Place – An old Christian Missionary 4 Roomed , Thatched Roof School in Colombo .
Once upon a time, there was this little girl- about 8- 10 yrs old at that time , and lets call her- Cecilia 🙍🏼, who lived with her parents, siblings and the rest of there vast extended family,👨👩👦👦👨👩👧👦 down a street in Bambalapitiya .
There was no name for that dirt side road back then .
Cecilia and her sisters were the first batch of students to attend this newly minted Christian Girls School.
Now, little Cecilia was a real cute thing- with a nice hot temper🤷🏻♀️🤷🏻♀️ to match, and a no nonsense attitude – a “ spoilt brat’ in today’s terms .
Back in the day ‘exercise books ‘ pencils etc were too costly for these young ones to learn the 3 R’s .
A Gal Lella held firmly together with a rectangular wooden frame and a Gal koora ( stone slate, and a stone stick ), was the Magic Coloring Book ,and the gal koora was the Magic Marker , together with perhaps some colored ‘chalk ‘ .
The Class Teacher gave the her young chargers an assignment and each child was supposed to take the assignment done on the slate up to the teacher for marking .
It was Cecilia’s turn .👩🏻⚕️
The Teacher- looked at it, and gave Cecilia a Failing Grade, and made some very non complementary remarks in front of the whole class .
Little Cecilia would have none of it .
She grabbed the slate out of the teacher’s hand, raised it over the Teacher’s head, and slammed it on the teacher’s head !!!
There was this teacher- totally horrified, eyes googling out of her sockets, mouth open , totally tongue tied, with a wooden frame around her neck, and bits of slate on her head and where ever it fell .
Must have been a pretty sight !
Little Cecilia- was equally mortifed at what she did .
Too Late !
She did the next best thing –
Ran out of the class,🏃🏾♀️🏃🏾♀️🏃🏾♀️🏃🏾♀️ out of the little school gate, and onto the dirt road, as fast as her little bare feet could carry, with a cloud of dust, trailing behind her !!
She ran all the way home along the main dirt/ cart road , ( now called Galle Road Bambalapitya ) a distance of about 2 blocks , 🏢🏢and down the dirt side street right up to her home .
She never went back to school again .
I think,🤷🏻♀️🏀 little Cecilia had a learning disability – some form of Dyslexia
This was Cecilia’s School Time Adventure .
Fast Forward –
1953 January 8th – another little girl- same age, who now is Cecilia’s grand daughter , with very similar personality to match – wormed her way into this same school- which by now was very prestigious ALL Girls Convent – Aka- Holy Family Convent- Bambalapitiya .💒💒💒
Lets call her ‘ Grand Daughter ‘ .
In 1953- the school was celebrating its Golden Anniversary- and photos of all the students were being taken , and Grand daughter tells this to Grandmother Cecilia, who then re- counts this crazy story, amidst much laughter !!!🤣🤣🤣🤣
Grand Daughter- failed the first her attempt at writing the Admission Test in 1952, as she handed a blank paper for English, as she did not understand a word of it,📖📖📖 but, aced the Arithmetic and Sinhala papers .
Grand Daughter was given special private tuition in English to pass the Admission Test to enter this high class school, by a very nice lady in Keleniya called Mrs Gunesekera – a very kind lady, but a very good and tough teacher .
Grand Daughter stuck around this upscale Colombo School , with many Adventures along the way, being ,thrown out of class, spanking by teachers and Mother Superior many times, during the 10 years she spent there .
But she was a very tough and determined persistent brat- a real chip of the old block one might say .
1964—Grand Daughter- finally made it into The Class of 64 .👨👩👧👦👨👩👧👦👨👩👧👦👨👩👧👦👨👩👧👦👨👩👧👦👨👩👧👦👨👩👧👦
Her name is — Deepthie Seneviratne !👩🏼🎓
Mrs Gunesekera- Anslem’s mother who was the English Teacher at the St. Paul’s School in Keleniya .
Grandmother Cecilia who had only a grade 3-4 education , who knew only how to read , and not write , – she passed away in 1965 – in the Merchants Ward- Colombo General Hospital and was really happy to see her little Jewel in the Crown grow up in to a fine young lady , now a Medical Student .
The side dirt road- is now known as Nandana Gardens – where some of my extended family still lives, in their ancestral land from the mid 1800’s .
The main dirt / cart road- Galle Road – Bambalapitya .