Sri Lanka Colombo Chetty Family

Sri Lanka Colombo Chetty Family Genealogy

CASIE CHETTY - Family #7017

1  Casie Chetty

 

    2  Adrienne Casie Chetty, became a Protestant

 

        3  Casper Casie Chetty, converted from Hinduism to Roman Catholocism

 

            4  Mudaliyar Simon Casie Chitty, b:27 Mar 1807, d:5 Nov 1860, District Judge of Chillaw and Maniagar of Puttlam, first native to be appointed to the Ceylon Civil Service, appointed a Tamil Member of the Legislative Council when this office was rendered vacant due to the death of Coomaraswamy Mudaliar. He held this office for seven years and then resigned. On his retirement from the Legislative Council due to heavy expenses he was made the First Ceylonese Civil Servant and also a member of the Royal Asiatic Society in 1845. He proceeded to Chilaw as District Judge which office he held until his death on November 5, 1860 at the age of 53. Before his death he became a Catholic. Mudaliyar of Kalpitiya. Proctor. Interpreter to the Puttalam Courts at the age of 17. Later took up position as Office of Assistant Collector. Collector of Chilaw and Maniyagar of Puttalam and Attorney to the Government was in addition to these Offices. During this period he maintained and conducted a free Tamil School at Kalpity for 50 students. Held several offices of trust in the Dutch East India Company Service. Settled down in Kalpitiya after marriage. 1834: Simon Casie Chetty writes the 'Ceylon Gazetteer'. He describes Batticaloa as a cool, healthy and fertile district. He is nominated as a member to the Executive Council. 1859: Simon Casie Chetty publishes his 'Tamil Plutarch'. + Marie de Rosairo (7015)

                5  Mudaliyar John Casie Chitty , b:1830, Deputy Fiscal, Kalpentyn (Kalpitiya), 1853

                    6  Casie Chetty, b:22 Nov 1852

                5  Aloysius Mount Carmel Casie Chetty , b:1853, Proctor + Mary Muthukumaru

                    6  Angeline Casichetty + Chevalier Sir Chittampalam Abraham Gardiner, 1896-1960

                        7  Cyril Aloysius Gardiner, b:1915, d:17 Sep 1990 + Mavis Henry

                            8  Sanjiv Gardiner, Chairman Ceylon Hotels Corporation Limited

                        7  Anton Gardiner + Kamini

                        7  Anne Gardiner + Santhiapillai Aloysius, d:1970

                            8  Dennis Aloysius + Christobel Perera

                                9  Rohan Aloysius

                                9  Rohini Aloysius + Chrisanthakumar Anslem Xavier Bastiampillai

                                    10  Romano Xavier Dennis Bastiampillai Angelo

                                    10  Edward Chrysanthakumar Bastiampillai

                                9  Ranjani Aloysius

                                9  Rani Aloysius

                                9  Ruhani Aloysius

                            8  Hubert Aloysius + Carol Rohini Aiyadurai

                                9  Jehan Aloysius

                                9  Hiranjan Aloysius

                            8  Joseph Aloysius + Bernadette Jeyaleela Thambimuttu

                            8 Peter Aloysius + Lorna Sylvia Pinto

                            8  Mangalam Aloysius + Antony St. George, 1923-Jan 28 1991, Distributor for Shell Agrochemicals in Jaffna

                            8  Lucy Aloysius + Albert Athisayaratnam Page

                                9  Jeanne Nirmalar Page + Rajakulendran Jonathan Mather

                                    10  Juliana Natasha Rasamany Mather

                                    10  Christina Chamara Mather

                                9  Therese Ariyamalar Page + Indran Selvaratnam

                                9  Anthony Asokumar Page + Patricia Sylvia de Souza

                                    10  Abraham Arvindakumar Page

                                    10  Angeli Letitia Mariam Page

                                9  Louis Rajkumar Page + Kshirabdi Tanya Padmanabha

                                    10  Rachel Atendri Page

                                    10  Tara Lucy Manonmani Page

                                    10  Louis Ranjitkumar Page

                                9  Cecilia Kirubaimalar Page + Joseph Amrit Muttukumaru

                                    10  Previn Muttukumaru

                                    10  Anita Muttukumaru

                                9  Joseph Chandrakumar Page + Maria

                                    10  Marianne Page

                                    10  Jonathan Page

                                9  Valentine Ranjitkumar Page + Roshanara

                                    10  Leah Raya Page

                                9  Marianne Mahimalar Page

                            8  Pushpam Aloysius

                        7  Amy Gardiner + Soosaipilla Ratnanathar

                            8  George Ratnanathar

                            8  Kingsley Ratnanathar

                            8  Percy Ratnanathar

                            8  Lesley Ratnanather

                            8  Therese Annapoorani Ratnanathar

                            8  Barbara Ratnanathar

                            8  Cecilia Ratnanathar

                            8  Elizabeth Ratnanathar

                        7  Agnes Gardiner + S P Dominic

                            8  Srimani Dominic

                            8  Marie Poomani Dominic

                            8  David Dominic

                            8  Justin Dominic

 

                     6  Dora Casie Chetty + Pius Abraham, Station Master

                        7  Prosper Abraham + Margery de Abrew

                            8  Alastair Abraham + Cynthia Congreve

                                9  Dominic Joseph Rajiv Abraham

                            8  Ryle Abraham

                            8  Brightie Abraham

                        7  Lionel Abraham + Olga De Zoysa

                        7  Reverend Father Dr Percy Abraham Doctor & Jesuit Priest

                        7  Bertrand Abraham + Selvaranee Pullenayagam

                            8  Abraham

                            8  Abraham

                            8  Abraham

                        7  Philomel Abraham

                        7  Cecilia Abraham + Dr. John I Fernandopulle, Kochchikade, Negombo

                            8  Satyendra Fernandopulle + Dr Shanti Eliatamby

                                9  Shanelle Fernandopulle

                            8  Savitri Fernandopulle + Thomas Ratnasabapathy

                                9  Naren Ratnasabapathy

                                9  Nilen Ratnasabapathy

                            8  Ajit Fernandopulle

                            8  Indira Fernandopulle

                        7  Rosmary Abraham + G F Sethukavalar, PC

 

                    6  Josephine Casichetty + Dr. Sinnadurai

 

                    6  Casichetty + Arasaratnam

                        7  Lilamani Arasaratnam

                        7  Manonmani Arasaratnam

                        7  Kamini Arasaratnam

 

                    6  Casichetty + C Thambinayagam

                        7  Terrence Thambinayagam

 

                    6  Casie Chetty + Philip R Brito-Babapulle

 

                5  Daughter Casie Chitty + Ramalingam Swaminathar

                    6  Swaminathar Kandiah Swaminathar

                    6  Rasiah Swaminathar Sinniah

                    6  Eldest Daughter Swaminathar

                    6  Second Daughter Swaminathar

 

                5  Harry Casie Chetty, Interpreter Mudaliar of the District Court Colombo, later Headmaster of the Lower school of St Thomas College. + Anna Pieris Aserappa

                    6  Godwin Casie Chetty + Jane de Rosairo. They had two sons Mervyn Casie Chetty (1913-1999) the late lawyer and poet, and Rajah Casie Chetty who died in 1974

                        7  Mervyn St. Sebastian Casie Chetty, b: 1913, d:Sat Nov 6 1999, Lawyer, Social Activist, Poet, Represented Sri Lanka at Law Asia Conferences, been a Member of the Bar Council and a member of the disciplinary panel of the Bar Association. Murdered by robbers who stole cash and whiskey from his residence at Mount Lavinia on Nov 6 1999.

