GALLERY OF EVENTS - Prize Giving 2004


Welcoming the Chief Guest

REV.Sirs, our chief guest Mr.Jayawardena, MRs.Jayawardena, Deer Parents, Old Boys, Well-wishers, Members of the Tutorial Staff, Members of the Administrative Staff and Children of the College.

Today, We warmly welcome into our midst this morning our Chief Guest Mr.U D Jayawardena, a distinguished old boy of The College and Mrs.Jayawardena who had been kind enough to accept our invitation and be present here to share with us the happiness of this very special day.

I am also privileged to welcome the Parents, The Old Boys, The Members of the Tutorial Staff, The Members of the Administrative Staff, The Well-Wishers, All other employees of the College an the Students who are present here to witness these events, to cheer the prize winners and also to encourage colleagues.

I came to know Mr.Jayawardena in his early years as a bright student of Lower Fourth form, when he used to carry away most number of prizes, if not all, at annual prize givings, such as today. I am sure his thoughts without his knowledge might begoing back several years, the time he was a student here, looking eagerly forward to collect many a prize he had won with his parents anxiously awaiting the arrival of the happy moment.

Mr.Jayawardena as far as I am aware need no introduction, still I consider it my duty to mention a few of his achievements in the field of studies, which any Thomian could be proud of, a distinguished old boy, initially at Gurutalawa and later on at Mt.Lavinia excelled in studies before gaining admission to The University of Moratuwa, form where he passed out with a second class honours degree in Electrical Engineering. His academic excellence saw him been appointed a fellow of The Institution of Engineers of U.K. and also a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers of Sri Lanka. He, at present is the Chief Executive Officer of the Lanka Transformers Group of Companies, better known as LTL a pioneer transformer manufacturer in Sri Lanka, by virtue is a very crucial player in The Power and Energy sector today. A company that commenced its business with a modest capital of Rs.15 Million today is a giant in its field, was able to achieve its present successes without doubt due to the untiring efforts and dedication of Mr.Jayawardena. The profit it had recorded in excess of Rs.500 Million speaks volumes for his capabilities and determination and courage.

It is also under the guidance of Mr.Jayawardena, I am sure that Lanka Transformers were able to diversify its operations to other fields of engineering such a Manufacture of switch-board gear, construction of a Grid sub-stations and transmission lines, Hot-dip galvanizing, Power generation, steel fabrication, Mini-Hydro Power Development, IT Solutions and Energy Services, to mention a few.

Although, Mr.Jayawardena is a man of few words I have been made to understand that he is about the most popular C E O. in town to day who very well understands problems faced by employees, get actively involved with view to finding solutions with a humane touch. He, I am fold is not only concerned about employees working in companies under his charge, but also about the society at large. Mr.Jayawardena, let me tell you, that, it is an honour to have you with us today as an epitome of an old by of S.Thomas’. You certainly have done us proud.


Our country, Sri Lanka is facing many a challenge today, on the one hand those leading to advancement of the society such a Globalization, Developments in the field of Information Technology, Open Economy and Privatization. On the other, events of the not too distant past, not experienced up till then, the long protracted ethnic hostilities, extreme poverty sharing in the eyes of a majority of rural folk and grave unemployment problem common to all strata of the society, which demands immediate attention of those in authority at National Level.

From this perspective, education cannot be considered aloof from societal needs. The society needs to be sensitive to all the changes taking place around us. It is the responsibility incumbent upon all of us as grown-ups to prepare the younger generation to face up to these challenges and show them the way to get on top to face challenges of the twenty first century. In this context, the report of The International Commission on education for twenty first century published by The UNESCO in 1996…. Quote


They are namely,
• Learning to know-that is, acquiring the instruments of understanding
• Learning to do – that is, to be able to act creatively on ones environment
• Learning to live together –that is, to participate and co-operate
With other people in all human activities.
• Learning to be – that is, education must contribute to all-round
development of each individual.

