records more significant events in August in the 1800s.
Early days of cricket
The earliest mention of a cricket club in Ceylon
dates back to August 8, 1832, identified as the date on which the
'Cricket Club' was established. But due to lack of old records,
there is hardly any information of its progress in the years that
|The Kandapolla cricket macth as seen by an
In the late 1860s, however, the Colombo Cricket
Club comes into prominence. Several other clubs are also mentioned
by 1869. The Union Club, the Smallpass Club, the Slave Island Club,
the Juvenile Graduates, the Hultsdorf Club, the Fort Club and the
Military Club are among those.
The match between Colombo and Up-country has been
the principal match in the early days of cricket in the country
dating back to the early 1860s.
Expatriates, really Englishmen, were the players
of both teams. Details of the match played in 1875 have been recorded.
Only one innings per side was played and Colombo won, the scores
being Colombo 99 and Up-country 43. For Colombo, Captain Budgeon
'The Illustrated Sports and Dramatic News' (October
1878) published in England recorded that a match played at Kadapolla
was "an immense treat". "Badulla men had to journey
from 40 to 50 miles across country to get to the ground, and that
by many this distance was accomplished by foot", the report
A bank is inaugurated
The Ceylon Savings Bank was established on August
6, 1832 obviously to promote the savings habit among the people.
A government institution, it was managed by a Board of Directors
under an Ordinance. Steady progress was made in the early years
and soon the Bank developed into a recognised financial institution.
The earliest mention of a bank in Ceylon is a
private institution established by Jeronis Pieris and Louis Pieris
in Kandy in 1828. Reference is made to this bank -'The Bank of Kandy'
- by Sir Thomas Villiers in his book, 'Mercantile Lore'.
He writes: "It was in the early days of coffee,
and money was always in demand. Colombo was very far away, taking
no less than four days to reach from the hill capital. The road
too led through robber-infested country, and was consequently never
safe. Sardiel, Ceylon's Robin Hood was only one of the many who
made the cart road a danger. There were bands of highwaymen, not
to mention rogue elephants and other savage animals, reported all
along the less frequented paths.
So it came about that the Kandy Bank became a
most useful institution, keeping money in custody till called for,
and furnishing money on Colombo orders, when getting money from
Colombo was a very hazardous business."
Gas lights in Colombo city
Colombo city is well lit up today. But for most
part of the 19th century it was not so - at least not until August
5, 1872 when gas lamps were used for lighting of Colombo. The supply
of gas was done by Colombo Gas & Water Company which was formed
in 1868. In the following year, the company entered into an agreement
with the Colombo Municipal Council. By the end of the first year,
there were 870 gas lamps in the streets. The cost of service was
estimated at Rs 70,000.
The supply of electricity for lighting the City
started after a private company, Boustead Brothers commenced the
generation of electricity on commercial lines in 1895. This was
done following concessionary terms offered by the Colombo Municipal
Council for a tramways scheme. Power was first supplied to the Fort
area and a few government offices. In 1927 the Government bought
the electricity system from Boustead Brothers and set up the Government
A library in Colombo
The first library in Colombo was founded on August
12, 1813. It was called 'The United Service Library' and at first
was solely for the use of civil and military officers of the Government
stationed in Colombo. It was housed in a military building opposite
Queen's House (now President's House) which was demolished when
the General Post Office was built. Later the members who were elected
had to pay subscriptions to use the library.
The 'Colombo Pettah Library' was the second library
in Colombo. It was established by the Burgher community in the City.
Pettah was then the residential area of the Burghers. They had moved
over from the Fort when that area became too busy.