An extremely interesting “piece” from Michael Roberts,
another “Lansiaa” now residing in Adelaide. As soon as I saw this name, it instantly reminded me of one of my best friends of the good old days, Denis Roberts, R.I.P. Denis, who, in my opinion, was easily one of the best Vocalists in Ceylon, the other being Cliff Foenander, who has also passed-on, far too early, God bless & keep them, both.
We were all supposed to be “Burghers” again, unfortunately,
the writer was not one. I have written many stories on these “Citizens of Burghs”,from the Batticaloa Burgher Buggers, who speak the Queen’s English in their own inimitable fashion, to the “Dutch Burghers” who were in a class of their own because they made sure that their names were recorded in the journals at the Dutch Burgher Union Office, latterly at Bambalapitiya.
The “Kellys” , formerly O’Kellys, came initially from Ireland. In Ceylon, the only places where our names were recorded was at the various bars & taverns around the Country. Because of this, we were actually “Aliens” of Ceylon. My own Paternal Grandfather Jack, from Dublin, drank everything except water, so much so, that my Dad, who had to peel his father from the rickshaw that brought him home each evening, decided that he, Carlo, would be a tee-totaller. So, while the Dutch kept their records, the Irish Burghers, Grandad & myself included, decided that we were on Earth for a good time, not a long one. My dear Mother’s people were all 100% Dutchies. Her maiden name was Kriekenbeek, and if that isn’t Dutch, I wouldn’t know what is.
Now, to get back to Michael Roberts, and HIS Lansiaass, please, eLanka readers, and others of course, peruse and enjoy every word which was well written.
A Wandering Laankikaya
Following is an interesting piece by former Sri Lankan (Sinhala) DIG of Police now domiciled in Canada. This appeared some time ago.
Recently I njoyed reading a lively discussion in a newspaper about the ‘Govigama Burghers’. The first time I heard the term ‘Govigama Lansia’ being used in lighter vein was by my cousin the late Neville Algama. He referred to his friend and classmate at Royal College V.T. Dickman as ‘Govigama Lansia’.
Siva Rajaratnam that affable Attorney- at- law who hailed from Trincomalee became a dear friend of mine after he cross-examined me for several days before the Sansoni Commission. He too had been a classmate of Dickman’s. In 1980 when I was the DIG–Metropolitan, Siva invited me to his Royal College batch mates’ annual get-together at his Wellawatta Rohini Road residence as the guest of honour, although I was not from that Reid Avenue school.
Among others present on this occasion were Neville Algama and Nissanka Wijeratne who was then a cabinet minister. When V.T. Dickman arrived, it was Nissanka Wijeratne who announced aloud, “Here comes the Govigama Lansia!” Dickman was surprised to see his superior officer seated next to the minister. My instant reaction was to loudly observe, “Sir, Vernon is only one of the many Govigama Lansias in the Police.”
Such terms were freely used by friends in the company of Sinhalese, Tamils, Burghers and Muslims. That was indeed the wonderful spirit of the time.
Perhaps, many today do not know that a common party song of the time sung by all had words such as “Sinhalaya modaya, kevun kanna yodaya, Demalaya, panankottaya, Thambiya, hambaya, Lansia, kerapotha etc.” Songs of this nature brought the youth of different communities together. There was no animosity whatsoever.
The term ‘Govigama Lansia’ was certainly complimentary. It was applicable in full measure to the many Burgher gentlemen that formed the backbone of the Ceylon Police that I joined as an ASP in 1958.At that time there were only about sixty Senior Gazetted Officers. Of these senior officers there were many Burghers. Almost all of them became my good friends.
The Officer’s Mess on Brownrigg Road with Jamis the butler in attendance, was the pleasant meeting place particularly during the week-ends.
Wilhellem Leembrugen was one of the three DIGs. Cecil Wambeek, Richard Arndt, Harry Vanden Driesen and Jack Vansanden were Superintendents.The Burgher ASPs were Fred Brohier, R.A. Stork, Ian Vanden Driesen, Ainsley Batholemeuz, Royden Vanderwall, Allen Flamer-Caldera and Paddy Sims.
