Advertisements
Tag Archive | prize

The Prestigious ‘Hand & Lock’ Prize For Embroidery — From The Royal Embroiders.

by Anura Guruge


Click to access the Website which describes this ’14-month’ competition.


I had never heard of it, or the firm — though I now realize that they among other things are the folks that do all the ELABORATE embroidery work and uniforms required by the Royal family and the British Establishment (including, of course, the Armed Services). Basically, they are:

You have to check this out. Pretty amazing stuff.


Related posts:
Check Category ‘Art.


by Anura Guruge

Advertisements

Ananda College, Sri Lanka Pays Homage To American Colonel Henry Olcott, Its Founder.

prizesAnura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.
.
.
.
.
.
.
by Anura Guruge


Ananda_CrestRelated posts:
>>
List of prizes at Ananda.
>> Ananda College prize giving 1969.

++++ Check Category ‘Sri Lanka’ or search ‘Ceylon’ for other posts >>>>


Click to ENLARGE.

OlcottAnanda11


Colonel Henry Steel Olcott [2 August 1832 – 17 February 1907], born in New Jersey, an officer during the Civil War, and a member of the committee that investigated Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, is NOT a well known figure in the U.S.

Not so in Sri Lanka (once Ceylon).

Henry Steel Olcott is a well known and well respected legend. His greatest and justified claim to fame is that he founded a number of Buddhist schools in Ceylon, my old alma mater, Ananda College, in Colombo, with 6,000 students in my time [i.e., 1958 to 1967] and now [per Wikipedia, 5,000], the largest. We were ‘taught’ about Olcott and his picture hung in the school (and I must admit that he comes across as being a bit scary, when you are a 6-year old boy in shorts, not used to men with such luxuriant beards).

Olcott other claim to fame was that he, with his ‘good friend’, Russian-born Helena Petrovna Blavatsky [1831 – 1891], converted to Buddhism in Ceylon — at that time the highest profile Westerns to do so. They were also the founders of the (to me the always very strange and confusing) Theosophical Society.

Anywho, I just thought I would share this with you. Checkout the Theosophical Society. It might appeal to YOU.

Blavatsky_and_Olcott

Blavatsky and Olcott in 1888 (from Wikipedia). Ananda College was founded 2 years prior to this picture being taken.


English Grammar Quiz From Britain (For You Native English Speakers).

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
.
.
.
.

.
by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>>
Which animal are you?
>>
 British English quiz.

>> Popes quiz.
>> Pope John XXIII quiz.
>> Airplane quiz.

++++ Search ‘quiz’ for MORE posts >>>>


Hey, English is my Second Language. I struggle just to speak it so that people understand 25% of what I am saying. Grammar is way beyond me — though it is funny that I have, over the years, in school, won a few ‘English’ prizes — the most priceless being that I won the ‘English’ prize, in 1969, at the “English School of Paris” [in Paris, France] (along with that for math and physics), though I was basically the only wog in the class. Cracked me. All these Brits and Americans in the class, and they give ME the English prize. I think it was a joke. This quiz? Aaah.

But try it. Let me know. Maybe you could help me with the English. Thanks.


From, of course, the U.K. ‘Daily Mail’.
My only daily news source.
Click here for original.

Click to ENLARGE and read here.

grammarquiz111agrammarquiz222b


I Too Am “The Other Son” — Ceylon (Sri Lanka) Version.

prizesAnura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.
.
.
.
.
.
.
by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>>
Ananda College: prize list.
>> Ananda College prize giving 1969.

++++ Check Category ‘Sri Lanka’ or search ‘Ceylon’ for other posts >>>>


People get confused as to why I call myself adopted and make references to my adoptive-father and adoptive-mother. It is because I too was “The Other Son“, the Ceylon version; “The Other Son” a very powerful Israeli movie about babies accidentally swapped (i.e., mixed up) in a hospital shortly after birth.

So that is what I am, a hospital mix up.

How do I know?

Because ever since I can remember, say around age five onwards, I would be told AT LEAST once a day, usually many times more, that I was a ‘mix up at the hospital‘ and that my REAL FATHER was a ‘GAMBLER’. Wow. Doesn’t that explain it all? I later worked out that ‘gambler’ in 1950, still very Victorian, Ceylon meant that my real father, my biological father, was a rake (in the British sense). A playboy. Yes, Yes, YES. It all adds up. The very boring, teetotal, academic, with zero interest in sports, who was afraid of dogs, could NOT have been my father. It all made sense. Yes, it would be my adoptive-father who told me, daily, that I was ‘mix up at the hospital’ and how much he regretted that he never got his real child. But, my adoptive mother would also tell me the same thing, as did other relatives, and sometimes even the servants. I was the MISTAKE. And I am proud of it.

