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Old 09-02-18, 11:56 PM
sriyanj sriyanj is offline
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Default Dr R L Hayman

Dr R L Hayman – a life dedicated to the education of Ceylonese “An Institution is the lengthened shadow of a man” • Dr R L Hayman Early days Rollo Lenden Hayman MA, DPhil (Oxon), MBE, was born on 14 December 1902 in the London suburb of Clapham. He was the son of William Hayman, a General Practitioner. The family later moved to Bournemouth on the south coast of England. Their beautiful house was right on the edge of a cliff overlooking the sea, in fact, the street was named Boscombe Overcliff Drive. Dr Hayman became the founding father of St. Thomas College, Gurutalawa. Hayman started his schooling at Wychwood Preparatory School in Bournemouth and in 1914, he was admitted to Sherbourne School in Dorset, not far from Bournemouth. This is a private school founded in 1550 and is in the top one per cent of all UK schools. Alan Turing studied here a few years after Hayman. Turing is considered to be the father of Artificial Intelligence and during World War II, he worked at Bletchley Park, the site for British codebreakers, and his Turing Machine cracked the German codes and ciphers and as a result it is estimated that the war in Western Europe was shortened by two years with the saving of 14 million lives. About 1919, Hayman was admitted to the University of Oxford to read Physics. When he graduated, he decided to continue studying in Oxford and obtained the Phd Physics, his particular field was radiation. Although there was an offer of a PostDoctoral Fellowship, he decided on a teaching career and trained as a Teacher in North London for Ministry in the Anglican Church. Meanwhile, K C McPherson, who was the Warden of St Thomas College, Mount Lavinia, from 1926 to 1930, when he was on holiday in 1928 visited Keble College, Oxford where he was educated. He was looking for suitable recruits to join the staff of St Thomas College and he persuaded Dr Hayman, Rev. A J Foster, Rev. J G Elliot and William Thomas Keble to join St Thomas College. Keble College, Oxford, founded in 1870, was named after W T Keble’s greatuncle, John Keble. In 1938, W T Keble founded St Thomas Preparatory School in Kollupitiya. This was the first Prep School in Ceylon and was modelled on a typical private Primary School in England. In 1942, during World War II, the Navy commandeered the School premises and Keble moved to Bandarawela and founded the St Thomas Prep School there. He was also a writer and author of several books, including the travel book “Ceylon Beaten Track.” When Dr Hayman told his parents that he was going to Ceylon they were initially against it, saying that they had spent a lot on his education and it may well be wasted. Dr Hayman contacted the SPG (Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts) and they told him that Ceylon was working its way to independence and needed good teachers to produce the men who could lead the country. As Dr Hayman said “To this end anything I could teach in England would be equally useful and acceptable in Ceylon. So, in the end my parents rather unwillingly allowed me to follow my wishes.” Mutwal St Thomas College was founded in Mutwal in 1851 by Bishop James Chapman. He was an old boy and Master at Eton College, Windsor, and graduated from Kings College, Cambridge. Eton College is arguably the most prestigious private school in England and Bishop Chapman wanted to model St Thomas College along the lines of his former school. It is believed that both schools have the same motto “Esto Perpetua” (Be thou forever). Boys in the highest classes at St Thomas were treated more like undergraduates than schoolboys and were addressed as ‘Mister’. The Curriculum was complex and included the study of Xenophon (a historian and student of Socrates), Cicero (a great Roman prose stylist), Grotius (a 17th century author of theological works), Butler’s Analogy (the full title is “Analogy of Religion Natural and Revealed to the Constitution and Course of Nature”), Aristotle, Mental Philosophy, and Greek Testament. It is not surprising that Warden Baly said of his students “Were it not that their Latin Composition is deficient, they would be on a level with the average Oxford Undergraduates in their second year.” Mount Lavinia In the early part of the twentieth century there by Thiru Arumugam 20 • STC Mount Lavinia Swimmng Pool donated by Dr Hayman in1933 (Courtsey: Sanjeeve De Silva). coaling in the adjacent Colombo harbour. The whole Mutwal school compound was covered in a layer of coal dust. In 1918, the decision was made to move to the more salubrious climate of Mount Lavinia. Dr