Sri Lanka Colombo Chetty Family Genealogy

ONDAATJE (Ondaatchii, Ondache), Michael Jurie (Jurgen) - Family #7000

The Ondaatchiis (Ondaatje) were, originally, from Tanjore South India. Michael Jurie (Jurgen) Ondaatchi was physician to the King of Tanjore. He was summoned by the Dutch Governor Adrian Van der Meyden, in 1659, to treat his sick wife. He treated her with a bath of water in which 23 jungle herbs were boiled. The Dutch Governors wife recovered. Ondaatchi was converted to Christianity in 1660, married a Portuguese wife, Magdalene de Cruz (1640-1688), and adopted the name "Michael Jurgen Ondaatch". He died in 1714. His son Rev William Jurgan Ondaatchi married Hermina Quint of Holland. Their son was Peter Philip Juriaan Ondaatchi (1758-1814) He had his entire education in Holland. He was a distinguished academic, and poet, publishing books on physics, philosophy and history. Michael Jurie Ondache (Ondaatje), a celebrated physician of the Palace of Tanjore was invited by the first Dutch Governor of Ceylon, Van de Meyden, to cure his lady of a serious ailment. [Note variations of spelling for the family name. Currently the "Ondaatje" is being used by the descendants

Michael Jurie Ondaatje arrived in Ceylon on June 9, 1659 from Tanjore in India.

His success in curing the lady made the Governor his friend. In appreciation of his services and performance he was appointed the First Doctor of the Town of Colombo. He became a convert to Christianity and was the founder of the family that bears his name. He died in 1714.Dr. Peter Philip Juriaan Quint Ondaatje was born in Colombo and served as a physician to the first Dutch Governor. He was educated in Holland and after a distinguished scholastic career obtained a Ph.D and J.U.D. from Leyden and Ultrecht. While at Ultrecht he had the honor of becoming the first Asian to figure prominently in modern European politics and history.

In 1811, Napoleon I nominated him to the Imperial Council of Prizes and in 1814 he was named a High Court Justice of The Netherlands. He died in 1818 on his way to take up a civil service appointment in Batavia. He is also credited with many works on physics, political philosophy, and history.

There is a tombstone in St Thomas Church Gintupitiya which reads "Natalia Aserappa wife of Philip Jurgen Ondaatchi 1787-1812 d age 25" (Running in the Family, Michael Ondaatchi p66) Dr William Charles Ondaatchi was the first Ceylonese Director of the Royal Botanical Gardens Peradeniya. He introduced the olive to Ceylon. Rev. Jurgen Ondaatchi was translator and Chaplain. His son Simon was the last Tamil Colonial Chaplain of Ceylon.

Philip Mervyn Ondaatje 1906-1955

Mervyn Ondaatje b:1906 in Kegalle, Ceylon (Rock Hill House), served as a Major in the CLI during World war 2, and later was a planter, was sent to University in England by his parents and left Ceylon by ship and arrived at Southampton. Took his entrance examination for Cambridge but didnt puruse an educvational career at the University. Was once engaged to Kaye Roseleap, a close friend of his sister Stephy. d:1955, married Doris Gratiaen, b:1905 (d/o Willy Gratiaen en Lalla Keyt & brother of Noel Gratien), m:11-Apr-1932. Lived in Kegalle, Ceylon most of his life.

Michael Ondaatje 1943 -  Emory University English Department article   

Michael Ondaatje was born on September 12, 1943 in Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). The son of Mervyn Ondaatje and Doris Gratiaen, prominent members among the inhabitants of what once comprised Ceylon's colonial society. Mervyn Ondaatje was a tea and rubber-plantation superintendent who was afflicted with alcoholism. Doris Gratiaen performed part-time as a radical dancer, inspired by Isadora Duncan. As a result of his father's alcoholism, Ondaatje's parents eventually separated in 1954 and he moved to England with his mother.

Ondaatje was educated initially at St. Thomas College in Colombo, Ceylon. After moving with his mother to England, he continued his education at Dulwich College in London. Between 1962-64, Ondaatje attended Bishop's University in Lennoxville, Quebec. He then went on to obtain his B.A. at the University of Toronto in 1965, and his M.A. at Queen's University, in Kingston, Ontario, in 1967. Ondaatje began his teaching career at the University of Western Ontario, London between 1967-71. Today he is a member of the Department of English at Glendon College, York University in Toronto, Ontario, a position he has held since 1971.

Ondaatje currently resides in Toronto with his wife, novelist/editor Linda Spalding, where they edit Literary Magazine. During his career Ondaatje has received numerous awards and honors. He was awarded the Ralph Gustafson Award, 1965; the Epstein Award, 1966; and the President's Medal from the University of Ontario in 1967. In addition, Ondaatje was the recipient of the Canadian Governor-General's Award for Literature in 1971 and again in 1980. Also in 1980 he was awarded the Canada-Australia price and in 1992 he was presented with the Booker McConnell Prize for his novel The English Patient.

Michael Ondaatje the renowned author and Booker prize winner, descendant from this Ondaatje line as is his brother Sir Christopher. There is reference to the Ondaatje family in Christopher Ondaatje's book "The man eater of Punanai 1992.

More on Michael Ondaatje

ISBN 0-00-215747-0. A profile on Peter Quint Ondaatje from which the details above were taken is in the Ceylon Antiquary and Literary Register Vol IX Part 1 July 1923 Pages 22 to 30.


Michael was also the winner of the Booker prize for his book "The English Patient" in 1992. Emigrated to Canada with his brother Christopher, in 1962. Michael's entire education was in Canada at Duulwich College and Queens University. Has published several books.(1954-62 in UK, 1962 onwards in Canada), Also wrote, "The Cinnamon Peeler", "Coming through Slaughter", "In the skin of a Lion", "Running in the Family 1982, Anils Ghost and Handwriting.

