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Ananda old boys: Sets of brothers Sunday Observer Jan 20, 2002

by B. Donald Perera

I joined Ananda College, Colombo in January 1935 and was a hosteller for 10 years. Going down memory lane I would like to reminisce on the sets of brothers who were hostellers during this period. Pride of place goes to the Herath Gunaratnes from Galmuruwa, Madampe they were Charlie, Cyril, Austin who became doctors, Lionel and Hubert.

There had been four other brothers of the same family prior to 1935. Among them one being a Buddhist priest. They had a hostel room for themselves, shared in addition by a nephew Augustus, a son of the eldest Guneratne, and a first cousin Kumarasena Wijesinghe.

Four Bodinagoda brothers, Banduwardewa during whose captaincy Ananda had won all cricket matches against all other schools in 1934, Ranapala who was Chairman Lake House, Risisoma who passed out as a doctor and went to India on a holiday during the Hindu Muslim riots, and was never heard of thereafter, the last was Leelaratne a banker popularly known as Dekka.

The Four Peiris brothers L.D.H. (David) who was later principal Royal College, Colombo, L.H.R. who was a permanent secretary of the Ministry of Justice, L.C.H. a businessman and L.R.H. Four de Silva brothers, Harry a fine athlete, Noel a journalist at Lake House, Barcroft (Barky) who was a planter, and Lloyd who was Senior Secretary in the Ministry of Transport.

Four Rajakaruna brothers from Kitulgoda, Edmund one of the fastest bowler during his time. Herbert a fine athlete, and soccer player. Austin an all-rounder, cricket, athletics and soccer and Earnest a member of the Governor's cup team in shooting.

It would not be out of place to mention here that Ananda was the only school to win this trophy and they won it twice competing with the Ceylon Planters Rifle Association (European) and the army. The four P.L. brothers from Deniyaya, P.L. Jinadasa was won the Deniyaya seat in 1977 but was unfortunate to sit in Parliament as he died before the first sitting, P.L. Chandradasa a cricketer and athlete, P.L. Premadasa and P.L. Buddhadasa.

Another unforgettable event was when Principal Mr. P. de S. Kularatne returned to Ananda in 1936 after a reorganisation period at Dharmaraja College, Kandy, and temporarily occupied 3 rooms in the hostel with Mrs. Hilda Kularatne, sons Ananda, Parakrama, and daughter Maya, who is now a live wire and an active member of the Senior Ananda OBA.

Three Jinadasa brothers from Bulathkohupitiya, Melville, Franklyn and Allen all of whom were well recognised planters. The Athukoralas, from Palmadulla were Cyril, later a planter, Upali a doctor, and Danapala (EAD) who is a retired Judge of the Supreme Court.

Three Silva brothers Ananda de Silva, later attached to the Fisheries Department, Upali a Chartered Accountant, and FAO Rome, and Nissanka an Engineer. The Karunatilaka brothers from Kalawila, Bentota, Chandrasoma, Abeysoma and Wijesoma. Fernando brothers sons of the COC bus magnate B.J. Fernando, Richard who was a superb cricketer who captained Ananda and also played for combined Colleges during his time, Sirisena, Sammy who died very young, during his school days.

The Gunasekera brothers AWS who was later Commissioner of Examinations AHS and AAH. Three Perera brothers Dannister, Neville and Granville.

S.S. Wijesinghe, Sam Wijesinghe who was the Director General of Parliament, and an elder brother whose initials I cannot recollect. S.J.P. Wickramasuriya (Kolla) and younger brother who was a brilliant mathematician.

Two Samaranayaka brothers from Kumbuke, Horana, ADP and ADH. The Martin brothers Henry and Jeffry from Hatton. V.K. Wilbert Perera and V.K. Premaratna from Kegalle.

Chandrasena and brother Dayananda Fernando. Lasil and Linton Soysa from Panadura, the latter was an executive at Bartleet company, Jayaneil and Wijesoma Peiris from Panadura. K. Harischandra and K. Karunasena from Hikkaduwa both of whom were teachers.

There were also three Gunasekere brothers, sons of Mr. D.S. Gunasekere who was a Member of Parliament.

Quite a lot of the above brothers are no more, it may be that I have missed some siblings during this period as it is more than fifty seven years since my leaving school, I jope I would be forgiven by all of them.