Consequently, the role of the teacher too has to change gradually. A teacher’s task is to facilitate learning and create a desire for learning in children, throughout life, instead of being a conduit for transmitting dead and inert knowledge to passive learners. Unlike in the past we need to equip our children with multi-competencies such as,

• Competencies in communication
• Competencies relating to ethics and religion
• Competencies in play and use of leisure
• Competencies relating to learning to learn which are also reflected in the four fundamental types of learning mentioned earlier on.

Further, the schools should contribute to the development of critical and divergent thinking, creativity, initiative, problem solving and proper social attitudes, leadership building and effective use of English and Information Technology. In fact what the future demands, is to specialize in the impossible and children learning to live in an ever evolving and changing world.

Our School provides learning and caring disciplined environment to our children and I invite all our parents and well-wishers to be partners in this purpose oriented noble endeavour. I believe the parents in particular should change their mind-set to look emphatically at their children’s point of view too. It is necessary for the parents to be open minded and take into their confidence the children and then they too will unfold their problems with confidence and without any doubts of what the parents reaction would be.

It is no easy task to bring –up children in such a perplexed world, as it is to day. There are no ready-made solutions or short cuts to any of our deep-rooted issues. However, education has to play its role by equipping children to be self-governing autonomous individuals, which of course is the challenge of education of the present generation of teachers and parents and the society at large.

O B A Activities

I am also grateful to the Old Boys of the college, officials of The O B A. for their unstinted co-operation extended to me and the college during the year under review, as had been the practice always, contributing so lavishly particularly to improve the lot of the college farm and for the magnificent response received every time a clarion call was made for assistance in the names of Mr.Asanga Seneviratna, for his donation for purchase of sports equipments, Mr.U D Jayawardena, for the donation, Mr.Lal Edirisinghe and Mr.Mahinda Padmasiri for the donation made to purchase much needed expensive trumpets for the College band.

It is also pertinent to mention that The OBA had very close rapport with the college throughout the year. Apart from The OBA celebrations held at The College premises, the executive committee held three meetings at Gurutalawa and two in Colombo. The OBA was very particular about discipline in the College, Standards of English, Sports and extra curricular activities. It is very encouraging to see them extending a helping hand to The Headmaster in numerous ways.

The most noble project. The OBA undertook during the course of the year, was the museum dedicated to Dr.Hayman memory, consisting of various items personally used by Dr.Hayman, during his tenure as The Headmaster, very much of historical and sentimental value too. This museum will provide useful information to younger generations at Gurutalawa and those would be Thomians in year to come.

The OBA was instrumental in bringing out the college magazine once again after a lapse of so many years, which was indeed a very commendable effort. Another fine gesture was the donation of sports gear by the Old Boys.

Anot6her distinguished old boy, Mr.Sunil Watawala, Vice President of the OBA was the Chief Guest at the sports meet held in February. Mr. & Mrs. Watawala were present during the whole duration of the sports meet thus giving much needed encouragement to youngsters. I am certain, their presence along with that of other invitees acted as a catalyst for the children to reach commendable standards.

Whilst on the subject a word of thanks to The Senior Vice President Mr.P Duleepkumar, The Secretary Mr.Mahen Ranasinghe, The Treasurer Mr.Bandula Wanigasekera and also to Mr.Gamini Fernando who were ever willing to give whatever assistance required by the college. A magnanimous gesture of the part of Mr.Lakshman Seneviratne resulted in a Tube Well being donated to the Keble House, which had experienced severe inconvenience due to water shortages for years over during times of drought.

We all at college express our sincere gratitude to The OBA for its ready willingness to help the college, any time such assistance was required.


Several meetings of The P T A were held during the year. The last meeting was held towards the latter part of the year, 2003. it was, though, by no means a well attended meeting, was quite encouraging to note the presence of about 100 parents. Parents traveling from far away places in public transport may have skipped participation owing to problems faced by them in getting back. Though their problems are well understood, certainly participation by a greater number would have given the much needed boost. The major topic that came up for discussion was the standard of English and conduct of classes in the English Medium. The parents were made to understand in no uncertain terms that the qualification for admission to English medium classes was the aggregate of marks scored at the admission test.

