Sydney Kolam Maduwa – “The September Swingalong “

Sunil de Silva

The Sydney Kolam Maduwa [SKM] treated a full house of participants at the Pennant Hills Community Centre on 24 September 2017 to a song fest at the Swingalong designed to blow away the ‘Winter Wind’ and usher the warming breath of spring.

The attendees walked into a hall tastefully decorated with tables numbered and adorned by arrangements a la Pauline Gunewardena and Gunasmin Lye with the able assistance of Madeline Marsh, Adrian Manikkam. Damayanthi and Antoinette, Each table was laden with a platter of Fiona’s ‘short eats’ an essentially Sri Lankan selection of savoury canapes.

The programme commenced with the SKM President, Ashra Ponnusamy recollecting and recognizing the Ernest MacIntyre inspired ‘Mallung of Migration’ the inaugural production of the SKM. Roger Menezes, of ‘The Jet Liners’ fame, Sudharshini Duraisamy, Laki Gunewardena, Ezmail Lye and Prianga de Fonseka tuned up the guitar, Key-Board, Piano, Percussion  and the Bongos to set the tone and the SKM Chorus and Soloists picked up the Irish Ballad, “Botany Bay” popularly sung by transported migrants from England as they reached Sydney as “ too-ral-li, oo-ral-li addity’, cleverly transposed by Ernest MacIntyre to suit the more recent migrants from Sri Lanka.

The SKM chorus led by Ashra got on to the stage singing “Toorali Oorali Yamu Dhang, Toorali Oorali Yea, Toorali Oorali Yamu Dhang, We Are Going to Botany Bay”

Devika De Fonseka soloed “I Come From No Less Than Colpetty, Also Called Colombo Three. I’m Full Dutch Burgher Origin, So I’m Already Aussie You See”

To be followed by Daya Gonsalkorale with “An Old Man Come From Sri Lanka, Not Many Years to Go. Left My Whole Life Behind Me, So Join Me In Saying “Aiyo”

Sunil de Silva following up “I left A Land Called Yaralpanam, It Was The Sound Of The War, I’m Now In A Place Called The Homebush, Where My Countrymen Everywhere”

Next was Chitran Duraisamy “I’m Mohamed Mustapha Marrikkar, We Are Not So Advanced So They Say, But We Translated Aristotle, So You Yakkos Could Now Sing And Play”

As the chorus descended into the audience, the MC Chitran Duraisamy gathered Devika, and Daya at the three microphones and sang through a Song Book of Thirty Four Golden Oldies in English, Sinhala and Tamil. Roger, Sudharshini, Laki,Ezmail and Prianga provided the backing. After a while Prof Kailasapathy enhanced the lead singers with his customary vocal skills. Chitran and the ever ebullient Ashra went around the hall pulling singers from the twenty or so tables of ten to render the hall a veritable musical extravaganza.

The songfest was suspended for dinner with packets of biriyani pre purchased by the guests and co-ordinated by Senanie and the helpers, Padma and Viraji Kumarasinghe.

The dinner was followed by a raffle draw with seven lucky winners smilingly carrying away their winnings.

No Sri Lankan event is complete without a rollicking baila session that drew the young and the not so young to cavort with equal frenzy to the heady beat of our indigenous mix of Portuguese – Creole and Kaffringa dance music. A dance form that leaves no toe untrodden.

Please click here to view an album of photos from this event




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