Archive | September, 2013

Aitken Spence Brings “Logos Hope” to Sri Lanka Again

25 Sep

“Logos Hope” the World’s largest floating book fair vessel was recently at the Port of Colombo. For over three decades the vessel and its predecessors “Logos” and ‘Doulos’ has been represented in Sri Lanka by Aitken Spence Shipping, a subsidiary of diversified conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC.

Previously in 2011, ‘Mv Logos Hope’ the goodwill passenger cruise liner cum book exhibition vessel created history, when it docked at the Port of Hambantota, as the first ever passenger vessel to call at the Port, while making a stop at the Port of Galle.

“We are honoured to handle Logos Hope in Sri Lanka once again and have been the agents for these vessels since the early 1980s. Logos Hope brings a global message of education and hope to countries across the world and we are truly privileged to be a part of it for three decades”, said Iqram Cuttilan, Vice President of Aitken Spence Shipping.

Aitken Spence Shipping pioneers in the industry represent some of the world’s leading shipping lines and are the first in Sri Lanka to undertake port efficiency enhancement management overseas with its entry into the African continent and then the Pacific. The Company handles all areas of maritime services – from ship agents and cargo handlers, to liner agency, cruise vessel, port management and development, ship owning and chartering services. With the Group’s involvement in the leisure industry, the company is able to offer comprehensive synergised services to cruise operators.

Aitken Spence Shipping is subsidiary of Aitken Spence PLC which is among Sri Lanka’s leading and most respected corporate entities with operations in South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Pacific. Listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange since 1983, Aitken Spence has major interests in hotels, travel, maritime services, logistics and power generation. The group also has a significant presence in plantations, printing, financial services, insurance, information technology and garments.

“Logos Hope” which arrived on the 29th of August at the port commenced its ‘Book Fair’ open to the public the following day; when it was ceremoniously opened by First Lady Madam Shiranthi Rajapaksa. The ship continued to remain in Colombo till the 23rd of September.

The vessel is staffed by volunteers – around 400 people from about 50 different countries serve with varying contributions. The volunteers live on board managing the overall operations and maintenance of the ship. A multicultural contingent whose purpose is to bring knowledge, help and hope to the people of the world.

Owned and operated by GBA SHIPS – (GuteBücherfürAlle/ Good Books for All) a German based charity organization, the project is initiated as non-profit International Book Fair and Youth Service Project. GBA SHIPS has a longstanding record of welcoming more than 42 million people on board since 1970, and have visited over 150 countries over the years. Logos Hope is currently now their only operational vessel, while it has been the first ship to carry a floating book fair.


Logos Hope arrives at the colombo port

Heritance Presents Junior Pastry Chef 2013 : A roaring success

17 Sep

Junior Pastry Chef 2013, presented by Heritance Hotels and Resorts, recently concluded the inaugural competition of its kind on the 18th of August 2013. This exciting edutainment event targeted at kids with a keen interest in culinary experiences, achieved its objective of educating aspiring young chefs and providing them with a platform to display their acquired culinary skills.

The competition was held over a period of three days which tested these little Chefs strengths and abilities. The weekend’s activities kicked off with a training programme conducted by celebrated Chef Dimuthu Kumarasinghe where he taught the participants the art of sugar crafting and decorating. The young participants were then given the opportunity to practice their newly acquired skill by making animals and figures from fondant. These individual creations were then mounted onto a cake which was auctioned for Rs. 167,000. This money will be donated to Anula Wijerama Children’s Home, Balapitiya.

Upon completion of the training workshops the participants were placed in groups and the semi final round commenced. The 10 best creations in the semi finals qualified for the final leg of Heritance Junior Pastry Chef. The creation of the ten finalists were judged by Chef Gerard Mendis, Chef Madawa Weerabaddana, Chef Dimuthu Kumarasinghe, Chef Srimal Kulatunge .

Khashish Naraindas was adjudged the Heritance Junior Pastry Chef where she won a cash prize of Rs. 100,000 and a stay for her family at Heritance Kandalama. Sasandi De Silva was 1st runner up and clinched a cash prize of Rs 50,000 and a stay at Heritance Tea Factory. The second runner up was Hana Cassim and she took home a cash prize of Rs 25,000 and a stay at The Sands by Aitken Spence.

The event was an initiative of the renowned culinary team of Heritance Ahungalla, the reigning winners of the Best Culinary Team, Best Hotel Team and Best Regional Team awards conferred by the Chefs Guild of Sri Lanka. The team led by Chef Dimuthu Kumarasinghe, the only Chef in the World to have won nine Gold medals for individual events at the Culinary Olympics and the Culinary World Cup have received extensive recognition both internationally and locally for their culinary expertise.

The concept for hosting a competition of this nature was encouraged by the booming tourism industry in Sri Lanka and the growing need for chefs in the culinary world. “The competition was a success and we hope that through this programme, we inspired these young individuals to pursue their aspirations in the culinary field”, said, Mr. Refhan Razeen, General Manager, Heritance Ahungalla.

“We experienced world class service from the moment we arrived and the positivity and energy that surrounded the property was noteworthy. Although we were at Heritance Ahungalla to participate in a competition the staff at the hotel made the entire experience a truly memorable one and we look forward to our future visits to your other properties,” commented Mr. Mahesh Naraindas, proud father of Khashish, winner of Junior Pastry Chef 2013.

The event was made possible by the Main Sponsor for the event Stassens Group, media partners Maharaja Broadcasting Corporation and online booking partner Trekurious.
Khashish Naraindas

Creation of a participant


Fijian Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum inaugurates the Public Private Partnership between Fiji Ports Corporation and Aitken Spence PLC.

3 Sep