The Dutch Burgher Union
114, Reid Avenue, Colombo 4.
Telephone Nos: 2584511, 5331661

Newsletter – February 2006

President’s Speech at the Eighty Club in Melbourne

“I am delighted to be here today on an invitation extended to me by your President, Mr Darryl Isaaks and bring to you all greetings from The Dutch Burgher Union of Ceylon. Since I took over as President of the DBU, I have been amazed by the kindness and generosity of all the member of the, Eighty Club Melbourne, especially when it comes to raising and providing funds to meet the much needed requirements of the Burgher Community in Sri Lanka, at all levels. You can be well assured that the funds generated by your hard work and diligence, are well utilized to bringing solace and relief to the old folks at home who need financial support for their well being in their daily need as well as medical assistance to the ailing lot.

We are also deeply grateful for the assistance granted to the youth of our community in facilitating advancement in their educational pursuits, by the granting of generous scholarship facilities to the school going children. The young children in any society in any part of the world, are the nation’s treasures, and it behoves us to provide them with education and discipline, so that they could all be self sufficient, self supporting and law abiding citizens. Make no mistake, the young Burgher children in Sri Lanka are’ 11 a very bright, intelligent lot and when moulded and directed towards a sound education, they could one day well become the pride of the Nation.

I would like to conclude by quoting R.O. Anthonisz, the Founder of the DBU of Ceylon – ‘You cannot live your life worthily if you spend it for your own advancement. Your life must be spent as far as possible for the good of the community that you belong to.

I thank you once again most sincerely on behalf of the entire Dutch Burgher Union in Sri Lanka.”

Ms Kem Martenstyn

* Total amount received from ECOM for 1st quarter 2006 – Rs. l,773,700/=
* Total received from BAA for 4th quarter 2005 – Aus$ 6,000.00
* Forgotten People Fund – Aus$2,OOO.OO plus Rs.25,000/=

Professor David de Kretser next Governor of Victoria from 7th April 2006

Prof. David de Kretser migrated to Australia as a nine year old with his parents and brother from Sri Lanka, then known as Ceylon. He lives in Melbourne.

His achievements as a researcher in Bio Science is known internationally but commensurate with these achievements are his great sense of humility and independence which gives him the strength of character to be a great Governor of Victoria.
We are very proud of Professor De Kretser for his achievements in the field of science and his contribution to the Community. We wish him and his wife well as they continue to serve the community in this high office which he richly deserves and congratulate the government of Steve Bracks for the outstanding choice made.

Victoria with Melbourne as its capital is acknowledged as now being the capital of the Burghers in the world with a population of over 50,000. To complement this we will now have a migrant Burgher as our Governor.

Temporary Honorary Membership

We welcome H.E. Reynout van Dijk, Ambassador of The Royal Netherlands Embassy in Sri Lanka and Mrs Ingrid van Dijk as Temporary Honorary Members of The Dutch Burgher Union.

Mr. Rodney Vandergert

Mr. Rodney Vandergert was elected the first Honorary Member of The Dutch Burgher Union in December 2005 under the newly introduced provision for this category of members in the revised DBU Constitution.

Rodney Vandergert was educated at Royal College, Colombo, where he won the Governor-General’s prize in his final year. Entering the University of Ceylon, he graduated with an Honours degree in Law. Thereafter, he joined the Sri Lanka Law College and qualified as an Advocate of the Supreme Court. Subsequently he obtained the degree of Master of Laws from New York University, specializing in Public International Law.

In 1960 Mr. Vandergert was selected for appointment to the Sri Lanka Foreign Service. Among the many posts he held both at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Colombo and overseas were Legal Advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Director-General, High Commissioner in Canada, Ambassador to the former Soviet Union and Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China. He retired as Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after a diplomatic career spanning four decades. In 2002 Rodney Vandergert was appointed Chairman of the Public Service Commission. He is the second Burgher to hold this prestigious appointment, the first being the late Sir Eric Jansz in the early nineteen fifties. He relinquished his appointment as Chairman of the PSC in December 2005 on completing his term of office.

Rodney has been an active member of the DBU and served on the General Committee from 2000 to 2003.