0  Ondaatje (Ondache), Michael Jurie b:1635, d:1714 + Magdalena de Croos b:1640, d:1688, m:1659

    1  Jan Juri Ondaatje, born bef::1720 + Francina Rodrigo, born bef::1722 (d/o Francisca Ondaatje 15-09-1743), m:21-Feb-1740 in Colombo

    Philip Gerrard Ondaatchii, born bef::1730 + Adriana Cordenoort, b:1730 in unknown

   2  Adriana Ondaatchii, b: 30-Mar-1760 in Amsterdam.   30-Mar-1760 in Herv Zuiderkerk [bron: DTB102 p147 f74 nr9]. Notified by: geboorte van Adriana: Pastoor Johannes Arnoldus Eck

0  2nd spouse of Ondaatje (Ondache), Michael Jurie b:1635, d:1714 + Name Not Known, m:1688

    1  Philip Joeri (Jurgen) Ondaatje, b:1694, d:1754 in Jaffnapatnam (Protestant) + Maria Leity Ramenaden, born bef::1706, d:1754, d/o Joan Lety Ramenaden, m:29-Apr-1723. Philip was a translator to the government in Ceylon

        2  Magdalene Jurgen Ondaatje, born bef::1725. was witness by Jan Ondaatje, 22-02-1756, Willem Philippus Juriaan Ondaatje, 08-09-1765 + Philipus de Melho Wannigakoon, b:23 april 1723 in Colombo Ceylon, d:1790, son of Don Simon de Melho Wannigakoon and Christina Fernanda. Philipus is deceased op dinsdag 10 augustus 1790 in Jaffnapatnam Ceylon. [Philipus was witness by:Doop van Willem Philippus Juriaan Ondaatje, 08-09-1765, Marriage notified: Ook Jurriaan]

        2  Rev Willem Juriaan (Jurgen) Ondaatje, b:1731 at Colombo. d:9 Oct 1790 and studied for preacher in Holland. Educated at the Colombo seminary and later at the University of Utrecht. He returned to Colombo as a preacher and later teacher at a priest school. He died in Jaffnapatnam 9-Oct-1790, + Hermina Quint, b:19-Jul-1736, bp:19-Jul-1736, d:1-Oct-1789 in Jaffnapatnam, Ceylon,  m:25-Mar-1757 in Amsterdam. (Hermina , daughter of Pieter Quint en Clasina Eelaards, was baptised in Amsterdam 19 juli 1736. Reverend Willem Juriaan Ondaatje (married to Hermina Quint and became father of the famous patriot Quint Ondaatje, born June 18th, 1758, baptized June 25th, 1758, with the names Pieter Philip. After the death of his grandfather on mother's side he adopted the name Quint).  

            Pieter Philip Juriaan Quint Ondaatje, ALM, Ph.D er J.U.D, b:18-Jun-1758, d:30-Apr-1818 (Batavia), Civil Servant  + Christina Hoevenaar, b:2-Dec-1766, m:Calais, France 7-May-1794, of Utrecht, d:Batavia 12- Aug- 1818.(d/o Adriaan Hoevenaar and Christine Mathilde Dortman) Christina was previously married to Johannes Christiaan Hespe, and divorced. 

            4  Maria Cornelia Gerarda Quint Ondaatje, b:26-Oct-1793 in Calais Frankrijk. bp:18-Oct-1795 in Utrecht. d:22-Jan-1817 in Batavia, 23 years old.

            4  Suzanna Adriana Frederica Quint Ondaatje, b:24-May-1795 in Den Haag. d:16-Nov-1799 in Den Haag, 4 years old.

            4  Wilhelmina Hermina Quint Ondaatje, b:3-Dec-1796 in Amsterdam, d:8-Nov-1799.  op vrijdag 6 januari 1797 in Herv Oude Kerk [bron: DTB34 p100f50vnr1].Notified by: geboorte van Wilhelmina Hermina: Pastoor Absalom Verburg Tweeling met Hermina Wilhelmina. d:17-Jul-1797 in Amsterdam, 7+ months old

            4  Maria Johanna Quint Ondaatje, b:6-May-1798 in Den Haag. d:12-Nov-1799 in Den Haag, 1 year old

            4  Theodore Lionne Charlotte Quint Ondaatje, b:12-Aug-1799. d:6-Jul-1827 + Cornelis Storgius Rupertus Wijnmalen, b:28-Dec-1797 (s/o Rupertus Willem Wijnmalen and Joanna Petronella Elemans), d:29-Jul-1861

                5  Theodore Cornelia Wijnmalen, b:21-Nov-1819 in Rembang. d:21-Mar-1857 in Utrecht, 37 years old.

                5  [1] Rupertus Johannes Willem Wijnmalen, 1-Feb-1821. d:1-May-1859 + [2] Elisabeth Dorothea Arnoldina Ondaatje, 19-Jun-1827, d:1-May-1859 in Kalangan, Borneo (d/o Adrianus Marius Elaarst (Adriaan) Quint Ondaatje and Geertruyda Carolina Frederica Carels)

                    6  [3] Cornelius Storgius Rupertus Wijnmalen,  b:13-Feb-1848 in Batavia.  d:1-May-1859 in Kalangan Borneo, 11 years old (oorzaak: vermoord tijdens opstand te Kalangan).

                    6  [4] Elisabeth Dorothea Arnoldina Wijnmalen,  b:13-Dec-1851 in Batavia.  d:27-Jun-1886 in Scheveningen, 34 years old.

                    6  [5] Catharina Everdina Wijnmalen,  b:25-Mar-1854 in Batavia.  d:17-Aug-1895 in Den Haag, 41 years old.

                    6  [6] Rupertus Willem Wijnmalen,  b:16-Jan-1856 in Martapoera Borneo. Rupertus  d:16-Jun-1925 in Den Haag, 69 years old. Beroep: Lt Kolonel Cavalerie

                    6  [7] Wijnmalen,  b:1857 in Martapoera Borneo. Notified by: geboorte van : geslacht unknown: jong deceased

                5  Cornelia Theodora Petronella Wilhelmina Wijnmalen, b:20-Aug-1822 in Rembang. d:28-Oct-1886 in Utrecht, 64 years old.

                5  Pieter Carel Wijnmalen,  b:9-Feb-1824 in Rembang.  d:26-Oct-1906 in Rijswijk, 82 years old. Beroep: Resident of JAPARA 

                5  Jacob Otto Wijnmalen,  b:24-Oct-1825 in Pasoeroean.  d:2-Mar-1874 in Batavia, 48 years old. Beroep: Directeur Nederlands-Indische Droogdok Mij 

                     5  Wijnmalen, b:1826.

            4  Clasina Jacoba Hugina Quint Ondaatje, b:26-Nov-1800 in Den Haag. d:1-Oct-1802 in Utrecht, 1 year old.

            4  Adrianus Marius Elaarst (Adriaan) Quint Ondaatje, b:26-May-1802. d:27-Sep-1872. +  Geertruyda Carolina Frederica Carels, b:29-Jul-1806 in Batavia

                5  Frederik Adrianus Hendrik Quint Ondaatje, b: 21-Nov-1825.  d:21-Jun-1905 + Oei Waad Nio, b:1835, d:27-Aug-1885, m:24-Feb-1858

                    6  Frederik Adrianus Hendrik Ondaatje, b:1-Mar-1858. d:--Mar-1858 in Batavia

                5  2nd spouse of Frederik Adrianus Hendrik Quint Ondaatje, b: 21-Nov-1825.  d:21-Jun-1905 + Lie Koei Moy, (Chinese) b:1865, d:--May-1951, m:1886

