It is indeed refreshing to receive any good news at all these days, so I was more than happy to read this latest e’mail from brother Ian, in Sri Lanka, where he now lives, and where he seems to be very happy. If it were not for Ian Kelly, I wouldn’t be writing ANYTHING now, & so, Ian, “thanks mate, for saving my life, not once, but twice.
My brother Ian was one of a few Champion Swimmers of Ceylon, during the 1950’s & 60’s. He was a proud member of the “Kinross Swimming & Life-saving Club in Bambalapitiya, (the hub of “living” in Ceylon, at the time). Ian is three years my junior, twice as large (& @ 82, I still weigh around the 110 kilo mark). As a “singer”, Ian made a very fine swimmer, & it was exactly the opposite for me.
Cannot remember the exact dates, but TWICE, I tried to swim to the reef in the Indian Ocean opposite the Kinross Swimming Club, TWICE, I was very lucky indeed, that Ian was “fooling around” with a few of the “beach cuties”& “saving” those who could swim, even!, while I was steadily “drowning” about 500 yards away. It was easy enough to swim TO the reef, with the outgoing tide, but coming back to shore, was something else, altogether.
On both occasions, this would-be swimmer, thought he was close enough to the beach, to lower his bloody legs, and walk, only to find that the Indian Ocean was deeper than he thought.
On the first occasion, Ian swam to me when he realized that I was in trouble, told me to lie back in the water, placed himself under me and “back-stroked” to the beach.
On the second occasion, when my shout of “HELP”!, again interfered with his nefarious activities in the water, he swam up to me and said “the next time you disturb me in the water, I’ll let you bloody drown, understand ?, if you can’t swim, stay on the bloody shore”!. Anyway, folks, you cannot have everything. I was always better-looking than Ian & he knows this. Now, please enjoy this good news.
She was someone I knew as a “toddler”in Diyatalawa, living with her mum, & dad, Rex Rode, who was a member of the Royal Ceylon Air Force, and a good friend of mine.
Like so many others, Sandra & her family migrated to Australia, & because of “work commitments” we “lost touch” until, much later, I heard that Sandra was now involved in “Showbiz” & had formed her own band, “Replay 6”.
Sandra then married Esric Jackson &, not much later, Sandra and Replay 6 became one of the best-known Lankan Bands in Melbourne.
To Esric & all the rest of her family, on behalf of eLanka and The Lanka Times, I send our deepest sympathy.
Goodbye, Sandra Jackson. May the good Lord bless & keep you, All your many friends will miss you, especially “on-stage”. Rest in peace now.
Remember friends?, do you remember all those old movie theatres in the “Ceylon” in the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s & 60’s?
When Hollywood produced the greatest films, with real Actors & Actresses that would “blow our young minds”.
Do you remember the “unforgettable” films, both in black & white, and, later in technicolour?, The Regal Theatre in the heart of the “Fort” in Colombo, The Majestic Theatre, in the heart of Bambalapitiya, The Savoy Theatre, Wellawatte, that entertained all of us with “pictures” like The Jolson Story, and so many other theatres all around us, where youngsters could somehow scrounge that 50cts to buy a “Gallery” ticket & strain our necks upwards for up to three hours at a time to watch these super-humans do their thing on the silver-screen?, well, I did, and will never regret it.
Somehow, at that time, we knew very little about the private lives of these “Film-Stars”. We watched their movies, some of them, more than once. I remember going to see actor Larry Parks take the part of Al Jolson who, in that particular era was supposed to be the Greatest Entertainer in the World, at least 3 times, then “Jolson sings again” twice more. The original “Romeo & Juliet” in black & white, the magnificent film “Carrie” with Lawrence Olivier, long before he was Knighted, & Jennifer Jones, which brings me to some of the most beautiful women (Actresses) on Planet Earth. Ava Gardner, Esther Williams, Sophia Loren, Grace Kelly, (there had to be a “Kelly” in there, somewhere), Maureen O’Hara, & who could forget Elizabeth Taylor & dozens of other beautiful females, some of whom were also excellent in their job, but who cared about their “acting ability”?, we, young guys didn’t give a hoot about their “acting”, all we wanted to do was SEE THEM.!!
