Tag Archives: Ananda College

Google Doodle For Sri Lanka February 4, 2019 Independence Day — Recycled From Last Year.

by Anura Guruge


Permanent access, independent of date,
provided via the Google Doodle Archive.


Last Year’s


As with last year Google INCORRECTLY refers to it as
“Sri Lanka National Day”.

Nope. It is INDEPENDENCE DAY.

 


Though it is RECYCLED from last year, this will, nonetheless, make a LOT of people, like 14 million, very happy.

Having snubbed them in 2016 & 2014, Google has again honored Sri Lankan Independence Day, 2019 — 71th anniversary.

I, as the World knows, got the very 1st Google Doodle for Sri Lanka, for Independence Day, in 2013. So, I have connection …

For reasons that I cannot fathom, Google, as they also did (incorrectly) in 2015, again calls it “National Day“. NOT SO! Google should Google that. It is INDEPENDENCE DAY — 70-years.

My 2013 Google Doodle & the one in 2015.


Last Google Doodles:
Check Category ‘Google Doodle’.


by Anura Guruge


Standout Google Doodle For Sri Lanka 70th Anniversary, Independence Day — February 4, 2018.

by Anura Guruge


Permanent access, independent of date,
provided via the Google Doodle Archive.


Click to ENLARGE and read here.

Use link on image to access Google original.


This will make a LOT of people, like 14 million, very happy.

Having snubbed them in 2016 & 2014, Google has honored Sri Lankan Independence Day, 2018 — 70th anniversary at that — with a Google Doodle. A standout one at that — featuring the Maroon & Gold of the Ananda College colors. I am glad.

I, as the World knows, got the very 1st Google Doodle for Sri Lanka, for Independence Day, in 2013. So, I have connection …

For reasons that I cannot fathom, Google, as they also did (incorrectly) in 2015, again calls it “National Day“. NOT SO! Google should Google that. It is INDEPENDENCE DAY — 70-years.

My 2013 Google Doodle & the one in 2015.


Last Google Doodles:
Check Category ‘Google Doodle’.


by Anura Guruge


Short-Sleeved Cricket Sweater Knitted For Me By My Former Workmate Patrice Bourgeois During Her Cancer Treatment.

by Anura Guruge




Earlier this year as Patrice was getting ready for her ‘3-months’ of cancer treatment she did a Facebook post asking if anybody wanted anything knitted since she had run out of ‘projects’ and ‘ideas’ and she wanted to have something to knit in the coming months.

I told her that I did not have any cricket sweaters that fitted and would love one in my ol’ Ananda College (Colombo, Sri Lanka) colors of maroon and gold. Patrice went to work, as she is wont, researching patterns, colors, wool types, needles etc. etc.

Over the months she gave all of us pithy updates on the progress of this sweater. It took her slightly longer than she had expected. But, it was always going to be for Fall 2017 in New Hampshire.

It arrived today — in the nick of time. The temperature is 58°F as I write this post.

It fits beautifully and all she requested from me was a measurement of my chest size.

I am impressed, amazed and very grateful.

Thank YOU, Patrice.

I will wear this with pride and joy in the months to come. She informed me that it is washable. That is good. I do spill stuff.

So more pictures to come.


Related Posts:
++++ Check Category ‘Endorsements’ for other related posts >>>>


by Anura Guruge

My ‘Ananda College’ (Sri Lanka) Prefect’s Badge From 1966.

by Anura Guruge


Getting an e-mail from the “Prefects’ Guild of Ananda College“, which I had never heard of before, yesterday morning, about this event (below), prompted me to go rescue my old Prefect’s badge from 1966 (which is now 50 years old).

prefectsguild

Click to access their rather colorful Facebook page.


Anura Guruge Ananda College Prefect Badge


I think that this is from 1966. I don’t think it was from earlier. Though I only left in August 1967, I don’t think I got this in my last year.

I was an Ananda College Prefect twice (as far as I recall) — once in Lower School and then in Middle School. I am fairly sure I was “Head Boy” of Lower School. Have a vague idea that I might have been “Head Boy” in Middle School too — but that could be my mind playing tricks.

