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Mary's Road, Bambalapitiya

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Mary’s Road is a narrow street that starts at the Galle Road, almost opposite to Kensington Gardens , and ends at the railway tracks.

The Senanayake family, descended from Canon Senanayake of St Paul's Milagiriya, and Christ Church Dehiwela and Thimbirigasyaya, owned all the real estate from the Galle Road end of Castle Lane to the beach front at Kinross Avenue. The Canon was married to a lady from the Obeysekera family and his children comprised a daughter who inherited all the property on Kinross Avenue, Brook, a son, who inherited the Mary's Road homes, another son who inherited all the property down Castle Lane, and the youngest, a daughter, who was married to Lady Molamure's (D R Wijewardene's wife, Ruby's sisters) son.

Brook was first married to a Ms Gooneratne and had two daughters from this union, the older of whom was Dora who inherited two acres of the Mary's Road property at the beach front end. The second daughter was killed in a fire. On the death of his first wife, Brook married Laura Senanayake of Botale, who hailed from the Don Stephen Senanayake (first PM of independent Ceylon in 1948) family. The second union brought forth Griselda, who passed away early in life at the age of 29 and was married to Roland Seneviratne. Griselda and Roland had seven children of whom two passed away early at birth. They have two children, Lucien and Rowena. Rowena has a son Christopher and a daughter Sriyani.

Brook's second child was a son who also passed away early in life at the age of 19. He also had another son and his youngest daughter was named Phoebe who married a Karunaratne. Phoebe had three children of whom Shelah was the oldest and remains unmarried to date (2006). The second child is a son Haig who is also unmarried. The last child is Brian married to Thilaka and who have one daughter and four sons. All of Brook's children and grandchildren live down Marys Road at No 8, 10 & 12 on the right side of the street when entering from the Galle Road. Brook was a Government Servant and passed away when his daughter Shelah was only 14 years of age. Brian Coomerawel passes away in Colombo in July 2007:

COOMERAWEL - BRIAN CEDRIC COOMERAWEL Son of the late Kingsley Frank Coomerawel and Lorna Coomerawel (Australia), brother of late Zoe, Maureen (SL), Frankie, Caryel, Kevin, Christine and Jeromy (All in Australia), brother-in-law of Kumar, Zorena, Mohan and Tish, father of Natasha (Aust.), passed away on Saturday 6th July. Remains lie at Barney Raymond's Funeral Parlour from 9.00 a.m. on 09.07.2007 and thereafter cortege leaves the Parlour same day (9/7.2007) at 3.30 p.m. for Burial at the General Cemetery, Borella (Anglican Section) at 4.00 p.m. Daily News July 9 2007 Right behind to Coomerawels Auction Room on the right was a plot of land with a large Kottang (Almond) tree and opposite to it stood the large building facing the Galle Road which was occupied by a few families. One of the families had a daughter named Sriyani and a son, Christopher and they were, both, students at St Pauls Milagiriya. Christopher and Shirani Ibrahim, who lived at No 15, were in the same class at SPM. Their Mum was dumb. The Claessan family also lived in this building. Adrian Jansz, sister of Linda, also lived here with her husband until they left for Australia. Behind their house was a small place where a Tamil family lived and the lady was referred to as 'Sinnamma'. They used to prepare Pittu and Stringhoppers together with Babath (tripe) curry and their daughter used to deliver the food to the homes down Mary's road. Here, on the left, lived the Bartholomeusz family at No 9, “St Bee’s”, the head of whom were Francis Carlisle Bartholomeusz & Esmee Bertha Susannah Maynert Herft. Francis used to be the Santa Claus at the annual XMas parties that were held at the Motha residence in Wellawatte. Their children are Carol (married Frederic Renshaw Clarke), and moved over to a small flat down St. Peters Place. Allister (who was born on April 30, 1934, married Christobel Ebert), Myrna, Ioni (married Jerry Carroll )and Heidy (married Laurie Munding).

Allister was a keen supporter and member of the Kinross Swimming and Aquatic Club on the beach at Wellawatte. He was also a champion swimmer at the Kinross Club and tied for third place in the two Mile sea swim from Mount Lavinia to Wellawatte held in 1954. he held the posts of Club Captain, and was a Bronze Medal Holder of the Sri Lanka Swimming Association (SLSA) in and around 1959. He was the youngest ever Hony. Secretary of the CASA & Kinross Club, and a delegate. to the CO &CGA. He Capped for Ceylon in 1956.

The family migrated to Australia and live there now with their respective families.

