Chitra Lane

Thank you to everyone who came to support us at the Gecko Pub Quiz last month; we hope you all had an amazing time. We would like to tell you about our beneficiary project from last year’s funds. We raised a total of £1966.36 through our annual pub quiz and our flagship Gecko Sixes cricket tournament, thanks to your generous donations and a supplementary £500 from law firm Slaughter and May. We have donated this to Chitra Lane, a school for children with special needs in Colombo.

Chitra Lane first opened in Sri Lanka in the 1960s and through the years has expanded and developed a Children’s Resource Centre and Sheltered Workshop. The Resource Centre provides a wide range of facilities including physiotherapy and speech and language development.  They host a variety of activities for the children, such as sports days and creative exhibitions.






The donation from Gecko Sri Lanka went towards supporting the Chitra Lane Sheltered Workshop. The Sheltered Workshop provides an environment for the children, adolescents and young adults to develop a vocational skill, empowering them to help promote their independence and support their families. It also provides a place for families to work closely with their children. The vocational training units include sewing, cookery and recycling units.

For more information about Chitra Lane, please visit their website here.

We’d like to thank everyone who supported us last year and made this donation possible. We hope to see you again soon!

The Gecko Committee


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Gecko Pub Quiz 2018: “And the winner is…”

It was a rainy Saturday in the gloomy month of January, but all was not lost.

Quizmaster extraordinaire Denesh was back hosting the Annual Gecko Pub Quiz, bringing joy to the faces of millions. Well, not quite millions. But with an excellent turn out this year’s pub quiz proved to be our most popular yet, with 15 teams competing to win the coveted prize hamper. The combination of brain-tickling questions, pints and tasty pub grub brightened up even the most dismal of days.

Our tried and tested format of 6 categories, 12 dingbats and 4 bonus rounds did not fail to disappoint; but in case you couldn’t make it here’s a sample of the questions you missed…

Science & Technology

The first UK storm of 2017 was Storm Aileen, the last was Storm Caroline? Can you think of suitable name for the first of 2018?

TV & Film

Order the following 2017 UK TV shows by peak viewing figures (1/2 mark per answer):

Blue Planet, Great British Bake Off, Strictly Come Dancing, The X Factor

History & Culture 

Name the authors of these classic novels? (1/2 mark if correct, 2 if all 3 correct)

Moby Dick, The Great Gatsby, Little Women


British photographer Oliver Curtis has been taking photos with his back to famous landmarks. Can you name where this is taken?



Can you name these three sportsmen, who all play sports that use balls?

Screen Shot 2018-01-24 at 21.02.12.jpg


Which country won the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest?

Serial attendees may remember that last year we had an unprecedented event with two teams being tied on their final score, and an inaugural tie-break round was introduced. Unbelievably, this year, a record THREE teams tied on 68.5 points leading to another nail-biting tie-break round with “Team Toad”, “Sticky Pickled Sausages” and “Communist Sheep Lady” competing for glory!

Tie-break Question: Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” was the most streamed song on Spotify in 2017. Name the next most streamed song.

Its fair to say the crowd were on tenterhooks. Amazingly (but perhaps not unsurprisingly, given the Beliebers present), all 3 teams got this correct, answering “Despacito” and calling for yet another tie-break question!

This time, in response to the next highest streamed song on Spotify, “Sticky pickled sausages” lost out to the other two teams, who correctly named “Sorry” by Justin Bieber over Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking out Loud”.

Only two teams left now, with “Team Toad” and “Communist Sheep Lady” vying to answer the third tie-break question correctly and put everybody out of their misery. Team Toad managed to guess the height of The Shard to within 5metres of its actual height of 306m, whilst Communist Sheep Lady, after putting up a valiant fight, weren’t quite as accurate here with a guess of 845m!

Congratulations to Team Toad who finally emerged victorious, sharing the glory as well as a hamper of goodies between them.


As always, thanks to the Railway Tavern for providing us with a venue and to everybody who joined us on the night. You all helped us raise an incredible £900 for charity – stay tuned to hear about the projects we support. Thanks again; we can’t wait to see you at the Gecko Sixes this summer!

Answers below:

Science & Tech

Names always reset each year, and the gender changes i.e. 2016 started with Angus, 2017 started with Aileen. Therefore any male name beginning with A (like Andrew or Albert!) would score you a point!

