Vernon Corea’s brother Ernest Corea played a key role in the Commonwealth

Ernest Corea - is the younger brother of Radio Ceylon/SLBC/BBC Broadcaster Vernon Corea.

Ernest Corea – is the younger brother of Radio Ceylon/SLBC/BBC Broadcaster Vernon Corea.

The Flag of the Commonwealth of Nations

The Flag of the Commonwealth of Nations

The Corea Family have played a key role within the Commonwealth. Vernon Corea’s brother was Ernest Corea, a distinguished diplomat and journalist. Ambassador Ernest Corea was appointed Chairperson of the Commonwealth Select Committee on the media and development in the 1980s.

Ernest Corea was Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the United States of America in the 1980s. He is pictured here with his brother, broadcaster Vernon Corea in Washington DC.

Ernest Corea was Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the United States of America in the 1980s. He is pictured here with his brother, broadcaster Vernon Corea in Washington DC.

Ernest Corea was Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the United States of America when Ronald Reagan was US President. He was also Ambassador to Mexico, Cuba and he was a High Commissioner to Canada.

At one time Ernest Corea was Editor In Chief at Lake House - a long line of distinguished Sri Lankan journalists have been in charge of the Ceylon Daily News and the Ceylon Observer.

At one time Ernest Corea was Editor In Chief at Lake House – a long line of distinguished Sri Lankan journalists have been in charge of the Ceylon Daily News and the Ceylon Observer.

Ernest was a distinguished journalist – he was Editor of the Ceylon Daily News and the Ceylon Observer.He is President, Media Task Force Global Co-operation Council and is a Consultant to the World Bank.

CHOGM 2013

CHOGM 2013

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Livy Wijemanne

Livy Wijemanne trained Vernon Corea in 1956

Clifford Dodd, Livy Wijemanne and Vernon Corea at a meeting in Radio Ceylon in 1958

Vernon Corea joined Radio Ceylon as a relief announcer in 1956 – it was firstly on a part-time basis although he was made permanent in 1957. He received his early training and support from Clifford Dodd who was the first ever Director of the Commercial Service of Radio Ceylon and Assistant Director Livy Wijemanne. After Vernon left the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation in 1975  he kept in close contact with Livy Wijemanne who went on to set up and run a new independent radio station in Sri Lanka called FM 99. Vernon returned to Sri Lanka on several occasions in the 1980s and 1990s and he never failed to meet Livy Wijemanne.

Information on Livy Wijemanne from Wikipedia:

Livy Wijemanne was a pioneer of Radio Ceylon. He was one of Sri Lanka’s greatest broadcasters, on October 31, 1948, the Post Master General (who was also Director of Broadcasting) appointed the young announcer, Assistant Controller of Programmes. This was a start of his career in management in Radio Ceylon – the oldest radio station in South Asia.

Noel Cruz writing in the ‘Island’ newspaper observed: ‘The Broadcasting station that had moved from Cotta Road to Torrington Square needed drive and Wijemanne provided it. He identified talent, welcomed new broadcasters and any experiments in presentation. It was Livy who first mapped out the logistics of ‘Outside broadcasts’, especially of the entertainment programmes relayed from the big hotels.’

Colombo Plan Scholar

After his completing his secondary education at Royal College, Colombo, Livy Wijemanne came on a Colombo Plan scholarship to the United Kingdom in early 1953, he was a member of the first batch of Colombo Plan Scholars from Ceylon. He worked with the famous John Arlott in Scotland, Wales and London. The BBC chose Wijemanne to occupy a seat assigned to a Commonwealth broadcasters at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth on June 22, 1953 at Westminster Abbey. Wijemanne was invited the British Council to reply to the toast of the Commonwealth proposed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer Mr Richard Mauldling at the Coronation Civic dinner at North Garnet.

Director Commercial Service of Radio Ceylon

In 1955 the Government of Ceylon made Livy Wijemanne Assistant Director of the Commercial Service of Radio Ceylon, he became the first Ceylonese Director of Radio Ceylon in 1956, succeeding Clifford R. Dodd. Wijemanne worked very closely with the Australian administrator, Clifford Dodd who came to Radio Ceylon under the Colombo Plan. Dodd changed the face of the Commercial Service of Radio Ceylon turning it into an international brand – he was ably supported by Livy Wijemanne who recruited some of Ceylon’s best talents – they were trained by Dodd and Wijemanne and were Ceylon’s pioneering professional broadcasters. Millions of listeners tuned into Radio Ceylon. The station was the most popular radio station in South Asia in the 1950s and 1960s. Radio Ceylon ruled the airwaves in South Asia, the station was by far the most popular brand name in the Asian region and people listened to Radio Ceylon from Pakistan to Burma – sometimes the station was picked up by listeners as far as the United States of America.

Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation

In January 1984 Livy was appointed Chairman of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation. Livy Wijemanne died in Colombo on Sunday 24 November, 2002 aged 85 years. He was a pioneering broadcaster from the island of Sri Lanka. He was instrumental in starting “FM 99”

Livy Wijemanne
Born 1917
Sri Lanka
Died Sunday 24th November, 2002
Colombo
Nationality Sri Lankan
Education Royal College, Colombo
Occupation broadcasting / television executive
Employer The Government of Sri Lanka
Known for The first Ceylonese Director of the Commercial Service of Radio Ceylon
Title Chairman of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC)
Predecessor Clifford Dodd , Director of the Commercial Service of Radio Ceylon

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Livy_Wijemanne

Neville Jayaweera

The inauguration of the Ceylon Broadcasting Corporation on 5th January 1967

 

Vernon Corea had enormous respect for Sri Lanka’s top civil servant of the 1960s, Mr. Neville Jayaweera who was Director-General of Radio Ceylon and masterminded the station changing into a Corporation – it was subsequently known as the Ceylon Broadcasting Corporation, changing to the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation when the country became a republic in 1972. Vernon Corea and Neville Jayaweera became close friends in the United Kingdom.

When Vernon Corea passed away in September 2002 Neville Jayaweera wrote about his valuable contribution to broadcasting in Sri Lanka. Here are excerpts of his tribute to Vernon Corea:

‘In many respects Vernon represented a dying culture. In the best sense of the term he was essentially a Public School boy, a typical product of Royal College of the pre-56 vintage. His sense of loyalty to his management and to his profession and his compassion and concern for those who worked under him were exemplary. I recall many instances when he would intercede on behalf some hapless subordinate who had fallen foul of the management without ever flinching from his loyalty to the latter. He typified the moral qualities of his schooling, viz. integrity, loyalty and professional excellence. There were certain things which he considered as simply “not done” and which he was incapable of doing. He was incapable of disloyalty to the traditions of his school, of disloyalty to his superiors or of disloyalty towards his subordinates and it was the special quality of his personality that he managed to balance these contradictory impulses with consummate ease and humour.

Vernon went on to distinguish himself at Radio Worldwide and within a few years was invited by the BBC to head their new, ” Ethnic Minorities Unit” where he worked till retirement with great distinction.

No tribute to Vernon Corea can be complete without a reference to his religious convictions. The eldest son of the Rev Ivan Corea and brother of Ernest Corea, who was one time Editor of the Daily news and later Ambassador to Washington, Vernon was a man of deep religious convictions. It will be correct to say that in addressing whatever task that confronted him Vernon’s first impulse was to turn to God. He seemed to look on every circumstance as, in some rationally unexplainable way, as God’s inexorable will for him. In a sense this was the source of his strength, the strength that enabled him to weather circumstances that would normally have crushed others. His faith in Jesus Christ was non-negotiable and indestructible.

In a real sense Vernon’s passing is also a reminder that the curtain is falling rapidly on an era. That era has long since been moved to the sidelines and is now being completely dismantled. Vernon was one of its few surviving representatives.’

Information on Neville Jayaweera from Wikipedia:


Neville Jayaweera addresses a meeting in the boardroom of Radio Ceylon
Born Sri Lanka
Nationality Sri Lankan
Occupation broadcasting executive
Employer The Government of Sri Lanka
Known for spearheading the change over of Radio Ceylon to a public corporation
Title Chairman and Director-General of Radio Ceylon/Ceylon Broadcasting Corporation

Chairman and Director-General of Radio Ceylon

Neville Jayaweera is a distinguished civil servant of Sri Lanka. He was handpicked by the Prime Minister of Ceylon, Dudley Senanayake and the Cabinet Minister of Broadcasting, Ranasinghe Premadasa to be both Chairman and Director-General of Radio Ceylon and subsequently the Ceylon Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in 1967.

Ceylon Broadcasting Corporation

Under his leadership the brand name of the Ceylon Broadcasting Corporation was strengthened. The name of the CBC underwent yet another name change in 1972 when Ceylon became the republic of Sri Lanka. The CBC is now known as the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation.

Chairman and Director General of the CBC Neville Jayaweera with the Prime Minister of Ceylon, Dudley Senanayake.

The SLBC is the oldest radio station in South Asia and enjoyed the title ‘King of the Airwaves’ in South Asia from the 1950s-1970s.

Shrī Lankā Guvan Viduli Sansthāva, Tamil: இலங்கை ஒலிபரப்புக் கூட்டுத்தாபனம், Ilangkai Oliparappuk Kūṭṭuttāpaṉam) came into existence on January 5, 1967 when Radio Ceylon became a public corporation. Dudley Senanayake who was the Prime Minister of Ceylon in 1967 ceremonially opened the newly established Ceylon Broadcasting Corporation along with Minister Ranasinghe Premadasa and the Director-General of the CBC, Neville Jayaweera.The first board of Directors of CBC consisted of Mr. Neville Jayaweera (CCS), Mr.A.L.M.Hashim , Mr.Dharmasiri Kuruppu , Mr. K.A.G. Perera , and Mr. Devar Surya Sena . After the first board meeting it was decided unanimously to appoint the chairman , Mr.Jayaweera , to the post of Director General.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceylon_Broadcasting_Corporation

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neville_Jayaweera