Vijith Kumar Senaratne mentions Vernon Corea in his new book ‘Rasa Mathaka Asiriya,’ published in Sri Lanka

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Sri Lankan author Vijith Kumar Senaratne has mentioned Vernon Corea in his new book ‘Rasa Mathaka Asiriya,’ published in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

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The Daily Mirror newspaper of Sri Lanka also mentioned this in a feature by Gamini Akmeemana, published on the 7th of March 2017. Here is the article:

http://www.dailymirror.lk/article/-Rasa-Mathaka-Asiriya-a-work-of-nostalgia-125025.html

“Rasa Mathaka Asiriya” by Vijith Kumar Senaratne is an absorbing collection of essays on a number of professionals in spheres as diverse as photography, broadcasting, teaching, music and the plastic arts.    While some of the faces in this galaxy are well known, others have hardly ever been known to the general public. Composer Premasiri Khemadasa is a known face but few would have heard of sitarist Piyadasa Athukorala, who performed in almost every major concert in the 60s and 70s including Victor Ratanayake’s Sa, and contributed those unforgettable opening melodic refrains of the song ‘Sinidu Sudumudu Thalawe’ from the film ‘Sath Samudura.’

Author Senaratne, with two previous books to his credit including one on pioneer singer Sunil Santha, has researched extensively his subjects and their careers, thereby bringing out a plethora of fascinating detail.    In the meandering tone of a natural story teller who loves telling his stories, Senaratne mentions that Sunil Santha gave away his thriving music class to young Amaradeva at a time when he himself was quite short of money. Or that Leela, Sunil’s wife, saved a couple of Tamil neighbours from a mob during the July 1983 riots, and that she died holding the hand of her old friend Dr. Thilokasundari kariyasasam.    Sitarist Athukorala went on his father’s shoulders to see Rabindranath Tagore lay the foundation stone for the Sri Pali school in Horana. Photographer and film producer Chitra Balasuriya’s Chitra Studio in Gampaha was a haven for actors and musicians, paving the way for films such as Parasathu Mal and Thunman Handiya.

The career of flutist Weerasena Pieris, whose mellifluous tones can be heard in songs such as W. D. Amaradeva’s Pipunu Kusuma and Victor Ratnayake’s Thotupola Aiye, was cut short when he was attacked with a knife as a political reprisal. Announcer Gunathunga K. Liyanage pioneered the broadcasting of Hindi songs on SLBC’s Sinhala commercial service, introduced direct phoning during live programmes into Sinhala medium broadcasting, allowing scholar Edwin Ariyadasa to comment directly while news of man’s first steps on the moon were being broadcast.

Palitha Perera, better known for his cricket commentaries, was put in charge of SLBC’s first FM Broadcast ‘City FM.’

When it comes to the teaching profession, Maya Abeywickrema rendered invaluable services as a music teacher, widening the scope of Western music education in our schools and initiated the National Youth Orchestra, producing many fine Western classical musicians. Prof. J. B. Dissanayake made the study of Sinhala an attractive proposition and wrote books in English for those studying it as a second language.

Hemapala Perera, adept protagonist of the mandolin and tabla though better known for flute playng, went blind at a tender age due to a botched innoculation. Nimal Mendis, composer of ‘Master Sir’ and ‘Ganga Addara’, wrote and performed the music with his UK band for songs by British jazz singer Mary Marshall. Mendis and his wife Ranjani made several documentaries too, including Dawn of Terror and Stop Killing, Start Singing.

Singer Irene Malini Ranasinghe, now largely forgotten, comes live in these pages. She made her mark as a playback singer in the films “Mee Messo” and “Arunata Pera.” Singer Wasantha Sandanayake was actively involved in film making, working in films such as ‘Wahal Dupatha’ and entertaining people with Tamil songs whenever the film locations were in the hills.

“Rasa Mathaka Asiriya” is an absorbing collection of essays on a number of professionals in spheres as diverse as photography, broadcasting, teaching, music and the plastic arts”

Narada Disasekara, though he became one of our best known singers in the 60s, studied science and joined the SLBC as a recording technician, achieving such fame in that profession that he recorded Ravi Shankar and was sought out by Sunil Santha to record his lament when PM S. W. R. D. Bandarnaike was killed. Narada got his break as a singer in the film ‘Sikuru Tharuwa’ thanks to film star Punya Heendeniya, who convinced music director R. Muttiswamy to give him a chance to sing. Some of M. S. Fernando’s slower songs such as ‘Bola Bola Meti’ came out of a creative necessity, due to a SLBC ban on fast rhythms during the Ridgeway Thilakaratne era.

Radio announcer Elmo Fernando was so enamoured as a schoolboy by Prosper Fernando’s Hindi songs programme that he habitually ran 15 minutes from home to school after hearing it to the end. SLBC’s Vernon Corea noticed this young enthusiast and handed him over to Karunaratne Abeysekara who took him under his wing. In the same era, prolific musician and multi-instrumentalist Douglas Ferndinands lived in a house along Park Road, Havelock Town, which was more recently occupied by politician Douglas Devananda.

The book is filled with many such anecdotes and reminiscences.

