Thursday, June 15, 2006

Mary's Road

Mary’s Road, Bambalapitiya

Mary’s Road is a narrow street that starts at the Galle Road, almost opposite to Kensigtopn Gardens , and ends at the railway tracks.

Right next to Coomaravels Auction Room on the right was a plot of land with a large Kottang (Almond) tree and opposite to it stood the large building facing the Galle Road which was occupied by a few families. One of the families had a daughter named Sriyani and a son, Christopher and they were, both, students at St Pauls Milagiriya. Christopher and Shirani Ibrahim, who lived at No 15, were in the same class at SPM. Their Mum was dumb. The Claessan family also lived in this building. Adrian Jansz, sister of Linda, also lived here with her husband until they left for Australia.

Behind their house was a small place where a Tamil family lived and the lady was referred to as 'Sinnamma'. They used to prepare Pittu and Stringhoppers together with Babath (tripe) curry and their daughter used to deliver the food to the homes down Mary's road.

Here, on the left, lived the Bartholomeusz family at No 9, “St Bee’s”, the head of whom were Francis Carlisle Bartholomeusz & Esmee Bertha Susannah Maynert Herft. Francis used to be the Santa Claus at the annual XMas parties that were held at the Motha residence in Wellawatte.

Their children are Carol (married Frederic Renshaw Clarke), and moved over to a small flat down St. Peters Place. Allister (who was born on April 30, 1934, married Christobel Ebert), Myrna, Ioni (married Jerry Carroll )and Heidy (married Laurie Munding).

Allister was a keen supporter and member of the Kinross Swimming and Aquatic Club on the beach at Wellawatte. He was also a champion swimmer at the Kinross Club and tied for third place in the two Mile sea swim from Mount Lavinia to Wellawatte held in 1954. he held the posts of Club Captain, and was a Bronze Medal Holder of the Sri Lanka Swimming Association (SLSA) in and around 1959. He was the youngest ever Hony. Secretary of the CASA & Kinross Club, and a delegate. to the CO &CGA. He Capped for Ceylon in 1956.

The family migrated to Australia and live there now with their respective families.

At No 15, “Trevine”, 17 & 19, Mary’s Road lived WM Saleem and three of his sisters, Safiya Umma Wapu Marikar, (wife of Uduma Lebbe Marikar A.L.M), Ummu Saeeda Wapu Marikar, (wife of Shahul Hameed Abu Bakr), and Zainambu Wapu Marikar, (wife of ACA Hamid) and their respective families. All three properties were owned by Safiya Umma, who had no children, and who, thereby, bequeathed No 15 to her brother WM Saleem, and Nos 17 & 19, jointly to Ummu Saeeda and Zainambu as undivided co-owners.The Wapu Marikar (WM) siblings were the children of the late Wapu Marikar Sheikh Marikar & Mariam alias Puwachi Umma (sister of Shekadi Marikar Cassim Lebbe Marikar’s wife).

The rest of the siblings who were not resident at the Mary’s Road were, WM Abdul Jabbar, (father of AJM Jameel, AJM Anver and AJM Sadiq), Habeebathuz Zohra, (wife of Sahib Thamby, and mother of STA Wahid, STM Samsudeen, & Noor Nasiya Kurhdoos), WM Thaha, (father of Saleema, Sithy Rahma, Mubarak, Noor Musafer, Mymoon Ghouzul Ameer, Noordeen, Mahmood, Zafrullah, Moomin Zubair, Ni’amathullah, Fathima Honeya Sherrif Nizar, Abdul Jabbar, and Usman), WM Hassim, born 26-Jan-1880, died, 6-Jul-1960, (married to ALM Ummu Nafeesa - daughter of OLMALM Alim - and father of Thaifoor, Kamil, Ahamed Jameel, Sithy Latheefa Jameel, Mohideen, Noor Na’eema Sadiq, Ameen &Sulaiman), Mahmooda Umma, (wife of Ahmed Lebbe Marikar O.L.M. and mother of Shahabdeen, Razeen, Na’eem, Nazim, & Zubaida Umma Hassan), and Zavahira, (wife of OLM Zainudeen and mother of Noor Saneena & Moinudeen).

WM Saleem had three wives. His children by his first wife, Noor Naleefa, were Ahamed Shaharan (married Iynul Huzaima Abdul Basheer of Kandy), Hibshi Mazaya (married Husain Jiffry Ibrahim of HM Customs, Colombo) and Hibshul Hana (married to Zacky Salih of Flower Road, Colombo 3).

