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“SMILE” by Des Kelly

Gone, but not forgotten. Judy Garland, mother of Liza Minelli (a “Star” that the younger folk will remember more of, I suppose), still, I remember Judy, who now rests in peace, after what was a most turbulent life.

Judy was an “artiste” who strived for perfection in everything she did. She was an actress, remembered for her roles with other “huge Hollywood Stars” such as Chaplin.

Charles was also “the “Comedian” of his era, although many folk are not aware that he was a brilliant musician as well.

I have chosen this “clip” of Judy Garland singing “Smile” as my personal choice, because it was associated with Charles Chaplins “Modern times” & also because this was in the era of 1936, the year this writer was born. Please enjoy the song folks, then sit back and SMILE at the wonderful photographs that should certainly make you feel happy that you are alive, and, at the same time, smooth the wrinkles in your face, simply because a “smile” works on every muscle in your face, thereby making it not only look happier, but younger as well.


Desmond Kelly.

Star of eLanka.


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Hathurusinghe brings glad tidings to Sri Lanka cricket – By Trevine Rodrigo (Melbourne)






Trevine Rodrigo (Melbourne)



Kusal Mendis in Action

Looking at Sri Lanka’s new-found confidence with the same group of players now showing their real potential is proof enough that there is no lack of talent in the Island nation. Just the inability of those guiding their fortunes being able to work on their mindset and subtle tinkering of their talent.

 The bowling which was of real concern appears to have been sorted out with the available talent led by veterans Suranga Lakmal and Rangana Herath at the helm ably supported by emerging stars Dhananjaya De Silva and Dilruwan Perera helping re-shape a reasonable attack.

 But what has been most heartening is the increasing consistency of their batsmen who hammered the Bangladesh attack for 713 for 9 in reply to the hosts 513. Kusal Mendis found timely form and Dhanjaya De Silva supported him with big centuries. From a dead track in Mipur the Bangladeshi curators then produced a vicious turner in Dhaka which saw their spinners restrict Sri Lanka to two 200 plus totals but the more seasoned Lankan Spinners ran riot to skittle them out for just over 100 twice to completely annihilate them.

 If there is a worrying factor at the moment it is the recurring injury to former skipper Angelo Matthews who is still a gun in all formats but for his injury issues. The continuing inconsistency of current skipper Dinesh Chandimal and Thisara Perera who could help make them once again the world beaters they once were is also concerning. Hathurusinghe’s clever mentoring could soon sort out their issues.

 A tri-nation T20 series with India and Bangladesh in March to mark Sri Lanka’s 70 years of Independence will give the Sri Lankans a measurement of their progress before the important tour to the West Indies after a decade for a three-match Test series in May and a home series against South Africa in July-August which will put their current position in true perspective.

 The Asia Cup in India in September and a home series against England in October/November caps off a busy year before the Lankans tour New Zealand for a Test and one-day series ahead of the World Cup in 2019.


Sri Lanka Future Tours itinerary.


Month Tournament Details
March 2018 Nidahas Trophy 2018 
Matches: 7 T20 matches including 1 final final 
Venue: Sri Lanka
Jun-Jul 2018 Sri Lanka tour of West Indies 2018 
Matches: 3 Test 
Venue: West Indies
Aug-Sep 2018 South Africa tour of Sri Lanka 2018 
Matches: 3 Test matches.atches 
Venue: Sri Lanka
September 2018 Asia Cup 2018 
Matches: 10 ODI and 1 Final match 
Venue: India
Oct-Nov 2018 England tour of Sri Lanka 2018 
Matches: 3 Test, 5 ODI and 1 T20 T20 
Venue: Sri Lanka
December 2018 Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand 2018
Matches: 2 Test, 3 ODI and 1 T20 T20
Venue: New Zealand



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Ashleigh Hays takes fresh food menu to new heights – By Jim Kellar

Source: Newcastle Herald

Four days ago Omar M of Dubai wrote a review on Trip Advisor about a trendy little place in Hikkaduwa on the south coast of Sri Lanka.

“While staying in Hikkaduwa, I ended up eating at Salty Swami’s 4 times in 5 days,” Omar wrote. “The quality of food, atmosphere, and service is head and shoulders above everywhere else we ate on our trip. 

“The staff are all very friendly, helpful, and the sign at the front that says “Open for Good Vibes’ cannot be more true. Everyone in Salty Swami’s seems to be having a good time, the people eating there, and the staff too. If you are in Hikkaduwa and you are looking for some great fresh food and some really good vibes, then this is the place to be.”

Naturally, that’s where you’ll find Ashleigh Hays in the kitchen. She’s a young cook who always has part of her soul in Newcastle where she learned the trade at some of the city’s hippest eateries, like Sprocket, One Penny Black and Scotties.

