Our international sports stars to revive ‘Golden Memories" in Australia
by a special correspondent
They will greet, fete and celebrate their achievements in a unique get-together organised by the Australia-Sri Lanka Sports Foundation and sponsored by Knox Tavern. And to make it a night to remember two Sri Lankan-born vocalists who have made their name on the international music scene will provide the entertainment. They are Keith Potger of The Seekers and Alston Koch. They will be supported by the leading band Christies Revival. Top caterer Zodiac will provide a typical Sri Lankan smorgasbord.
Sports foundation co-ordinator Ramsay Ziegelaar said the response was tremendous as all 350 tickets were sold out in mid-September.
Ramsay said the sellout was no surprise as over 120 of the island’s sports internationals have migrated to Australia — a record for any community group Down Under.
Sri Lanka’s Sports internationals from Sydney, Brisbane and as far as distant as Perth are attending this once-in-a lifetime reunion. Outstanding hockey goalkeeper Freddie White will be flying down from Perth.
Other stars travelling from interstate include Geoff Weinman (rugby), Rodney Ingleton (rugby, swimming and water polo) and Tom Deen (soccer) from Sydney and Maurice de Silva (rugby) from Brisbane. Sydneysider Gamini Goonasena (cricket) is also among the invitees.
After Pat McCarthy led the influx of the Ceylon sports brigade Down Under in the late forties, the sports internationals leaving the island have soared, the majority living in Victoria. Among them are cricketers Ernie Kelaart (also hockey), Bobby Schoorman, Ravi Ratnayeke, Asanka Gurusingha, Hugh Aldons (hockey), Dhanasiri Weerasinghe, Pat Kelly, Darrell Lieversz (athletics), Fitzroy Crozier, Dr. Buddy Reid (table tennis), Ronnie Reid, Tony Buhar, Denis Ferdinands, Claude Reid, Peter de Neise, Saliya Ahangama, Sanath Kaluperuma, Susil Fernando, Granville de Silva (basketball), Sanjeewa Weerasinghe, Athula Samarasekera and Marlon Von Haght (cricket).
Rugby players head the list and include Ashy Cader, Noel Brohier, Lorenz Pereira, Glen Van Langenberg, Selva Kanagasabai, Dr. Trevor Anghie, Irwin Howie, Bumpy Jayasekera, Fred Kreltszheim, Gavin Stevens, Jeff de Jong, Lennie de Silva, David Parker, Brian Faithful, Hiran Muttiah, Frankie David, Hafi Abdeen, Graham Ludowyke (basketball), Chomondley Henricus, Hamish Paternott, Randy Pietersz, and Reggie Bartholomeusz. And last but not least Lt. Cdr. Darley Ingleton who coached the Ceylon team and represented the country in water polo, swimming and surf life saving.
In tennis who can forget the evergreen Rupert Ferdinands who represented Ceylon and Sri Lanka from 1953 to 1971 and Wendy Witham (nee Molligoda) who won the national title.
Former Ceylon soccer captain Peter Ranasinghe is in Perth while teammate Dr. Anton Mariadason is in Melbourne. Hockey players include Derrick Harvie and Rienzie Perera.
Among the women players are Dawn Harvie, Jill de Kretser, Sarojine Ollegasegrem, Carmen Boulton and Carmen Pratt (nee Joachim).
In boxing Malcolm Bulner tops the list and the others include Edward Gray, who fought in the 1948 London Olympics and Lorenz de Kauwe who won medals in the Asian Games and Asian championships.
Table tennis champions there are a plenty with Dick Schoorman, Nimo Ramchand, Jimmy Billimoria, Barney Reid and Dr. Ramesh Melvani.
There are also several internationals from other sports including athletes Irene de Soysa (nee Williams), one of Ceylon’s star sprinters, and Myrna Williams (nee Kelaart). Dr Virginia de Vos (nee Swan) a champion swimmer and diving champion Allan Smith who competed in the Melbourne 1956 Olympics. There are also several men and women basketball players including Percy and Noel Perera and Vernon Davidson among the men while the women stars include Charmaine de Silva (nee Caldera), Asha de Silva (nee Cooray), Vivienne Jansz (nee Michel), Lorna Van Cuylenberg (netball), and Melanie Vanderwert (nee Van Cuylenberg).
Apart from Raife Jansz, who dominated the badminton scene in the ’50s and early ‘60s the only other national badminton champion in Australia is Tony Dickson.
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