There were many Govigama Lansias among the inspectorate too. Those that readily come to mind are: V.T. Dickman, Taylor, Rosairo, Pietersz, the Balthazar brothers, Eddie Gray, Barney Henricus, Dick Hopman, Derrick and Hague Christofelsz, Thomas, Sweetie Weber, Ron Jansz, Dudley Von Haght, Barthelot, Vernon Elias, Mike Schokman, Brindley Stava and Gerry Paul.
The Burgher community was so respected and widespread that many had been recruited as constables. They had the distinct advantage of the ability to work in English.
The sergeants and constables of the time were very important public officials that functioned at grass roots level in the villages. As an ASP fifty years ago, there were many Police stations where sergeants were the OICs that came under my purview. Sergeants Pietersz and Whatmore were excellent court officers. Even lawyers and magistrates respected their knowledge of the law. Of course, Derrick Christofelsz, the Chief Inspector of the Colombo Magistrates’ Court was highly regarded by judges and lawyers. When he walked into the courthouse he drew the attention a Queen’s Counsel would have drawn.
It is with nostalgia that I recall the names of Burgher constables who served under me in different police districts in the late fifties and the sixties. The names that come to mind are Ryde, Leitch, Hesse Leiton, Hendrick, Hingert, Koelmeyer, Raymond, lsaacs and Wally Bastian the reputed exponent of true Portuguese Kaffringha music. He was one of the few talented officers who kept the Colombo Police ‘Traffic Circus’ alive in the sixties.
The ‘Lansias’ of the police were truly ‘Govigama Lansias’. They undoubtedly enjoyed a place of honour in the history of the Sri Lanka Police.
Earl Forbes: “The White Australia Policy, Ceylonese Burghers and Alice Nona,” http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=62343
People Inbetween. Vol. 1: The Burghers and the Middle Class in the Transformations Within Sri Lanka, 1790s–1960s. By Michael Roberts, Ismeth Raheem and Percy Colin-Thomé. Ratmalana, Sri Lanka: Sarvodaya Book Publishing Services, 1989. xxiii, 389 pp. $125.00.
When you hear this voice, unless you know nothing about Music, you will immediately know who it is. She is truly the
“Greek Goddess” of song, born Ioanna Mouschouri, now known to everybody around the Planet as Nana Mouskouri, in 1934, she is now 84+ and still “Wows” audiences everywhere she performs. There is certainly “a place in my heart” for this Vocalist, because, not only does she sing perfectly “in tune”, every word (lyric), sung is as clear as crystal, in whatever language she chooses to sing. Nana Mouskouri has always been one of my favourite female Stars of song, but we now come down to this very special Video.
It came to me via e’mail, from Dallas Achilles, a friend who needs no introduction whatsoever to ALL Lankan Aussies, famous for “blowing his own trumpet” (in the nicest way), I have to say. Starting when quite young himself, in Ceylon, as we knew it, Dallas went on to become an expert trumpet-player, and I don’t really know how many people know this, but, in the “Brass” section of a big band, the trumpet is the most difficult instrument to play, as is the Violin (in the “Strings” section). To my knowledge, Dallas has never played a violin, but he mastered the trumpet, and is still very much in demand to date, whenever & wherever a “big-band” sound is needed. I don’t know if he remembers playing “The last Post”, a few years ago, in Melbourne, on Remembrance Day, where he & “your’s truly” paid tribute to all the Aussie Diggers who had given their lives for this Country. Dallas played, from his heart, while I recited the
R.S.L. “Prayer” on this particular occasion. Afterwards, Dallas did promise me that he would do the same for me, when I passed-on, as I too, served my time in the Royal Ceylon Navy before coming to Australia. I can only hope that he remembers this.
Before I close this story, I have to thank very sincerely, the guy who sent Dallas this video that matches perfectly,this Nana Mouskouri song (with Nana singing in the background). His name is Tommy Smith, another Musician Extraordinaire, who is a multi-instrumentalist, plays a superb guitar (he owns about 8 of them I think), plus piano, keyboard, & possibly other instruments as well.
Tommy’s two young sons are also Musos, and often join their father whenever possible. Because of work commitments & medical problems, I have not been able to be in touch with Tommy, as I would wish to, but, Tommy, I am privileged to still be a friend, and thank you, for one of the BEST Video efforts I have seen in a long long while.
It is beautifully done, and will touch many hearts, so thank you, again, for a wonderful job, well done.
