An ideal story to be heralded by my version of Defying Gravity that I recorded with Waylon Jennings, many moons ago. Also, I am very proud to say that THIS smiling Executioner Ernie Kelaart served in the Royal Ceylon Navy with me, and everything they say about him is so true.
There was nothing it seems, in sports, that Ernie wasn’t a Champion at. He was also a Champion guy,, loved and respected by everyone who knew him.
Born in 1922 and passed on in 2008, Ernest Kelaart, we/salute you. Rest in peace, my friend, and God bless you.
The writer has touched on the period 1953 to 1986, when Ernest C Kelaart was a National and International player from 1955 to 1964 and premier Division player for the Burgher Recreation Club (BRC) from 1954 to 1978 and Heath & Company up to 1986, thus having played with and against these great players. He also goes back to 1947 to remember with gratitude, those legends who paved the way for us to follow.
Oozing with talent, Ernie Kelaart excelled in the Centre Half position but could have performed with equal versatility in any other position, barring of course, Goal Keeper.
His dazzling stick work and uncanny anticipation was the hallmark of his game.
I would call him a smiling executioner when finishing a move.
He was a star performer both at cricket and hockey in the 1940s up to 1958, when he had to play for the Ceylon Navy. He captained both the cricket and hockey teams.
As a leading all-rounder at the Burgher Recreation Club, he played for Ceylon in 1949 versus Pakistan and West Indies.
In 1952, he was one of the four selected to represent a Combined Team of Ceylon/India/ Pakistan/Australia versus Donald Carr’s MCC team. The others being FC de Saram (captain), CI Gunasekera and Ben Navaratne.
Incidentally, MCC lost by an innings and 259 runs. He also played in the unofficial Test. He was a middle order batsman and an off-break bowler of considerable skill.
In 1953, he toured Madras with the Ceylon team which beat Madras HA for the Gopalan Trophy.
Ernie emigrated to Melbourne, Australia in 1963 with his wife Barbara and family.
Ernest (Ernie) C. Kelaart (born 1922) (Centre Half) (Burgher Recreation Club and Combined Services)
1947 vs Afghanistan
1947 vs India
1948 vs Indian Olympic team
1953 Ceylon H.A. tour of Madras and Bangalore (vice captain)
1955 vs Madras HA
1956 vs Mysore HA
Next: Hugh Aldons