by Desmond Kelly ‘the Star of eLanka’

Two lines in a Country-Music song of the 80’s say it like this. “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s where you lay the blame” That one was a Country love song, of course, but the correct English Phrase reads “it’s not whether you win or lose, it is HOW YOU PLAY THE GAME”.

So, Australia won the “Ashes” this year by beating England & congratulations are in order for their effort in doing so. As I have said before, I am a Lankan/Aussie now, and so are my two eldest sons. In addition, I “added” to the Australian population, another daughter & youngest son, who are both “dinkum Aussies”. As such, we should ALL be “barracking” for Australian Sportsmen, Women & Teams, but, although most Aussies carry the “Cyclops-Syndrome” around with them, I don’t. Every reader of eLanka MUST know, by now, that this writer says it like it is. I do think that Australia, the World’s most prominent Sporting Nation has, by far, the best proponents in almost every “sport”partaken of, but it must also be remembered that being the most multicultural Nation in the World as well, many of these Sports-People, including Aboriginals, like Lionel Rose, for instance, are the reason that Australia tops the sporting ladder.

Getting back to the cricket, I am disappointed that recent Aussie teams EXPECT to win every single game they play.

They do not care how they do it. They are the masters of “sledge”, if their bowlers cannot hit the wickets of an opposing batsman, they try to knock his head off, they bowl bouncer after bouncer at even tail-end batsmen, bowlers “mime” choice epithets, batsmen don’t “walk” until pushed, fieldsmen curse their Captain silently when he keeps moving them around(especially when there is a R/H batsman at one end & a L/H batsman at the other) & he has to, of course. Aussie Umpires (with hair & without hair), try to STOP Murali’s balls, even before they are bowled.

It has got to stop somewhere. I AM in awe of great Australian Cricketers, especially when I was lucky enough to meet, shake hands & even chat with, certainly the greatest Cricketer in the World Sir Donald Bradman in 1962. Before he was knighted, Don Bradman was a Director of South Australian Rubber, in S/A., & “your’s truly was a Quality Controller at South Australian Rubber Mills, in Dandenong. Considering WHO he was, I found him to be the epitome of a “Gentleman”, in every sense of the word. THAT is what cricket is, boys, “A gentleman’s game” Play the game as it should be played. You win some, you lose some.

I will comment no further on the cricket, but let us switch to the “Tennis”.

He is a very good tennis player, is Nick, but personally, he is a pr–oops-prime example of a “poor-loser”. So far, he has done everything he should have been ashamed of. He has tried to make out that he was not interested in the game that has already made him a millionaire, he has ranted & “raved” at the ball-boys & girls on Court, argued with nearly every “Referee” he has set eyes on, smashed so many quality tennis racquets, I have lost count of them. He goes stark raving mad whenever he loses a match, but the teeth appear in a none too frequent smile, whenever he wins.

To be fair, he seems to be “trying to change” in his old age, but, as recently as yesterday, still had a go at his own staff, telling them that they had not “strung” his final match-losing game, as they should have. Nick, it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s where you lay the blame ?, isn’t it. Good luck with your next game, my advice to you is ” don’t smash any more racquets man, they are beginning to get even more expensive nowadays. Play the game, don’t lay the blame.

Desmond Kelly.
Star of eLanka.

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“DREAM-WORLD” (Revisited) By Desmond Kelly ‘the Star of eLanka’

     The song is well-known, as is the “Songwriter”,who got into the habit of writing songs for “special girlfriends”simply because “presents”(decent ones), were too expensive to buy, in Ceylon at the time, and, although it got him into trouble, sometimes, this did not cost him anything at all.

“Dream-World” was written by this songwriter at the birth of the fabulous 1950’s at number 38 Lorensz Road, Bambalapitiya, in Colombo, after this enamoured young man who was 15 at the time, had met this beautiful 14 year old girl who lived at number 10, on the same road.

He had a dream one night, about this same young lass & the rest was easy. It was just after midnight, & while he had never studied the “theory” of music, “tunes” would come into his head, and he would then compose the lyrics to fit the tune. It was very lucky that this songwriter had an exceptional memory. Once he completed the song, lyrics written in pencil in an old school exercise book, (as this was), he never forgot it. Dream-World was written in about 45 minutes, sung to the girl in private when she came to see him via the “rear alley” of their homes, the next day. He told her that he had this “present” for her, and sang it to her, accompanied by his old ukelele. She loved it, even though the song itself was “far advanced” in it’s outlook. 