I do know that this badge was a RARITY! It was from a batch that was cast wrong.

The background should have been GOLD, maroon and gold our proud school colors.

Gray/silver was the WORST color possible. Maroon and silver the colors of our arch rival (at cricket) Nalanda College.

I remember that the staff were rather sheepish when they handed out these wrongly minted medals. But, it was the only I was given.

So …

C’est la vie. I just did a quick check on eBay. None for sale.

I just checked my Ananda College prize list (which I had posted online (and will duplicate below)). Appears that I won the “Best Prefect” Challenge Cup in 1965. So I was definitely a prefect in 1965. [I was also a House Prefect at Mill Hill, a post I resigned.] 

Click to ENLARGE.


Related Posts:
>> Check Category “Sri Lanka” for many other posts >>>>


by Anura Guruge


March 31 Is ‘National Bunsen Burner Day’ & March 30 ‘National Pencil Day’.

by Anura Guruge


chembunsen

Click to ENLARGE and read here. From Wikipedia. See link in image.


chemist-in-lab

The quintessential lab scene from my youth in the 1950s & 1960s. Flask on a stand bubbling away atop a Bunsen Burner. Click to ENLARGE and enjoy.


chemlab

Click to ENLARGE and view. Labs of my ERA c. 1960. You can see 2 Bunsen Burners in the foreground — right — with flasks, with multiple tubes emanating, above them. I truly can relate to this THOUGH the labs I attended were not as crowded and ALAS had NO girls.


Yes, March 31 is designated ‘National Bunsen Burner Day‘ — March 31, 1811 having been the birthday of its eponymous inventor.

Bunsen Burners are very much an evocative part of my teen years, in Ceylon and Britain. The British education system, also used in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), was BIG on hands on chemistry labs starting when you were around 11. Ananda College, in Colombo, with close to 6,000 kids had, for the time, impressive and well equipped labs. Though I, for winning all those educational prizes, was granted a small chemistry lab in my room at home, replete with bench, sink and ‘kit’, I could not have a Bunsen Burner because we didn’t have ‘the gas’. So the best I could do at home was alcohol burners that can’t match a Bunsen for heat.

Well, happy ‘Bunsen Burner’ Day.

[Here is my ‘National Pencil Day‘ Post.]


Related posts:
++++ Search ‘day’ for other posts >>>>

++++ Check Category ‘events’ >>>>


by Anura Guruge

Ananda College, Sri Lanka Pays Homage To American Colonel Henry Olcott, Its Founder.

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by Anura Guruge


Ananda_CrestRelated posts:
>>
List of prizes at Ananda.
>> Ananda College prize giving 1969.

++++ Check Category ‘Sri Lanka’ or search ‘Ceylon’ for other posts >>>>


Click to ENLARGE.

OlcottAnanda11


Colonel Henry Steel Olcott [2 August 1832 – 17 February 1907], born in New Jersey, an officer during the Civil War, and a member of the committee that investigated Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, is NOT a well known figure in the U.S.

Not so in Sri Lanka (once Ceylon).

Henry Steel Olcott is a well known and well respected legend. His greatest and justified claim to fame is that he founded a number of Buddhist schools in Ceylon, my old alma mater, Ananda College, in Colombo, with 6,000 students in my time [i.e., 1958 to 1967] and now [per Wikipedia, 5,000], the largest. We were ‘taught’ about Olcott and his picture hung in the school (and I must admit that he comes across as being a bit scary, when you are a 6-year old boy in shorts, not used to men with such luxuriant beards).

Olcott other claim to fame was that he, with his ‘good friend’, Russian-born Helena Petrovna Blavatsky [1831 – 1891], converted to Buddhism in Ceylon — at that time the highest profile Westerns to do so. They were also the founders of the (to me the always very strange and confusing) Theosophical Society.

Anywho, I just thought I would share this with you. Checkout the Theosophical Society. It might appeal to YOU.

Blavatsky_and_Olcott

Blavatsky and Olcott in 1888 (from Wikipedia). Ananda College was founded 2 years prior to this picture being taken.


Sri Lanka: Birth Certificate From 1953 & A Birth ‘Chit’ From 1960.