                            8  N Yohesan Casie Chetty, Headmaster of S. Thomas' Preparatory School, Kollupitiya

                            8  Christofer Daneshan Casie Chetty, Ambassador to Germany + Shantie Dickman

 

                        7  Rajah Casie Chetty, died in 1974

 


1  Casie Chetty

     2  Casie Chetty

        3  Dr Linus Casie Chetty + Beda, d:July 24 2007

            4  Flavia Casie Chetty

            4  Dr Elmo Casie Chetty

            4  Bona Casie Chetty (d)

            4  Dr Vasantha Casie Chetty + Ranjit Abeysekera

            4  Duleep Casie Chetty + Patricia

            4  Dr Aiyeesha Casie Chetty

            4  Dr Shyama Casie Chetty + Lakshman Fernando

            4  Nirmala Casie Chetty


1  Casie Chetty

    2  Augustus Casie Chetty, d:1958 + Felicia Alles (7002)

        3  Dr Lakshman Felix William Casie Chetty + Name Not Known

            4  Name Not Known

            4  Name Not Known

            4  Name Not Known

        3  Sharmini Casie Chetty

        3  Rukmani Casie Chetty

        3  Ranjan Casie Chetty + Brito Muthunayagam (Cuckoo)


1 Casie Chetty

    2  Mudaliyar Spencer Casie Chetty

        3  Ms Casie Chetty + Weerappa

            4 Lydia Weerappa, b:1870, Grand Daughter of Mudaliar Spencer Casie Chetty one of the wealthiest members of the Colombo Chetty Community, owned almost all houses in Jampettah and New Chetty Street. + Simon T Savundranayagam, b:1865, MA Cantab, FA Madras, School Pricipal (7012)

                5 Tony Mannings Savundranayagam, b:1896, 1st Ceylonese Govt Store keeper + Miss Brito Mutunayagam                     

                5 Peter Donald Savundranayagam, b:1898, Chief Accountant Civil Aviation + Miss Casie Chetty (7017)       

                5 Alexander Savundranayagam, b:1901, Civil Servant, Commissioner + Miss Swaminathan  

                5 Leena Savundranayagam, b:1904 + Berty Mendis, Station Superintendent Railways

                5 Pearl Savundranayagam, b:1910 + Weerappa

                5 Sam Savundranayagam, b:1915 + Miss Fernandopulle

                5 Maurice Canute Pulle Tissera, b:19-Jan-1915, d:22-Nov-1994, Head Staistics Standard Vacuum Oil Comapany and ESSO + Mectilda Theresa Pulleneyegam, b:9-Apr-1919, d:26-Oct-1989

                    6 Rajes  Savundranayagam, b:27-Apr-1943, + H.R.Nonis, d:1985, a well known Zoology lecturer in Sri Lanka

                        7 Son -  Chartered Marketter

                        7  Daughter

                    6 Srimani Savundranayagam, b:11-Apr-1947 + J.B. Paul, Businessman

                        7 daughter, Marketting Executive

                        7 son

                        7 daughter, Beauty Culturist

                        7  daughter

                    6 Shirley Pulle Tissera, b:26-May-1950, Company Director and well known Social worker - District Governor of Lions International (91/92). President FONGOADA (Federation of NGOs Against Drug Abuse).. President SAFNGO (South Asian Federation of NGOs). Vice President Colombo Chetty Association of Sri Lanka. President of CFPA (Network against AIDS). Chairman MJPNR (Movement for Justice, Peace, & Reconciliation). Co-ord of the Congress of Religions. Justice of Peace (All Island) + Anita Jeniffer Alles, b:6-Sep-1961, m:1983 (only daughter of Anton and Angella Alles)

                        7 Anoushka Pulle Tissera, b:15-Feb-1984                  

                        7 Rukshan Pulle Tissera, b:11-Apr-1985              

                        7 Shavindra Pulle Tissera, b:29-Jun-1988              

                        7 Viroshan Pulle Tissera, b:21-Nov-1990

                    6 Carmini Lourdes, b:21-Sep-1954 + Sherwel Fernando, Managing Director of Allied Tread Co in Sydney Australia

                        7 son (Engineer)

                        7 son (Engineer)

                        7 son (Engineer)


obit:CASIE CHETTY - BEDA Safe in the Arms of Jesus. Dearly beloved wife of late Dr Linus, darling mother of Flavia, Dr Elmo, late Bona, Dr Vasantha and Ranjit Abeysekera, Duleep and Patricia, Dr Aiyeesha, Dr Shyama and Lakshman  Fernando and Nirmala, dearest grandmother of Dushyanthi, Natasha, Michael, Erandha and Ashan. Cortege leaves residence 151, Pickerings Road, Korahena, 3.30 p.m., 25th Wednesday for  R.C. Burial Ground, Kanatte, Borella. DN Wed July 25 2007

CASIE CHETTY - POOMANIE   Beloved wife of Late Gaspar, mother of Brighton (Deceased), Sherril, Nihal, Brightley, Christine, Robin, Lucky, Ranjan and John, mother-in-law of Minakshi, Neville, Fermin and Sandhya, expired. Cortege leaves residence at 3.00 p.m. on Sunday 05th August for Burial at General Cemetery, Borella. 62/7, Cemetery Road, Ettukala, Negombo. DN Sat Aug 4 2001


Among the Chetties rose a great Tamil scholar -

200th birth anniversary of Simon Casie Chetty will be celebrated today at Kalpitiya

Kasipillai Manickavasagar, 25 March 2007

Simon Casie Chetty, the first civil servant of Ceylon was a member of the Legislative Council, judge, scholar and prolific author. His 200th birth anniversary is being celebrated today at his school in Kalpitiya near Puttalam. The programme will include the release of the reprints of three of his English books, unveiling his portrait and a commemoration meeting. He was indeed a multi-faceted personality.

The parchment scroll detailing the biographical data of Simon Casie Chetty prepared for posterity by M.H.M. Naina Marikar, M.P. for Puttalam and Deputy Minister was unveiled at the New Puttalam Law Courts complex on October 19, 1984. The inaugural address on this occasion was delivered by Dr. Nissanka Wijeyeratne, former Minister of Justice.

The History of the Colombo Chetties written by Shirley Pulle Tissera, and the History of Colombo Chetty Community written by A.T.S. Paul confirm that "the ancestors belonged to a small community that hailed from Alwar in the Tinnevely district in South India, who were Tamil-speaking Hindus. One of them, Casper Casie Chetty migrated to Ceylon in the middle of the Portuguese period, became a Catholic, and was known to be living in Colombo with his wife in 1620. The grandfather of Simon, Adrian Casie Chetty became a Protestant and a member of the Dutch Reformed Church.”