It simply gets worse, as we move along, in the 21st Century. Children of today, the majority of them anyway, are not reading books anymore. There are still many bookshops around, there are still many “Writers” who cater especially for children, good Writers who spend the greater part of their adult lives writing thousands of words in the hope that some boy or girl (or parent), will pick up their special effort and enjoy the story within, but unfortunately, this does not happen now. The shop next door sells iphones and other newfangled gadgets that actually “read” stories out to their children, who keep staring at these little screens all day, not even bothering to go out and play, as the children of bygone eras did. Naturally, if you ask any of the “young ones” why they do not read books, they turn around and say, “why should we, ?, we can hear any story we want to, on our iphones”.
A subject that “I can get my teeth into”, (or something one is familiar with), as the phrase or “saying” goes, I absolutely love them, and use them wherever possible, in my writings.
SOME TIDBITS OF HISTORICAL INFO JUST FOR INFO (wink)….MANY SEEM STRANGE BUT THEY ARE TRUE!
2. Many years ago in Scotland , a new game was invented. It was ruled ‘Gentlemen Only…
Ladies Forbidden’… and thus the wordGOLF entered into the English language.
3. Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history:
Spades – King David,
Hearts – Charlemagne,
Clubs -Alexander the Great,
Diamonds – Julius Caesar
4. In Shakespeare’s time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase……… ‘GOODNIGHT, SLEEP TIGHT’.
5. It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride’s father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink.
Mead is a honey liquor and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the HONEYMOON.
6. In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts…
So in old England , when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them ‘Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down’.
It’s where we get the phrase ‘mind your P’s and Q’s’
7. Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim or handle of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service.
‘WET YOUR WHISTLE‘ is the phrase inspired by this practice.
8. In 1696, William III of England introduced a property tax that required those living in houses with more than six windows to pay a levy. In order to avoid the tax, house owners would brick up all windows except six. (The Window Tax lasted until 1851, and older houses with bricked-up windows are still a common sight in the U.K.) As the bricked-up windows prevented some rooms from receiving any sunlight, the tax was referred to as“daylight robbery”!
9. In the medieval period, they only had mud flooring. During winter they spread thresh on these floors to avoid mud. To prevent the thresh from spilling out as they walked in and out the doors, they nailed wood planks on the bottom of the doors. Thus THRESHOLD became a word!
10. Also in medieval England, they do not embalm the dead and some cases of dead persons were known to rise from the dead (likely in coma). So when someone died, they laid his body on the table and relatives and friends gather around in vigil for three days with the hope that he will wake up thus the word WAKE.
After three days, they usually placed the body in a coffin to avoid the stench and buried it at least 6 ft below ground. But the dead person had a string tied on a finger at one end and a bell on the other end of the string so that should the person still wake up and finding himself buried, his sudden movements would cause the bell to ring. Thus came the expressions SIX FEET UNDER and SAVED BY THE BELL.
In addition, the family made sure that there would always be someone on the gravesite 24/7 so if and when the bell would ring, someone would immediately dig him up. Thus came about the words GRAVEYARD SHIFT for those who stood watch at night till dawn.
Now, there you have the origin of these phrases…quite interesting!!!(wink2)(wink2)(wink2)
Sent from my iPhone
There are some things we do purely due to muscle memory. Other things we do because it’s the done thing; aka convention. We’re not sure which category stirring your coffee falls into, but you need to stop doing it. Today.
This isn’t so much a life hack so much as a “tiny pleasure.” It’s something that I do every day that makes me happy. It doesn’t improve anything except the flavour of my mornings, and everyone should give it a shot. (That’s an espresso pun right there.)
So here’s my tiny pleasure: Every morning I pour myself a cup of coffee, and add in a splash of milk (or any other similar liquid, dairy or non), and I don’t stir it. I get to watch the beautiful cloud-like pattern swim through my coffee, and don’t need to worry about how many days in a row I’ve used that spoon without washing it.
Best of all: Every sip is different. Sometimes the coffee is almost black, sometimes it’s half creamer, and that dynamic flavoring is a great way to perk up first thing in the AM.
I would venture to say it is the morning-beverage equivalent to tasting a glass of Cabernet before and after you’ve let it breathe.
Take a sip and think about how it has evolved since your last sip. Now you’re not just using coffee to deliver caffeine into your system; you’re getting your brain moving and thinking, which is really the best part of waking up.
