Category Archives: This is Life

Saint Devasahayam Pillai – The First Indian Layman Declared a Saint


Myself

By T.V. Antony Raj

Statue of Devasahayam Pillai at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, Kottar, Nagercoil.

In Vatican, during the impressive Canonization ceremony held in St Peter’s Basilica today, Sunday, May 15, 2022, His Holiness Pope Francis canonized Blessed Devasahayam Pillai, along with nine others. The choir made Tamil proud by singing the “Tamil Thai Vaazhthu” (Praise to Mother Tamil).

Credit: News 18 Tamil Nadu

Devasahayam Pillai, embraced Christianity in the 18th century and is considered a martyr. He is the first Indian layman declared a saint.

Devasahayam Pillai (April 23, 1712 – January 14, 1752) was born as Neelakanta Pillai into an affluent Pillai-caste Hindu family at Nattalam in the present-day Kanyakumari District then belonging to the Kingdom of Travancore.

Neelakanta Pillai’s father Vasudevan Namboodiri, hailed from Kayamkulam, in present-day Kerala state. He was a priest at the Adikesava Perumal Temple in Thiruvattar, in present-day Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu. His mother Devaki Amma hailed from Thiruvattar in Kanyakumari District. In the Nair matrilineal traditions of the day, his maternal uncle, raised him, and inculcated him with Hindu beliefs and traditions.

The family of Vasudevan Namboodiri had much influence in the royal palace of Maharaja Marthanda Varma, King of Travancore. So, young Neelakanta Pillai went into the service of the royal palace. Ramayyan Dalawa, the Dewan of Travancore noticed the capabilities and enthusiasm of the young man and appointed him as an official in charge of state affairs.

Captain Eustachius De Lannoy

In 1741, the Dutch East India Company sent naval commander Captain Eustachius De Lannoy to capture and establish a trading port at Colachel in Travancore. In the ensuing “Battle of Colachel”, the Dutch forces got defeated. De Lannoy, his assistant Donadi and some Dutchmen surrendered.

The king of Travancore pardoned De Lannoy and the Dutchmen , on condition that they serve in the Travancore army.

In the course of time, earning the trust of the king, De Lannoy became the commander of the Travancore armed forces. He trained the Travancore forces on European lines. He introduced new weaponry and gun-powder. He won many battles for Travancore and annexed many neighbouring kingdoms and territories to Travancore.

Conversion to Christianity

When Neelakanta Pillai was 29 years old he got acquainted with Captain Eustachius De Lannoy. The latter’s Christian faith interested the former. De Lannoy enlightened Neelakanta Pillai on the Christian faith.

In 1745, Neelakanta Pillai got baptized at the Roman Catholic sub parish church at Vadakkankulam village (in the present-day Tirunelveli District of Tamil Nadu), where the Jesuits had a mission under Rev Fr R Bouttari Italus SJ. He assumed the name Devasahayam, which is the Christian name ‘Lazarus’ in the local language. “Lazarus” or “Devasahayam” in Malayalam, translates to “God is my help”.

Devasahaym’s wife Bhargavi Ammaal hailed from Kunchu Veedu, Elanthavilai, Mayicode in Travancore State. She too got baptized alongside her husband. She assumed the baptismal name “Gnanapoo Ammaal” (“Flower of Knowledge,” equal to Theresa in Tamil and Malayalam). Later on, some other members of Devasahayam Pillai’s immediate family also received baptism.

Fearing reprisal in her native village in Travancore against her religious conversion, she became a migrant-resident of Vadakkankulam village.

Accusations and charges

Devasahayam Pillai insisted on the equality of all people, despite caste differences. This infuriated the higher classes. The Brahmin Chief Priest of the kingdom, a few feudal lords, some members of the royal household and the Nair community brought false charges against Devasahayam Pillai. They alleged that he, by using his powerful official position and the state funds was orchestrating conversions of Hindus to Christianity. He was also accused of treason of divulging state secrets to Europeans, because they were his coreligionists. Also, documents dating back to the period encompassing Pillai’s lifetime show that religious conversion of court officials to Christianity was not tolerated. The Dewan, Ramayyan Dalawa arrested Devasaham Pillai and divested him of his portfolio in the Travancore administration.