Chetty VS Setthi

The Colombo Chetty Association (CCA) in its historical souvenir has made an etymological declaration of the word Chetty, that "it is interpreted as Setthi in Pali, Hetti or Situ in Sinhalese and Etti in Tamil. Therefore, any reference to Setthi or Situ would mean Chetty. This is important because in all historical records this Community is referred to as Setthi or Situ".

At the same time, the Tamil Lexicon published under the authority of the University of Madras in six volumes in the early 1930s and reprinted in 1982, etymologizes on page 1583 of volume 3 that the term Chetty originated and derived from the Prakrit word Setthi. It is worthy to note that the Prakrit and Tamil words sound alike and that the Tamil word Chetty originated and derived from the Prakrit word as proved by the Tamil Lexicon. Incidentally, the suffix-like Pulle is Pillai in Tamil meaning child, and Appa is father.

Prakrit and the Middle Indo-Aryan languages began as vernacular dialects and eventually developed distinct styles. These dialects were distinguished by regional names. In Malayalam Chetty is Cetti, and in Kanarese and Telugu it is Jetti. Some scholars restrict Prakrit to the language used by the Hindu and Jain writers, while some others include the Buddhist languages such as Pali and Inscriptional Prakrit.

The Souvenir also mentions that "the ancestors of the Colombo Chetties first moved from the North Western parts of India to Malabar and Coramendal coast”, but it is yet to be ascertained with evidence. The President of the CCA Reggie Candappa admitted this fact thus: “Occasionally, articles have appeared in the local press giving a vague insight into the origins of our community.”

The souvenir also states that they came to Ceylon from Madura and Nagapatnam as well. Supporting it, A.T.S. Paul says in his book that “The advent of the Colombo Chetty community from Nagapatnam, India is well documented from 1663 during the reign of King Rajasingha II of Kandy, and the Governorship of the Dutch, Ruckloff Van Goens. With the arrival of the Westerners in search of the riches of the East, the Chetties of India used the opportunity to further their trade. Tandava M.P. Aserappa, a wealthy ship owner, arrived in his own vessel from Nagapatnam with his brother Arthurunarayan. He was a Hindu. On his conversion to Christianity he took the name of Anthony Pieris Aserapa. Incidentally, the Tamil language was termed Malabar in most of the translating of the Bible into Tamil and it was the word used to denote the Tamil language by the early foreign missionaries.

Speaking of the origin of the Colombo Chetties S.P. Tissera says: "The Colombo Chetties belong to the Vaisya Caste. The Vaisyas compose the nobility of the land, and according to the classification made by Rev. Fr. Boschi they were divided into three distinct tribes or castes. The highest sub-division being the Tana Vaisya or merchants, followed by Pu Vaisya or Husbandmen and Ko Vaisya or Herdsmen. The Tana Vaisyas are commonly called Chetties.” It is the Tamil term Chetty that associates the Colombo Chetties with the reputed Tana Vaisya caste, and Dharmasiri Senanayake, then Minister observed at the opening of the CCA Exhibition that “The Chetties and the Tamils have some cultural links” (Dinamina 11.10.95)

As per the Tamil Lexicon, Chetty is Vaisya or mercantile caste. It is the title of a trader, wrestler, prize-fighter and the Hindu God Skanda. Chettinadu is a landmass of 1700 sq. km and consists of 74 towns and villages. There is neither a separate country as such nor a government for it. Yet, since the Chetties were industrious and philanthropic, their territory has been dignified after them. The bulky Madurai Tamil Great Dictionary produced in 1937 mentions 12 categories of Chetties and the list includes the Tamil word ETTI, respectably ETTIAR which has been referred to above in the etymological declaration.

Simon Casie Chetty

In this illustrious community was born Simon Casie Chetty, the greatest Tamil scholar the Colombo Chetty community ever had. He writes in the preface dated August 15, 1859 to his classical work the Tamil Plutarch: “Of the languages of the Seythian family the Tamil confessedly occupies the most distinguished rank and, it is peculiar to the people of that part of India, which was formerly under the sway of the Chera, Chola and Pandiya kings and of those of the eastern and northern provinces of Ceylon. The name “Tamil” signifying “sweet” is characteristic of the language. Indeed it is one of the most copious, refined, and polished languages spoken by man, as correctly observed by an accomplished Orientalist Taylor. Few nations on earth can perhaps boast of so many poets as the Tamils. Poetry appears to have been the first fixed form of language amongst them; for as has been remarked by Abbe Dubois, “They have not a single ancient book that is written in prose, not even the books on medicine.”


Simon’s father Gabriel was born in 1779, but his father had an early death and his maternal uncle Abraham Muthukrishna, Chief Tamil Mudaliar of the Governor’s Gate brought up Gabriel and caused him to study Dutch. However, as the capture of the island by the British gave importance to English, Gabriel studied English and Governor North appointed him as one of the Tamil translators to the Government from which post he rose to the position of Mudaliar of Kalpitiya and settled down there after marrying Marie, daughter of Simon de Rosario and held several offices of trust in the Dutch East India Company Service.

Their son Simon Casie Chetty was born in Kalpitiya on March 21, 1807 and baptized in Colombo as an Anglican. Simon attended the Tamil school at Kalpitiya and subsequently another. Somewhat like Srilasri Arumuga Navalar who at a young age, tutored his Principal in Tamil at the Jaffna Central School of Rev. Dr. Peter Percival, Simon taught Tamil to Lt. Smith who also had literary achievements. He agreed to teach English to Simon. This was the beginning of Simon the scholar. Dr. Nissanka Wijeyeratne speaking of Simon said: “Later he was to master, besides his native Tamil, English, Sinhalese, Sanskrit, Hebrew and Arabic and had a fair knowledge of Portuguese, Dutch, Latin and Greek.”

Simon’s father died on 2.8.1837 and he was appointed Mudaliar and a Proctor. Mr. Mooyart was the Assistant Government Agent and District Judge of Puttalam and he engaged Simon in his literary pursuits. The Christian missionaries beginning with the Methodist Mission were received in Jaffna by the Mooyarts. In 1839 he completed a church at a cost of 250 pounds and more than half of it was paid by him.

At the age of 17 Simon was appointed Interpreter to the Puttalam Courts, later to the Office of Assistant Collector. His later appointments were: Collector of Chilaw and Maniyagar of Puttalam and Attorney to the Government was in addition to these Offices. During this period he maintained and conducted a free Tamil School at Kalpity for 50 students.

Simon married his cousin of the Wesleyan Mission in 1839. The following year he had the acquaintance of Mrs. Foster, wife of the Commander and this accomplished lady and a lover of literature helped Simon in his literary research for about nine years. Simon Casie Chetty was appointed a Tamil Member of the Legislative Council when this office was rendered vacant due to the death of Coomaraswamy Mudaliar. He held this office for seven years and then resigned. On his retirement from the Legislative Council due to heavy expenses he was made the First Ceylonese Civil Servant and also a member of the Royal Asiatic Society in 1845. He proceeded to Chilaw as District Judge which office he held until his death on November 5, 1860 at the age of 53. Before his death he became a Catholic.