Folks, here is something that I saw for the first time, and having really enjoyed seeing the “backgrounds” of these Actors & Actresses, I thought I would share them with you.
The idea behind this is to give all of you readers a few minutes to refresh your memories of the Movie-Stars in a way that you possibly haven’t seen them before. The photos can be “enlarged”, of course, and I feel sure you will enjoy them as much as I did. My thanks go to Max, who sent them to me. Watch, folks, & reminisce. It is well worthwhile.
No, it is not the old “correspondence-game” played in days gone by, where letters & messages were sent to the above, pleading for answers to various “problems”, most of them dealing with broken love-affairs, & other marital trials.
Agony Aunt would then try to sort out & solve these problems, sometimes successfully, most times, unfortunately not. This is why more than 50% of all marriages eventually end up in the divorce Courts.
So much for that particular ‘Agony Aunt”.
I have written before & I will certainly do so again about the agony(pardon the expression), of the A.B.C.T.V. people,
“Aunty”, as they are affectionately known. I feel certain that most intelligent Australian folk, Lankan/Aussies included, would want the A.B.C.T.V. Channel alive & kicking, yes, kicking butts that sorely need it. The other Commercial television channels do try this method too, but are frequently “disturbed” by the all too many “stupid ads”that take up more than half the programmes shown.
I have to make an exception here. S.B.S.Television also feature these “ads”, but make it a point to “group” that lot together, then give the viewers more of the actual programme shown, thereby keeping “viewer interest” intact.
Why, Channels 7, 9, 10, etcetera cannot follow this principle, I’ll never know. Gruen, on the A.B.C., tries to “explain” to us, the “meanings” of some of these advertisements. One would have to be a qualified Psychologist to “understand” the reasons behind the ads., but, all viewers are not students of Psychology & most of them “use” the “ad-breaks” to go to the toilet, make a cup of tea, or, like me, & myself, close my eyes & take a a short snooze for the duration. Only a very few ads., entertain me. For instance, I enjoy the “My dog” ad, not only for it’s brevity, but also to see a cute animal climb onto a window sill to have a bite, to a beautiful little instrumental piece of music, that should have been continued for at least 30 seconds more, as the little “doggy” enjoyed his “My dog” treat.
I also like the “Ship-Creek” ad. You don’t have to be Einstein
to figure that one out. Ads., featuring children & animals are acceptable. I love the only ad., introducing the A.B.C., featuring the Aussie playing on his harmonica & his half-dingo pet howling at the moon, making better music than most of the “modern-rubbish” today.
I do have my criticisms of old “Aunty” too. Channel 2 does have some good-looking female “Presenters”. I have nothing against them, BUT, the A.B.C. do require some new hairdressers. What they do with their clients’ hair, sometimes, make these women look terrible, on camera.
“A woman’s hair is her crowning glory”, says an old adage & I firmly believe this. Also, Aunty, please do not “repeat” news, etc., after showing it abundantly each day. To see the same news, sometimes two & three days “later” gets rather boring. Repeats of excellent shows, for example, “Back Roads”, “Landline” & your “Garden Shows” would be much preferable.
Whatever anyone may say, it would be a very foolish Government that would even consider getting rid of the A.B.C.T.V. Privatizing it, would be just as bad. This is the only television channel that “tells it like it is”. “Four Corners”
“Media-Watch”, & “Q & A” are superb programmes. My advice to all “bad-guys” in our society is this. If you do not wish to be “divulged” on television (especially on Channel 2)
“DON’T BLOODY DO IT”!!. This also refers to any incumbent Government planning to get rid of the old “Aunty”.
Finally, Nate is an excellent weather forecaster, BUT, to tell me what tomorrow’s weather will be, I prefer Channel 7.
