I was 17 years old, and the head of the Young Science Fiction Association - a group with more words in it's title, than members. We had asked Arthur C. Clarke to be our patron, and he asked me to drop by to find who we were, and what we were about.
Whatever pitch I had, was likely useless. What convinced him was probably me being dumbstruck by all his books in the "Clarkives" as he called them.
"See all these books?" he said.
So began a very trying year of trying to come up with some sort of library to house the collection in. We succeeded - and then had to close it down. The gap year was ending, funds were low, and we had to be sure the books didn't end up being given away to wrap vadays in. So we gave it to my school library, where I hope, they still are.
Many Sri Lankan Geeks have their own Arthur C Clarke stories, whether they're personal encounters, his books we've read, or other sources that were in turn heavily influenced by a writer audacious enough to but real science in his science fiction.
Here are some videos by the Arthur C Clarke Trust, where Sri Lankans talk about Arthur.
Tomorrow (Saturday, the 16th), is the Arthur's Centenary Celebration, sponsored by the Geek Club of Sri Lanka. Venue and times here.