Simon Casie Chetty was a prolific writer and author of 12 published monographs and seven manuscripts. The Ceylon Gazetteer was his Magnum Opus – his great work, and it is the one that was displayed together with his portrait in the 75 cents postage stamp released on National Heroes Day of 1989.

http://www.tamilnation.org/books/Literature/plutarch.htm


Poet and lawyer Mervyn Casie Chetty takes a walk down memory lane

A directory of legends laced in vivid poetry

By Mihiri Wikramanayake - Sunday Times Sep 19 1999

Mwrvyn in his libraryHe was once an all-too familiar figure in his little Baby Austin driving on the busy roads of Colombo. But now this 85- year-old inimitable poet and lawyer, Mervyn St. Sebastian Casie Chetty, stays home to reminisce about his past glories with expressive stories and fond memories.

I, as a young girl, remember him vividly from his frequent visits to the house of my late grandfather, Eric Bird Wikramanayake. They were great buddies. EBW called Mr. Casie Chetty "Comrade" for his political affiliations and he referred to my grandfather as "Gov'ner" in respect for his elder status. Ever since, I have felt it a privilege to 'know' this great luminary.

Though age may show on his slight frame, Mervyn Casie Chetty's mind is still as sharp as a razor. He remembers every detail of face, and fact of each story precisely. His library is a treasure trove of pictures and plaques of his past and credentials to his name. He is a directory of legend and each story is laced with poetry and verse of apt description. A doyen, indeed, of the old brigade.

Most people would know Mervyn Casie Chetty best for his constant contribution towards poetry that appears in the media. He published a book of his collections called "Rhyme and Reason" in 1988.

However, many more recent poems remain unpublished due to the lack of sponsors and cost of publication.

"When I need to express myself, the medium I find most concise and expressive is verse," he says.

Many a politician or satirical figure has been 'criticized' in his poetry.

"It gives me great satisfaction to know that I have offended them," he chuckles.

He quotes Alexander Pope,

"Yes I am proud,

I must be proud to see,

Men not afraid of God,

Afraid of me…"

His other bio-data is too vast to accommodate here. He has been in and still holds many a valuable post in many committees and societies.

But his contribution to the Bar is of great significance. Mr. Casie Chetty was felicitated in 1999, for 50 years at the Bar although by then it actually amounted to 62 years.

He was also guest of honour along with retired High Court Judge, N. de Jacolyn Seneviratne, at a dinner of the Voet Light Society of Sri Lanka.

This, too, in honour of his completion of 50 years at the Bar.

Mr. Casie Chetty, reminisces about his life at S. Thomas' College, Mt. Lavinia. He recalls a "bully of a teacher who failed me in physics and chemistry thereby forcing me to choose Arts instead of Science."

"This master expected me to attend extra classes in those bleak December misty mornings while our Cambridge exams were on," he remembers. "It was absolute torture. I gave up and followed the Arts stream," he said. That led him to join Law College and his career in the legal profession was born.

Many years later, he holds many an exalted position due to his prowess in the legal field. He has represented Sri Lanka at the Law Asia conferences, been a Member of the Bar Council, Member of the Disciplinary Panel of the Bar Association, Vice Chairman of the Compensation Tribunal and Member of the World Peace Council. This is just a drop in the bucket. As an alumni of STC Mt Lavinia, he now holds the esteemed positions of Hony. Life Member of STC, Mt. Lavinia, Past President of the Old Thomians Swimming Club for two terms, Hony. Sec. of the Old Thomians Tennis Club.

He remembers fondly that great Prime Minister of Ceylon, Sir John Kotelawela, with whom he spent many a happy time.

"Sir John would come to the Mt Lavinia Hotel to swim at least three times a week," he says. He had two horses brought along with him and while he rode one, a guest would ride the other. After the ride, the hotel would have laid out three chairs for him and his guests and there was many an occasion when I would join him for lunch.

"While we jumped into the water for a swim, Sir John's driver would be standing on the beach with a wristwatch to time our swim for exactly ten minutes," he laughs.

"He was a fine host and I had many entertaining evenings at his home in Kandewala," he recalls.

Mervyn Casie Chetty is critical of the changes and attitudes in society of this day and age. He despairs that money has become the root of all evil and that even in the arena of sports, money overcomes patriotism. He is also concerned about the religious fervour that seems to overcome people.

"Times have changed for the worse," he says. "We have been given an overdose of religion. People must leave religion alone and then society may benefit for the better.'" Mr. Casie Chetty still maintains a daily morning walk. After a long illness some years back, he has to now depend on the use of a walking stick and finds it difficult to keep in touch with all the societies and committee meetings.

He keeps himself busy reading and doing some notarial work. He is looking forward to turning 86 in the second week of October.

In closing, Mr. Casie Chetty added these lines, "I stride with none for none is worth my stride...."


A book by Mervyn Casie Chetty

About the Author
http://www.stcmloba.org/html/Thomian_Night_2004/rhyme_and_reasons.htm

 

Mervyn St. Sebastian Casie Chetty, member of a well-known family of the Colombo Chetty community, wrote poetry even before he commenced his career at the Bar 51 years ago. This book contains 130 of his poems. He learned to love literature at S. Thomas' College, the school by the sea at Mt. Lavinia. Family traditions also influenced him. His maternal great-grandfather was the distinguished Simon Casie Chetty, administrator, linguist, judge, legislator and prolific author of the early British era. Mervyn Casie Chetty is a doughty espouser of causes, wielding a pen that could be humorous or satirical, didactic or vehemently expressive of righteous indignation. Perhaps he has been unequalled in Sri Lanka for his consistent output of poems of topical interest. Significantly, not a few of some of his early pieces, when read now, seem nearly as fresh as when they were first composed. A constant curiosity and an amazing variety of interests have helped to supply grist to the poetic mill. Casie Chetty's active membership in associations and societies includes (among others): S. Thomas' College O.B.A. of which he is a Trustee, Medico Legal Society of which he is a Vice President, the Bar Association of Sri Lanka, the Organisation of Professional Associations, the Classical Association of Ceylon, Afro-Asian Solidarity Association, Civil Rights Movement, Lanka Soviet Friendship League, Royal Asiatic Society (Ceylon Branch), of which he is a Trustee, the Association of Writers, Poets & Playwrights, World Peace Council (Sri Lanka Branch), Sri Lanka Girls Guides Association, Tamil Union Cricket & Athletic Club of which he is a Vice President, Old Thomians' Swimming Club of which he is an Honorary Life Member and may be the most significant though mentioned last -the Sri Lanka Rationalist Association, of which he is President. In politics, Casie Chetty has supported the Lanka Sama Samaja Party since 1932, but his catholicity of outlook has enabled him to cultivate dialogue and friendship with persons of all communities and creeds, not excluding stalwarts of opposing political camps.

 

This article, or contribution from my late father appeared in the Thomian Nite Souvenir of 1969 (7th Thomian Nite). His very close friend and classmate the late Mr. N. A. de S. Wijesekere (former Secretary of the OBA and former Puisne Justice) had 'moved on' in 1969 and this was meant as a tribute to a gentleman who had played such a pivotal role in establishing the Thomian Nite Dinner-Dance.