     Later, Dream-World was “recorded” with this songwriter’s Singing Group called the “Semi-tones”, picked up by one of the biggest International Recording Company’s at the time, called Philips, in Holland, actually presold many thousands of copies (it was a little 45 rpm disc), before even arriving in Ceylon, went straight into the Ceylon Hit Parade on the Commercial Service, reached the “top” of the Parade in record time, keeping Elvis Presley’s “Don’t be cruel” in 2nd place for a few weeks, before then going into the “Binaca Hit Parade” in India & again, heading for the top in record time.

     The songwriter, by this time, had joined the Royal Ceylon Navy, had got married to another very pretty girl, for whom he wrote the song “Cha-cha-baby”which she liked until she was “teased” so much about it, she decided to lay claim to Dream-World, as well. The songwriter only agreed to this because the girl he had written it for, had since gone on to the U.S.A. to be the 2nd runner-up to Miss Universe,1956.

The “Singing Sailor” then decided to send a copy of Dream-World to the President-elect, at the time, thru the American 

Embassy in Colpetty, did get his acknowledgement for it, & was exceptionally proud when told that Dream-World had now become one of the favourite songs of another beautiful Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy. 

     There have been many versions of Dream-World recorded. The songwriter however, prefers the “revisited” version. He hopes that all of his readers will like the eLanka version & make some comments about it. 

desmond kelly

Desmond Kelly.

                                                                      Star of eLanka.


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Man’s Best Friends

By Desmond Kelly ‘the Star of eLanka’



The well-known phrase used to be in the singular, as far as “friends”was concerned, and they still are. Dogs of all sizes, breeds, temperaments, whatever, once you are “owned” by one, he/she is still quite possibly, the best companion man could ever have, and I talk from personal experience. I have had many dogs, male & female, during my life, until now. My biggest regret is, that because of a medical condition, and because of my “old-age”, I am not able to keep any pets at all, as if you have a pet, they rely on you to look after them. I have had, and trained, several German Shepherds, used them for my work as a Security Officer, have had about three of them as personal “pets” at home, in Melbourne, I have even “owned” a Great Dane, many of the larger breeds of first class “Mongrels”, and finally, I “took on” Bobby, a tiny little Silky Terrier, who was much more aggressive (with anyone else), who would even come close to me. He was certainly not popular with the rest of my immediate family either, as he had “attacked” them all, at one time or, more often, the other. Bobby was “my dog”, and went out of his way, to show it. He died of old age, I loved him more, I suppose, because, at heart, I am a confirmed animal-lover. I love all animals, from Elephants to the tiniest mouse, birds, from the Eagle to the Sparrow, Ducks & “Chooks”(and look at the way THEY are treated now). Little “black-ants” are my pets now. I watch them in amazement, as the little “Regiments” wend their way around my kitchen, under the tiling, only coming out at night for the little bits of poached egg-white I leave on the window sill, for them. At the moment, they must be the fattest little black ants in Melbourne.

While I am on the subject, except for my immediate family (my three boys & one girl), I regret to say, that genuine “friends” of mine can be counted on the fingers of one hand. They come & go, like flakes of snow, and where to ?, I will never know. Sad ?, yes, depressing ?, No. I have no time to be depressed folks, too busy, writing for eLanka.

I am 82 years old, this year (2018), have already had at least two “hectic” lives, 26 years of them in Ceylon, “My lovely Island Home”, & now, 56 doubly hectic years in Australia.

Without any “bragging” whatsoever, the details of some of the “been there, done that”, syndrome will “suddenly” appear from time to time in my “writings”, so let us now concentrate on “Man’s best friends”. Now & again, I still receive the odd e’mail that catches my attention. Of the dozens that I do get, there are those that are far too poignant to delete, and so, because I would love to share them with my readers, I also say “thank you” to Neil Jayasekera , the owner of “eLanka” who coordinates my efforts in bringing you, our readers these very special video “clips” for your enjoyment and/or entertainment. I say again, there is NO financial gain whatsoever, as regards these special “clips” which are not the property of eLanka, BUT are “out there” on the Internet, on You-tube, & the like, anyway..

Please watch these “clips” if you have already not done so, enjoy them (because this is what they are for) & please DO make your “comments” which I will either “archive” or “delete” on the spot, depending on what they are, of course

If you have any “clips” that you may like to see given even more publicity, send them to me on & I will do my best to put in some “background scenario” & let our eLanka members & readers enjoy them also. I do not guarantee that all “clips” will be shown. I do my best to pick the best ones, and here are two if them.

