GALLERY OF EVENTS - Prize Giving 2000



Rt.Rev. Andrew Kumarage,
Lord Bishop of Kurunegala, Our Chief Guest,
Reverend Sirs,
Members of the Board of Governors,
The Manager and Mrs.Panditharatne,
Old Boys, Parents, Guardians,
Well Wishers, Members of the Staff
And my dear Students,

At the beginning of this year, our College was Blessed with the visit of the Venerable Diloraj Canagasabai, the Archdeacon of Uva, the Eastern Province and Nuwaraeliya at the College Sports Meet. Today we are proud to welcome your Lordship as the Chief Guest and we consider it a great privilege.

You were born, Your Lordship, in to a good Christian family and were educated at St.Anne’s College, Kurunegala. You had your Theological training at Bishop’s College, Calcutta, the leading Theological Province of the Province of India, Pakistan, Burma and Sri Lanka, then Ceylon from 1954 to 1958 and completed your Bachelor of Divinity Degree. Bishop Lakdas de Mel at the Kurunegala Cahthedral thereafter Ordained you in 1958. you proceeded to England and obtained the Post Graduate Theological Diploma from the University of Birmingham.

You were consecrated as the Third Bishop of Kurunegala on the Sixth of May 1984. It is our knowledge that your services were rendered to the mot deserving people as most of your Ministry has been in the rural areas of the Diocese. The Lambeth Conference of Bishops is held once in ten years in England. Your Lordship being the longest serving Bishop of the country had the privilege of holding the Record of being the only Bishop of Sri Lanka to attend this Conference, TWICE. We feel especially fortunate to receive you here today before you retire next month.

Celebration of the Prize Day had been a great day in the history of this College. For me, this is especially memorable one as it is the first Prize Day after assuming duties on 15.08.1999. this being the first prize day in the Second Millennium, it also adds to its significance.

As had been the tradition, the Headmaster highlights the achievements of the yester year and renews the hopes of those concerned, about the developments for the next year. I have found that the relationship between the children and their parents have widened due perhaps to the policy of free enterprise where adults are forced to spend much of their time into earning. They find lesser and lesser time to be s pent with their children, that they wish a Boarding school like ours to look after and bring up their children, cultured and educated. A tough job for my able and devoted staff and myself, which covers practically each and every hour of the day. Every effort had been made to evaluate the situation and re-orient us to give them the best education and discipline possible utilizing available resources. In addition to education, religious and cultural activities have been fostered through various associations and clubs guided by able teachers. Sports and other extra curricular activities were organized throughout the year in order to inculcate better discipline, social welfare and good behaviour. Dance and music were popular subjects among the students. The traditional hikes and other social activities were encouraged where children learnt to behave as a family of students rather than children of many families.

A Nursery Class in the English Medium was commenced fulfilling a requirement of the locality. A G C E Advanced Level Class in the Tamil Medium was started a couple of months back and we had to recruit two Tamil Medium Commerce teachers in order to run this class. Utilizing a generous contribution of two computers by the Parent Teacher Association, Computer Classes were re-commenced.

Provision of new chairs in this Main Hall of the school was a felt need. To fulfill this requirement, one hundred new chairs were bought with the approval of the Lord Bishop and the Chairman of the Board of Governors, spending part of the Donation received from Mrs.Mary Hayman (Gentlemen, some of you are sitting on those chairs now). The Board has also approved my proposal to purchase two new Computers, a Computer Printer and a Scanner out of the remaining Donation of Mrs.Hayman enabling the Computer Classes be expanded to enroll more students.

At the Seminar of the Principals and Managers of Private Schools held at the Isurupaya on the 20th of July, 2000, Professor R P Gunawardena, the Secretary to the Ministry of Education and Higher Education announced a new scheme of the ministry to start English Medium once again, specially in the private schools. On the very next day, at the Meeting of the Board of Governors. I sought the approval of the Board to continue the English Medium which we have already started in the Pre-School, in Grade 1, as well. The Board approved the proposal. How this proposal could be implemented , is receiving my scrutiny.

Being new to this School, I must thank the Old Boys, Parents, Teachers and Well wishers who volunteered to give me a lot of advice and sometimes to criticize my actions whenever necessary. About criticism, may I quote here, Dr.R L Hayman, the first Headmaster of this College obtained by me from the book, ‘The First Fifty Years” which is popularly known as the “History Book” (page 388).

“ You have heard, and will hear, many criticisms of S.Thomas’ and other schools like it. Take them seriously, remembering that no institution is above criticism. Don’t brush them away, get together, if possible, and try to do something about them.”

I appreciate and determine to go forward on the advice given by this great man whose life, times, energies and resources were spent on the founding and development of this school.

Once again I wish to thank Your Lordship for graciously consenting to attend this occasion as the Chief Guest and Wholeheartedly accepting the invitation with out hesitation. I also wish to thank the Manger, the Old Boys, Parents, Guardians and Well Wishers, Members of my academic and office staff, the employees of the Kitchen the Bakery and the Farm and all other employees for extending their fullest co-operation throughout the year and for making this event a success.

Finally, I thank God for our past achievements and seek His Guidance to proceed further into a better future.



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