Dimbula Athletic and cricket club to celebrate 150th anniversary
CELEBRATIONS: Elaborate arrangements being undertaken by the
organisers of the Dimbula Athletic and cricket Club Radella to celebrate
the 150th Anniversary of the club on 2nd and 3rd of March, 07 at the
The club has a long and illustrious history and the more significant
feature of which are the club at one time had race track surrounding it
where regular race meets were held, that one of its members, a planter
who was on Carlabeck Estate, won the Wimbledon Singles Title in the late
1800s when on home leave and the visit at Her Majesty’s Queen Elizabeth
II and His Royal Highness Prince Phillip to the club when the Royals
visited Ceylon as it was then known in 1954. Photographs of the visit
are some of the treasured possessions of the club.
The Club House was regarded as the best among clubs in the up
country. However, the entire club house was destroyed in a fire in 1963,
and the present club House was constructed due to the generous gesture
of the giant of the hillcountry the late Chandra Hemachandra of M.Y.
Hemachandra and Company Talawakelle.
This club had participated in most sports with Rugby being the most
synonymous Dimbula was the only Upcountry club to win the coveted
Clifford Cup on two occasions until the dominance of Kandy S.C. in
The most significant success of Dimbula Rugby was in 1970 when the
side led by the mercurial Ken Murray won the ‘A’ Division League Rugby
Tournament losing only one match during the entire season and that to
the CR and FC at Radella.
Together with Ken Murray and the side comprised of other greats such
as Mike de Alwis, Roger d’ Silva, Tommy Kelaart, Mike Waring, Keith
Paul, Owen Mattau, Mohan Samarasinghe, Wilham Koch, Sunil Jayakody and
The Club continued to actively participate in Rugby and some other
greats, who played for the club were Jayantha Jayawardena, Peter and
Ralph Amarasinghe, Tuan Dole, Mohan Samarasinghe, Clifford Elhart, Rohan
Boudywyn and Sunil Herath.
However, with the nationalisation of estates in 1975, the club ceased
playing ‘A’ Division Rugby but continued playing in the Up country
In the early 1980’s Phan Dias who was the President of the Club
upgraded the ground to an International Cricket Ground. Many
international games were played at Radella and visiting teams were heard
to say that it was the most picturesque grounds they had ever played on.
The club went through a brief period of inactivity and with the 150th
anniversary of the club, the club got revived with Harin de Costa,
Senaka Alawathegama and Devaka Wickremasuriya taking over the main
offices of President, Secretary and Treasurer respectively.
The club house which was in dilapidated condition was given a
facelift due to the magnanimous donation received from Mahen Dayananda
and the Tea Tang.
The Committee of the club was determined that the past glories of the
club should be revived and initially decided to once again enter the
arena of the ‘A’ Division club Rugby.
The team did brilliantly well to annex the Caltex ‘A’ Division Bowl
Title and this success was purely due to the sponsorship received from
Hemaka Amarasuriya and Singer Sri Lanka Limited as well as Caltex