1. Hi there my father was in Ceylon during the war. Its wonderful to get a feel of the place.
    Do you have idea of the conditions for the men in the Royal Artillary?
    Many thanks

    1. Dear Vernon ,,
      Your comment sure brought back many memories .The potgar family at vaverset place I remember going to the sea scout head quarters with your dad and the boys one was my class mate at stc . Sure I would like to get in touch
      B R L Fdo

      1. Hi Vernon and BRL. I remember you guys from STC. Wonderful times !!! Greetings from São Paulo, Brazil. Rohan C. Fernando. Mob. 55 11 9.9996.4439 Keep in touch.

      2. Hi BRL. Received this email from Peter Nicol & saw your comments. I too remember the Potgar family down Vaverset place. I know one of the boys were in my class not sure if it was Vernon. If you are in contact with them please pass on my best wishes to them & my email. All the best to you & your family for the new year. Hoping to come to Sri Lanka in 2018/2019 will catch up then Randolph Alvis

  2. The writer couldn’t have said it better. Christmas in Sri Lanka has been the best – such a lot of wonderful memories. Thank you so much for posting this and for the Christmas pudding recipe.

    1. Did you go to Arethusa College. I remember there was a Hatch brother in my class but cannot remember the name. I am Valentine Lewis – stayed then at Kalyani Lane. Thanks

  3. As a Kandy/Matale boy, we too enjoyed Christmas just like what has been described. After 50 years in Australia, my wife still makes the Christmas cake for the family every year and we enjoy the festive season with our friends. Thanks for the reminder. Trevor.


  4. After nearly 36 years of living in the California, USA I will never forget my Ceylonese upbringing. And when items mentioned in your blog it brought back many memories that I would never forget, ever. BTW Noel Cruz is a relative on my mother’s side (cousin).

  5. Thanks for the beautiful memories of our good old Sri Lanka we can never enjoy Christmas the way we did in our mother land, thanks Noel its wonderful memories.

  6. What a wonderful experience reading your description of the good old days in Ceylon. My children who are born in Canada have no comprehension of the wonderful time we had at Christmas. You forgot to mention the Salt Pork.Percival Smith.Canada

  7. Although i was born in the 70’s this article brought back so many precious memories. My mum who is an Ephraums and born in 1927 will recall a lot said in this article. I sure will make it a point to share this with her. Thank you!!

  8. Yes this article did bring back many wonderful memories of Christmas in Sri Lanka. My wife has once again made the typical Sri Lankan Christmas cake and it is much appreciated by all who taste it in New Zealand.

  9. Thanks for sharing this interesting article. It brings back lots of memories.
    My wife Jan is Australian and makes the Ceylon Christmas Cake every year tastes yummy. With our 3 children and their families all born in Australia we have a Ceylonese Christmas similar to your article. We lived in 152 Station Rd Nugegoda our familiy names were Beven and Kellars. I am an old Joe.

  10. Like Tammy I am a 70’s kid and first came from England on a 3 month holiday to Sri Lanka in 1978 at the age of 7, but memories of that holiday are so vividly etched in my mind. My parents settled down in Sri Lanka in 1980 and I was so lucky to have experienced so many Christmases in the most joyful manner as stated in the article….I felt like I was re living my childhood while reading Noel’s article. Thank you so much for the experience….words cannot express the appreciation and how grateful myself and many others who read this article would have felt and would continue to feel. BTW my mum was a Miss. Speldewinde and many like herself migrated to other parts of the wold in the early sixties. She just couldn’t stay away and came back to this beautiful Isle and that was how I came to experience what was probably the tail end of a by gone era….

  11. We left Ceylon in 1963 my Dad was a engin driver and we were stationed in Trincomalee. My Dad used to always help to mix the Christmas Cake and when it was ready we sent it to the bakers to be backed
    , The best child hood ever Christmas was fun and laughter, going to mid night mass meeting our friends at church Checking out the boys.Best Christmas ever.