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by Anura Guruge

prizes


Related posts:
>>
I too am “The Other Son”.
>>
Ananda College: prize list.
>> Ananda College prize giving 1969.

++++ Check Category ‘Sri Lanka’ or search ‘Ceylon’ for other posts >>>>


Click to ENLARGE.


This is my birth certificate (hospital mix up, that made me also “The Other Son”, notwithstanding). It was issued on September 15, 1953 — 9 days after the day of birth. Actually, if you want to be pedantic, it is a certified copy made on January 3, 1959 — probably when I was ready to go to school. Wonder what happened to the original.

Note some very interesting things:

1. It was issued at a office in “Slave Island“! (That is at the top.) Yes, that was a fairly well known part of Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).

2. It asks for the race — Sinhalese — of each parent.

3. It asks whether the parents were married.

4. It asks for father’s “rank or profession”. Mine says “Assistant Secretary to the Prime Minister“. [This is why the first car I was ever in was a Rolls Royce! The Prime Minister’s car. He lent it to my father, with the official driver, to bring me home from hospital — safety — given that there was some communal disturbance going on in Colombo.

5. The hospital mix up happened at the “Private General Hospital“, Colombo 7 — which is a rather ‘exclusive’ part of town.

6. The ‘tattooed’ “IBM WIN 06” denotes that I must have made this copy while working for IBM (at Hursley, the ‘Win’ indicating Winchester, the nearest city — while the ’06’ was the number of this copying machine. IBM had this ‘id’ engraved on the glass so that it could keep track of copies that were made!).


Click to ENLARGE.


This is a Birth ‘chit’ — issued by a midwife to certify the birth. The birth certificate would have come later. This is not mine. It is for my new friend, from Sri Lanka, who went to the same school as me, Ananda College, Udeni Wijegunaratne. He is a lawyer. We were talking about my birth certificate and he sent this over (and gave me permission to post it). You can make out his mother’s name.

It is hard to make out at the top because it is ripped but he was born at the “De Soyza Lying in Home“. That is SO British — Victorian era. “Lying in Home” for pregnant women. How brilliant. I remember that term. Weight of the placenta? Wow. I notice it is not filled in. 

I guess you have worked out what I am doing. I am preserving these documents for posterity.


I Too Am “The Other Son” — Ceylon (Sri Lanka) Version.

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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>>
Ananda College: prize list.
>> Ananda College prize giving 1969.

++++ Check Category ‘Sri Lanka’ or search ‘Ceylon’ for other posts >>>>


People get confused as to why I call myself adopted and make references to my adoptive-father and adoptive-mother. It is because I too was “The Other Son“, the Ceylon version; “The Other Son” a very powerful Israeli movie about babies accidentally swapped (i.e., mixed up) in a hospital shortly after birth.

So that is what I am, a hospital mix up.

How do I know?

Because ever since I can remember, say around age five onwards, I would be told AT LEAST once a day, usually many times more, that I was a ‘mix up at the hospital‘ and that my REAL FATHER was a ‘GAMBLER’. Wow. Doesn’t that explain it all? I later worked out that ‘gambler’ in 1950, still very Victorian, Ceylon meant that my real father, my biological father, was a rake (in the British sense). A playboy. Yes, Yes, YES. It all adds up. The very boring, teetotal, academic, with zero interest in sports, who was afraid of dogs, could NOT have been my father. It all made sense. Yes, it would be my adoptive-father who told me, daily, that I was ‘mix up at the hospital’ and how much he regretted that he never got his real child. But, my adoptive mother would also tell me the same thing, as did other relatives, and sometimes even the servants. I was the MISTAKE. And I am proud of it.

Why they did NOT fix it when they discovered the mistake — which was pretty obvious since I was nothing like my adoptive parents — is a mystery. I never asked. I guess I thought it was outside my control. Plus, I guess, deep down I did NOT want to be taken away from my “Ambili Amma” — Moon Mother — my adoptive mother’s mother, the person who brought me up.