Appreciation

Mervyn Cassie Chetty: So unbelievable, so unfair

By Mihiri Wikramanayake - Sunday Times Nov 7 1999

It was a sad and visibly shocked gathering of friends and family who streamed into the driveway of Mervyn Casie Chetty's residence last morning.

imageThe cold news of his horrible death spread like wildfire amongst the early risers of the city. News that at first seemed so unbelievable and unfair, but true nevertheless.

"The way of today's society has reached this house too," said his younger son, Yohesan Casie Chetty, trying to come to grips with his loss. His 86-year-old father was murdered in cold blood early in the morning for no apparent reason. The motive is unclear. For a man who lived his life in absolute simplicity and honour, his house held more memories and mementos than riches for the taking.

It was only a month ago, that I visited Mervyn at his home to talk about himself. Having known him for all my life as a favourite friend of my grandfather's, I met with him to take "walk down memory lane".

"Old books; old pictures; months at dusk...
Strange music, songs and stranger dreams -
Shadow of shadows, those we shared."

Charles Dalmon

A genial person, Mervyn spent a better part of the morning reminiscing about the days gone by and his many contributions to society and government. A famed poet and lawyer, father and friend, Mervyn was no one's enemy. He was proud of his achievements and happy with life.

"Death makes no conquests of this conqueror, for now he lives in fame though not in life," Shakespeare.

"His worst moment was when the Soviet Union collapsed," said Ganesan Casie Chetty, his ambassador son. "It was his mecca to where he made many a visit." But though his political affiliations were socialist oriented, Mervyn had many close friends in all ranks. It was the way of the old brigade, the generation now moving on, where politics and power did not corrupt but encouraged friendships and alliances.

He commented about the degradation of society. The fact that drugs and booze were overtaking the norms and morals of this country. It is exactly for that reason it seems, that this gentle man succumbed to his death. Those with less than an iota of his worth took his life away. For that justice must be done. It is fitting to say in the words of Frank T. Marzials, "God help the fools who count on death for gain."

Whisky robbers kill senior lawyer

By Chris Kamalendran - Sunday Times Nov 7 1999

Mervyn Casie Chetty — leading lawyer, social activist, poet and the most distinguished member of Colombo Chetty community — was killed by suffocation when a masked gang broke into his Mount Lavinia residence soon after midnight yesterday.

Police said six persons, two of whom were masked, had entered through the back door of the house while the 86-year-old Mr. Casie Chetty and his 76-year-old domestic aide, Sellamuttu Perumal were fast asleep.

Mr. Perumal said when he awoke he saw some men trying to tie Mr. Casie Chetty's arms and legs. When he intervened, they overpowered him and tied him up as well. Police said that after overpowering Mr. Casie Chetty and his aide, the robbers got away with a crate of whisky and several thousand rupees in cash.

Mr. Perumal said he later managed to untie himself, and around 2.20 a.m. rushed to a neighbour's house and alerted them.

Then police rushed to the scene and found Mr. Casie Chetty dead.

Sniffer dogs which were brought to the scene immediately led the police to a nearby house where the crate of whisky was found and three suspects were arrested.

Mr. Casie Chetty was felicitated recently for 60 years of service as a lawyer and also received an award as the most outstanding member of the Colombo Chetty community in Sri Lanka.

He has represented Sri Lanka at Law Asia Conferences, been a Member of the Bar Council and a member of the disciplinary panel of the Bar Association.

Mr. Casie Chetty is a great-grandson of the famous Mudaliyar Simon Cassie-Chetty of Kalpitiya, the first Ceylonese Civil Servant, elected member of the Legislative Council and later District Judge in 19th century.


Cherishing Thomian spirit

Sunday Times Feb 11 2001:

S.Thomas' College, Mount Lavinia has throughout its history emphasized and stressed the crucial importance of building character, moulding lives and the making of men as being central to a holistic education, a distinguished old boy of the school N. Y. Casie Chetty said last week.

Speaking at the special general assembly held to mark the sesquicentenary of the college on February 3, Mr. Casie Chetty said the sterling qualities adumbrated, can verily be considered to form the warp and woof of an exquisite tapestry that they proudly refer to as their Thomian heritage.

"In a day and age when we cynically and despairingly observe all around us, that a decadent and degenerate society has spawned human beings of mediocrity, myopic vision, duplicity , mendacity, venality, warped values and sycophants who flourish and thrive supinely conforming to the dictates whilst slavishly doing the bidding of their political patrons; such noteworthy values as idealism, integrity and independence, inculcated and ingrained in Thomians over generations, to always think critically and with unblinkered vision, to always act boldly and independently devoid of petty considerations of political correctness or personal advantage, assumes special and heightened significance," he said.

Mr. Casie Chetty who is the headmaster of S. Thomas' Preparatory School, Kollupitiya said the cardinal values his old school instilled in him and many others had helped mould the lives of countless Thomians in the past and must surely continue to be of immeasurable importance to Thomians in the future.

Speaking on the theme for the special general assembly "Building the future, based on the heritage of the past", Mr. Casie Chetty said they must cast their minds to what the future would hold whilst remaining firmly anchored to the values and principles which guided the college's founder Bishop James Chapman, the first bishop of the diocese of Colombo and its legendary wardens such as Miller, Stone and De Saram.

"The character and conduct, life and example of individuals of the calibre of Chapman, Miller, Stone, De Saram, Hayman and Keble who have played such an integral and vital role in the development of our beloved school bear more than ample testimony to the worth, efficacy and relevance of such values," Mr. Casie Chetty said.

"I have always considered these values, which I have absorbed whilst a student at the college, as having a profound impact on my life, and I wouldn't be faulted in making bold to say that these very values have formed the very core and essence of, what we popularly refer to as the intangible "Thomian spirit," he added.

"Other values having equal validity and significance are those of idealism, integrity and independence. Once again the names of Chapman, Miller, Stone, De Saram, Hayman and Keble personify those attributes which we Thomians have come to cherish and admire.

Mr. Casie Chetty said he was a fourth generation Thomian on his paternal side, with a direct line of descent dating as far back as the founding of the college in Mutwal.

Mr. Casie Chetty concluded his speech by reading a poem entitled "Esto Perpetua" composed by his late father Mervyn Casie Chetty who was a distinguished old boy of the school in 1968 on the occasion of the golden jubilee of the college.