Why they did NOT fix it when they discovered the mistake — which was pretty obvious since I was nothing like my adoptive parents — is a mystery. I never asked. I guess I thought it was outside my control. Plus, I guess, deep down I did NOT want to be taken away from my “Ambili Amma” — Moon Mother — my adoptive mother’s mother, the person who brought me up.

My adoptive parents did NOT have much to do with me when I was growing up in Ceylon, 1953 – 1967. It was very Victorian. But rather than a nanny, I had my Ambili Amma. She is the one who brought me up from the time I came home. She is the one who made sure I had food, clothing, care and some amount of love. My adoptive parents were very busy. My father was a hot shot with multiple VIP jobs — Assistant Secretary of Education, Vice-Chancellor of a Buddhist university, a famous author etc. etc. My mother taught Pali at a Baptist Girls School. But they had a beyond hectic social life. They had engagements every evening, every day. They were part of the creme de la creme of Colombo society. So every day around 4pm my adoptive mother would start getting ready to go out. My father would arrive from one of his many jobs around 6pm and then they would be gone. Did not matter. Ambili Amma was always there. The house, a BIG house, was never empty. My adoptive mother’s youngest sister lived with us, as did a female cousin whose father had died. Plus we had servants and on top of that, at any given time, we might have another distant relative, usually male, living with us.

I saw my adoptive parents on a strict schedule. They would take me to school. That was when I mainly saw my adoptive father. 75% of the time we would pick me up, at 1pm, from Ananda College. We would then pick up my adoptive mother and her sister and come home for lunch. Those two car trips was when I mainly had interactions with my adoptive father. The rest of the time he was gone or working. Between 2 and 4 my mother, a teacher, would TEACH me. It was formal. That was basically the time I spent with her. The rest of the time she was gone or getting ready — and ‘getting ready’ was an elaborate process with lots of make up, getting hair put up etc. Think Victorian Britain and the Lady of the house. That was our house.

Then, when I was about 18 my adoptive father came up with a new line. He would tell people, most people, referring to me: “the devil looks after his own”. Nice. He was making it very clear that he was NOT my father — not that anybody needed to be told that. He, a very religious man (though 40% was for show because it helped with his politics), was disowning me and assigning my parentage to ‘the devil’. Yes, remember that gambler? I was always confused as to which devil was my real father — whether it was the rather ineffective Buddhist devil or the more, potent and interesting Christian devil. I was just glad that it just wasn’t the real devil that made my life a daily hell, i.e., my adoptive father.

So that is the story.  I am a hospital mix up.

I should have done this earlier BUT I am now going to try and find out who my biological family was. It would be neat to meet the ‘real’ me! I assume he must still be alive, if not my biological parents. If they are alive I would love to meet them. Thank them for making me what I am. My real father has to be a character. I owe so much to him. He gave me the DNA that in the end, despite all the hardships I endured at the hands of my adoptive father, allowed me to lead a life where 99% I had a grin on my face.

Yes, one of my four kids, as is somewhat plain to see, is adopted and I made sure that I would try and be a good father to her because I knew, at first hand, the misery of being brought up by a father who hated you because you were not his — a hospital mix up.

I, Anura Guruge, the very proud and grateful son of a gambler that, alas, I have yet to meet.

Ananda College, Colombo, Ceylon: 1960 to 1967 List Of Prizes Won By Anura W.P. Guruge.

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.
.
.
.
.
.
.
by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Ananda College prize giving 1969.

++++ Check Category ‘Sri Lanka’ or search ‘Ceylon’ for other posts >>>>


Click to ENLARGE.

prizes


Doing the post on June 7, 2015 about Udeni Wijegunaratne receiving a prize (in this case a pile of books) at the 1969 Ananda College, Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) annual Prize Giving definitely got me thinking.

I knew I I had won a fair number of prizes. How could I forget. Winning prizes was one of the many things that was expected of me. I also knew that I had a document from August 1967, just prior to me leaving Ceylon, of all the prizes I had won. My adoptive father, a professional educator, believed that all these documents that I received an education in Ceylon would be necessary to get me into a public school in Buffalo, New York. Little did he know. I don’t think anybody ever looked at these documents.

Anywho … I wanted to capture and preserve that document for posterity. Now I have. I counted the prizes (and awards). 39.

To me, and to YOU (if you are interested at all), only two things in this list really count.