Hayman arrived in Mount Lavinia in 1929, just over a decade after the school moved from Mutwal. It was believed that he was the first Assistant Master in any school in Ceylon who had a Doctorate, and that too from Oxford. He started teaching Physics and Mathematics with great enthusiasm. He also started a long stream of donations to the College. His father was a well-to-do General Practitioner and built up a portfolio of investments in British stocks and shares which Dr Hayman inherited. This provided Dr Hayman with a steady income stream. He built and donated a set of Fives Courts in 1931. This was the first school in the country to have Fives Courts. In 1933 he built and donated a full-size swimming pool, complete with filtration plant and diving boards. This was the first school in the country to have a swimming pool. He also became the swimming and diving instructor. He also started Scouting in the school. In 1935 he was appointed Sub-Warden of the school. In the new site in Mount Lavinia, the school had embarked on a substantial building program in the 1920s. The buildings included the chapel, classrooms and dormitories. The cost of these buildings was financed by borrowings and the issue of debentures with interest rates of 6 percent and in the 1930s the school was finding it difficult to meet the loan repayments. In 1930 R S de Saram was appointed as the Warden. He was the first old boy and Ceylonese to be the Warden. He also had studied at Keble College, Oxford and won an Oxford Blue for Boxing. The new Sub-Warden was a pillar of strength to the Warden during this difficult financial period, giving substantial donations to the school. As Warden de Saram said “What Dr Hayman has given to the school nobody knows. He gave us our Swimming Pool – everybody knows that. But he has given a great deal more which nobody knows about. It may be seriously doubted whether he knows himself. He does not let his left hand know what his right hand gives.” Hayman purchased the house named “Thalassa”, the Greek word for sea, on the beach adjacent to the College and gave it to the College for use primarily as an Office. The combination of de Saram and Hayman at the helm of the school has been described as “a rare blend of Homer and Einstein!” In April 1942 the School suffered a major setback. The Military inspected the place and gave the School just five days to vacate the premises as they wanted to use it as a Military Hospital. It was decided to break up the School, which had 700 students, into four sections and have classes at St Paul’s Girls School, Milagiriya, sharing the premises with the girls; at Girls High School, Mount Lavinia sharing the premises; at Kingswood College, Kandy, again sharing the premises. The fourth premises was to start a new school at Gurutalawa. Gurutalawa Mr and Mrs Leslie de Saram owned a farm of about 35 acres in a little village called Gurutalawa about five miles from Welimada. Leslie, an old Royalist, was a cousin of Warden de Saram. When they heard that St Thomas College was short of accommodation, they promptly donated the entire Farm to the College, lock, stock and barrel, even including the livestock. There was only one condition attached to the donation, agriculture should be a part of the school curriculum. It was a very generous donation and they even refused to allow their names to be mentioned on the plaque commemorating the donation, it merely says “from two well-wishers”. The only buildings in the Farm were the Manager’s Bungalow, some out-houses, sheds and servants quarters.
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Old 09-02-18, 11:58 PM
sriyanj sriyanj is offline
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Dr Hayman was appointed the Headmaster of the school in April 1942 and he had to prepare the place to accommodate about 50 students. For Dr Hayman, it was a heaven sent opportunity. He had virtually a clean sheet of paper on which to fashion out a school according to his liking. In the long term, he wanted to fashion it after Gordonstoun, the famous school in Scotland where the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales studied, which had an emphasis on outdoor life and inculcation of the spirit of adventure. Hayman followed the policy of Gordonstoun which was “We believe that by offering our students a diverse range of experiences and opportunities which go beyond the classroom

and was an increasing problem of coal dust from ships 21
• Aerial view of STC Guru talawa nestling in the hills, (Courtesy: STCG62 website)