The authorities treated Devasahayam Pillai like a criminal. As advocated by the royal ministers, ten different karyakkars (Royal officers) tortured him. They beat him every day with eighty stripes.; rubbed pepper on his wounds and nostrils; made him stand in the sun, and gave him only stagnant water to drink.

Devasahyam Pillai remained in prison for three years, during which time the king of Travancore came under tremendous pressure from the Europeans who sought his release. Finally, in 1792, Royal orders declared his banishment from the Kingdom of Travancore.

The authorities made him sit backward on a water buffalo (the mythical vehicle or vahana of Yama, the lord of death in Hinduism) . They marched him from the Padmanabhapuram Palace to Aralvaimozhy over the period of a few days.

According to the Royal order, he was to undergo a public humiliation. As was customary in those days for criminals, they painted his body with red and black spots. They made him sit backward on a water buffalo (the mythical vehicle or vahana of Yama, the lord of death in Hinduism).

They marched him from Padmanabhapuram Palace to Aralvaimozhy. On the way they halted at Puliyoorkurichi about 15 km from Nagercoil. There Devasahayam knelt before a rock to pray. The Christians believe that God quenched his thirst by letting water gush through a small hole on the rock. The water hole is still found in the compound of St. Martyr Devasahayam Pillai Church, at Puliyoorkurichi.

On reaching Aralvaimozhy, the authorities released him into a mountainous forest area, on the other side of which was the kingdom of the Pandya kings, the traditional rivals of Travancore.

Death

After his release, Devasahayam started meditating. People from the nearby villages started visiting the holy man. This infuriated high caste Hindus who plotted to kill him.

On January 14, 1752, soldiers from Travancore kingdom tried to shoot Devasahayam, but were unable to fire their guns. Devasahayam then took a gun from one of the soldiers. He blessed it and gave it back to him and asked the soldiers to shoot him to death, if they wished to do so. The soldiers then fired at him five times and threw his dead body near the foothills at Kattadimalai. Devasahayam Pillai thus received the crown of martyrdom.

Some people of the region recovered Devasahayam’s body and carried it to St. Francis Xavier’s Church (now the diocesan Cathedral) at Kottar, Nagercoil and interred his mortal remains near the altar. From that day onwards many Christian pilgrims have visited his tomb and offered prayers.

The followers of Martyr Devasahyam Pillai, have preserved his clothes and other belongings at the Holy Family Church, built in 1779, in the small town of Vadakkankulam in Tirunelveli District of Tamil Nadu State, India. Kept in a glass case these relics are exposed on 15 August every year, during the feast of the Assumption of Mary. His wife Gnanapoo Ammaal is buried in the cemetery there.

RELATED ARTICLES

Sellur K Raju’s Experiment To Curb Water Loss Due to Evaporation


Myself

By T.V. Antony Raj

Sellur K Raju aka “Thermocol” Raju.

Five years ago, Sellur K Raju, the former Tamil Nadu Minister for Cooperatives came up with an ingenious idea to curb water loss due to evaporation at Tamil Nadu’s Vaigai dam.

The officials of the Public Works Department under the guidance of minister undertook the task of covering a portion of the dam with thermocol sheets worth ₹10 lakhs to curb water loss due to evaporation.

Minister Sellur K Raju said he got the idea from a ‘source’. It involved using thermocol sheets, worth ₹ 10 lakhs, to cover a portion of the dam to curb water loss due to evaporation.

So, five years ago, on April 21, 2017, Minister Sellur K Raju and the officials of the Public Works Department tried to cover a portion of the dam using thermocol sheets.

The minister invited the press to the Vaigai dam located 67 kms away from Madurai to view his breakthrough technique to save water.

As the Minister set the experiment in motion by placing a few sheets over the waterbody, strong winds swept the sheets away.

Tamil Nadu Cooperative Minister Sellur K Raju places thermocol sheets at Vaigai dam

Undeterred, the minister directed the PWD officials to spread the thermocol sheets deep in the water using an Indian coracle (Tamil: பரிசல்). But, wind washed them ashore within a few minutes leaving the minister and other officials red faced.

