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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 Justice.

He studied at S Thomas’ College Mt Lavinia and the University of Ceylon (Peradeniya).

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 Singapore.

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.

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