TV & Film

  1. Blue Planet
  2. Strictly Come Dancing
  3. GBBO
  4. The X Factor

History & Culture

Moby Dick – Herman Melville , The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald, Little Women – Louisa May Alcott


The Wailing Wall,Jerusalem


John Stones, Jordan Speith, Joe Root



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Gecko Pub Quiz 2018: The Perfect Evening

Written by Denesh Srikantharajah

It’s mid January and those blues are hanging around far longer than I had planned for: that solitary gym session on 2nd January was swiftly followed by a run of (albeit delicious) Nandos fina pittas, those guitar lessons I thought about signing up for remain just a thought, and to top it all off the weather is pretty dire at the moment … but thank goodness there’s something exciting just around the corner – The Gecko Pub Quiz 2018!

That’s right, it’s that time of year where I start practicing my Dermot O’Leary quips in front of the mirror and use my shampoo bottle as a microphone in order to adequately prepare as the quizmaster for the greatest pub quiz around! And I urge all of you to come on down to The Railway Tavern this Saturday 20th January 2018 for what promises to be an exemplary night.

That should be enough to peak your interest, but for those who still need convincing, let me draw you a little picture …


The sun has set and it’s time to head on out. You call your mates and bring them along too, or even just head out by yourself to mingle with quite frankly an awesome group of people. You’re greeted by some friendly faces who take your name, and then you happily pay £10 for entry, knowing that it’s going to go towards a fantastic cause as part of this charitable fundraising event.

You take your seat and starting chatting to your fellow quiz-loving peers. You fancy a drink, so head to the bar to grab a refreshing beer, or maybe a tangy J20. You notice the mouthwatering dishes on the menu, and decide to give your taste buds a treat by ordering that burger you’ve been craving all week (the diet’s already fallen by the wayside, why keep pretending?!).

You join a team, be it with your friends or some new friends you’ve just made, and come up with a whimsical team name. Then, in the words of Joey Tribbiani, “a handsome man walks in” – and from then on in I’ll take you through a series of rounds full of fascinating quiz questions that will make you think and that have been carefully designed by the Gecko committee to create maximum enjoyment. With bonus rounds for added spice and even a “free drink” round, this quiz quite literally has everything. You’re sitting there thinking: “I never want this to end!”

But then it does end – and the winning team (which you’re clearly part of) holds aloft a wonderful prize that money can’t buy! But the enjoyment does not need to end there – people seem to be heading out, so why not join them and keep this party going! Can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday night: donating to charity, having some competitive banter and having a night out while we’re at it!

IMG_7621Now that picture seems pretty rosy to me – and that’s a night none of you should miss! So please, join us this Saturday for what promises to be a wonderful evening. We can’t wait to see you there! For further information, click on the link below!

Gecko Pub Quiz 2018


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Caribbean Hurricanes 2017

By Wikum

While our charity primarily raises funds for projects in Sri Lanka, where possible we also contribute towards other humanitarian efforts around the world, particularly following extreme natural disasters. Over the last 2 months, hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria have caused devastation across the Caribbean. This has been the most destructive hurricane season in the region on record, with damages estimated at over $315bn (USD). The official death toll is 432 so far, with many thousands having been made homeless. Multiple islands and countries have been affected, including Puerto Rico, Barbuda, Saint Martin, Dominica, and the USA. International relief efforts continue, and that is why Gecko Sri Lanka has donated £250 to the British Red Cross and their hurricane appeal.

If you would also like to make a donation to the Red Cross, please follow this link: 

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Diwali: The Festival of Light

Diwali 1

Happy Diwali Everyone!

Diwali is a festival where people from all age groups participate. They give expression to their happiness by lighting earthen ‘diyas’ (lamps), decorating the houses, bursting fireworks and inviting near and dear ones to their households for partaking in a sumptuous feast. The lighting of lamps is a way of paying obeisance to god for attainment of health, wealth, knowledge, peace, valour and fame. But for those who don’t know, there’s a deeper story behind Diwali know as Ramayana.

So make a chai, take a seat, and let Uncle Ash tell you the story of Diwali.
Years ago, in the city of Ayodhaya, there was a king named Dashrath who had 3 wives. The king was childless and so performed a fire sacrifice known as putra-kameshti yagya, this lead to the birth of his 4 Princes,  the eldest of whom was Rama. These princes held the essence of the God Vishnu, who had vowed to defeat the demon king Ravana plaguing that time.

