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Published by RCOBAA, 2019-04-15 02:54:44

Floreat - 2019 April Issue

Floreat April 2019

Keywords: RCOBAA Floreat,Floreat,RCOBAA APRIL - 2019

The Edward (Eddie) Gray
Memorial Oration




Family Day

RCOBAA Inter Batch
Royal Big Bash

Education system given right Royal treatment...

This write-up is based entirely on: The Royal College – School of Our Fathers – A Brief History and the
Essence of its Spirit compiled by D.L Seneviratne for RCU, History of Royal College by S.S Perera, A History
of the Diocese of Colombo – Edited by F. Lorenz Beven, M.A, History of Education in Ceylon 1796–1965 by
K.H.M Sumathipala and Education in Ceylon – A Centenary Volume published by the Ministry of
Education and Cultural Affairs Ceylon.

Varuna de Silva - Quadrangle Magazine

In 1831, Sir Robert Wilmot Horton became the
Governor of Ceylon. The Secretary of State instructed
him to implement the recommendations of
Colebrooke and Cameron without much delay.
Therefore, Horton took immediate action to close
down Vernacular Schools and terminate the services
of teachers with poor knowledge of English. The
Governor then consulted the Archdeacon on the
establishment of the School Commission and the
latter vehemently opposed the plan. As he believed
that such a commission would “only lead to
disagreement, confusion and mismanagement” the
Archdeacon was not willing to serve on it.

Governor Horton, who generally agreed with the Archdeacon, was compelled to set up the commission
due to pressure from home. However, Horton had informed the Secretary of State later in a half-hearted
way that it was untimely for him to express an opinion on whether the new arrangement would lead to
beneficial results. In the same year, a 28-year-old Scotsman who had arrived in Colombo took up the
position of mathematics and classics tutor at the Church Missionary Society in Kotte. He was none other
than Reverend Joseph who later started a tiny school which was to become the renowned Royal College.

When the Central School Commission was established in 1834, Rev. James Moncrieff Sutherland Glenie,
by virtue of his appointment as Archdeacon, became its president. The other members were the
Treasurer, the Auditor-General, the Government Agent of Colombo and the clergy resident in Colombo.
Their duty generally was to superintend the school establishment and to submit the measures they
thought it expedient to adopt for the establishment of schools and the extension of education, to the

In 1835, Rev. Joseph Marsh was appointed as the acting Colonial Chaplain of St Paul’s Church, Wolfendhal,
in Colombo. This was when Marsh was appointed as the Secretary of the Central School Commission.

The very appreciative residents who wanted more boys to have this English education petitioned
Governor Horton. Sir Wilmot Horton consented and converted the little private school to the Colombo
Academy in January of 1836.

When Horton set up the commission under pressure from the Secretary of State back in England, he did
not take immediate action to establish any college as the superior took more time to consider the matter
further. It was reinforced further by the fact that Horton’s spiritual adviser, the Archdeacon, did not
provide enough encouragement.


In spite of this negative backdrop consisting of the Archdeacon’s adverse advice, half-heartedness of the
British Government and the indecision of the Governor, the actual foundation for a college was laid by
Rev. Joseph Marsh, M.A.

It was in 1835 that Rev. Marsh started a small
private school in the back verandah of the church.
It was called the Hill Street Academy and had
around 20 pupils who were mainly from the upper
class Burgher community.

The very appreciative residents who wanted more
boys to have this English education petitioned
Governor Horton. Sir Wilmot Horton consented
and converted the little private school to the
Colombo Academy in January of 1836.

The academy was located in a two-storied house
at Messenger Street for a short period. In July, it shifted to San Sebastian Hill. Cadjan (coconut palm
thatch) sheds were used for many years before more permanent structures were built for the school.

Colombo Academy was now a state school operated by the government with a lower scale of fees enabling
a larger number of boys in Colombo to gain the benefits of a good education. It had a lower school of 72
boys and an upper school of 31. Rev. Marsh continued to be the Headmaster of this school as well until
1838 when he was forced to take leave due to poor health. Sadly, he was on his way back home when he
died at sea in 1839.

Rev. Marsh and Governor Horton are considered as the founders of the Colombo Academy which later
became Royal College.

In 1841, Governor Stewart Mackenzie (1837–41) abolished the School Commission and introduced a
remodelled Central School Commission. However, the School Commission in its seven-year regime had
established 40 schools – 34 of them offering elementary education in the English medium and the other
six the Tamil medium. A total of 2062 (1808 boys and 254 girls) were enrolled in these schools. In addition,
the government also maintained the Colombo Academy which had 116 boys on its roll. After Rev. Marsh,
the very young Brooke Bailey at 20 was the acting Headmaster for six months.

Thereafter, the Rev. J.F Haslam, the Principal of the Church Missionary Society, Kotte, was appointed as
the first principal of the academy. He resigned within a year as the CMS wanted him back there.

Brooke Bailey once again became the acting Headmaster for several months before being made joint
Headmaster with Rev. A. Kessen for nine months. Bailey, who was very able, was considered too young
and inexperienced to be principal. However, in 1845, he was appointed as Inspector of Schools and
ordained as a priest in 1847.

The son-in-law of Rev. Marsh, Rev. Dr Barcroft Boake, an Irishman was the next principal from 1842 to
1870. He who wore a clergyman’s cassock and had long side whiskers.

Boake was a forthright personality but did not tolerate even well-meant criticism. During his time, many
boys were sent to the University of Calcutta for higher studies. This is when Colombo Academy became
affiliated to that university in India.


Boake then went ahead and established a private
school named Queens College. The best senior
boys were sent there for special attention and to
prepare them for entrance into this university.
Interestingly, in 1859, the school name was
changed to Colombo Academy & Queens College.

However, after much debate and discussion
mainly between Boake and Richard Morgan, the
school was renamed as Colombo Academy in
1869. Though Morgan opposed the name change,
the fact remains that he was a brilliant former
student of Boake and was still very loyal to him.

George Todd was the next principal during whose
time the school motto and colours were first
mentioned. Todd taught a different class at the
academy every day and would call up laggards
and point to the motto Disce aut Discede. His
houses in London and Rome were both named
San Sebastian.

J.B Cull was the next to take the reins after Principal Todd. On August 1, 1881, Colombo Academy attracted
the attention of Her Majesty Queen Victoria when this principal sought her approval to change the school
name to Royal College. This is probably the first time this school drew the attention of the Head of the
British Empire who aptly approved the name change.

Cull was a strict disciplinarian who frequently slapped the boys. It was during Principal Cull’s era that
cadetting was introduced to the school. When J.B. Cull left Royal College, the son of the first principal,
Joseph Marsh (Jnr.) came to the hot seat to resume the Marsh legacy. During his time the Royal College
Old Boys’ Union was formed in 1891 and has served the college in great measure over the years. Today,
the RCU has evolved into a mammoth organisation which addresses all needs of the school.

Next, the period under Principal John Harward saw Royal College prosper both in academics and sports.
His term was called the “Golden Age” of the school. He started the college magazine and under him the
school had its first athletics meet in 1892.

Harward’s reputation as a Classics Scholar was perpetuated with the award of the Harward memorial prize
for Western Classics. He spoke Sinhala excellently albeit with a marked English accent.

In 1902, the very first lady teacher was appointed to teach French in the senior forms. Her name was Mrs.

With time, the site of San Sebastian was found to be unsuitable for the school. Apart from lake flies, dust
and dirt, the buildings were dilapidated and dark, the roof leaked and there was insufficient room to hold
classes. There was also no proper ground for sports.

The Governor agreed with the principal that the school should shift to a new site.


On August 27, 1913, the school moved to its new building at Thurstan Road (now the University of
Colombo). It was Principal Charles Hartley who brought all 200 students and occupied this particular

The grand piano you find in the hall today is the one that was made for Royal College by H.W. Cave & Co.
Ltd London in 1913.

Principal Hartley also introduced boxing to the college and is remembered for caning the entire Sixth Form

When the young Royalists were led away from the dust and flies of San Sebastian in Pettah to the open
spaces of Thurstan Road, the move was a heartbreak to them. After 78 years a tradition was broken. The
students who had got used to old Pettah were leaving their tiny playing field which was the church yard
of Holy Trinity church and their much-loved banyan tree – a landmark with many memories.

In 1915, World War I and the ethnic riots in Ceylon were to take their toll on the school. Some boys joined
other schools and very few applications for admission were received. In January 1916, only 43 boys were
present at the school assembly out of 89 boys on the roll.

In 1917, all classes in the Training College were added to Royal College and the students settled down
finally in this peaceful, picturesque and quiet residential suburb. The roads were lined with Flamboyant
trees full of flowers. There were an occasional slow-moving motor car, a few rickshaws and pedestrians
and sometimes a pingo carrier shouting out his wares to the residents in bungalows. They were mainly
from England.

On October 10, 1923, Governor Sir William Manning declared open the present buildings at Reid Avenue.
A permanent abode for the oldest public school in the island had thus become a reality. It was the
beginning of a new life.

The Principal Major H.L. Reed had served in France throughout Word War I before joining Royal College.
He brought in a modern public school atmosphere and introduced the Prefect and House systems, tennis,
and composed the college song which perhaps is his finest achievement.

When Royal College celebrated 100 years of excellence in 1935, L.H.W Sampson was the principal. He
introduced Sinhala and Tamil languages to the curriculum. Swimming and gymnastics were added to
sports during this period.

As part of the Centenary Celebrations he took the initiative and arranged for the school cricket team to
take on a long tour of Australia in 1936. This was an enterprise far in advance of its time in the context of
the development of cricket in our country.

The standard of the Royal College team amazed the headmaster of the Melbourne High School, W.M.
Woodfull, who umpired the match against his school. He also was the Australian Test captain, and Keith
Miller, who later became Australia’s finest all-rounder, played for his school against our team.

The young and dynamic E.L. Bradby was the principal during the World War II years. It also was during this
time that he introduced scouting to the school. He is well remembered for the Bradby Shield he offered
for the annual Royal-Trinity rugby encounter which is recognised as the most prestigious inter-school
rugby match in the country.


The end of 1945 was a significant time for Royal College as the government introduced Free Education
and Royalists did not have to pay school fees. Principal Bradby retired to end a period of 111 years of
dedicated service by the British who built, developed and defended this great institution since 1835.

For all these Britons, every Royalist owes a deep debt of gratitude as they came 6000 miles to a distant
land by sea to build this monumental establishment.

Varuna de Silva, former Consultant
Director & Acting English Web Editor
at the Special Media Unit of the
Department of Government
Information, served the RCU as its
Chief Editor in the 175th anniversary
year of Royal College and later as its
Web Editor. He started his part-time
media career in 1995 as a News
Reader and Editor at 101.7 & 90 FM
and continues to enjoy freelance
assignments related to media and
communications. However, he is
better-known as a Business
Development/ Marketing Consultant with a keen interest in delivering lectures on Customer Care and


Chithran Duraisamy, Link

His Excellency Somasundaran Skandakumar took up this appointment in 2015 with responsibilities as
plenipotentiary to Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. He returns to the
homelands where his heart belongs but not without capturing our hearts in the process. He is quick to
admit “I’m not a career diplomat” but judging by his exemplary manner, he has carried out his duties with
deft perfection that would be the envy of any professional diplomat.

It is evident to many of us that it is his passion for the country that has set him apart as one of the most
distinguished ambassadors to grace these shores. A man of integrity, he has used his gifted ability to reach
out to people and cut across ethnic and political differences.

The heightened racial tension (2009-2010), its subsequent spill-over impact and the change in government
(2015) appeared to raise its ugly head within the diaspora. How fortunate were we, against this backdrop
to welcome a diplomat whose aim was to solidify us; not as Sinhalese, Tamils, Burghers, Malays or Muslims
but as Sri Lankans. He did this through both word and deed by actively promoting the shared vision of a
better world. ‘We are all children of one common mother’ - a line from our national anthem, he uses often
to remind us of our heritage, culture and the need for unity.


As a strong advocate for bilateral relations he has been instrumental in many trade and social
engagements between our two nations. A game dear to his heart, in cricket parlance, his short yet
effective ‘captain’s knock’ the past 4 years has produced several boundaries hard to emulate. Given his
stellar corporate career in Sri Lanka, his appeal and charisma in inter-governmental dealings paved the
way for Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to visit Sri Lanka.

Reciprocal visits by the President and Prime Minister of Sri Lanka followed. Incidentally, the previous state
visit by a Sri Lankan prime minister took place when Sir John Kothalawala visited Australia in the 50’s.

Additionally, under his purview stronger ties in border security control and steps towards knowledge
share in both environment preservation and food crops established.

Several memoranda of understanding economic issues have also been signed. In particular, the Trade and
Investment Framework agreement signed in Colombo in November 2017 has opened the doors for
discussions on economic reform and cooperation, free trade, regional trade agreements, market access
and specific opportunities for investment between both countries.

Our modest HC is quick to deflect these achievements as “strengthening bilateral collaboration” and in
doing so he would acknowledge the efforts and contributions of his fellow staff members and other stake-
holders. This comes as no surprise as many who worked for him in Sri Lanka will still vouch for his
benevolence and leadership qualities.

His drive in reinforcing multicultural ties between our two nations is evident by the setting up of the Sri
Lankan Festival in Canberra in 2016. Large crowds from diverse communities attend this annual event to
savour Sri Lankan tea and culinary delights. Intricate and colourful Sri Lankan handlooms, burnt wood art,
porcelain, tourist board promotions and displays are also on offer. Proceeds of this event are donated to
the ‘Little Hearts’ Project of the Lady Ridgeway Children’s Hospital in Sri Lanka.

Having completed 3 successive years, we hope this legacy he leaves behind will be continued by his
successor. Big shoes to fill no doubt!

A gifted speaker he often engages his audience with his extemporary speeches - profound, humorous,
inspiring and patriotic. There is often a reference or comparison to life imitating cricket akin to Oscar
Wilde’s observation of “Life imitating Art”.

Listening to him speak is a pure delight and his delivery of jokes is subtle and classy (if opportunity
presents, ask him about the lance corporal with 3 sons)! He never fails to enthuse his audience and always
leaves a thoughtful message for one to ponder. The epitome of Integrity and Sportsmanship he ‘walks the
talk’ yet very gracious at all times.

He was commissioned in the 90’s to prepare a report on the failures within Sri Lankan cricket. Dubbed the
Skandakumar report his findings and recommendations in due course largely assisted a new look, positive
team to emerge and win the 1996 World Cup. He does not hesitate to commend Australia on its influence
and support towards Sri Lanka gaining test status. Recently while watching the Sri Lankan’s play at Manuka
Oval, he fondly reflected on Greg Chappell’s team visit to Sri Lanka in the early 80’s for the first official
Test game.

He is well-respected and held in high esteem by cricket legends. His erudite knowledge and understanding
of the game has been well summed up by prominent cricket journalist Michael Roberts who described
him as “A perceptive observer of the cricket scene”.


The realisation that he is going back home may be a surprise to some but to others who have known this
humble gentleman, his heart is in Sri Lanka; Haputale in particular where he will continue to champion
various charity projects dear to his heart.

Incidentally, this would have to rate as one of the longest farewells extended to a High Commissioner. No
sooner his return to Sri Lanka was made official in June last year, many individuals and organisations lined
up to bid him farewell.

This is indeed a testimony and reflection of the calibre of our HC, who will be sadly missed. Putting aside
his public persona, ‘Skanda’ is a family oriented brother as described by his beloved sister Saro; family
means the world to him and she has referred to him as that proverbial candle who burns himself to
provide light to others. We will remember the brightness he brought into our lives here Down Under.

It is rare to find an individual who has traversed academia, sports, a successful corporate career, public
and diplomatic service and navigated each with effortless ease leaving behind notable imprints in all

This Sir, you have done in your inimitable style with distinction and we thank you, salute and wish you

Click here to view a brief album of photographs during his tenure in Australia. (Photos contributed by
numerous well-wishers and are not in any specific order).

