Lankapura

Historic Images of Sri Lanka

Gordon Gardens Colombo Sri Lanka c.1924

Gordon Gardens Colombo

Gordon Gardens Colombo Sri Lanka c.1924 #IMG689

On February 1, 1804, the British Government took over the private house of the last Dutch Governor in Ceylon, Johan Gerard van Angelbeek in the heart of Colombo Fort. This is the house that became the official residence of the British Governor and was referred to as Queen’s House – so named because the British monarch at the time was Queen Victoria.

Queen’s House Set in about 4 acres of land, the residence gained further attraction when Governor Sir Arthur Hamilton Gordon (1883-90) laid out the Gordon Gardens at his own expense in honour of Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee celebrations in 1887. The Gardens boast of an amazing variety of trees and a marble statue of Queen Victoria which was removed from the gardens in 2006. Gordon Gardens was a public park opened to the public until 1980 when it was made part of the President’s House and today off limits to the public.

Photography/Publisher: M.B. Uduman
Date/Year: c.1924

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1. Govenor - July 17, 2016

My father Gardiarachchige Don Julius was the Head Gardener attached to the then known Queens House.I have a picture with me of his marriage to my mother Wickramamarachchi Dona Marthinahamy taken in Gordons Gardens, with Palm Trees in the background. He told me that he was responsible in planting those palm trees. Their living quarters were just adjoining the Queens House for which there was a separate roadway and also an entrance to QUEENS House. My mother prepares an orchid flower to be worn by the Governor, in his coat lapel, plucked from the Garden. Sir Solomon Dias Bandaranayaka had been a frequent visitor and he brings along with him son SWRD, My mother told me how she carried Baby SWRD, She told me of an interesting story, where an officer in the adjoing Bank Building, then it was Bank of INDIA, had been trying to make overtures to my then young bride. A complaint had been made to Inspector General of Police, Dowbigin when he had visited Queens House and the following day the window of the Bank from where the Bank officer had often seen was closed and what happened to the officer, is not known. That is short story my mother who died about 50 years back told me. I happened to go to the presently named Presides House when JRJ as the President and also the Minister for Power and Energy, for a short period, where I worked as Asst. Secretary and saw the tall palm trees which reminded me of my father. That is the bit I could contribute to your request to’ Share your thoughts.’

G.A.D.Sirimal
13’5 1st Lane
Dewalamulla
BORALESGAMUWA.

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