Ceylon, in “those old days”, the place I’ve always missed,
The fact that I was born there, was something well worthwhile,
The happy life we lived there, I remember with a smile”.
“These “photographs” will show you, the way it really was,
I proudly “show them off” now, the reason being because, Those were the really “good days”, for me, now sadly gone,
They now bring back the memories of “Beautiful Ceylon”
This extraordinary “group” of photographs of old Ceylon was sent to me, by my good friend Errol Lynch about 15 minutes ago. As everyone who reads OUR articles in eLanka will realize, Errol, Bernard Vancuylenberg and myself are still very proud of the “Lovely Island Home” that most of us HAD to leave, but, this pride in our homeland will never LEAVE, believe me.
All my readers will notice that I seem to prefer the name CEYLON (which was renamed Sri Lanka in 1972).My reason for this is the fact that when I was born, it was in CEYLON.!!
The name itself is poetically much better because, although there is nothing wrong with Sri Lanka, I challenge any poet to find a word that rhymes with “Lanka”. There are NONE.!!.
Also, many folk nowadays refer to Sri Lanka primarily as “The resplendent Isle”, whereas Ceylon had so many other beautiful referrals such as “The Pearl of the East”, “The fairest Isle” (by Marco Polo,sooo long ago), “Tear-drop in the Indian Ocean” and many other romantic names, all of which were well-deserved. In addition, one of the World’s best beverages will always be “Ceylon Tea” & none other.
I have written much, about the Country I love. Songs, poems, prose, articles etcetera. I am still very proud about this tiny Island & it’s simple people, who smile, and will gladly share their last cup of plain tea with you. I hasten to add that I now love and respect this “Huge Continent” called Australia, as well. Another beautiful Country, but on a much larger scale. The real “Bush Aussies, Farmers, Country-folk” are also kindly “down to earth” people who try their best to make migrants from other Countries, feel at home, here.
Politicians from EITHER Country hardly rate a mention, in my book. Enough said.!!
Thank you Errol, for sending me these “memories” I certainly hope that all my readers of eLanka & The Lanka Times enjoy these photographs of “Beautiful Old Ceylon”
We, lucky people of Australia, have such an abundance of “entertainment”to view on our television screens each and every day & night (for insomniacs), it is absolutely incredible. At the moment, I start with the “News” on Channel 2, which continues all day on Channel 24. No-one can say that they are not aware of the “current news”, unless, of course, they leave “the box” switched off all day, which I now do, myself sometimes, when I have to concentrate on “writing” for eLanka, our top website in Oz.,or writing “important e’mails to various folk, like the Premier of Victoria, for example, offering his Government another “original composition” entitled “It’s You”, a Road-Safety Song, entirely gratis, in the hope that if it is “aired” at peak-hours, especially, drivers of various vehicles (who generally have their “radios” on, as they drive, hear my lyrics and, through pure psychology, try to drive & “arrive “SAFELY”.
With the millions of dollars being spent on this most important subject, even if one life is “saved by a song”, I then reckon that it would be fully worth the effort.
So far, (over a fortnight, now), Mr.Andrews has not acknowledged my e’mail, and, in the meantime our road-toll keeps rising, people are dying on our roads, others lie, seriously injured, in hospitals around Victoria, families and friends of the victims, in turmoil & our “Breaking-News” keeps running amok. I do not say, for one moment, that my song will STOP the road-toll, but, Mr.Premier, this IS worth a try, and it’s not going to cost you ANYTHING.
Des, will you stop going off on a bloody tangent,? what the hell has all this got to do with CRICKET ?!!
“Well, stop rubbing your balls with sandpaper, stop getting your balls into water-traps on the golf course, stop hitting your balls with your tennis racquets & “talking balls” to your tennis referees after smashing your balls AND your racquets, and I’ll be happy to tell you”.
