Mirror Magazine

9th November 1997

Lissome young model Geraldine D'Rozario is
our model this week posing for the Mirror
Magazine in creations by Sonali White of
Haddai. Geraldine's hair and make-up by Karen
of Ramani Fernando Salons and she was
photographed by Mettasena at Carrington
Villa Hotel, Mount Lavinia.


A date with the Merry–An Singers

A Choral Concert by the Merry An Singers
Lionel Wendt Theatre, 10th Nov. 7.30 p.m.

A concert was held to raise funds for the mentally disabled last month at the Cathedral of Christ the Living Saviour .The date of the concert was fixed for the 15th October - that fateful day when a bomb exploded in the city. However, the concert went on as scheduled and the attendance by the audience was 25% more than the estimated 1000 programmes printed. In spite of the natural doubts and fears of that day it was a testimony to the quality of the choral presentation expected of the Merry An Singers.

To the many people who wanted to come and didn't, as well as those who couldn't come, the Merry An Singers will present a repeat of such wonderful and varied harmonies as can only come from the pens of Bach, Bernstein, Schubert, Hammerstein and Webber, along with famed melodies associated with Whitney Houston and Elton John plus the unique arrangements of Rutter.

The group will be accompanied by the brilliant trio of Soundarie David on piano, Neranjan de Silva on key board and Christopher Prins on drums. The bonding of sounds for discerning listeners will be under the direction of Mary Anne David whose proven abilities and innovative qualities have been known to make magic out of music. Tickets are Rs. 200/- (110 seats reserved) and Rs.100/- free seating.

Dirty dancing

By Afdhel Aziz

The sleazing of London continues unabated with the news that yet another lap dancing club is to open in the centre of the city. For those of you who are unacquainted with this delightful olde English custom, it involves a customer sitting at his table while a scantily clad 'dancer' strips in front of him, encouraged by liberal applications of ten pound notes in the, ahem, appropriate parts of her sartorial vestments. Or what little of it remains. Former nightclub king Peter Stringfellow took the lead with the conversion of his once famous nightclub Stringfellows into a lap dancing venue for several nights week. Made famous by the film 'Showgirls,' the phenomenon is set to spread across the capital - until London becomes the Vegas of Europe? A prospect too ghastly to consider.........

Richard Branson goes from strength to strength - records, cola, airlines and brides have all been the focus of his entrepreneurial abilities. Now he has taken on a whole new sacred cow- the high street banks. He has just launched his Virgin telebanking service, Virgin One, with the usual hoo haa and tomfoolery surrounding it. At this rate, his nomination as a possible mayorial candidate for London seems a shoo in . His closest contenders are former Conservative MP (and bestseller writer) Jeffrey Archer and former Labour MP (and restaurant critic) Ken Livingstone. Branson has agreed to consider the possibility only of he is able to place his businesses in a trust for the duration of his term. I can think of no better candidate for Lord Mayor and heartily endorse his nomination for the sole reason that I would just love to see the headlines on the day of his appointment. THE VIRGIN MAYOR. Has a nice ring to it......

To the Brixton Academy concert hall last week to see British grunge rock darlings Bush in concert, as part of their Razorblade Suitcase tour. A capacity crowd of mostly teenagers filled out the faux baroque enclave, with so many parts of their anatomy pierced that they jingled when they walked. The ground underfoot was sticky with beer spilled through the decades. In the toilets next to me, a bearded, ponytailed Hell's Angel type the size of a small cupboard whistled Led Zeppelin as he drained the lizard. After the thrashings of support band Three Colors Red (destined for glorious obscurity ??) , the main act came out and rocked the crowds for a solid two hours. They are blessed with a charismatic frontman called Gavin, who prances with the sex god moves of a Michael Hutchence and treats his guitar with all the grace of a toreador, tossing it artfully hither and thither. Crunchy power rock, with a stage act that owes a lot to Nirvana and the Stooges - although I was disappointed with the perfunctory version of their biggest hit 'Glycerine.'

