the Victorian Government. Lee Demmer has passed on, but I still remember him accompanying me on a few early recordings that I did in Melbourne Town. R.I.P. Lee.

Now, quite apart from piano playing and ping-pong, when I came to Melbourne as a “skilled-migrant”, skilled at bloody nothing and having had to work like a slave to end up as an unskilled bloody pensioner (only joking, folks), the “sport” that I found myself following was “Aussie-rules” footy.

Quite definitely, the BEST spectator-sport in the World, as far as I am concerned, anyway. Cricket was okay, I guess, until they were running Bunnings short of sandpaper, Soccer is a “girlie-game” complete with some of the best “ham-actors” in history, tennis is only as good as the number of racquets smashed, and the Tarzan-like yells of especially the female players, one hardly hears of billiards nowadays, snooker being now the favourite with “pocket- billiards’ players coming in a close second.

Anyway, where am I going here ?. As I said, when I came to Australia, I was made to understand that I should barrack for one special footy-team. I immediately chose Geelong, only because it rhymed with Ceylon. Although a dog-person, 

Gary Ablett Senior I now found that I was barracking for the CATS. 

They were a fine footy team (when playing at home). Send them interstate and inconsistency was the name of the game. In my book, Gary Ablett Snr. was, is, and always will be the absolute TOP Aussie rules player. Ablett junior is also an excellent player, but everything he knows was taught to him by his “old man”. He readily admits this, himself.

It is 2018. The Cats are just on the halfway mark of the ladder, leading to the final, this year. If they lose to the Hawks of Hawthorn, this week, they will probably (Miss)issippi, the bloody flag this year. This is why I now present the much better-looking “Pussycats” singing just that. Please don’t let us down, boys. Both President Trump and myself are rather fond of pussies, so GO CATS  GO.


Image Source: Pinterest

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Iluka to Build 

Industrial-Scale Mineral

Separation Plant


The Puttalam mineral sands deposit, if developed, has the potential to deliver considerable economic and social benefits to Sri Lanka by way of mineral royalties, employment, terms of trade, and skills and technical development, Iluka’s Head of Resource Development, Simon Hay said.

Australia’s Iluka currently holds several mineral exploration licenses in the Puttalam district and earlier the company estimated that its Puttalam mineral sands deposit has 56 million tonnes of titanium-bearing heavy minerals, enough to support a mining operation with a life in excess of 20 years.

“Sri Lanka is a democratic, developing economy with an educated workforce and a desire for responsible foreign investment. Iluka has over 60 years’ industry experience and a track record of sustainable development. So, in many respects, this project offers the prospect of a natural partnership between the company, government and local community,” Hay said following a recent exploration visit of Sri Lankan officials to Australia’s Iluka operations.

“Iluka is committed to open and transparent engagement with the Sri Lankan Government and people. Last week’s delegation visit to Australia was the second this year and forms part of a broader program that will demonstrate the company’s credentials,” Hay said.

A delegation of seven senior government officials, including the Director General of the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) and the Deputy General Manager of Lanka Mineral Sands visited Iluka operations in Australia.

The visit was organized by Iluka Lanka Resources (Private) Limited, supported by the Australian Government via Austrade. Members of the delegation obtained a practical understanding of Iluka’s operational, financial and environmental credentials.

This included tours of the world’s largest mineral separation facility for zircon at Geraldton in Western Australia; and the world’s largest zircon mine, Jacinth-Ambrosia, in remote South Australia.

Related:“Sunday Observer”

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Future of the finance function is business partnering –
By Aubrey Joachim

Source: FT Sri Lanka

Aubrey JoachimEvery facet of business and commerce is being disrupted. Technology is changing how products are manufactured and how services are being delivered. Social media, digital transformation and drone technology are influencing news cycles and the procurement cycle. New business models are emerging – Uber, Airbnb and Netflix. The finance function is no exception – it is being disrupted. Finance professionals must respond.

What therefore is the future for finance professionals whose traditional roles of recording and reporting financial information in organisations are being robotised and automated? Or the future of auditors when blockchain technology is widely used? A third of the audit graduate intake of an Australian BIG4 firm last year did not even have an accounting background! When machine learning takes over, the displaced human accountants must transform their roles to provide a different value proposition if they are to remain relevant. What does this new transformed role look like?

