Dole the history-making Antonian | Sunday Observer

Dole the history-making Antonian

Tuan Zaruk Dole
Tuan Zaruk Dole

It was Tuan Zaruk Dole who led St. Anthony’s College to beat Trinity College for the first time in rugby and he is popularly known from a sporting Malay family in Kandy.

His father Tuan Hajireen Dole was a Police officer and a prominent figure in boxing teams. Then there is Farook Dole, presently in Australia, who played rugby for the Kandy Lake Club, Kandy Sports Club and Up-Country. Another was Marzook Dole, a cricketer and rugby player. His nephews Rohan Abayakoon, Reza Dole, Shehan and Shasha Wijayawardena were all superb rugby players.

It was in 1972 under Dole’s captaincy that St. Anthony’s College beat their arch rivals Trinity College in their centenary year for the first time. He played for the combined schools team at the age of 16. According to records, St. Anthony’s College started rugby in the 1950s with Bruce Winter as their first rugby captain.

A big hand should go to Old Trinitian Bobby Jayaweera, the man who taught them how to handle a rugger ball and later Maurice Perera put the final touches to the Antonian rugby team.

But it was not until 1961 that the enthusiasm grew at St. Anthony’s and in the following year they were challenging the First XV teams of rival schools. And it was in 1972 that they enjoyed one of the finest years when they beat Trinity 13-7 at Nittawela and the win was mainly due to the good coaching of Havelock SC, Kandy Lake Club and Sri Lanka centre three-quarter Maurice de Silva, a Peterite that EW Balasuirya enlisted to play for his Kandy Lake Club.

That year St. Anthony’s beat St. Joseph’s, St. Benedict’s, Kingswood, S. Thomas’, Thurstan and Trinity. They drew with St. Peter’s and lost to Royal.

Dole displayed good leadership and was a polished and crafty player. He started his rugby career from under-12 level and ended up as one of the best products of St. Anthony’s rugby. It was under his leadership that St. Anthony’s had a very successful season and ended up as unofficial champions.

At that time, rugby was only thirteen years old at St. Anthony’s and Dole led from the front. In that memorable 1972 team were the Rajaguru brothers DH and DS, Tyrone Rosario, Clement Fernando, Christopher Anderson, Clive Fernando, Hilmy Jainudeen, CPP Raj, Dayananda de Silva, Nimala Malagamuwa, JW Waidyaratne, S. Shanmuganathan, Geoff Paul, Ian Ludowyke and Kalu Perera.

After that successful season they toured India and one of the men behind the success was their MIC Fr. A. Samarakoon along with the school principal Fr. Steven Abrahams, one of the best principals the school had.

As a schoolboy Dole played for the President’s XV against the London Welsh which had legendary players like John Spencer, David Llewellyn, John Dawes and Mervyn Davies.

Dole played a hard game and left the field bruised which was an indication to how he committed himself.

Dole played for Kandy SC as a schoolboy and crossed over to Havelock SC. He took to tea planting and played for Dickoya MCC, Dimbula ACC and Up Country and was best known for his fine goal-kicking and dummies and managed several Sri Lanka teams on overseas tours.

At present he is one of the committee members of Sri Lanka Rugby as well as a Match Commissioner.

After chucking up planting Dole returned to Kandy SC and played a few games and later served in its Committee.

At present he is the president of the Central Province Rugby Football Union and was at one time the president of the Nuwara Eliya District Cricket Association, Central Province Cricket Association and at present a committee member of the Kandy DCA.

He does not seek position for personal gain and is known as a no-nonsense man who wants results.