As the princes grew,  one of the king’s wives was jealous of the king’s affection for Rama. She asked the king to exile Rama so her son, Bharath, could become king. The king once promised the wife to fulfil any wish of hers, and thus he was forced to exile Rama to the forest for 14 years, with his wife Sita and younger brother Lakshman. However, plagued by his grief, the king had passed away soon after. Bharath had learned of his mother’s wicked plans and sought Rama to ask him to return. Rama however, not wanting to betray his father’s final orders, decided to remain in exile. Bharath took the shoes of Rama and placed them on the throne whilst he ruled as Rama’s proxy.


Years into their exile, the demoness Surpanakha came across the princes, and had fallen for their looks. She attempted to entice the pair, but was swiftly refused. Enraged, she transformed to her demon form to attack them. Lakshman retaliated cutting off her nose and ears. Surpanakha was forced to retreat to her brother, the demon king Ravana, who swore revenge on the princes.


Later on, Rama went to hunt a golden deer that had caught Sita’s eye. However this was demon sent by Ravana to distract the prince, even calling to mimic Rama and lure Lakshman out as well. Sita was placed behind a protective line, the Lakshmana rekha,  which she should never cross. It was here that Ravana disguised himself as old beggar man, to prey of Sita’s compassion. As he begged the princess to feed him, he succeded in luring her beyond the line. Ravana reverted to his true form and kidnapped Sita, taking her back to his kingdom. Witnessing this, a vulture named Jatayu gave chase only to be mortally wounded. On their return, Rama and Lakshman came across the dying Jatyu who revealed that Sita had been taken.

ring.pngRam sought Hanuman, the monkey warrior, to aid them in their pursuit. Hanuman agreed as he had previously vowed to always be at Ram’s service, and brought with him the his army of beasts.

In their search, Hanuman leaped across the ocean to Lanka, where he finds Sita held captive in the garden of Ashok Vatika. He gave her Rama’s ring as proof of Rama’s coming to save her. Hanuman returned to Rama, but not before destroying many of the demon king’s forces and burning his land. On his return they begin their march across a bridge to Lanka made by the army.


Rama and Ravana’s armies meet, where Hanuman and his army are able to beat the demons of Ravana. Ravana was the last of the demons standing against Rama. Rama gave Ravana a chance to surrender and return Sita to him, to which Ravana refused. Ravana and Ram exchanged blows, but nothing could beat Ravana. Rama’s brother Vibheeshan revealed the demon’s weakness was it’s Naval. Hearing this, Rama shot an arrow given to him by the gods to kill Ravana instantly.

Soon after the war, Rama, Sita and Lakshman return to Ayodhya at the end of their exile. Rama had asked Sita to preform the test of fire, Agni Pariksha,  to prove her chastity, as he wants to get rid of the rumours surrounding her purity. Rama undergoes his coronation and in celebration of light’s victory over the Demon King, Ayodhya is decorated with flowers and lamps.

So, there we go, the story of Ramayana and the meaning behind the festival of lights. Hope you enjoyed the re-telling and more importantly, hope you have a great Diwali full of light, happiness and GREAT Asian food

Written By Ashan Herath


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Gecko Sixes 2017 – Match Report

There is no bigger day in our calendar than the Gecko Sixes. Saturday 10 June was the date this time around, and the Committee were hugely excited for this edition of our charity’s flagship event. While there had been some rain earlier in the week, we were treated to a day of glorious sunshine on the Saturday itself. So glorious in fact that we had some poor sunburnt souls on the Sunday, but a price worth paying for a proper day of sunshine at the Sixes.

The tournament is a celebration of how we think cricket should be played: everyone being able to take part with a smile on their face and a bat in their hands. The format has been honed over the best part of the last decade, with 6 players (including at least one girl) on a each side and 5 over innings (each over bowled by someone different). The ball is soft and the boundaries are short. We even had some new touches this year, using markers to measure out wides and run-ups. It’s all about making the tournament as accessible and fun as we can. And just as importantly, it’s also all about the food. The usual selection of Sri Lankan short eats were devoured by the hungry masses. The introduction of Kotthu Rotti was a particular hit, and people came back for bowl after bowl.

So, to the cricket. This year’s edition had 12 teams – another great turn-out. They split into 3 groups of 4 in the first round. We saw lots of fantastic cricket in the group stages, and that got us to our quarter-finals. The top 2 from each group qualified automatically, with the next two lucky losers (based on net run-rate) making up a truly exciting final 8 in the quarters.

