I describe here the settling in of the staff at Madola, but I also note the other projects I was working on, at Malwatte and for WUSC, and also involvement in other training ventures. And I note too my first meeting with someone who was to become one of my best friends, the new Australian High Commissioner, Peter Rowe. The pictures are of my project team with my uncle and aunt at the family house at Getamanna, and then Robert Vigneau in younger days and Peter Rowe in later ones, when he came to Sri Lanka for my 60th birthday celebrations.

The project at Madola begins

The next day I played cards at Nirmali’s, and had the Bakers for drinks that evening before going to the wedding of General Balaratnarajah’s son. On the Sunday I had Nirekha and her family for lunch, and was then off to the University that night, for three days of intensive lectures before getting back to Colombo on the Wednesday via Tharanjee.

The next afternoon Robert Vignueau, the dynamic Alliance Francaise Director of the sixties who had hosted me in Paris in the last few years, dropped in for coffee, and later I had the new Australian High Commissioner Peter Rowe for drinks. Robert Scoble had recommended him but I did not like to call up a diplomat myself, but Peter had called me and after we met that evening we became the best of friends.

On the Saturday I had a workshop for teachers arranged by Rotary at the British Council, and then went with Kithsiri to the Matara Resthouse for the night. Having delivered books the next day, I went to the estate, having picked up at the bus stand Shantha plus three students who had finished their degrees, Upali Saddhananda and his girlfriend Jothini Abeygunawardena, and their friend Jayantha, whom I had asked to work on the project. I showed them the land and the old house there where they would be staying, and they all seemed satisfied, and then we went to have lunch with my uncle and aunt.

After tea back at the little house, we left for the university, Shantha and Jayantha staying on while I dropped the others en route so they could head home. I taught as usual on the next three days, and planned the GELT, having accepted Somasundara’s suggestion that we employ some of our staff as coordinators of centres. Then on Wednesday, having dropped books at the Kegalle Centre, I went to Derrick’s to meet the Mahanayake about his proposed classes, and then spent the night and the next two at Aluwihare, going on the Friday with Ena to the Kauduluwewa Tank and to see elephants at Minneriya.

On the Saturday I went to Derrick’s to take a class at Malwatte, and then returned to Colombo, to work with Nirmali on a syllabus for WUSC that evening, and then on Sunday to send tasks for the monks to Derrick, and prepare a note for Marga. I took delivery of the Guide that afternoon, and also the two basic GELT texts from my old British Council printer Paul, and then went to the university via the land Kithsiri and I had bought, and his house to see his mother.