Reverend Canon Ivan Corea mentioned in ‘The Most Dangerous Moment of the War – Japan’s attack on the Indian Ocean’ book

the-most-dangerous-moment-of-the-war

Vernon and Ernest Corea’s late father, the Reverend Canon Ivan Corea has been mentioned in a book, ‘The Most Dangerous Moment of the War – Japan’s Attack on the Indian Ocean, 1942,’ by writer John Clancy. The book mentions that Reverend Canon Ivan Corea was preaching in a service at St. Luke’s Church Borella in Sri Lanka when the Japanese zero aircraft attacked Colombo on the 5th of April, 1942. RAF Hurricane Aircraft engaged the Japanese zero aircraft high above the church that morning.

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=czMZCwAAQBAJ&pg=PA6&dq=the+most+dangerous+moment+of+the+war+japans+attack+on+the+indian+ocean+1942&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiVnd-4_MTJAhUJWBoKHTr_AWsQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=the%20most%20dangerous%20moment%20of%20the%20war%20japans%20attack%20on%20the%20indian%20ocean%201942&f=false

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

St.Luke’s Church Borella in Colombo, Sri Lanka

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.

Vernon Corea grew up in the Vicarage of St. Luke's Church Borella in Colombo, Sri Lanka with his parents Reverend Canon Ivan Corea and Ouida Corea and brother Ernest Corea.

Vernon Corea grew up in the Vicarage of St. Luke’s Church Borella in Colombo, Sri Lanka with his parents Reverend Canon Ivan Corea and Ouida Corea and brother Ernest Corea.

The entire church was designed free hand including the designs on the pillars and around the church by Vernon's father, Reverend Canon Ivan Corea.

The entire church was designed free hand including the designs on the pillars and around the church by Vernon’s father, Reverend Canon Ivan Corea.

The inside of St.Luke's Church Borella

The inside of St.Luke’s Church Borella

The congreation at St. Luke's Church Borella - quite often young people now lead the services in this thriving church belonging to the Church of Sri Lanka in Colombo.

The congreation at St. Luke’s Church Borella – quite often young people now lead the services in this thriving church belonging to the Church of Sri Lanka in Colombo.

Holy Communion at St.Luke's Church Borella

Holy Communion at St.Luke’s Church Borella

The Holy Communion Prayer Book of St.Luke's Church Borella

The Holy Communion Prayer Book of St.Luke’s Church Borella

The Corea Family are grateful to Berk Carmichael of the Radio Ceylon Facebook Group for taking these photographs of St. Luke’s Church Borella.

International Star Disti Meerac sings three songs Vernon Corea loved

Top International musician Disti Meerac now living in Australia was in the Sri Lankan group Rhythm Nights in the 1960s.

Top International musician Disti Meerac now living in Australia was in the Sri Lankan group Rhythm Nights in the 1960s.

Disti Meerac was a member of the famous Rhythm Knights Group in Sri Lanka in the 1960s.

Disti Meerac was a member of the famous Rhythm Knights Group in Sri Lanka in the 1960s.

International music star Disti Meerac now living in Sydney, Australia has recorded three songs loved by Vernon Corea (the legendary Sri Lankan broadcaster) as a tribute to him. Disti was a member of the well known group ‘Rhythm Knights’ and he sang on the Sri Lanka circuit with all the stars including Cliff Foenander. Vernon has introduced the Rhythm Knights on so many stages around the island when he compered the top shows. He was a leading compere at the time in the 1960s. Disti knew Vernon Corea so well. The three songs were – Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen, Blue Moon and Know Other Love. Vernon has also sung the first two songs with his brother Ernest Corea in a duet in Maha Nuge Gardens. Both brothers had very good voices and were always singing together.

Disti also relates the stories behind the songs in his tribute to Vernon Corea posted on the social media site, Facebook.

