“ALBERT EINSTEIN, NO LESS” ! – By Desmond Kelly ‘the Star of eLanka’

Link to the original story: Albert Einstein in Colombo and Negombo: October 1922 and January 1923 – By Kirthi Tennakone

Just taking my chance to “introduce” the great man who was Albert Einstein, no less! , through two other great men,  Professor Kirthi Tennakone, a gentleman I have not been privileged to meet, & James Alagaratnam, formerly an ex-Peterite, presently, an honoured O.B.U. member of our Alma-Mater in the little town of Bambalapitita, who now  resides in Canada. I have not only been privileged to talk with James, I now consider him a friend who will soon be also a “member” of eLanka which now proudly boasts over ten thousand regular members, who receive a regular “personal” newsletter weekly & the list is growing steadily. .
eLanka has thus far, been a website especially for “Lankan/Aussies” but is now steadily becoming a “household word” amoung Lankan Patriots around the World, so “welcome and aaubowan” I say to James.

     The story about the “other Professor” has been beautifully written by Kirthi Tennakone & kindly  forwarded to me by James Alagaratnam for inclusion on eLanka. We, i.e. James & myself are not sure if & when this very interesting story was published, but feel that it would make anyone that “missed it” very happy to be able to peruse it once more.

     We, Sri Lankans have been very fortunate, & indeed blessed to have many World-famous “Figures” living in that tiny little garden of Eden at some time or the other. People such as James, in Canada, Victor Melder in Melbourne, Jude (Goonewardane) in London & lucky old me, will do our best to bring the readers of eLanka stories such as the one on “ALBERT EINSTEN” No less!

By Desmond Kelly ‘the Star of eLanka’

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“THE NAKED TRUTH” by Desmond Kelly ‘the Star of eLanka’

Thank you “Special Broadcasting Services”.

You are “Special”. In an age where comedy on television is as bleak as a cold Winters day, where the usual four-letter epithets HAVE to make an entry in order to obtain an inane “laugh”, where “jokes” are as dull as a rainy afternoon, where,—-never mind Des, just get down to your bloody story! !, ok, ok. (what an impatient lot, you are).

Anyway, speaking of a cold Winters day, reminds me of the “Doco”., I have just had the.privilege of watching on SBS. entitled “The Naked Village”. Granted, it was “shown” @ around 10pm & granted, I only watched it because there was nothing else to watch and my “sleep-pattern” is extremely erratic, I was happy that I did. This very funny documentary was filmed at a “Resort” near Albany, in England, featuring many “nameless” men & women, naive, or amusingily simple “naturists” running around and doing things, buck-naked (they call everyone who dresses-up, “textiles”).

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by Desmond Kelly ‘the Star of eLanka’

As the years go by, too quickly it seems for those who wish to remember a beautiful little Island in the Indian ocean, hanging like a teardrop at the southern end of India, I find that being able to remember places as they were, even long before I was born, is a gift, not given to most people, and even more, to be able to read and “put down in writing” my own versions of the “treasures” this little Country possesses, in the twilight of my own life, is very special indeed.

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Lo! , & behold. Another new English “dual-word”.

My criticism of another silly “problem” going on in our Federal Parliment Rooms at the moment. First and foremost, before anybody gets another silly comment in about my “wide” knowledge on Censuses and our “Parlimentary-Procedure,” I have to put it down in writing, that I know next to nothing about our Federal Government business in Australia. However I say “next to nothing”, because, indeed, I do know a little something, (it’s called common-sense), as a matter of fact, I do know a FEW LITTLE SOMETHINGS that go on in Parliment, each time they “sit” on their comfortable chairs. At the moment, the flavour of the month is “Dual-Citizenship” of Parlimentarians and the flavour is “chillie-hot”. Aussie Pollies are a “special lot”.!

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Image source: Wikipedia

     Two lines of a song,” once upon a time”, ending with “never comes again”, sung by the multi-talented, very handsome Bobby Darin, gave me the idea for this particular “article”, written especially for my fellow- entertainers of Sri Lanka. Once again folks, just TWO lines of a meaningful SONG, say so very much.