which will challenge and stimulate them physically, emotionally and intellectually, they will develop the qualities and attributes they will need to survive and thrive in a changing world and leave school ready to make a real difference in the world.” Gurutalawa was an unique school and ultimately had outdoor activities not generally found in other schools in Ceylon such as long distance hiking, horse riding, bird watching, involvement in the farm activities and so on. A typical hike was the day trip to World’s End. We would set off at daybreak with a packed lunch of corned beef sandwiches and follow Dr Hayman for about two or three miles on the road to Boralanda. At that time the road ended here and we would follow a climbing track of about seven miles to Ohiya railway station. From Ohiya there was a stiff climb along a bridle path for about a mile through a forest where leopards had been spotted, to the undulating hills of Horton Plains which has an elevation up to 7000 feet. It is difficult to imagine what sort of stupidity caused the Government to plant potatoes later in these beautiful plains in the 1960s. Fortunately it was abandoned. It was designated a National Park in 1988. The path would continue on the Plains, passing streams stocked with trout and the Rest House which was at that time accessible only on foot or horseback, and reach World’s End after about four miles. World’s End is so called because there is a sheer drop of 3000 feet (900 m) to Nonpareil tea estate down below. On a clear day from World’s End there is a beautiful view of southern Ceylon and the Indian Ocean 50 miles (80 km) away. About two years ago, a Dutch honeymooner standing at World’s End stepped backwards to take a photo of his bride and fell over. He fell 130 feet and was entangled in a tree. He was rescued by troops and a helicopter and winched to safety. He was fortunate to have only minor injuries and was the first person to survive a fall from World’s End. After having our packed lunch at World’s End we would walk back to Gurutalawa, an easier walk because it was downhill most of the way. We had to hurry to reach school before dark. The total distance walked in a day was about 30 miles (nearly 50 km) in mountainous terrain. Dr Hayman’s immediate problem at Gurutalawa was to prepare temporary accommodation and classrooms for about 50 students. He also started building a small swimming pool at his own expense. The school started functioning and over the next four years permanent buildings for dormitories, classrooms, dining hall and the chapel were built. The Architect was Shirley D’Alwis who went on to design the University of Peradeniya. Mary Rudd was a member of the Nursing Staff of the Military Hospital which occupied the Mount Lavinia premises. She had come to Diyatalawa with some Army Officers and they hiked the five miles over the patnas to visit Gurutalawa. The first time Dr Hayman met Mary, he had to remove the leeches which had got attached to her feet during the hike. Towards the end of 1945, Dr Hayman went to England on furlough and he and Mary got married there. C H Davidson was appointed Headmaster of Gurutalawa in Dr Hayman’s absence. When Dr Hayman returned from leave, he was asked to act in Mount Lavinia for Warden de Saram who was on long leave, and Dr Hayman returned to Gurutalawa only at the beginning of 1948, after an absence of two years, and remained the Headmaster of Gurutalawa until he retired in 1963. The first thing that he started on after his return was to enlarge the swimming pool into a full size swimming pool. A state of the art filtration plant was added and diving boards installed. All this was done at his own expense. Dr Hayman was the swimming coach and instructor. Allan Smith learned his diving as a student in St Thomas and later went on to represent Ceylon in Diving in the Olympics. Mary, with her medical training, was the Matron of the six-bed sickroom. In the evenings she would dole out medicines to the boys who were sick. The main item was a foul tasting flu mixture which was purchased in bulk in one gallon size bottles. She would also apply dressings to the cuts and bruises sustained by the boys. The writer started his school career at St Thomas College at the age of six years in 1942, when classes were being held at St Paul’s Girl School, Milagiriya. After two years of study there, my father was transferred to Bandarawela. We went off to meet Headmaster W T Keble at St Thomas Prep. School in Bandarawela to ask for admission as a day boy. I was summoned into his Office for an interview. I went in, an eight -year old quaking in his shoes at the prospect of being interviewed by an Englishman. He must have been satisfied with whatever answers I mumbled because a place was offered. By the end of 1945, I had reached the highest class in the Prep. School and it was time to join the school in Gurutalawa in the lowest class there.