His second marriage to Sithy Lareefa from Galle had no offspring. His third to Sithy Shareefa Ahmed Lebbe Marikar, produced Khaneema (married to MSM Ozeer of Dematagoda), Zackiya (married to M Mansoor Hassan), Fareeda (married to M Nuhman Noordeen, son of Sithy Saleema Thaha, brother of Mubarak Thaha) and Hamza (married to Ummu Saliha Ansari of Bandaranaike Mawatha Colombo 12). The children moved to different locations within Colombo subsequent to their marriages and Fareeda and her daughter, Dina & family, still live at No. 15 having inherited part of the estate of her father after it was sold and disbursed subsequent to the heirs after his death.

Shaharan Saleem and Iynul Huzaima Abdul Basheer had three children, Thasneen, Ummu Zuhard and Imran Fekhrishta. Thasneen married Rafi Ismail bin-Hassan from Negombo, and have now moved to Vajira Road at Bamba, while Ummu married Nawaz Saleem of Bagatalle Road in Colpetty and has moved in there. Imran married Dina Bari of High Street (WASilva Mawatha) in Wellawatte and divorced her subsequently. He then married Sharmila Farook of Pennycuick Road at Wellawatte and is also divorced from her. His third wife Zeeniya Mujahid is also from Nelson Place in Wellawatte. Imran lives and runs his own tourist guest house, called Maple Inn, down WA Silva Mawatha at Wellawatte.

Husain Jiffry Ibrahim & Hibshi Mazaya Saleem had four children, Firoze, Shirani, Jasminah & Fairuf.

Firoze married Bisreeya Ahamed, formerly of Asoka Gardens in Bamba, and embarked on a career of Draftsmanship and Architecture, venturing into building construction. Subsequently he moved to Dhahran in Saudi Arabia and then to Hafar Al Batin in the north where he spent many years with the Ministry of Defence project there. He, subsequently returned to Colombo and spent a few years with his family before embarking to Dhahran once again to work with the Royal Saudi Air Force where he is attached to now. He now specializes in fresh water treatment.

Shirani married Fazli Sameer of No. 300 and Jasminah married Faizer Zahir of Castle Lane.

Fairuf married Zaheena Subair from Mount Lavinia and was killed under tragic circumstances in a car crash in Riyadh on Dec 31, 1996. He worked, initially, at Jafferjee Brothers in Colombo and then moved to Dhahran and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia where he was employed by GAMA, a hospital management project attached to the Sports Medicine Hospital, and served them until his demise.

The Ibrahims moved to St. Peter’s Place at Bamba, and, on the early death of Husain moved, once, again to Vihara Lane at Wellawatte. Hussain died suddenly of heart attack in 1963 at the age of 44 while delivering a speech as the Presdient of the Customs Officers’ Union at the Galle Face Hotel in Colombo. Hibshi passed away at Vihare Lane in 1996.

Zacky Salih & Hibshul Hana Saleem had seven children. The last one died at child birth. Fidha, Shiraz, Moreena, Faris, Fahmy, and Shahul Hameed were the others. Fidha married Razana and passed away after a sudden illness after the pilgrimage of Hajj in Makkah. Shiraz married Faizeen Haniffa from Kandy. Faizeen used to work with Sifani Jewellers in Kandy and Colombo and then moved to Jeddah, where he served with the Intercontinental Hotel for several years before returning home to Colombo to roost. Moreena married Faizeen Hassim of Alexandra Road in Wellawatte and has eben working with UNICEF for the ast three decades. She and her family moved to Kazakhastan and served the UNICEF there for several years and have since recently moved to Bangkon on a new assignment. Faris married Fazna Mowjood Nafi of Habib Bank and Shahul married Fazmina Alavi Muhammad. Fazmina passed away after an illness in 2003 after having lived in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia where her husband, Shahul Hameed, is employed. The Salih’s moved to Swarna Road at Havelock Town and then again to Kalyani Road in Kirulaponne where Hana passed away in 2002.

Khanima Saleem married MSM Ozeer, who passed away in 2003, and now lives with her children at Ratmalana. Her children are Mafooza Samsudeem Dr. Shahnaz Ozeer (married to Dr. Nazli Zainab and migrated to Australia), & Shanooz Ozeer (married to his first cousin Minna Saleem, daughter of Hamza Saleem.