                    6  Henri Frederik Quint Ondaatje, Architect,  b:6-Dec-1885, d:10-May-1969 + Anna Cornelia Maijer, 20-May-1875, d:9-Nov-1945 (d/o Ludwig Willem Maijer en Paulina Magdalena Drinhuijzen)

                    6  George Theodorus (Boy) Quint Ondaatje, b:24-Nov-1886, d:18-Jan-1945 + Geertruida Jacoba Amelia Maijer, 3-Sep-1894, d:1-Dec 1913 in Batavia (d/o Ludwig Willem Maijer en Paulina Magdalena Drinhuijzen), m:1910

                    6  2nd spouse of George Theodorus (Boy) Quint Ondaatje, b:24-Nov-1886, d:18-Jan-1945 + Augustina Carolina Maengkom, b:12-Apr-1904, m:17-Aug-1927, accepted Indonesian nationality in 31-10-1951

                    6  Cornelia Stephania Paulina (Corrie) Quint Ondaatje, b:25-Mar-1889 in Batavia

                    6  Isabella Pauline Caroline (Bella) Quint Ondaatje, b:12-Feb-1891, d:11-Jun-1973 + Richard Gerrit Louis Charles Hoffman, b:22-May-1889 in Batavia, d:17-Apr-1957 in Indonesia, m:30-Aug-1911 in Batavia

                        7  Henk Hoffman, b:1912 in Batavia, d:1944 in Burma/Thailand

                        7  Willy Hoffman, b:1914 in Batavia, Nederlands + Lodi Ferdinandus, b:1914 in Nederlands

                        7  Tilly Hoffman, b:1915 in Batavia, Nederlands + Polly Catalani, b:1912 in Nederlands

                        7  Harry Hoffman, b:1917, d:2000 in Batavia, Nederlands + Bea Thenu, b:1924 in Nederlands

                        7  Elly Hoffman, b:1919 in Nederlands + Chris de Liser de Morsain, b:1919 in Nederlands

                        7  Louis Gilbert Hoffman, b:29-Mar-1923, d:24-Oct-1968 + Elisabeth Spiessens, b:30-Dec-1926, (d/o Johannes Bernardus Spiessens and Maria Helena Spiessens) m:28-Mar-1947

                            8  Wanita Elisabeth Isabella (Wanda) Hoffman b:8-Dec-1947. d:13-Jul-2000 + James Henry (Jim) van Veen, 6-Dec-1946, m:1966

                                9  Raymond van Veen, b:17-Dec-1966 + Daphne Bos, b:1974, m:2001

                                     9  Humphry van Veen, b:19 juni 1970 + Ellen n.n, b:1970, m:9-Sep-1999

                                        10  Maxime van Veen, b:27-Dec-1998 in Alkmaar

                            8  Regina Juta Orientes (Juta) Hoffman, b:22-Dec-1948 + Petrus Johannes A Alefs, b:5-Jun-1944, m:1969

                                9  Dimfa Alefs, b:6-Feb-1972 + Martin van Zeelt, 1972, m:8-Sep-1998

                                    10  Mickey van Zeelt (adopted), b:23-Sep-1993 in Zaandaam

                                    10  Rowan van Zeelt, b:4-Sep-1998 in Zaandaam

                            8  Barbara Brenda Joyce (Brenda) Hoffman, 14-Jan-1950 + Robert Bekkering, b:13-Aug-1942, m:3-May-1968

                                9  Michael Gilbert Bekkering, b:18-Nov-1969 + Antonia Hedy Wilhelmus (Hedy) Kooymans, b:14-Aug-1959, m:14-Jul-2000 

                                9  Robert Hendrik Jan Bekkering, b:19-Nov-1975 + Chantal Vivienne Poelenjee, b:28-Dec-1978 in Amsterdam, m:30-Dec-1995 in London (d/o Cornelis Jan (Kees) Poelenjee en Yvonne Christina Vlaanderen)

                            8  Richard Gerrit Louis Charles Hoffman, b:16-Mar-1951 + Constance Louise Eichenberger, b:7-Jul-1951, m:22-Jun-1973 (d/o (not known) Eichenberger en (not known) (Mies) de Mooij)

                                9  Dennise Hoffman, b:9-Aug-1974 in Germany

                                9  Emory Hoffman, b:19-Jun-1981 in Lisse

                            8  Alice Maureen (Maudy) Hoffman, b:27-Jun-1952 + A (Guus) Pattiwael van Westerloo, b:22-Feb-1946, m:1974

                                9  Sindy Pattiwael van Westerloo, b:24-Dec-1975

                                9  Sander Pattiwael van Westerloo, b:14-Aug-1978

                                9  Marcia Pattiwael van Westerloo, b:17-Nov-1982

                            8  2nd spouse of Alice Maureen (Maudy) Hoffman, b:27-Jun-1952 + Nico van der Kolk, b:3-Oct-1949, m:1999

                            8  Bianca Annabella Marijke Hoffman, b:22-Dec-1953 + Reggie E Broeke, b:1952, m:1982

                                9  Stefan-Paul Broeke, b:3-Oct-1983

                            8  2nd spouse of Bianca Annabella Marijke Hoffman, b:22-Dec-1953 + Peter Mosselveld, b:11-Apr-1964, m:1992

                                9  Bas Mosselveld, b:30-Aug-1991

                                 8  Arnold Bonardus Hoffman, b:28-Feb-1956 + Cornelia M van der Putten, b:27-Apr-1959, m:21-Dec-1989

                                    9  Nigel Hoffman, b:29-Aug-1990

                                    9  Cheyenne Hoffman, b:5-Jun-1993

                        7  Lieske Hoffman, b:1924 + Dick Eman, b:1923 in Nederland

                        7  Hanny Hoffman, b:1925, d:2001 + Ingrid (Ineke) Behouden, b:1930 in Nederland

                        7  Francien (Fransje) Hoffman, 1927 + (not known) Runtuwene, b:1930 in Nederland

                        7  Reggie Hoffman, b:1930 + Tjo Lumanauw, b:1930 in Nederland

                        7  Iesje Hoffman, b:1931 in Buitenzorg (=Bogor Ned. Indie)


                    6  Eduard August Quint Ondaatje, b:23-Oct-1893, d:9-Jun-1945 + Tan Keng Teh (Chinese), b:29-Sep-1906 1906 in Padang Pandjang (Sumatra Westk), (d/o Tan Soen Tjwie en Yap Giok Kin), m:2-Sep-1924


                5  [2] Elisabeth Dorothea Arnoldina Ondaatje,  b:19-Jun-1827.  d:1-May-1859 + [1] Rupertus Johannes Willem Wijnmalen, b:1-Feb-1821, d:1-May-1859 in Kalangan, Borneo (s/o Cornelis Storgius Rupertus Wijnmalen and Theodore Lionne Charlotte Quint Ondaatje)

                    6  [3] Cornelius Storgius Rupertus Wijnmalen,  b:13-Feb-1848 in Batavia.  d:1-May-1859 in Kalangan Borneo, 11 years old (oorzaak: vermoord tijdens opstand te Kalangan).