As followers of her instagram tag #formysenses will know, Hays was working on the North Coast of NSW last year (The Branches Coffee Roasters in Mullumbimby, Three Blue Ducks at The Farm in Ewingsdale) before embarking on a holiday to Sri Lanka that turned into a job opportunity.

 “I went on a month trip with some friends to Sri Lanka,” she says. “While I was here I spent quite a bit of time on the east coast at Hideaway Blue in Arugam Bay and met the owners, brothers Yanik and Yhevin. We eventually got chatting about food and the fact that they were looking for a chef for the second season of their new venture Salty Swamis in Hikkaduwa on the South Coast. Without anything pressing to keep me in Australia I was very keen to take the position. So back to Australia for two months to tie up some loose ends, sell my car and pack away my catering equipment I went!

“I came back to Sri Lanka with little expectations so that I wouldn’t be surprised by anything that might get thrown my way. I decided to redo the menu from the last season as I wanted to focus on using local produce. The cafe is attached to their surf shop and so for me the vibe was very similar to Byron. So with inspiration from Byron and the east coast of Australia mixed with the local produce and cuisine here in Sri Lanka, I came up with a menu that seems to be hitting the spot!

“We’ve been averaging 220 covers a day for our all day breakfast and lunch, we get return visits from most customers and have a lot of great regulars.” 

Hays has always made the most of what she has to work with, being it chickens on a property she rented in Darwin, or baking bread in a Bolivian jungle or picking wild thyme and oregano beside a river in Italy to use for a meal. For her, Sri Lanka was a new paradise for her food senses.

“An example of a fusion dish on the menu I took the good old avo on toast that everyone loves in Australia and served it with a local accompaniment called seeni sambol, a spicy onion chutney that goes really well with the creamy avo, poached eggs, whipped feta, basil and fresh tomato,” she says. 

I came back to Sri Lanka with little expectations so that I wouldn’t be surprised by anything that might get thrown my way.

Ash Hays

“The seafood here is awesome so I’ve really gotten into experimenting with raw or just cooked fish dishes like sashimi, tataki, ceviche, etc. and they all go so perfectly with the fresh produce here, a lot of which we can find in our garden, such as papayas, biling, peppercorns, jackfruit, bananas (of which I can use the fruit, leaves and blossoms), and, of course, coconuts.”

Pressed on the nature and source of seafood, Hays added more explanation: “I mainly buy yellowfin tuna for our Malu Bowl, where it is served raw with a miso and sesame dressing, on top of warm red rice and accompanied by fresh pineapple, avocado, cucumber, radish, green beans, crispy nori, gotukola slaw (gotukola is a local green similar to spinach), wasabi aioli and pickled ginger. (We do all our pickles and sauces in house too.)

“We use a local fish called Seer fish (also known as Spanish mackerel) for our tacos (Soft tortillas with the panko-crumbed seer fish, gotukola slaw, pickled onion, guacamole, radish, coriander, aioli and chilli flakes) and prawns for the Isso bowl (miso dressed mung bean noodles, pickled carrot, cucumber, gotukola slaw, radish, crispy nori, pickled ginger, wasabi aioli, roasted sesame seeds and the crispy chilli prawns, so yummy).”

Of course, it’s not perfect.

“It’s not all beautiful and lovely all the time,” she says. “I’ve had to grow a very good patience back bone in realising that nothing goes the way you want or need it to. It just becomes a part of life here. No water, no electricity, no gas, no avocados!!! These things happen regularly.”

The wife of one of the kitchen hands makes dosa for the restaurant, which Hays serves with poached eggs, smoked salmon, pickled beetroot, herbed buffalo curd cheese and radish.

But one thing remains constant for Hays: more adventure. She is leaving Salty Swami’s for a new post as the chef at Aloita Resort, a surfing lodge in the Mentawais in Indonesia.

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‘Educating children’ the goal as Sri Lankan lifesavers receive Australian tuition – By Luke Waters (SBS News)

Source: SBS News


Thirteen female lifesavers and emerging leaders from Sri Lanka are visiting Victoria to take part in a cross-cultural program aimed at developing the country’s water safety message. 

They took to the breakers at Fairhaven on Victoria’s surf coast, along with instructors from Life Saving Victoria.

Senuri Heshara, 22, said despite finding the open-water rescue sessions challenging, the young women pushed boundaries with the support and encouragement of their instructors.

“We were scared actually to get into this waters at the beginning but these trainers talked us they calmed us down they told us be confident,” she told SBS News.