‘When Ivan, Vernon’s son related a very short story to me..I almost felt the presence of this charismatic personality VERNON COREA …a legend of RADIO CEYLON..There are three songs tied to this bit I have to say to you.. GOD ONLY KNOWS THE TROUBLE I’VE SEEN, NO OTHER LOVE, AND BLUE MOON……………………One of Vernon’s Radio Ceylon colleagues was getting married and he mentioned that he wished he could have had set of musicians at his wedding reception…but could not afford it…So Vernon got together some musicians friends..and his son Ivan carried his ‘recorder’ and Ivan played it , Vernon sat at the piano..and the music played on…just like a fairy tale…………..The Groom did not have to pay of course, and so the true personality, the sparkling,magnanimous personality of VERNON COREA was on show……….He went out made a recording for his wife Monica, these were the days of 78 rpm and gramaphones…yeah he sang this for her. NO OTHER LOVE was derived from CHOPIN’s etude and the famous JO STAFFORD sang this beautiful song…Today , I dedicate this in memory of a friend of mine and a friend of RHYTHM KINIGHTS… Pardon me, for any shortcomings on my part,,,on these three song I have sung here — at SYDNEY.’

It was posted on the Radio Ceylon Facebook Group Page.

Lord Louis Mountbatten and Wartime Radio in Ceylon

Lord Louis Mountbatten moved his base to Ceylon in April 1944, here Liord Mountbatten arrives at the RAF Base in Koggala, Sri Lanka during World War II.

Lord Louis Mountbatten moved his base to Ceylon in April 1944. Here Lord Mountbatten arrives at the RAF Base in Koggala, Sri Lanka during World War II.

Lord Louis Mountbatten moved the RADIO SEAC operations from New Delhi first to Kandy and then to Colombo during World War II. This was Ceylon’s first ever wartime radio station and it played a vital role from 1944 – 1946. During this time Vernon and Ernest were teenagers, living at the Vicarage of St.Luke’s Church in Borella. Like many Ceylonese families and many listeners all over the world they tuned into on their wireless sets to the BBC. One day that young teenager in Borella, listening with his family to the BBC, would be the Corporation’s Ethnic Minorities Adviser and BBC Local Radio’s first ever Asian Programmes Officer.

Radio SEAC played a vital role during World War II broadcasting for 18-20 hours on the 19 meter band at 15.120 mhz. A poweful shortwave transmitter was set up in Ekala, the announcers operated from the studios in Colombo.

Radio programs and important announcements including the speeches of Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Lord Louis Mountbatten were beamed from Ceylon right across India, Burma, Malaya, Singapore. It went a long way in boosting morale of the troops stationed in these countries. David Jacobs and Desmond Carrington (who later fronted programs on BBC Radio 2 in London) were the popular English announcers of Radio SEAC operating from Ceylon – they introduced request programs and programs for loved ones back in the United Kingdom. The songs of Bing Crosby were very popular with the forces at the time – they sent in so many requests to Radio SEAC.

Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten was the favourite Uncle of His Royal Highness Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales who has himself visited the island of Sri Lanka. Vernon Corea met Prince Charles in the 1980s when he was the BBC’S Ethnic Minorities Adviser.

Here is a rare film of Independence Day in Ceylon in 1967 at Galle Face Green in Colombo with the Prime Minister of Ceylon Dudley Senanayake and the Governor-General of Ceylon William Gopallawa – on the side of the platform is Lord Louis Mountbatten with former Governor-General of Ceylon Sir Oliver Goonetilleke watching the proceedings:

Ceylon Independence Day 1967

Ceylon Independence Day 1967

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/video/1967-ceylon-independence-day-162414861.html

Newspaper article from 17th April 1944 stating that Admiral Moutbatten had moved his headquarters to Ceylon:
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/48792713

Lord Mountbatten addresses the personnel on board the USS Saratoga in Trincomalee Ceylon in 1944:
http://research.archives.gov/description/520888

The Battle for Ceylon – 5th April 1942 – Japanese Newsreel on the bombing of Colombo and Trincomalee

Vernon Corea was just 15 years old when the Japanese made a surprise attack on Colombo, Ceylon on the 5th of April 1942 bombing parts of the city. Vernon was living at the vicarage at St.Luke’s Church Borella in Colombo. His father Reverend Canon Ivan Corea was preaching at St.Luke’s Church, Borella at the time the Japanese attacked Ceylon. His mother Ouida Corea and brother Ernest were also there at the Easter Sunday Service at St.Luke’s, the church was packed.