A MOMENT FOR REFLECTION

Many were the happy occasions when we met in the late Mr. N. A. de S. Wijesekere's hospitable home to usher in the first Thomian Nite in 1963. It was mainly due to his initiative as Hony. Secretary and Trea­surer of the Old Boys' Association that the urgency of organising a warm and cordial function of this kind for the younger Old Boys was realized and so auspiciously initiated. The younger Old Boys had for long been eagerly waiting for something more lively and attractive than the staid dinners "in Black-Tie or Lounge" with post-prandial speeches to add to the ordeal. With Mr. Wijesekere as Hony. Treasurer both Mr. & Mrs. Wijesekere and a few other enthusiastic members on the Organising Committee, I had the privilege as its first Chairman of launching the inaugural Thomian Nite Dinner-Dance which has been growing in popularity each year. As we enjoy ourselves at this function for the first time after the untimely demise of our lamented friend, it is but meet that we should stop for a moment to honour the memory of the author and inspirer of this most popular series of Annual Dinner-Dances.Again on the late Mr. Wijesekere's initiative it was decided to offer Scholarships at the College out of the surplus proceeds of these Annual Dinner-Dances commencing with a modest two Scholarships in 1967, to perpetuate the memory of our Founder, Bishop Chapman -it was possible last year to offer six "Bishop Chapman Memorial Scholarships.' That this popular function is not just another Dinner-Dance during the festive season, or another occasion for Old Boys to gather in strength in convivial surroundings and renew their loyalties to the Alma Mater is recognised by all who help to make these occasions a success. The Executive Committee of the Old Boys' Association at its last meeting unanimously accepted the resolution of Mr. E. F. Edrisinghe that a Scholarship should be offered in memory of late Mr. N. A. de S. Wijesekere out of the Thomian Nite funds. This is a fitting tribute to the memory of one of the School's most loyal and distinguished sons - the architect of the Thomian Nite. The School was his absorbing interest and he spent himself freely in its service. He was unassuming and accessible and counted a large number of friends; "Wije" is no more but we shall remember him. His name is writ large in the Annals of the School.

 

Mervyn Casie Chetty

 

Editors note:

Coincidently November 6th happens to be a significant day brining about memories of the late Mr. Mervyn Casie Chetty who's 5th death anniversary falls today. As a revered tribute to this great Thomian and as we Thomians who honour great Thomian values we pay homage by pub­lishing some of his selected poems. Thereby let us offer a minute of silence in his honour.

http://stcmloba.org/html/Thomian_Night_2004/s_a_moment_for_reflection.htm


Reaching the top with CIMA Janashakthi Pinnacle Awards

Two past winners share their views - Daily Mirror Feb 26 2007

CIMA Sri Lanka Division and Janashakthi Insurance Co. Ltd will hold the fourth annual CIMA - Janashakthi Pinnacle Awards ceremony on 06 March 2007 at the Trans Asia Hotel.
 

Recognised as one of the leading events in the country’s business event calendar, the CIMA - Janashakthi Pinnacle Awards celebrate business excellence, leadership, management and teamwork at the highest standards. They also reward excellence in professionalism among the cream of Sri Lanka’s business community. Below is an interview with last years Joint Winners of the ‘CIMA Business Manager of the Year’ awards - Rajiv Casie Chetty and Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne.
 

The CIMA Janashakthi Pinnacle awards 2005 produced two winners in the category ‘CIMA Business Manager of the Year’. The two recipients - Rajiv Casie Chetty and Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne - come from diverse industries and diverse backgrounds but are united by one factor; they have both achieved excellence in their chosen professions and careers and have reached the pinnacle as Business Managers.
 

Rajiv Casie Chetty wears many hats as Executive Director of Lanka Ceramics Limited and Managing Director of Ceytea Plantations Management Limited, Horana Plantations Limited and Uni Dil Packaging Limited.
 

Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne is the country manager for Microsoft Corporation in Sri Lanka and holds one of the top jobs in the IT industry in this country. He is also on several advisory panels aimed at fostering and developing the IT industry in different forms.
 

When asked about the ‘CIMA Business Manager of the Year’ award and the impact it had on him, Casie Chetty said that the award had created an impact among his peers, his circle of friends and associates, and that people were more aware of his capabilities and competencies as a strategist and a manager. Wijeyratne felt that the award had generated significant interest and recognition from many quarters. . He said that the award had been very rewarding and fulfilling as it was confirmation from an impartial and recognized body of his abilities and competencies as decision maker and strategist. He mentioned that it had resulted in a new dimension in terms of his career and felt it would enhance his standing in the business community here, and within Microsoft
 

Both winners felt the criteria used to evaluate the applicants were balanced and evaluated a Business Manager on multiple levels and performance measures. While a senior manager generally plays one dominant role within an organisation, there are many other smaller roles they are called on to handle and there was acceptance that the criteria took a holistic approach in evaluating all aspects of an individual’s role. An example given by Wijeyratne was that while as the Country Manager of Microsoft in Sri Lanka he was not required to function locally in multi-disciplined teams, but as a member of regional teams and panels he was very much a part of several multi-functional teams. He therefore felt that the evaluation criteria had considered all relevant aspects such as innovation, and leadership.
 

Both Casie Chetty and Wijeyratne are CIMA graduates and felt that the grounding and the analytical skills acquired through the CIMA curriculum had made a significant impact on their careers. Wijeyratne in fact felt it was the bedrock on which he had built his career. While neither were handling purely financial functions, they felt that CIMA had given them an edge in strategic thinking and decision making. The ability to “digest” and identify trends and patterns in numbers very quickly was one area they both specifically mentioned.
 

Casie Chetty was of the opinion that the competition generated good interest and that it provided an opportunity for business managers to be recognised and rewarded for their skills and competencies. He also believes that competitions such as this help create role models for corporate managers in Sri Lanka as the success of the winners would serve to inspire others.. Wijeyratne affirmed that the CIMA Janashakthi Pinnacle Awards helps both the industry and business leaders, as it created aspirations which was the best possible way in which business leaders could be fashioned and moulded.
 

Both winners were especially thankful to CIMA and Janashakthi for the opportunity to visit INSEAD, one of the world’s largest graduate business schools in Fontainebleau, near the French capital Paris, which has a global perspective and multicultural diversity. Casie Chetty opted for a course on business strategy and was greatly appreciative of the opportunity to gain valuable insights on strategy and several other business disciplines while Wijeyratne has opted for a course titled ‘Leading Decision Making” and will be making the trip to France this March.
 

The CIMA Janashakthi Pinnacle awards is scheduled to be held on 6 March this year and will, as in the past, celebrate and acknowledge leadership, innovation and teamwork at the highest level.
 

This year there will be five categories on offer with the ‘Business Manager of the Year’ and the ‘Young CIMA Star of the Year’ awards being restricted to CIMA members and passed finalists, while the other awards are open to the public. Not only have business leaders been encouraged to apply, the general public has also been able to nominate those whom they think have achieved excellence in their careers for the awards of Chief Financial Officer of the Year and Business Leader of the Year.
 

When asked about the format of the competition both Casie Chetty and Wijeyratne commented that the ability to nominate business leaders was an excellent idea and said they hoped that this would increase the number of applications in each category. They said that the written submission together with an interview was an excellent format as most competitions of this nature are adjudicated only on written applications which can sometimes be rather two dimensional. Wijeyratne in fact said that he would encourage business managers and business leaders to apply because winning such an award was a unique experience not to be missed.


Mrs. Nilima Casie Chetty FSCMA, FCA, ACMA

 

 

Mrs. Casie Chetty is a practicing Chartered Accountant. She has her own Practice. She has wide experience in the field of taxation having served as a Consulting Tax Manager at KPMG Ford Rhodes Thornton and Co. for many years. She is actively involved in numerous committees of Professional Institutes and Non Govenmental Organizations.

She is a Fellow of the Certified Management Accountants of Sri Lanka and Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka and an Associate Member of the Institute of Chartered Management Accountants, UK.

http://cma-srilanka.org/about/chetty.html


The Aserappa - Casie Chetty connection - The Island By A. T. S. Paul

The eldest son of Louis Pieris, Anthony Pieris Aserappa married the daughter of Senapathi Chettiar. Due to the difficulty of finding suitable partners of the same caste and religion, the other sons, Philip Pieris, Christopher Pieris, Saveril Pieris, and Bastian Pieris Aserappa did not marry, nor did Louis Pieris's four daughters.

