The first ever Sri Lanka open day

By Cecil Weerakoon, Past President 1990, Trustee 2017

The first ever Sri Lanka open day was launched on the Tuesday 4th April 2017 at 8 Warne Place, Pennant Hills Leisure Centre, Pennant Hills. This was a historic occasion as the association has never held an open day event like this in my opinion for the last 44 years since its inception in 1973. I firmly believe this as I was one of the few inaugural founder members of the association and attended most of the events during the past.

On this occasion, I must congratulate president Sam Masachchi and his committee for initiating this new event (planned for the first Tuesday each month) to revitalise our association. To me it was very informal, relaxing, no agendas and in the end of the day lots of fun were had by all.

It was with plenty of trepidation and doubt on a rainy day that I drove to the Pennant Hills Library car park (3 hr limit) which was close to the venue, an old building of modest size. On arrival, I was greeted by a few friendly faces and was asked to sign in at the front desk which had several handouts, copies of Thorathuru's, Event Calendar's, Membership forms etc. I also dropped a nominal $5 into the donation box for expenses as requested.

Sam and Adikari were organising things in the kitchen. The interior was plain without table deco, no covers, no loud music but some short bites, tea, coffee, soft drinks and a few wine bottles. Kithsiri and his wife Shanthi were busy preparing music sheets, and hand written song sheets for a sing along. By now more attendees were arriving and before long there were three card tables in operation, and a very popular carom board was surrounded by a bevy of ladies. Ranjith with his camera was photographing the activities in detail.

There were 31 people enjoying themselves and having fun. Sam welcomed everyone and thanked them for attending the very first open day for the year. He also said that the idea was to make an event of nothing, no agendas, just a relaxed get together doing whatever the members wanted and things will work out by themselves in the future as friendly groups will organise activities, games etc. He was extremely happy with the turnout as members did not know what to expect. Sam also said that he made thirty rice packets himself until 1:30am the previous night and that it was well worth.

A sing along organised by Shanthi and Kithsiri was in full swing with Sene Banda, Ananda, Sarath and some of the ladies joining in. Shanthi played the organ and Adikari demonstrated his skills in Kandyan dancing later in the day. Gnani was planning the lunch menu for the next open day event discussing it with some ladies.

Meanwhile Nick Berman was asking preferences for lunch orders and later serving warm chicken/egg rice packets to all. Around 3:30 pm Sam suggested we should stop everything and take part in identifying ourselves in whatever way we want to give those present some information of yourself. It was a humorous affair as long names, younger ages were used by some to entertain the audience. Everyone enjoyed the game.

I am sure this open day event would become a regular event throughout the calendar year in the future as it has unlimited scope for members to do any activity. As the event would be held on a working day (Tuesday 11:30-4:00) every month and the numbers would be manageable.

Where in Sydney can you have a relaxed time with your friends for 4 hours, with lunch, refreshments and entertainment for $5.00?.

As this was a historic occasion it is important to note the attendees.Don Sandanayake, Cecil & Malini Kulatunga, Ranjith & Indrani Wijayasekara, Dr Gnani Thenabadu & Con, Dr Basil & Menik Goonewardene, Sarath & Geetha Wickramage, Munetantri & Aruni Ariyachandra, Dr Sene & Rupa Banda, Kithsiri & Shanthi Senadeera, Ananda Abeyawardhana, Sam Masachchi, Sheran De Zoysa, Tony LoRusso, Ramsay Selvarajah, Nick Berman, S. B. Adikari, Indrani Thillainathan, Swarna Samuel, Cecelin Kuvejo, Cecil and Sriyani Perera and Padma & Cecil Weerakoon.

Click here to view an album of photos from the event



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