Desmond Kelly

Star of eLanka.

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by Desmond Kelly ‘the Star of eLanka’

That is how silly the present Media is getting, folks.

The Milk-Shake Duck going viral, and, serve them right, they ARE racist, because they forgot (on purpose)to mention Sri Lanka’s “Aleric”s”, without any doubt, whatsoever, the BEST Milk-Shake-Makers in the World, where, on exceptionally special occasions, this writer would share one, with one of the most beautiful girls of the 50’s era (from Ceylon, of course), after “cutting-College” (St.Peter’s of Bambalapitiya),

making a bee-line for the ” Holy Family Convent”, also in Bambalapitiya, in the early PM, to help her carry her books, walk together on the beach, until we arrived at Kinross Avenue, which led up to the Galle Road, cross over, turn left, and there you are, Aleric’s. Nobody knew HER then, nobody knew ME either, but, had her father caught me there with her

I would quite possibly not be writing this right now. We were both very young, you see, I was fifteen, she was fourteen. 

There will be a much more “detailed” story coming up on eLanka soon. The “title” of the “song-video-clip” for that one will definitely be “Young Love”, but, stick to the bloody story you are writing NOW Des!!, this one is about Milkshake DUCKS, what the?!!. Never mind all the “crap”, that is going on. Our “English” in Australia, our Step-Mother-Land, should be getting better, not worse. 

For a start, “Milkshake Duck” consists of TWO bloody words, unless, like I WAS, the Media is also pretty rotten at arithmetic. EVEN I know that this “new phrase” unless we prefer to use it “Verbally” as  “Milkshake, duck”!, has TWO separate words. Is the World going senile before I do ?.

Please don’t answer that, because I already know what you are going to say. 

Digressing now, as my favourite Author Leon Uris occasionally does, I now come to another favourite “Country Singer” of mine, Tom.T.Hall (the storyteller), as he is known, who sings for all you lucky eLanka viewers, this relevant song, “I love”(little baby ducks). Whether or not, he also loved milkshakes, I haven’t a clue, but here goes, folks,

Chuckle the wrinkles from your face, listen, watch & enjoy.


The Story-teller.

Desmond Kelly.

Star of eLanka

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by Bernard VanCuylenburg.

During the colonial period of the lat 1930’s, a tea plantation in the Madulkelle district Relugas Estate, was the place where what appeared to be a simple act of insubordination by an assistant superintendent, was to have far reaching consequences and wider ramifications not only for the company concerned, but for the colonial government of the time and a left leaning socialist political party called the “Lanka Sama Samaja Party”, (The Lanka Socialist Party) popularly known as the LSSP. The “David” in this case was a young assistant superintendent named Mark Bracegirdle and the “Goliath” was the government of the day – at first glance an uneven match.

The Superintendent of this particular estate Mr.H.D.Thomas was badly in need of an assistant, and he petitioned the company accordingly. As was the modus operandum of the day, a young Englishman Mark Bracegirdle was recruited from overseas and after he arrived in Ceylon and spent two days at the Agency House, where the director of tea inducted him into what a planter’s duties entailed. He was then sent to another estate for a stint of ‘creeping’. When he had completed his creeping to the satisfaction of the superintendent of that estate and the company, he finally arrived to take up duties at Relugas estate in Madulkelle to the relief of the superintendent.

Remember his name well. It is a name that figured prominently not only in the tea industry of that period, but also in political, business and government circles. Mark Bracegirdle did not come from England, though he was English in origin. He came from Australia ! His mother and he emigrated to Australia from England in 1925 and when he grew up he trained as a farmer. He also joined the Australian Young Communist League — As history will show, his political leanings were to have a dramatic impact on his life in Ceylon. Settling in well, Bracegirdle went to work with vim, vigour and a hearty dose of enthusiasm. He got his hands dirty often as he did not believe in giving instructions and supervising. He would prune,weed, move stones in new clearings, lop trees, and sometimes pluck to the amusement of the women pluckers, and physically was

hyper active ! He was particularly sympathetic to complaints by the labourers, especially if such complaints were about their line rooms whenever repairs were needed. He was always accessible, and before long became the idol or pin up boy of the entire labour force ! He even visited the line rooms of the labour and shared their meals with them.