22 • Dr Hayman at Buckingham Palace after receiving his MBE. Mrs Hayman is on the left and his sister on the right. (Courtesy: Charmaine Tharumaratnam)

I joined Gurutalawa as a ten-year old Boarder in January 1946 in the lowest class, the Lower Fourth (Year 6). C H Davidson was the Headmaster and his nickname was ‘Poeta’ because of his love for Latin poetry. Mrs S J Anandanayagam was the Form Mistress. Her husband was later the Warden in Mount Lavinia from 1970 to 1977. There were about 20 boys in the class and a total of just over 100 boys in the whole school. When I returned to school for the second term after the Easter holidays, I found that I was the only boy in the class. Even the Form Mistress had disappeared! What had happened was that Mount Lavinia had re-opened after the premises were handed back by the Military to the school and the rest of the class had opted to go to Mount Lavinia. I soon received a summons to see ‘Poeta’ in his Office. He told me that it was uneconomical to run a class for one student and that he had seen my report for the previous term and that it was satisfactory and he was therefore giving me a mid-year promotion to the Upper Fourth class. I had no choice in the matter, but it was initially a struggle to catch up with the year’s work that I had skipped over. A few weeks later, a new boy turned up in the class, his name was V Tharumaratnam and everybody soon called him ‘Tharu’. His parents, who were of Ceylonese origin, were in Malaya but he was sent to Ceylon for his schooling because of the situation in Malaya. A few months later one of our lessons was interrupted by a messenger from the school Office handing over a telegram to the Master. The Master read it, then looked up and said “Tharumaratnam, I am sorry to tell you that your father has been killed”. Tharu cried for a few minutes, then dried his tears and said “Well, I suppose that’s that. But I have to get on with my own life.” An amazing example of his resilience and strength of character for a thirteen year old, which he went on to exhibit over the rest of his life. What had happened was this was the time of the peak of the post-war Communist insurgency in Malaya. The insurgents had kidnapped the staff of the Rubber Estate where Tharu’s father was employed and demanded ransoms for their return from the British estate owners. The owners paid the ransoms for the British staff but not for the others. Whereupon the insurgents executed the non-British staff. A few weeks later the Bursar informed Dr Hayman that the monthly remittance of Tharu’s school fees (about Rs 50) from Malaya had ceased coming after his father’s death. Dr Hayman told the Bursar to give the matter some more time. Shortly afterwards, Tharu’s school fees started coming in, but from a Ceylon source. Later when the Malayan remittances re-started, the payments from the Ceylon source stopped. Years later it was discovered that the Ceylon payments were from Dr Hayman, without any requirement of repayment. One day a foreigner was spotted visiting Dr Hayman in the school Office. One of the boys identified the visitor from a newspaper picture and asked Dr Hayman in the class the next day whether it was Sir Ivor Jennings, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ceylon who visited him. He said “Yes, it was, and it is the third time he has come to see me. Each time he tried to persuade me to join the University as Professor of Physics and each time I gave him the same answer: that I find it far more challenging to mould boys into young men of character than lecture to undergraduates.”

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Old 09-02-18, 11:58 PM
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Dr Hayman tried to make his Physics and Maths classes as interesting as possible. One day he was teaching an abstruse topic in Advanced Maths which yours truly was finding difficult to understand. He spotted this and asked me whether I had difficulty in following him. I nodded sheepishly. Just then the bell rang for the end of the class and he said simply: “Leave it with me”. The next day he gave me two pages of notes in his own handwriting and said that if I read the notes I would understand the topic. Such was the nature of the man. Present day teachers would probably canvass private tuition! In December 1949, a few days after my 14th birthday, I sat for the Senior School Certificate examination, the predecessor to the GCE ‘O’ Levels. 23 • STC Gurutalawa Swimming Pool donated by Dr Hayman in 1953 with the Chapel in the background (Courtesy: STCG62 Website) As this was the highest class at Gurutalawa, the next step was to move to the associated College in Mount Lavinia to the College Form which was the University Entrance class. All the boys in our class who were proceeding for further studies were looking forward to this because of the prestige of being in the College Form, which included graduating from shorts to long trousers! A few days before the end of term, I received an unexpected summons from Dr Hayman to see him in the Office. He asked me whether I realised that I could not sit for the University Entrance exam in two years’ time because the minimum age of entry to the University was 17 years. He suggested that instead of marking time for an extra year in the College Form, I could stay back in Gurutalawa for an extra year. He said that while I would nominally be a member of the Upper Sixth class (Year 10), whenever he had an off period and he was free, he would give me tuition on a one-toone basis in Physics and Maths at ‘A’ Level standard. I thanked him for the generous offer and gave the valid excuse that my father was on transfer orders to proceed to Colombo and that he was already looking for a house to rent near the Mount Lavinia school so that I could study there as a day boy. He accepted that and allowed me to proceed to the College Form. That was my last contact with Dr Hayman as a student. Dr Hayman continued to teach Physics and Maths at Gurutalawa, but