GALLERY OF EVENTS - OBA AGM and Re-Union Feb 1998



I present to you the report of the association for the period January 1997 to 31st December 1997

The period under review started on an auspicious note with the sudden and totally unexpected resignation of Mr.Colin Ratnayake as headmaster of S’Thomas’ College Gurutalawa. It will be recalled that Mr. Ratnayake was present at the Executive Committee Meeting held on Thursday the 16th of January 1997. He gave no indication to the members of the Ex-Co of his impending resignation. On Friday the 17th of January 1997 at the Board of Governors Meeting Mr. Ratnayake tendered his resignation. There was alarm consternation and confusion not only amongst the members of the Ex-Co but also amongst the general membership.

Ex-Co members were being repeatedly requested for explanations from general membership. Ex-Co members were helpless as they too were taken by surprise and were not aware of the causes leading to Mr.Ratnayake’s resignation.

It was decided unanimously by the Ex-Co to –

a) Write to Mr. Colin Ratnayake to immediately work on and get a statement ready showing full income and detail expenditure with a report from a quantity surveyor. Mr. Ratnayake was advised that if he needed a person to prepare the above report that OBA could arrange to send one early. He was further advised that such a report from him tabled at the upcoming 37th AGM scheduled for 22nd February 1997 would answer numerous questions being asked about the dining hall project.

b) It was decided to invite the manager Gurutalawa Mr. Gerald de Alwis to be present at the Ex-Co Meeting scheduled for Thursday the 13th of February 1997. Mr.Gerald de Alwis was to brief members of the Ex-Co events leading up to headmaster’s resignation. In the meanwhile Mr. Arthur Perera a member of the Advisory Committee STCG sent in his resignation. The Manager who is the Chairman STCG Advisory Committee had made certain acting arrangements until such time a permanent headmaster could be appointed. Mr. Arthur Perera was of the view that on a crucial matter of this nature one would have expected the Advisory Committee to have been summoned to consider steps to be taken until such time a permanent headmaster could be appointed. Instead confusion reigned. No one seemed to be aware what was taking place at Gurutalawa since Mr. Ratnayake resigned. He stated that it would serve no purpose to serve in a toothless advisory committee.

At an Ex-Co Meeting held on 26th June 1997, Mr. Ratwatte informed members of the Ex-Co Mr. H T Peries and Co. had concluded their investigations which was in the form of a general survey. He stated that they had highlighted a number of shortcomings in the administration and financial control of the school. He further stated that he had written to the Bishop regarding the findings of the H T Peiris & Co. Secretary was requested to write to the Bishop seeking an early appointment for a delegation of the Ex-Co to meet the Bishop to represent matters pertaining to present situation at Gurutalawa. In response the Bishop telephoned the Secretary stating that he would be happy to meet a delegation of Ex-Co members of the STCG OBA in the presence of the school manager. Since the Manager was abroad it was decided to await his arrival. At an Ex-Co Meeting held on 31st July 1997, the following were elected to represent the Ex-Co delegation to meet the Bishop to discuss the present situation at Guru and future of school.

Mr. C S Ratwatte
Mr. L W A Fernando
Mr. A Perera
Mr. S Rajatilekam
Mr. B Vithanage
Mr. C N Jayawardena
Mr. U Panditharatne

The above delegation met the Bishop for discussion at his residence in the presence of the school manager Mr G Alwis on the 7th of October 1997. The H T Peiris & Co the audit report was discussed in detail and the following agenda decided on.

a. Appointment of Mr. L. Habaragoda as a special administrator STCG with wide powers reporting to the Bishop. The Bishop to write to Mr. Habaragoda on this matter.

b. To send a copy of HT Peiris & Co. report to Mr. C Ratnayake calling for his comments.

c. Appointment of a Colombo based co-ordinator for S’Thomas’ College Mt. & the 3 branch schools.

The Co-ordinator to be an old Thomian with an accountancy background to enable him to audit accounts and check budget proposals.

d. Institute disciplinary inquiry against bursar STCG for alleged falsification of documents showing fraudulent alterations. Though Bishop wrote to Mr.Habaragoda requesting him to accept special administrator’s post STCG, Mr. H resigned his post as Asst. Manager Guru, on an entirely different issue. He was of the opinion that on crucial matters regarding College he was being sidelined and kept in the dark. Hence it was no point functioning as Asst. Manager of School.

On an appeal made by Bishop over telephone, Mr. L. Habaragoda withdrew his letter of resignation as Asst. Manager STCG but declined to accept the Bishop’s invitation to be Special Administrator STCG. In his letter dated 6th November 1997 to the Lord Bishop, Mr.Habaragoda stated that he will always help his old school as and when his assistance is required but at his pace and convenience. He further states that the prime requirement at the moment is the appointment of a permanent headmaster. He would give him a helping hand no sooner headmaster is appointed. Copy of Mr. Habaragoda’s letter to the Lord Bishop dated 6th November 1997 was tabled at the Ex-Co meeting held on 3 December 1997. The Ex-Co unanimously decided to request Mr. Habaragoda to reconsider his decision for the sake of the old school and accept the appointment as Special Administrator STCG. The Ex-Co assured Mr. Habaragoda of its fullest cooperation and support to discharge his duties as Special Administrator STCG. At the Ex-Co meeting convened on the 29th of October 1997, Secretary was requested to write to the Bishop requesting clarification with regard to decisions arrived at the meeting Ex-Co had with him on 7th October 1997. With Mr. Habaragoda’s resignation as Asst.Manager Guru, and his reluctance to accept the Special Administrator’s post Guru, it was decided that it would be futile to have a dialogue with the Bishop at this point of time. The sad turn of events unfolding at Guru closed on this note for the year 1997.