As “entertainers” which carry a gamut of talented professions, we are all born into this World for one purpose ONLY, this being to “entertain” others on the “lower rungs” of life’s ladder. I only use the term “lower rungs” because of the fact that, as entertainers, WE are generally seen “on-stage, screen, or television”.

There may be Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers or Scientists in the “audience” out there, but entertainers are, in a manner of speaking, on a “higher level” & the much more affluent, highly educated, influential audience have actually PAID to see or hear you perform. Firstly, do not disappoint them . YOU are there to entertain THEM, not yourself.

     Secondly, speaking from the point of view of entertainers, & I consider myself to be one, after about 75 long years of experience, TOO  many Sri Lankan bands, groups & even very good vocalists in their own right, try to “copy” those abroad but can never come up to expectations because, for a start, most of “our mob”, going back to the 40s & 50s now, only had “showbiz” as a part-time occupation. Professional Musicians & Entertainers do nothing else. Part-time people never did have enough hours in which to hone their craft. Because of this, many were under the impression that IF they could “sound” like a Glenn Miller “big band” , they would be more accepted, get more work at hotels etc., & earn more money. So, they then practiced “The Moonlight Sonata” which was the Glenn Miller Theme Song, until they were “blue in the face”. Unless you were a band like “The Millionaires”, you didn’t have a hope of the G.Miller Orchestra & even the “Millionaires” were part-time Musicians who were superb, playing as the fabulous Millionaires. What I am trying to say here is “don’t copy”.  It was happening THEN & it is still happening NOW. Lankan “Vocalists” want to sing & sound like Elvis, Englebert, Tom Jones, Nat King Cole, Shirley Bassey . Dancers are all supposed to be “like Michael Jackson etc., rubbish.!, Those were the “original Stars & no-one, Lankan or otherwise will ever be able to “touch them”. Many years ago, at a hotel in Melbourne, I was told that I sounded very much like Jim Reeves.
How I wish this was so. I did a lot of “Country -Songs” in a lower key (musically speaking) because I didn’t want to screech out the lyrics, but, Jim Reeves? !!, not in a million years. There was only ONE Jim Reeves.

I DO “pay tribute” to many varied Artistes on my various recordings, & this is perfectly alright. I DO NOT go around thinking I am “them”. I do not try to “copy” anyone. This is a definite “no-no” to Lankan Musos, and especially the “Western-Style” entertainers.
“Sinhala & Tamil” entertainers are fine, as far as I am concerned, No-one can copy them & I don’t think anyone tries. To “copy” a large Sinhala or Tamil word or enlongated phrase, anyone will have to be either word-perfect or drunk.

Thirdly, & finally, it seems such a shame that MOST of our top Entertainers come into the World & then “leave”, far too early. Dozens of the International Stars like Elvis & Michael Jackson, who come to mind at once, are just a couple who “stood-out” in my opinion.Fast living, drugs & medications to “keep awake”, generally take it’s toll & even the best of medical men & facilities could not prevent these sad early deaths.

As far as “Lankans” were concerned, two of the BEST Vocalists, again, in my.opinion, left our Planet far too early. They were Cliff Foenander & Denis Roberts. Both were “front-men” for many bands who were lucky to have their services. Both were very good friends of mine & I was privileged to know them . God bless you both, Cliff & Denis.

     Bobby Darin was an American who grew up in poverty after his father passed away when he was very young and he grew up thinking that his mother was his sister & his grandmother, who brought them up, his mother. He decided to be a “Star” before he was ten years old, played guitar & drums, sang & entertained, was always brash, almost cocky with his talents, and deservedly so, because he was exceptionally good at what he did. He sang, wrote “hits” like “18 Yellow Roses” & “You’re the reason I’m living” as “Country Hits”, amoung others, “acted” in a film with Sandra Dee, in which he sang the beautiful “title” of this “story” which should help everyone who reads this article to remember that,  whoever you are & however good you are, as an Entertainer, anywhere, “ONCE UPON A TIME, NEVER COMES AGAIN”. Be yourself, do what you do, do well, my friends Bobby Darin was only 37 years old, when he died.