However, this was more than made up for by the antics of the stagediving masses in front of me. Stagediving is the art of hurling yourself onto the heads and shoulders of the crowd to be borne forward overhead by friendly hands - in an uncanny parody of childbirth. The birthing metaphor is compounded by the swift but gentle embrace of the security guards who then unceremoniously chuck the offender through a side gate. Being too chicken to try it myself, I nevertheless bought the illegal and completely unofficial t-shirt outside for a fiver, and headed home hoarse but happy.........

Why is Britain so obsessed with its past? Just last week, it was announced that a grant of five million pounds was to be given for the creation of yet another War Museum, adding to the dozen or so that already exists. Nearly every week there is a TV programme or film or exhibition that deals with World War II and Britain's role in it. Perhaps it is not so surprising - as a country that has steadily been losing its influence on the world stage, Britain needs to continually remind itself about its glorious past as an antidote to an uncertain future. But all is not lost.

Work has started on the controversial Millenium Dome on the river Thames in Greenwich, a tribute to the year 2000 and beyond that is costing the British taxpayer around £758 million . The dome will feature nine exhibition spaces for events and is set to open on December 31st 1999. Before the General Election earlier this year there was speculation that the Blair government would cancel the project, but the Labour party seems now fully behind the whole project. About time that Britain stopped looking backward and started looking forward, hrrrumph, jolly good show, blah blah blah............


Sirancee Gunawardana, who has served Ladies' College as its Principal for the past twenty eight years, and was a teacher of imagethat school for several years before, will go down in the educational history of this land.

Her many-faceted contribution as guide and mentor, writer, painter, environmentalist, and visionary, that influenced her students was acknowleged and extolled at a special farewell production, 'Tributum.'

It brought together several generations of students of the English Literary and Debating Society, who offered her, their 'gift of creativity' in return for hers.

Distinguished past pupils Shehara de Silva and Dhara Wijauatilake paid glowing tributes to her in their valedictory speeches.

Mrs. Gunawardana had been at the helm of Ladies' during some of the most difficult years in this country's history, but these had not disrupted her unique and continuing involvement with her school. She fostered it as a centre for culture and the arts, independent thought and a growing self-confidence in her charges.

Mrs. Gunawardana's approach to education had been value- oriented and open to the vast and dramatic changes taking place in modern society.

She passed on her knowledge of people and places and her wide range of interests to her students, giving them perspectives not found in textbooks.

She inspired a spirit of curiosity and inquiry in the school, was responsible for reforms in the curriculum, and innovations like the opening of a Vocational Training Centre for school- leavers.

Several structural additions benefited the school enormously.

Ms. Gunawardana's calmness and composure, her understanding of her students and her ability to get on with people helped her to bring the school to its present stature. Freedom for the children to enjoy their learning experience begins in the nursery school, in their games with sand and water and other natural objects, and extends to freedom of thought to experiment with words and ideas, in the upper shcool.

Snippets in the souvenir printed for this occasion bring tributes from the English literary and Debating Society's President, Manique Wijewardena and its staff advisor, Priyanthi Seneviratne. We learn that Mrs. Gunawardana gave unstinted support to all extra-curricular activities. Often she was the make-up artist and painter of sets for school plays.

'The Tributum' itself was novel in that all the drama and poetry had been written by the past and present pupils themselves. It was notewothy that in the play 'Darkness', written by Marlene Maurice, mature themes had been tackled.

Insurrection, prostitution, murders, drug and child abuses, which sent five women to prison, were handled with sensitivity and artistry by Romany Parakrama, who directed the play. In spite of the fact that it was somewhat overlong, the acting all round was moving and convincing throughout.

Particularly effective was the stark black prison set on split levels, designed by Romany and created by Jith Peiris.

As a foil to this serious and thought-provoking drama came another original, a light hearted, hilarious piece. 'The Mad Cow,' written by 'Manuka Wijesinghe, a past student. There were three original poems, 'The Youngling', written and read by Romany Parakrama, 'The Face of a Generation' written and read by Marlene Maurice and 'A Poem' by Madhubhashini Disanayake, read by Indika Senanayake.

A set of songs, 'One heart, one voice', rendered by past students, a tribute song in candle light by Teruni de Alwis, a presentation to Mrs. Gunawardana and the School Hymn brought this special event to a close.

- Alfreda de Silva

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