Published by Agahas Prakashakayo, 717/2, Madinnagoda, Rajagiriya, the book is available at leading bookshops including Sarasavi, Gunasena, Sooriya, Vijitha Yapa and Surasa Maradana.   

Maliban Biscuits, the Maliban Show on Radio Ceylon and Vernon Corea

Bathiya and Santhush, Brand Ambassadors for Maliban Biscuits - Vernon Corea devised and presented the iconic Maliban Show radio programme on Radio Ceylon in the 1960s. It was a huge success.

Bathiya and Santhush, Brand Ambassadors for Maliban Biscuits – Vernon Corea devised and presented the iconic Maliban Show radio programme on Radio Ceylon in the 1960s. It was a huge success.

Nowadays you can walk into a Sri Lankan shop in the London area and find boxes of Maliban biscuits for sale – it is available in the United Kingdom. The company was founded by Hinni Appuhamy and his family and has grown from strength to strength.

Vernon Corea at Radio Ceylon.

Vernon Corea at Radio Ceylon.

Vernon Corea was linked with Maliban biscuits when he presented the Maliban Show over the airwaves of Radio Ceylon in the 1960s. It was one of the top shows on Radio Ceylon. It was the X Factors of its day – a talent show which was extremely popular in South Asia. Vernon used to throw packets of biscuits to the audience in the hall and he travelled across the island of Sri Lanka with Radio Ceylon finding new talent. Vernon Corea pioneered the way with radio talent shows in the 1960s building up huge audiences for the station. We thank the Old Ceylon Facebook page for this information:

Maliban Biscuits

“Maliban Biscuits started off as a simple tea kiosk on First Cross Street in Colombo Fort.”

“When in 1935, its proprietor Mr. Angunugaha Gamage Hinni Appuhamy, who hailed from Akmeemana in the Galle District, opened the Maliban Hotel at No. 62 Maliban Street. had no idea at the time that it was Sri Lankan history in the making”

The first Maliban hotel and the 3 founders; Mr A.G.Hinni Appuhami, Mr A.G. Wickramapala, Mr A.G. Jinadasa and their accountant Mr. M.W. Abeynayake. Vernon Corea enhanced the Maliban brand with his hit radio programme - the Maliban Show on Radio Ceylon.

The first Maliban hotel and the 3 founders; Mr A.G.Hinni Appuhami, Mr A.G. Wickramapala, Mr A.G. Jinadasa and their accountant Mr. M.W. Abeynayake. Vernon Corea enhanced the Maliban brand with his hit radio programme – the Maliban Show on Radio Ceylon.

The first Maliban hotel and the 3 founders; Mr A.G.Hinni Appuhami, Mr A.G. Wickramapala, Mr A.G. Jinadasa and their accountant Mr. M.W. Abeynayake.

Legendary Radio Ceylon Broadcaster Vernon Corea mentioned thrice in ‘Mrs D’Silva’s Detective Instincts and the Shaitan of Calcutta,’ a novel by Indian writer Glen Peters

Vernon Corea - The dashing Radio Ceylon broadcaster in the late 1950s

Vernon Corea – The dashing Radio Ceylon broadcaster in the late 1950s

Vernon Corea has been mentioned in 'Mrs D'Silva's Detective Instincts and the Shaitan of Calcutta' a novel by Glen Peters.

Vernon Corea has been mentioned in ‘Mrs D’Silva’s Detective Instincts and the Shaitan of Calcutta’ a novel by Glen Peters.

Indian novelist Glen Peters

Indian novelist Glen Peters

Legendary Radio Ceylon broadcaster, Vernon Corea has been mentioned thrice by Indian author Glen Peters, in his novel ‘Mrs D’Silva’s Detective Instincts and the Shaitan of Calcutta.’ Glen Peters was born in Allahabad India and spent most of his school years in a suburb of Calcutta. His family emigrated to the UK in the late 60 s where he completed his university education. He was President of his Student s Union for a year and then worked as an engineer with British Gas for a number of years before he joined Price Waterhouse in London. He has been with the firm for 25 years and was made a partner in 1988. In 1995 he and his wife purchased a rundown mansion in Pembrokeshire which started a love affair with West Wales. He founded Project Rhosygilwen in 2006 which aims to use the arts as an engine of rural regeneration.