Anthony Pieris Aserappa had two sons, Louis Pieris and Saveral Pieris. Both were merchants.

Louis Pieris Aserappa married Anna daughter of Thomas Soosay Chettiar (1764). They had two sons, Anthony Pieris Aserappa, and Peter (Pedro) Pieris Aserappa. Louis Pieris died in 1804, Saverely Pieris remained a bachelor.

Anthony Pieris Aserappa (1769-1813) was a ship owner whose ships sailed between Nagapatnam, Colombo, and Mumbai. He married Johanna Rodrigo Thambichetty. They had four children Louis Pieris, John Pieiris, Kathalia Pieris, and Anna Pieris.

Louis Pieris Aserappa the eldest son, was Shroff of the salt stores in Negombo. He married Magdalene Jurgen Ondaatchi daughter of Solomon Jurgen Ondaatchi Interpreter Mudaliar of the Galle, Courts.

The marriage of Louis Pieris Aserappa and Magdalene Ondaatchi was fruitful. They had four children whose marriages strengthened the bonds between the Aserappa's the Ondaatchi's, and the Casie Chettiya.

The eldest son Anthony Louis Aserappa Pulle was Head master of the Mission school in Slave Island. He married Maria Ondaatchi daughter of Philip Jurgen Ondaatchi. They had no children.

The eldest daughter Magdalene Pieris Aserappa, married Johan Christoffel Fernando Pulle Chettiar son of Fernando Pulle Chettiar of Jampettah. They had two daughters Anna and Maria. Anna married Harry Casie Chetty, Interpreter Mudaliar of the District Court Colombo, later Headmaster of the Lower school of St Thomas College. Their son Godwin Casie Chetty married Jane de Rosiro. They had two sons Mervyn Casie Chetty (1913-1999) the late lawyer and poet, and Rajah Casie Chetty who died in 1974.

Peter Louis Aserappa Pulle the second son of Louis Pieris and Magdalene married Mary Ondaatchi the daughter of Peter Jurgen Ondaatchi, Their son Walter Nicholas (1864-1928) was a Police magistrate in Negombo. He married Lily Allagakoon. Their daughter Mary Rani Aserappa married Segarajasingham.

The third son of Louis and Magdalene-Solomon Louis Aserappa Pulle (1837-1902) was a Proctor of the Supreme Court, Colombo, married Mary Anne Casie Chetty (1841-1917). They had a large family of eleven. Six were girls, Alice, Evelyn, Frances, Ella, and Florrie were splinters. Maud married S.C. Kanagasundaram Chief clerk of the Colombo Kachcheri. They had four daughters Selvarani, Muthurani, Maharani and Thangarani.

Two of the five boys, Arthur Louis Reginald, and Charles Pieris were bachelors, while Anthony married Saloma Marugappa, and Ernest Proctor of the Supreme Court, married Birdie Allagakoon. They had three sons, Ernest Kingsley Aserappa BA (Cantab) Advocate, later Legal Draftsman, Hector an airline pilot, Earle, and one daughter Irene. Aserappa.

John Pieris Aserappa (1813-1861), the second song of Anthony Pieris Aserappa and Johanna Rodrigo Tambichetty was a clerk in the Colombo Kachcheri. He married Wilhelmina Amelia Jurgen Ondaatchi (1831-1891), daughter of William Jurgen Ondaatchi Interpreter Colombo Courts, and niece of Rev. Jurgen Ondaatchi. Translator and Colonial Chaplain (1835-1897) John and Wilhelmina raised a large family of eight-six girls, and two boys. Marriage with foreigners were recorded for the first time.

Anne married Robert Smith sub editor of the Times of Ceylon. She died in 1876 of childbirth. Ellen (1848) married an Irishman, John Cowell who was a store keeper. William was a bachelor, and Angela was a spinster. Magdalene (Maria) 1848 married a German engineer Arthur Kurt Von Possoner (1833-1900). Johanna and Charlotte remained spinsters. Johan Edwin (1860-1931) who was Police, magistrate at Avissawella, married Catherine Rosa De la Harpe a Dutch Burgher. They had no children.

Kathalia Pieris Aserappa (1797-1822), daughter of Anthony Pieris Aserappa and Johanna Rodrigo Tambichetty married Philip Jurgen Ondaatchi, son-of Rev Mathew Jurgen Ondaatchi. They had no children.

http://www.lankalibrary.com/cul/chetty2.htm


Who are these Colombo Chetties?

by K.S.Sivakumaran

As I Like It One of the e-zines in Thamil is called Kuviyam (www.kuviyam.com). This electronic magazine is originating from Toronto, Canada. From this centre there are other e-zines in Thamil as well. Two of these are Tamilweek and Pathivukal. Kuviyam had articles not only in Thamil but also in English and French. However in Spring 2005, I happened to read a printed version of selected material from the web of this e-zine. The magazine was edited by Pon Kulendiran, a Canadian of Lankan origin. He was earlier a senior executive engineer for the Sri Lanka Telecommunications.

Among the articles in the printed version was one on the Colombo Chetties. I found it interesting and thought that our readers would like to know something about an influential community in Sri Lanka, if I cull out some details from the article. The article was signed by Pon-Canada. Probably, it was written by the editor himself. The writer has acknowledged reference to a book called History of the Colombo Chetties compiled by Reggie Candappa. Here are some gleanings: Rev. Fr. Boschi has classified the Colombo Chetties as Vaishnavars (those who worship Lord Vishnu). They came through the northern and northwestern parts of India and settles in Coorg and Banaras. Because of the Islamic invasion led by Mohammed Ghazani in the 11th century, these people were driven to the southern parts of India- Nagapattanam, Thirunelveli, Thanjavoor, Malabar, Mathurai and other areas. From these places they came down to Sri Lanka and engaged in business. They settled in Colombo before the arrival of the Portuguese in 1505. The word Chetti comes from Cheththi in Pali. In an inscription in Polonnaruwa dated 1205, the name of Kulanthai Chetty is found. In the 16th century Galdeniya inscription, too, there were mentions about Chetties. The Alageswara families in the Kotte kingdom (1400-15210) were Chetties. Chettinathar among the three that rebeles against Vijayabahu I, was also a Chetty. The late President Jayawardene’s ancestors were Chetties. The Colombo Chetties spoke Thamil until the late 19th century. Their names were a combination of Thamil and Telugu. But, within the next 60 years they changed their names to Sinhala and English oriented. Ondaatji, Candappa, Muttukrishna, Muttupillai, Anandappa, Perumal, Murugappa, Casie Chetty are Thamil names of the Colombo Chetties. The ending names of Chetties in Negombo areas are Pulles. Simon Casie Chetty was born in Kalpity near Puttalam. He was fluent in eight languages. He wrote books in English, Thami and Sanskrit. He published a newspaper in Thamil. A stamp was issued in his honour in 1989. Soma Thera of Bambalapitiya Vijairamaya, born in 1898, adopted Buddhism and was the first to spread Buddhism in Germany. The Colombo Chetties built many Hindu temples in Colombo and Yaalpanam. Chetty became Hetti in Sinhala. Hettiyawatta, Hettiarachchi, Aadhihetty, Hettigoda, Hettige, Hettiyamulla are Sinhala names that remind the Colombo Chetties.

http://tamilweek.com/news-features/archives/990


Sir Chittampalam Abraham Gardiner (1896-1960)

http://www.jaffnaroyalfamily.org/chittampalam.php

Sir Chittampalam Abraham Gardiner was born in 1896, son of Samuel Vairamuttu Gardiner and Salomapillai Vairamuttu Gardiner, daughter of Gabrielpillai Bastiampillai. The Gardiner’s were originally from Achchuveli and Manipay in Jaffna, later they lived in Colombo. Chevalier Sir Chittampalam Abraham Gardiner was a Law student when he became interested in business ventures. Eventually he became an outstanding businessman of Colombo.

