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Encyclopedia > Sir Ernest de Silva

Sir Ernest de Silva Kt., BA (Cantab), Bar-at-Law, Inner Temple (1887-1957) was a Cambridge-educated Sri Lankan philanthropist, business magnate and public figure. A wealthy and powerful polymath, Sir Ernest, who was the Chairman of the Senate of Ceylon, Founder-Chairman of the Bank of Ceylon, Governor of the State Mortgage Bank and Chairman of the Ceylon All-Party committee, made many contributions to Sri Lankan society, including vast amounts of philanthropy. He is also considered to be the Greatest Philatelist in Sri Lanka's History. Sir Ernest was asked to be the first Ceylonese Governor General (Representative of the King in Ceylon, i.e. de-facto Head of State). Sir Ernest was among the pinnacle of Sri Lankan society, defining upper-class society, and was the richest Sri Lankan of his generation. He was renowned and highly respected for his integrity and honesty. This article is about the city in England. ... A philanthropist is someone who engages in philanthropy; that is, someone who donates his or her time, money, or reputation to a charitable cause. ... Leonardo da Vinci, a polymath, is seen as the epitome of the related term, Renaissance Man A polymath (Greek polymathēs, πολυμαθής, having learned much)[1][2] is a person with encyclopedic, broad, or varied knowledge or learning. ... The Bank of Ceylon is a major, government-owned commercial bank in Sri Lanka. ... A Governor-General is most generally a governor of high rank, or a principal governor ranking above ordinary governors. ... Look up king in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Hon. Sir Ernest de Silva

Contents

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Philanthropy

Sir Ernest was, arguably,[Who?] Sri Lanka's Greatest Philanthropist of the Twentieth Century funding a vast number of projects. Among his various projects were the building of two major schools (Devapathiraja Vidyalaya and Lakshmi College) and providing free education as well as scholarships to its students. Sir Ernest and his wife the Senator Lady Evadne De Silva funded the inaugural orphanage in Ceylon; in the form of a donation of 9 acres in Katunayake. They also founded the Angela Children's Home and the Parakrama Home. Sir Ernest also built a temple; The 'Veluvanaramaya'. He gave away lands, buildings and funds to numerous orphanages, hospitals, schools, social service bodies, temples and hermitages without fanfare or publicity. A philanthropist is someone who engages in philanthropy; that is, someone who donates his or her time, money, or reputation to a charitable cause. ... Lady Evadne de Silva was a prominent Philantrophist in Sri Lanka. ...


Faith

Sir Ernest was a strong Buddhist who contributed much to the advancement of Buddhism. One such instance was when he purchased an island in 1905 and offered it to Ven. Nanatiloke, the Famous German Monk, to start a hermitage (Polgasduwa) for Buddhist monks. Sir Ernest was thus instrumental in putting Sri Lanka on the map of the world of philosophy and religion. He was the President of the YMBA (Young Men's Buddhist Association) and the Kalutara Bodhi Trust. The Former President of Sri Lanka, The Late Hon.R.Premadasa, stated that 'if there was a Buddhist Temple or school that He (Sir Ernest) did not help, it was not in Sri Lanka'. A replica of an ancient statue found among the ruins of a temple at Sarnath Buddhism is a philosophy based on the teachings of the Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama, a prince of the Shakyas, whose lifetime is traditionally given as 566 to 486 BCE. It had subsequently been accepted by... The YMBA, or Young Mens Buddhist Association, was first created in Sri Lanka as part of a bid to provide Buddhist institutions to rival Christian ones (in this case the YMCA). ... Ranasinghe Premadasa (June 23, 1924 - May 1, 1993) was the President of Sri Lanka from January 2, 1989 to May 1, 1993. ...

Sir Ernest's Mansion
Sir Ernest's Mansion

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Wealth

Sir Ernest was Sri Lanka's richest man and one of the richest South-East Asians of the Twentieth Century. He inherited and purchased vast areas of tea, rubber and coconut estates as well as vast amounts of land in the prominent areas of Colombo. He owned 46 Acres (7360 Perches) of land in prominent areas of Colombo, worth an approximate Rs.40 Billion ($400 million) today, mainly in the Colpetty area which is now regarded as the most expensive area in Sri Lanka. His diverse business interests included Plumbago mining, Plantations and Graphite exporting. One such estate was the famed 1000 acre (4 kmĀ²) Salawa estate which was used as a rubber plantation. He resided in one of the most exclusive properties in Sri Lanka: the 'Sirimathipaya' Mansion; equipped with horse stables and tennis courts. One thousand million (1,000,000,000) is the natural number following 999,999,999 and preceding 1,000,000,001. ...