Mrs D Silva s Detective Instincts and the Saitan of Calcutta In a hugely enjoyable read, Glen Peters recaptures the tastes and atmospheres of 1960s India with a vivid and engaging novel of recipes and murder, intrigue and romance. Mrs D Silva teaches at Don Bosco s Catholic school in Calcutta. She was brought up by the nuns of St Mary s when her mother died and now only thirty two years of age is already a young widow with a son to care for. Life has a lot in store for Mrs D Silva. Calcutta in 1960 is a city striving to change. The old rulers have gone home but India is still trying to find its own way towards a peaceful, prosperous future. But the world is changing and pressing in on the new country. Mrs D Silva wants to be part of the New India, the new Kolkata. She likes the coffee houses of Chowringhee Road and the dances at the Grand Hotel. She likes her work at Don Bosco s, especially the new maths teacher from Darjeeling. She even likes her students. Which is why she is so shocked when the body of Agnes Lal, a young woman brought up by the nuns of the Loreto convent, is washed up on the marshes of the Hooghly river. Has Agnes been murdered? Does anyone care in a city where young girls go missing every day? And then Anil Sen, a former student of Mrs Dilva s and a close friend of Agnes Lal, is charged with the murder of a factory manager during a riot. A riot started by The Workers Revolutionary Movement of Bengal, and what a group of goondas they are, led by that shaitan, Dutta. The same Dutta running rings around Inspector Basu, who has been forced into investigating both cases and is getting nowhere fast. The same Inspector Basu who has a son at Don Bosco’s School. It s all a bit of a tamasha until Mrs D Silva discovers her detective instincts. In a hugely enjoyable read, Glen Peters recaptures the tastes and atmospheres of 1960s India with a vivid and engaging novel of recipes and murder, intrigue and romance.

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=WZb0CQAAQBAJ&q=vernon+corea#v=snippet&q=vernon%20corea&f=false

Peter Kuruvita the Australian Chef with the Sri Lankan connection

Peter Kuruvita the world class Chef with the Sri Lankan connection - photograph courtesy of www.peterkuruvita.com.

Peter Kuruvita the world class Chef with the Sri Lankan connection – photograph courtesy of http://www.peterkuruvita.com.

Peter Kuruvita (born October 1963) is an Australian chef, restaurateur and media personality, known for his rich culturally inspired cooking, highly influenced by his Sri Lankan father and Austrian mother. Peter’s family moved back to Sri Lanka in 1967 and most certainly they would have tuned into Radio Ceylon when Vernon Corea was a presenter on the ‘King of the Airwaves’ in South Asia. In 1974 the Kuruvita family moved to Australia. He is now an internationally renowned Chef.

Flying Fish 2003
Peter Kuruvita is Consultant Chef of Flying Fish Restaurant in Pyrmont, New South Wales on Sydney Harbour. The restaurant was opened in 2004. The Flying Fish serves modern Australian dishes with a strong seafood focus.

Flying Fish, Fiji
Peter opened Flying Fish Fiji in partnership with Starwood Hotels in 2008, situated on the sand at the Sheraton Fiji Resort Nadi Fiji

Steak House by Peter Kuruvita
Situated at the Westin Hotel Nadi Fiji, Peter was asked to take over the iconic restaurant after a few others attempted to bring it back to its former glory.

Noosa Beach House
Peters Latest partnership with Starwood hotels, situated in the Sheraton Noosa Resort and Spa right in the centre of Noosa’s Hastings street, the restaurant and bar have undergone a beautiful transformation and now suits its glamours surrounds.

Peter Kuruvita did a wonderful television series on Sri Lanka in 2011:

US Chef and Author Anthony Bourdain – NO RESERVATIONS – in Sri Lanka

Anthony Bourdain visited Sri Lanka for the first time in 2008. He compiled a fascinating insight into  Sri Lankan cuisine and the country at the time.

Anthony Bourdain visited Sri Lanka for the first time in 2008. He compiled a fascinating insight into Sri Lankan cuisine and the country at the time for the Travel Channel.

Photograph from the early 1970s of Sri Lankan broadcaster Vernon Corea on a Coconut Estate in Chilaw - his home town. Chilaw was known for three 'C's - Crabs, Coconuts and Coreas. Anthony Bourdain tasted the famous Chilaw Crab Curry when he visited the town in 2008 accompanied by Skiz Fernando the food writer who has links with Chilaw.

Photograph from the early 1970s of Sri Lankan broadcaster Vernon Corea on a Coconut Estate in Chilaw – his home town. Chilaw was known for three ‘C’s – Crabs, Coconuts and Coreas. Anthony Bourdain tasted the famous Chilaw Crab Curry when he visited the town in 2008 accompanied by Skiz Fernando the food writer who has links with Chilaw.

Anthony Bourdain is a famous American Chef, author and television personality. He visited Sri Lanka in 2008 for the first time to taste the culinary delights and experience the sights and sounds of Sri Lanka. Anthony Bourdain actually visited Chilaw, the hometown of the legendary Sri Lankan broadcaster Vernon Corea to taste the well known Chilaw Crab Curry – Chilaw was known as a coastal town with the three ‘C’s – Crabs, Coconuts and Coreas. Tony was accompanied by US born Skiz Fernando a Chef and food writer who has family links with Chilaw.

During his visit Anthony Bourdain stayed at the iconic Galle Face Hotel in Colombo. In the late 1950s and 1970s Vernon Corea broadcast New Years Eve celebrations and entertainment shows at the Coconut Grove from the Galle Face Hotel on the airwaves of Radio Ceylon.

Watch Anthony Bourdain in Sri Lanka:

 

Read about Anthony Bourdain’s visit to Sri Lanka on the Travel Channel:

http://www.travelchannel.com/tv-shows/anthony-bourdain/episodes/sri-lanka-1

http://www.travelchannel.com/tv-shows/anthony-bourdain/travel-guides/sri-lanka