At No 15, “Trevine”, 17 & 19, Mary’s Road lived WM Saleem and three of his sisters, Safiya Umma Wapu Marikar, (wife of Uduma Lebbe Marikar A.L.M), Ummu Saeeda Wapu Marikar, (wife of Shahul Hameed Abu Bakr), and Zainambu Wapu Marikar, (wife of ACA Hamid) and their respective families. All three properties were owned by Safiya Umma, who had no children, and who, thereby, bequeathed No 15 to her brother WM Saleem, and Nos 17 & 19, jointly to Ummu Saeeda and Zainambu as undivided co-owners.The Wapu Marikar (WM) siblings were the children of the late Wapu Marikar Sheikh Marikar & Mariam alias Puwachi Umma (sister of Shekadi Marikar Cassim Lebbe Marikar’s wife).

The rest of the siblings who were not resident at the Mary’s Road were, WM Abdul Jabbar, (father of AJM Jameel, AJM Anver and AJM Sadiq), Habeebathuz Zohra, (wife of Sahib Thamby, and mother of STA Wahid, STM Samsudeen, & Noor Nasiya Kurhdoos), WM Thaha, (father of Saleema, Sithy Rahma, Mubarak, Noor Musafer, Mymoon Ghouzul Ameer, Noordeen, Mahmood, Zafrullah, Moomin Zubair, Ni’amathullah, Fathima Honeya Sherrif Nizar, Abdul Jabbar, and Usman), WM Hassim, born 26-Jan-1880, died, 6-Jul-1960, (married to ALM Ummu Nafeesa - daughter of OLMALM Alim - and father of Thaifoor, Kamil, Ahamed Jameel, Sithy Latheefa Jameel, Mohideen, Noor Na’eema Sadiq, Ameen &Sulaiman), Mahmooda Umma, (wife of Ahmed Lebbe Marikar O.L.M. and mother of Shahabdeen, Razeen, Na’eem, Nazim, & Zubaida Umma Hassan), and Zavahira, (wife of OLM Zainudeen and mother of Noor Saneena & Moinudeen). WM Saleem had three wives. His children by his first wife, Noor Naleefa, were Ahamed Shaharan (married Iynul Huzaima Abdul Basheer of Kandy), Hibshi Mazaya (married Husain Jiffry Ibrahim of HM Customs, Colombo) and Hibshul Hana (married to Zacky Salih of Flower Road, Colombo 3). His second marriage to Sithy Lareefa from Galle had no offspring. His third to Sithy Shareefa Ahmed Lebbe Marikar, produced Khaneema (married to MSM Ozeer of Dematagoda), Zackiya (married to M Mansoor Hassan), Fareeda (married to M Nuhman Noordeen, son of Sithy Saleema Thaha, brother of Mubarak Thaha) and Hamza (married to Ummu Saliha Ansari of Bandaranaike Mawatha Colombo 12). The children moved to different locations within Colombo subsequent to their marriages and Fareeda and her daughter, Dina & family, still live at No. 15 having inherited part of the estate of her father after it was sold and disbursed subsequent to the heirs after his death.

Shaharan Saleem and Iynul Huzaima Abdul Basheer had three children, Thasneen, Ummu Zuhard and Imran Fekhrishta. Thasneen married Rafi Ismail bin-Hassan from Negombo, and have now moved to Vajira Road at Bamba, while Ummu married Nawaz Saleem of Bagatalle Road in Colpetty and has moved in there. Imran married Dina Bari of High Street (WASilva Mawatha) in Wellawatte and divorced her subsequently. He then married Sharmila Farook of Pennycuick Road at Wellawatte and is also divorced from her. His third wife Zeeniya Mujahid is also from Nelson Place in Wellawatte. Imran lives and runs his own tourist guest house, called Maple Inn, down WA Silva Mawatha at Wellawatte.

Husain Jiffry Ibrahim & Hibshi Mazaya Saleem had four children, Firoze, Shirani, Jasminah & Fairuf.

Firoze married Bisreeya Ahamed, formerly of Asoka Gardens in Bamba, and embarked on a career of Draftsmanship and Architecture, venturing into building construction. Subsequently he moved to Dhahran in Saudi Arabia and then to Hafar Al Batin in the north where he spent many years with the Ministry of Defence project there. He, subsequently returned to Colombo and spent a few years with his family before embarking to Dhahran once again to work with the Royal Saudi Air Force where he is attached to now. He now specializes in fresh water treatment. Shirani married Fazli Sameer of No. 300 and Jasminah married Faizer Zahir of Castle Lane. Fairuf married Zaheena Subair from Mount Lavinia and was killed under tragic circumstances in a car crash in Riyadh on Dec 31, 1996. He worked, initially, at Jafferjee Brothers in Colombo and then moved to Dhahran and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia where he was employed by GAMA, a hospital management project attached to the Sports Medicine Hospital, and served them until his demise. The Ibrahims moved to St. Peter’s Place at Bamba, and, on the early death of Husain moved, once, again to Vihara Lane at Wellawatte. Hussain died suddenly of heart attack in 1963 at the age of 44 while delivering a speech as the Presdient of the Customs Officers’ Union at the Galle Face Hotel in Colombo. Hibshi passed away at Vihare Lane in 1996.

