Memoirs of Dugald Gonsal, OBE

Interviewee:                          Dugald Gonsal
Born:                                    12th April 1935
Date of Interview:                  13th  June 2014
Length of Interview:               45 Minutes
Interviewer:                           Gayle Bartholomeusz



CLICK HERE to listen on a mobile device.


Dugald (The Determined) Gonsal, OBE has enjoyed many successes in life due to his diligence and attention to detail. He has also had his share of challenges from discrimination in Ceylon to health issues in the UK. Don’t get too scared as you listen to strategies he employed to bring into line large corporations and some of the more challenging of his 600 staff members in Camden.

Detailed summary (with time stamping for ease of access)


0:00:07.0: The year and where I was born.

0:00:43.7: What it was like growing up in Ceylon.

0:01:34.3: Why I have never been back to Ceylon and don't ever want to go back.

0:02:49.8: Keeping in touch with old friends from St Benedict’s College to this day.

0:02:33.4: My friends and I never saw ourselves as Burgher, Sinhalese or Tamil until this time.

0:03:31.1: My interest in the army and cadets. The Burgher Regiment.

0:05:55.5: My family name.

0:06:20.1: The website I help run.

0:06:48.1: My grandmother had 17 children.

0:07:50.7: My Happiest memories of Ceylon.

0:09:47.2: Racism towards Burghers - with me on the receiving end at Ceylon University.

0:11:06.8: My experience at Ceylon Technical College.

0:12:31.0: I then started to teach myself.

0:13:22.1: I passed my exams but the Ceylon Government tried to bar me from working abroad. How I got around this.

0:14:30.9: I think most Burghers got a bad deal. How I channelled this bad deal to my advantage.

0:15:48.2: I came to London by plane.

0:16:28.6: My first job in London and where I stayed.

0:18:24.5: My job in local government where I worked for 35 years.

0:20:33.1: I felt slight tension in Ceylon.

0:21:43.3: I haven’t personally experienced racism in the UK.

0:23:26.0: My family's qualifications.

0:24:04.1: How I got an OBE and my letter from Tony Blair.

0:27:59.4: What I do to keep the Burgher culture alive /my designing of websites / problems with genealogy websites.

0:29:40.5: My second wife is English and she cooks curry.

0:30:17.2: I now run a website championing the causes of local people.

0:31:47.6: What else I do in my spare time. ' My dog Bonnie'

0:32:30.6: How I defeated serious illness in 2007.

0:33:19.5: The secret of my resilience.

0:35:28.2: What matters to me regarding my culture.

0:35:52.6: Why I have always considered myself British.

0:37:00.3: The mistake Sri Lanka made by doing what they did to the Burghers.

Some strategies for dealing with challenging people and corporations during my career

0:37:33.3: The staff member with 163 sick days.

0:40:35.2: The staff member who was taking money from parking meters for 9 years.

0:42:35.2: My strategy for dealing with Thames Water repeatedly digging up roads and not caring about the disruption they were causing.

0:44:35.5: Why a manager at Onyx used my photo as a dartboard.

The End