Brief History of Mercantile Hockey Association


By M.H.Yakeem

17th July 1952   –  Hockey Section of the Mercantile Amateur Athletic Association was  inaugurated.

31st March 1957- The Mercantile Hockey Association was inaugurated.

In the year 1952, the Hockey Section of the Amateur Athletic Association was inaugurated. The first President  was R.Van Twest  and Secretary Mr. S. Wickramatileke. Mr. M.Anthony  had the honour of being the first Mercantile Captain.

In 1956, this Hockey section toured South India and was the first team to register victory on foreign soil. The historic team comprised of Hugh Aldons { Capt.], V.G.Prins { V.Capt.} , Kretser ( Jnr ), Ivan de Kretser, C.T.A. Shaffter, Dennis de Rosayro, A.D.Costa, T.S.Adahan, P.Wright, K.Sampathan, Denzil  Perera, Chandra Silva, D.Henricus, Rienzie Perera, H.Mahamoor, E.Wickramatileke ( Manager ).

Mercantile’s  performance at the Senior and Junior Nationals of Sri – Lanka.

In the first ever Senior Nationals of Sri-Lanka in 1956, Mercantile emerged as  Joint Champs with Matale 3 all, under the Captaincy of Hugh Aldons. Thereafter  they have emerged as Champions in 10 occasions ( 1957 , 1959, 1968, 1969, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1990, 1995 ). Emerged  as Joint Champs on 6 occasions ( 1956, 1962, 1970, 1975, 1991, 1992 ). As Runner up in 3 occasions ( 1998, 2003, 2005 ).

In the Junior Nationals Hockey Championships of Sri – Lanka, which was inaugurated in 1973 as an under 23 tournament and from 1996, the authorities concerned has made as an under 21 tournament. In the Junior Nationals, Mercantile has emerged as Champions on 4 occasions ( 1974, 1982, 1985, 1989 ) and emerged as Joint Champs against Matale Maroons in 1994.

Mercantile created a unique history , when their Senior and Juniors bagging both the Championships in 1982. The Mercantile Senior team comprised of Sarath Wimalasinghe ( Capt.), Quintus Fernando ,

(V.Capt.), M.F. Laheer, A.Dharmasiriwardena, M.Jahn, R.Hewathanthri, K.Soundaranayagam, B.L.V.S.Perera, Kingston de Silva, M.Manoharan, S.Mclelland, C.Poopalasingham, J.Fernandopulle, A.Passela, Joy  Anthonypillai, M.Jaldin  by beating Matale 1 goal to nil, which was organized by the Galle Hockey Association for the first time and played at the Galle esplanade.

The Junior team comprised of  Joy Anthonypillai ( Capt. ), S.H.M.Kuthubdeen, A.K.M.Rizwie, A.Dharmasiriwardena, J.Fernanadopulle, L.Ittapana, D.Jayasena, Kingston de Silva, Ravi Hewathanthri, M.Jhan, M.H.Yakeem, H.L.D.C.Pushpakumar, N.D.K.Perera, S.H.Uvaisul Karnain, C.Poopalasingham, where they beat Sri-Lanka Schools by 5 goals to nil, played at the Police ground , Bambalapitiya. Both teams were coached by Dennis de Rosayro.

Mr. Dennis de Rosayro played a vital role in Mercantile Hockey serving as the President  for the period of 30 years from 1978 – 2008. The dedication and commitment of this gentlemen to the game and the Association cannot be described  in mere words as the actions speaks for themselves.  He has been the heart and soul of this well  run ,well managed and well  disciplined MHA machinery. With time passing by ,the gentlemen he is, made it to known the mantle has to be passed to the younger generation , where he handed over  doing a yeoman service to Mercantile Hockey  at the end of a 31 year leadership in March 2008.

Few well known Cricketers who represented Mercantile Hockey in the Senior and Junior Nationals of Sri-Lanka were C.T.A. Shaffter ( 1956), T.M.S.Saldin ( 1964), R.Heyn ( 1965), David Heyn ( 1966) ,Anura Tennakoon ( 1968), H. Jeganathan ( 1975), Ranil Abeynaike ( 1975), Ishak Shahabdeen ( 1976), S.Jeganathan ( 1977), A.J.Rumy ( 1977 ), A.K.M.Rizwie (1981 ), S.H.M.Kuthubdeen (1981 ), S.H.Uvaisul Karnain ( 1982 Junior Nationalist ).

Mercantile Hockey Association Takes Pride in Felicitating Mr.Dennis De Rosayro for the Distinguished Services Rendered as President for the period 1978 – 2008

From left : Mr. Mahinda Wijayaratne ( President  2008/2009 ), Mr.Hemaka  Amarasuriya ( Patron 1989/2007/08 ), Mr. Dennis De Rosayro ( President 1978/2008 ), Mr. Mervyn Preena ( Vice President 2004/2007/08 ).