GALLERY OF EVENTS - Malik Candappa Visits Guru - Page 1

Page 2

Malik Candappa, an Old Boy of Guru, the immediate Past President of the Canadian STC OBA Branch is in Sri Lanka. He visited Guru on July 02 2008. He was accompanied by MPD Perera of his vintage and also by LJ. He had discussions with the Headmaster and was shown round the Campus by the HM as well as Mr. Jacques Huyghebaert. He had with him a donation of $ 2500 for Guru which was being transmitted through the Guru OBA. This was handed over to the HM in his Office. At the HM’s invitation he addressed the Prefects and also answered their questions. The HM entertained Malik and the others to lunch. Almost all the vegetables for lunch were those grown in the Farm.

Vegetable cultivation is being done on a large scale. Breakfast and Dinner is provided for 420 persons. Lunch for 500. Chicken is from the Farm and is given at least thrice a week. Eggs are given daily, sometimes for breakfast but mostly for dinner. The Milk for tea after breakfast, and in the afternoon is provided from the farm. No longer is milk powder purchased. 300 loaves of bread are supplied by the College Bakery. The students are given any quantity of bread that they demand. There is no limit. Efforts are being constantly made to improve the quality of food. However, considering the fact that the current monthly Fees paid by boarders is Rs 7,000/-the food provided has to be in keeping with that amount. The School Fees covers all expenses including the Salaries, Allowances, EPF, ETF, of the Academic and Non Academic as well as the entire Support Staff; Electricity; Water; Telephone; Repairs & Maintenance of all services including Motor Vehicles; Sports Equipment; etc, etc.

Farm expenses are also considerable. Animal feed for the Cattle Horses and Poultry has to be purchased. There are 09 Cows, 01 Bull and 02 Calves. 03 Cows are in the family way. There are 705 Layers. The number of Broilers varies week to week. Approximately 550 to 600 eggs are produced every day. The excess is sold outside. Farm produce ie. Chicken, Eggs and Vegetables are sold on credit to the College kitchen at subsidized rates. Thus, the income is not collected immediately.

The names of the first batch of Horses are Charity, Faith and Hope. The latest addition is Scooby Doo. Two other Horses with inspirational names are also expected shortly. About 40 students joined the Riding Club at the inception. Presently there are about 25 members. Students are charged Rs. 600 a month as Membership Fees. There are 02 support staff to take care of the Horses.

The College has recruited a Lady, Kalpana Kandage as Manager of the Farm.

The College Co- op Stores is well stocked. It is to be reorganized shortly. Sales are made to student are well as other campus Residents. As a large part of the sales are on credit, this income too is realized much later.

Some students delay in the settlement of fees. This creates a problem for the management. But the Authorities are strict regarding arrears.

There is a new Matron, Jennifer Barthelot at Keble. She is a great help to the Authorities in managing the very young children far away from their homes. She has utilized her own finances to effect repairs and improvements at Keble.

There are 158 Juniors and 85 Senior in the Boarding. ie. a total of 330. The total number of students on the Roll is approximately 510. 180 - are Day Scholars. A decision has been taken not to admit any further Day Scholars.

Meals are taken at 2 sittings. The Seniors and Juniors separately. Thus the School Time Table is adjusted accordingly. At the moment there are 25 tables in the Dining Hall. 6 students are accommodated to a table. The Hall is large enough to accommodate the balance 30 tables required to seat the entire Boarding for meals at one sitting. However apart from the tables and benches, plates, cups, saucers, and cutlery are also required to be purchased.

The Night Toilets of the Junior Dorms were provided anew by the OBA. The Girls’ Toilets at Keble were done by Ladies College- Colombo. The Boys Night Toilets at Keble were done by OTAUK. The Day Toilets for the Boys and the Staff Toilets for those members resident outside the Campus at Keble needs to be done and is next on the agenda.

We highlighted the state of the roof in the Wickremesinghe Block. It could have collapsed at any moment. The roof has now been repaired. Images are placed below.

The Orchard of old is now being made use of for vegetable cultivation. It was heartening to observe the Persimmon and Fairy Balls, Fruit Trees still growing though they do not appear to bear fruit now. The Persimmon Tree can be seen in the same spot. The Fairy Balls tree is immediately in front of HM’s bungalow. Images of these are also placed below. Trees adjacent to the Orchard are being felled as required for urgent repairs to the roofs of the buildings. The roofs of Keble in particular, are in need of urgent repairs. Not only the roofs of the Class Rooms but even the roofs of the Dorms are leaking and require urgent attention. Funds are not available to purchase necessary building materials. Timber which is at hand is therefore being made use of. Timber is being stored in the old Lab.

Prep for Seniors is now being held in the Class Rooms above the Dining Hall, whilst the Juniors have Prep in the Dining Hall below. An additional Prep at the request of those students sitting for public exams at the end of the year has been allowed by the HM. They study late in to the night and are provided with Coffee by the HM, who ensures that they do not get up to any mischief.

The quality of food is constantly monitored and the students have a big say in the preparation of the Menu. Wherever corrective measures have to be taken the HM ensures speedy and effective action.