Team Lux edged past Team Madu. Team Ham saw off Team Abi. Team Yovaan eliminated last year’s champions Team Arun and Team Manthi eased through at the expense of Team Del. That left 4 teams for our semi-finals. The first was a clash of real heavyweights and great mates. Perennial contenders Yovaan and Miles took on Lux’s dynamic bowling unit. The result was a fairly comfortable victory for Team Lux, restricting Yov and co. to a manageable total and chasing it down to make the final.

The second semi-final saw the 2015 champions, Team Manthi, facing Ham’s motley (and loud) crew. Manthi’s boys put a strong total on the board, despite a flying caught and bowled from the opposition skipper. This display of hitherto unsuspected athletic prowess was such a surprise that it led to an impromptu pitch invasion and bundle from a number of men in their mid-to-late twenties. There was still a stiff total to chase, and though Ham’s troops had batted well on the day, this time around they were tied down in by a fantastic bowling performance, and Team Manthi deservedly progressed to the final.

So it was Team Lux and Team Manthi – both outstanding teams – who ended up fighting out an incredible final. Team Manthi batted first and the captain got them going nicely before being snaffled by a stunning caught behind. The middle order then kicked on to card an impressive 78 off their 5 overs,  a significant total considering it was the final.

However, they were pushed back by a genius batting performance from the classy opener Youhan, who hit it to all parts and kept Team Lux as favourites throughout their chase. The final over came and only 9 runs were needed off the last 6 balls. The tension rose as Lux was dismissed off the first ball. 9 off 5 with a new batsman facing. Dot, 4, dot – a fantastic effort from the bowler. 5 off 2, with the new batsman still facing. More drama as another great ball just passed over the stumps and the batsmen steal a bye. The fielding team appealed for a bowled, but footage from the square leg camera showed the ball just missed the stumps. 4 off 1. Phew. Youhan was back on strike and he dragged the final delivery through midwicket, with the fielders scrambling but unable to prevent the boundary. All over! Team Lux had claimed the title in the most dramatic of circumstances.

It was truly the final that a great day of cricket deserved. And once again, the tournament managed to bring people together to do their bit for a really important cause. We raised a phenomenal £986.36, and we are really grateful for your contributions towards this. This year, the funds will be donated to Chitra Lane, an organisation in Sri Lanka doing a lot of fantastic work in helping local children with special needs.

All that is left for this blog post is to dish out some final thank yous. The tournament was brilliantly planned and executed by Captain Deno and his supporting team of Yas, Madu and others. As ever, we were also indebted to the selfless efforts of the aunties at the food tent and the general support and umpiring of the uncles. Last but not least, thank you to each and every one of you who came along. Another great success – see you next year!

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The Gecko Sixes 2017

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Where?  Victoria Recreation Ground, Surbiton, London

When?  Saturday 10th June, 11AM

Price: £10 to play, £5 to spectate

Forget the Champions Trophy and IPL. It’s back people! Gecko’s cricket fun day returns next month. We would like to welcome people of all ages and abilities to the tenth edition of our annual tournament.

For those attending for the first time, the day is a six-a-side softball cricket tournament, which is not too serious and a lot of fun. Each game is 5 overs a side, with a round-robin league format followed by a knockout, ensuring plenty of match time for everyone. We would like to involve as many of you as possible, and this year all teams must have at least one female member. Girls will score double runs. Don’t worry if you don’t have a full team of six members- you will be joined with others in a similar position. Squads of more than six members are welcome, but the same six members must be on the field for the duration of a single game. As always, all proceeds from the day will support charitable projects in Sri Lanka.

Of course, your usual favourite Sri Lankan shorteats will be on sale, as well as a selection of soft drinks and cakes.

Please join our Facebook event page for more information.

You can also see what sort of fun is in store for you by watching the highlights of Gecko Sixes 2016 below:


Hope to see you all soon

The Gecko Committee

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The Gecko Pub Quiz 2017 – post quiz analysis

Spring 2017 brought us blunders at the Oscars in Hollywood, drama in the Champions League and the final triggering of Article 50. It also heralded the return of the much loved annual Gecko Pub Quiz.

Quizzers rumbled into the Railway Tavern for another evening of tricks, teasers and tickles. 6 fiendish categories, 12 devilish dingbats and 4 boisterous bonus rounds were all fiercely contested, with the victor taking home an indulgent hamper of goodies.

For those of you who couldn’t join us here are a few of the questions to test yourself with;

Geography – Photographer Oliver Curtis has taken photos with his back to famous landmarks – can you name this one?


TV & Film – Which of the following did NOT parody Donald Trump in 2016?
a) Jimmy Fallon
b) Meryl Streep
c) Will Ferrell
d) Alex Baldwin

History & Culture  What was the full name and title of the gentleman that Princess Margaret was forbidden from marrying?