Appointment – Headmaster S’Thomas’ College Gurutalawa

Headmaster’s post was advertised no sooner Mr. Colin Ratnayake submitted his resignation. Mr.H.A.Nonis was selected as headmaster Gurutalawa in August 1997, but his appointment was withheld by Bishop on account of a pending court liase with regard to S’Thomas’ College Mount Lavinia.

We understand that the best applicant for headmaster’s post was not selected as he was not an Anglican.

Office Bearers and Members of General Committee

Patron: Warden S’Thomas College Mount Lavinia Ex-Officio

President: Mr.Chandrasekera- Acting headmaster
S’Thomas’ College Gurutalawa

Vice Presidents: Mr. C S Ratwatte (Senior Vice President)
Mr. L W A Fernando
Mr. Arthur Perera
Mr. Upali Panditharatne
Mr. Upali Gunaratne

Secretary: Mr. S Rajatilekam

Asst. Secretary: Mr. C N Jayawardena

Treasurer: Mr. T D M Gnanaraj

General Committee: Mr. Bandula Vithanage
Mr. Upali Abeywickrema
Mr. M B Manoharan
Mr. Shervon Fernando
Mr. S W Kaluarachchi
Mr. B Kurukularatne
Mr. Mahinda Ranasinghe
Mr. Rizal Subian
Mr. P H P de Silva (Junior)
Mr. K Rajendran
Mr. A E M Mawahib
Mr. Rizvie Jaleel
Mr. M D M Vazeer
Mr. Thilak Jayasinghe
Mr. M P D Perera
Mr. J Hanthi
Mr. J B Peiris
Mr. T Sunderarajah
Mr. S Jayatileke

The Executive Committee met on

The Old Boys Reunion was schedules for the third week of February and the 37th Annual General Meeting was convened on Saturday 22nd February at 6 p.m. at Foster memorial Hall.

New Members

Following old boys were enrolled as members of the OBA during 1997.

1. Mr. Neil Titus Dahanayake
2. Mr. K N I Abzal Khan
3. Mr. H S R Seneviratne
4. Mr. K I
5. Mr. Mohideen Nawaz
6. Mr. Abdul Satar
7. Mr. M S Jamaldeen
8. Mr. M F Jabar
9. Mr. R M Khan
10. Mr. S M Khan
11. Mr. K De S Weerawardena
12. Mr. D M Ranasinghe

We welcome them and look forward to their active participation.


I record with deep sorrow the deaths of Mr. Oliver De Soysa and Mr.Selvyn Gunawardena. Both Mr. Oliver De Soysa and Selvyn Gunawardena were not only old boys of Gurutalawa but also were members of the tutorial staff of Gurutalawa for many years.

Old Boys Reunion and Annual General Meeting

The Annual OBA celebrations was held on 22nd and 23rd February 1997. After breakfast on 22nd the traditional cricket match was played against the present boys. Though the old boys as usual put up a valiant effort, in the end the present boys won the march. In the evening, hockey match was worked off against the present boys. The old boys lost the match to present boys.

The 37th Annual General Meeting was held on the 22nd evening at 6. p.m. at Canon A.J. Foster Memorial Hall followed by social and dinner.

The programme for Sunday 23rd February 1997 commenced with Holy Communion Service followed by breakfast. After breakfast the traditional volley ball match against the minor staff was played. Departure to Colombo was around 10.30 a.m. with a stop at Balangoda for lunch.

S’ Thomas College Gurutalawa OBA Annual Fellowship

The Annual Fellowship dinner was on Saturday he 10th of October 1997 at the Empite Ball Room Mount Lavinia Hote. The event as in the part was a resounding success . A profit of Rs. 106500/= was realized. The Organising Committee comprising of Mr.Bandula Vithanage (Chairman), Mr. Upali Abeywickrema ( Secretary), M/s. C N Jayawardena, J B Pieris, Rizal Subian and Upali Panditharatne should be congratulated for sparing no effort to make this event once again a resounding success.

I take this opportunity to thank

a. Mr. Shervon Fernando for printing tickets free of chare
b. Mr. J B Peiris for handling table decor
c. Those who helped in the collection of banners/ donations
d. All others who helped in nuemerous ways to make the event a success

The New pantry/dining hall/administrative block

Based on the an adverse audit report submitted by Mr. Upali Panditharatne and Mr. C. Fernando with regard to utilization of funds released for this project and material receipt and usage, it was unanimously decided at the Ex-Co meeting convened on the 21st of February 1997 at Gurutalawa that Board of Governors would be informed that OBA would not engage in fund raising projects until investigation into accounts is completed.

This exercise was specifically resorted to as it was felt that it was important to satisfy old boys with regard to utilization of fund money since Gurutalawa has drawn its strength and inspiration from the old boys.


Grateful thanks to acting headmaster, staff, present boys, domestic staff and all others who helped us in numerous ways to make the activities of OBA the success it has been

My sincere thanks to Mr. N Y Cassiechetty Headmaster S’Thomas’ College Prep School Kollupitiya for allowing STCG – OBA Ex-Co to conduct its meetings at the College Staff Room. His assistance and cooperation in this matter is deeply appreciated. I also record with thanks the support of the members of the Executive Committee which enabled us to discharge my duties effectively as Secretary of the OBA.

S.Rajatilekam Proposed by……………………..
Hony.Secretary Seconded by ……………………..



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