BURGHERS – PRIDE OF THE POLICE – By S.Sivendran, Retired Senior Superintendant of Police
Burghers were the descendants of the Portuguese and the Dutch who invaded Ceylon during the sixteenth and seventeenth century . They were fair in complexion and had an outstanding personality. Many of them joined the then Ceylon Police and were able administrators and outstanding sportsmen. They rose to high ranks and were the pride of the Police. They served all communities alike without fear or favor irrespective of race and religion.
During my forty years in the Police, I had the privilege of working with many of these officers who were real officers and gentleman. They were DIG Wilhelm W R Lembrugen,a six footer who looked majestic in uniform. DIG David C T Pate who was in charge of the Criminal Investigation Department, DIG Cecil Percival Wambeek, who was in charge of Adminstration, DIG Tommy H Kelart, who was an excellent cricketer who represented Ceylon in cricket. DIG Jack Vansanden,DIG Ivor D M Van Twest, who was a big name in Soccer, DIG C R Arndt, a tough cop and DIG Jeremy Rosemalee Coque, a pleasant officer.
The officers who adorned the rank of Superintendant of Police were Fritz Scharnivel who was in charge of CID and Public Security, Harry Vanden Driesen, and his brothers Eric and Collin, who were born and bred in Jaffna and had their entire education at St Johns College Jaffna, Fred H Brohier,an athlete and ruggerite from Royal College who coached the Police rugger team during its formative days, Carl Van Rooyan, who last served in Kandy, V T Dickman Sr and V T Dickman Jr, an honest officer who always dressed smartly, R A Stork a ruggerite and athlete from St Peters College,S Perkins, Ainsely Bartholameusz, Anton Joachim, a good ruggerite from St Peters College, Hugh G Bagot, an outstanding cricketer from St Josephs College ,who was in charge of the Police Mounted Division for a long period, Shelly Salvador, a good administrator. A Stevenson, S. Vanderwall, J. Hopman, Carl Lowrensz, Mervin Serpanchy, Dudley Von Hagt, Cossie Orr, A K Koelmeyer, Allan Flamer Caldera, Toussaint, F N Zimpson, Conderlag, Paddy Simms, Heppenstal, Emille Ephreaums,Hague Christofelsz, Vernon F Solomonsz, Mauritz Diaz, Eddie Bultjens, a top cricketer and ruggerite from Trinity College, Kandy, John Van Rooyan, Malcolm de Cruez, Trevor Barthalot, Bertus of the Kandy Kennels and John Weiman.
The officers who made the backbone of the police from the rank of Chief Inspector to Su Inspector were CI Barney Henricus, who was the first to win a Gold Medal for the country in boxing at the Empire Games now called the Commonwealth Games, CI Christofelsz, a strict disciplinarian, who called a spade a spade, Inspectors Dennis Ebert, Ronnie Paul, Brindly Stave ,a Josephian hockey player, Mike Schockman, a tough ruggerite and boxer from Trinity College Kandy who captained the Police rugger team, Jackie Vanderwert, Letcho Ephreaums, a Peterite ruggerite who captained the Police rugger team, Alcan Powell, a Josephian cricketer,Bran de Kretser, a physical culturist and a horseman, Terry Adolphous, Fred de Hodt, Heren Diaz, Beck Wright, M E N Rozairo, a tough boxer, who was my instructor at the Police Training School, Sweetie Webber, Eddie Grey, an Olympic boxer and a good horseman who rode at Queen Elizabeth’s coronation, Lyn Taylor, a Thomian cricketer, Malcolm Spittel, who played cricket for Ceylon, Vernon G Prins, who captained the Ceylon cricket team, Ralph Jansz, a national boxer,Dudley Ludkins, Dennis St Labrooy, Joe Grenier, Ryan Roberts, Wootler, Balthazar,,T G Thomas, Loyd Pieterz, Vernon Elias, Glen Elias, Roy Kline, B L N Ferdinands, who resigned from the Police to become one of the leading lawyers in the country, Noel Ingram , who was a dreaded officer in the Bribery Commissioner’ Department, Hilary Orloff., Norman Joseph, a good musician, Jhonny Lanceburger, Anderson , Ralph Van Rooyan and Anton Sheddon who both played Police rugger.
In the Constabulatory too we had burghers who excelled such Malcolm Schucroft who was a physical culturist and won several contests and played rugger for the Police, Vadergert, who played soccer for the Police and the national team and Wally Bastianz, who was a renowned baila singer