K Veera Raghava Rao, the Collector of Madurai said they would hereafter adopt different methods to save water. Rao also said that they used thermocol as it is non-polluting. But, Mr Rathnam, a scientist, says thermocol is non-biodegradable and can harm fish when it breaks into smaller pieces.

The public and social media threw brickbats at the minister for his failed experiment that earned him the moniker “Thermocol” Raju.

Related articles

Tamil Nadu Minister Uses Thermocol To Save Water. Twitter In Splits (https://www.ndtv.com/)

TN minister’s idea to float thermocol sheets over a dam to prevent evaporation drew flak from public (https://www.dnaindia.com/)

Former South African President Jacob Zuma married six women!


Myself 

By T.V. Antony Raj

Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, Former President of South Africa
(Source: newstimeafrica.com)

Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, born April 12, 1942, was the President of South Africa from  2009 to 2018. He was Deputy President of South Africa from 1999 to 2005. When the ANC won the 2009 general election, the parliament elected him as President. After the 2014 election, they reelected him as President of South Africa for the second time.

Does anyone know the secret of President Jacob Zuma’s Stamina? He married six women and had 20 children!

Jacob Zuma has faced many legal challenges. In December 2005, he was charged with raping a 31-year old woman at his home in Forest Town, Gauteng. The alleged victim was the daughter of a deceased struggle comrade of Zuma. She was an AIDS activist known to be HIV positive. Zuma denied the charges. He claimed that the sex was consensual. On 8 May 2006, the court agreeing with Zuma that the sexual act in question was consensual found him not guilty of rape. Judge van der Merwe reprimanded the accuser for lying to the court. He also censured Zuma for being reckless.

President Jacob Zuma and his current wives cutting his birthday cake (source: thepromota.co.uk)
President Jacob Zuma and his current wives cutting his birthday cake
(source: thepromota.co.uk)

Jacob Zuma belongs to the Msholozi clan and is a polygamist. Noted for having married six times, he currently has four wives. One wife divorced him, and another committed suicide.

During a visit to London in February 2010, Jacob Zuma lashed out at British newspaper reports that described him as a “sex- obsessed bigot”. He demanded that they respect his multiple marriages as they form part of the Zulu culture.

Wife #1: In 1959, Zuma met Gertrude Sizakele Khumalo and married her shortly after his release from prison in 1973. She lives at Nkandla, Kwazulu Natal. They have no children. She is a quiet and shy person.

President Jacob Zuma's wife #1 -  Gertrude Sizakele Khumalo.
President Jacob Zuma’s wife #1 – Gertrude Sizakele Khumalo.

Wife #2: Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, a cabinet minister since 1999. Zuma married Nkosana during his years of exile for 15 years in Swaziland, Mozambique, Zambia and several other African countries, while continuing his work with the ANC. At the time of their marriage, Nkosazana was working in a Swaziland government hospital as a medical officer. She bore him four children. They divorced in June 1998. She cited the reason for the divorce as ‘irreconcilable differences’. She is a senior member of the ANC party and is still active in politics.

President Jacob Zuma's wife #2 - Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. She  divorced him in June 1998. (Picture: Jacoline Prinsloo/GCIS)
President Jacob Zuma’s wife #2 – Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. She divorced him in June 1998. (Picture: Jacoline Prinsloo/GCIS)

Wife #3: Kate Mantsho from Mozambique worked as an airline staffer. Zuma married Kate Mantsho. Though she bore him five children, their marriage strained. She committed suicide on December 8, 2000. In the suicide note she left behind she said that she did not want Jacob Zuma to attend her funeral.

President Jacob Zuma's third wife Kate Mantsho . She committed suicide on December 8, 2000 (Source: whatishappeninginsouthafrica.blogspot.in)
President Jacob Zuma’s wife #3 – Kate Mantsho.  (Source: whatishappeninginsouthafrica.blogspot.in)

Wife #4: The 66-year-old Zuma met the 33-year-old Nompumelelo Ntuli (MaNtuli), a resident of KwaMaphumulo through social circles. They legalized their relationship on January 8, 2008.

