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Author Topic: Message from Hessel IJskes  (Read 5066 times)
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David Colin-Thomé (Editor)
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« on: December 26, 2009, 12:07:07 PM »

I was delighted to receive an email recently from Hessel IJskes of the Netherlands who has had a long and happy association with Ceylon Tea. While a regular visitor to HOCT, Hessel has quite a lot of material himself which he is happy to share with us and for which HOCT is most grateful. The material will be progressively uploaded and they include numerous photos that Hessel himself took in 1977/78 when he trained in Sri Lanka.


Message from Hessel IJskes reproduced with his kind permission

I am a regular visitor of the History of Ceylon Tea website. Coming from a tea packing and coffee roasting family, I made my entrance in the tea trade in 1974. After having finalized my studies, came to Sri Lanka during 1977 and 1978 where Ranjit Sri Nissanka (Bosanquet) supervised my training and put me in contact with the top-planters of those days. Among which Jim Amarasinghe (Alton), Ralph de Run (Laxapana), Wick de Alwis (Kotiyagalla), Ralston Tissera (Waltrim), Yasa Ratnayake (St. Leonards), Eric Labrooy (Kirklees), Franklin Jacob (Cannavarella), Tissa Bandaranaike (Ury), Malcolm Dias (Uva Highlands) and Mike de Alwis (Kahagalla). Also Charlie Ramanaden at Kirkoswald, Leslie Abeysekera, then at Blinkbonnie, and Lalith Paranavitana (Uda Radella) were close contacts at the time. Afterwards I visited Ceylon many times on a commercial basis and each time made an up-country comeback. There is hardly a High Grown area I did not visit at some point, always with the camera at hand.

The early Corporation days proved to be exciting, to say the least. I stayed at Waltrim at the time of the Liddesdale incident, the landreform-issue and the planter’s march on Galleface Green.

With Ralston Tissera I became good friends and the same can be said of Jim Amarasinghe. On the plantations I have always found a ready welcome.

As a brand marketeer and consultant I enter my 36th season, being a director of NTM (Nederlandsche Thee Maatschappij bv) since 1979.

I am confident that the photographs made at the time are interesting for publication on the History of Ceylon Tea website. I shall upload these on a regular basis.

With best regards,

Hessel IJskes, Joure/Netherlands

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"You might think I say a lot about the scenery, but if you saw it, you will not think I say too much" - pioneering tea planter James Taylor describes Ceylon in a letter to his parents in Scotland
Ian Gardner
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« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2010, 07:17:17 AM »

Glad to see you here at HOCT, Hessel, and I look forward to seeing more of your photographs.
WELCOME and thank you.
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Whatever is happening outside keep laughing on the inside!
Hessel IJskes
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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2010, 07:32:43 PM »

Dear Ian,

Thank you for your kind welcome, which much appreciated. The photos cover a period of a little over two decades, so there are some more to follow!

Best regards, Hessel
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