GALLERY OF EVENTS - OBA AGM and Re-Union Feb 1999


I present to you the report of the Association for period 1st January 1998 to 31st December 1998.

The year commenced with a Special General Meeting of the Association on 7th February 1998 a 10.00 a.m. at S’Thomas’ College Prep School Hall.

The main item of the Agenda was discussed the current situation at S.T.C. Guruthalawa.

The meeting was well attended with about 50 Members participating at the meeting Senior Vice President, Mr. Clifford Ratwatte briefed the house of the sequence of event that had taken place with departure of the Head Master, Mr. Collin Ratnayake in February 1997. I shall mention the events as;

1. Headmaster Mr. Ratnayake leaves in February 1997- No replacement made.

2. Presently the school is run by a group of three comprising of the Acting Head Master, Mr.Chandrasekera and teachers Mr.Bandusena and Mr. Murthy.

3. Mr. Bandusena is said to have resigned from this position.

4. The Manager Mr. Gerald De Alwis has made the ridiculous boast that he has saved the school a large sum of money by the non-appointment of a permanent Head Master.

5. When the former Head Master tendered his resignation the executive committee of the OBA initiated a verification of the expenses of the new building project . This was done by M/s Upali Panditharatne and Cryshantha Jayawardhana.

6. According to their report there were certain shortcomings in the manner the monies had been spent.

7. The executive committee writes to the Board of Governors about the financial mis-management at Guruthalawa.

8. The Board of Governors initiates an investigation through a firm of Auditors recommended by the executive committee – H.T. Peiris & Co., Chartered Accountants.

9. The senior partner of this firm personally visited the school and their findings speak volumes of the mis-management at Guruthalawa at all levels.

10. The executive committee meets the Chairman of the Board of Governors, the Bishop of Colombo to appraise him of the prevailing situation at Gurutalawa.

11. The Bishop agrees among other things.

i. to send a copy of H.T.Peiris & Co.’s Report to the former Head Master calling for his comments.

ii. to call for the Bursar’s explanation re falsification of certain documents showing fraudulent alterations- the manager to take appropriate action.

Thereafter a resolution was passed by the House. Mr. Upali Panditharatne proposed and Mr………………………………..seconded same.

IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED THAT We appeal to the Chairman of the Board of Governors, the Lord Bishop of Colombo to take the following action to prevent further deterioration of the administration and Financial Management of S’Thomas’ College Guruthalawa.

1) To appoint a new Head Master as soon as possible.
2) To retire the present Manager who has displayed his inability to manager the affairs of the School.
3) To appoint a new Manager who could devote more time to manage the affairs of the School more effectively and efficiently.
4) To appoint a new Advisory Committee which will include at least three Representatives nominated by the OBA.

The resolution was sent to the Chairman Board of Governors requesting his Lordships to take immediate action.

It was also confirmed by ( S.V.P.) Mr. C.Ratwatte by letter dated 11.3.98 to the Bishop that his proposal for appointment of two Managers was acceptable to the O.B.A General Membership and requested the Bishop to make the following appointments.

Assistant Manager:- Mr. J.L. Habaragoda

Advisory Committee:- 1. Mr. L.W.A. Fernando
2. Mr. Arthur Perera
3. Mr. Upali Panditharatne
4. Mr. Bandula Vithanage
5. Mr. C.E.N. Jayawardhana

On 24th March 1998 at Exco Meeting the Actg. Head master informed the resignation of Mr.Gerald de Alwis as Manager. Subsequently the Bishop appointed Mr. C.S.Ratwatte as Manager from 1st April ’98 and also the following members to the Advisory Council.
1. Mr. L.W.A. Fernando
2. Mr. Arthur Perera
3. Mr. Upali Panditharatne
4. Mr. Bandula Vithanage
5. Mr. C.E.N. Jayawardhana

The first meeting of the Advisory Committee was held with the Manager on 20/4/98, and an Action Plan drawn up to visit the school along with the Manager on 7th and 8th May 1998.

One of the main task assigned was to check the accounts of the new Dining Hall project.

The contractor had requested for an additional payment of Rs. 390,000/= and had instituted action in the District Court. M/s Upali Panditharatne and C.E.N. Jayawardhana had vertified the work done and recommended to the Board of Governors a payment of Rs.83,800/= and interest accumulated. The case is pending.

Mr. C.E.N. Jayawardhana has been commissioned with the task of making an estimate to complete the balance work and the estimates are as follows:-

1) Balance Civil Work
2) Kitchen and Party Equipment

It is the opinion of the Exco that the balance work of the Dining Hall Project should commence when a permanent Head Master is appointed and there is better financial discipline to monitor funds being spent by the O.B.A.

The other matter of great concern to the Manager, Advisory committee and the O.B.A. membership has been the appointment of a Permanent Head Master- a vacancy that has not been filled from February 1997. The Manager, and the Advisory committee has met the Bishop on many occasions to convince him that the appointment of a Head Master is absolutely essential for the proper function of the school.

All members of the O.B.A. feel very strongly that unless the Board of Governors were to act immediately and arrest the deteriorating condition in the school. We may not be able to come to our Alma Mater and sing Esto-Perpetua.

Mid Year Annual Fellowship Dinner

The Annual Mid year fellowship was held on 10th October 1998 at the Empire Ball Room at the Mount Lavinia Hotel and was a reasonably success.

A total of 300 person has participated and profit of Rs.165234/= was realized.

The Organizing Committee comprised of :

Mr. Upali Abeywickrama ( Chairman)
Mr/s. Upali Panditharatne, Bandula Vithanage, Shervon Fernando, P.J. Fernando, K.Rajendran and Upali Jayawardene.

I take this opportunity to thank

a) Mr. P.J. Fernando – For Sponsoring the Band and 1st prize for Raffle.
b) Mr. Upali Jayawardhana- For sponsoring the fire Limbo
c) Mr. C.Ratwatte- Table Décor
d) Mr. Arthur Perera- Sale of Tickets
e) Mr. Shervon Fernando – For printing of Tickets

Activities of O.B.A. Ex.Co

The Ex-Co held 11 monthly meetings of which the meeting in April was hosted by Mr.Lucien Fernando at Goldi Sands. Two meetings were held at the Tea Board Auditorium and the balance meetings at S’Thomas’ Prep School. The monthly meeting in August was held at Guruthalawa on 14th.

The attendance at meetings has been satisfactory with attendance of 50% on 7 meetings and 65% - 75% at 4 meetings.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank the Ex-Co. members for their co-operation in participating actively in the affair of the college. Special mention must be made of some of the young members who joined the Ex.Co. we wish to see more new faces.

Proposed by K Rajendran
Seconded by M B Manoharan


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