President Jacob Zuma's Wife #4 - Nompumelelo Ntuli (MaNtuli)
President Jacob Zuma’s Wife #4 – Nompumelelo Ntuli (MaNtuli)

In June 2010, when Nompumelelo Ntuli Zuma was pregnant with Zuma’s 21st child, allegations rose questioning the paternity of the baby. The Zulu-language newspaper Ilanga received a letter from “concerned family members” of Zuma. The letter claimed that one of his three current wives had cheated on him with one of her bodyguards named Phinda Thomo. Zuma was “furious” over the allegations. A presidential statement said:

“The reports appear to be part of an ongoing and malicious campaign to undermine the right of the President and his family to privacy and dignity.”

Wife #5: In 2007, Zuma paid lobola to Thobeka Stacie Madiba’s clan when their child was born in October 2007. Zuma married her on January 4, 2010. Before the traditional wedding, Madiba had another of Zuma’s out-of-wedlock child. That child is now living with her.

President Jacob Zuma and his fifth wife Thobeka Stacie Madiba (Source: faraitoday.com)
President Jacob Zuma and his wife #5 – Thobeka Stacie Madiba
(Source: faraitoday.com)

Wife #6: On April 20, 2012, Zuma married Gloria Bongekile Ngema. The lavish wedding took place in Nkandla. Zuma’s other three current wives graced the wedding.

In this photo, taken on April 20, 2012, President Jacob Zuma and his fiance, Ms Bongi Ngema, dance at his home in Nkandla, KwaZulu Natal.  (Source: afp/Elmond Jiyane)
President Jacob Zuma’s Wife #6 – Gloria Bongekile Ngema.
(Source: afp/Elmond Jiyane)

The Sunday Times reported that Jacob Zuma acknowledged that he had fathered a love-child with 39-year-old Sonono Khoza, the daughter of his close friend, Irvin Khoza, the chairman of South Africa’s World Cup organising committee. The child was born on October 8, 2009.

Sonono Khoza mother of Jacob Zuma's love-child (Source: whatishappeninginsouthafrica.blogspot.in)
Sonono Khoza mother of Jacob Zuma’s love-child (Source: whatishappeninginsouthafrica.blogspot.in)

The Sunday Times reported that he fathered a love-child with the daughter of soccer boss Irvin Khoza.All the president’s men were mum about the baby girl, reportedly born to Sonono Khoza, 39, on October 8, 2009.

In 2012 the Daily Telegraph estimated Zuma’s known children as 20.

In 2009-10, Zuma received a budget of £1.2m for “spousal support”. This sum was almost twice the amount paid during the terms in office of former presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe.

In June 2012, activists, including some from the ANC itself, complained in the context of the country’s widespread poverty about the amount the state paid Zuma to support his wives. The protesters suggested that only Zuma’s first wife Gertrude Sizakele Khumalo should receive state support.

Jacob Zuma is a traditionalist. He has acknowledged all his wives. A few years ago Zuma said during a television interview:

“There are plenty of politicians who have mistresses and children that they hide so as to pretend they’re monogamous. I prefer to be open, I love my wives, and I am proud of my children.”

The Swati royal family is not impressed with the president of South Africa. In 2002, President Jacob Zuma paid lobola for his Swati sweetheart, Princess Sebentile Dlamini. The Swati royal family expected a wedding shortly thereafter. They expected their princess to enter the Zuma’s Nkandla homestead. That did not happen.

Swati Princess Sebentile Dlamini  (Image source: Sunday World)
Swati Princess Sebentile Dlamini (Image source: Sunday World

Jacob Zuma’s reckless and outlandish behaviour goes beyond the political framework of leadership. He has an insatiable appetite for the opposite sex. This has driven him to engage in morally challenged relationships. Here is a photo of President Jacob Zuma chilling with bare breasted women.

President Jacob Zuma chilling with bare breasted women (Source: OluFamous.Com)
President Jacob Zuma chilling with bare breasted women (Source: OluFamous.Com)

Related articles

After Shaking Hands…


 

Myself 
.
By T.V. Antony Raj

.

The Albanian proverb, “After shaking hands with a Greek, start counting your fingers” reminds me of the song “Dread and the Fugitive Mind” written by guitarist and vocalist Dave Mustaine who formed the American thrash metal band Megadeth.

.

Dave Mustaine of Megadeth performing during the River City Rockfest at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas on May 29, 2016.