The Challenge Cups (highlighted in yellow) and the ABSENCE of Grade VI.

I did NOT attend Grade VI — the 1st year of Middle School when you start learning Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Chemistry, Physics and Biology. I was, for my SINS, given a DOUBLE PROMOTION. School year in Ceylon started in January. We had the whole month of December off. My adoptive father told the school that he would make sure that I would learn a WHOLE YEARS worth of all those subjects in a month — and to top it all I got measles or mumps during that month. That did not deter my adoptive father. I was taught, tutored, beaten and punished 12 hours a day UNTIL I learnt all of what I had to — that I was sick, very sick, was not an excuse. This is why working 14, 16, 18 hours a day is a piece of cake for me. Plus now there is nobody who beats me if  I don’t work. And I was 12 years old.

So that was the Double Promotion.

The other BIG thing that was demanded of me was to WIN the damn Challenge Cup EVERY year. Yes, it was a silver cup BUT I never got to keep it. It was for my adoptive parents ego. I see that there was, on average 39 students, in each of my early classes. There were typically 6 classes per grade. So roughly 230 to 240 kids per grade. The Challenge Cup said that when all the grades, and this was the British system where grades are numeric, 0 to 100, were added up I had the HIGHEST aggregate score. First in Class is what they would say in the U.S.

Well as you can see I won that damn Challenge Cup every damn year other than in Grade 3. I think I actually set out to NOT win it. Because I, probably given all the beatings and punishment I took, was quite a devil, already. Well I got beaten to a pulp. All of 1964, and I was 11, UNTIL I won the Challenge Cup again was hell. But what the heck. It made me what I am. My life now is walk in the park. When you had the life I had as a kid you grow up rather immune to most hardships.

Well it gets better. Remember that Double Promotion. Learn a year’s worth of 6 subjects in a month. I was EXPECTED to win the Challenge Cup after that! I think I won one Challenge Cup in Grade VII AFTER the Double Promotion BUT not THE cup. But, I did the following year! And for the WHOLE Middle School. That one was MY doing. After the Double Promotion I was the youngest in the class. I took my stick. So I wanted to stick it to all of them. OH, I got an air rifle, as a present, for winning that! That was big. We had to go to India to get one. You couldn’t get them in Ceylon.

So that was my life in Ceylon. It was hard. I wasn’t allowed a dog or any pets. I wasn’t allowed a bike. (I WONDER whether this has anything to do with why I am surrounded by dogs and toys, like Jags). My life was to study, study, win prizes and most of all the DAMN Challenge Cup. It wasn’t all bad. I had plenty of food, all the books I ever wanted, my own chemistry lab and a fair amount of toys. I also got to travel.

But it has stood me in good stead. So I don’t regret it. I would never dream of imparting what my life was to my kids. I took enough punishment for a few generations.

And SOME people wondered why I did not attend my adoptive father’s funeral (last year) and actually was on a cruise of the day of his funeral.


Ananda College, Colombo, Ceylon Prize Giving 1969.

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.
.
.
.
.
.
.
by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
++++ Check Category ‘Sri Lanka’ or search ‘Ceylon’ for other posts >>>>


IMG_20150607_073128

Click to ENLARGE.


Udeni Wijegunaratne receiving a prize (in this case a pile of books) at the 1969 Ananda College, Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) annual Prize Giving.

I got this picture, from him, via e-mail this morning. He is looking for information as to who the Chief Guest was and the people, other than him, who appear in this picture. He thinks the Chief Guest was a diplomat. Per tradition it would have been the chief guest’s wife handing out the prizes. She looks Asian. So it must have been a Ceylonese or Indian diplomat — and judging from a sari, and I am NO LONGER an expert, she looks Ceylonese than Indian.

He also informs us that Sanjeewa Senanayake was awarded the ‘Pritz Kunz’ in that year. Not sure what that means and whether the spelling is correct re. the name and the prize.

This was 2 years AFTER I left Ananda College and Ceylon.

If NOT I would have been there too. I got prizes every year. I haven’t counted or checked RECENTLY but for some reason the number ’64’ comes to mind. That might have been the number of prices I received during my 8 or 9 years at Ananda College — and bar ONE memorable year, for which I was beaten and punished for months, I won the Challenge Cup, which was indeed a polished silver cup, year year for the HIGHEST overall marks for all the boys in that grade. But that is history and as you can see winning those Challenge Cups didn’t do me much good.

But IF you can help Udeni Wijegunaratne contact me or get in touch with him.

All the best.


%d bloggers like this: