Inward Letters 3
Inward Letters 2
for Guru from foreign STC Branches
SUPPORT FROM OTAUK TOWARDS S.THOMAS COLLEGE
Old Thomians in UK have rallied round and already sent funds (i.e
£ 2200) to improve conditions at Gurutalawa. It is heartening
to note that it is not only Old Boys of Guru who have been moved
to lend support. Several Old Boys of the Branch Schools and Mt.Lavinia
too have felt that it is a cause worthwhile supporting. In fact
several Night Toilets for the boys of Keble have already been constructed
and are being used. Keble houses the Primary Students of Guru. This
support came immediately on the heels of funds sent by Ladies College
Colombo to successfully complete the construction of the toilets
and washrooms etc for the use of the Girls who are Boarders and
who are housed in the new Dormitory named after Ms.Blanchard who
was the Music Teacher when most of the members of the STCG 62 Group
were students at S.Thomas College Bandarawela when it was known
as S.Thomas’ Preparatory School Bandarawela.
It is hoped that Old Thomians in UK will continue to lend their
support towards all the Developments activities at Guru.
The STCG 62 Group will continue to coordinate activities, monitor
progress and keep the donors informed of development activities
We sincerely appreciate the support given by the Old Boys in UK.
SUPPORT FROM THE S.THOMAS COLLEGE OBA BRANCH
The above Branch has resolved to send Canadian Dollars 2500 to Gurutalawa
to improve their Internal Telecommunication System.
The funds are expected to be delivered in person by their Representative
in early July. All the Guru Old Boys who are members of this Branch
have relentlessly pursued their campaign to collect funds and have
been successful in their efforts. It is heartening to note and appreciate
the support given by Thomians of other Branch Schools to this effort.
It is hoped that they will continue to keep in touch with the Headmaster
as well as the local Branch and render further assistance in the
months to come.
Prasad Jinasena (1967-1971) is co-ordinating activities in Canada
with us. The STCG 62 Group will continue to coordinate activities,
with Prasad, monitor progress and keep the donors informed of development
activities at Guru.
We sincerely appreciate the support given by the Old Boys in Canada.
S.Thomas College Gurutalawa Support Group
The above group has been formed within the STC OBA Australian Branch
due to the untiring efforts of Retired Planter Peter Weerakoon (1947-1953)
who whilst in Sri Lanka recently visited Guru and saw at first hand
the pathetic conditions prevailing and the efforts and progress
being made towards revival.
Already members most of whom are Old Boys of Guru and a few others
who are well wishers having strong links with Guru have rallied
round in order to support Guru in the revival effort now being piloted
under the stewardship of the current dynamic Headmaster Rev.Marc
Billimoria, who is himself an old boy of Mt.Lavinia.
Any Old Boy of Guru or of any other Branch School, interested in
joining the Gurutalawa Support Group could get in touch with Peter
Weerakoon through his email address, i.e email@example.com
or his home address.10A Evans Avenue, Hampton East Victoria 3188
Jim Connor (1960-1962) from Western Australia had agreed to coordinate
W.A. for the Group. Aruther Jayasundera (1953-1959) had volunteered
to Coordinate Queensland. It is hoped that an Old Boy from New South
Wales will come forward to coordinate from that end.
Initially the effort is to collect funds towards sports activities
which have been neglected for a long period of time. This will include
attention to Sports Infrastructure plus Equipment required for the
different disciplines. Over and above that the funds are to be utilised
towards securing the services of competent Coaches or Trainers and
for the grant of additional allowances to masters whose services
will be harnessed in this connection.
It is intended to remit the funds to the College through the local
OBA so that there would be closer co-operation between the branches
concerned and College on the one hand and also to ensure that the
donors are kept informed of the progress being made and successful
completion of whatever project that is taken in hand
It is also relevant to mention that the STC OBA Branch of Australia
have themselves remitted Australian Dollars 1500 towards the cost
of refurbishing the Night Toilets of the Senior Dorms.
The STCG 62 Group will continue to co-ordinate activit ies, monitor
progress and keep the donors informed of development activities
We sincerely appreciate the support given by the Old Boys and well
wishers in Australia.
1. Mr.P S Duleepkumar of the pioneer batch of Old Boys of 1945 has
sent us the following note:in Sept 2007.-
Glad to see
you back in the saddle.The change that hs now taken place for the
better is primarily due to the 62 Group and your leadership role
in it though it has taken time governed by its particular dynamic.
I shall certainly
help as best as I can but after my severe Dengue attack I get tired
There is one
reservation I must mention and that is there is an official website
and it will be unseemly to be in competition with it.So it will
be good if the official website gives news while your site deals
in the kind of thing you refer to in reflectionsEtc.and the expression
of views like the letters to the Editor column.ie Comment.
