Charlie Selvadurai - father of Nuwara Eliya Table Tennis
Charlie Selvadurai (Selva to his friends) passed away in Singapore on
June 30 after a long illness.
Charlie was born on November 3, 1932. His father was R R Selvadurai,
a District Judge who retired as Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of
He studied at S Thomas’ College Mt Lavinia and the University of
Charlie was known to TT followers as the dynamic founder of the
Nuwara Eliya Table Tennis Association.
It heralded a golden age for table tennis in the district which
included players like Angelo Britto, Dr T Harichandran, Bill Murugesan,
T P Balendran, Orville Wijesinghe, Tennis ace Rupert Ferdinands and
Mervyn Rodrigo to name a few.
I first met Charlie in the early 60’s when the Bank of Ceylon (Nuwara
Eliya Branch) invited the Colombo players to play in a local tournament.
This was a forerunner to bigger and better things when the Nuwara Eliya
District TTA was formed in the mid 60’s.
Its annual tournament was very popular among the Colombo players
because of the great hospitality shown by the hosts as well as it was a
welcome reprieve from the heat of Colombo. It created a lot of interest
in the District and produced as a lot of new players. At one of the
tournaments, a great deal of excitement was created among the locals
when Rupert Ferdinands (Ceylon Brewery) beat former National Champion
Charlie Daniel. Table Tennis had come to Nuwara Eliya.
Charlie was a visionary and a doer and quickly latched on to the idea
of a formal District Association as a vehicle for promoting TT in the
District and was rewarded by the success of a local player, we commonly
called Thambi whose real name was as I recall, Thangarajah.
Charlie was Company Secretary in the Ceylon Brewery (Nuwara Eliya)
before he left in 1970 to join the Maharajah Organization as its Company
Secretary. In 1972, he migrated to Singapore with his family.
In Singapore, he joined the DBS Bank and advanced to become a Vice
President before he retired.
In Singapore, Charlie actively involved himself in the Church being
Treasurer of St Andrew’s Cathedral and St Andrew’s Mission Hospital. He
was also involved in the Association for the Blind and the Diocese of
Charlie was also on the Singapore National Crime Prevention Council
and he was awarded the Public Service Medal (PBM) for his work.
He was a keen amateur radio fan and soon had his own call sign 9VIUV.
He joined the Singapore Amateur Radio Transmitting Society and was
President for many years. He was instrumental in setting up the Amateur
Radio Station at the Singapore Science Centre.
Charlie was also Director of the International Amateur Radio Union
Region 3 from 2000 to 2006.
He leaves behind his wife Pearl, daughter Naomi, son Ravin, daughter
Noelle, son-in-law Frank, daughter-in-law Jermaine and Naomi’s two
lovely children Jerusha and Matthew.
Charlie was a man of God who lived a full life.
I will miss him.