    1. My Dad served in the CGR for 40 years as an Engineer, we travelled all over the island, living in grand old Railway quarters, in Anuradhapura; Cheddicullum (spelling could be wrong) Ragama; Dematagoda Rd, Borella; Moroatuwa, Born in Beruwela, lived near the Station, and the house is still there, temporary accommodation for ‘travellers'(2004), NanuOya; Dematagoda; Kandy near the railway line past a small Tunnel going to Mahayana. Loved the old Steam Engines, and loved our life on the trains. I left in 1967 and moved to the UK and then moved to Australia in 1974. Lovely happy memories of my childhood and family times, I was born in 1943, and enjoyed the peaceful happy childhood, that only dreams are made of. Chris Duff-Tytler


  12. I remember this era very well, having been born in 1936. It was the most wonderful time in Ceylon (I still prefer to call it that). How I wish the clock could be turned back. We had such a good time, which our children and grandchildren will never have the good fortune to experience. How disappointingly different the present era is, in everyway. Thank you for bringing back the nice memories of yesteryear.

  13. I was born in 1928 and I have experienced most of the incidents that are mentioned by the Noel Cruz during this period such redecorating our houses, shopping in Pettah, Colombo and purchasing the household requirements such as clothing, food ingredients , toys, fireworks to mention a few. The customs we followed such as visiting our relatives and friends. Carols and church services etc. Nothing to beat Christmas in Sri Lanka as I and my family have lived and experienced previously in UK and Canada.
    Having known Noel Cruz his father and his brother during my school days. Thank you for sharing this information

    1. Wow! X’MS is coming: the geese are getting fat ! My Ma was a Committee member of the YWCA and went to Meetings at St. Pauls. We lived in Trinco Street, in Kandy. She went along with Ruth Keyt (the first registered short-time wife of George) to St. Pauls in “twin” rickshaws ( moving wt courage, side by side). Made cake; for use at St. Pauls too, and left-overs for the kids in the family ( Trinity College for the 4 boys and Hillwood for the sole girl).

      My pseudo-name ( Anne A. Nornemus)

  14. That was going down memory lane for me ….I always think of our homeland as Ceylon…great article love the recipe..anyone out there have the recipe for good old bread pudding please ….thr kne I make id nothing like the one my mum used to make .

  15. Bought back soo much memories! Thank you for this article. I remember going to Philip Neris for mass on Christmas day. Then the home cooked lunch then going to my paternal grandmothers place at Princes Gate Hultsdorf then travelling home to Elakanda by bus.Fireworks were lit next day. Allidon sparklers how i used to love them! Few roman candles and ones that went circling on the ground. Cant remember the name! Lovely lively times….i could go on and on. Charmaine Pauline Rodrigo nee Jansen.

  16. Preparation for Christmas took almost for ever. Cards had to be posted. PoThe puhul dhosi for the cake had to be made. The ice cream churn cleaned and made ready. New clothes and shoes bought. The trip to the Pettah included hot pancake roles at Paiva’s and a faluda at Bombay sweetmart. And depending on the time of day, a biryani at Pilau’s. And Seneviratna’s for exercise books for school.
    A.W.Jansz at the top of High Street produced the glorious salt beef. The timber barrel it was in would have failed every CMC test, but we survived. In preparation, the mixed grill and Knickerbocker glory from fountain cafe was well worth waiting for. Preparation for Christmas took the whole of December. Fugethies and the Christmas cake was made early on the understanding that the Brandy and sherry should have time soak in and mature. Never understood why ants never ever attacked the cake, may be it was the spirits that fortified it. The children rallied round to lick the old brass pan in which the cake was beaten in. The garden trimmed and the whole place made tidy. The painting of the house and the new curtains added to the expectation. After lunch there was a long line of well wishers who partook in the dana. Making the ice cream was most enjoyable. The churn was placed in a timber half barrel, and filled ice sprinkled with salt to further reduce the temperature. The children took turns to turn the handle of the churn till the cream solidified. It did not last long as it had to be devoured before it melted.

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