Desmond Kelly.
Star of eLanka.
desmond kelly



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ODD-JOBS by Desmond Kelly

Seems a shame that so many of our “Pollies” are now losing their jobs because, for one reason or another, they have been proven to have Dual-Citizenships. Right from the top-post of “deputy P.M” down to your ordinary Parlimentarians, ancestors of some, have been born somewhere else. Seems a shame, because, where else would one WANT to be born? . This Country is STILL the best in the World, the “lucky Country”, unfortunately unlucky for a few of the above & who knows how many others who may face the same fate in the future? Not everyone will be able to continue in the Political field, like our deputy P.M.

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“DRIVEN TO DRINK” – by Desmond Kelly ‘the Star of eLanka’

With everything that is happening around the World at the moment, most of what we hear about today, is nothing but bad news. As we grow older, the natural progression of everything around us is expected. However, The Australia that most of us, Burghers from Ceylon migrated to, was so very different, in so many ways, it is nearly impossible to imagine that, in barely half a century, education of the young,general living conditions, employment, medical benefits, nursing homes, palliative care, right down to undertakers’ yes, everything has changed & changed drastically, I must add.

     This writer lived one hectic lifetime of 26 years in Ceylon, came to Melbourne (in the middle of a “White-Australia-Policy) only because I was a “sickly-white” colour after “having to leave” because of a “Sinhala-only” Policy, which meant that my skin had to be slightly darker & because my children would have had to do everything in Sinhala or face a jobless future.

So we decided to come to Australia, where English was the spoken language, went out to buy myself a second-hand car, & was informed that I should try “LINES MOTORS” in Dandenong, only to find out, after much searching that it was “LANES MOTORS”. So now, after escaping the Sinhala-only predicament, I had to learn how to speak “Orstralian”, not English. My dear dad, coming out of his front door to go to work one morning was greeted by his Aussie neighbour who asked him “how are you going? “, my dad replied “hello, I am going by bus to the Dandenong Station and then taking the train to Melbourne”. The neighbour was slightly perplexed. Not only that. He did not know what the hell Carlo Kelly was talking about.

     I have, to this moment, lived another hectic TWO lives in Australia,(55 years),  put up with a lot of terribly bad news but, being the optimist I have always been, will endeavour to inform all my “Burgher-Buddies” in Oz., (most of whom have a habit of “bending their elbows”, too much), the very good news of how to stop doing this forthwith, not only that, but at once.!

Exactly one year before I was born, on the 2nd of July, 1935, “Alcoholics Anonymous” was founded. A New York Stockbroker, simply named Bill W (all A.A. members only use initials for their surnames), an alcoholic, who had stopped drinking because of a “spiritual experience”, aided a Physician named Dr.Bob
to stop drinking. During a business trip to Acron, O., Bill W. met Dr.Bob., & shared with him, his own experiences as a hopeless alcoholic ( & I know quite a few myself ), & his method of recovering from this disease. Suffering ftom a severe hangover, a still woozy, Dr.Bob had his last drink in the eventide of the 10th of June, 1935 . The next day, with Bill W., Dr.Bob founded what is known as “Alcoholics Anonymous.

Neither Bill W., who lived until 1971 nor Dr.Bob., who lived until 1950, ever touched a drink again. The Fellowship they founded, based on the concept of alcoholics helping each other, now has close to two million members. Please remember my friends,   “Don’t drink & drive, if you want to stay alive & don’t think I make a fuss, join “A.A. if you wish to SURVIVE”.

                                                                    Desmond Kelly
                                                                    Star of eLanka.

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“BREAKING NEWS”!!! by Desmond Kelly ‘the Star of eLanka’

desmond kelly

That is what we NEED right now in Australia. Some Bloody “breaking news”. Now that the little “rocket-man” has gone a.bit quiet, President Trump is concentrating more on “Presiding” rather than “sacking’ or “tweeting”, President Putin is “putting-in” more time at the “Russian” Parliment instead of just “rushing” out to confront Trump, Channel 10, in Melbourne is concentrating on some woman who “bared her boobs” for whatever reason, and Shane Warne being the next “bachelor”(all very interesting news, but, at the same time, a lot of rubbish), we DO need something that can stir the lethargy in our brains.