Luncheon in honour of High Commissioner His Excellency
Somasundaram Skandakumar and The Honourable Prasanna

George Fernando

A luncheon was held on Sunday 24th March to farewell High Commissioner
Somasundaram Skandakumar and Consul General Prasanna Gamage. The
two dignitaries are returning to Sri Lanka at the end of their terms of office
in Canberra and Melbourne respectively. Members of the Sri Lankan
community came together at the Walawwa Restaurant to show their
appreciation of the good work done by these exceptional Sri Lankans.

Hugh Karunanayake introduced Somasundaram Skandakumar and
Prasanna Gamage in his insightful speech. Skandakumar was presented as
a man with a long list of achievements in many fields having started with
the finest education that any young man in Sri Lanka could wish for. He
played cricket for Royal College winning the best player award at the Royal
Thomian match. His career took him to the highest levels finishing with the
position of Chairman of George Steuart and Co. His role with cricket
administration in Sri Lanka has been long and again at the highest levels. Hugh further said, “When his
Ambassadorial appointment was announced, there was all round acclaim for the decision by the


government, and I can say without any fear of contradiction, that the position was offered to him in
recognition of his capabilities. No canvassing was required, and none made.”
Hugh went on to mention a current project being undertaken by Skandakumar in Haputale where he has
organized helping the needy using his skills, expertise and the resources available to him. To quote Hugh,
“here we have someone who was additionally endowed with an endearing and humane personality” and
“It is very evident that here is a man who is keen to give back to the country more than what he received
during his lifetime. Such men are rare.”
Hugh Karunanayake also talked about the
career of Consul General Prasanna Gamage and
his vast experience with the Sri Lanka Foreign
Service since 1998 having served previously in
the Sri Lanka Missions in Singapore and
London. He was Sri Lanka’s Director at the
South Asia Association for Regional
Cooperation and many other postings. In
Hugh’s opinion, “The Government of Sri Lanka
could not have found a better person to be in
charge of the Consulate in Melbourne - a job he
has performed to the highest standards of
diplomacy”. The two honored guests responded and later mingled with the people at their tables posing
for photographs
High Commissioner Skandakumar has been a strong supporter of the Royal College Old Boys’ Association
Australia right through his term of office in Canberra. He was chief guest and speaker at the RCOBAA
AGM in 2017 where he delivered the Eddie Gray oration at the luncheon after the AGM. We shall miss
him very much as he returns to Sri Lanka. We thank him for his support and wish him well with his
future endeavors.

‘We learn not only of books but also of men at Royal
College to become a complete man’

Speech delivered by Nimal Dias-Jayasinha, the Chief Guest at the Royal College Assembly on January 17,
2019, to welcome the new entrants at Grade 1 level.

This article was taken from THE ISLAND newspaper Monday March 11th 2019.


Nimal Dias-Jayasinha, the Chief Guest at the

Royal College Assembly to welcome the new

student intake for 2019 at the Navarangahala,

lighting the traditional oil lamp, flanked by

Principal B. A. Abeyratna and Deputy Principal

Ms. Kumudu Gunawardena.

Considering the age of the new entrants, I
would prefer to address the parents and
teachers in the hope that the essence and
contents of my message will be conveyed to the
young boys at leisure but in detail. I am doing so
for the sake of effective communication - i.e.
what I speak should be understood by the
audience and, in this instance, the target
audience is actually little five-year-old children.

So dear parents, it is your responsibility to listen.

When I see these young boys who are entering College, my mind goes back to 1952 when my father
accompanied me through the Thurstan Road gates and left me under the charge of the teacher of class
1A, Miss. Gunasekere. Being the only child in the family at the time, I remember how home-sick I was.

There was no welcoming ceremony like today. But even more interesting was 13 years later when I had
collected my School Leaving Certificate from Principal Dudley de Silva and left the Boake Gates of the
College, I was sick in my stomach and was virtually overwhelmed with sadness.

Royal College had served me sumptuously all these years and I realized that such nutrition had come to
an end. However, it quickly dawned on me that Royal College had prepared me to face Sri Lankan society
in a confident manner and that I had been made into being a proud Old Royalist.

Dear parents, I consider you as extremely fortunate to have your child gaining entrance to this venerable
institution and it is my sincere hope that your offspring will be able to exploit the full potential it offers
over the next months and years. Now, what really is Royal College?

Established in 1835 at Hill Street, Wolfvendhall and known as the Colombo Academy, it moved to this
location in 1912. Four shiploads of Burma teak were imported to build the structure and the timber holds
the buildings together even to this date.

The Campus area spreads across 37 acres and boasts of the largest ground area owned by a school in Sri
Lanka. It has a student population approximating 8,000 and a tutorial staff of nearly 400, apart from other
ancillary staff.

It affords you possibly the best laboratory facilities available, an excellent library and a multiplicity of
sports facilities, and as a secular Institution, is inter-denominational, multi-ethnic and multi-religious. It is
one big brotherhood of children striving to reach excellence in different fields.


Education and co-curricular activities remain unmatched. We even teach the Chinese language. Royal
College being one of the oldest, best and the biggest schools in Sri Lanka, will ensure that your son is
imbued with values and traditions which remain sacred in the hearts of all Royalists, young and old.

At Royal College, we learn not only of books, but also of men, which will help one to become a complete
man. Politeness, respect for each other, helpfulness and good manners are imperative traits of a Royalist.

Royalists are made to realize that tomato is a fruit but that it should not be mixed in a fruit salad. That’s
knowledge versus wisdom. We at Royal want our students to progress from good to better to best in every
area of activity. Clearly, you cannot be the best at the very beginning…… it is a comparative state one
should achieve through effort and commitment and if the parents present today understand this concept,
we will be able to create an excellent ground work for the betterment of your sons.

Importantly, Royal College also has a strong and powerful Old Boys’ Union, which was established in 1891,
and whose earnings are managed by a Trust created by an Act of Parliament. Annually, the Royal College

Union collects more than Rs. 100 million, which is all expended entirely upon the various development
activities of the school and not a single cent is permitted to be wasted.

Many scholarships are granted across the board. Being the Secretary of this Union is a coveted position,
which has been held in the past by very eminent individuals like President JR Jayewardene, Nihal
Seneviratna, former Secretary-General of Parliament and Col. F. C. de Saram, a barrister from Oxford
University, who also captained All Ceylon at cricket and the iconic industry leader, Ken Balendra and many

Today, the strong-willed Mithila Mendis run its affairs effectively and with great aplomb. It would interest
you to know that the Secretary-to-be in 2020 or 2021, was identified as far back as 1999 and has been
nurtured through all these years, which I trust will impress upon you the importance of this job.

He was a medical student then and today he is a doctor and a Colonel in the Sri Lanka Army. The sole
objective of the Royal College Union is the well-being and welfare of Royal College, which in turn relate to
its students.

Also helping towards the development of the College is the School Development Committee made up of
parents and teachers, which renders yeoman service to help sustain and maintain the infrastructure of
the College. Parents have access to the audited accounts of this body to clear any doubts regarding actual
earnings and disbursements and at present, the School Development Committee is headed by its dynamic
Secretary, Asanka Pieris, who has done a tremendous job in improving many areas within the campus in
the recent past.

At this point, I would like to draw the attention to an important fact and that is to consider the teachers
as also human beings. They already have a challenging task on their hands but the demands on them
should not be overwhelming. During my time at school, if a parent was seen in College, it was because he
was summoned by the Principal due to a misdemeanor of the boy, but today a seeming element of
selfishness impel parents to impose themselves on the teachers making their jobs even more challenging.


Remember, your child is only one of 40 children the teacher has to cope with. You should, by way of a civil
gesture, refrain from giving telephone calls to teachers during school hours because it will simply disturb
their activities. Most lady teachers are mothers and understand the emotional and educational needs of
your son, but most mothers have not been teachers and this is an important aspect all mothers and even
fathers should keep in mind.

At this point, I have an extremely important message for both parents and teachers – Rules without
Relationship leads to Rebellion and Relationship without Rules lead to chaos, whereas Rules alongside
Relationship will lead to Respect and Responsibility.

