HIGHLIGHTED Nostalgia OF THE WEEK

October 6th, 2020

The first Shipment of Ceylon Tea, a consignment of 23lb (10kg) arrived in London for trade

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The first Shipment of Ceylon Tea, a consignment of 23lb (10kg) arrived in London for trade

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Jewish brothers born in Frankfurt, Germany, Maurice Worms was arguably the first person to introduce tea to Ceylon with samplings from China being experimented with in 1841. However, due to high production costs and labour issues, and with coffee thriving at the time, tea failed to gain a foot-hold. Nonetheless, the Worms brothers went on to establish one of the largest coffee, and later tea plantation proprietorships in the island with a portfolio of more than 2,000 acres in coffee and tea, and 6,000 acres of jungle. The brothers were famed for their efficiency and competency and were held up as the role models of the plantation industry. The brothers were also famous for their philanthropy across the island.

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July 1st, 2020

Edward Barnes was a British Army Officer who was the Acting Governor of Ceylon from 1820 to 1821, and the appointed Governor from 1824 to 1831. The success of the island’s planting enterprise is attributed to Barnes who constructed the network of roads linking the hill country to the coast. A vital prerequisite for the industry to develop. Notwithstanding his role as Governor of Ceylon, Barnes took a personal interest in the coffee industry, and it was he who identified the hill districts as being more suitable for coffee growing than the low country areas. Barnes, who had his own coffee plantation, was also responsible for many political decisions that supported and promoted the coffee industry, from tax exemptions, to land grants. Barnes was also the first to initiate development in the virgin forests of Nuwara Eliya, and in 1929, it was established as a health resort and a recuperating station for troops. Barnes, also constructed a Governor’s Residence in Nuwara Eliya, which was named Barne’s Hall. This, today, after significant improvements and expansions over the decades, is now the famous Grand Hotel of Nuwara Eliya.

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August 7th, 2017

Ceylon Tea, that most famous brand and well-known ‘cuppa’, celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. It has been a rich and rewarding history and its importance and relevance to Sri Lanka remains very much so to this day. It has of course been a colossal journey with many peaks and troughs along the way, not dissimilar to the landscape of the tea fields of Sri Lanka.

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July 5th, 2017

As will be shown now, the great pioneer of tea was James Taylor, planter from 1852 to 1892, as Superintendent of Loolecondera, in Hewaheta. In one respect, James Taylor stands out as an exception to the general rule, in that he was never a proprietor. James Taylor was born at Mosspark, Monboddo, Kincardineshire, Scotland in 1835.

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April 5th, 2017

Robert Tytler, regarded as the “Father of Ceylon Planters”, was the first to cultivate cocoa (cacao) in Ceylon. Tytler had carried out extensive work on Jamaica’s coffee plantation processes in the mid-1830s, and then introduced the West Indian system of cultivation to Ceylon’s coffee plantations, with great success.

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