Sports – Can you match the countries to their national sports?
a) Sri Lanka                   i) Volleyball
b) Pakistan                    ii) Archery
c) Bangladesh             iii) Field Hockey
d) Bhutan                    iv) Kabbadi

Science & Technology – Can you name the following fruit?


Music – Can you name the song which has been drawn by primary school children?


Taking the stage was our very own  Richard Osman, Denesh Srikantharajah who expertly guided the guests throughout the evening as our tall and awkward quiz master.

Once all the questions were over and the scores had been tallied, in a Gecko Pub Quiz first, there were two teams which were tied on points; “Let’s Get Down to Quizzness to defeat the Puns” & “Universally Challenged” both scoring an impressive 61 points from the 90 on offer.

To break the deadlock both teams went head-to-head in a tiebreaker round – nearest answer wins;

How many songs did Ed Sheeran have in the top 20 that day (March 12th)?

“Let’s Get Down to Quizzness” stole the show by correctly answering 16 to “Universally Challenged “‘s 9, and walk away with the well-deserved prize!

Thanks again to the Railway Tavern for providing a great venue again, and to everyone who joined us on he night. We raised an incredible £480 for charity and are looking forward to adding it at the Gecko Sixes on June 10th!

Answers below;

Geography – Statue of Liberty

TV & Film – c) Will Ferrell (Parodied George W Bush, not Donald Trump)


History & Culture – Group Captain Peter Townsend

Sri Lanka – Volleyball (A-i)
Pakistan – Field Hockey (B-iii)
Bangladesh – Kabbadi (C-iv)
Bhutan – Archery (D-ii)

A) Durian
B) Mangosteen
C) Cacau

Music – Cake by the Ocean by DNCE

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The Gecko Pub Quiz 2017

gecko-pub-quiz-2017Gecko Sri Lanka proudly presents the Annual Gecko Pub Quiz, now in its fourth edition!

Christmas feels like a distant memory, summer holidays are months away, you are broke from paying for weddings/stags/hens, and the prospect of work on Monday morning is making you want to curl up bed.

But what better way to beat those Sunday blues and make the most of your weekend, than by joining us for an evening of fun, games and great banter.

Come and join us next Sunday evening (5pm March 12th 2017) at the Railway Tavern in Liverpool Street, London, to battle it out to be crowned the Gecko Quiz Champions.

Gecko’s very own Paddy McGuiness, Denesh Srikantharajah, will be taking you through a scintillating mix of rounds that will cater for all tastes and levels of knowledge. They include Sport, Science, Music, History, Geography and Pop Culture, as well as challenging picture rounds and a sprinkle of lucrative bonuses. As always, the bar will be open for some quality pub grub and beverages to fuel the fun.

This year the winners will not only leave with the great honour of coming top of the class, but also receive a luxury hamper filled with indulgent treats for all.

What’s more, for only £10 entry, not only will you be having a wicked time, but you will also be doing a good deed, as all proceeds go to charity.

To get a flavour of what’s in store for you, see our Quiz Report from last year’s event here.

More details of this year’s event are available on Facebook.

We look forward to seeing you all for what promises to be a great night!

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Literary lovers in Lanka

Last month, Sri Lanka played host to some of the world’s finest writers at the Fairway Galle Literary Festival.

Sri Lankan authors included Ashok Ferry, Shehan Karunatilake, Nayomi Munaweera, Anuk Arudpragasam, and Sunila Gallapatti. The international roster contained the talents of Phillippa Gregory, renowned historical fiction writer and author of ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’, the multi-award winning Colm Toibin, author of ‘Brooklyn’ and Dame Margaret Drabble.

Over four days these brilliant literary minds treated and entertained book-lovers in a series of talks, workshops and presentations. For the first time the festival also included a whole day devoted to Sinhala language authors and their work. The festival also conducts an outreach programme, this year taking place in two schools in Galle and two in Jaffna, involving 600 children. The North South University Collaboration is another important initiative, bringing together university students and teachers from across the country and giving them a chance to interact, with a particular focus on building bridges and reconciliation.

Although the title heralds literary talent, the FLGF is a celebration of all cultural pursuits, and included events on architecture, poetry, cookery, journalism, film and theatre. For this, there can be no better location than the historic port town of Galle, the picturesque and artisanal haven, on Sri Lanka’s South coast.


The beautiful lighthouse in Galle

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