                    6  [4] Elisabeth Dorothea Arnoldina Wijnmalen,  b:13-Dec-1851 in Batavia.  d:27-Jun-1886 in Scheveningen, 34 years old.

                    6  [5] Catharina Everdina Wijnmalen,  b:25-Mar-1854 in Batavia.  d:17-Aug-1895 in Den Haag, 41 years old.

                    6  [6] Rupertus Willem Wijnmalen,  b:16-Jan-1856 in Martapoera Borneo. Rupertus  d:16-Jun-1925 in Den Haag, 69 years old. Beroep: Lt Kolonel Cavalerie

                    6  [7] Wijnmalen,  b:1857 in Martapoera Borneo

                5  Pieter Christiaan Ondaatje,  b:9-Jun-1829 in Palembang Java. Pieter  d:10-Sep-1829 in Muntok - Banda, 3 m old

                5  Petronella Christina Wilhelmina Ondaatje, b:7-Nov-1830. d:5-Sep-1906 + Eduard August Lange, 24-Oct-1814, d:9-Mar-1879, m:18-Apr-1850

                5  Hendrik Adam Pieter George Ondaatje,  b:24-Sep-1838.  d:22-Aug-1899 + Anna Johanna Harmensz, b:9-Dec-1843, d:12-Jan-1908 in Batavia, m:12-May-1865

                    6  Elisabeth Johanna Henriette Ondaatje, b:1-Feb-1878 in Batavia, bp:28-Jun-1878, d:1-Jul-1878

                    5  Wilhelmina Charlotte Lidia Katarina Ondaatje, b:24-Oct-1839 in Bandjermassin.  d:19-Feb-1864 in Semarang, 24 years old

                 4  Pieter Philip Christiaan Portman Quint Ondaatje, b:18-Jan-1804. d:6-Nov-1841, engineer in Batavia and knighted by the King of Holland in 1890.
 + Charlotte Elizabeth van Ginkel, b:1810, d:15-Feb-1857 (d/o Jan Frederik van Ginkel and Maria)

                5  Petronella Manoort Ondaatje,  b:1833 in Madioen.  d:1836 in Madioen, 3 years old

                5  Pieter Ondaatje,  b:17-Mar-1836 in Semarang.  d:27-Feb-1874 in Batavia, 37 years old. Beroep: Sergeant Infanterie Oost Indische Leger

                5  Charles Ondaatje,  b:30-Mar-1839 in Soerabaja.  d:30-Mar-1839 in Surabaya, Indonesia, died at birth.

                5  Pieter Philip Juriaan Ondaatje,  b:12-Jun-1840 in Soerabaja.  d:9-Jun-1874 in Soerabaja, 33 years old. Beroep: Klerk Wees- en Boedelkamer in Batavia

                4  Hermina Wilhelmina Ondaatje b:10-Nov-1805 in Ultrecht, Holland + Jacobus van Kooten, b:1795 in Gelderland, Notary in Rembang, Java, d:22-May-1822

                4  2nd spouse of Hermina Wilhelmina Ondaatje b:10-Nov-1805 in Ultrecht, Holland + James George Waller, b:circa 1793 in Brixton, England, m:13-Jun-1823 in Rembang, Master Shipbuilder, was in Java from about 1816 (later moved to Sourabaya, Java)

                    5  James George Waller, b:1833 moved to Australia + Caroline Jane Hodges, b:1837  in Java, of Bristol, England, m:1858

                        6  Arthur Albert Pollard Waller + Helen Margaret Landvoigt
                            7  Roy Howell Montague Richardson + Gladys Irene Waller
                                8  Kevin Raymond Richardson + Marion Elizabeth Mold
                                    9 John Kevin Richardson + Jan Maree Wilson

                                        10  Nikki Lee Richardson

                                        10 Julia Richardson

                                        10 Calvin John Richardson

                                    9  Elizabeth Richardson  


            3  Maria Cornelia Ondaatje, b:6-Sep-1762 + Christiaan Gerrard Saalfelt, b:1760, m:1780


            3  Willem Philippus Juriaan Ondaatje, b:8-Sep-1765 in Colombo Ceylon, d:1-Oct-1789 in Jaffna.           

            3  Simon Ondaatje was the last Tamil Colonial Chaplain of Ceylon

        2   Johan Jurriaan (Jan) Ondaatje, b:1731 in Colombo Ceylon + Maria Thomas, b:1735

       3  Maria Julianna Ondaatje, b:12-Dec-1754. d:13-Oct-1790.+ Jan Francisc(us), b:1750, d:1-Oct-1789

       3  Johan Philip Juriaan (Jan) Ondaatje, b:6-Feb-1756. d:1800.

            4  Wilhelmina Juriaan Ondaatje, b:13-Oct-1790 + Gabriel Pulle Tissera, b:1780 Colombo Chetty, in Jaffna, Ceylon (7011)

                    5  Gabriel Ariyanayagam, b:1825                  

                    5  Gabriel Pulle Savundranayagam, b:1830 + Miss Hall b:1836               

                        6  G.P.Savundranayagam, b:1858                       

                        6  Simon T Savundranayagam, b:1865 + Lydia Weerappa, b:1870, Grand Daughter of Mudaliar Spencer Casie Chetty one of the wealthiest members of the Colombo Chetty Community, owned almost all houses in Jampettah and New Chetty Street.

                            7  Tony Mannings Savundranayagam, b:1896

                            7  Peter Donald Savundranayagam, b:1898                       

                            7  Alexander Savundranayagam , b:1901                       

                            7  Leena Savundranayagam, b:1904              

                            7  Pearl Savundranayagam, b:1910                       

                            7  Sam Savundranayagam, b:1915                       

                            7  Maurice  Canute Pulle Tissera, b:19-Jan-1915, d:22-Nov-1994 + Mectilda Theresa Pulleneyegam, b:9-Apr-1919, d:26-Oct-1989

                                8  Rajes  Savundranayagam, b:27-Apr-1943, Was married to H.R.Nonis a well known Zoology lecturer in Sri Lanka.

                                8  Srimani Savundranayagam, b:11-Apr-1947                   

                                8  Shirley Pulle Tissera, b:26-May-1950, Well known Social worker - District Governor of Lions International. President FONGOADA. President SAFNGO. Vice President Colombo Chetty Association of Sri Lanka. President of CFPA. Chairman MJPNR. Co-ord of the Congress of Religions. Justice of Peace (All Island) + Anita Jeniffer Alles, b:6-Sep-1961

