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Sunday Observer - Feb 17, 2002
150th anniversary: Holy Trinity Church, Nuwara Eliya

Miss C.F. Gordon Cumming, who saw this Church in the early Eighteen Seventies, thus describes it: "The pretty little cruciform Church and the peaceful churchyard lie in a pleasant sheltered corner, surrounded by rhododendrons, daturas, and other flowering shrubs, and overshadowed by one grand old tree with a gnarled, twisted stem, such as one sometimes, sees in miniature on very rank heather." There is trace of this tree now and the Church has been enlarged twice since Miss Gordon Cumming saw it, but the general features are still the same.

In 1845 a meeting was held to consider the question of building a Church at an estimated cost of 900 Sterling Pounds. A gentleman of the name of Nelson was appointed Architect, and the work was done chiefly by men of the 15th Regiment, under the supervision of the Commandant of Nuwara Eliya, Major Brunker. Among the men who assisted him was Corporal Moore, a clever builder, whose services Bishop Chapman later utilized for the building of the Cathedral. There was either delay in commencing, building operations, or the work was done very leisurely, for it was not until seven years after the first steps were taken that the building was nearing completion. It was consecrated by Bishop Chapman on St. Matthias' Day, Feb. 24, 1852.

In the late Eighteen eighties the question of enlarging the Church was mooted, but there was some opposition to this by those who favoured the construction of a new Church near the old cemetery, two members offering to meet the cost. This suggestion did not apparently find favour with the majority of the congregation, who preferred the old site. The second enlargement took place in 1899, and a stone recording the fact is to be seen built into the Church wall. The original Church is the portion at the west end. The additions can be noted by the difference in the size of the Corbels supporting the main rafters.

Among the tablets to be seen in the Church are those to the memory of Dr. G. Gardner, Superintendent of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Peradeniya, whose death occurred suddenly shortly after he had taken lunch with Lord Torrington; Captain William Fisher, father of Lord Fisher, who was thrown off his horse and killed; R. B. Downall, who represented the Planting Community in the Legislative Council for many years; and Lady Ridgeway, wife of Sir West Ridgeway, Governor of Ceylon. The Churchyard also contains many interesting tombstones.

On Good Friday and Easter of 1954 Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh attended services in this church. The Queen gifted a blue carpet and a stain glass in remembrance of their visit is also in the church.

The first Vicar of the Church was Rev. Von Dadelszen from 1843 to 1846. The present Vicar is Rev. Augustine Philips. Nuwara Eliya has had three Archdeacons. The first being The Ven. C. E. G. Weerasuriya. The Ven. John Daniel Followed and the present Archdeacon is The Ven. D. R. Canagasabey who resides in Bandarawela.

The following is the special programme for the 150th Anniversary:

Feb 17, Sunday - Special service conducted by the Ven. D. R. Canagasabey at 8.00 a.m. in English and at 9.30 a.m. in Tamil.

Feb 21 to 23 - Revival meetings, conducted by the Rev. M. K. Bennett (Vicar - My Savour's Church, Singapore) at the Town Hall, Nuwara Eliya from 3-5 p.m. each day.

Feb 23 - Service of Holy Confirmation at St. Paul's Church, Pundaluoya at 10.00 a.m. conducted by the Rt. Rev. Duleep de Chickera, Bishop of Colombo.

Feb 24, Sunday - The special thanksgiving service conducted by the Bishop of Colombo, assisted by the Archdeacons of Colombo and Nuwara Eliya.

A procession will start from the post office premises at 9.00 a.m

Clergy who served at from 1843 H. H. Von Dadelszen 1843 1846 Alfred P. Lovekin 1846 1847 I. Thurstan 1848 - I. F. Haslam 1849 - John Wise 1849 1851 George Scheader 1852 - E. Moozaart 1853 1857 R. Philips 1858 1859 Alfred P. Lovekin 1860 1864 John Pickford 1865 - William F. Kelly 1865 1872 William Oakley 1873 1877 W. Willis 1878 1886 J. Allork 1887 - I. D. Richard 1888 - W. Sinnuaus 1889 - Edward Higgles 1890 1891 E. B. Bruise 1892 1902 Charles Renolds 1902 1909 Matthais de Silva 1909 1911 Edward Freeman 1911 1923 J. L. Williams 1923 1946 Ardant Constant 1946 1958 William E. Beale 1960 1963 R. S. de Saram 1964 1967 K. S. D. Manickam 1967 1972 V. S. D. Sathiyanadhan 1972 1976 Augustine Philips 1977 1982 A. Anandanayagam 1983 - C. E. G. Weerasuriya 1984 1987 John Daniel 1988 1998 Augustine Philips 1998 -