CATALONIA in Spain, has been the “top” headlines on Melbourne television for the past few weeks. That is certainly “big news” in Catalonia, Barcelona & Spain, but what the hell has it got to do with Hampton Park, Melbourne & Australia? , I really don’t know. I do know however, that there is “Royalty” in Spain. They do have a Spanish King & Queen, but shouldn’t we worry a little more on the “Royalty” in Britain, where both Queen Elizabeth 2, & her “Cavalier-Consort” Prince Phillip are now in the.process of getting somewhat  old, in the job, Prince Charles is concentrating more on Camilla & while Prince William is making more babies, Prince Harry is not too far from making his first,(after he gets married, of course). So much for Royalty. We have to now “think deeply”about becoming a “Republic”. When that happens we will have to have some “Goth-Food”(whatever the hell that is!), showing on Studio 10 even as I write this, with Chef Nick Whitehouse, which reminds me, for our dear Lord’s sake, President J.F.K. has been sadly “gone” now, for decades. Let the man rest in peace now, instead of trying to probe into why Harvey Oswald killed him. He was a very good President, was J.F.K. & you can believe this or not, my dear readers, when this writer first recorded the ONLY Original English Music Composition from Ceylon  to be accepted by the giant Philips Corporation in Eindhoven, Holland, at the time, I sent a copy of the disc. to President Kennedy, and it was acknowledged & later “Dreamworld” became one of the favourite songs of the First Lady of that era, Jacquie Kennedy.

President Trump has far more important things to do than opening up hundreds of files on the past asassination of a really great predecessor. As for Lee Harvey Oswald’s mind? , who cares.! He was shot dead a week later anyway. Serves him right for shooting President Kennedy, in the first place.

Yes, finally, here is some really “top” breaking news, especially for my “older readers”. I have been sitting here, writing interesting, but exhaustive true stories for the biggest/best website for Lankan/Aussies everywhere, ” eLanka” (remember the name well, my friends), when I felt really stiff & tired. Since I cannot actually “go” to a “massage-parlour” (for a massage), you evil- minded  ones, I decided to get myself a “Bliss”-ful armchair that, at the pressing of a button on the “remote” provided, would give me the total massage possible, to get me re-writing, so I ordered one, on line. That was the biggest mistake I made. To make a long story short, this “massage” never took place because, even after the most terrible “service” provided, the bloody armchair failed to work at all, as the remote-control went “remote” on me and wouldn’t work electronically, “at all”. I suppose, if it was an “Electric-Chair”, it might have been different & I wouldn’t be writing this at all (“thank God”, you say)!!

“Breaking News”, my good readers, take a tip and NEVER ever buy stuff such as this, “untried”. Go and sit in the armchair advertised,  press the remote, get.your full massage, then buy the bloody thing if you can get a 5 year warranty on it. Must sign off now as I am getting “stiff & sore”, once more.

.     Desmond Kelly    .
.     .                                    Star of eLanka.

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Little Known Facts – by Desmond Kelly Star of eLanka

desmond kelly

As we go through life, we sometimes seem to “miss” certain important events that either took place, or were taking place right below our noses. The reasons for this were wide & varied. Quite possibly, we were too young to worry about “World Events”, especially in Lanka, there were far more fascinating things to do, like spending our weekends at the glorious beaches, having a thosai-feed at the “Saraswathi-Lodge”, or going to the “Majestic Theatre” to see “pictures” starring people such as Robert Taylor & Ava Gardner, sitting in the ” Gallery-seats”, craning our necks upward as the “bugs” kept biting the bottoms of our thighs, because most of us guys wore “shorts” at the time.