Zacky Salih & Hinshul Hana Saleem had seven children. The last one died at child birth. Fidha, Shiraz, Moreena, Faris, Fahmy, and Shahul Hameed were the others. Fidha married Razana and passed away after a sudden illness after the pilgrimage of Hajj in Makkah. Shiraz married Faizeen Haniffa from Kandy. Faizeen used to work with Sifani Jewellers in Kandy and Colombo and then moved to Jeddah, where he served with the Intercontinental Hotel for several years before returning home to Colombo to roost. Moreena married Faizeen Hassim of Alexandra Road in Wellawatte and has eben working with UNICEF for the ast three decades. She and her family moved to Kazakhastan and served the UNICEF there for several years and have since recently moved to Bangkon on a new assignment. Faris married Fazna Mowjood Nafi of Habib Bank and Shahul married Fazmina Alavi Muhammad. Fazmina passed away after an illness in 2003 after having lived in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia where her husband, Shahul Hameed, is employed. The Salih’s moved to Swarna Road at Havelock Town and then again to Kalyani Road in Kirulaponne where Hana passed away in 2002.

Khanima Saleem married MSM Ozeer, who passed away in 2003, and now lives with her children at Model Town Road, Ratmalana. Her children are Mafooza Samsudeem Dr. Shahnaz Ozeer (married to Dr. Nazli Zainab and migrated to Australia), & Shanooz Ozeer (married to his first cousin Minna Saleem, daughter of Hamza Saleem. During a recent visit, in August 2006 to Khanima's place in her quiet home at Ratmalana, she narrated an interesting story of how a burglar was caught down Mary's Road during the old times a few days after her fathers demise.

The crook had been stealing from many homes down the street and the people and Police were vigilant and making every attempt to catch him. On one occasion the thief was hiding under a table at the Saleem's residence and Khanima and her step sister Hana spotted him. Hana got cold feet and ran away but Khanima was bold enough to start the screaming and shouting to alert the neighbors and the Police who came rushing to her aid. The rogue jumped across to the Bartholomeusz's at No 13 but was finally apprehended and marched away to the police station. The next morning newspaper carried the story relating the brave attempt of a 14 year old conservative Muslim girl who helped to catch the elusive thief down Mary's Road. Zackiya Saleem, who married Muhammad Mansoor Hassan passed away in 1981 now lives down Fredericka Road at Wellawatte. Her children are Imthiaz (married to Mueeza also of Fredericka Road), and Rizvi (married to Aynfa Haleem of Nawalapitiya). Both sons were bankers in Colombo and subsequently moved to take up employment with banks in Saudi Arabia where they are resident now. Imthiaz has moved out of the banking sector to take up employment with a large private sector corporation in Jeddah, while Rizvi and his family live in Riyadh.

Fareeda Saleem & Nuhuman Noordeen (son of Saleema Thaha and grandson of WM Thaha) lived at 15 Mary’s Road where Nuhuman passed away suddenly in 1979. Her daughter Dinazad, son in law Malik Ashraf Ali and their son Nuhuman now live on the upper floor of the same residence at No 15. Her other children are Yousoof (married to Farah Salih), Asgar Ali (married to Amana Sufi Ismail ) & Mohammed Ali (married to Farwin Muhammad) and now in USA. Hamza Saleem and his wife Ummu Saliha Ansari, of Bandaranaike Mawatha, Colombo 12, now live at Ratmalana. Their children are Muhammad Shezmin (USA), Fathima Minna (married to her first cousin Shahnaz Ozeer), and Muhammad Shazleen.

The Sherriffdeens lived next of whom Faleel married Sithy Khalisa Sameer of No 298, Galle Road, mentioned above, and Mackeen married one of the daughters of Dr Shaideen, Fauzul Haniya, of Castle Lane, at Bamba. Mackeen passed away in May 2005.

