The present movement was initiated by an informal meeting held at the Lindsay Lecture Hall, Bambalapitiya, on 12th November 1907, at which a large number of both ladies and gentlemen were present. The proceedings commenced by Mr H. van Cuylenburg being called to the chair.
St Nikolaas’ Home for Burgher ladies was officially opened on 22 August 1951 on land that was gifted for the project by Dr. R.L. Spittel. Presently, there are 45 residents and a staff of nine headed by a matron and an assistant matron. The home consists of three dormitories, 13 small single rooms and 13 large single rooms.
The VOC Cafe is fully owned and operated by The Dutch Burgher Union. While the Cafe itself is open to the public and features many customary Burgher dishes, it also caters to the DBU Members Bar, as well as all catering requirements for private and corporate bookings at the DBU.
The DBU is an ideal venue for a variety of events and functions, be they corporate or social, formal or informal. The three main areas for hire are the Governors’ Hall (& Garden), Rembrandt Room and Spittel Room. All these rooms are air-conditioned. The Governors’ Hall is the largest and is suitable for any type of function, such as seminars, conferences, concerts, dances, private parties and even weddings. The Rembrandt and Spittel Rooms on the other hand are primarily meeting rooms seating 16 and 10 respectively.
The Journals of the Dutch Burgher Union of Ceylon (JDBU) are an excellent resource for researching material on the Dutch Burgher community in Sri Lanka, particularly in the pre-migration period of the late 1950s. Up to this point, when the community and the Union enjoyed strength in numbers, the JDBU was published with regularity and presents a broad insight into the lives and times of the community spanning the first half of the twentieth century. Reflecting the migration of the Burghers.
The genealogies published in the Journals of the Dutch Burgher Union of Ceylon (JDBU) since 1908 have in themselves undergone varying degrees of use and usefulness over time. In terms of the original Dutch Burgher Union constitution, it formed the sole basis for membership to the Union. For these budding genealogists who have taken this subject up as a hobby, or those individuals who simply wish to trace their own ancestry, the genealogies produced in the JDBU have been a rich source of information.