He was in control of several prominent business establishments in the Island. Besides being the Pioneer Cinema Promoter in the country, he had interests in other undertakings including Cargill’s and Millers. His most successful venture was the Ceylon Theatres Ltd.,

Sir Chittampalam Abraham Gardiner married Miss Angeline Casie Chetty, daughter of Aloysius Mount Casie Chetty. They had a son named Cyril Aloysius Gardiner. He married Mavis Henry, daughter of Henry.

He chose entertainment as his field of business and founded Ceylon Theatres on 29 September 1928, for which he is remembered today. The concern holds interests all over Ceylon. He was a keen Rotarian, helped many, and made generous endowments to charitable organisations.

In recognition of his valuable services to the Roman Catholic Church, the Pope made him a Knight of St. Sylvester in 1947. He was appointed to the Senate, the Upper House of the Parliament in 1947. He was also a keen racehorse owner and his horse won the much Coveted Governors Cup in 1947.

Sir Chittampalam A. Gardiner remained Chairman of Ceylon Theatres until his death in 1960. Tribute was paid to him and his service in the field of entertainment was recognised when Parson’s Road was named “Sir Chittampalam A. Gardiner Mawatha” in his honour.


In her mother's footsteps

By Roshan Peiris - Sunday Times May 2 1999

Shanthi Casie ChettyShanthi Casie Chetty, wife of diplomat Daneshan Casie Chetty has a flawless complexion and statuesque good looks. Proud to follow in the footsteps of her mother, Anita Dickman, Shanthi has written a cookery book, a well illustrated publication titled "Anita Dickman's Cookery Course". This is written as a tribute to her mother.

"I am a cookery teacher by profession. Before I went abroad with my husband I taught cookery at home to young housewives in the making and even to experienced housewives too. I am also a Chartered Secretary.

"In India where we were posted, I did not give cookery demonstrations, but learnt much of the intricate Indian cooking.

"In fact, in Indonesia and Belgium where my husband was Ambassador I made it my vocation to follow cookery classes."

In Indonesia Shanthi wrote a special feature on Sri Lankan cookery for an Indonesian magazine. "A clever way to publicise our country," she said.

"Indonesian cooking too has spices, especially Padang near Sumatra," said Shanthi. "They are very similar to us in the choice of food. But of course, they were both intrigued and delighted at tasting our string- hoppers and hoppers. I did make pol mallun since Indonesians are used to coconut in their food. I also made the other accompaniments that go with stringhoppers and hoppers such as ambul thiyal, seeni sambol and fish curry. They loved it all.

"I also demonstrated for women's groups including Ambassadors' wives the art of making our curries, sambols and yellow rice. I did it to show how we Sri Lankan's liked our food, not with a view to earning money unless it was to collect money for charitable causes."

In Belgium, she said, the wives of Ambassadors met often at each others' homes for tea.

Book Review

A book that excites readers' appetites - Sunday Times May 16 1999

Anita Dickman's Cookery Course- By Shanthi Casie Chetty Reviewed by Roshan Peiris

Shanthi Dickman as a child watched and assimilated avidly her mother Anita Dickman's cookery. Her mother who attended Pensional-Le Manoir Lausanne, always endeavoured to instill in her pupils an appreciation of the finer points of cooking, and besides stimulated them to be creative in their approach. They were made to see the originality and glamour in turning out dishes with a difference.

Shanthi imbibed her mother's love for cooking and as she grew older helped her mother with her cookery classes, and cookery demonstrations.

She enlarged on her experience through courses in cookery while in Lausanne. After marriage to diplomat Daneshan Casie Chetty, Shanthi continued with her cookery demonstrations for charity in New Delhi, Jakarta and Brussels.

With the help of her sisters Shanthi has compiled this plush cookery book as a tribute to her mother.

The book, contains a wealth of information, such as how to assess weights and measures, preserving the nutritional value of food and a guide to herbs and spices, besides the recipes, themselves. 

"Anita Dickman's Cookery Course" might well be included among compulsory reading for young housewives in the making. It is a book that could revitalise even the jaded culinary repertoire of older women.

Shanthi has taken pains to explain culinary terms such as sauting, stir frying, shallow frying, cooking on papillote and cooking 'Au Gratin' etc.

The attractive colour pictures embellish the book and the readers' appetite for good cooking.

There are many Indian recipes for Chicken Korma, Murgh Korma, Dosa, Puris, Alu Prathas (Parathas stuffed with potatoes) Chapati, Mutto Buriyani and Mung Dhal Palak etc.

There are the "special occasion meals" such as making the ever popular Lamprais. Blachang made with dried prawns, Lamprais Curry, Seeni Sambol all of which are part of Lamprais accompaniments.

There is Turkish rice, Masala Liver, Beef Vindhali and Burmese blachang sambol to mention a few. The local kiri bath, stringhoppers and stringhopper buriyani, roti, pittu and hoppers have not been overlooked.

There are recipes for souffles, savoury pancakes with meat and bacon filling, moussaka, savoury sausage and egg swirl, cottage pie crumble and stuffed cabbage and many more tantalising recipes.

Meringues, home-made chocolates, cake mixtures, icing and frostings, bread, pastries and pastas also soups, salads and Hors-d' oeuvres and Indian and Moghul cuisine are all included.

She, not only served them patties, cutlets, kavums and kokis for tea but demonstrated to an eager and attentive group how to make yellow rice. The Belgians being adventurous said they liked to eat as the Lankans do, so I made seeni sambol and egg plant pahe (brinjal pahe) using paprika, the red variety instead of chillie powder.


"I learnt to make chocolates the Belgian way. The cocoa was from the African countries. I used the Belgian chocolates and did different kinds of fillings such as liqueur, hazel nuts and the like. Over here of course I use cadjunuts.

"At the tea parties of the Asia Pacific Women's Association we did demonstrate our different cuisines. It was quite an experience to learn so many different cuisines while attending a tea party."

Shanthi is an ideal wife for a diplomat with her fetching ways, good looks and desire to help make our country known through her cooking.

"I always wanted to follow in the footsteps of my mother Anita Dickman and so I am glad I took to teaching cookery to young girls and adults."

It can, Shanthi said, be an absorbing profession.