PROTESTANT MARRIAGES NUWARA ELIYA CEYLON
A register of marriages (about 1000 names) in Holy Trinity Church, Nuwara Eliya, include people of all races. Tamils mainly from the tea estates or the labouring classes who had converted to Christianity from Hinduism, the Burghers who were mainly descended from the Dutch, the Cingalese some with Portuguese names and the British who were so short of female company that they often married local girls. Others took their pick from the ladies who ostensibly came to Ceylon for a holiday but secretly they were looking for a husband and known as the ‘fishing fleet’ and they certainly had plenty of choice. The girls usually stayed in a hotel or with friends and are recorded in the register as ‘arrived from England.’
Nuwara Eliya with its comfortable climate was a good base for marriages and appealed to the Europeans. Under the influence of Sir Samuel Baker (1846) the hill station had become a prosperous commercial town and a carbon copy of an English village. The church was completed in 1852 and attracted many engaged couples from other parts of Ceylon to have their weddings in an atmosphere reminiscent of home.
Author Eileen Hewson
Publisher The Kabristan Archives 2009