What is this Relationship we are talking about? It relates to developing desirable human qualities amongst
one and all. Appreciation, kindness, gratitude, politeness, non-selfishness and honesty need to be
inculcated in the children. How do we do this? To me, the best way is to adopt the Pancha Seela mode
which, though enunciated by the Buddha, is also enshrined in the teachings within the Bible, the Gita and
the Holy Quran.

Dear parents, you need to address this aspect with missionary zeal. You would do well to spend 5-10
minutes daily speaking to the children about the benefits of the Five Precepts – kindness towards all living
beings, refusing to take something which does not rightfully belong to you, the need to be truthful at all
times and the dangers of intoxicants.

Intoxicants, as you know, are not confined to alcohol – this last element is of extreme importance in
today’s context. You need to brainwash your child upon these tenets, more so since he is in his formative
stages. Your discussions should not have overtones of Nirvana and Heaven, but the need should be to
create positive values and vibes.

Do create a dialogue of friendship with your son through these wonderful and enriching precepts which
will have a definitive and lasting impact on his psyche. If you ignore this aspect and display a hunger only
for educational excellence from your son, you could well miss the bus and the foot board as well!
Regrettably though, it has happened to quite a few.

The teachers, on the other hand, should not be expected to do such task for your child and it should be
your responsibility – you owe it to your child! If you are successful, you certainly will help the teachers to
bring the best in your child - a well-educated child with exemplary qualities. Is that not what you want?
Your son cannot be a proud Royalist simply because he attended Royal College. He will be a PROUD
ROYALIST only through his actions, which will differentiate himself from the ordinary and WE ALL need to
help him in such direction.

Also present on the occasion were Principal B. A. Abeyratna, Vice Principal, Deputy Principals and
Members of the Tutorial Staff, Mithila Mendis, Secretary of the Royal College Union, Asanka Pieris,
Secretary of the School Development Committee, all new entrants to Royal College and Old Royalists.


Professor Milroy Paul-the most brilliant leading surgeon

Professor Milroy Paul-the most brilliant leading surgeon we have ever had in the history of Ceylon, and
most of his pupils now retired from the practice of Medicine, will vouch for that.
DR. Harold Gunatillake FRCS

How many of our young doctors today, including surgeons, know of Professor Milroy Paul a mentor of our
vintage. He became the first surgeon to General Hospital, Colombo in 1934, after a period of work in Jaffna
Hospital from 1930 to 1933. In 1936 he became the founder Professor of Surgery, first at the Colombo
Medical College and the Children’s Hospital. During the second world war he was appointed a Lieutenant
Colonel in the Ceylon Medical Corps and officer in charge of the surgical division at 55 British Military
Hospital, Colombo.

He was so aligned with the British that he was even invited and attended Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth
11’s Coronation in 1953.

Pages may not be adequate to describe his brilliance and achievements non-other specialist has
achieved in the history of the country.

He first married in 1927 to Winifred Hannah Penmany Canagasary,
had one sonnamed Wakeley who was as bright, smarter and stylish
in looks than the father, became a lawyer and then Crown
Councillor. He migrated to the US with his American wife, in 1968 to
give their son a good education. He passed away in the year 2009.
He was the founder member of the Royal College Old Boys’ East
Coast Association in USA.

After studying at Royal College, Colombo, he then went to attend
Emmanuel College at the University of Cambridge, receiving his
Batchelor of Arts in Law in 1952 and Master of Arts in Law in 1957.
He also received his Master of Law from Stanford University, USA in
1962 for International Law.

Professor Paul’s father was the famous surgeon S. C. Paul, the first
Ceylonese to gain the FRCS qualification.

After the death of the professor’s wife in 1944, he married Irma Philips a year later, and had three sons,
one of whom became a dental surgeon, migrated to Melbourne and displaying his surgical skills just like
the father. He is well known among the Sri This picture depicts the Professor and his second wife Irma
holidaying in Switzerland. Lankans, other circles and considered as one of the best dentists offering
services such as Periodontal Treatment, Oral Maxillofacial, dental cleaning, Bonding and paediatric
Dentistry, among other dental skills, in Melbourne, and his hobby is collecting Rolls Royce’s.

The other son is in Sydney, nicknamed, “Encyclopaedia” for his knowledge on multitude of subjects. That
brilliant trait is also reflected in him and he is a banker and a financier, involved in Real Estate business in

The one and only daughter qualified in medicine and migrated to the US.


The professor after the death of his first wife, was lonely and he advertised for a dancing partner to
practice the steps. He fell in love with her within a short period of practising the steps- ‘slow slow quick
quick’. Irma was one of the prettiest charming women in Colombo at that time as the above picture

Professor Paul was a great interesting charismatic eloquent teacher and one could listen to his lectures
tirelessly for hours. He has a great sense of humour.

I remember, during the LTTE insurgency, a young lady medical student was assigned, in one of the ward
classes, to take a history from a patient in his ward. After a few minutes she most hesitantly returned and
told the professor’ he only speaks Tamil’. The professor with no hesitation said, “Kill him”. That would be
his sense of humour and all the medical students had a mighty laugh.

Another day in the operating theatre (OTA) in the General Hospital, Professor Paul was telling off to all
the student that they are just cotton wool babies and will never pass the exam and more. I happen to be
one of them. One of the theatre attendants came into the theatre and conveyed to the Professor, that
madam has arrived. Professor then said,’ ask her to come in’.

The Professor’s attitude changed, stopped the scolds, and when Irma arrived in the theatre, the professor
relaxed, smiled and told her, “Darling look at my students, never seen such a brilliant batch’. Irma was so
pleased and after the operation was over, we were all invited to tea with the professor and madam.

There are more interesting stories about the professor, and one doctor who mimics the professor was his
own anaesthetist, late Dr B. S. Perera.

Professor Paul was so dedicated in his professional career to make things better and helping people. He
never did private practice, and spent his time in reading, writing articles and preparing lectures for the
next day.

He unfortunately ended blind in both eyes after a tennis ball had traumatised the eyes. I did visit in his
retirement days, living with Irma in Kynsey Road apartment by the road-side. He held my hand,
remembered and recognized me from my voice as both used to stay with us when they visit Sydney.

He asked me, ‘tell me Gunatillake what is the latest surgical procedure for hallux valgus (deformed big
toe) of the foot’. I explained to him in detail, and he listened and was learning in his blind state.

I got very emotional, and I was thinking to myself- here is my guru who has taught me, asking me about
the latest procedure done for a certain surgical condition. He made me my day. My wife and I had lunch
with them and departed with humility and sadness.

Our Royal-Thomian Cricket Matches – Melbourne 2019

Shanaka Perera

Open Game

The annual Royal-Thomian encounters took place on 28th January 2019, at Mulgrave Reserve. In the
opening 35 over game, the Thomians won the toss and batted first and went on to score 252 runs for 9
wickets at the end of the 35th over - this was a massive score. The Thomian captain Rayendra Karunaratne


batted through the innings to be unbeaten on 89 with assistance from Shasrika Pussegolla (34) and Shenal
De Silva (28) doing most of the damage.

Royalists were not overly enamoured by the task ahead but went about the job with tact and patience.
After a solid start Royal lost a couple of wickets in quick succession to be in trouble at 90 for 6 in 15 overs.
Royal never gave up hope and fought back with a gutsy partnership between Chaminda Vidanapathirana
(70) and Hasitha Samarasignhe (55). An exciting finish was on the cards with 37 runs required off 3 overs.
Unfortunately, Royal lost both Hasitha and Chaminda quickly and the task became even more difficult.
Royal required 19 runs off the last over and managed to get only 10 to lose the game by 8 runs. It was a
wonderful game of cricket played in the true Royal-Thomian spirit.

Chaminda Vidanapathirana was the best on the field for the Royalists with bowling figures of 4 for 36 and
scoring a fluent 70 runs. He was judged the worthy winner of the Eddie Gray Memorial trophy.

