Mylvaganam completes his term
The affable Ajantha Mylvaganam after an illustrious period in the Executive Committee of the Royal Colombo was invited to take the Executive Chair one year ago. He happily agreed even though he was fully aware that he was going to carry a few nasty hiccups that remained uncured. Myla with a strong will and disposition took up the challenge and set about getting the place in order. Within a few months the indiscipline got aggravated with a show of sickening vandalism to posh club property. He moved in sharply, firmly and fearlessly and placed the entire investigation with the proper authority. It’s under perfect control from all reports I have collected, and those who have been responsible for this insane damage must shiver when they learn of the consequences after the inquiry is complete.
Meantime he can claim a successful year. The coffers are loaded, the social calendar was studded bright and the year just past looks quite rewarding.
In the past we have had several Captains handling the Mecca of Golf with distinction. When I was the Hony. Secretary in 1964, the Royal Colombo had the astute leadership of James Capper, who was remarkably efficient and dedicated to the success of the Club. Pin Fernando was next and the very soul of the Club.
To his eternal credit, it was during his period of stewardship that the Club saw the less privileged caddies getting the attention and encouragement they richly deserve. He played with them, gave them equipment and extended his charity to their families with clothes, books and nutritional food. The Club was then more elitist than now but he still found the time to step down for the needy in distress.
There were several greats after him but of different shades. Shirley de Silva will be remembered for the high degree of discipline he battled to maintain with success. He exercised a firm stamp, joined in camaraderie, had fun and served well like many of his colleagues. He had a fashionable background so important for a Club of Royal stature.
Another I remember strikingly, was Lalin Samarawickrema who paired with his pal Haris Serasinghe. They handled the massive reconstruction and refurbishment of the entire Club House and also installed a concept of a practice range. It was a tremendous undertaking involving millions of Rupees, all put together meticulously to achieve the success we see now.
I repeat there were greats before them and after them, together with a few disasters, and finally came the unmatchable Kumar Boralessa. Dead centre honest, he handled the very many complex undertakings of the 125th Anniversary with finesse, style and distinction. As President at that time, I was delighted to be associated with him in these several undertakings. He excelled in speechcraft.
As for the future with a controversial contest in the offing, I will not risk making any predictions, except to say that personally I am delighted that there is an attempt to swipe away the present pattern of selecting a senior in the Committee to rise to Vice Captain and Captain immaterial of his stature and capacity.
The best possible individuals must be placed up front by the membership. Today the establishment is being challenged. Priya Fernando is contesting the Committee Nominee Ron Bakelman for Captain, and Nimal Piyaratne is contesting Tissa Jayasinghe, the Committee Nominee for Vice Captain.
The need at the moment is for top calibre individuals competent to handle the affairs of the prestigious Royal Colombo.