With all the cricket going on, at the moment, there seems to be many “stories” in & around the wickets, that tend to entertain not only the lovers of the game, but also those who enjoy a bit of humour about it. This particular “series”, sent to me, for inclusion in eLanka, makes for light, enjoyable reading, something that will cause a smile, or an occasional chuckle, to cheer us up, even though the World Cup for 2019 will probably have to “sit tight” until 2023, by the look of it, for Sri Lanka, right now.
It doesn’t really matter. As I’ve always said, you win some and you lose some games. Our Sri Lankan Cricketers always try their best, which is naturally expected of them. Provided that there is no political interference (something that ALL Cricket Authorities, everywhere, seem to be involved in nowadays), the Sri Lankan Cricket Team can only get better (with experience), as time goes by.
We have to remember that our team, led by Arjuna Ranatunga DID win the World Cup, a few years ago, and if I remember it, quite unexpectedly, but folks, this is what I call
“CRICKET, LOVELY CRICKET”
The Wit of Cricket
1) Over to the 1976 Test Match W.Indies vs England where Henry Blofeld is at the mic. “Welcome to the Oval, where the Bowler’s Holding, the batsman’s Willey”!!
2) Derbyshire’s Alan Ward hits NZ opener Glenn Turner a terrific blow on his “protective box” in the 5th ball of his first over.. After about 3 minutes a groggy Turner gets up and resumes batting. John Arlott says”Very plucky of Turner-he’s going on batting- one ball left!!”
3) Brian Johnston on Test Match Special “Fred Titmus is coming on to bowl and he has got two short legs- one of them square” One woman listener wrote in complaining “How rude of him to comment about another person’s disabilities”!! On another occasion,he was talking about Ken Barrington who had made 111 by then “He’s batting very well now although he’s been a trifle lucky- he was dropped when 2”. Another woman complained “Mother’s should be more care about their babies!!”.
4) The first streaker was at Lords in 1975 and Alan Knott was the non-striker at the Nursery end When questioned “What was it like out there Knotty?”. He replied “It’s the first time I’ve seen two balls come down the pitch at the same time!!”.
5) On Male Streakers “He ran on in his birthday suit”
And he set all the ladies afire
When he came to the stumps
He misjudged his jumps
And he now sings in the Luton Girls choir”
6) Tom Graveney on an Ashes Tour “Down Under” went to Sydney’s Red-light district in King’s Cross. He met a cute masseuse and asked how much for a massage. She repld “200 Dollars” “Oh! no, I can afford only 50″ & walked away. He then went window shopping and thereafter went to pick up his wife at the appointed time. They were walking back to their hotel when they came across this very same girl who shouted out” Oi, you cheapie, see what you got for 50″!!
7) John Arlott ” There’s Neil Harvey standing at leg slip, with his legs apart-waiting for a tickle”!!
8) A saucy one about Brian Close (Ex Somerset & England). Close was ambidextrous and could bat & play golf with either hand equally well. When asked how he decided which hand to bat – he said “Oh! It’s quite easy- if my wife wakes up on her left side, I bat left-handed and if she wakes up on her right, I bat right handed”. “What if she wakes up on her back Closey?” “Oh! Then I ring up the grounds and say I will be an hour late”!!
9) In 1989, Merv Hughes was bowling to Robin Smith – Smith had played and missed quite a few times. Hughes snarled “You can’t f—–g bat”. A few balls later , Smith hit him for three consecutive fours. Smith pointed out to Hughes “We make quite a pair don’t we ? I can’t f—–g bat and you can’t f—–g” bowl”!!
10) The All time classic – Ian Botham walks out to bat and Rod Marsh the wicket keeper chirps out ” Morning Beefy, How’s your wife and MY kid?” Botham in typical fashion says ” Top of the morning to you Swampy – the wife’s ok but the kid is a bit retarded!!”.
My house was about to be locked on the 29th of November 2018 just because I was not able to raise the rent.
I posted it on facebook seeking for help, but all I got were 2 likes zero comments.
So l sent 250 messages to my contact list requesting for a loan of $1500.
Sadly only 10 people replied. 6 out of the 10 claimed they couldn’t help. Only 1 out of the 4 who said they could help actually gave me some money but the rest only gave me excuses and never picked my calls.