Alavi Sherriffdeen married and moved to Dickmans Road at Bambalapitiya. Sulaiman married Khairi and the youngest Yehiya was attached to the Air Force. Of the daughters, Sithy Fathima married Ajward, Saliha married a doctor and moved out of Colombo, Noor married Mubarak and moved to Wellawatte while Badri married Zachraff Azeez and moved to Mount Lavinia.A Japanese fishing crew moved into No 19 after the Sherrifdeens moved out. They were there for a short time and when their business didn’t succeed they moved out.

The Lye family, members of whom were Xirach, Okley, Sydney, Patricia, & Amy, lived next door at No 19. Okley passed away in Canada in 2005. Amy is married to Asad Amath (old Pete) and left Sri Lanka for Montreal, Canada where Sydney and Okley were already established. She has two daughters, Anika, born in 1981 and Amara, born in 1986. Anika graduated with a BA in Criminology. Amara is a second-year student at McGill University majoring in Political Science.Amy worked as an Executive Assistant in an insurance brokerage company until she took early retirement in 2005 and is now into handicrafts and sells her work to clients and friends, a hobby which she is very happy with.

Then came the Bilimorias, Sattars and the Pieris families in succession.Fricky Khan, the notorious racing driver belonged to the Sattar family with his brother Azeez Iqbal and Yousoof and sister Abida. Indrani and Chitra Pieris, who attended Holy family Convent at Bamba, are members of the Pieris family. The Wimalaratne’s and also the Billimorias, together with their twin daughters, Shereen and Sonia, also lived here. The right side of Mary’s Road began with the Coomaravel Auction House whose entrance was titlted at a 45 degree angle to the Galle Road. Right behind it lived Sriyani and Chrsitopher followed by a large open and spacious garden which was famous for its Kottang (Almond) tree where all the youth of the neighborhood used to haunt.

A family lived in a small house within this garden and used to eke out a living by preparing String Hoppers and Pittu which were quickly snapped up by the rest of the residents for their evening meals.Brian Karunaratne and his family lived next door, followed by the Goonerwardena’, Navaratnams who sold thehouse to a Muslim shipping owner and at 18 was the Saverimuttu namely Dharman, Patricia and Sushila. The Serasinghes, Ebels Pereira (Dutch Burgher), Livy Wijemanne Radio Ceylon announcer and Walcart show organizer and Noor (Borah) familes followed. Mrs Serasinghe was a widow and worked at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital. Her son, Preman, is now a Priest. The Vallipurams, a Tamil family, lived in the last house.

Mrs. Serasinghe was a physician at Lady Ridgeway .A widow ,her late husband was an Anglican Priest. Preman their son became a lay preacher.Vera & Herbert

Opposite the Vallipurams lived Fr.Christian Thambimuttu and his family. Fr Thambimuttu was associated with St.Paul's Milagiriya. His son Cuthbert (Tubby) Thambimuttu is an Entomologist / rare book collector in America. Both homes have now been torn down to make way for the Marine Drive. Mr Nicolle, a notable auctioneer and broker in Colombo, also lived down the street during its latter years and spent his last days there, living alone, in an annexe of the Saverimuttu residence.

In the 1950-1960 years, Marys Road residents considered themselves as one large happy and united family where everything was done collectively by the neighborhood with unity and strength.

The Goonewardene family also lived here prior to moving to Vajira Road, Bambalapitiya. Another significant family down Mary's Road at No 24 were the Pereira's who comprised Herbert and Vera, their children Herby, Neville, Elmo, Daulette, Bernard, Delphine, Roger and Vyvette. Also Vera's brother "Small Boy" who was tragically killed in a bicycle accident. They now live in Melbourne, Australia.Herby moved to the U.K. and married Isabel(Bunny),Their children Sylvia,Derek,Robert and David live in the U.K. Herby passed away 23rd september 2004. Jerry Pieris and "Small Boy" were rushing home to beat the curfew when they met with an accident which killed "Small Boy" Jerry broke his leg in the incident. Jerry has since passed away and his brother Frank is now married to his widow. The Fernando's lived at No 17. Mr & Mrs Fernando were referred to as Aiya and Amma and were the head of the family. The children were Matilda, currently resident in South Africa, Rani, Jerry (UK), Rose (last heard of as a Nun), Guy, Jean, Antoinette (South Africa), and Sherine. They, subsequently, moved to Charlemont Road at Wellawatte.

Mr & Mrs Carwallio also lived down the street. Their family comprised Jennifer, Stanley Benny & Wife. They moved to Kensington Gardens, in Bamba, in 1962 and then on to Arethusa Lane at Wellawatte.