                                    9   Anoushka Pulle Tissera, b:15-Feb-1984                  

                                    9   Rukshan Pulle Tissera, b:11-Apr-1985              

                                    9   Shavindra Pulle Tissera, b:29-Jun-1988              

                                    9   Viroshan Pulle Tissera, b:21-Nov-1990

                                8  Carmini Lourdes, b:21-Sep-1954 + Sherwel Fernando, Managing Director of Allied Tread Co in Sidney Australia, they have 03 sons all Engineers


                    5  2nd spouse of Gabriel Pulle Savundranayagam: b:1830 + Saverimuttu

                        6   A.R. Savundranayagam             

                        6   A.P. Savundranayagam


            4  Rev Phillip Jurgen Ondaatje, b:1795, d:1847, Chaplain in Colombo 1835-1847 + Natlia Aserappa b:1797, m:1812, d:1822 (d:age 25) (7007)

                5  Rev Simon Jurgen Ondaatje, b:1812 in Colombo Ceylon. Beroep: De laatste Koloniaal Tamil Kapelaan van Ceylon Protenstants  (Colonial Chaplain in Colombo, the last Tamil of its kind)

                5  Dr William (Charles?) Jurgen Ondaatje, b:1814, Ceylonese Director of the Botanical Gardens, who also introduced the olive to Ceylon + Anna Julianna de Melho Wannigakoon, b:1801, d:1871 in Ceylon (d/o Simon de Melho Wannigakoon)

                5  2nd spouse of Dr William (Charles?) Jurgen Ondaatje, b:1814 + Julianna Ondaatje, b:1834 (d/o Abraham Jurgen Ondaatje and Christina Pieris Aserappa)

                    6  Walter Nicholas Aserappa (adopted), b:1848 in Colombo, Ceylon

                5  Matthew Ondaatje, b:14-May-1815 in Jaffnapatnam Ceylon.   op pinksterzondag 14 mei 1815 in Herv Jaffnapatnam. Bp was witnessed by: Hermina Magdalena Ondaatje (b:1761). Matthew is deceased in Jaffnapatnam - Ceylon.Beroep: Dir Financien en Militaire Aangelegenheden (Finance)


            4  2nd spouse of Phillip Jurgen Ondaatje, b:1795, d:1847 Jacoba Magdalena de Melho

                    5  Philip Francis Ondaatchi, b:1828 in Colombo, Ceylon

                    6  Aelian Ondaatje,  b:1860 in Colombo Ceylon.  d:1-Apr-1942 of liver problems in Colombo Ceylon, > 82 years old (oorzaak: leverkwaal). Beroep: Advocate

                    6  Christie Ondaatje, b:1860 in Colombo Ceylon

                    6  Noel Ondaatje, b:1860 in Colombo Ceylon

                         6  Philip Francis Ondaatje (Bampa), b:1860. was supposed to have the greatest collection of wine glasses in the Orient. Built the ancestral home "Rock Hill" on a prime spot of land in the center of the town of Kegalle. d:10-Sep-1938 in Kegalle, Ceylon + Lalla Keyt (d/o Keyt & Ms Dickman), b:1877 in Ceylon, d:15-Aug-1947 (drowned in Nuwara Eliya) in Kegalle, Ceylon, m:1906. Lalla was engaged to Shelton de Saram, who later married Frieda Dornhorst when she returned from England. Lalla then, heartbroken, married Willie Gratien, a champion cricketer. Wilie was a broker and one of the first Ceylonese to work for the firm of E John & Company and also brought them most of their business. The couple bought a large home in the heart of Colombo called "Palm Lodge" where they built up a dairy on its three acres of land. Willie died of an illness shortly after. They had two children, one of whom was Noel Gratien.

                        7  Philip Mervyn Ondaatje b:1906 in Kegalle, Ceylon (Rock Hill House), served as a Major in the CLI during World war 2, and later was a planter, was sent to University in England by his parents and left Ceylon by ship and arrived at Southampton. Took his entrance examination for Cambridge but didnt puruse an educvational career at the University. Was once engaged to Kaye Roseleap, a close friend of his sister Stephy. d:1955 + Doris Gratiaen, b:1905 (d/o Willy Gratiaen en Lalla Keyt & brother of Noel Gratien), m:11-Apr-1932

                                 8  Sir Phillip Christopher Ondaatchi CBE, b:22-Feb-1933, millionaire businessman, born in Kandy, educated at St Thomas College and Blundells school UK. Funded many Trusts and Institutions + Valda Bulins, m:1959

                                    9  David Ondaatje, b:1960 in Toronto, Canada

                                    9  Sarah Ondaatje, b:1962 in Toronto, Canada

                                    9  Janet Ondaatje, b:1964 in Toronto, Canada

                                 8  Gillian Ondaatje, b:1935 in Kegalle, Ceylon

                                 8  Janet Ondaatje, b:1939 in Kegalle, Ceylon

                                 8  Michael Ondaatje, b:12-Sep-1943 in Kandy, Ceylon, + + Linda Spalding, b:1944 in Canada


                             7  2nd spouse of Philip Mervyn Ondaatchi, served as a Major in the CLI during World war 2, and later was a planter, + Maureen, b:1915, m:1950

                                8  Jennifer Ondaatje, b:1956

                                8  Susan Ondaatje, b:1957 + Sunil

                        7  Stephy Ondaatje, b:1906 in Kegalle? Ceylon.

                             7  Phyllis Ondaatje, b:1907 in Kegalle Ceylon


             3  Willem Christoffel Ondaatje, b:8-Jun-1758 in Colombo Ceylon.    18 juni 1758 in Herv Colombo. Bp was witnessed by: Christoffel Juriaan Ondaatje (1736 - >1762) en Susanna Juri Ondaatje (1741 - 1785).

        3  Hermina Magdalena Ondaatje, b:18-Dec-1761 in Colombo Ceylon.   20 december 1761 in Herv Colombo.  Bp was witnessed by: Willem Juriaan Ondaatje (1731 - 1790) en Hermina Wilhelmina Quint Ondaatje (b: 1805). Hermina Magdalena was witness by: Doop van Matthew Ondaatje, 14-05-1815

        2  Christoffel Juriaan Ondaatje, b:17 Jan 1736 in Colombo Ceylon.   Bp: 5-Feb-1736 in Herv Colombo.  Bp was witnessed by: Joan Lety Ramenaden (b: <1680) and Juliana Leity Ramenaden (b: <1705). Christoffel Juriaan is deceased in 1762 in Colombo Ceylon, > 26 years old. opleiding: 1752 tot 1756: Student a/h Seminarie Colombo, , "omtrent 5 maenden absent geweesen door aenhoudende indispositie" , studie: 1757 tot 1762: "weegens sieckelijken staad van studie is afgegaan" Bp  was witness by: Willem Christoffel Ondaatje, 18-06-1758

    Maria Juriaan Ondaatje, b:1-Feb-1737. + Petrus de Silva, b:1737, d:in Galle

    2  Susanna Juri Ondaatje, b: 20 Feb 1741., d:1785. + Franciscus Paulus(z), b:1742

    2  Francisca Ondaatje, b:6-Jun-1743 in Colombo.  bp:15 September 1743 in Herv Colombo. Bp was witnessed by: Jan Juri Ondaatje (b: <1720) and Francina Rodrigo (b: <1722).

