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Author Topic: Farewell to Six Stalwarts Associated with the Plantation Industry in Ceylon  (Read 1812 times)
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Bryan Wickremeratne
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« on: November 24, 2008, 06:21:22 AM »

In the immediate post independence period, a number of British Planters’ decided to find greener pastures, perhaps expecting changes in their life style with the end of the colonial era.   This however, did not happen as anticipated.  A few who were not very far from retiring age  opted to stay on, complete their tours of duty ,and retire from Ceylon in due time, when their contracts expired.

In 1962, around February of that year, six stalwarts whose employment had commenced in the latter half of the 1920’s decided to call it quits.  They comprised five Planters’ and a Chief Engineer, all from the Sabaragamuwa District of the country. 

Alan Passingham   V.A                     James Finlay’s and other Agency houses
Neville Marquis      Manager            Hapugastenne Group, Ratnapura
Don Ross               Manager            Palmgarden Group,  Ratnapura.
‘Sandy’ Coburn      Manager            Madampe Group, Rakwana
Sam Watt              Manager            Endane Group, Kahawatte
Johnny Norman     Chief Engineer   Colombo Commercial Co., Ratnapura

A well attended farewell party was held at the Ratnapura Planters’ Club, and all the above named gentlemen bar Alan Passingham, were present.  If my memory serves me well, Gamini Salgado, then Manager of Houpe in Kahawatte was the president of the club at the time of this event.  The party needless to say, went off with more than a bang and no doubt, many of those present woke up the next morning feeling well under the weather. It certainly was a grand send-off to a group of well respected gentlemen, and the occasion itself one, that remains memorable and unforgettable.
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