Sydney Bens' Gama Night
Posted by dougjay on June 12 2012 07:58:48
Colourful return to Gama days
The Spoons Restaurant in Blackton was redolent of a Ceylon village festival as the Sydney Old Bens telescoped the Gama days of a bygone Sri Lanka era into a 21st century Sydney. Kellas attired in sarees of riotous reds and alluring pastels (both in the Low Country and Kandyan traditions) and the kollas in gorgeously colourful sarongs and shirts (and one, gamely enough, in sarong and singlet) added just the right counterpoint to the occasion.
First a robust rendering of the College Anthem by the Old Bens present and when the band struck a note thereafter, there were no holds barred. Within seconds, musicians Gordon Rebeira, Roger Menezies and Yohan Pathinather lured almost all of the 188 gamaralas and their hamines feet- strutting in time to their beat - on a rather confined floor space, mind you.
When the dashing, young emcee Robert Almeida invited guests to dine on the sumptuously warm Gama meal as and when they pleased, others continued to swing along. And so evening panned on.
Three hamines – Carmini Fernando, Romaine Rebeira and Hyacinth Jones – were asked to select the best dressed Kella of the night. They had no qualms about a choice – Carmel LaFaber attired in a redda and hatte won without the blinking of an eye. And Freddie Herft, Desmond Don Paul and Harry de Sayrah unanimously picked the Kolla as best attired.
As always, the raffle draw was a popular segment with a host of prizes from expensive garden tools to wines and spirits donated by Committee members.
Music played on and the dancers continued to rock, jive, trot and waltz (and baila, of course) cheek by jowl as it were, till well past midnight.
Another great Benedictine occasion came to a reluctant close, well planned by the hard working committee of Sherwell Fernando, Sri Fernandopulle, Julian Pillai, Dr Praha Sellappah, Marlon Meulin, Michel Jason, Hynsworth LaFaber, Ronnie Almeida, Claude Perera, Lionel Machado, Charles Emerson and led by President Gordon Rebeira!