Bambalapitiya Flats by Kevin Clogstoun

The building seen in the background of this video wasn’t in existence when I left Ceylon to make a new home in Melbourne, but the memories mentioned are the fact that this particular building and the Bambalapitiya flats was built upon what was once a Seminary garden, right next to the spacious home of Judge St.Clair Swan who was blessed with a total of six or seven beautiful daughters and just one son, David who, in turn was one of my first good friends at St.Peter’s College, where we both attended, to ‘play the fool’, rather than to ever ‘go to School’,as the case may be. More memories spring to mind, as I remember, with some sadness, that while I have completely lost track of David Swan since arriving in Australia, I do recall that he was the only lucky  guy to own a radio-gram and several recordings of all the Country Stars that I admired so much, and I would visit Judge Swan’s place quite often. not just to listen to good music, but also ‘cap’ his beautiful daughters, while David would pinch a few of his Dad’s fags for us to take across the Galle road to the little ‘thosat-kade’s”for some Thosai’s and kirii-kopies, followed by an expensive cigarette or two.

After I left for Australia, life at the Bambalapitiya f

lats took off, mostly

Burgher families rente

d the flats & Judge Swan’s home became the Lekha Photography Studio, still standing large, practically opposite Lorensz Road, Bambalapitiya, where we lived in the little tenement homes, built for a Mrs.Peiris who owned the lot.

The Kelly’s occupied Number 38, while the Hingerts, c/w Maureen. Or Neliya, as she was better known back then, occupied number 10.

Memories are made of this, and will continue later for the benefit of those interested in my story. Contrary to what is happening there now, Sri Lanka WAS the Paradise it was meant to be, and I am sure that all the ex-Bambalapitiya – Flatters will agree with me.


Desmond Kelly.

(Editor-in-Chief) e’Lanka.

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