    2  Manuel Juriaan Ondaatje, b:12-Aug-1748 in Colombo.  Bp:  1 augustus 1751 in Colombo witnessed by: Willem Juriaan Ondaatje (1731 - 1790) and Asentia van Reede (b: <1735).

        2  Petrus Juriaan Ondaatje, b:13-Jun-1752. , d:1788. + Wilhelmina van Rossum, b:1764, m:1782 in Jaffnapatna

Mercantile Investments

Deshabandu George Ondaatje, after working as an executive at Tucker's Ltd., a vehicle agent, started the company of Mercantile Investments, in 1964 with a capital of SL Rs 50,000 taken from his savings. He initially, ventured into business by lending money to vehicle purchasers. In the 1970's he diversified into the Hotel Industry. The first hotel he built was Nilaveli Beach Hotel in 1972 followed by Tangerine Hotel in 1983 and Royal Palms in 1993. The Company also has a controlling stake in Nuwara Eliya Hotels, which owns the Grand Hotel in Nuwara Eliya. Current Directors are Deshabandu George Ondaatje, Angeline Ondaatje, Gerard Ondaatje, and Travis J Ondaatje.

Ondaatje, Domanski win Governor General's Lit Awards

Last Updated: Tuesday, November 27, 2007 | 3:30 PM ET

CBC News
Author Michael Ondaatje has nabbed a fresh literary accolade, winning another Governor General's Literary Award on Tuesday for his latest novel, Divisadero.

Ondaatje was among the winning writers announced at Montreal's La Grande Bibliothèque on Tuesday morning by the Canada Council, which administers the annual literary honour.

Michael Ondaatje has won a record-tying fifth Governor General's Literary Award for his novel Divisadero. Michael Ondaatje has won a record-tying fifth Governor General's Literary Award for his novel Divisadero.
(McClelland & Stewart)

Toronto-based Ondaatje, who was also shortlisted for the Giller Prize this year, is now tied with novelist and essayist Hugh MacLennan for the most Governor General's trophies under his belt, with five.

Calling it an honour to be in the company of MacLennan, whom he cited as the first author he read who wrote specifically about the Canadian experience, Ondaatje said it was "a thrill" to receive another Governor General's Literary Award for a book he described as "risky" and "difficult to write."

"When you're working on a book, that's all there is. You're not thinking of an audience or what will happen to it afterwards or the response. So it's still a thrill to get this award," he told CBC News on Tuesday afternoon.

His past wins came for English-language poetry (1970's The Collected Works of Billy the Kid and 1979's There's a Trick with a Knife I'm Learning to Do) and fiction (1992's The English Patient and 2000's Anil's Ghost).

Apr 27 2007

HI All

Can anyone help with info re this paternal grandmother Ruth Ondaatje's mother was Alice Mary Pate b:4 Sep 1857....any info re her ancestors would be greatly appreciated


Chester Reimers


Feb 11 2008:

Ananias Pate married Mary Poppleton. They had four children: Charles Henry Pate, born 14 Sep 1844, Jane Maria Pate, born 4 July 1846, Edwin Pate, birth date unknown, & Alice Mary Pate, born 4 Sep 1857. Alice Mary Pate married Ebenezer Ondatje (Ondaatje). They had several children: Ruth, Frank, Ebenezer (Ben), Edward, (Eddie), Edith, Elsie, and Louise. Ruth married Edmund Reimers. Edith married Benjamin John Juriansz who are my parents. Alice Mary Pate was my maternal grandmother.

If you have any information of the vocational occupation of the Pates and as to the occupation of my grandfather Ebenezer Ondatje (Ondaatje), I will be very grateful. Thanks.

Allan Juriansz

Feb 13 2008:

Hi Allan

It's a small world...went to Beryl's place yesterday for lunch to meet Eleanor Rodrigo (McHeyzer)...both of them wanted me to pass on their love.

I'm sorry I do not have the info you seek....however I do remember reading about Annias Pate being something in the Railways.

From memory it was in one of the Journals of the DBU...I was browsing them at

This is an extremely valuable site for those of us tracing our Family roots.Are you a member?

Please stay in touch

Best Regards

Robin Reimers (I boarded with Uncle Bertie & Aunty Lou at Mount Mary in the early 50s)

Feb 14 2008

Robin (?Chester):

Thanks for your reply. I knew you when you were a little guy! I used to joke with your mother, Stephanie. She has a wonderful sense of humour.
I have the Ondatje (Ondaatje) genealogy going back to 1658 when the first one, Michael Jurie Jurgen Ondaatje arrived from The Netherlands via Tanjore, India, where he was for awhile the personal physician to the King of Tanjore. I am not yet certain at what point the one _a_ was dropped from the name to make it Ondatje. Ananias Pate was not in the railway. He started the carriage business and made and sold carriages, (no cars in those days), which was the business of the Pates until the advent of cars. I got this information from Dr.Frances Arndt (nee Ondatje) who was Ben Ondatje's daughter. He was the brother of Ruth Reimers (nee Ondatje), your grandmother and my aunt. Ebenezer Ondatje was a judge-I was also told by Frances who should know and my mother Edith also said. But there are some doubters in the family and I am looking for archival proof.
All the best,

Allan Juriansz

No borders on Ondaatje’s imagination

Sarah Williams
Michael Ondaatje

‘INHALE,” Michael Ondaatje said as he opened the door to Coach House in Toronto, inviting visitors to take in the aroma of ink, paper, wood and well-oiled machinery.

Two mastodonlike Heidelberg presses clacked out the covers to a children’s book, and two young men stood watch, adjusting the cyan, magenta and yellow.

Ondaatje, busy as an editor’s pencil sharpener, darted upstairs to consult with a graphic designer on an upcoming issue of Brick, a literary magazine he helps edit.

The two fussed over a cover image of American novelist Jim Harrison. The camera has caught Harrison taking a drag off his clenched cigarette while ominous clouds form overhead. How on Earth to adjust the contrast, the colour, the dimensions of the photo to strike a balance between the manly man and the powerful sky ? And should the masthead be more burnt sienna or burgundy ?

First book

Such matters are of no small concern to Ondaatje, renowned novelist and poet, author of “The English Patient” and, most recently, “Divisadero.” He does judge a book (even a magazine) by its cover - not to mention its typeface, paper weight, binding, glyphs, and punctuation and spelling preferences (he’ll take the single quotes over the double, thank you).