Another reason for missing World news, apart from what was “shown” on the theatre-screen before the film came on(after the interval), was the fact that most of us did not care to “read” period.! Here, I was a little different because I loved books & from a very young age read, or, at least, tried to read everything I could lay my hands on, in my spare time. To me, reading is an “education” in itself. “Fiction” is fine, but this depends solely on the book and/or it’s writer. “Fact” is a four-letter word which, unless it is “fake-news” as the present President of the United States of America likes to call it, is the plain & simple truth.

Being an.old Royal Ceylon Navy man, here is a true story that many of my good readers would not know about, or, have long forgotten. In the 1946 election, for Representatives of the 12th Congressional District of California, Jerry Voorhis, both a rich “Liberal” & a good man,(sounds impossible but it was true), decided to run for a 6th term, for the “Democrats”. The “Republicans” had no one to oppose him. To find a Candidate, a Committee of one hundred largely wealthy Republicans was organized. They prepared an “advertisement” & placed it in all of their newspapers at the time. (eLanka was a long way off, then), It read, in part, “Wanted” a Congressman Candidate with no previous political experience!, (what the!!,) to defeat a man who has represrnted the District in the House for 10 years. Any young man, resident of the District, preferably a veteran, fair education, can apply for the job. How in blazes could this “young man” be a “veteran”, I’ll never know. Anyway, there were eight applicants. All were “voted down”. A former President of Whittler College in the area then suggested an eager young lawyer & Navy- man, (strangely, in the Royal Ceylon Navy, much later, these guys were referred to as “Sea-Lawyers”), named Richard M.Nixon as a possibility. Herman Perry, a Whittler banker located 33 year old Nixon in Baltimore and asked him if he was a Republican. Nixon replied that he had voted for Thomas Dewey in the 1944 Presedential race. The Committee brought Richard back to Whittler. By a vote of 55 to 22 Richard Nixon was selected as the Republican Candidate.

At the start, Voorhis was considered invincible. He was termed a “New-Deal” Liberal who detested Communism. Everybody, including Nixon liked & admired him, but Nixon decided that he would try his best to defeat him,anyway.” For vicious irresponsibility”, wrote Thomas White, “there were very few campaigns like Nixon’s first attack on Voorhis. Richard smeared Voorhis as a “red-tool” and smashed him, 64,784 votes to 49,431. Nixon was on his way to the White-House, the Presidency, and ultimate disgrace. A former Officer of the British Royal Navy who “opened many gates” as President of the United States, to finally “end-up” closing with “water-gate”

Any “typo-errors” regretted.

Desmond Kelly.
Star of eLanka.

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“Goodbye to a rock n roll legend” FATS DOMINO

by Desmond Kelly

desmond kelly

And so we say “goodbye” to another rock n roll legend, Fats Domino, born Feb.26,1928 & died on Oct.25th 2017, aged 89 years. A pianist, singer, song-writer, of New Orleans-style music, he will be remembered for many songs, one of the best being Blueberry Hill. His full name was Antoine Domino Jnr., affectionately nicknamed “Fats” because of his chubby look, he would sit down at a piano, play & sing in his own inimitable style, either “backing” dozens of other vocalists or doing his “solo” rock numbers with a flair, all of his own. He reminded me very much of another piano-legend of Lanka by the name of Gerry Crake.

Legends such as these, make for “original rock & roll music”, who could play any other type of music as well, making the old “piano” talk.Fats had a thumping style of playing & his music had even the “King of Pop”

Elvis Presley complimenting him on his efforts. He sold over 110 million records. His “boogie-woogie” hits and his easy laid-back style of singing made everything sound so easy, but the fact of the matter was that only people like Fats could make very popular entertainment sound & look easy. Whenever I backed myself on keyboards, especially if I tried a Fats Domino style song, I did it as a tribute to the great man.

The song “Judy” was recorded by me as a tribute to both Elvis & Fats Domino.

Some of the Fats Domino songs HE will always be remembered for are, “Blue Monday”, “I want you to know”, “Blueberry Hill” & “Walking to New Orleans”, to name just a few. “AIN’T IT A SHAME” Fats Domino. You are now gone, but rest in peace now. God bless you. Desmond Kelly.

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