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26th October 1997

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  • Jith presents bridal show
  • 'A caring Priest'
  • Films on Women's Issues
  • 'Master builder' of Trinity
  • Aurora inspires contemporary Australian handicrafts

  • Jith presents bridal show

    One of Colombo theatre's most talented producers Jith Peiris will present a Bridal Show - 'I'm Getting Married in the morning." on November 14 at the Trans Asia hotel.

    Jith has done away with the usual parading and choreographed a timely musical, which incorporates the traditional brides of Sri Lanka as well as the Western trends. Also included are a few unusual creations. All the creations will be executed by Technique International who are the originators of the bridal extravaganza which is in its fourth successive year. Last year's extravaganza was an outdoor event at Eden Hotel, Beruwela. This year's collection will have about 40 unique creations including a few for the 21st century.

    All proceeds of this production are for the Wattegama Girls Home in Kandy and tickets will be on sale shortly, priced at Rs. 350/-. This home is in a village called Meegammana in Wattegama about eight miles from Kandy and houses about 50 children. The age group varies from 3-18 years and whilst most are orphans some children have one parent or guardian.


    'A caring Priest'

    Some errors had inadvertently crept into last week's Plus section story titled "A Caring Priest" published on Page 3. The quotes attributed to Ven. Chandrajothi, were in fact what was said about him by General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Buddhist Congress, Ven Diviyagaha Yassasi.

    The corrected paragraphs are published below:

    "We all took cover whilst a young boy was running helter skelter in the premises. Thereafter a grenade was thrown close to the place where the Ven. Vitharadeniye Chandrajothi Thera was hiding," Ven. Diviyagaha Yassassi said.

    "He was caring towards everyone irrespective of their race, caste or creed. Many times we told him to leave the Viharaya as it was not a safe area. But he insisted on staying here saying he wanted to be there for those who came to the area. Nobody who came to him was turned away, whether their needs were food, shelter or just someone to talk to. He even distributed uniforms to students in rural areas," Ven. Diviyagaha Yassasi added.


    Films on Women's Issues

    The International Television Trust for the Environment (TVE) invites directors and producers of films on women's (gender) issues to provide information on their productions, to be considered for inclusion in a global catalogue of films on women.

    TVE is particularly interested in films and videos of any genre (feature film, documentary, docu-drama, animation, comedy, soap-opera/teledrama) exploring human rights and gender issues, with emphasis on women's sexual and reproductive rights. However, TVE would be interested in hearing about any production that looks at the social, economic and cultural aspects of women, including girl children.

    Sri Lankan film makers interested in entering their productions in this catalogue are requested to send a VHS viewing tape along with any promotional photos, synopsis of the film, and basic production information to the TVE Sri Lanka office at No 11/2, 9th Lane, Etul Kotte, Kotte, by or before November 5. There is no specific application form.

    More information is available also on TVE's World Wide Web site at http//www.oneworld.org/tve


    'Master builder' of Trinity

    By Ananda Pilimatalauwe

    Trinity celebrates her 125th anniversary this month, hence it is appropriate to remember one of her illustrious Principals of recent times, one who aptly could be called the 'master builder' and father of modern Trinity.

    Norman Walter's era at Trinity was a fresh breeze blowing through the old school which was in slumber after the second world war and the privations resulting thereof. The late Simithraaratchy his predecessor ably guided the school through its most difficult period during and soon after the war, and left a healthy financial base before his retirement.

    That was the background to the messiah's arrival in 1952. A school with a great past and great staff awaiting the messiah to reach out to new frontiers. It was Trinity's good fortune that the messiah came in the form of Norman Walter. He led from the front by example and set about the task of modernising the school, motivating the staff, boys and the minor employees.

    The first task he undertook was to do away with the age old unsanitary bucket latrines and replace them with modern waterborne sanitation. A feat that most people at that time thought was impossible in view of Kandy's perennial water problem. He solved this with a simple common sense solution of storing the plentiful supply of rain water collected off the dormitory roofs.

    He next dismantled the old hall and in its place built the Fraser memorial entrance hall and a block of storied class rooms. From Mr. E. L. Senanayake an illustrious old boy and members of his family he obtained the donation of the new library and built the Milton Senanayake memorial library as a continuation of the Fraser Block facing the new hall on its left flank.

    Soon afterwards he shifted his attention to the junior school and constructed another block of class rooms in harmony with the Simithraaratchy Block. This eased class room congestion and improved the appearance of the junior school.

    He lamented the absence of a school farm and swimming pool. To fill this void he leased out a block of land at Haragama and with Bill Sinnatamby the Botany master transformed the coconut plantation into a beautiful viable farm supplying the much needed vegetables and chicken to the boarding. The old army swimming pool on the land was recovered for use of the students. Norman Walter himself was seen stripped to the waist cleaning out the debris along with the boys. His standard Vanguard couldn't cope with the increasing numbers of boys going to the farm, hence a van and a school bus were purchased.

    Finally there was that Chapel on the hill built in conformity with the Audience Hall and Kandyan architecture adapted to a place of Christian worship. This Chapel had remained incomplete for lack of funds.

    Norman Walter was a product of Exeter College Oxford, and a classics scholar. He did a short spell in the Navy during the war and a stint of teaching in the UK and the West Indies before being reportedly hand picked by the great Fraser to head the school after Simithraratchy.

    By 1957 his task at Trinity over, the responsibility for his children's education sadly took him back to England.

    On his last visit here he was very relaxed and enjoyed the calm and quiet of Hunasgiriya.While in conversation after lunch he said he was beginning to feel his age and would not like to undertake another grueling trip to Australia, hence this would be his last trip to Sri Lanka. Sadly it was. He died in France while holidaying there on July 30,1994.


    Aurora inspires contemporary Australian handicrafts

    The Wendt Gallery featured an illuminating display of contemporary handicrafts recently, drawing its inspiration from the spectacle of light known as the Aurora Australis.

    This is a shimmer of brilliant coloured beams created by solar electrons that stream through the earth's magnetic field to the South Pole.

    It turned out to be a dramatic idea, because through the very chaste, sparse and chiselled lines of these creations of glass, metal and ceramics light inter-acted and gave special emphasis to the work.

    The touring exhibition was organised by the Asia Link Centre of the University of Melbourne and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University.

    Refractions of light on glass, porcelain, plastic and textiles were contrasted with the way it played on solid wooden lines.

    As the Gallery curator, Janine Pellarn who travelled with the exhibit told us, the name Aurora also projects its metaphorical side through this work - its newness, the fact that it is a beginning.

    The materials for the exhibition had been chosen to emphasize this theme and to meet certain aesthetic goals, rather than to project the entire gamut of contemporary Australian crafts through a single display.

    It is interesting to note that interspersed with the rich raw materials used were humble substances like fibre and plastic, whose potential have also been explored aesthetically.

    There is a stamp of energy, curiosity and inquiry that makes this exhibit stand out. It has gained national recognition for its wide divergence from the original, primitive and traditional Aboriginal art forms that existed on the Australian continent in early times.

    This innovative phase of Australian crafts has sprung from the artists, recognition that the well-worn old forms and traditions could respond well to new and changing concepts.

    These not only meet the demands of the present time but display the amalgam of the many influences and traditions of the immigrants from all over the world who have brought so much diversity and richness to Australia.

    Some of the Aurora handicrafts present a lightness of touch and crafting that belies their careful planning and elegance which is embodied in the purity of the lines achieved.

    As curator Pellarn pointed out the play of light on the crafts and what it fulfilled was evident in the way that the lights of the gallery had been focused in small pools on glass objects plated with black chrome or silver.

    Alfreda de Silva


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