French Ambassador to Sri Lanka Jean-Marin Schuh and German Ambassador Juergen Morhard are taking part in the traditional Cannonball run celebrated by Colombo’s 150-year-old Galle Face Hotel, which will be held this year on the 18th of March 2016. The Cannonball Run is an annual tradition celebrated on the Galle Face Green, to commemorate the extraordinary incident of a cannon misfire by a member of the British Artillery in 1845. The 30-pound cannon had misfired during a practice session around the southern ramparts of the Colombo Fort, crashing through the roof of the now Galle Face Hotel, leaving a heavy dent on the drawing room floor where it came to rest under a chair. The cannon ball is at present preserved in the museum located in the South Wing of the hotel.
In memory of this “infamous incident” an annual run has been held over the years, which begins at the cannon on the Fort end of the Green and ends at the cannonball placed on a pedestal in the hotel. The runners are generally members of the diplomatic community who, over the years have included the likes of the American Ambassador Robert O’ Blake and the British High Commissioner Peter Hayes (2008).
This year’s Master of the Cannon is none other than the Galle Face Hotel Chairman, Sanjeev Gardiner. Pomp and pageantry accompany this special event – showcasing a procession of runners, cannonball bearers, and flag bearers.