.
The song released in 2001, is about former band member Chris Poland who played the guitar from 1984-1988. To fund his heroin and crack addiction Chris Poland would sell the bands personal equipment and gear. In this song, the crook questions his lifestyle. He struggles with the urge to steal things and dread of apprehension. 

.

Chris Poland Former Megadeth Guitarist

.

Lyrics: Dread and the Fugitive Mind

Let me introduce myself I’m a social disease

I’ve come for your wealth leave you on your knees
No time for feeling sorry, I got here on my own
I won’t ask for mercy, I choose to walk alone

What’s yours is mine and what’s mine is mine too
If you shake my hand better count your fingers

What if I do get caught?
What if there is no judgment?
If I’m right I lose nothing, if you’re right I lose it all
I ought to get caught because I’m doing something wicked
I’m guilty haunted by my fear and the only consequences
Are dread and the fugitive mind

You built walls to protect you so no one will infect you
Pursued by those out there that vanish in thin air
Come a long way to find what you really left behind
You don’t know when the end is but it’s coming fast

What’s yours is mine and what’s mine is mine too
If you shake my hand better count your fingers

What if I do get caught?
What if there is no judgment?
If I’m right I lose nothing, if you’re right I lose it all
I ought to get caught because I’m doing something wicked
I’m guilty haunted by my fear and the only consequences
Are dread and the fugitive mind

VH1 (originally an initialism of Video Hits One) is an American basic cable television network based in New York City owned by ViacomCBS. Behind the Music is a documentary television series on VH1. Each episode profiles and interviews a popular musical artist or group. The program examines the beginning of their career, their road to success and the hardships they may have encountered.

In VH1’s  Behind the Music, Dave Mustaine talks about coming into the studios and sometimes finding a couple of cymbals or a guitar or pedal missing. As the band was broke, he would search for the pawnshops where Chris Poland had taken the gear and got it back. 

.

RELATED ARTICLES

Are Alkaline Foods the Panacea for Coronavirus?


Myself 
.
By T.V. Antony Raj

.

A couple of days ago I saw a message on a Tamil TV news channel that said the pH value of the novel coronavirus ranges from 5.5 to 8.5
? It also said that consumption of alkaline foods above the virus’s pH level prevents its spread and cures this deadly infection.
 
Also, I came across similar messages on Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp attributing this information to research published in the Journal of Virology.
 
The message further lists down the pH values of different food items such as avocado, lemon, orange, garlic, among others:


Avocado 12.6
Dandelion 12.7
Garlic 13.2
Lemon 9.9
Lime 8.2
Mango 8.7
Orange 9.2
Pineapple 12.7
Tangerine 8.7

It continues by saying “All we need to do, to beat coronavirus, we need to take more of an alkaline foods that are above the above pH levels of the virus.” (sic)

Is this claim true? No!

The study quoted in the research dates back to 1991 and published in the Journal of Virology with the title ‘Alteration of the pH Dependence of Coronavirus-Induced Cell Fusion: Effect of Mutations in the Spike Glycoprotein’ by researchers Thomas M. Gallagher, Cristina Escarmis, and Michael J. Buchmeier. 

The abstract of the study mentions that it is about coronavirus mouse hepatitis virus type 4 (MHV4) and COVID-19 is a new strain of virus that was not known in the 1990s. It reads:

Infection of susceptible murine cells with the coronavirus mouse hepatitis virus type 4 (MHV4) results in extensive cell-cell fusion at pHs from 5.5 to 8.5.” 

During the present pandemic, many people searching for useful health information to ward off the deadly coronavirus have started believing many things that are not true.

According to many health experts, this claim about consuming alkaline foods to increase the body’s pH level to create an environment that is deadly to the virus is untrue. There is no evidence nor enough data to prove and support this claim.

We must understand that a virus does not have a pH.
 
Our body regulates pH levels. Our diet can change only the pH level of our waste products such as our urine and saliva but not the pH levels in our blood cells or tissues of our body.
 
Yet, there is no treatment or cure for the coronavirus. So, eating alkaline foods cannot cure or prevent coronavirus. Yet, a healthy and balanced diet can help boost our immunity, which in turn can help us fight the deadly virus.