the writing was on the wall. The medium of school education switched to Sinhala and Tamil. There were insufficient students for an English stream at Gurutalawa. He made a valiant effort by studying Sinhala to ‘O’ Level standard, but did not feel confident to teach in the Sinhala medium. His usefulness as a school teacher in Ceylon was over. He had always intended to live his retirement years in Ceylon, but now that he had to retire early, he decided to go back to England and teach there for a few more years. His last Prize Day speech as a Headmaster was in 1962 when he said “A school is not merely concerned with the attainment of success in the scholastic and sporting fields. One of its most important tasks is to prepare boys to take their place in life, when they leave school. Not only must it do this by inculcating a spirit of toughness and determination, but also by teaching them the art of gracious living … It was not merely by a display of courtesy that a man was to be made … but rather it was by his whole approach to life that a man would prove his mettle.” Dr Hayman retired on 14th March 1963 and returned to his home in Bournemouth. He and Mary did not have any children and he considered the Thomian schoolboys as his children and that is why he donated so lavishly to the College from his inherited wealth. The first 21 years, the golden years of Gurutalawa, were over. The school has continued to flourish and expand since then and last year celebrated its 75th anniversary. Retirement days The UK New Year’s Honours list of 1964 included the award of an MBE to Dr Hayman for services to education in Ceylon. He decided to attend the investiture personally and went to Buckingham Palace accompanied by Mary and his sister. The awards were given out by the Duke of Edinburgh to the 150 recipients. Dr Hayman was surprised to find that the Duke had done his homework and spoke to many of the award recipients. He asked Dr Hayman whether he was still teaching in UK and how his former school was getting on. Dr Hayman considered this day the most memorable day of his life.. Dr Hayman continued to teach for a few more years at a local school in Bournemouth. He made a few visits to Ceylon after he retired. In 1970 he visited Gurutalawa to open the new Hayman Science Laboratory, to the cost of which he had contributed generously. The plinth in the building states simply “To spend and be spent in the service of others is his greatest privilege”. In 1978 Dr and Mrs Hayman visited Gurutalawa from January to April. On their return trip to England they stopped over in Ibadan, Nigeria as guests of his former pupil, V Tharumaratnam. Dr Hayman had been Tharu’s Guardian when he was a schoolboy. Tharu’s son, Biran recollects that the highlight of their visit was “to see the Oba (King) of Ife. After meeting the King (a man in his 40’s), he was given a tour of the palace and noticed several women ranging in age from 90 to early 20’s, it was explained to Dr Hayman that these were all of the King’s wives which was in the order of 70 to 80 in number. When Dr Hayman inquired why the King had so many wives, it was explained that it was customary for the King not only to marry multiple wives to establish his status, but he was also required to inherit and look after the wives of his dead father as well. Not sure how Dr Hayman or Mrs Hayman both Christians, personally felt about this, as they did not show it, but 24 Important notice to our contributors seemed quite fascinated about this custom at the time.” Dr Hayman’s final visit to Gurutalawa was in early 1983 to open the Keble Dormitory, the cost of which had been met by Dr Hayman. The Income Tax Department promptly slapped on a charge of Gift Tax. It was an irony which appealed to his considerable wit. Dr Hayman had not been very well during his last visit to Gurutalawa in March 1983 and in the first week of May there was news that Dr Hayman was terminally ill in a Nursing Home in Bournemouth. Tharumaratnam and I were residing in London at that time and we promptly motored down with our wives to Bournemouth to see him. When we went there, the Nurse told us that he was very tired and weak and we should go in two at a time and spend not more than five minutes with him. Tharu and I went in first and he spoke to us and thanked us for coming. Our wives then went in, and not recognising them as our wives, he told them excitedly “Did you see those two boys who just went out. We did not have many boys like them afterwards”. It certainly made the day for the two ‘boys’ even though they were in their fifties! Dr Hayman passed away peacefully a few days later on 07 May 1983 at the age of 81 years. His funeral was on 12 May in Bournemouth and the funeral service prior to burial was by Right Revd. Lakshman Wickremasinghe, an old boy of Gurutalawa and Keble College, Oxford and uncle of present Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The opening sentence of Dr Hayman’s last will was “I direct that my funeral shall be of the cheapest kind consistent with decency and no expensive memorial stone should be erected.” Mary Hayman lived on in Bournemouth for another 25 years. She made two more trips to Ceylon. In 1987 she opened the R S de Saram Memorial Library and in 1992 she was the Chief Guest at Gurutalawa’s 50th Anniversary Dinner. She passed away in Bournemouth on 17 November 2008, aged 94 years. In her will she left a substantial bequest to the College which formed the nucleus of the “Hayman Foundation” which was for fundraising for future school buildings. Prof C C De Silva, an old boy and eminent Paediatrician and Member of the Board of Governors of the College had this to say about Dr Hayman “No single man has done so much or given so generously both materially and intellectually to St Thomas College, or to any other school for that matter in Ceylon, at any time in her long history. I think I can pronounce that as an indisputable, incontrovertible, statement of fact”.
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