1. Lochana Premarathna (Captain) 7. Channa Gunawardene
2. Shanaka Perera 8. Dulanjaya Wijeratne
3. Helitha Vithanage 9. Hasitha Samarasinghe
4. Chaminda Vidanapathirana 10. Mahesh Kodamullage
5. Dilan Nanayakkara 11. Kanishka Botheju
6. Radev Pathirana


Over 40’s Game

In the Over 40’s game Royal took first lease of the wicket and were on the front foot at the start with good
hitting by Ishan Jinadasa (27 retired.), Shyam Sideek and Dilharan Sivaratnam. The Thomians fought back
with some excellent bowling and sharp fielding in the middle overs to get a few quick wickets. Royalists
managed to finish with a flurry with some big hitting by Captain Malique Dean and supported by Ishan
were able to post a competitive total of 132 runs at the end of the allotted 25 overs.

In reply the Thomian batters were relentless in attacking the ball despite the best efforts of our bowlers
with Shanaka Gunawardene (27 rtd.) Sidat Medonza (26 rtd.) leading the charge. They were able to
overhaul the target within 17.4 overs to be worthy winners of the R.L Hayman memorial shield. Dinesh
Chelvathurai with 2 for 19.

1. Malik Deane (Captain) 7. Sanjeewa Udumalagala
2. Shyam Sideek 8. Dilruk Fernando
3. Jay Adihetty 9. Umesh Goonawardena
4. Sunny De Silva 10. Dilharan Sivaratnam
5. Sajith Mendis 11. Saman Wijesinghe
6. Dinesh Chelvathurai 12. Aslam Assen


Annual General Meeting 2018-19

The AGM took place on 23rd of September 2018 at Grand on Princess.
The following Office Bearers were elected to serve during the forthcoming year:

President : Soba Ranasinghe
Dhammika Perera, Ranga Perera
Vice Presidents : Charith Jayathilake
Dinesh Rahim
Treasurer :

Secretary :

General Committee:
Akvan Gajanayake, Athula Ratnayake, Aslam Assen, Aynkaran Sivaratnam, Chinthana Wijeweera, Deepal
Perera, Dinesh Perera, George Fernando, Indrajith Wijegunaratne, Lochana Premarathna, Shanka
Gunawardena, Shanaka Perera, Shyam Sideek.

The Patron of our association Professor David de Kretser was a special guest at the luncheon after the

RCOBAA Committee

Standing L-R: Chinthana Wijeweera, Shanka Gunawardena, Athula Ratnayake, Aynkaran Sivaratnam,
Deepal Perera, and George Fernando.
Seated L-R: Dhammika Perera, Indrajith Wijegunaratne, Prof. David de Kretser, Soba Ranasinghe and
Ranga Perera.

Absent: Akvan Gajanayake, Aslam Assen, Charith Jayathilake, Dinesh Rahim, Dinesh Perera, Lochana
Premarathna, Shanaka Perera, Shyam Sideek


The newly elected President Soba Ranasinghe addressed the members as follows:

I must say that it is an absolute honour to be nominated and be elected as the President of this

There has been a lot of good work carried out by the past president Inji and the dynamic committee. My
goal is to continue the good work and further assist RCOBAA evolve and meet the needs of our wide
membership base. It is so encouraging to see that the youngest of our members are from the class of
2015 and the most senior member is well over 90 years old. This is a true reflection of the level of
engagement by our young and senior Royalists in Melbourne.

The over 50's lunch was hosted for the senior Royalists at the “Walawwa” Restaurant in August. We had
great support from our Vice Patron Nihal De Run and our most senior committee member George
Fernando. This event was a hit amongst the senior Royalists. We had record participation. Over 100 plus
senior Royalists and partners.

The "six-a-side cricket tournament” was a great event hosted by RCOBAA. We had 16 teams with 96
members participating. To me, one of the highlights of the tournament was that we had 36 Royalists
joining RCOBAA by taking up new membership on this day. This is a true reflection of the RCOBAA
engagement with the wider Royal College community in Melbourne.

Another initiative close to my heart was helping those in need. Thanks to our 2018 Royal Gala night
sponsors, donors and your participation, we have committed to increase the number of students
sponsored by RCOBAA from 14 to 30 Royalists. This as you can see is a 100% increase in beneficiaries. We
should all be proud of making a difference and assisting in improving the lives of these deserving young

I am so proud that RCOBAA is going from strength-to-strength. We are fortunate to have a team of
people who have dedicate their time and effort for our beloved association and the greater cause. We
have a strong ship in RCOBAA with a dedicated bunch of sailors. We need your support to make the
journey a memorable one.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for attending the AGM today. I am confident with all
your support and contributions; we will continue to climb to greater heights and be the envy of every

In closing I also need to formally welcome Deepal Perera from the class of ‘90 and Chintana Wijeweera
from the class of ‘87 to the new committee.

Gentlemen, this brings us to the end of the Annual General meeting.

Enjoy the rest of the afternoon.



The Edward (Eddie) Gray Memorial Oration

The Story of Project BEAP (Batticaloa Emergency Accident Project): a Philanthropic Journey of Dr.
David Young and Nihal de Run.
Nihal de Run
RCOBAA AGM and Lunch 23rd September 2018

Edward Gray: December 21 1918 – September 21 2004

This is a summary of the Oration. Dr David Young and Nihal de Run initiated the BEAP project. RCOBAA
supported the project.

Nihal began the Edward Gray Memorial Oration by looking at the life of Edward Gray.

Eddie the Royalist

Eddie Gray was born 21 December 1918 and entered Royal College in 1928. Eddie played rugger at Royal
in 1935, 1936 and was captain 1937. He boxed in Inter-House and the Stubbs Shield and was captain of
the College boxing team. He was Head Prefect at Royal College.

Eddie the Sportsman

Eddie joined the Ceylon Police in 1937 and played Rugby for CR & FC.
He was selected for the Ceylon Team to the London Olympics in
1948. Eddie led the Ceylon Boxing Team to the Empire Games in
Auckland New Zealand in 1950.

He was an active member of marksman’s tournaments and played
Polo with the elite and represented Police & Colombo Polo Clubs. He
was the first Ceylonese person to lead the mounted police escort for
the Queen’s visit in 1952.

He was actively involved in the formation and running of the Sri
Lanka Cricket Foundation.

Eddie and Boxing

Eddie was the manager of the Ceylon Boxing Team to Asian Games
in Tokyo. He was on horseback alongside late D. S. Senanayake, then
PM of Sri Lanka, when D. S. suffered a stroke and collapsed on the

Galle Face Green.

He attended the Commonwealth Games in Perth in 1962 as the flag bearer and was the Team Manager
to the Asian Games in 1963. In 1964 he was Team Manager to the Olympic Games in Tokyo and was again
Team Manager to the Asian Games held in 1965. In 1966 Eddie Gray was the First Ceylonese person to be
appointed to the World Controlling Body of Boxing (1966 to 1974).

Eddie the Olympian

In 1967 Eddie organised the Asian Boxing Championships held in Colombo, he also was a member of the
International Jury (Boxing) during 1968 Mexico Olympics. He was an International Referee/Judge for the


1972 Munich Olympics and then officiated at the Christchurch Games in 1974. Eddie was a Torch Bearer
in the Torch Relay for 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Eddie - The true Founder of the RCOBAA

In 1979 Eddie migrated to Australia. In the years to follow Eddie formed the RCOBAA. He gathered the
support of many stalwarts of that era: Edward Kellart, Arthur Keuneman, Ivor Obeysekera, Doug Kelly,
Jock Misso, Trevor Anghie, Channa Wijesinghe, Ernie de Bruin, Basil Henricus, Duncan Kreltszheim, Fred
Kreltszheim and several others who did not join the committee but helped Eddie in his endeavours.

All of those named held various offices in the RCOBAA. Eddie worked tirelessly behind the scenes to push
others into key positions. He served several years as Honorary Secretary and finally as President.

The Foundation Supporting a National Trauma Service in Sri Lanka Inc

Dr. David Young - Orthopaedic Surgeon, Sports
Physician, Philanthropist, President of the
Twentyman Foundation.