In the matter of Sports the lack of competent coaches is a great drawback. For too long females had been recruited in large numbers to the Staff. This had contributed to the erosion of good discipline and the poor standard of sports. Support groups of Old Boys, particularly from Australia, led by the indefatigable Peter Weerakoon are addressing this problem and already funds have been remitted to the OBA for this purpose.

The OBA have taken in hand a massive project to re-do the Toilets of the Junior Dorms. Fund raising events have been organized. Many Old Boys have given very generously to this cause. The Senior Vice President of the OBA, Mahen Ranasinghe, has led the way with a massive personal contribution.

We observe that the College Band is without equipment/ instruments. It was pathetic and disheartening to learn that for every College function or event, when the Band is required, instruments are borrowed from the Muslim School just opposite.

As a large number of Computers were donated by Ed Rowlands from Australia the IT Unit is functioning satisfactorily. The HM hopes to purchase more up-to date machines and software shortly.

The Swimming Pool and its Purification Plant have both been repaired and they are running smoothly. Krysantha Weerawardena and MPD Perera were instrumental in getting things moving and expended much finances and sweat in this regard. Krysantha visited Guru on atleast 04 occasions in connection with repairs to the Engine of the Purification Plant. MPD Perera, provided a sophisticated Brush/Cleaning Apparatus for the Pool.

The HM is also preparing a ‘List of Needs’ at Guru prioritizing urgent requirements.

The HM has constant and regular interaction not only with his Prefect Body but also with all students and Staff. He is readily accessible and available for consultation and discussion at all times. Despite the fact that there are the inevitable black sheep and incorrigibles amongst the students, Support Staff, and Staff, the HM is able to keep the community together because of his tactful handling and humane approach to all the usual problems that beset and would prevail in a Boarding School. Most of these are those that have been handed down to him after years of unforgiveable neglect and apathy. He is tackling these one at a time, and doing his best to find solutions. It will naturally take time to find solutions for all the problems. Patience and tolerance is required. The OBA as well as individual Old Boys have serious concerns but are displaying a commendable degree of understanding, patience and willingness to advise, co-oporate and assist wherever possible. No longer are the Authorities and the OBA on a path of confrontation. This augers well for the College. What College and the OBA lack in Funds is truly loaded with that special and singular love and affection which Guru Old Boys and their well wishers have for that Unique Seat of Learning. That bond is not so readily and richly found in the case of other schools and their Alumni. The HM needs the sympathy, understanding and support of all those who have Guru at heart.

Images of this visit appear below.

July 03,2008

Malik an avid Rider in his time, opposite the stables
Malik and MPD talk to a member of the support staff
Scoobi Doo - The latest addition to the stables
The Cricket Team prepare to leave for match against STC Bandarawela
Charity in the stables
Jacques in conversation with Malik and MPD
Pep talk - The Cricket Team with Mr.Nesaseelan, Mr.Madawela and the HM
Malik, Jacques and LJ in front of the Farm Office
Fr.Goodchild greets his old students MPD & Malik
The HM has breakfast with the visitors
The HM has breakfast with the visitors
Malik makes the presentation of Donation from STC OBA Canada to HM in his Office
Malik makes the presentation of Donation from STC OBA Canada to HM in his Office
Malik makes the presentation of Donation from STC OBA Canada to HM in his Office
Malik makes the presentation of Donation from STC OBA Canada to HM in his Office
The Well provided with a cover to prevent contamination
Jacques explains the solution to the water contamination
Excess timber stacked for use as firewood for the kitchen and bakery
Jacques explains a point on the way
The vegetable cultivation in the former orchard
Roof of Wickremasinghe Block repaired
MPD inside Davidson Dorm
Jacques explains refurbishment of Davidson Dorm to the visitors
Felled Trees being sawn for timber to meet urgent roof repairs
Wickremasinghe Block after Roof repair
Wickremasinghe Block after Roof repair
Felled Trees to be sawn
Jacques and Malik climb stairs to main block of classrooms
New Staff toilets provided for main block of classrooms
Old block of Classrooms with trees grown in front
Old block of Classrooms with trees grown in front.- Fr.Goodchild approaches
Jacques and Malik go down to the Davidson and Simon Perera Classrooms
Toilets for Students Boys & Girls in the Middle School
Toilets for Students Boys & Girls in the Middle School
Toilets for Students Boys & Girls in the Middle School
Toilets for Students Boys & Girls in the Middle School
Toilets for Students Boys & Girls in the Middle School
Passage behind Middle School Class Rooms
Passage behind Middle School Class Rooms
Corridor in front of Middle School Class Rooms
Corridor in front of Middle School Class Rooms
Malik receives a list of requirements from support staff of Stables
Path to rear exit of College
The Riding area for Horses
The Riding area for Horses
The Riding area for Horses
The Riding area for Horses
New Computers networked in the College Office with new Accounting Software
New Computers networked in the College Office with new Accounting Software
New Computers networked in the College Office with new Accounting Software

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