My adoptive parents did NOT have much to do with me when I was growing up in Ceylon, 1953 – 1967. It was very Victorian. But rather than a nanny, I had my Ambili Amma. She is the one who brought me up from the time I came home. She is the one who made sure I had food, clothing, care and some amount of love. My adoptive parents were very busy. My father was a hot shot with multiple VIP jobs — Assistant Secretary of Education, Vice-Chancellor of a Buddhist university, a famous author etc. etc. My mother taught Pali at a Baptist Girls School. But they had a beyond hectic social life. They had engagements every evening, every day. They were part of the creme de la creme of Colombo society. So every day around 4pm my adoptive mother would start getting ready to go out. My father would arrive from one of his many jobs around 6pm and then they would be gone. Did not matter. Ambili Amma was always there. The house, a BIG house, was never empty. My adoptive mother’s youngest sister lived with us, as did a female cousin whose father had died. Plus we had servants and on top of that, at any given time, we might have another distant relative, usually male, living with us.

I saw my adoptive parents on a strict schedule. They would take me to school. That was when I mainly saw my adoptive father. 75% of the time we would pick me up, at 1pm, from Ananda College. We would then pick up my adoptive mother and her sister and come home for lunch. Those two car trips was when I mainly had interactions with my adoptive father. The rest of the time he was gone or working. Between 2 and 4 my mother, a teacher, would TEACH me. It was formal. That was basically the time I spent with her. The rest of the time she was gone or getting ready — and ‘getting ready’ was an elaborate process with lots of make up, getting hair put up etc. Think Victorian Britain and the Lady of the house. That was our house.

Then, when I was about 18 my adoptive father came up with a new line. He would tell people, most people, referring to me: “the devil looks after his own”. Nice. He was making it very clear that he was NOT my father — not that anybody needed to be told that. He, a very religious man (though 40% was for show because it helped with his politics), was disowning me and assigning my parentage to ‘the devil’. Yes, remember that gambler? I was always confused as to which devil was my real father — whether it was the rather ineffective Buddhist devil or the more, potent and interesting Christian devil. I was just glad that it just wasn’t the real devil that made my life a daily hell, i.e., my adoptive father.

So that is the story.  I am a hospital mix up.

I should have done this earlier BUT I am now going to try and find out who my biological family was. It would be neat to meet the ‘real’ me! I assume he must still be alive, if not my biological parents. If they are alive I would love to meet them. Thank them for making me what I am. My real father has to be a character. I owe so much to him. He gave me the DNA that in the end, despite all the hardships I endured at the hands of my adoptive father, allowed me to lead a life where 99% I had a grin on my face.

Yes, one of my four kids, as is somewhat plain to see, is adopted and I made sure that I would try and be a good father to her because I knew, at first hand, the misery of being brought up by a father who hated you because you were not his — a hospital mix up.

I, Anura Guruge, the very proud and grateful son of a gambler that, alas, I have yet to meet.

Ananda College, Colombo, Ceylon: 1960 to 1967 List Of Prizes Won By Anura W.P. Guruge.

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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Ananda College prize giving 1969.

++++ Check Category ‘Sri Lanka’ or search ‘Ceylon’ for other posts >>>>


Click to ENLARGE.

prizes


Doing the post on June 7, 2015 about Udeni Wijegunaratne receiving a prize (in this case a pile of books) at the 1969 Ananda College, Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) annual Prize Giving definitely got me thinking.

I knew I I had won a fair number of prizes. How could I forget. Winning prizes was one of the many things that was expected of me. I also knew that I had a document from August 1967, just prior to me leaving Ceylon, of all the prizes I had won. My adoptive father, a professional educator, believed that all these documents that I received an education in Ceylon would be necessary to get me into a public school in Buffalo, New York. Little did he know. I don’t think anybody ever looked at these documents.

Anywho … I wanted to capture and preserve that document for posterity. Now I have. I counted the prizes (and awards). 39.

To me, and to YOU (if you are interested at all), only two things in this list really count.

The Challenge Cups (highlighted in yellow) and the ABSENCE of Grade VI.