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“Good advice by Dr. Harold –

Just one drink a day will keep you

away from Dementia- latest finding”


desmond kellyThis would be the best news that most middle-aged people would want tohear, yes, it is true the latest studies reveal. Just drinking one glass of wine a day, lowers the risk of your developing dementia later in life, the researchers have come to that conclusion.

This study was done on 9,000 British adults for a period of twenty years. This study also revealed that the teetotallers and heavy drinkers have a high incidence of dementia.

Just one drink means 14 “units” of alcohol per week, that is a medium-sized glass ofwine or one pint of beer, each day.

No wonder, those adults working hard during office hours and patronizing the pub,drinking just a pint of beer and going home and greeting their love one, would keeptheir brain stimulated, then the guy who goes home tired after work going straight tobed after a quick dinner.

Studies showed that people who were non-drinkers in middle age were 47 percentmore likely to eventually be diagnosed as having dementia, against those ‘one drinkers’, the findings revealed.

The above studies also revealed that middle-aged people who drank more than a glassper day their risk of dementia increased in proportion with their alcohol intake. It wasalso shown that more than one glass drinkers the dementia risk rose by 17 percent with every additional 7 units of alcohol (3-4 glasses of wine per day) they drank per week.

DR. Sevil Yasar, an associate professor of medicine at John Hopkins University,Baltimore, had no answer when asked why non-drinkers should have a high risk ofdementia compared to those who drink a glass a day.

It is possible that the lifestyles of those who drink, and non-drinkers differ, and thebrain cells gets the opportunity to unwind and relax which may be a good reason fordaily activation of those cells to prevent dementia later in life.

Researchers also have found that moderate drinkers are less likely to get heart attacksthan are abstainers. Therefore, the alcohol in wine might be a factor in the Frenchparadox. It appears that the same factors that raise the risk of heart disease may alsoincrease the risk of dementia

It is possible, that unwinding at the end of the day with one alcoholic drink may relaxthe brain cells, cardiovascular system and other organs to have that beneficial effect onthe body to prevent dementia and heart attacks.

It is likely that the brain cells are harmed and accelerate the damage rates of the braincells among heavy drinkers and that may be a cause for dementia later in life. Braincells do not die as we age, a new finding. There seems to be widespread conservationof brain cells as we age, and the neurones don’t seem to die, but you lose neurons asyou age.

Studies have shown that healthy men and women continue to produce new neuronsthroughout life, suggesting older people remain more cognitively and emotionally intact than previously believed. Just a drink of alcohol may be an adjuvant for this process. 

It is also a myth that moderate drinking alcohol kills brain cells. Excessive drinking does damage brain cells but does not kill brain cells.

Though studies reveal that one drink a day keeps you out of dementia later in life, thatdoes not mean that you should neglect other beneficial factors that keeps you healthy:
good nutritious food, exercise, less stress, happy family relations are all important tokeep your brain cells active and alive to prevent dementia.

The incidence of dementia among Sri Lankans was very low decades back. Most middleaged people could afford to drink a glass of toddy daily, and the high doses of vitamin B1 and moderate amount of alcohol in a glass may have been responsible for such low incidence of dementia.

Today, there are hardly any toddy tappers and most middle-aged people cannot afforda glass of toddy, daily.

A study was done in the suburban region of Ragama among the Sinhalese speakingpeople by Silva, S.B.Gunatilake and A.D.Smith, published 25 July 2003, and their conclusions were that compared with other community studies performed in North India suggests that dementia prevalence is higher in Sri Lanka, as much as 3.98%. 

The incidence of dementia among the social groups in the more affluent regions in SriLanka are much less, compared to the rural suburbs. Lifestyle changes may beattributed to the lower incidence of dementia.

If your doctor does not allow you to drink moderately daily, change the doctor to onewho enjoys a glass of wine, at the end of the day.

(Ref: Article written by Amy Norton-HealthDay Reporter, on healthy Aging)

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The Earth Song

Alston Koch. Picture by Shan Rambukwella


Great philosophers understood that music is essential to human happiness thus they said `without music, life would be a mistake.” Music becomes his passion and he pursues the happiness music brings without hesitation. Not merely making people happy with his singing, he takes every effort to save the planet Earth.