RAF Hurricanes flew out of the Colombo Racecourse grounds nearby to intercept the Japanese zero aircraft high above St. Luke’s Church Borella. Vernon witnessed the Battle for Ceylon from right outside the church. The Japanese Fleet followed that up by bombing Trincomalee and sinking the British carrier HMS Hermes off the east coast of Sri Lanka.

We found some Japanese newsreel on the worldwide web from 28th April 1942, filming the Battle for Ceylon and the bombing of Trincomalee. The newsreel shows Japanese zero attack aircraft and zero bombers taking off from Japanese aircraft carriers to attack Colombo on the 5th of April 1942 on Easter Sunday.

http://cgi2.nhk.or.jp/shogenarchives/jpnews/movie.cgi?das_id=D0001300484_00000&seg_number=004

Here is a short film on youtube from Wikipedia on the Easter Sunday Raid:

The visit of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Phillip to Ceylon in 1954

It was April 1954 and Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Phillip were visiting Ceylon for the first time as part of the Commonwealth Tour. Vernon had recently married Monica de Silva, a teacher of Uva College, Badulla in February that year. The couple came down to Colombo from Badulla to witness the Royal visit and stayed in the vicarage of St. Paul’s Church, Milagiriya. Vernon’s father, the Reverend Canon Ivan Corea was Vicar of St. Paul’s Church, Milagiriya in 1954. Canon Corea and his sons Vernon Corea and his wife Monica and brother Ernest stood outside the vicarage as the Royal motorcade went past St. Paul’s Church, Milagiriya. Thousands of people lined the streets to catch a glimpse of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip.

Vernon’s uncle, Sir Claude Corea and Lady Corea were introduced to Her Majesty the Queen during that visit in 1954. The Governor-General of Ceylon was Sir Oliver Goonetilleke and the Prime Minister of Ceylon in 1954 was Sir John Kotelawala.

Years later, Vernon met with the Queen’s eldest son, His Royal Highness, Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales at a reception in Buckingham Palace in London in the early 1980s when Vernon was the BBC’s first ever Ethnic Minorities Advisor. His Royal Highness, Prince Charles has also met both of Vernon’s sons – Ivan and Vernon. Ivan has also been introduced to Her Majesty the Queen on several occasions.

See some historic footage of the visit of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness Prince Phillip visiting Ceylon in April 1954.

Review of the Year – 1954:

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip visit Ceylon in 1954:

Queen Elizabeth II in Kandy – Royal visit of 1954:

Queen Elizabeth in the Hill Capital of Ceylon – Kandy in 1954:

During her visit to Sri Lanka, Her Royal Highness Highness made a historic broadcast from Radio Ceylon in Colombo in 1954. Two years later, Vernon Corea joined Radio Ceylon as a Relief Announcer in 1956.

HRH Queen Elizabeth's broadcast over the airwaves of Radio Ceylon - you can see the Radio Ceylon emblem on the microphone used by Her Majesty the Queen.

HRH Queen Elizabeth’s broadcast over the airwaves of Radio Ceylon – you can see the Radio Ceylon emblem on the microphone used by Her Majesty the Queen.

A historic photograph of Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II broadcasting from Radio Ceylon in 1954 now hangs on the wall of the Sri Lanka Broasdcasting Corporation in Colombo

A historic photograph of Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II broadcasting from Radio Ceylon in 1954 now hangs on the wall of the Sri Lanka Broasdcasting Corporation in Colombo.

Radio Ceylon/Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation, the finest radio station in Asia in 1954 - Queen Elizabeth II made a historic broadcast from the station in 1954 during the Royal visit to the Commonwealth in 1954.

Radio Ceylon/Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation, the finest radio station in Asia in 1954 – Queen Elizabeth II made a historic broadcast from the station in 1954 during the Royal visit to the Commonwealth in 1954.