Even while the “greatest” viewer sport in the entire World, “Aussie-rules” footy is in progress right now, CRICKET, both local & “The World-Cup” is also in sharp focus. When played as it SHOULD be played, cricket is a superb game. I still remember even our inter-inter-collegiate matches played while I was at St,Peter’s College, Bambalapitiya. The problem here, was that they kept WINNING every match they played. The “Josephians, Thomians, Royalists, and all the rest did not have a chance. I wonder how many of our Lankan/Aussies remember that Clive Inman, who was a classmate of mine, scored the “fastest-fifty” of that era and got his name into the Guinness book of records, that our Captain, H.I.K.(Herbert,I.K.) not only led the team, he was the ONLY wicket-keeper to “stump” Don.Tallon, who was an Englishman, and, the BEST wicket-keeper in the World, at the time. It is a pleasure, even to write about these guys.
I was into sports too, as a boy. I played a fair game of “ping-pong” or “table-tennis”, even won a little silver cup that could only be viewed through a magnifying glass. Why I even bother to write about all this, I’ll never know. Anyway, getting back to Cricket, lovely Cricket, let me inform all my readers that, included in about a hundred of my original compositions, are two Calypso’s. One was “Calypso-d-Ceylon” and the other was “Calypso-d-Windies”. I did NOT suffer with flatulence at that time, it’s the West Indies, or more to the point, the West Indian Cricket Team, I am talking about, here. Unfortunately, I cannot remember the exact year, but immediately after beating the Aussies over here, they came to Ceylon, for an exhibition “match” I think.
I was in the Royal Ceylon Navy then, so it was possibly in the mud 1950’s. I had heard so much about this team, I wanted, very much, to see them play, so, being stationed at H.M.Cy.S Gemunu, in Colombo, at the time, I took myself off to the office of the “Times” Newspaper in Fort, who were selling the tickets for this special match. When I got there, the queue for tickets was far too long, so I decided that I would go back to barracks and try a different method of securing a ticket. The same day, I sat myself down to write my tribute to this superb cricket team, brought ALL their names into my lyrics, got them typed out, and took this back to the “Times” office. There was still a long queue, but being proudly in my uniform, I told the peon in charge, that I wanted to see the Editor with this song I had written & like all Newspaper Editors, anxious for any “scoop” they could get, called me into his office and read my “Calypso”.
He then told me that he couldn’t pay me for this (so what’s new)?, but gave me what was called a “gold-pass” to the match, which enabled me to actually share the same room with this team, at the ground, for the entire match. I met all these great Cricketers, told them to watch out for my song, dedicated to them, in the next issue of the”Times of Ceylon”
& watched them give Lanka a sound beating, after which, they went to India and thrashed the Indian Team as well.
I remember this West Indian Cricket Team as the best exponents of Cricket, as it was, then. This was my tribute to a wonderful Cricket Team.
If ever there was any Cricket-Team
That hit the “top-rung” in the World’s esteem
There wouldn’t be even the slightest doubt
That it’s the “Windies” we are talking about
At every “test-match” in Australia
Their’s, was a much superior game, by far
They laughed at mistakes umpire Hoy had made
And played bright cricket, as it should be played
From Captain Worrel, to their last batsman
Their one great moral was to “stand & slam”
The “Windies” bowling, it was quite the same
With Garfield Sobers, Gibbs & “Hall” of fame
A man called “Gerry”, right behind the stumps
No ball got past, despite the “bumps”
Still another batsmen, full of “do or die”
Was the West Indies Champ, Rohan Kanhai
Then Hunte & Cammie Smith were both quite fine
So were Ramahadin and Valentine
There was bowler Chester Watson, who tried as hard
He had all the Aussie batsmen always on their guard
And now, a word about their Seymour Nurse
Who “mimics” Nat King Cole & loves to “mime-in-verse”
The “Windies” love to hear him sing his songs
But, on the cricket field, he still belongs
Wherever they may go, I’m sure they’ll cause a “stir”
Says Gerry Gomez, their team-manager
And you can bet, that what he says, is true
He knows “his boys” much mire than me or you
Unless you want to see me “behind bars”
I must not forget to mention their “extras”
Cos, in case the ‘Windies” needed any aid
They had, in every “extra”, men who’d “made the grade”
It’s for their winsome attitude of sheer pluck
That we, in Ceylon, wish them all the luck
And, while they travel over land and seas
May the Lord above keep watch over the “West Indies”.