“(They said) ‘You can do this, you know you are great swimmers,’ so every second we know they are helping us.” 

The seven-year collaboration between Life Saving Victoria and Sri Lanka was forged to address the country’s significant drowning rate.

Sri Lanka Life Saving President Asanka Nanayakkara said developing class-based and practical water skills in the emerging leaders was seen as an important step.

“We requested them to come and upskill us,” he said.

“We need skills – skills like books and training and advanced training regarding the lifesaving.” 

Ms Heshara said the problem lied in a culture of fear.

She said many Sri Lankan parents discouraged their children from swimming, and now there’s a push to have lessons made compulsory for all school-aged children.

“Parents (are) not exposed to that stuff, so they’re a bit scared to send their children. We want to develop their swimming skills at least, and learn how to rescue themselves if they get in trouble. We want to make little children educated.”

Veteran journalist Namini Wijedasa is traveling with the young women to help spread the water safety message.

She said her role was to explore how to grow awareness around the emerging but still little-known organisation in their homeland.

“It’s really important because I’ve been a journalist in Sri Lanka for over two decades, but I didn’t know that there was a lifesaving movement in Sri Lanka,” she said.

“So this is an eye-opener for me as well (to see) the kind of work they do. Apparently they even work in flood situations which I hadn’t known.”

Adding to the multicultural flavour of the program was former Bahraini Olympic swimmer Sameera Al bitar.

She is involved in the Bahraini delegation which has engaged Life Saving Victoria to help develop the nation’s inaugural water safety strategy.

Ms Al bitar conceded her nation was starting from scratch, but said they were determined to improve water safety in the country. 

“I think that we have a lot of work to do, but I think that we can improve very quickly,” she said.

“So over the past year, since we started working we have seen a huge improvement and hopefully in the next few months we will be implementing the swimming pool guidelines.” 

Ms Heshara said she would take her Australian experience and attempt to “save lives” in her homeland.   

“I am going to go back to Sri Lanka and educate my community help others,” she said.

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S. Thomas’ College at gurutalawa celebrates 100th Anniversary (source: Sunday Observer )

Rollo Lenden Hayman MA, DPhil (Oxon), MBE, was born in London on December 14, 1902. He was the son of William Hayman, a General Practitioner. The family later moved to Bournemouth on the south coast of England. Dr Hayman was the founding father of S. Thomas’ College at Gurutalawa.
About 1919, Hayman was admitted to the University of Oxford to read Physics. When he graduated, he decided to continue studying in Oxford and obtained DPhil in Physics.He decided on a teaching career and trained as a Teacher for Ministry in the Anglican Church.

K. C. McPherson, the Warden of S. Thomas’ College from 1926 to 1930, visited Keble College, Oxford in 1928. He persuaded Dr Hayman, Rev. A J Foster and W. T. Keble to join S. Thomas’ College. Keble College, Oxford, founded in 1870, was named after W T Keble’s great-uncle, John Keble. In 1938, W. T. Keble founded S. Thomas’ Preparatory School in Kollupitiya. This was the first Prep School in Ceylon. In 1942, during World War II, the Navy commandeered the School premises and Keble moved to Bandarawela and founded the S. Thomas’ Prep School. He was also a writer and author of books, including the travel book Ceylon Beaten Track.

When Dr Hayman told his parents he was going to Ceylon they were against it, saying that his education may well be wasted. Dr Hayman contacted the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts and they told him that Ceylon was working its way to independence and needed good teachers to produce men who could lead the country. (Prime Ministers who led the country, educated at STC were D S Senanayake, Dudley Senanayake and S W R D Bandaranaike.) As Dr Hayman said, “To this end anything I could teach in England would be equally useful and acceptable in Ceylon. So, in the end my parents rather unwillingly allowed me to follow my wishes.”


S. Thomas’ College was founded in Mutwal in 1851 by Bishop James Chapman, an old boy and Master at Eton College, Windsor, and graduated from Cambridge. Eton College is arguably the most prestigious private school in England and Bishop Chapman wanted to model STC along the lines of his former school. Both schools have the same motto, Esto Perpetua (Be thou forever). Boys in the highest class at S. Thomas’ were treated more like undergraduates than schoolboys and addressed as ‘Mister’. Warden Baly said of his students “Were it not that their Latin Composition is deficient, they would be on a level with the average Oxford Undergraduates in their second year.”

Mount Lavinia

In 1918, the decision was made to move the school to Mount Lavinia. Hayman arrived in Mount Lavinia in 1929, and was the first Master in any school in Ceylon who had a Doctorate.

