Sunday Observer Online
   

Home

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Untitled-1

observer
 ONLINE


OTHER PUBLICATIONS


OTHER LINKS

Marriage Proposals
Classified
Government Gazette

Sixty four years down memory lane:

State opening of Parliament 1948

Following the grand event of granting independence to Sri Lanka on February 4, 1948 was the State opening of the Parliament of Ceylon. It was on February 10, 1948 and the first Parliament after independence was declared open by the Duke of Gloucester at the Assembly Hall at the Torrington Place


A group photo taken at the ‘Temple Trees’ after swearing in of Mudliyars in 1947

Sixty-four years have passed. The country and the life of its inhabitants have faced numerous changes. Back then in 1948 no one may have thought that Sri Lanka will face so much turmoil in this 64 years. On the other hand, today no one can feel what happened at that time.

Following the grand event of granting independence to Sri Lanka on February 4, 1948 was the State opening of the Parliament of Ceylon. It was on February 10, 1948 and the first Parliament after independence was declared open by the Duke of Gloucester at the Assembly Hall at the Torrington Place.

Today we feel the historical importance and we hear only stories like fairy tales yet on that day it would have been a real experience. According to the program of the State opening of the Parliament of Ceylon, the path for the invitees was known as the Royal route.

Glamour

It has Queen Street, Prince Street, York Street, Parsons Road, Shorts Road, Union Place, Alexandra Place reaching Torrington Place.

“The route of the procession is approximately 3 ¾ (three and three quarter) miles long. It will be decorated for the last 1 1\2 miles will be lined by the Royal Navy, the Army and Royal Air Force. A running commentary on the Ceremonial drive and the proceedings inside the Assembly Hall will be broadcast to the crowds lining the route,” states the program schedule printed for the event.


A group photo in front of the Dalada Maligawa. Late Prime Minister D.S. Senanayake visited the Dalada Maligawa after his first swearing-in his post.

At a special event where Mudliyars were honoured for their service by the Governor-General Sir Henry Monck-Mason Moore in June 1947. In the certificate given to Mudliyar Nanayakkara it says “ Whereas I have great confidence in the ability of Don Romanis Kuruppu Nanayakkara, I do hereby appoint him Muhandiram during my will and pleasure.”

Adding glamour to all the Independence celebrating contributions, the ‘Sunday Observer’ received a set of documents, containing invitations and the program of the State opening of the Parliament of Ceylon in 1948 and the Independence Commemoration celebrations in 1949, by the family of D.R.K. Nanayakkara Mudliyar who was one of the prominent Sri Lankans who were invited for the event.

“The street decorations were entirely done in cloth,” said Pushpa Nanayakkara, daughter of Mudliyar Nanayakkara going back to her childhood memories.

The distinguished guests each have had an assembly point.

According to the plan the processions of the Judges of the Supreme Court and of the Members of the Senate have joined the royal route at the junction of Prince Street and Queens Street. Prime Minister D. S. Senanayake and Mrs. Senanayake, Members of the Colombo Municipal Council, Ceylon Service Commanders and other distinguished guests have been at the House of Representatives to join the procession. The Members of the Senate have joined from the Senate Building, Judges of the Supreme Court have joined the procession from Hulftsdorp, Governor General Sir Henry Monck-Mason Moore and Lady Moore and their Staff and Their Royal Highness the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and Staff were assembled at the Queen’s House (currently the President’s house) ready to join the procession by 10.10 a.m. Sir Henry Monck-Mason Moore became the last Governor of Ceylon and first Governor-General when the Ceylon Order in Council, the first constitution of independent Ceylon came into effect.

Between 9.33 and 10.30 a.m. the guests have arrived and seated accordingly in the Assembly Hall. As it describes, “On Arrival at the Assembly Hall, each procession will enter by the Main Entrance and will proceed up the processional aisle.” “The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Prime Minister and Mrs. Senanayake, the Leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives and the Sergent-at-Arms will remain at the entrance,” as stated in the program. Arrival time of the Governor-General Moore and Lady Moore along with their staff has been marked as 10.25 a.m.

Following is the description of the proceedings as mentioned in the plan for 10.25 a.m. -


The Parade Ground plan of the 1949 Independence commemoration
celebrations

The invitation and the seating arrangement of the State Opening
of Parliament of Ceylon

“The Governor-General and Lady Moore will be received by the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, The Prime Minister and Mrs. Senanayake, and the Leaders of the Senate and the House of the Representatives.

The Governor-General’s procession forms up in the processional aisle.

Salute

As their Royal Highness approach the entrance to the Assembly Grounds, a salute of 21 guns is fired and the Royal Standard is unfurled over the Assembly Hall.”

By 10.30 a.m. - On the opening bars of “God Save the King” the audience had been asked to stand up.

“10 .30 a.m. - Arrival of their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester.

As his Royal Highness steps down from the car, a royal salute is given by the Guard of Honour composed of the members of the Ceylon Light Infantry and the Ceylon Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve which will drawn up facing the Assembly Hall. Their Royal Highnesses will be received by the Governor-General and Lady Moore.

The Governor-General will introduce the Prime Minister and Mrs. Senanayake, the President of the Senate ….” and so goes the description.

Following the description of the seating arrangements the document explains how the Assembly Halls was arranged. “ The Dais is on two levels.

Throne

At the back on the top level stands the Kandyan Throne. On the next level are the thrones for their Royal Highnesses. Her Excellency Lady Moore will sit on the left of Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Gloucester and His Excellency the Governor-General will sit on the right of His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester. The Prime Minister will then sit on His Excellency the Governor-General’s right and Mrs. Senanayake will sit Her Excellency Lady Moore’s left. The Staff of their Royal Highnesses and of the Governor-General and Lady Moore will stand behind the chairs.”

The Final episode -

“The Prime Minister, The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives then advance to the Dais and His Royal Highness hands to them three special copies autographed by His Majesty the King of the two Independence Orders in Council and the Ceylon Independent Act.”

Following this the procession of the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester retires from the Dais along the processional aisle and the House then adjourns.

“The procession of their Excellencies the Governor-General and Lady Moore retires from the Dais along the processional aisle, 20 paces behind His Royal Highness’ procession.”

“As the drumming ceases the Prime Minister unfurls the Lion Flag.

The Prime Minister then addresses the Assembly in Sinhala and a recorded version of his speech is relayed in Tamil and English.

Their Royal Highnesses and the Governor-General and Lady Moore return to the entrance to Hall where their Royal Highnesses will enter the first car, and the Governor-General and Lady Moore will enter the second car and their Staffs will follow.” states the program.

Thus ends the State opening of the Parliament of Ceylon on February 10, 1948.

 

 

EMAIL |   PRINTABLE VIEW | FEEDBACK

VAYU Mobile Phones and Accessories Online Store
Kapruka Online Shopping
Donate Now | defence.lk
www.apiwenuwenapi.co.uk
LANKAPUVATH - National News Agency of Sri Lanka
Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL)
www.army.lk
www.news.lk
www.defence.lk
 

| News | Editorial | Finance | Features | Political | Security | Sports | Spectrum | Montage | Impact | World | Obituaries | Junior | Magazine |

 
 

Produced by Lake House Copyright © 2012 The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.

Comments and suggestions to : Web Editor