Thurburn House (Public Trustee Department)

Thurburn House
Thurburn House, presently the Public Trustee Department, is a government office situated on the corner of Bauddhaloka Mawatha and Bullers Lane in Colombo 7, Sri Lanka. It was the property of Sir Don Baron Jayatilaka (b.1868-d.1944), an educationalist, scholar and statesman.

Don Baron Jayatilaka
Sir D. B. Jayatilaka was a Sri Lankan Sinhalese educationalist, statesman and diplomat. He was also the Vice-President of the Legislative Council of Ceylon; the Minister for Home Affairs and Leader of the House of the State Council of Ceylon and the Representative of the Government of Ceylon in New Delhi, India. An ardent scholar of Buddhism, he was instrumental in establishing the Young Men’s Buddhist Association (YMBA), one of the key Buddhist movements in the country to promote the teachings of the Buddha Dhamma to the youth. He helped uplift Dharmaraja College, Kandy and Ananda College, Colombo, during his time as their principal.

D. B. Jayatilaka was also a key personality in the establishment of the Office of the Public Trustee and was one of the first to donate his property to it.

Public Trustee Department
Founded on 22 November 1930 with enforcing the Public Trustee Ordinance No.1 of 1922, the Public Trustee Department started its operations in 1931. In the last will of D.B. Jayatilaka, dated January 4, 1933, he bestowed Pitakanda Estate, a coconut estate and Thurburn House to the Public Trustee Department and insisted that the Department's office should operate from the House as long as it functions in the country. 

Thurburn House
Built on a 30.5-perch land, the house is said to have been constructed by D. B. Jayatilaka between 1928 and 1930. The bricks for the house have been brought from his family kiln in Kelaniya. In 2018, a statue of Sir Don Baron Jayatilaka was erected in front of the Thurburn House.

See also

Location Map
This page was last updated on 6 September 2023
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