Andrew Kumarage, Anil Gamini, British Council, Ena de Silva, Loku Puttuwa, Maduru Oya, Podi Puttuwa, Raji Ratwatte, Sam Bickersteth, Shanthi Wilson, Suren Ratwatte, Uda Walawe, Wasgomuwa, Wilpattu, Yala
In 1984 began a comprehensive programme of travels with Ena. The highlights of these were trips to Yala, and also to other parks, Wasgomuwa and Uda Walawe and Wilpattu, and also to Maduru Oya where her contacts allowed us to stay with the Park Warden.
The first trip was in February, shortly after I had joined the British Council. Almost immediately after I started work I developed a bad back problem, which kept me in bed for a few days. I was not too keen then to go on the trip that had been arranged, but my mother persuaded me, realizing I think that, though I was not very fond of family gatherings, this was an expedition I would enjoy.
In addition to Anila and her friend Shanthi Wilson, whom I had known vaguely when they were at school together, and met subsequently in England when she was doing a postgraduate at Cambridge while Anila was in Oxford, the party included Ena’s nephews Raji and Suren Ratwatte, whom I had known only as energetic little boys when we were growing up. Raji was six years younger than me, twelve years younger than Chari his older brother, prompting the quip that Ena and Phyllis clearly belonged to the race of lions – Ena’s son Anil Gamini, who had been at Oxford as a postgraduate during my first year, was twelve years older than her second child Anula Kusum.