The foundation has a budget of $2 million, 17
employees and serves children’s programs in the
Western suburbs - Casey and other parts of
Melbourne. (Originally founded by Les Twentyman to
help street kids in the Western suburbs of

David Young and Sri Lankan Cricket

It all began with Cricket: Dav Whatmore invited David
Young pre-World Cup 1996 to treat to Murali’s
shoulder. This led to treatment for several cricket
stars of that era: Mahela, Sanga (later Angelo

Matthews and others).
2004 Tsunami strikes Sri Lanka

Murali asked David to come to help. David mustered a team of volunteers and flies to Sri Lanka in a plane
provided by AusAid. He goes first to the South and then to the East.

Batticaloa Hospital

The Teaching Hospital in Batticaloa serves nearly 2 million people from Pottuvil in the South to
Trincomalee in the North and Polonnaruwa in the West.

It is a general hospital with 1,100 beds but only four operating theatres. There are hundreds of qualified
medical professionals but only a modest Accident and Emergency and casualty room to mend the broken
bodies and spirits of the afflicted people. The volunteers could not work in the run-down operating
theatres that did not have adequate medical equipment or essential tools. Sri Lanka lacks Accident and
Emergency facilities to deal with natural disasters.


Scenes of devastation in the East

40,000 Sri Lankans died in 2004 Tsunami
The beginning of Project BEAP
David Young turned to Nihal de Run as Chairman of HELP SRI LANKA and asked for $25K to supply a skin
grafting machine and spare blades. It was after that their friendship grew. David asked Nihal to help him
build a hospital in Batticaloa. David thought it would cost about US$5million.
Nihal asked David how he saw the money coming. David was confident that donations would flow. Nihal
said that it would take forever. They then set out with a plan to invite the Sri Lankan business leaders to
meetings. David spoke with much passion to the thirty five leaders and recruited them to two committees.
Some active; others passive. The Foundation was created.
Hon Maithripala Sirisena gives BEAP the OK
They went to see Mr Maithripala Sirisena, the then Minister of Health. Mr Sirisena was informed of the
plan to provide a Public Private Partnership (not for profit) to build the Accident and Emergency facility at
theTeaching Hospital in Batticaloa. He took some time to understand the concept and then declared that
it would be a good thing; considering it was also close to his own electorate – Pollonnaruwa . He asked his
Health Secretary to meet us the very next day.


Our good Karma continues

David and Nihal met Dr Ravindra Ruberu, the Health
Secretary the next morning at 8 am (an old Royalist).

He agreed that we sign a Memorandum of
Understanding providing in detail the objectives and
responsibilities of all parties.

We returned to Australia to establish the Foundation
as an Incorporated Association and to seek ACNC
endorsement. We invited Professor Dr David de
Kretser to be our Patron and he consented.

We set out to appoint our own Architect selected by
tender processes. Gunaratna Associates (Locana
Gunaratna) was selected by tender (also an old

We started to raise funds. Our target was USD$2million
for the building and US$1million for the main items of
medical equipment.

Our Major donors

Committee members organized introductions to
industry captains. It took many meetings, letters,
emails and phone calls to get the donations. Sri Lanka
Telecom was the first major donor introduced by Dick
Siebel (another old Royalist). This took three years to
sign-up. John Keells were next (more Royal connections
helped). Asiri Hospitals Group, Tokyo Cement, Baur &
Co, Emjay /Penguin, Brandix (more Royal College
connections) and some benevolent individuals in Sri
Lanka and Australia. Many other donors added to the
coffers. Finally, a single individual donor gave us AUD


• Raising Money
• Dealing with public servants who were slow and indecisive
• Public servants who do not reply to letters and are totally uncommunicative
• Reaching those who shared our vision
• Never conceding to bribery and corruption
• Using persuasive means
• Appealing to people’s emotions
• Reminding people that while we no longer live in Sri Lanka, we still want to help the people of

Sri Lanka


The facility

A five-storey building was designed. Costs rose after the settlement of the war and a much larger budget
was needed so it was decided to scale down the building to 3 storeys. Thus, a building of 6202 sq. meters
was designed. It contains three operating theaters, a large triage, resuscitation rooms, and treatment
rooms for burns or poisoning, X-Ray and Imaging rooms, a minor procedures room and soon to follow a
CT scanner. It was designed to house 60 beds for short to medium term stay and male and female wards.
It has all the facilities for a self-contained Accident & Emergency Hospital. A total outlay of Rs807 million
plus VAT of which the Foundation contributed Rs300 million.

Patient demand

The demand by patients attending A&E @ THB is nearing 20,000 per year. Motor car accidents account
for most of the demand. The better Sri Lanka make the roads, the faster the motorists travel and more
the accidents. Bites from dogs, snakes and stings from insects are the next largest category of patients.
Industrial and domestic accidents such as cuts, bruises and breakages are common.

Batticaloa is now ready and able to handle surges in demand from natural disasters such as the Tsunami
of 2004. BEAP brought to the attention of the Ministry and others the need for such facilities in other
regional areas.

The building was opened by the Minister of Health Hon Rajitha Senaratna on 17th June 2018 and is now
functional as an A&E Treatment Unit.

The Future

Karapitiya near Galle was constructed with funds from the Victorian Government post Tsunami 2004.
Batticaloa is now complete and the second such facility for the public, non-fee-paying patients. Jaffna,
Pollonaruwa, Matara and Kalmunai will be next. Work has begun. In all 14 such A&E centres of various
sizes will make up the future National network. We are proud to have been associated with the movement
to make A&E Trauma Treatment an important segment of the Public Healthcare system in Sri Lanka

The Foundation is now focused on: Sustainability, i.e. providing training and development to ensure
standards are maintained and that the money we and our sponsors invested will not be neglected and go
to waste.

The business plan 2018/19

Our main objectives for 2018/19:

• Funding a C T Scanner (US $400K is our contribution)
Arranging an Outbound training team from Wangaratta Hospital to continue the efforts towards
Best Practice Training at Batticaloa.

• Arranging at least one visit by “Project BEAP Mediforce” to give lectures and demonstrations at

• To establish a training course for Paramedics at THB.


How Royal helped spawn St. Thomas College

Hugh Karunanayake, courtesy of The Ceylankan, Vol. XX: No. 2, May 2016, where the tile is “Royal
College role in the Birth of S. Thomas College”.
S. Thomas College Mount Lavinia was established in Mutwal on 3rd February 1851. It was then described
as a “Collegiate School’ which was much akin to what was later to emerge as a secondary school. The
intention of its founders was to establish a College and a School. The latter was designed to prepare
candidates for admission into the College. The College was to prepare students for entry into tertiary
education including Theology and Divinity Studies. When initially established it was not possible to
differentiate between School and College, there being 70 students in the whole institution and not enough


students to commence the College. One year later with the arrival of Warden Wood the College was
opened in January 1852 with 20 students, the rest being included in the Collegiate School.

A little known fact is that of almost the entirety of the first 20 students in the College section, 10 were

from the Colombo Academy (now

known as Royal College) and most

of the others from an institution

known as the Colombo Central

School — then regarded as a

school second only in standard of

education to the Colombo

Academy. The Colombo Academy

was the leading educational

establishment in the country and

was a fee levying school for over a

century until the introduction of

free education in 1944. The influx

The Original building in Mutwal- From WT Keble History of St.Thomas of students from the Academy
College 1937 arose following an increase in

school fees pursuant to a recommendation from the Central School Commission in 1848 which also

recommended the closure of the Academy.

The old boy lobby of the Academy proved too strong however and. the former fees were restored
following public outcry and some of the boys from the Academy returned from S. Thomas to their former
school. The Academy of course continued to expand later changing its name to Royal College. The boys
who joined from the Academy were outstanding students at St Thomas during its early years and it could
therefore verily be said that the successful birth of S. Thomas College was in great measure due to a
transfusion from Royal College!


