Press Coverage of Sri Lanka Visit on return to the UK
As a follow up to our visit to Sri Lanka the Express and Star Newspaper along with the Chronicle Week featured pictures taken by Tim Sturgess and report by Luke Bartlett. See below.
Our 15th Annual holiday to Sri Lanka took place late September/early October and on this occasion we were joined by Geoff’s sister Glenda and her husband Roy.
As in previous years we used the Royal Palms Beach Hotel in Kalutara as our base and would like to thank the General Manager, Ravi Kurukulasooriya, along with his other Managers and staff who made our holiday something very special.
With over 700 photographs having been taken during our visit, including those taken by the Royal Palms Beach Hotel in-house photographer, we have tried to include a good selection covering most of the various aspects of the holiday throughout this review.
ARRIVAL & WELCOME
The arrival following nearly 24 hours of travelling was an experience not to forget. A Welcome Reception of both local dancers alongside a team made up of hotel staff putting on an amazing dance show in the main reception area. This was then followed by a line up of staff from all departments of the hotel which carried on through the Hurricane Bar to the lounge balcony area where a welcome drink and lite refreshments were given to us. Special thanks to all the staff members who took part in both the dancing as we understand that they that been rehearsing the routines for a few days and those who lined our way to the lounge area.
ROYAL PALMS BEACH HOTEL
- 22ND ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION 4 OCT 2018
We were all pleased to be invited to attend the special ceremony celebrating the 22nd Anniversary of the Hotel.
Held in the Hotel Function Suite it was attended by the four local religious leaders – Buddhist, Catholic, Hindu and Tamil along with Management and Staff of the various religions representing all the different Service Areas within the Hotel.
ANNUAL CHRISTMAS CAKE MAKING EVENT
This is an annual tradition in Sri Lanka which took place during our stay and we were happy to be part of this amazing occasion. We joined the Joint Managing Director – Angeline Ondaatjie; General Manager – Ravi Kurukulasooriya; Executive Chief – Bandula Priyantha, alongside the other Chefs and hotel staff. All suitably attired to ‘get’ involved with the great mix – adding fruit, wine, beer, spirits and other ingredients and mixing it all up by hand. A great time but never around to see the finished product for all to enjoy on Christmas Day.
GEOFF'S 68TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION - 6TH OCTOBER 2018
A full day of activities, cakes and surprises were in store to celebrate not only Geoff’s 68th Birthday but also his 60 years of collecting model buses.
The day started with a big surprise in the main reception when the General Manager along with other staff had a special welcome awaiting with not only a huge Bus cake but children from the local Learning Tree Pre-School attended. A huge thank you to you all.
THE DAY CONTINUED WITH
THE SRI LANKA MEDIA
Representatives from the Sri Lanka Newspapers and TV Channels, many who have become ‘friends’ and well known to us over the years. Following interviews, pictures, filming with Geoff and Linda alongside the General Manager of the Hotel. Plus our ‘Special Guests’ the children from the local Learning Tree Pre-School who joined us and we must add were very well behaved throughout the activities for saying they were only 4 and 5 year olds. At the end of the press call Geoff and Linda presented each child with a present for themselves before hosting lunch with the media team.
The evening concluded in the Restaurant when once again a special table setting was provided and following the meal “Two Cakes” were brought to our table by Pastry Chef, Tharanga Fernando who had designed and made this Bus Cake, and all the restaurant staff celebrating the day – thanks for everything – I am sure many people enjoyed the amazing Bus Cake which was cut up – Unfortunately, we could not take this home but what we did eat was very nice.
VISIT TO LEARNING TREE PRE-SCHOOL
- 9TH OCTOBER 2018
Following the visit on Geoff’s Birthday from some of the children from the local Learning Tree pre-school which is supported by the Royal Palms Beach Hotel who raise money and provided help and equipment as part of their involvement with the local community we were invited along to the school and met up with the children again. We were pleased to accept the invitation and spent over one hour with sixteen 4 and 5 year old children – thanks to all - But a special mention must go to their Teacher who tried to keep control throughout their visit at the hotel and our visit to the school.
SPECIAL DINNER AT CABANA RESTAURANT
The Hotel once again provided us with a Special Meal for the four of us in their Cabana Restaurant. What a superb meal along with drinks and wine. I don’t think any of us could eat or drink anymore. Thanks to the Chef and two waiters who looked after us for the evening.
We were invited to attend a function with drinks and cakes at the home of Janaka Chaminda this was on behalf of the local Kalutara Media for the help and support we have given them over the years. Our thanks to Janaka and his family for hosting this and the many well known faces who turned up. A nice couple of hours were spent here.
BUS SHOPPING IN SRI LANKA
After 15 years of collecting model buses in Sri Lanka which this year totalled 37 different models making a grand total of 908 models. Over the years we have become well known in many of the shops, wholesalers and markets.
We cannot thank individuals because there are so many, however all their help, patience and support has been greatly appreciated. We continue to search new areas of the island and meet as many of you as possible. Thanks to you all.
A special mention must go to our guide over the years, Silva and drivers and tuktuk man Sugar who are always patient in looking for, searching and translating for us