By Sharm de Alwis
Ill-gotten gains are frowned upon by the gods who reside in the hills and valleys, rivers and lakes in and around Kandy. And so they came to Bogambara, personally, but forgot to bring the scales of justice to pronounce a collective condemnation on the inept referee who allowed two tries in the Colombo Leg of the Bradby.
Clutching the colourful ticket unlike that which resembled a bus ticket, issued to us in Colombo, we waited in the picturesque Bogambara stadium and as we waited, our thoughts took flight. We mulled over the many instances when sons proved to be ‘chips off the old block.’
Pride of place must be accorded to the three generations of Odayars. Grandfather S. A. Odayar proved to be an icon at Trinity. Cricket Lion and captain of cricket and athletics, he was a veritable one-man demolishing squad and after his many forays in sports, sired Uvais who was the first winner of the A. H. R. Joseph Challenge Trophy for the best all-round sportsman at Trinity. Odi, as Uvais is fondly called, took athletics and cricket in his stride but his special love was rugger in which he missed a well deserved Lion when he played as full-back in the crack team of 1956. Odi himself is the father of two superlative sportsmen in Ikram and Riza, with the former decorated with the Lion in rugger as well as in boxing.
Three generations of the J.H.Bandaranayake clan played Trinity rugger with grandfather J.H. followed by son Ananda (cricket Lion) and grandson Rajiv, the last being awarded the rugby Lion and was the first Trinity center to run a straight line to score his tries.
Next in line would be T. B. Madugalle who was the first to have been awarded the rugby Lion and who had three sons, Percy, T. B. (Jnr) and Dharmasiri in the game and in an era when Lions were awarded only to boys who were of national level, Dharmasiri was deprived of his deserving rugby Lion because he stood up to the authorities on a matter of principle.
E. D. W. Jayawardena, who despite having played for Royal in M. S. Ahamath’s team of 1933 which lost heftily to Eddie Buultjens’ Trinitians by 0-19, played magnificently for the Ceylonese in 1937 in the heady company of A. H. A. Samad and Percy de Silva.
Having gone through Royal on a statutory payment of five rupees per month, E. D. W. decided he would give his two sons Jayantha and Prasanna a wholesome, all-round education. When Noel Brohier was asked by the Trinity Principal to captain the team against the visiting schoolboys before the rugby season commenced, Noel told the Principal, “I cannot, possibly do that, Sir because Jayantha Jayawardena is senior to me.” Jayantha captained Trinity in 1961 to win his rugby Lion and Prasanna, even though he captained the Trinity U17 teams in two years, sustained a knee injury which put the skids on his rugby career. As captain of the U17 team he had, once, to tie his boots with kohu lanu as his father spread his largesse only on the elder son. Also on record is E. D. W.’s statement that he had made the correct choice of school for his two sons.
Ugandian M. K. Kagwa’s son, Michael was a versatile sportsman. He annexed the rugger Lion and Colours in boxing and athletics. Michael was a role model for Trinity boys of the ‘40s.
Albert Halangoda who went to the front in WWI had two sons in Noel and Nihal. Noel was awarded his rugger Colours in 1947 and Nihal in 1960 when he played in the superlative team captained by Eric Roles which won the Bradby Shield convincingly, 5-3 and 8-0.
Percy Maralanda who has been considered the Lion of Lions for his prodigious deeds in cricket had in his son Nimal, one of the three finest Trinity standoffs to play for the country, the other two being Mohan Sahayam and Glen Van Langenberg. Philip Buultjens is thought to be the finest center the country has ever had and his son Tony, like his father was a rugby Lion of heroic deeds. Johnny Murray and his son Ken were spirited boys even outside the rugby fields and many are the yarns told, specially of the junior Murray.
H. T. P. Samarasekera played Trinity rugger in the early 1930 and son Seevali, having won the 1st Leg of the Bradby 19-03, won the 2nd Leg by dint of personal epic deeds when trailing by 12 points with 13 minutes left.
P. B. Madawela played in 1930 in the team captained by Siamese John Duncan who was the first schoolboy to play for the National team His team beat Royal 29-0. Son Anura played in Ajith Abeyratne’s second year of captaincy in 1968 which lost disastrously the 1st Leg of the Bradby 0-19 but made amends to lose the 2nd Leg courageously, 3-5 to ‘Bulla’ de Silva’s Royalists.
Harry Geddes who had a finer reputation as a sprinter in Duncan White’s team had in son Rodney a splendid center who played in M. T. M. Zarook’s team of 1965 which even though it was star-studded, somehow lost the Bradby Shield 3-8 after holding Royal to a 6-6 draw in the 1st Leg.Trinity’s first captain in the inaugural Bradby was rugby Lion Robert Sourjah and his son Rohan was also a rugby captain in 1975 and Lion in the previous year. Second son Lanil played in 1977, ‘78 and ‘79.
S. B. Ellepola’s son Chula played in the Bradby shield winning team of Ravi Balasuriya in 1977 and Tikiri captained Trinity in 1980. T.B.Pilapitiya must have been made out of material used to build tanks. His son L.S. won his rugby Lion when he played in Ravi Bandaranayake’s crack team which had five other Lions in Ravi, himself, Ravi Ponnambalam, Byron Fernando, Roshan Ratwatte and Pradeep Adhihetty with Dilip Adhihetty, Ashan Ratwatte and T. Hsanally being awarded the Lion in subsequent years.
Two of Denis Ratwatte’s sons Roshan and Ashan were awarded the rugby Lion and the third to play for Trinity was Dilackshan. Vice-captain to Dharmasiri Madugalle in the 1953 team whose line was never crossed in the season was Rajah ‘Dabar’ Adhihetty whose two sons were both rugby Lions.
The line is long and I am weary. The other father/son combinations have been Maurice Perera/Devapriya, Jinna Dias De Singhe/Kumar, Rihal Madugalle/Dammika, Theekshana Madugalle/Rajeeva, Kavinda Ellepola/Kishan, M. T. M. Zarook/M. T. M. Zarook (Jnr), Sunil Wickramasinghe/Sharika, Mohan Ganapathy/Rajiv, Malin Goonetileka/Himesh, Tariz Omar/Idris, Namal Gamage/Pulasthi, Ravi Balasuriya/Rahal, Janaka Kiridena/R.Kiridena.
I rest my pen.