Charles Silva Wickremasekera Simond De Melho Aserappah.
Frederick Jayetilleke William Dias
Wilmot Horton de Saram Bandaranayake
John Lucious Dassanayake John De Melho Aserappah
Jonathan Silva Adam Rathna
George Fernando

A Weinman
Simon Mutukistna John Perera
Peter Daniel
Edward Orr
JL Christoffelsz

What was to be the first school magazine ever produced by S. Thomas College was published in 1853 two
years after the establishment of the school. A remarkable achievement. This 36-page booklet (the title


page reproduced in The Ceylankan for the first time ever since its publication in 1853) whose existence
was not only unknown to the school’s historians of later years, but its contents unrecorded in any of the
histories of the school. The first History of S. Thomas College by CH Christian David, published in 1894, the
Jubilee Number of the School Magazine published in 1901, A History of St Thomas College, Colombo by
WT Keble in 1937, and the St Thomas College Centenary Number of 1951 all acknowledge 1875 as the year
in which the first issue of the college magazine took place.

There is no recorded instance of the existence of the 1853 journal the title page of which is shown here.
In fact, its existence does not appear in any contemporaneous records on the history and progress of the
school. The magazine was titled Exercises in English Composition St Thomas College Colombo June and July
1853. Published by the College Press, Colombo.

The journal has seven essays written by pupils of the school and a listing of the names of all 120 students
including the 22 students in the College section (in 2 classes) deemed as St Thomas College, and the 98
other students spread over four classes in the “collegiate school”.

Exercises in English Composition, 1853


What is significant is that of the 22 students in the College ten were from the Colombo Academy. What is
even more significant is that of the seven essays in the 1853 magazine 6 were written by students who
came from the Colombo Academy! The school archives do not seem to have had a record of these essays.
In the history of the school authored by WT Keble mention is made of the titles of the essays, but he did
not seem to have access to its contents even while making the following comment:”One who read these
essays says, ‘We value those prose effusions on a par with the prize poems of Cambridge of early days.’
This judgment is confirmed by no less a severe critic than Warden Wood’s successor, Warden Baly, who
wrote two years later of the same students “were it not that their Latin Composition is deficient, they
would be on a level with the average Oxford undergraduate in their second year.”

List of Names of College students 1853

The essays and their authors are:
1. On the scripture of the Old Testament. Frederick Jayetilleke
2. The Miracles of Christ – a proof of His Divine Mision –SL Dassanaike


3. Untitled Essay- George Fernando
4. The character of Christ and His doctrine is proof of His Divine Mission, C. Silva Wickremasekera
5. The fulfillment of prophecy, proof of the Divine The first page of Frederick Jayetilleke’s essay

Mission of Christ.

5. The age and literature of Queen. Frederick Jayetilleke
6. Advantages of the study of Geography, WHP de Saram.

The essay by Frederick Jayetilleke on the scriptures of the Old Testament created a furore and was subject
to a lot of criticism in the newspapers. Bishop Chapman and Warden Wood were accused of teaching
Romanish doctrines in the school. Dr Barcroft Boake Principal of the Colombo Academy and Rev GR
Mutukistan participated in an acrimonious pamphlet campaign and the whole episode was for several
decades referred to as the “Jayetilleke controversy”. The Bishop had been greatly distressed by the affair
as noted by Keble in his history where he quotes the Bishop as stating “the College is winning its way in
spite of maligners, and all looks well at home.”

Readers may be interested in the later careers of the founding batch of students at St Thomas. Here are
brief notes on some of them.

Charles Silva Wickremasekera – reached the top of the class. He was aspiring to the bar, but died early.

Frederick Jayetilleke – became Private Secretary to Chief Justice Sir Carpenter Rowe and later joined the
Ceylon Civil Service.

Wilmot Horton de Saram was named after Sir Robert Wilmot Horton Governor of Ceylon who declared
open the Colombo Academy in 1835. Enrolled as a lawyer and later retired as Assistant Registrar General.

John Lucius Dassenaike enrolled as a Proctor and later served as Atapattu Mudaliyar.

Jonathan Silva – joined the Matara Bar as a Proctor.

George Fernando joined the Gampola Bar as Proctor.

Simon De Melho Aserappah and William Dias Bandaranayakecontinued their studies in Scotland as
Medical Students. On return they joined the Ceylon Medical Service.

Adam Ratne was the son of Sri Muni Rathne a Buddhist priest who together with another Buddhist priest
Ven Dharma Rama Therunnanse* went to England in 1829 with Sir Alexander Johnston Chief Justice of
Ceylon. Johnston introduced them to Rev Adam Clarke a Methodist clergyman who arranged for their
conversion and subsequent return to Ceylon as clergymen. Adam was named after his father’s mentor and
later went to England himself and took to Holy Orders. (* Ven Dharma Rama was baptised under the name
Alexander Dharmaratne after his sponsor Sir Alexander Johnstone. His great/great grandson Bryan
Dharmaratne lives in Sydney and is a long standing member of CSA)


The Ceylankan can now claim to be the first to bring the existence of this very significant historical
document pertaining to S. Thomas
College to the attention of the public and
the College, and trusts that the College
can now take note of the long lost
magazine –very probably the first ever
production from its students during the
College’s 165 year history.

Capt. Charles O’Brien’s description of this

sepia lithograph in colour runs thus:

“Colombo …has an interest as being the

port from which nearly all the coffee and

Colombo Harbour from Mutwal, 1860s –-from R. K. de Silva, Early cocoa-nut oil is shipped to Europe. … It is
Prints of Ceylon (Sri Lanka), 1800-1900, London: Serendib also the port in which the rice for the
Publications, 1985: 247. support of Malabar coolies on the coffee

estates is received. The import in 1860 was 3,182,204 bushels, of the value of 636,423l. The view

represents the Fort, with the Custom house, the Roadstead in which are seen the large ships lading for

Europe, and the ‘Inner harbour’, in which are the coasting vessels and native craft. The view is taken from

Mootwal, the resort of fishing boats ….” As Rajpal de Silva notes, the image displays several significant

features predating the British government’s demolition of the fort: notably two bastions of the ramparts,

the customs house, the old Queen’s House and the clock tower (1985: 257). The fort of Colombo was

demolished between December 1869 and February 1871.

For more details on the port of Colombo and the transformation of the city as a whole, see Dharmasena
1980; Roberts et al, People Inbetween, 1989, chap. 7; Raheem & Colin-Thome, Images of British
Ceylon, 2000: 80-87, 114-19.

Family Day

George Fernando

A fabulous family day was held on Sunday 31 March at Benedikt Reserve, Scoresby. In spite of ceaseless
rain, a large gathering of RCOBAA members and their families got together to have fun and enjoy
themselves. Lots of food and many activities were in progress with lots of prizes to be won.

Lots of children of all ages were having fun on the jumping castle, finishing all the fairy floss or taking part
in a competitive game. Thanks to our efficient committee members, there was somebody conducting one
activity or another throughout the afternoon. Dinesh Perera kept churning out many varieties of sausages
and other delicacies and he was helped by Akvan Gajanayake the apprentice master chef.


Chinthana Wijeweera was the starter and judge of the Lime and Spoon race. Many children lined up to
compete in this extra ordinary race. A little bit of rain did not worry these keen kids. There were lots of
gifts awaiting the winners as they charged off and sprinted to the finish line.
The ladies had their game when they turned up to smash a clay pot (muttiya). They were blindfolded each
in turn and set off with baseball bat in hand to find the suspended muttiya and smash it with one blow.
Most of the ladies missed their mark and finally there was a winner who literally cracked the jackpot -
splitting the pot in half and scattering a load of chocolates everywhere much to the pleasure of children
who collected the reward.
My camera was clicking non-stop and it was so good to be a part of the camaraderie and friends getting
together to enjoy a great family day.



RCOBAA Indoor Cricket Tournaments

Shanka Gunawardana

Inter-Batch Cricket Tournament

What a fabulous day we had in our RCOBAA Indoor
Cricket Tournament this year. 16 teams with
youngest batch who left college only 4 years ago
to our young at hearts with average age of 60
years, played in one tournament in true Royal
Spirit…Congratulations to our open game winners
‘Barbarians’ from group of 2004 and Over 40s
champions ‘Under Water Fire Carries’ from group

of 1995. These photos are a testimony of what a
great time we all had!

