2021 Feb 22
“Saturday, 9th May 1992, was a red-letter day for the historic city of Galle when President Premadasa unveiled the plaque declaring the city as a WORLD HERITAGE site. It is therefore of not only Lankan but of all mankind.”
The sweet Southern escape of most Sri Lankans, Galle is a town that is rich in history. “A quiet town dreaming by the sea” to Norah Roberts, it is now a popular destination for all kinds of local and foreign visitors. As quiet and dreamy as the city can be, Galle has risen to a busy, yet accessible, retreat.
Galle as Quiet as Asleep is a well-researched book of facts. The author has put her 40 years of experience of being the librarian of The Galle Library to excellent use. The book has a lot of history on Galle, so be ready to flip through a million dates, people, and detailed stories of how things came to be. She writes on how Galle unfolded into its greatness through the rule of Portuguese, Dutch and the British. Amidst hundreds of historical references, it contains valuable information on Galle as Ceylon’s first port during the first eight decades of the British era.
For those must-do evening strolls, whichever your favourite Galle-Street is, the book has it all. From Church Street to Leyn Baan Street, from Rampart Street to Lighthouse Street, you are sure to find how all of them came to life.
“In 1867, the first telegraph message from New York was received in Galle… In 1869, the Galle green market was constructed by the Municipal Council. The fruit market followed in 1880.”
In each line of this book, you will find facts and figures. The amount of research that has gone into the making of this book is inconceivable. She takes you to the time of kings to late politicians in her in-depth explanation of the city. Ethnic diversity is abundantly addressed in the book as well. Politics, trade, architecture, and social practices that prevailed during the time are also a highlight.
This book is not only an account of Galle but a history lesson in the form of storytelling of our country. It also captures the remnants of the Tsunami in Galle, some of which are still preserved in its museums. Last but not very least, political humour is an unmissable trait of this work, which makes it an interesting read.
Turn again Dick Wittington
‘Our W’ of GALLE
Grow along with me
The best is yet to be-“Dear Galle”