Hobbies

Aside from public life, his central passion was stamp collecting. His Ceylonese collection is said to have been world-class, second only to the collection of King George V.[1] He gained fame for owning the Penny Black; the world's first stamp. In keeping with his charitable ways, he donated the money gained from the sale of the Mauritius One Penny (1847) stamp, considered to be the most expensive stamp in the world, (valued at $2.1 million in 1993) towards the construction of the YMBA Headquarter's Building to his relative Sir Cyril de Zoysa.[2] Sir Ernest was also known to be the one of the best Sri Lankan billiards players of his time. He has played rounds with the then world champions in his mansion and club. He was also the President of the Ceylon Turf Club, winning the Governor's Cup in Madras, and maintained a high level of integrity in the 'Sport of Kings'. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... George V (George Frederick Ernest Albert; 3 June 1865 – 20 January 1936) was the first British monarch belonging to the House of Windsor, which he created from the British branch of the German House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. ... The Penny Black, partially obscured by a red cancellation. ... A Mauritian Red Penny The Mauritius Post Office postage stamps are amongst the rarest and most valuable stamps in the world. ... This article is about the various cue sports. ...

First Day Cover of the Sir Enrest de Silva Stamp

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Recognition

Sir Ernest was knighted in 1946 by King George VI for his services to Ceylon. In recognition of his services, Flower Road (where he resided) was renamed Sir Ernest de Silva Mawatha and a stamp was published in his honour. As he was perhaps the most respected and wealthiest Sri Lankan of his generation, Sir Ernest was asked to be the first Sri Lankan Governor General, equivalent to the Head of State (President), which he declined due to personal reasons. He was one of the first Asians to own a Rolls Royce. His former residence, the mansion 'Sirimathipaya', is now being used as the Office of the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. A statue of an armoured knight of the Middle Ages For the chess piece, see knight (chess). ... George VI (Albert Frederick Arthur George; 14 December 1895 – 6 February 1952) was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions from 11 December 1936 until his death. ... A Governor-General is most generally a governor of high rank, or a principal governor ranking above ordinary governors. ... Rolls-Royce car may refer to vehicles produced by: Rolls-Royce Limited (1906-1973) Rolls-Royce Motors (1973-2003) Rolls-Royce Motor Cars (2003-present) // Rolls-Royce cars Rolls-Royce Limited vehicles 1904-1906 10 hp 1905-1905 15 hp 1905-1908 20 hp 1905-1906 30 hp 1905-1906...


He was a close friend of the late Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru who was a room-mate of his at the University of Cambridge. Nehru came to Sri Lanka in 1930 to visit Sir Ernest. Jawaharlal Nehru (Hindi: , IPA: , from Persian Javâher-e Laal, meaning Red Jewel) (November 14, 1889 – May 27, 1964) was a political leader of the Indian National Congress, a pivotal figure in the Indian independence movement and the first Prime Minister of Independent India. ... The University of Cambridge (often Cambridge University), located in Cambridge, England, is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and has a reputation as one of the worlds most prestigious universities. ... Jawaharlal Nehru (जवाहरलाल नेहरू) (November 14, 1889 - May 27, 1964), also called Pandit (Teacher) Nehru, was the leader of the (moderately) socialist wing of the Indian National Congress during and after Indias struggle for independence from the British...


Lineage

Sir Ernest was born A.E.de Silva Jr. in 1887 at the 'Royal Palace', to one of the most affluent families in Ceylon. His parents and grandparents were hugely wealthy and owned much land all over the country. His father, A.E. De Silva Sr. , was one the most successful businessman in Ceylon as was his grandfather U.D.S. Gunasekera, described as a Buddhist Croesus. He received his education first at the Royal College before graduating from the University of Cambridge as a lawyer. He was married to Senator Lady Evadne De Silva, a philantrophist herself, who later became the first female member of Senate in Ceylon. One of his daughters married Construction Magnate U.N.Gunasekera, whose philantrophy rivals his own, making the lineage one of the most prominent traditionally rich families in South-East Asia. A.E.de Silva, Senior A.E. de Silva Sr. ... Croesus Croesus (IPA pronunciation: , CREE-sus) was the king of Lydia from 560/561 BC until his defeat by the Persians in about 547 BC. The English name Croesus come from the Latin transliteration of the Greek , in Arabic and Persian قارون, Qârun. ... Lady Evadne de Silva was a prominent Philantrophist in Sri Lanka. ... U.N. Gunasekera (B.Sc. ...


Death

Sir Ernest De Silva died on the 9 May 1957, almost ten years after Sri Lanka gained independence; a cause he strived for. At his funeral, attended by many state officials and leaders, the then Premier S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike mentioned the loss the nation has to bear with and thanked the late philatrophist for his services for Sri Lanka saying that he was a 'true gentleman in every sense of the word'. is the 129th day of the year (130th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1957 (MCMLVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link displays the 1957 Gregorian calendar). ... Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike (January 8, 1899 – September 26, 1959) was Prime Minister (1956-1959) of Ceylon (later Sri Lanka). ...


References

  • http://books.google.com/books?id=eUF_rS8FEoIC&pg=PA482&lpg=PA482&dq=ae+de+silva&source=web&ots=IglHkPeYig&sig=Vm1v_6xcvJgSg---YulLYIys2yQ7
  • http://www.sundaytimes.lk/070520/Plus/pls13.html

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