“I would hate to have an ugly book,” he said. “It’s like an insult.”

His sentiments reflect a deep aesthetic formed partly at Coach House, a 40-year-old small press that published Ondaatje’s first books of poems in the 1960s.

It’s a dilapidated but spiritual place: The light from a small window over a battle-worn editing table puts one in mind of a church or tiny cathedral. By the sink, a jumble of cracked dinner plates, calcified mugs and chipped enamelled coffeeware testifies to many an acolyte’s late-night labours.

Small press

“A small press is a great thing,” Ondaatje said. “It protects you when you need to be protected - when you’re beginning to write.” It’s not like a large publishing house, “where you are among strangers, and where you have to take the advice of people who have much more power. With a small press you are “... inventing the universe. You’re learning about type, you’re learning about design - all of these things are very important.”

This aesthetic extends to the author’s seductive, lush, nonlinear prose, said Harrison, of Montana, who has read the entire Ondaatje canon and embraces it with all his might. “He simply writes more beautifully than anybody around. His prose is remarkably dense, in the best sense of the word - there’s not that sense of somebody writing to get their quota that day.

Everything is sculpted, and you remember certain images permanently - whether it’s a rain barrel in France or the terrible scene (in “Divisadero”) where the father beats up the lover of his daughter. It’s done so well you can hardly bear it.”


Ondaatje acquired at least some of his gifts internationally and cross-culturally. A map of his imagination would have to include the jungles of Sri Lanka, the ruins of post-war Europe, the lawless Wild West and the rolling hills of Northern California.

His pen is dipped in all these places and their histories. But you can “blame Canada” for giving his talents their full expression: “I’m sure I wouldn’t have been a writer if I hadn’t come here,” he said.

Spoken word

In Sri Lanka, where he was born, the spoken word was more valued than the written word, he said. A teller of tall tales was prized above all. And in England, where Ondaatje attended boarding school, an already-written and formidable canon seemed to discourage newcomers.

But when he arrived in Canada at 19, at the urging of his brother, Ondaatje found “a culture that was beginning to blossom - still unspoken and unwritten in some ways.”

There he bonded with other rising stars - including the poet bpNichol, Coach House founding editor Victor Coleman and playwright David Young.

And there his boundless and borderless imagination took flight.

Ondaatje’s novels and poems have imagined the life of Billy the Kid, depicted the scarred and burned victims of World War II, explored the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka, plunged into the world of immigrant workers at the Toronto Waterworks and channelled jazz pioneer Buddy Bolden.

But the facts never get in the way of the fiction. “I’ve always been drawn to what’s unofficial, what’s not part of the history books,” he said. “For me, the books grow out of document. They need to have their feet on the Earth in some way. They begin with a reality of a place or a time or a situation, and then gradually become fiction. You have to sort of shape it in a way.”

His most recent work, “Divisadero,” has its feet on the hills of Petaluma, where Ondaatje set up shop at a friend’s farm in 2001 after a stint at Stanford University. The fresh landscape and a story he heard of a local woman’s horse going berserk in the barn were the match-strikes for a new novel.

Pain and loss

“Divisadero,” set in 1970s California, features a makeshift family born of pain and loss: There’s Anna, whose mother died during childbirth; her adopted sister, Claire, whose mother died in childbirth on the same day, and their foster brother, Coop, who was taken in by the girls’ father after his family was murdered on a neighbouring farm.

The sisters fight for their father’s, each other’s and Coop’s attentions - a tension-packed dynamic that builds toward an unforgettable and shocking act of violence. From there, the story moves to Vegas, where Coop becomes a cardsharp, and France, where Anna, robbed permanently of her own family history, immerses herself in writing the biography of a forgotten writer.


Like her creator, she “loves such strangers to history; for her they are essential as underground rivers.”

Ondaatje cannot abide the game of drawing parallels between his writing and his personal life, and he stiffens when the inevitable questions come.

That said, it’s hard not to read something personal into his affection for Anna as a character. “Those who have an orphan’s sense of history love history,” she muses at one point during her research.

She could be speaking for Ondaatje, who for his 1982 memoir, “Running in the Family,” returned twice to Sri Lanka to fill in some missing chapters of his own family history. In bright, vivid fragments, he paints a steamy, once prosperous world in post-colonial decline. There are kabaragoyas and thalagoyas, leopards and wild boars.

There are dancing, drinking and gambling forebears, each one more interesting than the next: a pilfering grandmother whose prosthetic breast is legend, a handicapped aunt who, unable to make it to the racetracks, invents a game of betting on which crow will leave the wall first.


Some passages are intensely beautiful. “Moon coconut. The bones of a lover’s spine,” Ondaatje writes, describing the rounded curves of the Sinhalese alphabet.

Others are heart-rending. Family friends help him fill in some blanks about his father, an alcoholic whose increasingly delusional and violent behaviour broke up the family when Ondaatje was five years old. Of his father, he writes: “And yet, he is still one of those books we long to read whose pages remain uncut.”

Ondaatje will build on whatever story remains. It’s in his blood.

“No story is ever told just once,” he writes of his clan. “Whether a memory or funny hideous scandal, we will return to it an hour later and retell the story with additions and this time a few judgments thrown in.”

McClatchy News Service

Sir Christopher Ondaatje: My soft spot for a big cat






 retiring from the high-pressure world of finance, one might expect a millionaire businessman to settle into a gentle routine of golf, gardening and the odd gin and tonic.

But when Sir Christopher Ondaatje turned his back on the boardroom he wasn’t tempted by the quiet life. Instead, he longed for adventure and knew that the best way to find it was to track down the love of his life - leopards.

“Leopards are such unique creatures,” he says. “They’re paradoxical - sinister and ruthless, but at the same time charismatic and vulnerable.” Ondaatje is almost as exotic as the creatures he loves. Born in Sri Lanka in 1933, he was educated in England before emigrating to Canada in 1956 with only a few pounds in his pocket.

But his talent for business saw him set up the publishing house Pagurian Press, which eventually became the enormously successful Pagurian Corporation. However, while his wealth allowed him to make generous philanthropic gestures, donating $60m to a variety of causes in his 40-year career, his heart lay far away from the boardroom.

“The whole thing really started in 1946, when I was 12 years old, in what was then South-east Ceylon, but what is now Sri Lanka. I was with my father in the Yala game reserve and I saw my first leopard,” he says.

“Anybody who has seen a leopard will remember the first time - quite apart from its spectacular beauty, the leopard is a stealthy thing and it sorts of creeps into your line of vision and out again. It’s a dangerous cat and it has a real aura of danger about it.”

In the two decades that have passed since Ondaatje sold his multimillion-dollar business, leopards have become a muse-like presence in his life and his work.