.

RELATED ARTICLES

I was Born In 1941


.
Myself .
.

By T.V. Antony Raj

.

I was born in 1941.
 
In the 1940s most of us were born at home.
 
Our mothers fed us at any time of the day, and when we cried.
 
We did not sleep in cribs; we slept with our mothers or siblings on hard beds or on mats spread over the floor.
 
When we fell ill, the doctor gave us aspirin tablets for fever. Our mothers powdered the tablets, added honey and forced us to swallow the bitter-sweet mixture.
 
There were no childproof lids on medicine containers.
 
We never got checked for any allergies but we got inoculated for smallpox.
 
There were no locks on doors in our houses except the front door, and there were no locks on cupboards.
 
In the 1940s we never saw a household plastic utensil but we had celluloid containers. The mass production of plastic utensils started only in the 1950s.
 
As little children, we rode in cars that had no booster seats, no seat belts, no airbags.
 
We rode on rickshaws pulled by humans.
 
When we grew up and rode bicycles, we had no helmets to protect our heads.
 
We had fun drinking water from the garden hose.
 
We shared a single soft drink bottle with several friends, without anyone dying.
 
We added brown sugar or jaggery when we drank tea or coffee.
 
We ate white bread with real butter and natural fruity jam.
 
We ate lots of chocolates; even so, no one said that we were overweight.
 
Though we played a lot outside in the sun, we never applied sunscreen lotions or creams.
 
During holidays, we played all day. We returned home only after the lights were on.
 
No one could reach us or bother us because there were no mobile phones. Even so, we were all right.
 
We had the following coins in circulation:
 

In Ceylon (now Sri Lanka)

coin Ceylon 1 cent 19431 cent 
.
coin Ceylon 2 cents 19442 cents
.
coin Ceylon 5 cents 1944

5 cents  
.
coin Ceylon 10 cents 1944

10 cents  
.
coin Ceylon 25 cents 194325 cents

.coin Ceylon 50 cents 194350 cents

There were no one rupee coins in Ceylon at that time. Now, 1, 2, 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents are not in circulation in Sri Lanka and the minting of these denominations had been discontinued.

In India 

British India coinage under George VI 1938-19471 pice = 1/4 Anna = 1/64 Rupee (in Tamil we called this coin ஓட்டைக் காலணா / oattai kalana meaning 1/4 Anna with a hole.)
.
.
British India coinage under George VI 1938-19471 pice = 1/4 Anna = 1/64 Rupee
.

British India coins catalog with images and values, currency prices and  photo, Indian old coins

1/2 Anna = 1/32 Rupee
.

1 anna british india coin at reasonable rate for Sale in Kollam, Kerala  Classified | IndiaListed.com1 Anna = 1/16 rupee
.

Coin Value: India (British) 1/2 and 2 Annas 1939 to 19472 Annas = 1/8 rupee
.

Coin, INDIA-BRITISH, George VI, 1/4 Rupee, 1940, , Silver, KM:545

 1/4 rupee
.

1/2 Rupee
.

File:Indian rupee (1940).jpg - Wikimedia Commons
One Rupee

Telephones were rare. They were mounted on the wall or placed on desks, they were not mobile. One stood static in one spot to talk since an electrical cord connected the phone to the receiver.

Faber Castell Slide Rule

 
 
Since there were no calculating instruments, the word ‘computer’ was not coined at that time. We never heard of computers in the 1940 and 1950s. My first calculating instrument was a Faber-Castell slide rule bought in 1963.
 
Now, young people ask my wife and me: “How do you still manage to stay together for 56 years?” 
 
Our reply: “We were born in at a time when if something broke we would fix it, not throw it away.”

 .

 

The Pandemic President of Havelocks!


Reproduced from https://community.lk



By Tasha Devotta


.
.

Thusitha Peiris, President of the Havies Club, Colombo.

.
At 106 years of age, Havelocks is one of Colombo’s older rugby clubs. Over the years it has earned itself quite a reputation for the field game.  But this last year has taken its toll on the club because this very popular contact sport has become a ‘no no’ in the name of health and safety.