Mr.Thomas was aghast ! This was something unheard of in the days when the English Planters ruled their estates like some petty fiefdom and “never the twain would meet”, with apologies to Mark Twain. Meanwhile, he kept an eagle eye on Bracegirdle’s progress and concluded that although he was an exemplary worker and a cut above the rest as far as Assistant Superintendents were concerned, his attitude and behaviour to the established norms of the social structure were out of character. He had no idea of the mini revolution looming on the horizon which would rock this estate to its very roots !!

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“COUNTRY COUSINS” EXTRAORDINAIRE by Desmond Kelly ‘the Star of eLanka’

 It has certainly been an extraordinary week for me.

To start off, after many a long year, I have been able to contact a long-lost cousin, also living in Melbourne, someone who I remember as an extremely talented pianist,

Audrey will not mind the mention of her name because, even though we have been “out of touch” for so long, it is good that, in the twilight of our lives, we have managed to find each other again.

      If the title of this article is mistaken for the fact that we are the ‘Country Cousins’ are the ones who originally migrated to Australia from Ceylon, a humble apology.

Although I am not certain that Audrey loves “Country Music”

like I do, music, in general, has been part & parcel of our families. Some of us also “sing” a little, although, as a “singer”, my younger brother Ian (who lives in Lanka now), makes a very fine “swimmer”.

      This “story” however, is all about two famous “first cousins”, Jerry Lee Lewis & Mickey Gilley, both, superb at what they do, and “featured for you”. Jerry, of course, needs no introduction at all, being the last of a very few entertainers (unfortunately), to grace this Planet of ours.

Mickey is only slightly less-known, probably because he is a few years younger, but he, too, is a superb entertainer, 

      I have to add that, although J.L.Lewis came to fame with his “whole lotta shakin goin on”, I have always preferred him as a “Country” singer & pianist. Not many of my eLanka readers know this, but Jerry Lee Lewis NEVER ever sings a version of any of his “recordings” the same way, twice. For example, even on stage, if he sang “Crazy”(the song), on Monday, on Tuesday, it HAD to be a completely new arrangement of the same song. This was why he constantly drove his backing musicians “crazy”. His piano-playing was self-taught, but even Audrey & any other “Classical-Pianist” will have to agree that both THESE Cousins  are “Top-Class”

In what they do.  Nuff said. I will now let the you-tube clip I have chosen for all you good people, do the talking.

                                                                       Desmond Kelly –   Star of eLanka.




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“ROCK EXPLOSION”& THE SHAKING HEARTS” – By Desmond Kelly ‘the Star of eLanka’


What a way to start 2018.!  Welcome my friends,fans, family and each & every reader of eLanka. It has been quite an year, now well & truly past, thank goodness.

We, @ eLanka have tried our best to keep you up to date with all the news, both from Lanka & Australia.

We have endeavoured to bring you “stories” that matter to everyone of us. We have had “top” health-hints from Dr.Harold Gunatillake, interesting excerpts from Victor Melder, dozens of photographs to look at in the special eLanka “Gallery”, “flyers” that practically fly out to you, special articles about “events” taking place, both in Lanka & Australia, you name it folks, eLanka has it.  I’ll say no more. Please join us. To become a member, simply contact Neil Jayasekera at eLanka, & he’ll do the rest. At the moment, we have about 11.000 of them & a special “hello” to all of you.

Everyone knows that I am a confirmed “Country Music” lover. I love Country Music because it truly is “The Story Of Life”, as we know it. There are dozens of.other genres of Music, all of them “passable” IF the Musicians presenting them, know their stuff. For instance, the song “From a Jack to a King” originally written as a “Country-Song” by Ned Miller was a global favourite that a dozen or more “Country Greats” has recorded,  going as far back as the 1950s. I have taken the trouble to listen to ALL of them and picked a particular version that is NOT orientated to “Country” at all, believe it or not. I am certainly not.into “Heavy Rock” but “Country Rock n Roll” is entirely something else again. Let us now begin the year 2018 with this song, “From a Jack to a King” by a band that I’ve heard for the very first time.”HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY”
Please watch,  listen to,  sing along on “You-Tube”:-


Desmond Kelly.

Star of eLanka.


