At that time (late 60's and early 70's) the British Council was at the house/building adjoining the Colombo Swimming Club in Colpetty. The British Council allowed 3 books and once one became teenager, two magazines/periodicals as well.
The US Embassy and the now abandoned British High Commission were non existent. The site of the current US Embassy was a school, mixed but may not have been Govt. I think it was like Althea, catering to an English medium school population. I used to travel by train from Koralawella, Moratuwa get off at Colpetty, walk through the school to the Galle Road and then to British Council. The site of the old British High Commission was walled around, and the wall facing the Galle Road had a pavement second hand bookshop, quite similar to the ones still around at McCallums Road, Maradana. Bambalapitya and Wellawatte also had similar second hand pavement bookshops. I still remember the name of one of the bookshops in Wellawatte, Chinthaka which was the owners name.
Alexandre Dumas was one of the many personalities of fame whom many were unaware of their Black/African heritage. Alexandre Dumas's grand mother was a slave in Haiti.
Another famous personality was Paul Robeson of Swing Low Sweet Chariot fame, a favorite singer that my mother and father liked. Unhappily many African Americans are completely unaware of of the pioneering achievements of Paul Robeson. Varsity and NFL Football Player (Rutgers and NFL's Milwaukee Badgers) , Lawyer, Actor and Social Activist.
Even with all the reading, I was still a "Godaya" who had no knowledge of what to listen. The Library Assistant an older gent (he was there in the Flower Road Center too) just had this supercilious attitude when I didnt even know what to records to request. He picked out two record to play which I still remember Osi Bisa and Chicago . Every week I went to listen to records. Listened to The Temptations
|OsiBisa Album Cover of Woyaya|
OsiBisa had great Psychedelic album covers too. The first two albums had artwork (and logo) by famed rock artist Roger Dean (before he became famous for his artwork), depicting flying elephants which became the symbol for the band.
Update: Looks like Osibisa is quite the PC musical group, playing Raghupati Ragava Raja Ram ( Ishvar Allah tero naam)