Memoirs of Trevor Patrick Neydorff

Interviewee:                          Trevor Patrick Neydorff
Born:                                    22nd December 1949
Date of Interview:                  06th May 2014
Length of Interview:               50 minutes
Interviewer:                           Sarah Lowry


CLICK HERE to listen on a mobile device.

Tenacious Trevor and his family could not leave Sri Lanka with the other Burghers as his mother was terminally ill and no country would take them in. Listen to his sadness as he watched his family and friends leaving their homeland. Hear how, when his father lost his job, The Sri Lankan Observer Newspaper reported that his was the first Burgher family to become street hawkers in order to survive. Discover how he nearly died the day he was shot in cross fire and how he triumphed and turned things around with the help of his wife Susi.

Detailed summary (with time stamping for ease of access)


0:00:00.0: Introduction.

0:00:11.0: When & where I was born.

0:00:37.0: What it was like growing up in Ceylon.

0:01:13.8: Where I lived as a child.

0:01:54.0: Life as a child: School, music, free time and family.

0:03:56.0: Pioneering business through the troubles.

0:05:26.0: The start of my career and birth of the 'Peter Austin Neydorff & Sons' clearance house.

0:06:57.1: The structure of my family.

0:07:34.8: My father's original job in the press.

0:08:14.0: My grandfather, Mr Samuel David Gibson.

0:09:37.0: The death of Mr Gibson prior to our proposed leaving for London.

0:10:07.7: My grandmother and uncles.

0:10:58.5: Why I'm a Burgher (my family tree).

0:12:13.8: The Burgher way of resolving marital disputes and family roles.

0:13:30.0: Friendly
neighbourly relationships and pastimes .

0:15:27.3: Other Burgher characteristics and the near disappearance of the Burgher identity.

0:16:51.9: Burgher food I enjoyed as a child.

0:17:17.2: Tales from my schooling.

0:18:17.1: The political cause of the trouble in Ceylon & how it escalated.

0:21:46.3: The flaw with Ceylonese becoming the national language.

0:22:13.5: What I enjoyed studying at school & respect.

0:23:04.0: How the British built up Ceylon.

0:23:30.0: The LTT (Tigers) and how a disillusioned Singhala people tried to overthrow the government and why.

0:24:16.0: Watching the Burgher community gradually emigrate.

0:25:30.0: Why I stayed in Ceylon when others left, despite wanting to go.

0:28:14.0: Working for an honest company under pressure to change & why.

0:29:34.5: Crushing the civilian insurgence in Ceylon & how to find out the truth.

0:31:20.0: Blown up on the day of the insurgence and the stupidity of the action (and related actions).

0:32:41.0: Living through the troubles as a Burgher.

0:34:50.2: Experiences in the Middle East.

0:37:40.5: The Burgher community in the Middle East and almost drowning.

0:38:18.5: Why I believe God has a purpose for me.

0:38:32.0: Who really shot Mr R.Ghandi.

0:38:54.0: Shot in the chest 1 day before the signing of the 'Peace Accord' and the need to lead a 'good' life.

0:42:08.3: When I decided to come to the UK.

0:42:23.5: My children and getting them to Private School despite the troubles.

0:43:40.0: How I ended up in England.

0:45:41.2: First impressions of London.

0:46:49.8: Burghers in the UK Message.

The End