A FAMILY STORY ABOUT A COFFEE BEAN, TWO LEAVES AND A BUD FROM A TEA BUSH AND OTHER AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS THAT HELPED FORM THE BASIS OF AN ECONOMIC SYSTEM OF A NATION, TOGETHER WITH WHAT MAY HAVE BEEN THE EXPERIENCES OF THE ROWLANDS’ OF CEYLON AND THEIR DESCENDENTS IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY AND THE CONTRIBUTION OF THE PLANTATION INDUSTRY TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE INFRASTRUCTURE AND SUPPORT SERVICES THAT FORMED THE BASIS OF A ROBUST AND PROGRESSIVE ECONOMY.

In the 1500’s, the Portuguese took possession of the Maritime Provinces of Ceylon, to be replaced by the Dutch in the 17th Century. In 1796, Ceylon was taken possession of by the British and the Dutch expelled from its shores. From that period to 1815, the native chiefs boldly resisted the usurped authority of the invaders and were finally reduced to subjugation only after a desperate struggle and by such agencies that England alone was skilled to employ for the accomplishment of her objective.

Dedicated to the life of my Great-Grand-Father Richard William Rowlands and his Sinhalese friends Sir Charles Henry and Lady de Soysa who were philanthropists extraordinaire, Reverend.William.E.Rowlands of the Tamil Cooly Mission, all other Coffee, Tea, Rubber and Coconut Plantation Owners, Superintendents and their workers from the Madras Presidency of South India who came to Ceylon as free men and women rather than as slaves to work the Plantations and the Sinhalese, Tamils, Malays and other workers who laboured to establish the Estates, the Planters’ Association of Ceylon and Government Officers of all racial and cultural backgrounds in Ceylon at the time, who, to a large degree, treated the people of their communities, labourers and the less fortunate with kindness, honesty and generosity, to help develop a social structure and a plantation economy in the country that will always be a fitting tribute to their contribution to the people of Sri Lanka.


IN MEMORY OF

RICHARD ROWLANDS OF KENT.


A Distant Cousin who will always be fondly remembered for his kindness and generosity.

Sri Lanka

In August 2006, my wife Ruth and I took her sister Jenny and her partner Michael to Sri Lanka for a two week Golf Tour.

Our itinerary included a visit to the Pinnawella Elephant Sanctuary and a three night stay at the Kandalama Hotel that we used our base to visit Polonaruwa and its surrounds, Dimbulla and a climb of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. A well earned rest and relaxation after the journey from Australia.

We next stayed in Kandy and viewed the night Perahara, visited the Peradeniya Gardens and had a game of golf at the picturerous and beautifully laid out Victoria Golf Club.

We next drove up to Nuwara Eliya and stayed at the Grand Hotel. We had a game of golf at the challenging Nuwara Eliya Golf Club and toured the district.

We finished our journey in Colombo staying at the Galadari Hotel. We had a game of golf at the interesting Colombo Golf Club with a train line running through the third hole. During a shopping trip in the Fort, we came across the pictured wooden carved wall plaque of Da Vinci's "Last Supper" at the Cargills Store. The plaque is One Metre by Two Metres and weighs over 25 Kilos.




The store staff could not tell us the name of the artist who did the carving of this magnificent artwork, but we still thought it such an interesting piece of sculpture from one single piece of wood that we bought it and had it shipped back to Australia.

This wall plaque used to hang in the Dining Room of our home in Yarrawonga, Victoria, Australia.

Every time I looked at it, I used to think of the person who would have spent hours painstakingly carving this beautiful scene of Jesus and his disciples at the taking of bread and wine to commemorate his last supper that took place over two thousand years ago and the Millions of Christians around the world who celebrate the Mass each Sunday in remembrance of his death and passion.

If there is someone in Sri Lanka who knows the person who did this carving, I would love to know who he or she is so that I can personally thank them on my next visit to Sri Lanka. I would also be interested to know whether they have done any other carvings such as this.

This carving of the Last Supper is now at St Cuthbert's Anglican Church, Yarrawonga, Victoria.











MAP OF SRI LANKA