Mrs Serasinghe was a widow and worked at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital. Her son, Preman, is now a Priest. The Vallipurams, a Tamil family, lived in the last house.

Many residents still reminisce of the old days they spent there in excellent peace, tranquility and harmony

The Free Town Boys PLEASE MEET MY COUSIN OF FREE TOWN BOYS Francis lived in a big house down a narrow road, between Kinross Ave and Castle Lane in Bambalapitiya. He was always my favourite cousin, friend, mentor, and guiding light during those early days of my childhood. I always looked up to him for guidance and knowledge. He taught me both the good and bad things in life, and still earned my respect, as he would radiate a great feeling of love and kindness whenever I was around him, that made him more like a brother to me than a cousin.

Francis had many skills, one of which was being Secretary of the Free Town Boys Cricket and Athletics Club of that narrow road he lived in. He was a third generation member of a well known family, and so enjoyed the privilege of this office. As the club name suggested membership was free and the only qualification was that you had to be a resident of this road.In my case, the requirements were ignored, for after all, I was the cousin-brother of the Secretary. He ran this club successfully with no financial backing, and the Club did not even seek a donation from anyone. May be this was a good thing in a way, as the only beneficiary could have been “ Saraswathie Lodge”.

Some one had to only come up with a cricket ball, and out when a host of written letters inviting other clubs to participate in a game of cricket. Some of the names of these clubs that come to mind are “Dead End Kids C.C.”, “The Golden Eagles C.C.”, “ Silver Arrow Sports Club” and “ Royden Cricket Club”.

I remember very well the opening paragraph of this letter ……Quote “ We the members of the above mentioned C.C. challenge you to a game of cricket on this day the…….in month of…….. in the year of our Lord 19……., notwithstanding, the terms and conditions herein stated.” Unquote. This document sounded more like something coming out of the Attorney Generals Department than from a club of meagre means.On the morning of the match, Francis would be up with the birds for there was work to be done, firstly the venue had to be booked, by this I mean stumps put in place and someone of authority (in other words a toughie) left at the grounds to ensure all went well when we arrived ,by then other clubs too would have arrived and there were more stumps planted, more than even crosses found in Kanatte.

At times you really did not know whether you were batting against or bowling to the right opponents. ". Some of the grounds we played at were St. Peters, the Golf Links down Greenlands Rd., the park next to the BRC, Kotalawella Gardens, Shruberry Gardens and the Seminary grounds with all but five hundred coconut trees.

Francis had still more work to do…... like visiting the homes of all the players confirming availability, as at times some would be grounded for domestic reasons, then there was cricket gear to look for, this was easly solved by picking a rich kid with plenty of gear and no cricketing skills. Makeen S was captain, and our opening bowler was a demon called Johnny R., he had a slinging action, and every ball he bowled was a thunder bolt, but sadly accuracy was not part of his repertoire. The first ball could be aimed at the batsman’s throat, the next would sail over the wicket keepers head, and the next would have third slip running for cover, but whenever he got it right, he either broke the stumps or the batsman leg, for we wore only one pad. It was regimental, that after every over J.R. would reach for his comb and rearrange the “ Yankee Puff “ that fell half way down his forehead.

John M. was wicket keeper, and got the job as he owned one and a half wicket keeping gloves. We shared equipment with the other teams and vice-versa,and in days gone by “Helmets “ were not even worn in Toobruk.

Raju was our umpire , and the very sight of him was enough for the opposition to summon the ICC. However with a promise of fair play he was allowed to take his place.

If in anyone today thinks Darrell Hair is biased and controversial, then Raju set the bench mark. Faleel, was a important player in the side and whenever we could not get a batsman out he was sent to the position of short leg to taunt and frustrate the batsman into loosing his wicket. The plan always worked.Some of the other members of this honourable side were, Allister B. (Francis), Hamza S., Haig K., Guy M., Firoze, and Ian H.

At the end of the day the game of cricket was played as only gentleman will , and maybe the time has come for of our international sides to learn how the game should be played from our humble beginnings.Finally, it is with great sadness that I have learnt that some are no longer with us, and although some of us have moved to alien climes, I hope that when the time comes for us to abide, our souls will return home to rest in better places in better times. Ian Hepponstal.

Firoze Ibrahim passed away, after suffering a heart attack, at the King Fahd Airbase in Dhahran where he was empoloyed, in August 2009. He was laid to rest in AlKhobar. Allister B is currently in Melbourne, Australia. Hamza Saleem resides with his wife and children/grand children at Ratmalana, Sri Lanka. Makeen Sheriffdeen and his bro Faleel have also passed away. may they all Rest in Peace!

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