Alston Koch, is a Sri Lankan – born Australian singer-songwriter, record producer, actor, international recording and television star. Koch is probably the only Asian entertainer, singer-songwriter, producer and actor to be awarded “World Artist of The Year” at the “Global Officials of Dignity Awards” presented at the United

desmond kellyNations in New York and also received a certificate of special commendation from the US Congress and US Senate for improving the lives of the communities in America. Alston Koch is still the only International award winning recording artist from Sri Lanka to have been signed to R.C.A and SONY Records with International hit songs and music videos to his credit.

“Currently I am involved in a huge protect to save the planet from plastic. We recently heard even in Sri Lanka how plastic brought death to an elephant. Plastic is one of the greatest invention but it is high time people shift into using degradable plastic,” he said.

Koch launched his song, A Symphony for Change to raise awareness of the problems caused by plastic waste in the environment, on the World Environment Day which was celebrated in Mexico City on June 5, this year.

“The new theme song is backed by almost every organization. They believe in changing the world through singing,” he added.

Koch migrated to Sydney, Australia where he was most successful in the entertainment and professional music industry while recording for RCA/Laser Records and the Australian TV Network Channel 9’s “Living Sound” recording label. In Australia, he formed his band Dark Tan and recorded three international hits on the RCA label. He has performed internationally with Dark Tan, S-witch, and as a solo artist. One notable appearance was during ‘The Stars & Stripes Concert’ in 1976, performing under the Sydney harbour bridge on a floating pontoon for Radio 2SM.

Koch has often been lauded in the Australian and Asian media as “Asia’s King of Pop” or “Pop King of Asia” after gaining international success in the late 1970s. He has performed worldwide including Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, India and Sri Lanka among other places. Since 1975 Koch has released 21 singles and 4 albums through record labels such as RCA, BMG, EMI and Sony.

“I started off singing with Jet Liners here in Sri Lanka in the 60’s. Since then on my journey I have been blessed to meet and collaborate with world famous song writers, musicians and artists including Elton John and Neil Diamond. They think I am unique because I don’t stick to the rules,” Koch said adding that he never writes music for his songs but only writes the lyrics.

In 1986 Alston Koch was selected and commissioned by the Australian Task Force to write, produce and perform the America’s Cup album, The Kookaburra Connection with the theme song “Kookaburra” released both as a single and music video broadcast during the race. His first self-written major hit, “Disco Lady”, earned him his first gold record. The song also won him and Dark Tan the ‘Best New Talent’ at the 1979 International Disc Jockey Association Awards and that same year Dark Tan won Australia’s Observer newspaper’s ‘Best Disco Band’ award.

Koch received his first ARIA (Accredited Award) for Melissa ‘Read My Lips’ (1990). He is also the recipient of three Gold Awards and one Platinum Award from ARIA (accredited).

“In 2008, I wrote a song about climate change for a United Nations WTO presentation in London. The song was also presented by Geoffrey Lipman Chairman of ICTP at the ‘Live the Deal Climate Change’ conference in Copenhagen to all the World’s leaders. I was the Goodwill Ambassador for the campaign, and the song has been promoted globally by ICTP in their campaign for green growth. Barbara Follet (Minister of State for Great Britain) certified it as ‘A gift in song to the world suffering due to Climate Change’ and the song received a standing ovation,” Koch recalled.

Koch was commissioned by Cricket Australia to sing the National Anthem at the One Day International Cricket matches and the important Boxing Day Test. In 2009, he was appointed to the committee for the Cricket World Cup 2011 tournament staged in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, and was the Official ‘Goodwill Ambassador’ for the tournament. Koch wrote and performed an official song for The Sri Lankan cricketer and world record holder and world champion Muttiah Muralitharan in the year 2007.

“I have never played cricket but I believe it is the only sport that helps Sri Lanka take a claim anywhere in the world,” he said.

Since 2007, Koch has been the Ambassador for Tourism for Sri Lanka and launched the song `Land like no other’ for this purpose. “I am also the Ambassador for Climate Change for Sri Lankan Airlines. With my songs I take the message of green initiative across the world. It gives me immense pleasure to see my music video on flights,” Koch added.

He also played the Lead Actor in the film ‘According to Mathew’ opposite Bollywood star Jacqueline Fernandez.