In the end, my door was locked. I had no where to sleep.
I walked in the dark seeking options and sadly a thief stole my empty purse with my identity card in it.
He was badly hit by a fast moving car as he was running away, so he died.
Fast forward>> The next day, news quickly spread around that I had died.
About 2,500 people posted on my wall how they knew me. How great I was.
A committee was formed by my loyal friends who contributed $18000 to feed guests at my funeral.
My colleagues at work teamed up and brought another $4500 for a coffin, tents and chairs.
I was to be burried in a coffin worth $1500- the same amount I needed for rent.
Relatives also met. It was a rare occasion for them to meet, so they met and contributed an extra $3000.
Everyone wanted to volunteer in order to appear they were helping. They printed T-shirts with my image.
Each T-Shirt costing $2.50, so the T-shirt man made about $25000 from my presumed death.
Everyone wanted to speak at my funeral. There was drama all over from people who never knew how l survived.
There was even rumour that I was murdered by my friends.
People falsely accused my successful relatives of sacrificing me for money rituals.
Speeches were made on how talented I was, even by those who never attended my events.
The few friends who supported me didn’t even get the chance to speak during my funeral – although they knew the Truth.
In fact, they were prime suspects for my ‘death’.
You could imagine how the scene turned after I showed up alive! Some thought l was a ghost.
Don’t show people Love when they are gone. Show it when they can appreciate you…
Call people when they can pick not when they are gone and you shed crocodile tears when in fact they cannot hear you.
THIS IS THE IRONY OF LIFE; WE LOVE THE DEAD MORE THAN THE LIVING.
There were three ships which were nearby when the Titanic sunk.
One of them was known as the Sampson. It was 7 miles away from the Titanic and they saw the white flares signaling danger, but because the crew had been hunting seals illegally and didn’t want to be caught, they turned and went the opposite direction away from the Titanic. This ship represents us and people like us if we are so busy looking inward at our own sin and lives that we can’t recognize when someone else is in need.
The next ship was the Californian. This ship was only 14 miles away from the Titanic, but they were surrounded by ice fields and the captain looked out and saw the white flares, but because the conditions weren’t favorable and it was dark, he decided to go back to bed and wait until morning. The crew tried to convince themselves that nothing was happening. This ship represents those of us who say I can’t do anything now. The conditions aren’t right for it and so we wait until conditions are perfect before going out.
The last ship was the Carpathia. This ship was actually headed in a southern direction 58 miles away from the Titanic when they heard the distress cries over the radio. The captain of this ship knelt down, prayed to God for direction and then turned the ship around and went full steam ahead through the ice fields. This was the ship that saved the 705 survivors of the Titanic.
When the captain looked back at the ice fields they had come through, he said Someone else hands must have been at the helm of this ship! This ship represents those who would pray to God for direction and then go without hesitation.
Life whispers in your soul and speaks to your heart. We need to take time to listen to these whispers and take heed.
Good Morning, praise Jesus God Bless You And Your Family
A somewhat different “introduction” to the true story that follows, is an old song that I have sung many times in the past. It was written in 1949 by Cy Coben & Mel.Foree, and immediately chosen by Hank Snow, a Canadian Country Singer, who recorded on the Atco Records label, making it one of his first standard hits.
As I have always said, right from the very start, it was Country Music that “painted” the stories of “life” as it happened. There are many “sad songs” in Country Music, yet, these “stories” have to be told, in a way that they will then become unforgettable. This particular story is also about an “Orphan”, the one in the song being even sadder because of the blindness that affected him.
However folks, please listen to the song, read the relevant article, and consider the fact that WE are luckier than many people around us.
Most Brilliant post I have ever read ………..
Son decides to admit the father in the old age home as desired by his wife (the daughter in law).
He brings his father in the car to an Orphanage cum old age home run by a Christian priest.
The receptionist gives different choices like TV, AC , Veg etc. Father says No TV, AC etc.
Son goes out to bring luggage from car. The wife calls up to check whether all fine. And also insists that father need not come home even for festivals .
The Christian priest appears and talks to the old man. Son wonders and asks the Christian priest whether he knows his father before as they were talking as though they knew each other.
Christian priest says..yes. He came here 30 years back and took with him an orphan boy in adoption.