Formation & Objectives of Group and Participation in Revival
Correspondence with Headmaster
Correspondence with Mr. Upali Jayawardena (Hony. Secretary)
Correspondence with Mr. P.S. Duleepkumar
Correspondence with The Bishop

Formation & Objectives of Group and Participation
in Revival

Mr.Sarath Suraweera, presently Snr, Superintendent of Police gathered a few of us in 1993, for the purpose of constructing a Stadium and Pavilion and thereby converting the grounds at Gurutalawa into a modern sports complex. (It was to be named after Mr.A C M Laffir who devoted his lifetime to sports at College). He had the support of the then Ministry of Sports with several old boys including the Minister ready to give all assistance required.

The Old Boys involved were mainly those who joined Gurutalawa with him in 1958 and left in 1962. The group also included those who joined a few years before 1958 and who left Gurutalawa a few years after 1962. Hence the <1958-1962>

The Project could not see the light of day because there appeared to be objections from the Board of Governors as well as certain sections of the OBA itself and hence was abandoned. These objections were to our mind born of petty -jealousies and fears that our group would be able to successfully complete a gigantic Project without the active participation of the OBA.

Sarath Suraweera however, attended to some renovation etc of the existing pavilion and had it named after Mr. A.C.M. Laffir by having a plaque inscribed therein opened by Mrs.Hayman on one of her subsequent visits to College.

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Thereafter Mr. Sarath Suraweera invited us to join him for the AGM at Gurutalawa in 1998 and since then a handful of us who were in college around that period have attended the AGM normally held in February each year at Guru.

On our visits to Guru for the AGM we had observed the manner in which the OBA conducts its affairs at the AGM, the Dinner etc thereafter and at the Re-Union as a whole at Gurutalawa. We also observed the conditions prevailing at Gurutalawa. We had received various representations from those at Gurutalawa with regard to the situation and conditions at college. To cut a long story very short it appeared that unless some remedial action was taken immediately college would have to close down because even the Tutorial Staff were about to come out in open rebellion against the Head Master, the College and the establishment as a whole. It appeared neither the Manager, the Bishop nor the Board of Governors had any interest in the affairs or activities of College or were aware thereof.

In this situation last year, a new Bishop was installed and soon thereafter a new Headmaster was also appointed. Both appointments seemed to auger well for college. We attended the installation of the New Head Master and the Prize Giving which followed immediately thereafter in September last year. We were pleased with the signals the new Head Master as well as the New Bishop were sending out in their speeches, and their behaviour. Previously, the Board of Governors did not appear to be interested in Gurutalawa and the Headmaster was ineffective.

With the permission of those that mattered, three of us i.e Sarath Suraweera, Jabir Junaid and Lakshman Jayatilaka took lodging at Bandarawela, travelling to Gurutalawa daily, inspecting the buildings, dormitories, toilets etc and interviewing members of the Tutorial Staff, Administrative Staff ,Minor Staff as well as Students and Parents in school and outside. We compiled a fairly comprehensive report which we had intended giving the new Headmaster expecting him to take some remedial action. By the time we concluded our inquiries and completed our Report we found that its contents were far too sensitive to be handed over to the Headmaster direct and so we broke with protocol and met the Bishop who is the Chairman of the Board of Governors direct, bypassing the OBA which we had found to be absolutely ineffective lethargic, and not responsive to all our appeals and requests.

We have considered and discussed the Report with the Bishop and Pioneer Old Boys of 1942 and thereafter, of the calibre of Mr.Bradman Weerakoon, Mr.Ronnie Weerakoon, Mr.Duleep Kumar and Mr.Sisira Nanayakkara and several others. They have commended our Report and recommendations and indicated to us that they were fully supportive of our actions and were willing to give us all the help, if need be to change the Ex-Co and get in ourselves.

As far as the OBA is concerned we found that the same few individuals keep getting themselves appointed to high office at every AGM for some reason best known to them and were least interested in the OBA itself or the College. We say so as otherwise the OBA would not be in such a sorry plight and the situation in College would not have come to this.