He also started a stream of donations to the College. His father was a General Practitioner and had a portfolio of investments which Dr Hayman inherited. He donated a set of fives courts in 1931, the first in any Ceylon school. In 1933 he donated a swimming pool, the first for any school in Ceylon.In 1935 he was appointed Sub-Warden of the school.

At Mount Lavinia, the school had embarked on a building program,financed by the issue of debentures with 6 percent interest and in the 1930s the school found it difficult to meet the instalments. Hayman helped by giving donations. In 1930 R S de Saram was appointed as Warden. He was the first old boy and Ceylonese to be Warden. He also had studied at Keble College, Oxford and won an Oxford Blue for Boxing.As Warden de Saram said “What Dr Hayman has given to the school nobody knows.” Hayman purchased the house named “Thalassa”, on the adjacent beach and gave it to the College for use as an Office.


 In April 1942 the Military inspected the School and gave five days to vacate the premises as they wanted it as a Military Hospital. The school was broken up into sections and had classes sharing premises at St Paul’s Girls School, Milagiriya; at Girls High School, Mount Lavinia; and at Kingswood College, Kandy. The fourth premises was to start a new school at Gurutalawa.

Leslie de Saram and his wife owned a farm of about 35 acres at Gurutalawa, five miles from Welimada. Leslie, an old Royalist, was a cousin of Warden de Saram. When they heard that STC was short of accommodation, they promptly donated the entire Farm to the College. It was a generous donation and they refused to allow their names to be mentioned on the plaque commemorating the donation, it merely says “From two well-wishers”.

Dr Hayman was appointed the Headmaster of Gurutalawa in April 1942 and had to arrange accommodation for 50 students. For Hayman, it was a heaven-sent opportunity. He wanted to fashion the school after Gordonstoun, the famous school in Scotland where the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales studied, which had an emphasis on outdoor life and inculcation of the spirit of adventure.

Gurutalawa has outdoor activities not generally found in other schools in Sri Lanka such as long distance hiking, horse riding, bird watching, involvement in the farm activities and so on. A typical hike was the day trip to World’s End, in Horton Plains. This meant setting off from Gurutalawa at daybreak and returning at dusk after having hiked 50 km (30 miles) in mountainous terrain.


Hayman’s immediate problem at Gurutalawa was to prepare temporary accommodation and classrooms. He also started building a small swimming pool at his own expense. The school started functioning and over the next four years permanent buildings for dormitories, classrooms, dining hall and the chapel were built.

Mary Rudd was a member of the Nursing Staff of the Military Hospital which occupied the Mount Lavinia premises. Towards the end of 1945, Dr Hayman went to England on furlough and he and Mary got married there. He returned to Gurutalawa only at the beginning of 1948, after an absence of two years, and remained there until he retired in 1963.

He enlarged the swimming pool into a full-size swimming pool. A filtration plant and diving boards were installed. Everything was at his own expense. Allan Smith learned his diving as a student in S. Thomas’ and later represented Ceylon at Diving in the Olympics.

One day, a foreigner was spotted visiting Hayman. One of the boys asked Dr Hayman whether it was Sir Ivor Jennings, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ceylon who visited him. He said “Yes, it was, and it is the third time he has come to see me. Each time he tried to persuade me to join the University as Professor of Physics and each time I gave him the same answer: that I find it far more challenging to mould boys into young men of character than lecture to undergraduates.”

Hayman continued to teach Physics and Maths, but the writing was on the wall! The medium of school education switched to Sinhala and Tamil. There were insufficient students for an English stream at Gurutalawa. His usefulness as a school teacher in Ceylon was over.

Retirement days

Hayman retired on March 14 1963 and returned to his home in Bournemouth. He and Mary did not have any children and he donated lavishly to the College from his inherited wealth. The first 21 years, the golden years of Gurutalawa, were over. The school has continued to flourish and expand since then and last year celebrated its 75th anniversary.

In 1970 he visited Gurutalawa to open the new Hayman Science Laboratory, to which he had contributed generously. The plinth in the building states simply “To spend and be spent in the service of others is his greatest privilege”. Dr Hayman’s final visit to Gurutalawa was in 1983 to open the Keble Dormitory, the cost of which had been met by Dr Hayman. The Income Tax Department slapped on a charge of Gift Tax. It was an irony which appealed to his considerable wit. Dr Hayman passed away on May 7 1983 at the age of 81.

His funeral was on May 12 in Bournemouth and the funeral service was by Rt. Rev. Lakshman Wickremasinghe, an old boy of Gurutalawa and Keble College, Oxford and uncle of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The opening sentence of Dr Hayman’s Last Will was, “I direct that my funeral shall be of the cheapest kind consistent with decency and no expensive memorial stone should be erected.”

The writer is domiciled in Australia

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