It seems to be perfectly “hilariais” that this writer could even contemplate the fact of being a “culinary expert”, but, the fact that I CAN cook “rice”, in my rice-boiler without producing “lumps” in it, leads me to add that I am halfway there, teaching my faithful readers of eLanka, the method of cooking “LUMP-RICE”, which is how we original Lankans pronounce the name of this fabulous “DUTCH-DISH”.
With so much confusion, or lack of information out there these days, almost ANYTHING wrapped up in a banana-leaf is being passed off as a “Lamprais”. So, instead of repeatedly explaining this in Dutch, English, Sinhalese, or Tamil, I have decided to do a permanent “post” about it, in, not only the best website for Lankans everywhere (eLanka),
but also in the interest of correcting any misconceptions that now exist.
“Lamprais” are quintessentially a ” Dutch-Burgher” delicacy, but these words by Arun-Dias-Bandaranaike, quite possibly related to the late Solomon Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike, a fine “orator”,but,whose “orations” finally caused all “Dutch Burgher” buggers to take their lamprais to Australia, England, Canada, America, & every-bloody-where else in the World. Now, Arun, although definitely not a Dutch-Burgher, explained the origin of Lamprais quite brilliantly. He may not be quite the orator that S.W.R.D.B. was, but he certainly knows how to take “pen to paper”.
In his words, “In as much as it may not be ideal to have the so-called Mona Lisa dressed-up to be modernly-chic, (from the French for chique), and have her wear headphones,
(so that we can figure she may have heard something to
“smile about”!!), the tangential bits to the lamprais may, in fact, allow many to imagine that a “rice-packet” wrapped in a jolly banana-leaf “qualifies” to have the term “Lamprais” attached therewith. The Dutch-Burgher families of yore, had it down to a fine art. Some people knew the subtleties and delights to be found in the ‘authentic’ version inspired by the Dutch.
Firstly, Lamprais are NOT a Dutch creation. It was INSPIRED by the Dutch, who brought some of the recipes with them from Indonesia, where the V.O.C.(Volatile Organic Compounds) had their headquarters, e.g. Blachan(Machan),
a typical Indonesian speciality made of dried shrimp,(the wet ones would have been useless).
The name “Lamprais”(or “Lomprijst”, in Dutch, as they were not too good at “spelling”), was probably derived from the Indonesian dish “Lempur”, which consists of cooked rice and meat wrapped and steamed in banana leaves.
“Frikkadels”, or deep-fried meatballs are probably the ONLY typically Dutch-influenced dish.
The Dutch-Burgher Community, to which I belong, only because my dear mother was truly “Dutch”, her maiden name being Kriekenbeek, who, in turn, boasted being “Founder-Members” of the Internationally famous “Dutch East-India” Company, painstakingly cut up every ingredient into tiny cubes, so that the lamprais could be easily eaten with a spoon & fork. No “eating” with fingers or toes allowed, and no “bones” of ANY kind, ever included.
The traditional “meat-curry” consisted of beef, mutton, chicken, pork, & ox-liver cooked in a “Special Recipe”.
“In my opinion” says Special Chef.Des.,”it is possible to make allowances for people who cannot eat any of these “meats”& use only chicken, without altering the taste, too much. How we can do this, is anybody’s guess”!!
The other condiments in a typical lamprias are Brinjal Pahi, Seeni Sambol, and, of course the Frikkadels & Blachan. Ash Plantains cubed, fried & cooked in a ‘white-curry’, could be added later, but are not compulsory.