Improving standards of English

An announcement about the commencement of Elocution classes for students in Grades 1-7 in the year 2003, was also made. I am happy to announce that all students who took up the I E M S examination in English, Music and Speech passed with honours.
This year we were able to take one step forward with the introduction of conversational English to students in the dormitory of The Keble section, I am happy to say that we are quite encouraged by the results shown this far. The next step is to introduce conversational English to the entirety of the Keble section followed by extension of the program to students in the junior dormitories. Hopefully, in the year 2005 we expect to expand this program to cover the entire student population of the college, viz years 9,10 and 11. As things are there is tremendous interest and enthusiasm among students not forgetting parents who are equally keen.

The College expects the parents to play their part in molding children to be useful citizens of the country, when they grow up. It is appropriate to mention at this stage of the assistance given by a few parents in so many ways. On behalf of the college I wish to express our gratitude. The college will at any stage welcome any assistance that would be extended by parents. It will be a case of indirectly helping, any be your own child . the parents of the children of the Primary School, I am happy to mention has contributed lavishly for the purchase of equipments for its band, to be set up shortly.


The College during the period under review had done reasonably well in sports. Our aim is to do better in the coming year. One drawback is that our finances do not permit the investments the college would like to make. Yet, we are determined to make best use of whatever resources available. It is also our aim to reach once again the pride of place occupied by the college in the not too distant past.

Tutorial Staff

I owe my sincere gratitude to members of the tutorial staff for the co-operation extended for successful conduct of affairs of the college, particularly to Mr.W M Sumanapala, Mrs.Seetha Jayasekara, Mrs.Chintha Dias, Mr.G Nesaseelan, Mr.V W Dikkumbura, Mr.S Medawala. Rest of the tutorial staff too played their part without which the college would not have been able to achieve most of the set goals for the year. It is also my duty to offer my grateful thanks to the former chaplain Rev. Nihal Fernando for his commitment and dedication to uplift the college should consider it as very fortunate to have Rev.Goodchild back in its fold. It must be mentioned that Rev.Goodchild in addition to his teaching responsibilities, enjoys giving guidance to children in extra curricular activities, besides his pastoral duties, which he is very particular about. Rev Goodchild voluntarily devotes a lot of his free time to improve the standard of English in the College. It is commendable that he some how finds time to train juniors in swimming. He seems to enjoy it very much. His involvement in the scout movement had created an enhanced interest among the boys. On top of everything he still finds time to do counseling services to the needy. I owe my deep gratitude to him. I also wish to recall the long period of dedicated service rendered to the college by Mrs.A M Dahanayake Yapa, who retired from service at the end of the year. We wish her a pleasant retired life.


The Senior Prefect, along with his team of prefects too contributed their share in all school & hostel activities. They too deserve a word of appreciation.

Administrative Staff

I also wish to thank the members of the administrative staff, Mr.Manamperi, The Administrative Officer, Mr.Ranasinghe, The Secretary, Mr.Vas Gunawardena, The Accountant, Mr.Harischandra, The Food Warden, The Support Staff for the manner they handled their duties.

The Volunteers

I consider it may duty to thank the two volunteers Mrs.N Farook who helps the boys in the English stream, conducting classes on Saturdays and Mr.Kamalakannan for the guidance given to boys in sports, particularly swimming.

The Board of Governors

Last but not least, I most respectfully thank the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the college Rt.Rev Duleep De Chickera, The Bishop of Colombo, The Board of Governors & The Manager of the college Mr.Upali Panditaratna for showing the way and giving guidance whenever such necessity arose, to successfully conduct affairs of the college, forthcoming a always.

I wish to conclude my speech with the positive-behalf and confidence that we can transform our society to be a better place by our commitment and dedication towards our most valued treasure, that is “THE CHILDREN OF SRI LANKA.”



About us
Reports and Recommendations
Newsletters & Circulars
Articles / Memoirs / Reflections
News of Old Boys
Gallery of Events
Notice Board / Calendar
Contact us