The vast majority of the members of the OBA have been kept in the dark. They have no contact with the OBA. Our efforts to make the OBA alive and to expose the shortcomings with a view only to rectify and improve the organization have met with stiff and stubborn resistance from within, which is incomprehensible. Our offers of help have been spurned with malice and contempt by them. The documents in our possession prove the point in ample measure.

Therefore, in order that we can try to make the OBA a more dynamic organization, we are gathering around us as many Old Boys of Guru as possible so that the OBA and its Ex-Co is representative of all sections of Old Boys and existing members who are sincerely interested to help college and eventually to see an executive committee in place which is the best and most helpful to college.

We feel that the best team of Old Boys should once again lead the OBA until at least College is put back on its feet. OUR GROUP IS NOT INTERESTED IN SECURING OFFICE IN THE OBA. We feel there are people who are much more competent, capable and mature. We are trying to identify them and persuade them to come in. We have made some progress in that direction.

Outside the OBA there are several old boys who do not wish to have anything to do with the OBA but wish to help college in their own way. They are joining our Group, and they find that they are welcome in to our group and we will together help college where the OBA is not interested, and/or cannot be made to take an interest.

We are also using the '62 Group so that all old boys can keep in touch with each other wherever they may be residing whether in Sri Lanka or outside.

It is no secret that the OBA of Gurutalawa is not effective and has recently proved to be a failure. We intend to change that. Our group was able to Muster for the first time about 20 members who belong to our era for the usual OBA dinner in October this year. Normally the number was around 05.

Our Group organized its 40th Anniversary Fellowship Dinner in November this year at which we were able to gather more than double the number that assembled in October.

Trying to make contact with and cultivate their interest in College and in one another and to reactivate people, who have lost touch with each other and College after almost 40 years is no easy task.

Our Fellowship Dinner was a resounding success and will be talked about for as long as those who attended it, live. We were able to felicitate for the very first time Pioneer Old Boys of the 1940's who have helped College and set up the OBA itself. We were also able to felicitate the 03 Masters who taught us who are the sole survivors of that age. The impressive Plaques given to them rendered them Speechless. We will continue to meet, discuss and find ways and means of resuscitating college, reuniting the OBA and re establishing our relationship which was born in college several decades ago. We have already succeeded in bringing back to the OBA the most senior Pioneer member who had drifted away due to various differences of opinion in the OBA itself.

In these endeavours we are happy that we have been able to secure the support of the Bishop, the Entire Tutorial staff of the college, the Staff of our time who are still surviving, the very Senior. and pioneer Old Boys of Gurutalawa and almost all old boys of Gurutalawa who were in college around our time.

We must add that our doors are open to everybody. All old boys who were in college from the 40's, as well as old boys who were in college in the 90's and to date have joined us in our efforts. The Founder Members of our Group however are those of the <58-62> era.


All Guru Old Boys are welcome to join our group and we accept you to our group enthusiastically.

We will be happy to be informed of the Names, Office and Residential Addresses, Official and Residential Telephone Numbers, Cellular Numbers, Fax Nos, and E-mail addresses, Occupations, Period in College, any special achievements in college etc etc. of any and every old boy who may be interested in joining us. We assure you that we shall respond within 07 days the latest.

There is no membership fee or formal Application Form. What we seek is a common bond of Thomian brotherhood, sincerity and loyalty to one another and to the college to which we owe so much and where we spent a small part of our childhood learning how to become men and gentlemen.

It is too early to collect funds for Guru just yet, without first identifying projects and outlining priorities which we hope to do after putting the house in order at Guru. We had earlier indicated about two dozen projects which we desired to proceed with after things are brought to some order at Guru. They are mentioned in our Report to the Bishop. We need at the present moment to have the endorsement of our actions from all Old Boys wherever they may be and their commitment and promise of support in the days to come.

January 29,2002

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