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History of Ceylon Tea is an industry-service project by Dilmah. Click HERE to read more.
31st December 2022


  • Tea Planters Christmas Party
  • My second Heart by Vicki Vanden Driesen
  • Memoirs -  The McConnells by Roderick McConnell
  • Photo Album of the Month - Waltrim Estate, Lindula
  • Contributor Photo Album of the Month - Manik Jayakumar
  • Down Memory Lane - Plantation House Tea Auction un the 1960s
  • Historical Events in 1915
  • Tea Radio by Dilmah

Wishing everyone
a happy and prosperous 2023!


After a lapse of two years due to COVID-19, the Dilmah HOCT Christmas Party for Tea Planters was held at the Sundowner Restaurant of the Colombo Swimming Club on 21st December 2022. Dilmah Tea CEO, Dilhan C. Fernando addressed the group and expressed his pleasure at being able to resume this event, which recognizes and gives thanks to the tea planters for their invaluable contribution to the industry. Veteran planter, Devaka Wickramasuriya delivered the vote of thanks.

Click HERE to view the full album


A 253-page memoir written by Vicki Vanden Driesen (née Blazé) is the story of her life growing up in post-colonial Ceylon as well as the story of her family going back many generations. Vicki draws on treasured family documents and a range of other sources including her own memories, to introduce the reader to the Blazé family and the tea planting world into which she was born.

Her love of that world and her sadness in leaving it are poignant but there is also much happiness and humour in this personal narrative. My Second Heart reflects Vicki’s passion for her family’s history and her nostalgia for a world that has past, and speaks evocatively to future generations about the lives and times of her ancestors.
Click HERE to read the full article


Clarence Henry Quentin McConnell
Ronnie & Evelyn Circa 1937


By Roderick McConnell

Clarence Henry Quentin McConnell. Born 1887. On leaving school he joined the Bank of England but soon tired of this career and decided to immigrate to Australia. When his ship called at Colombo he elected to remain in Ceylon and train as a tea-planter. Sometime before WW1, he joined the Indian Cavalry (13st Duke of Connaught's Lancers {Watson's Horse}) and saw action against Afghanistan on the Northwest Frontier. Soon after the outbreak of war the Indian Cavalry were dismounted and sent to the trenches in France. He was blown up in an ammunition explosion, then had rheumatic fever and was invalid home to be discharged out of the army in 1916. He then decided to return to Ceylon. Now married, Clarence then became Assistant Manager of 'Hornsey' tea estate in the Dickoya district.

During the late 20s he decided to branch out on his own and purchased ‘Nagrok’, an up-country estate in need of development. Access to it was difficult as there were no roads and during the family visits the children had to be carried in litters through the jungle. Clarence’s hopes for Nagrok were never realised, partly because he left Ceylon six years later but also because the Ceylon Government decided that part of the land should be compulsorily purchased to allow a road to be built. Clarence took the matter to court (one of his favourite occupations) and the case dragged on until 1940 when he finally lost. In 1933 the family returned to England.

Click HERE to read the full article


Waltrim Estate, Lindula - Manager's Bungalow

Click HERE to view the album.


Manik Jayakumar

Click HERE to view the album


Photo of the tea auction at the Plantation House EC3 London in the 1960s. My grandfather Arthur Poore is in the bottom middle row to the right of the three gents (wearing glasses). At this time he was purchasing tea but I understand that he also auctioned it. Steve Poore
In Ceylon
  • Mr Thomas Amarasuriya - the first Ceylonese to be appointed as Chairman of the Planters' Association.
  • Kandy Riots - Sinhalese militia captain Henry Pedris is executed in British Ceylon for inciting race riots, a charge later proved false.
  • WWI moves into its second year.
  • Start of the Gallipoli Campaign.
  • WWI: In aerial warfare, German fighter pilot Kurt Wintgens becomes the first person to shoot down another plane, using a machine gun equipped with synchronization gear.
  • The prototype military tank is first tested by the British Army.
  • Pluto is photographed for the first time, but is not classified as a planet.
  • The 1 millionth Ford car rolls off the assembly line, at the River Rouge Plant in Detroit, Michigan.
  • Birth of Frank Sinatra.


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