I did NOT attend Grade VI — the 1st year of Middle School when you start learning Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Chemistry, Physics and Biology. I was, for my SINS, given a DOUBLE PROMOTION. School year in Ceylon started in January. We had the whole month of December off. My adoptive father told the school that he would make sure that I would learn a WHOLE YEARS worth of all those subjects in a month — and to top it all I got measles or mumps during that month. That did not deter my adoptive father. I was taught, tutored, beaten and punished 12 hours a day UNTIL I learnt all of what I had to — that I was sick, very sick, was not an excuse. This is why working 14, 16, 18 hours a day is a piece of cake for me. Plus now there is nobody who beats me if  I don’t work. And I was 12 years old.

So that was the Double Promotion.

The other BIG thing that was demanded of me was to WIN the damn Challenge Cup EVERY year. Yes, it was a silver cup BUT I never got to keep it. It was for my adoptive parents ego. I see that there was, on average 39 students, in each of my early classes. There were typically 6 classes per grade. So roughly 230 to 240 kids per grade. The Challenge Cup said that when all the grades, and this was the British system where grades are numeric, 0 to 100, were added up I had the HIGHEST aggregate score. First in Class is what they would say in the U.S.

Well as you can see I won that damn Challenge Cup every damn year other than in Grade 3. I think I actually set out to NOT win it. Because I, probably given all the beatings and punishment I took, was quite a devil, already. Well I got beaten to a pulp. All of 1964, and I was 11, UNTIL I won the Challenge Cup again was hell. But what the heck. It made me what I am. My life now is walk in the park. When you had the life I had as a kid you grow up rather immune to most hardships.

Well it gets better. Remember that Double Promotion. Learn a year’s worth of 6 subjects in a month. I was EXPECTED to win the Challenge Cup after that! I think I won one Challenge Cup in Grade VII AFTER the Double Promotion BUT not THE cup. But, I did the following year! And for the WHOLE Middle School. That one was MY doing. After the Double Promotion I was the youngest in the class. I took my stick. So I wanted to stick it to all of them. OH, I got an air rifle, as a present, for winning that! That was big. We had to go to India to get one. You couldn’t get them in Ceylon.

So that was my life in Ceylon. It was hard. I wasn’t allowed a dog or any pets. I wasn’t allowed a bike. (I WONDER whether this has anything to do with why I am surrounded by dogs and toys, like Jags). My life was to study, study, win prizes and most of all the DAMN Challenge Cup. It wasn’t all bad. I had plenty of food, all the books I ever wanted, my own chemistry lab and a fair amount of toys. I also got to travel.

But it has stood me in good stead. So I don’t regret it. I would never dream of imparting what my life was to my kids. I took enough punishment for a few generations.

And SOME people wondered why I did not attend my adoptive father’s funeral (last year) and actually was on a cruise of the day of his funeral.


Ananda College, Colombo, Ceylon Prize Giving 1969.

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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
++++ Check Category ‘Sri Lanka’ or search ‘Ceylon’ for other posts >>>>


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Click to ENLARGE.


Udeni Wijegunaratne receiving a prize (in this case a pile of books) at the 1969 Ananda College, Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) annual Prize Giving.

I got this picture, from him, via e-mail this morning. He is looking for information as to who the Chief Guest was and the people, other than him, who appear in this picture. He thinks the Chief Guest was a diplomat. Per tradition it would have been the chief guest’s wife handing out the prizes. She looks Asian. So it must have been a Ceylonese or Indian diplomat — and judging from a sari, and I am NO LONGER an expert, she looks Ceylonese than Indian.

He also informs us that Sanjeewa Senanayake was awarded the ‘Pritz Kunz’ in that year. Not sure what that means and whether the spelling is correct re. the name and the prize.

This was 2 years AFTER I left Ananda College and Ceylon.

If NOT I would have been there too. I got prizes every year. I haven’t counted or checked RECENTLY but for some reason the number ’64’ comes to mind. That might have been the number of prices I received during my 8 or 9 years at Ananda College — and bar ONE memorable year, for which I was beaten and punished for months, I won the Challenge Cup, which was indeed a polished silver cup, year year for the HIGHEST overall marks for all the boys in that grade. But that is history and as you can see winning those Challenge Cups didn’t do me much good.

But IF you can help Udeni Wijegunaratne contact me or get in touch with him.

All the best.