Frozen Lamprais available betweeu 1Oam & 8pm


DBU Caps ( Rs.200/-) , Mugs (Rs.300/-) and Car Stickers (Rs.l 00/-) are available at the bar. Also a few copies of Volume 70 of the DBU Journal, published recently, are available for sale. Please inquire at the office.

Letter received from a member:

I was pleased to receive your thank you note on attending the Sr. I think it was a great idea, to send a personal note to everyone, and another example of your personal and hands-on approach.

The Dutch Burgher Union is looking great already and the changes you have wrought in such a brief period are nothing short of miraculous.
We all think you and your Committee are doing a wonderful job.

Letter from Mr Johan Leembruggen

to the President Thank you for your letter. I enclose cheque for Rs.300,000/= in favour ofthe DBU Welfare Fund. I am glad that my support to the local Education Sponsorship Progranmle will continue after my demise. I appreciate the good work you are doing.

Thank you!

1. Mr Keith Martenstyn – for the support and assistance provided to us for the Lamprais project.
2. Mr Dominic Sansoni – for providing the Bar and dining area with a collection of framed Dutch period pictures.

Annual General Meeting:

1. The Annual General Meeting will be held on 31st March 2006.
2. From this year, Associate members and the spouses of Members and Members by Invitation my attend the A GM as observers. This was the outcome of a suggestion, made to Constitutional Committee by Richard Ohlrnus, which resulted in Rule 10.5 being introduced. Thank you, Richard, for contributing towards more member participation in Union activities.


We cordially welcome the following members who joined us during the months of December 2005 and January 2006:

Members: Ms Lorraine Bartholomeusz, Messrs Andrew Christoffelsz and Christopher Raymond
Overseas Members: Ms June Francke (Canada), Ms Amelia Thiedaman (Australia)
Members by Invitation: Ms. Pia Dayananda, Ms RozanneFlamer-Caldera, Ms Tamara Flamer-Caldera, Ms Anne Laos, Ms. Rebecca Ferdinands, Messrs Dickie Juriansz, Steve de la Zilwa, Peter Deckker , Dirk Flamer-Caldera, Travin Gerryn, Roydon Gibbs, Dale Rabot, Terrence Pendigrast, Kenneth Pendigrast, Trevor Reckerman Graham Hatch, Ron Baklemun, Wilhelm Brown, Samson Pereira and Randal Nelson.
Associate Member: Mr Steve de Croos .
Overseas Associate Members: Messrs P Wadugedera (USA) and Darryl Isaaks (Australia)

We also welcome the following Associates as Members by Invitation:
Ms Heather Pomnells.

PIANO MUSIC ON 10th and 17th FEbuary 2006

A pianist will provide music in the upstairs bar and lounge area from 8.OO a.m. to midnight, on the 10th February and 17th February 2006. Members and guests are welcome. Happy Hour will be from 8.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m. on both days.

New Bar stools were donated and the Bar Committee extends its gratitude to all the members who contributed. It was decided to order two more stools and find donors for these two stools.


For the first time, maybe after more than SO years, the New Year was ushered in at the DBU Bar Lounge, by 35 happy members and their guests. The merriment and bon homie that prevailed was simply indescribable. There was a “Lucky Draw” and 8 revellers took away attractive gifts, donated by Ryan, Richard, Eymard and David J (Bar Secretary) who organized this as a bar event.

Recorded music for dancing that lincluded a number of ‘old time’ favourites like ‘Pack up your Traubles….’, ‘Roll out the Barrel’ and ‘Auld Lang Syne’ preceded the customary “Midnight Chime”, when at the stroke of twelve, there was a marvelous fireworks display, courtesy of Jacki and Diana, that literaliy lit up the Union premises. Simultaneosly, hundreds of crackers (both, traditional “battas” and dashing) provided by one of our new Associates, Ravi Ranasinghe rocked Reid Avenue. President Kem, who arrived just after midnight, and who generously served the delicious rich cake, thanked all present and said that she hoped that the New Year’s Eve at the DBU would become an annual event. She also thanked, everyone for coming, Holly for MC’ing the event and David J for the I arrangements made by the Bar Committee.