eLanka | A memorable event

Harold Gunatillake

Sam Rajiah one of the most senior planters from the era of  European planters, now 94 years, lives in retirement in his own private tea property at a spot called ‘Ottakade” on the road to Haputale from Bandarawela, just 15 minutes’ drive from the latter town.

We have known Sam and Ranji his wife from the days Sam was manager at Spring Valley, Badulla, in the seventies when I was stationed in Badulla General Hospital as a surgeon.

Since then, our friendship has grown, that every Christmas season we have visited, spending a few days with them, ever after, even after leaving the country living in Singapore and presently in Sydney, Australia.

They still live a planter’s life, like the days when European planters were dominating the PD positions in the plantations.

His circadian rhythm still works, getting up early and doing a visit in his property ordering his labour force detailing the work for the day

Somasundaram Skanda our ex-High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in Australia writes about Sam, about a memorable visit to his old Tea plantation where he was the manager in the seventies.

Sam Rajiah at age 96 a doyen of the Tea Industry visited Spring Valley (which he managed in the 70 ‘ s) after almost 50 years.  Rohan Weerakoon who started his career under Sam and currently CEO Tea for Stassens Plantations resident on neighbouring Glen Alpin facilitated this memorable and nostalgic visit yesterday. Manager Bradley Amunugama and his team rolled out the red carpet acknowledging that its men like Sam who contributed to their present! WOW what noble sentiments! 👍

I enjoyed the reflected glory as Sam and Ranji English speaking Chauffeur ☺️

The Tea Museum of Spring Valley was awesome.

Lunch at picturesque and impeccably maintained Glen Alpin blow hosted by Rohan and his charming wife Tania rounded off a great day for us all in excellent weather👍🙏🌹SS

Another highlight was meeting Factory Office Isaac who having started his career on Waverly has now completed 50 years and was looking well! So much for Tea and longevity 🙏❤️

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