Affiliated University Colleges, Aluvihare Heritage Centre, Aluwihare, British Council, British High Commissioner, British Overseas Development Administration, David Gladstone, Ena de Silva, English Language Training, GELT programme, Geoffrey Bawa, Neil Kemp, Samanalawewa Dam, University Grants Commission, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Vere Atkinson
I could never really reciprocate Ena’s hospitality by hosting her myself, but I did try in various ways on various occasions. The first was vicarious, in that I arranged an Exhibition for her at the British Council, and obtained the use of the former Representative’s house for not only the display but also as a place to stay for some of the vast brood she brought down.
The house had been built by Geoffrey Bawa near the entrance to the premises that he had constructed in 1982 by joining two old bank houses together. These colonial style buildings had been embellished by a colonnaded corridor, and looked splendid. The much lower two storied house on the other side had a matching façade, and the downstairs looked very elegant, but it was not an easy place in which to live. The Representative who had supervised the buildings, Vere Atkinson, loved it, but his successor, the boss I have most enjoyed working for, loathed the place. Vere said it was because he had a Swedish style wife who could not cope with a Bawa style house, but when I saw the poky upstairs, after they had left, I realized how difficult it must have been to survive there, with several children too.