“It was a privilege to be a part of this movie which could take the country to the world. I see this film as a possible step into Hollywood and it was wonderful working with Jackie,” Koch explained.

“I am also being featured in a Hollywood film as Alston Koch which is a big milestone for me,” said Koch amused at being chosen to give life to his own character in a film. Wherever this singer, song writer, producer and actor roam his motherland Sri Lanka always takes a prominent place in his heart.

“Whole reason Sri Lanka is called the paradise because the country is blessed and people around the world know that. We own a culture which goes back 2,500 years. I think Sri Lanka is not a pearl but a diamond which is more precious. Anywhere I go I wave Sri Lankan flag and do a lot of work to support the country,” he said with much patriotism.

“My grand uncle Roslyn Koch was the Minister of Public Administration in the first Government of Sri Lanka (Ceylon) and I have had family who served the Government here from Secretary to the Governor General to advisers in the administration during the time of the British and as administrators of the Dutch Forts in Galle and Jaffna. So I am very much a part of the culture of the country,” he said.

Looking out of the window where his eyes fall on Port City he utters, “It is amazing how Sri Lanka is growing. It is gratifying to see the country developing. We are in the right path and moving in the right direction. This is what the country needed. I hope to do a big show here one day.”

Member of The Grammy Academy (U.S.A)
Member of The Australian Performing Right Association.(APRA)
Ambassador for Climate Change (I.C.T.P)
Ambassador for Sri Lanka Tourism
Member of PPCA (Performing & Publishing Copyright Association of Australia)
Member of AMCOS (Australasian Mechanical Copyright Organisation)
Ambassador for FAMILY FILM AWARDS (USA) for Australia

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  • Telstra supports iconic Telstra Bollywood Dance Competition for the 6th year at Melbourne’s Federation Square
  • Viewers encouraged to vote for their favourite performer and ask celebrity judges questions via SMS
  • Judges include Malaika Arora and Bollywood heavyweights Nikkhil Advani and Avtar Panesar


The Telstra Bollywood Dance Competition (TBDC) is set to draw thousands of people to Melbourne’s Federation Square on Saturday 11 August 2018 with returning superstar judge Malaika Arora, along with Bollywood heavyweights Nikkhil Advani and Avtar Panesar confirmed to attend and judge the Bollywood dance action.


The event is the perfect opportunity to enjoy some masti with friends and family. Viewers can cast a vote for their favourite performers by sending an SMS vote on the day. Voting lines will be open for the duration of the event and details will be announced on the day.


Jeremy Nicholas, Executive Director, Brand Consumer Business Marketing, Telstra said, “Telstra is excited and proud to connect and build on our relationships with the South Asian community by bringing fans the Telstra Bollywood Dance Competition for the sixth year in a row. We are committed to bringing Bollywood fans and dance enthusiasts from around Australia and the world more of the entertainment they love, and this year the competition promises to be our best ever with many surprises in store.”


The TBDC is one of Australia’s most loved Bollywood events, with performers from all over the country coming together to dance in front of a celebrity judging panel.


This dance extravaganza promises to be a celebration of all things Bollywood. The pulsating environment, the foot tapping music and the electrifying energy are sure to make attendees dance along in this free-for-all dance competition.


In previous years, the talented actress, dancer, model, and producer, Malaika Arora, surprised TBDC attendees with impromptu dancing and singing with fans – much to the crowd’s delight. Surprise celebrity guests also often attend on the day to join in the festivities.


Telstra Bollywood Dance Competition 2018

Date: Saturday 11 August, 2018

Time: From 12pm

Location: Federation Square, Melbourne VIC


Watch Trailer below


Event photos from last year

Anthony Shiner, Executive Director, Telstra Digital with the celebrity judges and Mitu Bhowmick

Telstra’s Anthony Shiner with the celebrity judges and Mitu Bhowmick at last year’s Telstra Bollywood Dance Competition

Telstra Bollywood Dance Competition - crowd

The crowd at the Telstra Bollywood Dance Competition


Telstra Bollywood Dance Competition - dancers (8)

Dancers at the Telstra Bollywood Dance Competition

Telstra Bollywood Dance Competition - People's Choice Winners

Telstra Bollywood Dance Competition winners







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Source: Serenade: Author: NIKHIL SARDANA

