George Wall Memorial Fountain in Colombo (ජෝර්ජ් වෝල් අනුස්මරණ වතුර මල)

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George Wall was born on December 22, 1820, in North Shields, Northumberland, England, and relocated to Ceylon in 1846, drawn by its favourable climate. He assumed the role of acting manager at the Ceylon Plantation Company in Kandy. Wall continued his tenure with the company until 1854, at which point he founded his own enterprise, George Wall and Company, specializing in coffee trade and estate agency services.

Establishing an office in Colombo, Wall’s business swiftly flourished, attaining significant importance and elevating his stature accordingly. He notably became the inaugural English chairman of the Planters’ Association of Ceylon from 1856 to 1857, subsequently being re-elected to this position nine times. However, with the failure of coffee, his large fortune also dwindled. In later days he was the editor of the Ceylon Independent.

He was an agitator for reforms of the Legislative Council of Ceylon of which he was himself for some time a member, land latterly for the abolishing of paddy tax. He wrote a book on the “Origin of Evil” and many pamphlets and letters on coffee and other tropical cultures. He also wrote 2 books on the Ferns of Ceylon published in 1873 and 1879.

He built a house in Nuwara Eliya called “Keena House” and equipped it with an observatory. One single special lens for the telescope is said to have cost him £300 at that time (today’s equivalent of £45,000). However, with the coffee crash, this house too went under the hammer and sold for £50.  George Wall and Company was subsequently taken over by Bosanquet and Company.

George Wall passed away in St. Thomas Home in London on 18th December 1894 at the age of 72 briefly after arriving in London from Colombo. His friends in Ceylon erected this Hindu-Saracenic fountain of Doulton ware, standing in a triangular plot off Union Place, Slave Island in memory of George Wall. The tablet affixed to the fountain bears the simple inscription “George Wall, Philanthropist.”

References

  1. Manathunga, S.B. (2020) පෞරාණික ස්ථාන හා ස්මාරක : කොළඹ දිස්ත්‍රික්කය . 3rd edn. Colombo, Sri Lanka: Department of Archaeology.
  2. Lewis, J.P. (1913) List of Inscriptions on Tombstones and Monuments in Ceylon : Of Historical or Local Interest, with an obituary of persons uncommemorated. Colombo: H C Cottle.
  3. Wright, A. (1907) Twentieth Century Impressions of Ceylon: Its History, People, Commerce, Industries, and Resources. London: Lloyd’s Greater Britain Publishing Company, Ltd.

Also See

Map of George Wall Memorial Fountain

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Travelling Directions to George Wall Memorial Fountain

Route from Fort to George Wall Memorial Fountain
Via :
Distance : 3.2 km
Travel time : 10 minutes
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