These are new photographs of the iconic St. Luke’s Church Borella in Colombo, Sri Lanka taken by Berk Carmichael of the Radio Ceylon Facebook Group. Here is where broadcaster Vernon Corea and his brother Ernest Corea grew up in the Vicarage – their parents Reverend Canon Ivan Corea and Ouida Corea ministered to the local community, especially the poor, for 25 years. Canon Ivan Corea reached out to the poorest of the poor the Rodiya Community and even housed them in a property belonging to St. Luke’s in Castle Street in Colombo.
During World War II Canon Corea was preaching at the morning Easter Service when the Japanese zero bombers attacked Ceylon on 5th April 1942. This event is known in world history as the ‘Easter Sunday Raid’ on Ceylon, now Sri Lanka. Vernon saw the RAF Hurricane aircraft who were scrambled from the Colombo Racecourse nearby, taking on the Japanese zero aircraft, high above St. Luke’s Church Borella in several dog fights over the skies of Colombo. The RAF thwarted the Japanese attack that day although the Japanese Zero fighters led by Captain Mitsuo Fuchida, bombed several parts of Colombo – including the mental hospital.
St. Luke’s Church Borella attracted a huge congregation. Former Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamer has played tennis here. An Archbishop of Canterbury stayed with Canon Corea in the Vicarage of St.Luke’s Church Borella during a visit to Ceylon from the United Kingdom. The church served the poor.
The Corea Family are grateful to Berk Carmichael of the Radio Ceylon Facebook Group for taking these photographs of St. Luke’s Church Borella.