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NT Young Australian of the Year 2018 – Kevin Kadirgamar
BY Desmond Kelly ‘the Star of eLanka’


     Excellent news. The new “Young Australian of 2018” is still another Lankan/Australian that all of us should be very proud of. His name, Kevin Kadirgamar, grandson of Rajan Kadirgamar, a former Principal of Jaffna College Sri Lanka, and incidentally, a relative of another Rajan Kadirgamar, a former “Captain of the Royal Ceylon Navy from 1960-1970.

     eLanka is happy to congratulate Kevin on his recent achievement & wish him all the very best for the future. He left his birthplace (Sri Lanka), to escape the civil conflict there, while still in his early teens &, as a result has a deep appreciation for the fact that, in Australia, through sheer hard work & determination, became a refugee & migration lawyer, and, in so doing, tries his utmost to alleviate the suffering of these unfortunate people.Thus, he did become “The voice of the vulnerable”

     As a “law-student” Kevin confounded “Multicultural Youth  N.T. Organisation, a youth-led group that promotes harmony and empowers young people to implement the necessary changes in their own Communities.

Now, Kevin, at the still very young age of 28, is a fully qualified lawyer, championing the rights of both migrants & refugees. He has been duly recognised for his outstanding pro-bono work on “high-profile” cases, fighting for the freedom of children & young people who have been held in 

“Immigration -detention” indefinitely. A former “Board-Member of many youth-justice & human-rights groups, Kevin mentors both students & junior solicitors through the Charles Darwin University, provides “gratis” migration advice every month, and is also the President of the multicultural Council of the Northern Territory.

     Kevin’s indefatigable efforts clearly demonstrate the very important role a lawyer can play in fundamentally changing the lives of others.

Once again, Congratulations Kevin Kadirgamar, eLanka & all Lankan/Aussies salute you.


                                                                       Desmond Kelly: ‘Star of eLanka’.


P.S APOLOGY to the original article, which has now been revised. My sincere apology to young Kevin Kadirgamar.


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Dear members & readers of eLanka, I have been extremely fortunate to meet, and, in turn, introduce all of you to Bernard VanCuylenberg, another good Dutch Burgher from Lanka, who, in my opinion, is a “Superb writer of Stories”, in poetic vein, “Bernard Van, is a man, who certainly can”.

There are not too many “writers” who are perfectionists.

Bernard is one of them and his expertise can now be shared by all of us. Every “story” coming in from Bernard will, of course, bear his name, as the writer. We are indeed lucky to have him write for us.  Desmond Kelly.


In contrast to the lyrical title of this article, I am compelled to refer to the writings of Celaleddin Rumi one of  the world’s greatest mystic philosophers who lived in the 13th century, in Turkey. His poetic and religious works mostly in Persian are some of the most beloved and respected in the Islamic world. He wrote “Jars of spring water are not enough. Take us down to the river !” In essence, what he was saying is that if you wish to get to the heart of the matter on any subject, go to the source. Do not be content with heresay or form your opinions and convictions by listening to others.

Growing up in that great educational institution by the river, Saint Anthony’s College in Kandy, my schoolmates and I were exposed to various genres of music   –  classical, pop, church music (particularly if one was a chorister) and oriental. Listening to the music of the day in college or at home during the holidays, and having read about the artistes and singers who influenced our musical tastes, and later played in bands after I left college, I harboured a desire to  – in some future time  –  go to the source where this music had its genesis. In October last year I gave wings to my dreams, literally.

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“IN SPAIN THEY SAY “SI SI” – By Desmond Kelly ‘the Star of eLanka’

In Spain, they say “si si’, in France they say ‘”vi vi”
Every little Dutch girl says “ya” “ya”
Every little Danish “doll” says “da”
But sweetheart, tell me why?
No matter how I try
Won’t you answer to my plea
Just say it in any language to me
When will you say “si si”.

Spanish is a.beautiful language, isn’t it? , this is why I have decided to “introduce” one of the more “modern” Artistes of the day, to all our “on-line” readers of eLanka. His name is Bryan Adams, popular, extremely well known, even to the older folk such as ” yours truly” another “Icon” to the younger ones, of course.


No, people, Bryan does not sing in Spanish, as a matter of fact, the little “verse” above has absolutely nothing to do with this “story” I write. However, Bryan has written a superb song with a fairly long “title”, asking a rather pointed question,very interesting though. “Have you ever really loved a woman”? Bryan obviously has, because, to write a song like the one I offer our readers, the answer would have to be “Yes”.

Everyone of my readers is fully aware that, as far as music is concerned, my own favourite is “Country”, but again, Bryan’s song is so very “special”, not only are there several versions of it, this amazing song has been chosen as the background music for a film, just as “Lara’s Theme” was the background for Dr.Zivago.

For eLanka readers everywhere, please ENJOY not only the “Spanish” version of the song I have picked for you, BUT ALSO the most beautiful Orchestrated version of “Music” that is unforgettable.



Desmond Kelly
Star of eLanka.



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