For starters I am sending you an amazing bit of infor mation For
I have already sent a copy to the Head with whom I am in close touch.
Dear Uncle Duleep,
I ran across an interesting tidbit of information which I thought
might interest you as well. First let me give you bit of background
information. The most commonly used coin in the US is the 'quarter',
which as you probably recall from your visit here is the 25 cent
piece. Over the last few years the US mint has been producing new
quarters in a series that represents each US State, with some State
information on the coin including the year that the State joined
the Union and the State motto. The coins have been released in the
order in which the different States joined the Union, so that now
we're just getting to some of the most recent States.
Today I chanced upon a shiny new quarter representing Idaho which
was granted 'Statehood' in 1890. Well, the State motto happens to
be "Esto Perpetua". Out of curiosity I did a web search
to see what would come up for this motto, and I got a link to Wikipedia.
(Are you familiar with the online encyclopedia project?) The link
actually mentions St. Thomas' and also has a separate entry to St.
Thomas'. I've appended the link
here for your perusal:
We can speak more on Wikipedia later if you're not familiar with
Hope you enjoy the reference and note that you can update the information
there if you choose.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Great Seal of
Idaho with the state motto "esto perpetua."
(Latin "Let it be perpetual") is the state motto of Idaho.
It was also adopted by the National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry,
a farm organization constituted in Washington D.C. on December 4,
The words are traced back to the Venetian theologian and mathematician
Paolo Sarpi (1522-1623), also known as Fra Paolo. The day before
his death he had dictated three replies to questions on affairs
of state, and his last words were "Esto perpetua" reportedly
in reference to his beloved Venice and translated as "Mayest
thou endure forever!" When the designer of the state seal Emma
Edwards Green described the motto on the seal, she translated it
as "It is perpetuated" or "It is forever".
It is also the motto of St Thomas' College, Mount Lavinia, Sri Lanka,
and is translated as "Be Thou Forever."
( The seal has not come out but no doubt you can acess the information
and reproduce it with Our own Crest. You may also inform the Web
Guru, its ReLationship
to Mount, feed in gaps in information Etc.)
I have also Suggested to the head that on the strenght of a common
We could try and establish contact with a Good University in Idaho
That our students
could go there on some favoured Scholarship basis for Higher
Studies if they
are so inclined.My nephew would be able to recommend one of
the better Universities.
Mahen Ranasinghe, our Chartered Engineer working with Vidya Silpa
who educated the distinguished gathering at our Fellowship Dinner
on November 24,2001 how to structurally alter the anatomy (in song
of couse) now, completely, rejuvenated has in missives to the highest
in the land offered professional advise on :-
a) Power cuts & Electricity charges,
b) Environmental Hazards,
c) Development of Micro Hydro Systems for Remote Villages
same below for the benefit of all. This is what he says in his letters
A. To Mr.Karu Jayasuriya, The Honourable Minister of Power &
Energy on January 10,2002 with copy to the Hon.Prime Minister.
On Power Cuts and Electricity Charges
that the CEB is planning to increase the electricity charges, in
the near future, to cover the loses made during the last Government.
I consider that the consumers should not be penalized for the losses
made due to malpractices and bad management of the CEB, in the last
As an engineer
involved in developing micro/mini hydro power schemes in Sri Lanka,
I have the following suggestion to stop the present power cuts and
prevent increase of electricity charges.
As you may be
aware almost all large factories, (mainly tea and garment) hotels,
banks and large buildings have their own generators for use during
power cuts and power failures.
could be asked to use these generators at all times, so that an
enormous saving of electricity could be made from the national grid
in this hour of need. It will also solve the problem of finding
the money in these difficult days, to buy more generators to meet
T promote this proposal you may offer compensation in the form of
a deduction from future bills, based on the saved consumption for
the CEB. Of course this offer should be a genuine one and it must
be implemented properly.
Too give an
example, take a tea factory which has an average consumption of
40Kw per hour working 16 hours a day. If we take 100 tea factories,
the saving to CEB would be 40x 16x 100, which is 64,000 KW per day.
There are hundreds
of factories etc, and the saving would run in to hundreds of MWs.
I recommend that immediate action is taken to implement this proposal
to give the Sri Lankans the badly needed comfort of non stop supply
B. Mr. Rukman Senanayake,
Hon. Minister of Environment and Natural Resources On January 22,2002
with copy to the Prime Minister
is faced with several environmental disasters and I am writing this
letter to bring these to your urgent attention.
disaster we are facing today is the extensive use of polythene for
decorative purposes. As you are aware, all political parties used
it heavily, during the last elections. It is getting worse everyday
with all welcome celebrations, religious functions, funerals etc.
using polythene indiscriminately.
not biodegradable and can cause irreparable damage to our soil.
