Synopsis of a Golden Jubilarian Down Memory Lane: Ahamed Athas Kuthdoos
1. Received primary education at Royal Primary School, Colombo, and secondary education at St. Peters’ College, Bambalapitiya
2. Fortuitously, by accident rather than design, credited with several firsts at school. First Muslim to pass the London Matriculation with Distinctions.
3. First Muslium Peterite to win both the Senior Elocution and Vocal Music Prizesa, an achievement most probably not emulated to date.
4. First Muslim to be awarded colors in both cricket and rugby football.
5. Subsequently received voice training by two of the then Ceylon’s Standard Vocal Music Teachers, Lorraine Abeysekera and Sinhala Voice Legend, Sunil Shantha.
6. Appeared in several amateur radio programs over the, then, Radio Ceylon, viz; ”Maliban Amateur Hour” and several other radio sing-alonmg sessions, conducted under the tutelage of the renown singer, Lylie Godridge. Have evolved into an incuravle Bathroom Baritone singer ever since.
7. Received the highest mark in an interview and test conducted by fellow Peterite and world class announcer, the late Jimmy Bharucha, as a broadcaster.
8. Proved extremely popular, receiving huge fan mail, in both Sri Lanka and in the sub continent over the air.
9. Left the broadcasting industry to seek more lucrative and greener pastures that provided better financial remuneration soince the broadcasting job paid only Rs 6/- per hour.
10. Served proudly and played a pivotal role as a member of the Senior Debating Society and the Music & Drama Art Society at school.
11. Captained the Public Schools All Island Spelling “B” Competition, St. Peters’ College Team, over radio beating fancied Holy Family Convent Team who had swept over renowned schools like Ropyal, St. Thomas’ on the way to the final.
The Years after leaving school
1. With the return to semi normalcy in Colombo after the Japanese bombing of the city and Trincomalee, during WWII, joined the Food Control Department as a Food Distribution Inspector, serving from 1943 to 1947.
2. Was a Member of the Food Control Cricket Team who went on several tours of the Indian Sub Continent in 1944.
3. The Food Control Cricket Team annexed the Government Services Cricket Association A Division Championship shield in 1944.
4. Went on the cricket tour with the Law College Team in 1948.
5. Figured in a record opening wicket stand with a former General Secretary, later President, and now Patron of the Moors’ Sports Club, in the annual Law vs Medical encounter at the SSC grounds. The record stand unbroken to this day.
6. Appointed as Senior Welfare Officer of the prestigious and massive A Grade Irrigation Department. Retired after reaching the upper limit of my Grade and Pay Scale.
7. Went on tour to India with the powerful Government Services Cricket Team in 1952, where the team won the Annual Pentangular Tournament, staged by the Ceylon Cricket Association, predecessor of the present Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka. The team was captained by Major General B R Heyn, and included Vernon Prins, Elmo Gunaratne, Ceylon’s best leg spinner, Bob Bartels, Ernie Kelaart, Derrick Ludowyke, Bob Schoorman, H I Fernando, Nisal Senaratne, S Shanmuganathan, Fairlie Dalpathado, M A Caffoor, Sarath Weerasooriya. W J M Wimalaratne was the quiet yet efficient and popular Manager.
8. Played for the Ceylon Team on April 21 and 22 1948 against the State opf Holkar, the Champions of the Ranji Trophy which included seven All India Players and was captained by Colonel C K Naidu. The other players in the Indian team included Naidu’s brother, C S Sarawatte, the mercurial world famous six footer Mohamed Ali, and India’s opening bowler, S Bannerjee. The match was played at the Colombo Oval.
9. Toured India and Pakistan with the immensely popular crowd pulling Moors Sports Club Team in late 1956 after the Moors ended up as Runners Up to NCC, just a miniscule 0.2 points behind.
10. Captained the Irrigation Department “A” Team and annexed, for the first time, the Government Services “A” Division Trophy. Beat the opponents by 10 wickets in the Final game. Won a special award of two cricket bats, presented by Diana & Company, for an outstanding contribution and all round performance. Opened the batting, was dropped with the score at three wickets for seven runs, and went on to score 150 not out.
Highlights in School Career
1. Played for four years for the St. Peters’ College First XI Cricket Team ending up as Vice Captain. Entered the book of records by capturing 8 wickets for 36 runs in the schools big match against St’ Josephs’ College in 1940, and also captured seven wickets for nine runs against a very strong studded Ananda College outfit. The match was won by St. Peters’ after conceding a first innings lead to Ananda and is still considered one of the few stand out bowling performanmces by a Peterite bowler, to date. Won the best fielders prize for two years in succession. Still considered by many senior, knowledgeable, cricket fans as the finest complete left hand all rounder to emerge from St Peters’ College to the present date.
2. Participated in Athletics, Tennis, and Swimming at school. Apart from several centuries in all divisions of cricket made a career highest score of 238 not out in a Government Services “B” Division final, after opening the innings.
Honorable Achievements Positions Held
1. Guest of Honor at the felicitation to the oldest Peterite Rugby Players at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel in 2008, accorded by the St. Peters’ College Rugby Football Foundation.
2. Senior Honorary Life Member of the St. Peters’ College Old Boys Union.
3. One of the most Senior Honorary Life Member of the St. Peters’ College Old Boys Union
4. The most senior Honorary Life Member of the Association of Cricket Umpires, Sri LKanka
5. Honorary Life Member and Vice President for several years at the Moors’ Sports Club
6. Pioneer Member of the Moors’ Islamic Cultural Home and Board member for well over 50 years, Vice President for several years.
Ahamed Athas Kuthdoos
No 9, Charlemont Road,
+94 11 2 494 1463