I’ve written books about leopards and I’ve got a leopard in every single book I’ve written. In my first autobiography I used a leopard as a metaphor for my tyrannical father,” says Ondaatje. “They’re part of this world I’ve lived in since I chucked the gruesome world of finance.”

His latest book, The Glenthorne Cat, is an anthology of fictional and true stories which he was inspired to compile by his time on the trail of leopards. In it, Ondaatje recounts his own experiences of hunting for leopards alongside stories of man-eaters that terrorised villages across India and Africa, plus mythical accounts of the beautiful, if sometimes deadly, creatures.

“My love of and fascination with leopards has been tremendously rewarding,” he says. “For me, tracking leopards is the most thrilling thing I can imagine. You work very hard to get to a situation where you can track one, I’ll spend hours trying to see one but it doesn’t matter.

The prize is worth it.” While Ondaatje has followed in the footsteps of some of the Empire’s most famous explorers - “I think I am the only person alive today who has done all the Victorian explorers’ journeys,” he says - his prize isn’t the leopard skins or mounted heads that were once such popular souvenirs. When Ondaatje shoots a leopard, it’s with a 300mm camera and all he takes back with him are images of his prey.

“When I go out on safari, whether it’s in Sri Lanka or Africa I take extraordinary risks to see a leopard. I will do anything to see one,” he says. This obsessive approach has paid off for Ondaatje. “I’m one of the few people in the world to see a black leopard.” Black or melanistic leopards are far rarer than their spotted relations as their dark hue occurs thanks to a recessive gene.

They are difficult to see in the wild as they are usually found in the tropical rainforests of South-east Asia, where their dark hide camouflages them almost completely. On hearing that one had been spotted on the slopes of Mount Kenya, Ondaatje flew from the UK in a bid to glimpse one.

“After getting up at 4am with three Masai guides, we surrounded a hill where the leopard had been seen as the sun came up. I looked up and there was the leopard 40 yards in front of us. It was extraordinary.”

After taking a quick drink at a nearby stream the leopard disappeared, but Ondaatje was determined to see it again. “We came back later in the afternoon to see if it would come out looking for something to eat. I saw it in a tree with its tail hanging down. I sat there taking photographs for some time before it noticed us and jumped down. I was only 20 or 30 foot away. It was really stupid to be so close because if it had felt threatened it would just attack. But it is one of the most memorable encounters I’ve had.”

Having tracked the big cats in Sri Lanka, India and Africa, he is under no illusion about the nature of the beast. “You have to be careful with leopards, you can never trust them. A cornered leopard is the most dangerous beast in the world. Having said that, it’s also beautiful, but its beauty has caused it to be ruthlessly murdered for its hide. In Africa, in India, in Sri Lanka, they still poach leopards and they do still sell hides.”

As well as being hunted for their beautiful fur, which Ondaatje describes in loving detail as having “numerous rosettes on a creamy yellow which is spectacularly beautiful”, leopards face an uncertain future as their natural habitats are threatened by humans. “Although an abundance of leopards has been slaughtered, they are not an endangered species. They’re resilient.

But as human territory expands, it is going to become more of a problem,” explains Ondaatje. “We’re moving into territories that really don’t belong to us and even now, leopards maintain only a precarious foothold where they were once abundant. I would like people to be better educated about leopards.”

According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, most wild-cat populations are declining and their habitats are shrinking.

As more land is used for agriculture, prey becomes scarcer and cats, including leopards, are forced to kill domestic livestock, which causes farmers to guard their land and animals more carefully, creating an untenable situation for the future of leopards. Only by educating people and creating reserves and game parks can they be protected for the future.

So what does the future hold for Ondaatje now that the far-flung research trips that were required by his labour of love are over? A drink on the lawn or a spot of DIY? No way, says the unrepentant adventurer. “With my restless spirit and all the devils that are in me, every now and again I have to go and do this crazy jungle stuff.”

Darrel was a superb cricketer and ruggerite

Sharm de Alwis

If there ever was a sportsman who was a gentleman right down to his boot laces it was Darrel Wimalaratne who scintillated in the two vital games of rugby and cricket. Although he rubbed robust shoulders with the most volatile of them like Y.C.Chang and Mohan Balasuriya at the upper level of the country's rugby I am almost certain that the measured dignity of Royden de Silva would have had a tranquil influence on him to travel the straight line.

Bala Thambyah had once told me, pointing at Royden, "That bastard is the perfect gentleman." Bala's pronouncements were always gospel truth to me.

To begin at the top, Darrel played against the visiting Paris Universities for the President's XV under Y.C.Chang, positively the finest prop forward produced by our country. Some of the super stars in that team were Didacus de Almeida, Tony Sirimanne, Hadji Omar, Bryan Baptist, Anton Benedict, Gamini Udugama, Mohan 'Tiger at the Gates' Balasuriya and Jeremy Perera who according to YC "should have been selected to play in the country's team ten times over."

Darrel was a product of the legendary Archibald Perera who churned out splendid ruggerites like a conjuror. Having played for five years for St. Peter's his captaincy was in 1965 when they won every match except the one against Trinity wherein the Trinity captain, M.T.M. Zaruk ran riot like a boy possessed to unleash his best performance ever. In the five year period he played alongside Hadji Omar, Rohan Abeysundera, Royden de Silva, Aubrey Patternot, Paramasothy, Jeyer Rodriguesz, Stephen Alagaratnam, Hamzi Hamid, Ronnie Gunaratne, Rodney Patternot, Didacus de Almeida, Jainudeen and Hoffman before he graduated to the Havelocks team which was the rage in the period.

In cricket Darrel played for four years, captaining in 1966. Here again, he was in splendid company with team mates like Ronnie Gunaratne, David Heyn, Travis Fernando, Tony Opatha, Didacus de Almeida, Asker Ally, Maurice Decker and the de Niese brothers Peter and Stephen.

From school cricket to Club cricket was a foregone conclusion and Darrel was quickly in the Colts team before he decamped to be in star dusted CCC whose forte were Michael Tissera, H.I.K.Fernando and Abu Fuard when the Club was the virtual champions.

Taking to coaching, he first moulded the cricketers at his Alma Mater before moving over to the SSC, Tamil Union, CCC before he went for the salubrious climate of Kandy by joining Trinity as their 1st Xl coach. And there he died. It was the last mile of his pilgrimage.


ONDAATJIE - HONOR. (Former Teacher Methodist College, Colombo 3), sister of the late Iris Munasinghe and the late George Ondaatjie, sister-in-law of Mary. Remains will lie at A.F. Raymond’s Funeral Parlour. Cortege leaves at 2.00 p.m. on Saturday 4th October for burial at General Cemetery Borella (Anglican Section). DN Sat Oct 4 2008