Ada Moonemalle, ‘Galle Walauwe, Dorothea Peternella, Edward Gregory Gunawardena, Galle Court, John Graham Jayatilleke Hulugalle, John Marcellus Lewis Moonemalle, Old Place, The Moonemalle Inheritance, Theodore Barcroft Lewis, Twentieth Century Impressions of Ceylon
John Marcellus Lewis Moonemalle, one of my eight great-grand-fathers, was born I think in 1835. He died in 1887, at the age of 52. That is recorded on his tombstone. He was not at all distinguished, certainly not a patch on his father-in-law, John Graham Jayatilleke Hulugalle, who built up the fortunes of that side of the family, in Kurunagala, and died just five years before his son-in-law.
John Marcellus was also overshadowed by his son-in-law, Edward Gregory Gunawardena. Born in Galle in 1858 and having enrolled as a proctor in the Galle Court at the age of 22, he transferred to Kurunagala five years later, when he married Ada Moonemalle. Their eldest child, a daughter, was born in 1886, so John Marcellus had the pleasure of seeing at least one grand-child before he died.
His picture used to hang in the main drawing-room at Old Place, the mansion Edward Gregory built, where I spent many happy days as a child, and then as a young man, before it was sold. It was pulled down in the nineties, and on the site the Bank of Ceylon built a complex of buildings, including quarters for staff as well as an office. I visited the place some years back, and tried to work out where everything had been, the garage, the deep and frightening well, the outside storehouse for paddy, but everything had been built up and a clear perspective was not possible.