About Dr.R.L. Brohier
Dr. Richard Leslie Brother was the son of Richard Annesley Bohier (jr.) and Marion de Boer and was born on 5th October, 1892
He was of French (Huguenot) descent, the founder of the family, Captain jean (john) Brohier having arrived in the Island Ceylon, In 1777, in service under the Dutch East India Company (VOC). His grandfather was Pater Brohier, the translator of Rev. Baldeus' book, "The true and exact description of the Great Island of Ceylon". No doubt the literary tradition in the family blossomed further in Richard Leslie, resulting in numerous publications pertaining to the history and antiquities of Sri Lanka, as well as writing on the heritage of its people.
He lived a full life to the ripe old age of 87 years, and died on 14 th February 1980. This year (2015) is the thirty fifth anniversary of his death and the one hundred and twenty three years of his birth. After his education at the Royal (Academy) College, he entered the Ceylon Technical College in 1909, for a course of survey training; He then joined the Survey Department in 1910, as a Supernumerary Surveyor. To assist in further development of our country, he retired prematurely at the age of 57 in 1950, at the request of the then Prime Minister, Hon D. S. Senanayake , to become a member of the Gal Oya Development Board, where he subsequently became its Chairman.
His work while in the Department took him to every corner of the country and he has recorded his observation at first hand for posterity. In fact the Survey Department was too small for his wide range of interests and activities.
In addition to serving as secretary of the first Delimitation Commission of 1946, he served as Chairman of the Gal Oya Development Board, first Chairman of the Eastern paper Mills Corporation, 1955-58 and Chairman, of the special Committee on the Antiquities of Ceylon, 1959. He was also A member of the land Commission, 1955-57, and the salaries Commission, 1958-62. A Member of the Board of Regents of Vidyalankara University, he officiated on several Panels of Wages Boards and in the Industrial Courts, and was a Member of the Public Service Commission.
He gave stature to every institute he served on and held high office in President of the Royal Asiatic Society, President of the Ceylon Engineering Association (presently known as the Institution of Engineering), President of the Ceylon Geographical Association and the Ceylon Survey Institute and President of the Dutch Burgher Union. He was Co- Opted as an advisory Member on a special Committee appointed by the Tourist Board to set up a Dutch period Museum in Colombo, To date. He is the only person who has been made an Honorary Member of the Netherlands Alumni Association Lanka. He was a Free Mason and rose to take office of high order.
He was made an Officer of the order of the British Empire in 1947.
He was awarded the degree of D. Litt Honoris Causa of the University of Ceylon in 1963.
He was presented with the Gold Medal of the Royal Asiatic Society in 1971, being its eighth recipient.
In 1931, he was elected a fellow of the Royal Geographic Society and in 1947 a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Surveyors.
Nearing the end of his long, full and illustrious lifetime, in 1978. Queen Juliana of the Netherlands on Dr. Richard Leslie Brother the honor of officer of the order of oranje Nassau.