The rice, itself should be the finest “smallest-grain” rice.
Bullets like Milchard should never be used because it could choke you, and “a choke, is never a joke”. The rice must then be cooked in a good, rich, home-made stock. This “Stock” must be made at home, nowhere else, and the necessary spice added, of course. “Lankan Spice is very nice”.
Everything is then packed (in small portions) in a SINGLE PIECE of banana leaf, simply because if there are two pieces, all you would be eating, would be banana-leaf,(the portions are so small). The single piece of banana leaf must then be folded NEATLY, then baked until the aroma & flavour of the lamprais permeates right through the parcel.
That, my friends, is a Lamprais.
To finish this wonderful Dutch Burgher Recipe, please remember, to NEVER insult a Lamprais-eater by adding a hard-boiled egg, or FISH, of any kind. Change any of the details provided & all you will have will be a “Rice-Packet”.
It is supposed to be a 14 Carat Music Publication, but to me, this is quite definitely a 24 Carat Gold “Country Song”.
He is certainly my favourite “Country Singer” at the moment.
Seems that NO song he sings could even come under the category of “average”. Again, something very different, from Gene Watson. “(For a little while), I forget you, everyday”.
Superb lyrics, from another Icon, Merle Haggard, who recorded the song himself & “appears” in this one, along with yet another favourite of mine, Ray Price, both of whom are now “knocking out the angels” in Heaven’s “Old Opry”, Gene sings this song, as only a “Singer’s Singer” can do.
To say that he is a “National Treasure” of America, gives my readers of eLanka a rare insight of how a song must be presented & sung.
Talk until you go “blue in the face”, but this is my kind of Music. Listen to the lyrics, friends. “Mem’ries is a gift, man can’t live without, and, at times we can’t control the things we think about, so, sometimes I remember you, in every way
but, for a little while, I forget you, everyday” WHO can write beautiful, meaningful lyrics such as these?, WHO can sing the lyrics, backed by the BEST Musicians in America, complete with the “crying” “pedal-steel” guitar, among other perfectly tuned instruments, none other than Gene Watson.
Finally, the “on again”, “off again” Singapore Summit, is “on again”. The President of the United States of America,
“Dapper-Don” Trump & The “Supreme Leader” of North Korea, “Son of a gun”, Kim Jong -Un, who assumed his new “title” after his Grandfather Kim IL-Sung was indeed the 1st President of North Korea. Really, his Grandfather should have “sung”another song, because his Grandson became widely known as “The Rocket-Man” who, in turn, swapped heated rhetoric with “Dapper-Don”who, in turn, snapped that he would suggest “Sanctions” which would cripple Korea, which, in turn, he DID. There is no need whatsoever, for me to go on, in turn, for evermore, because I am certain that everyone of my readers of eLanka will know what I am talking about.
The irony of it, is the fact that close to 20 million dollars has been spent,(more than half of it, on Security alone), by
Yaacob Bin Ibrahim of the Peoples’ Governing Action Party until 2020, (in Singapore), to host this “action party” for both “Don. & Kim”. 20 MILLION DOLLARS, from a Country that is supposed to be the best in the World, does not have to import or export anything & relies solely on tourism, a Country that, since Li Kwan Yew, could well be a shining example for even 1st World Countries like Australia, to follow. Still, this is probably the reason that this “Summit- Meeting” has been called for, in Sunny Singapore.
I have no doubt whatsoever, that this “Meeting” is simply to decide when & where the NEXT Meeting is to be held. To my way of thinking, ALL “Politicians & Political Leaders” love to travel the World, on taxpayers’ money. All of them try to “run” the Politics of “other Countries” while their own is steadily going down the plug-hole, the one & only difference being Singapore.
For the sake of World-Peace, I hope that this Meeting ends in a successful intercourse between the two leaders, but, with everything that has gone on, so far, I sincerely hope that the “Singapore Summit will not make me vomit”