Bernard VanCuylenburg

LIAM DODDRELL – ONWARDS AND UPWARDS – IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF HIS FAMOUS GRAND DAD – LIAM DODDRELL MESMERIZES WITH BAT AND BALL – by Bernard VanCuylenburg EPILOGUE. The Grand Son of Anthonian Cricket great Charlie Joseph continues to weave a web of magic with bat and ball cutting a swathe of glory on the green turf ever since he began his cricket career as a junior, playing for his local club the St.Clair Hawks. Having advanced to grade cricket with the Penrith Cricket Club, Liam Doddrell has added another feather to his cap by winning the prestigious Basil Sellers Scholarship which will give him the opportunity to further his cricket career, not to mention the boost to his confidence ! I received an email from Liam’s Mum giving me the good news, together with an article in the local suburban journal which delighted cricket lovers everywhere. It is sure ...

Read More →

THE GOOD THE BAD THE BITTER AND THE SWEET – by Bernard VanCuylenburg Life in the Boarding taught us from an early age to take the good and the bad, taste the bitter and the sweet, and face life squarely and stand our ground. When we left College, we were well rounded human beings (hopefully !) equipped to give life our best shot, no matter where the road of life took us. Sadly, that road took us in different directions and on leaving College, little did we realize that we would never see some of our childhood friends again. True to the script, destiny took us to lands far away, and most may have lost touch with our fellow boarders and schoolmates as the years passed. This email I’m afraid is not all peaches and cream, because I have detailed below a list of Antonians, I knew who have departed this life. ...

Read More →

NIGHT OF TERROR DAWN OF HOPE. – By Bernard VanCuylenburg PROLOGUE Please note that the names of the Superintendent and the Assistant Superintendent in this story are pseudonymns used for reasons of journalistic propriety. The officer in Charge of the Maskeliya Police Station at the time Mr.Ivan Boteju, a star athlete and an old boy of St.Anthony’s College Kandy, passed away about fifteen years ago. The name of the plantation too has been substituted by a pseudonym. The shades of night began to fall when the sun said ‘goodbye’ to the mountains. Then the mists began rolling in, embracing the landscape of green tea in its mantle, and another busy day on this large tea plantation was ensconced in the bosom of the nights stygian darkness. In his large estate bungalow a young Assistant Superintendent Tony Richards then a bachelor, settled down to his usual routine. Pouring himself a stiff ...

Read More →

GLORY DAYS  : THE LEGEND THAT WAS TOM DEEN.- By Bernard VanCuylenburg The legend that was Tom Deen had its genesis on the playing fields of St. Anthony’s College Kandy, when he first attended cricket practice for the Under 12 team. Thus began a fairy tale when in no time this promising youngster graduated to the Under 14 team before one could say “How’s that?” in cricketing parlance ! Following this meteoric rise, he was called for practice for the Under 16 side. You guessed correctly……he had hardly taken his middle at the batting crease in the Under 16 team, when he received the call to attend practices for the first eleven side. And there the tremendous potential of this legend came to life when the powers that be soon realized they had a fast bowler the likes of which had not been seen at St.Anthony’s for a long time. At ...

Read More →

    A MEMORY OF MURDER By Bernard vanCuylenburg From serial killers to celebrity victims, sensational murder cases tend to grab one’s collective imagination and just wont let go. In the past I wrote some articles about famous murder cases of English planters on the tea estates. The first was about the murder of Mr.John Frank Whitehouse, the Superintendent on Madampe Group Ratnapura in 1949 in the article titled “Tales from the Thotum”. The second, was the article “Murder at Midnight” which was about the murder of Mr.George Pope the Superintendent on Stellenberg Estate Pupuressa in 1941, and the third, “Murder around the Bend” was regarding  the murder of a young  Superintendent on Talgaswella Estate, Galle, Mr.Roger Blumer in 1939. In the first story titled TALES FROM THE THOTUM, I also briefly dealt with the murder of Mr.Geoffreys, the Superintendent on Kenilworth Estate Ginigathena by his chief clerk I believe in the late ...

Read More →

  THE LIAM DODDRELL STORY  –  A SAGA OF CRICKETING BRILLIANCE – By Bernard VanCuylenburg Since his prodigious feats with bat and ball at the tender age of six on his home turf of St.Clair in Sydney, Liam Doddrell is a name that has been attracting wide attention for lovers of cricket over the years. Following  my articles about Liam a few years ago when the cricketing world sat up and took notice of this promising youngster while the press eulogized his prowess out in the middle, it appears that this consummate young cricketer has     the potential to make the jump to senior international cricket today. It wont be wrong to surmise that this could be his next big move. His meticulous and promising talent, his skill in every aspect of the game, his precision with bat and ball which is free – flowing and very easy on the eye, and his ...

Read More →

    A WORLD OF FRIENDS – By Cam Lucadou – Wells The following article was published in THE DANDENONG STAR JOURNAL of the 31st March 2020.(ref:https://dandenong.starcommunity.com.au/entertainment/2020-03-23/a-world-of-friends/ The well travelled Bernard VanCuylenburg’s worldly interests dont only span five languages but millenia of history. For two decades, the 76 year old multi linguist has volunteered as an English language tutor for migrants and new arrivals at the AMES School in Dandenong. His students have landed from as far away as Afghanistan, China, Sudan, and Vietnam. Each a window to history and culture, each a friend to Bernard. Such is his dedication, he learned Mandarin – thanks to AMES in recent years, to better support some of his Chinese students. “You get more than you give because you meet many different cultures”, Bernard says of his role as a Volunteer Tutor. “They have got so much to teach you It is a ...

Read More →

  THE GLORY DAYS OF ANTHONIAN CRICKET – BY Bernard VanCuylenburg       It seems that we are reliving the glory days of Anthonian cricket thanks to Tilak and now Frankie Amerasinghe, who have taken us back to that great College by the mighty Mahaveli where “we had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun” to quote the lines from a hit song of yesteryear. Recently Tilak and Frankie sent me interesting information of cricket in the mid fifties which I am forwarding to you. I am sure it will be appreciated by cricket enthusiasts and all true blue Anthonians.  ...

Read More →

  STRANGE BUT TRUE – THE UNWELCOME VISITOR – By Bernard VanCuylenburg.   As an introduction to the crux of this story, I have to part the veil of time and go back to the early sixties in Ceylon, when a friend of mine and I went to the Trio Cinema in Slave Island to watch what was then rated as one of the best horror movies of its time  – “Cult of the Cobra”. Directed by Francis D.Lyon, this film was about six GI’s stationed in India, secretly photographing the arcane rituals of a group of Cobra worshippers ! In the film which the GI’ s were making, the bizarre climax was that some of the cult worshippers participating in these rituals turn themselves into snakes ! What was more horrifying was  the High Priest of this cult of snake worshippers, catching the GI’s red handed in the act ...

Read More →

  MURDER ROUND THE BEND – By Bernard VanCuylenburg   A beautiful city with a fortified Dutch Fort, world heritage site buildings, fine beaches with broad expanses of silver sand, and restaurants and hotels to cater to the most fastidious tourist is what comes to mind when one thinks of Galle.  All this and more is what the discerning traveller will experience when visiting this port city. One conjures up visions of a land with all the charm of the South –  the ubiquitous coconut palms, fishing, soaking up the sun on a sun kissed beach,and savouring the delights of a tourist haven. But Galle is not the focus of this article. In the spotlight today is a township known to residents of the area but not very familiar to the wider world, which lies in the district of Galle  called  Talgaswella. Talgaswella is situated twelve miles from Galle. Travelling ...

Read More →