Family club

The current president of Havelocks is making every effort to keep the club going despite the lack of play.  He has resorted to making the best use of their revamped clubhouse by bringing members, their families and guests together for social engagements, especially on the weekends.  Although ‘Havies’ was a family club, during some part of its history it became male-dominated, overtaken by wild ruggerites and their enthusiastic fans.  But in the past 10 years or so, that has changed, and the club is getting back to its original status as a family-oriented place. 


Open air spaces

With COVID-19 regulations dictating open-air spaces as safer for social engagement, the airy club space that flows on to a well-kept garden overlooking the grounds has become the ideal place for club members and their families to interact with friends and enjoy some great old fashioned club food accompanied by a band playing 70’s, 80’s music.  And they do this with relative peace of mind because the club leadership ensures that pandemic safety regulations are followed.


Afternoon at Havies

It is safe to say that the Havies are making the best of a bad situation while they wait for things to settle down so they can get back to the game. Thusitha Peiris, President of the Havies Club says, “We’re all waiting for clearance from the health authorities and the Ministry of sports but in the meantime, the committee and I are responsible for the club’s survival during this pandemic period.  So we came up with the idea to make every last Sunday of the month an ‘Afternoon at Havelock’s,’ with delicious safely cooked local food and a band playing a mix of popular oldies and new songs.  It is a very successful event not only keeping the club and its staff motivated but the members and families have a lot of fun relaxing with their families and guests and that’s good to see. We plan to continue doing this because rugby will take a little more time to come through.”


Family traditions

As the Club revisits their roots to continue the family tradition, they are also leaving a legacy for future years. Almost everyone that enters the clubhouse leaves with some laughter and a sense of belonging. No doubt many traditions and memories made within its walls passed down from one generation to the next still continue. The familiar ambience may be something that members and visitors alike look forward to every time.

IMG 6550



Yellow rice

Speaking of last Sunday’s get together, Social Secretary of the club, Dominic Alles says, “we had a typical Sri Lankan ‘Havies’ style yellow rice, spicy tempered potatoes, batu moju, some pickles and three types of meat, chicken, prawn and our signature Sri Lankan pork curry. 


Finest rugby players

While the entertainment factor is something to look forward to especially during these difficult times, Havies is not just about that alone.  Having produced many of the finest rugby players in the country, it is a club that holds opportunity for talented ruggerites with a passion for the game.  The president of the club, a former ruggerrite himself who captained Havelocks in 1992 says the club holds a chance for everyone immaterial of age or background.  “At Havies there is equal opportunity for everyone.  We are not affiliated to any school, we don’t count background, we are only looking for players with a passion for the game because they are the future of this club.”

.

The Secret of His energy!


Myself

By T.V. Antony Raj

.

.

After the virile old man celebrated his 100th birthday, a reporter asked him the secret of his energy. 

Old man: “Well, after getting married, my wife and I agreed that whoever lost the argument after an altercation should walk 5 km as punishment. So, for the past 75 years, I have been walking 5 km almost every day.”

Reporter: “Then how come your wife too, is energetic as you are?”

Old man: “Oh, she used to follow me at a distance to ascertain whether I completed the 5 km walk and moreover to make sure I meet no other women!”

Its performance that Counts!


Myself

By T.V. Antony Raj
.

.A priest dies on All Souls Day and is waiting in the queue at Heaven’s Gate.

In front of him stands a guy, wearing a loud shirt, leather jacket and jeans, and sporting sunglasses.

Saint Peter to the guy: “Who were you?”

Guy: “An Express Bus driver. I used to drive long distances at night.”

Saint Peter: “Enter the kingdom of heaven. You are admitted to the first-class accommodations.”

Saint Peter to the Priest: “Who were you?”

Priest: “A priest and I spent almost 40 years preaching the Word of God to people.”

Saint Peter: “Enter the kingdom of heaven. You are admitted to the third class accommodations.”

Priest: “OMG, I spent all my life preaching God’s Words. How come a flamboyant, rash driver gets first class and I get third?”

Saint Peter: “Results, my son, results.”

Priest: “What?”

Saint Peter: “Its performance, not the position that counts!”

Priest: “Ugh!”

Saint Peter: “While you preached, people slept, but when he drove, people prayed! It’s the performance that counts!”