People

A kaleidoscope of people called ‘De Fonseka’, their inimitable stories, their often colliding nature, the ones who made it, the ones who did not, their successes, their failures, their triumphs and their agonies…..these are their stories, collected and written down before their disappear from the world forever.

This page contains the significant contributions they made to the society, their achievements, stories of interest, the books they wrote, what they owned and lost, personal communications, family lore, anecdotes and memories of people and events, stories  that has come down over the generations or has lain buried in diaries or publications. Some stories have been gathered from personal interviews, from people no longer with us. While most of the stories are verified with supporting documentation garnered from multiple sources, some are based purely on personal communications.

J. P de Fonseka and G. K. Chesterton

J. P. De Fonseka was one of the greatest English writers Ceylon ever produced. He has been compared  with the the best of English essayists like Charles Lamb, E. V. Lucas, G. K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc and was a friend and great admirer of Gilbrt Keith Chesterton. In fact he was natured in the

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A Question of Substance. (1658).

Michael de Fonseka, the earliest recorded ‘de Fonseka’ raised the most acute question ever asked by anyone from the Dutch Priest and author by the name of Baldaeus, who accompanied the Dutch expedition to Jaffna in 1658. The answer to this is as perplexing as the question itself.  Michael de Fonseka, the earliest known ‘de Fonseka’ led

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Arise, Sir Susantha

Kalutaravedage Deepal Susantha de Fonseka was born at the turn of the century (1900) in Panadura. He was a grandson of the legendary Sri Chandrasekera of Panadura. His father Dr C. P. De Fonseka married Muthutantrige Leonora Fernando Sri Chandrasekara a daughter of Muthuthanthrige Simon Fernando Sri Chandrasekera, one of the largest purchasers of crown

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Our man in Cochin

Don Louys D’andrado was part of the Dutch expedition which lay siege to Cochin in 1663. The city of Cochin today is a rapidly developing city in the southern Indian state of Kerala. A name unheard for many years is now becoming a popular tourist destination, together with the city of Goa. Cochin is also

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The Sunday Quiz

A quiz published in the Dallas Morning News, Texas USA in recent times, highlights an amazing theory proposed by J.P. de Fonseka to the literary world in 1938. This contribution by J.P  to a world famous authorship debate, is one of the lesser known things about J.P. The Internet has always been a source of

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A Letter for you Sir!

A simplified addressing system invented by J. P. De Fonseka in the 1940’s may have been the precursor to the email address protocol used today. During my research into the work of J. P. De Fonseka, something that I kept on hearing often was about the literary giants he kept company with, and very particularly

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Lionel de Fonseka – Les Eaux de Lumiere

This magnificent and rare book, written entirely in French by Lionel de Fonseka in 1953, discusses the appearances of Virgin Mary in Fatima, Portugal and the Eastern and Western views on religious matters. LES EAUX de LUMIERE (‘ The Waters of Light’)  Lionel de Fonseka Varnasuriya – 1953 With a Dialogue on the Oriental and

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Lionel de Fonseka – De La Verite Dans L’art

DE LA VERITE DANS L’ARTDIALOGUE ENTRE UN ORIENTAL ET UN OCCIDENTAL Lionel de Fonseka Varnasuriya  Copyrights by Editions CHITRA, Paris, 1930  This book, again written entirely in French by Lionel was translated and published as ‘The Truth of Decorative Art’ and discusses the western influence on the arts and people of Ceylon DE LA VERITE DANS

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Devar Surya Sena

In his autobiography ,”Of Sri Lanka I Sing”, Devar Surya Sena recalls his connections to the De Fonseka families of Kalutara.   Devar Surya Sena was born Herbert Charles Jacob Pieris, the son of Sir James Pieris, member of the then Legislative Assembly. His mother was one of the12 children from the family of Jacob

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The curse of the D’ Andrados and D’Andrado slaves

When Manuel D’Andrado accompanied the Dutch to capture Jaffna from the Portuguese, he got involved with the wife of a Tamil Mudaliyar, with disastrous consequences for both.   The curse of the D’andrados When Manuel D’Andrado went with the Dutch to capture Jaffna from the Portuguese, there was an attempted coup, where several people were

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The Ladies’ Lady

An article honoring Bertha de Fonseka at the centennial celebration of Ladies College, reveals some interesting insights in to the racing career of Bertha and Edmund Clarence de Fonseka.   “My explanation, which was accepted, was that Shali was a mare and, like most females, unpredictable.”                                                                                                                                                                            Edmond Clarence de Fonseka One of the glittering moments

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The story of Pat Gooneratna

“Salgado Bakery had a running account for him where the bills were paid initially through furniture and fittings and eventually the proprietor of the bakery took possession of the house. “ Patrick Gooneratna was born the only child into the wealthy family of Peter Gooneratna and Beatrice de Fonseka (Panwila Aunty) and owned many properties

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The Babylon Stakes

In his book ‘Running in the Family’, Booker Prize winning author Michael Ondaatje writes about the evergreen E. C. de Fonseka Jnr.  ‘I think all of our lives have been terribly shaped by what went on before us.’Running in the Family, Michael Ondaatje 1983. In his book ‘Running in the Family’, Sri Lankan born author

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Menaka de Fonseka Sahabandu

Menaka de Fonseka Sahabandu – Personality of the Week; by Ilika Karunaratne. From the Daily News of 15th March 2003 Our personality this week is one of Sri Lanka’s nightingales. Her voice has a rich timbre and has been her path to fame. She was recently awarded the award for excellence in vocal western music

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Selestina Dandrado (nee De Silva).

Death Notice including the chief mourners and the attendees from the ‘Ceylon Independent’ newspaper of Thursday, 17th of May, 1917. Mrs. S, DE ANDRADO The death occurred at Mount Pleasant on Sunday night of Selestina, relict of the late Sebastian de Andrado, at the age of 69. She was hale and hearty on Saturday morning

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J.P. de Fonseka – A Teacher of Yesteryear

Joseph Peter (J.P.) de Fonseka was a man of many parts. He was in his day known as an essayist, a teacher in English at St. Joseph’s College in Colombo, who would not only teach but inspire his students, and a great contributor to Catholic belief and social values. He was born into the well

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Sketches for an Autobiography

by Izeth Hussain  (as Published in the Island newspapers of 29th April and 20th May, 2017)  I am on the verge of becoming a nonagenarian, and although my body increasingly refuses to obey my orders my mind is intact and my memory is on the whole reliable. So I can write my autobiography with a fair

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They sought the Vote

Young Nimal de Fonseka now 77, witnessed the making of history.  From the Sunday Times – Magazine, 2nd January 2000. The ladies gathered at ‘Sravasti’, the stately home of her grand aunt Mrs. W. A. de Silva and though she was just a little girl of four or five, she was taken along. ‘They piled

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DPL who won all hearts

Jinadasa Fernando Gunasekera Ceylon Daily News, 24th March, 1988. Greatness was virtually thrust on him by his uncle, W Arthur de Silva, the sage of ‘Sravasti’ who was a Minister of Health in the State Council era. Susantha de Fonseka, whose twentieth death anniversary falls this year, was a grandson of the legendary Sri Chandrasekera

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Futurism in Food – Lionel de Fonseka

Futurism in Food by Lionel de Fonseka. The need for abstraction and for symbols is a charac­teristic sign of that intensity and rapidity with which life is lived to-day. Our modern complexity prevents us from being satisfied with a pictural and anecdotal expression. . . The time has gone by when the painter painted as

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