iSurprise Bank of Ceylon

Fort's first department store

Ephraum’s department store

This was Fort’s first department store, located strategically at the junction of Church Street, Light House Street and Rampart Street. In the British days this is where Fort residents did their shopping. The modern building featured a basement - a novelty in those days - and was owned by the powerful Burger family Ephraums, who operated a series of shops, hotels and medical centres around Galle, including the famous New Oriental. Their family house is still in Galle, close to the Hospital. Want to know more? Read Norah Roberts novel ‘Galle as Quiet as Sleep’ it reads like a virtual encyclopaedia of those days.

Ephraum; the big Appu of the Winter gedera
— Norah Roberts

Bank of Ceylon

The department store is long gone. It was empty for a while until the Bank of Ceylon started to operate here in the 1970’s.

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