Building bridges of friendship between France and Lanka
A writer, photographer and most of all a man with a large heart
Philippe Fabry was honoured with the decoration of 'Chevalier (Knight)
de l'Ordre National du Merite' by French Ambassador Jean Bernard de
Vaivre recently at his residence in Colombo.
Fabry was honoured with this decoration for the numerous activities
accomplished during the past few years in Asia and particularly in Sri
He is considered as one of the few people engaged in building bridges
of friendship between France and Sri Lanka through his numerous talents
Fabry has built two boat yards in Beliatta and Batticaloa to train
people to build boats. The Batticaloa team comprises all females and
"they are fantastic", he said.
Born in 1952, Fabry left France very early in life to travel around
the world. On his first visit to Sri Lanka in 1980, he worked as a
Mahout at the Elephant Village of S. R. A. Millangoda for a few months
before he left for Singapore, Jakarta, Sydney and around the world.
Several years later, while again in Singapore, Fabry was offered the
post of GM of Alison and Son, a company working for Levi's and other
major brands. He came with his family and settled down in Negombo
initially but shifted to Colombo due to his children's schooling after
eight years. Initially the company placed orders in Seeduwa, Malabe and
The designing offices were in Italy and France while the head office
was in Hong Kong.
There were equivalent production in China as well which made them to
decide to close the operations in Sri Lanka.
"I was offered a posting in Hong Kong but I turned it down and stayed
back and met Prof. Senake Bandaranayake at the Central Cultural Fund and
set up the photo archives on a voluntary basis.
I was also working for the French Photo Agency SIPA as a
photographer", said Fabry.
Due to an oversight our headline last week read as "Italian honoured
for building boats and bridges of friendship."
The error is regretted.