Photo source: Wikiwand
That was my Uncle Louis. Many years ago my mother, Dorrit painted from life the only existing portrait of him. It won many first prizes as the best portrait in several Art Exhibitions in Ceylon and overseas. It hung in the lounge room of our home in East Bentleigh whilst the eleven founders of the ACF met at the foundation meeting. Four years ago, after my mother’s death my brother and I, knowing that he also did not have long to live, he and I decided that he should should take it to Kandy and present it to Kingswood College at their annual Speech Night. Uncle Louis, as an educationist was an innovator. He wanted to break down the “ them and us” prevailing barriers between teachers and pupils so that would all be “gentlemen of Kingswood”. He wanted also for his school to be like Eton or Harrow. Cricket was already a popular sport in Ceylon but Rugby was almost unknown to locals so he introduced it through his school and then Trinity College took it on. It became an annual feature between the two schools like the Royal Thomian cricket match in Colombo. Louis was a keen historian and after much research, wrote a comprehensive history oF Ceylon from Prince Vijaya to about 1900. An abridged version was for a while, a standard text book in schools. He was also a prolific writer of prose and poetry and a popular preacher in the Methodist churches. His wife and two eldest daughters died young. The youngest daughter , Rachel, known as Ray, was a journalist and very active in the Girl Guide Movement. Some time after her father’s death, when she was in her late seventies, on the grounds that the family home was too big for a single person, the Rajapakse government during the civil war, compulsorily seized the property, which was close to the Bambalapitiya Station and she was evicted.The government has built Buddhist at temple on the site. Ray died soon afterwards alone in someone’s garage. She died of starvation Neither the Guide movement, nor Kingswood nor her family knew anything about this tragedy until weeks after her remains had been disposed.
Rev John Blaze