Several countries have already banned the use of polythene, after
realising the harmful effects of it. I strongly recommend that immediate
action be taken to do the same in Sri Lanka. It must be implemented
before the forthcoming provincial elections, for obvious reasons.
the public should be made aware of this menace and facilities should
be provided to discard polythene bags, bottles etc. in a proper
manner. Environmental studies at all levels of education in schools
should include this subject and the theory taught should be put
that concerns me, is the use of hilltops ,rocks , roads, trees,
electricity and telephone poles etc. for political advertisements
during elections. If you drive along any road these days you will
realise what an eyesore these advertisements are and the damage
it has done to our environment .I suggest that action is taken to
remove all these advertisements and the political persons responsible
in each area should be instructed to do so through the provincial,
urban and village councils and the police. Laws should be brought
in to prosecute anyone advertising in this manner, if the present
laws do not cover it.
My next concern
is the destruction of our beautiful waterfalls in the name of generating
much needed electricity. Sri Lanka boasts of having the largest
number of waterfalls in the world. We have already lost three of
them, to my knowledge ,viz , Puwakmal Ella and Alipita Ella in Deraniyagala
area and Diyagala Ella at Watawala due to mini hydro projects developed
in the recent past. I understand that approval has been given for
a similar project at Peak Falls near Maskeliya. With the latest
announcement that the Upper Kothmale Project will now go ahead,
seven water falls including the most beautiful Devon and St.Claire
are expected to be destroyed. While appreciating that we must make
use of every water resource, to generate much needed electricity,
I consider that our natural beauty of the country which attracts
tourists from all over the world, bringing in much needed foreign
exchange should be protected in every way possible.
I suggest that
the waterfalls in Sri Lanka are gazetted and protected, in the same
way as the rain forests like Sinharaja.
I trust that
you will take urgent action to address these issues."
C. Mr.Karu Jayasuriya,
Hon. Minister of Power & Energy on January 22,2002
On Development of Micro Hydro Systems for Remote Villages
"I am an
engineer recently returned to Sri Lanka to manage the construction
of the biggest private hydro power project in Sri Lanka near Kahawatta.
I am also involved in developing new mini/micro hydro power projects
in various parts of the country, in addition to refurbishing and
upgrading of existing hydro power facilities in tea estates ,through
the above Company.
A few weeks
prior to the last general election, I happened to visit Weddagala,
the last village before entering Sinharaja forest reservation, in
the Kalawana electorate. The main or probably the only income for
most of these villagers is from selling water bottles and soft drinks
dipped in cold water to tourists visiting Sinharaja. This too had
been a non-event in the last few years ,due to lack of foreign tourists
, in the country.
There is no
electricity to this village and I found that almost every house
has a little water stream flowing by the side or nearby. Every house
in this village can be given electricity through micro hydro power
schemes, thereby improving their standard of living, while saving
much needed foreign exchange spent on kerosene for lighting.
this possibility with the villagers and I was advised that various
officials from the last Government worked against it when some individuals
from the village attempted to develop their own scheme. I brought
this to the attention of late Mr.Gamini Atukorala and with his blessings
I advised the villagers that I would return to Weddagala and develop
the hydro power resources if UNP was given power at the elections.
Now I wish to keep that promise and I am confident that I can find
the funds to develop the micro/mini hydro schemes there, to give
the villagers the luxury of electricity, while maintaining the environment.
I consider that such a development is best carried out with the
participation of the villagers , thereby transferring the technology
to the unskilled and semi skilled persons in the village for design,
construction and maintenance. This could be taken as a model village
and many other such projects are possible in the hill country ,to
improve the standard of the poor villagers and saving foreign exchange
spent on kerosene , at the same time.
I decided to
advise you of this proposal to receive your comments and assistance
as the Hon. Minister of Power & Energy and a very practical
and hardworking person, from what the people say.
I am also copying
this letter to the Hon. Prime Minister for information and the Hon.
Minister of Environment and Natural Resources for assistance needed
in overcoming the bureaucracies involved in implementing the project.
I should be
grateful if I am given the opportunity to explain this project further
" Mahen has sent these on to us on February 13,2002 to be shared
with you. With persons of this calibre we can certainly revive the
OBA and College.
Reports indicate the present Minister and his Team of Officials
appear to be giving serious thought on the lines suggested by Mahen.