New Wellington Sports Club, Bambalapitiya

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Situated between Lorensz Road and Davidsdon Road on a block of land housing slums stood the New Wellington Sports Club, which catered to the leisure and recreational needs of the local community. The President of this Club was Richard “Aiyar” Perera who was the chandiya (thugman) of the whole of Bamba, Wellawate region right up to Vihare Lane in Wellawate. He had a huge Eagle with wings spread tattooed on his back.

Richards other brothers were Albert and Wilson, Albert the eldest was the original owner of the Giant Wheel, Ocean Ride, Merry ground and carnival amusement equipment which he used to lease for carnivals and fun-fairs. These were in frequent use at Vel festivals, local funfairs and carnivals. The local kids were always treated to free rides. Wilson Aiyar ran a bucket shop, under the cover of a “Te Kade” (tea boutique) which was the meeting place of people hoping for a win on the horse races held in the UK and many horse racing venues in India,

The members of this Club were very protective and respectful to the people of the neighborhood, but woe is unto those who crossed their paths. The Bamba Police kept a sharp eye on some of the activities of this Club but seldom was there any major trouble. As the children of this neighborhood frequented the Kinross bathing enclosure, and many were rescued by the K.S. & L.S squad, there was a deep bond and respect for the Kinross S, & L.S C. members. The grandson of Herbert Bartholomeusz, a pioneer resident was accorded special privileges. In fact, he learnt the game of Billiards from none other than Richard Aiyar.

The descendents of the Perera Family, Henry and Edwin still live in Bamba and are still friends of the writer.

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