Zackiya Saleem, who married Muhammad Mansoor Hassan passed away in 1981 now lives down Fredericka Road at Wellawatte. Her children are Imthiaz (married to Mueeza also of Fredericka Road), and Rizvi (married to Aynfa Haleem of Nawalapitiya). Both sons were bankers in Colombo and subsequently moved to take up employment with banks in Saudi Arabia where they are resident now. Imthiaz has moved out of the banking sector to take up employment with a large private sector corporation in Jeddah, while Rizvi and his family live in Riyadh.

Fareeda Saleem & Nuhuman Noordeen (son of Saleema Thaha and grandson of WM Thaha) lived at 15 Mary’s Road where Nuhuman passed away suddenly in 1979. Her daughter Dinazad, son in law Malik Ashraf Ali and their son Nuhuman now live on the upper floor of the same residence at No 15. Her other children are Yousoof (married to Farah Salih), Asgar Ali (married to Amana Sufi Ismail ) & Mohammed Ali (married to Farwin Muhammad) and now in USA.
Hamza Saleem and his wife Ummu Saliha Ansari, of Bandaranaike Mawatha, Colombo 12, now live at Ratmalana. Their children are Muhammad Shezmin (USA), Fathima Minna (married to her first cousin Shahnaz Ozeer), and Muhammad Shazleen.

The Sherriffdeens lived next of whom Faleel married Sithy Khalisa Sameer of No 298, Galle Road, mentioned above, and Mackeen married one of the daughters of Dr Shaideen, Fauzul Haniya, of Castle Lane, at Bamba. Mackeen passed away in May 2005.

Alavi Sherriffdeen married and moved to Dickmans Road at Bambalapitiya. Sulaiman married Khairi and the youngest Yehiya was attached to the Air Force.

Of the daughters, Sithy Fathima married Ajward, Saliha married a doctor and moved out of Colombo, Noor married Mubarak and moved to Wellawatte while Badri married Zachraff Azeez and moved to Mount Lavinia.A Japanese fishing crew moved into No 19 after the Sherrifdeens moved out. They were there for a short time and when their business didn’t succeed they moved out.

The Lye family, members of whom were Zirach, Okley, Sydney, Patricia, Amy, lived next door. Then came the Bilimorias, Sattars and the Pieris families in succession.Fricky Khan, the notorious racing driver belonged to the Sattar family with his brother Azeez Iqbal and Yousoof and sister Abida. Indrani and Chitra Pieris, who attended Holy family Convent at Bamba, are members of the Pieris family.

The right side of Mary’s Road began with the Coomaravel Auction House whose entrance was titlted at a 45 degree angle to the Galle Road. Right behind it lived Sriyani and Chrsitopher followed by a large open and spacious garden which was famous for its Kottang (Almond) tree where all the youth of the neighborhood used to haunt.

A family lived in a small house within this garden and used to eke out a living by preparing String Hoppers and Pittu which were quickly snapped up by the rest of the residents for their evening meals.Brian Karunaratne and his family lived next door, followed by the Goonerwardena’, Navaratnams who sold thehouse to a Muslim shipping owner and at 18 was the Saverimuttu namely Dharman, Patricia and Sushila.

The Serasinghes, Ebels Pereira (Dutch Burgher), Livy Wijemanne Radio Ceylon announcer and Walcart show organizer and Noor (Borah) familes followed.

Mr Nicolle, a notable auctioneer and broker in Colombo, also lived down the street during its latter years and spent his last days there, living alone, in an annexe of the Saverimuttu residence.

In the 1950-1960 years, Marys Road residents considered themselves as one large happy and united family where everything was done collectively by the neighborhood with unity and strength.

The Goonewardene family also lived here prior to moving to Vajira Road, Bambalapitiya.
Another significant family down Mary's Road at No 24 were the Pereira's who comprised of Dolart, Deloraine, Macky, Roger, Yvette and "Small Boy" who was tragically killed in a bicycle accident.

The Fernando's lived at No 17. Mr & Mrs Fernando were referred to as Aiya and Amma and were the head of the family. The children were Matilda, currently resident in South Africa, Rani, Jerry (UK), Rose (last heard of as a Nun), Guy, Jean, Antoinette (South Africa), and Sherine. They, subsequently, moved to Charlemont Road at Wellawatte.

Mr & Mrs Carwallio also lived down the street. Their family comprised Jennifer, Stanley Benny & Wife. They moved to Kensington Gardens, in Bamba, in 1962 and then on to Arethusa Lane at Wellawatte.

Mrs Serasinghe was a widow and worked at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital. Her son, Preman, is now a Priest. The Vallipurams, a Tamil family, lived in the last house.

Many residents still reminisce of the old days they spent there in excellent peace, tranquility and harmony.

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