‘The symbol of authority and sovereignty’
My ancestors belonged to the
royal court. They served the court for ages with loyality, dignity, and
pride. I was born in 1649 to my father Thomas Maundy maker of maces
during the British Commonwealth. The mace was especially the symbol of
the Speaker’s authroty in the House of Commons in the Untied Kingdom. So
during my young days, I was subject to many changes on my body.
My body appearance was in the form of a slender pole named shaft. At
one end blade-like flanges are attached to make my body strong and the
other end a knob in the form of head. It was decorated with pivotal
devices and similar ornaments enriched with precious metals. Expert
craftsmen pierced and decorated the flanged ends of the mace
beautifully. By now I reached adulthood and looked pretty.
I bore a rich appearance fit enough to serve the legislature assembly
of our country. So I was chosen to represent authority of each chamber
and the royal authority of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen of
the United Kingdom as well in the House of Commons in a Westminster
The Houses of the UK Parliament can’t lawfully meet without my
presence. The mace represent the authority of the sovereign, they are
carried before the Speakers of both Houses (the House of Commons and the
House of Lords) when they enter or leave the chamber.
It was clear when Sri Lanka gained independence from British rule,
the need for a Parliamentary Government and a Cabinet system on the
British model was evident. I was the best choice for Sri Lanka at the
ceremonial opening. They could not have chosen a better ambassador. It
was an unforgettable moment in my life to attend the grand ceremonial
opening of Parliament in Sri Lanka. A tall figure smartly dressed with a
jutting our nose and a heavy moustache carried me on his shoulders
before the Speaker.
The mace represents the authority of the sovereign among a dignified
crowd who gathers for the ceremony. Uprooting oneself from the land of
one’s birth and adjusting to life in a new land with people in a totally
different cultural environment is not easy.
I must confess since arriving in Sri Lanka, I participated actively
in the socio-economic and political process which has given me
tremendous joy and an innor satisfaction difficult to put into words. I
have had great fulfilment in my chosen profession which has given me the
opportunity of meeting people of many lands and from various walks of
life. It has been an enriching and rewarding experience in my newly
found home on the banks of the Diyawanna Oyla.
- Tissa Hewavitarana