Please share your background with us.
Rohan De Lanerolle: It is safe to say that we had music from our father’s and mother’s sides. Our paternal grandfather & uncles were all singers and dramatists, and so is our dad, who is our worst critic to-date, as he has a very good ear mainly. Our mother was a fantastic pianist and came first in the Island twice in her Royal Schools Exams, but parenting took centre stage and, as such, she did not give sufficient time for playing: a facet we appreciate dearly as it’s not every mother who would sacrifice something she loves so much just for the kids. Our mother’s brother too sings quite well. So, I think it’s safe to say that we have got talents on both sides! Of course, later, both of us went on to be part of our school and church choirs.What was it like growing in Sri Lanka? How did you acquire your vocal training?

Ishan De Lanerolle: Growing up in Sri Lanka was quite challenging as there was not much of a following for church and classical music and I would say it still remains. We also did not have professionally trained teachers to teach vocal techniques, so most if not all were music teachers but fantastic singers. Rohan only had a formal training period once he started work with Singapore Airlines where he went on to be their first directly appointed Cargo Sales and Operations Manager, but prior to having those duties he used up his tickets and leave to travel up to London every four months to have intense training for a week each with Prof. Ken Woollam of the Royal College of Music. He in turn shared those teachings with me so I am a beneficiary of his teaching.


How is the classical music and arts scene in Sri Lanka today? Are there any active orchestras?

Ishan: The Classical and Arts scene is small which is appreciated by a certain group of people only as most prefer the popular music. We have a Symphony Orchestra which is a semi-professional Orchestra but the oldest in Colombo who have atleast three concerts a year. Then we have the Chamber Orchestra and the Youth Orchestra as well supported by ensembles of Brass, Wind and Strings too. The only professional Orchestra was when the Philharmonic Orchestra was in force but with the demise of its energetic conductor, it shut down.


When did you last perform in India? Do you plan on visiting again? 

Rohan: We last performed in India in 2013/2014 on the invitation of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations together with world renowned Sri Lankan Pianist Rohan De Silva in Delhi, Calcutta and Bangalore which was our highly successful debut series.


What changes do you hope to see in the near future?

Ishan: In relation to Classical Music, my personal belief is that the changes one would need to make will be to presentation and integration. Classical Music needs to evolve to be appreciated by the younger generation – this could mean mixing up a program, different and unheard venues, each organiser would need to come up with better ideas.


Advice for aspiring singers? 

Rohan: Be patient for your success and do not try to sing the too heavy songs before your own voice has matured as that causes long term damage to your voice and try not to go beyond yourselves as this is what happens to not only singers but to most musicians!


Why is music and its education important? 

Ishan: first of all music is relaxing and why I feel that it’s very important now is because of the pressure and stress children have these days with their academic work, music takes the form of relaxation amidst the busy hectic schedules.

Science has proved the importance of music of any form as a must in peoples well being. All these reasons makes music a must in a persons life


Together with De Lanerolle Brothers Rohan & Ishan and the ConChord Choir,

S.Thomas’ College OBA NSW/ACT is thrilled to present

A World of Music

De Lanerolle Brothers in concert with The ConChord Choir

(ConChord Choir is a Sri Lankan Community Choir based in Melbourne with Rushan Hewavithrana as the Music Director and Conductor)

We invite you to Join in the celebrations with your favourite toe-tapping songs and soulful melodies with the world renowned
De Lanerolle Brothers brought all the way from Sri Lanka accompanied by the ConChord Choir

An event not to be missed

Purchase your tickets online at

$20 tickets furthest from stage are also available via trybooking

Limited Tickets available at the Venue

Enjoy these clips from De Lanerolle Brothers

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Drought Relief – By Des Kelly

     Australia, a wide, brown land, our “home away from home” to thousands of migrants and refugees from Sri Lanka, alone, is right now in big trouble caused by one of the biggest droughts in it’s history. This is common knowledge, made worse by the fact that there seems to be no end in sight, animals like sheep and cattle, bred for human consumption, are being wiped out at an alarming rate, the tinder-dry conditions becoming the biggest fire-hazard, for a very long time, threatening even more catastrophic situations in this wide brown land, we now call home.

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