On Saturday 29 June 2019, Auchenblae Heritage Society will unveil a statue to commemorate James Taylor, the Scottish father of Ceylon tea. The event is a result of may years hard work and commitment by Auchenblae Heritage Society.
Auchenblae’s most famous son left the village aged 16 to work in the coffee plantations of Ceylon. Taylor had been experimenting with tea plants, and when coffee blight struck, he planted the first commercial tea field at Loolecondera, near Kandy.
After designing and installing the first tea roller, commercial production followed, and tea of the highest quality was shipped worldwide, creating an industry that is still vital to the Sri Lankan economy.
‘Revered throughout the Island, this Tea Pioneer is little known in his own country,’ said one of the, organisers of the event. ‘The Auchenblae Heritage Society hope that the Statue will give him the recognition and prominence he deserves.’
Designed by Prof Sarath Chandrajeewa and gifted to the Society by Mr Anselm Perera of Mlesna Teas, Colombo, Sri Lanka, the statue will overlook the Auchenblae Village square and be surrounded by tea plants, which were gifted by Kinnettles Tea, Forfar.
The event is to be attended by representatives of the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka, Scottish Government Ministers and guests from the local community.
There will be refreshments for the invited guests in the Village Hall, and are delighted to say that the Brae Cafe will also offering refreshments on the day.
The unveiling will take place at MacKenzie Avenue, Auchenblae, starting at 11am on Saturday 29, please go along and enjoy the day.