Open game winners ‘Barbarians’ Over 40s champions ‘Under Water Fire Carries’




Royal Big Bash

The Royal Big Bash 2018 (inter-school, indoor cricket tournament), was held for the 2nd consecutive year
with 10 Sri Lankan schools participating this year. All who attended had a fantastic time enjoying the
Papare music, Sri Lanka food and most importantly the comradeship with their old school friends back
from school days. RCOBAA would like to thank all participating school, DS Senanayake College, Isipathana
College, Kingswood College, Maliyadeva College, Nalanda College, St. Joseph's College, St. Peter's College,
St Thomas College and Trinity College for their participation and making this event a memorable one.

Winners: Trinity College - Kandy
Royal College team

Runners up – St. Peters College




Very popular Old Boy and talented schoolboy sportsman of yesteryear, Ray de Silva, sadly passed away
last month. Classmate Sinha Ratnatunga recollects.

November 1, 1953 - March 5, 2019.

The year was 1959. Like many before and after, a group of 5-year-olds
entered the hallowed gates of what was then Royal Primary School (RPS).

Assigned Class 1C, it must have been free seating and as it happened Ray de
Silva and Mahinda Dassanayake were my ‘neighbors’. With my uncle Sarath
Samarasinghe captaining the Royal College First XI, I was basking in reflected

But it was Ray who went on to play in three Royal-Thomians (1971-73) like
Sarath a wicket-keeper batsman while Mahinda left school at 11 to become
a monk. Ray was to joke later that the Ven. Mahinda now Chief Incumbent
at the Kelaniya Temple became disillusioned with lay life having sat next to
both of us for six years and chose the Arya Ashtaangika Marga. It was a joke
even the venerable monk would guffaw at.

Ray was a natural sportsman. At RPS he played cricket for Samson House but it was at College that he
blossomed. He became a triple coloursman - cricket, rugby and athletics. Life is full of “ifs” and “buts” and
though he captained College in athletics winning Public Schools colours, he missed out on captaining in
the other two. He played for the First XI (like Sarath aged15) under Eardley Lieversz (1969) and First XV
under Jagath Fernando (1970), only winning his colours however in both sports in 1971. He might have
been the only captain of three sports at College during our era, in addition to being Head Prefect.

He played for Combined Ceylon Schools in both cricket and rugby, for CR & FC as a schoolboy and for CCC
after school. He gave up sports in his prime to pursue a career in the tea trade where he was much sought
after, ending as a Director in two major export firms.

He was a mentor to many; Ana Saranapala (Isipathana), the Thambinayagam brothers Shirley and Errol
(St. Peter’s and Royal) to name just a few, probably owe their sporting careers to Ray’s keen eye for
spotting talent.

Diagnosed with Leukaemia mid last year, he underwent four months of hospital treatment with no change
to his spirit. Our Group of 66 (GROSS) set up a WhatsApp Group titled “Ray Progress” and we all cheered
when he was given the ‘All Clear’ late last year. The euphoria was short-lived.

To everyone’s dismay, he was back in hospital in late-February. The cruel hand of death snatched him
away just when his GROSS batch-mates had come from around the world to celebrate their 65th.

What was to be a joyful occasion of nostalgic camaraderie instead saw his beloved mates carry him on
their shoulders on his final journey. Ray would have had it no other way.

Sinha Ratnatunga is the Editor of the Sunday Times, Sri Lanka


Membership list as at 10.04.2019

RCOBAA hits 300!

RCOBAA is proud to announce that its membership base has passed the 300 Membership milestone. The
membership base currently stands at 312 which we believe is a record high for our association in its 40
plus year proud history.

We are the largest Royal College OBA outside of Sri Lanka with members from across the globe.
Furthermore our members belong to the most popular alumni association of Sri Lankan origin in Australia.

Over the last 12 months RCOBAA have actively facilitated 10 events for its membership base and has had
participation levels ranging from 70 plus per event to 480 plus Royalists and partners

The committee would like to thank all our members for your membership, continuous participation and
the numerous words of support and encouragement.

We would also like to encourage our members to check your name on the membership list published on
our website (see also attached) and do let us know if we have inadvertently misspelt your names. Similarly,
if you have paid your membership fees and are not listed as a member, please do accept our apologies.
Please inform us at your earliest convenience by emailing any changes/corrections [email protected].

Please use the link to access the RCOBAA Membership list 2018-19:

We will continue to work on growing our membership base to build a solid Royal College Community in
Melbourne. This is to facilitate fellowship amongst likeminded Royalist in Melbourne, our home away
from home. We welcome you to introduce any fellow Royalist who may not be members of the
association. Once again thank you for your support and fellowship.

Thank you
RCOBAA Committee

1 Abdullah Mahmud 13 Anton Mahadeva 33 Chaman Ipalawatta
2 Ajith Jayawardna 14 Anuruddha Kannangara 34 Chamara Hewawasam
3 Akash Koddithuwakku 15 Aruna (Amal) Perera 35 Chameera Buddhadasa
4 Akila Geethal 16 Asela Wijeratne 36 Chaminda Ranasinghe
5 Akila Weerasinghe 17 Ashwanth Nagendran 37 Chaminda Serasinghe
6 Akram Yusuf 18 Aslam Assen 38 Chamira Ranatunge
7 Akvan Gajanayake 19 Kushan Athukorala 39 Chaminda Sunnadeniya
8 Alexander Lokuge (Don) 20 Athula Ratnayaka 40 Chamith Perera
9 Almaaz Alavi 21 Aubrey Van Cuylenburg 41 Chandana Gangodagama
10 Amila Randeniwela 22 Aynkaran Sivaratnam 42 Chandula Rathnayake
11 Angelo Francis 23 Banuke Thambawita 43 Channa De Silva
12 Anjula Dewapriya 24 Beverley Anthony Andree 44 Channa Perera


45 Charavanan 86 Dushan Hemachandra 128 Jeewantha Wijesinghe
Suntharalingam 87 Eardley Lieverz 129 Jehan Majeed
46 Charith Jayatillake 88 Ethan Imesh Gankanda 130 Jey Jeyakumar
47 Chathura Liyanagama 89 Feisul Uduman 131 Jimmy Billimoria
48 Chathurika Perera 90 Fitzroy Crozier 132 Joseph Wijeyendran
49 Chehan Senasekera 91 Fred Kreltzheim 133 Johann Gunasekera
50 Chethiya Dissanayake 92 Gehan Perera 134 Jumaan Sheriff
51 Chinthaka Fernando 93 George Fernando 135 Kalhara Samarasinghe
52 Chinthaka Wijesuriya 94 Gnanathikkam 136 Kandiah Sivapragasam
53 Chinthana De Silva Amirthanathan 137 Kapila Epasinghe
54 Chinthana Wijeweera 95 Gokul Mohan 138 Kavinda Ratnapala
55 Clarence Koch 96 Harith Eranjaya 139 Kingsley Rajasingham
56 Damitha De Lanerolle Wickramasinghe 140 Kokila Liyanage
57 Dammica Wickramaratne 97 Harris Priya Kumarage 141 Krishantha Ekanayake
58 Danula Eranjith 98 Harsha Aluthge 142 Kumara Karawita
Hettiachchi 99 Harsha Maligaspe 143 Kusinara Perera
59 Darin Mallawarachchi 100 Harshana Ariyaratne 144 Lahiru Rajapakse
60 Darrell Lieversz 101 Hasalaka Edirisinghe 145 Lakindu Manawasinghe
61 David Kreltzheim 102 Hasantha Jasinarachchi 146 Lakmal Abeysekera
62 David Whitham 103 Hashitha Perera 147 Lalin De Silva
63 Deepal Perera 104 Hemanth Cooray 148 Lalin Perera
64 Devindra Weerasooriya 105 Hildon Bevan 149 Lavan Meemaduma
65 Dhamindra 106 Himath Dissanayake 150 Lilith De Silva
Kahaduwarachchi 107 Hiran (Ted) Muttiah 151 Lochana Premarathna
66 Dhammika Perera 108 Hobby Ediriweera 152 Madhava Wijayaratne
67 Dhanuksha Algama 109 Hugh Karunanayake 153 Madhawa
68 Dhanushka Hettiarachchi 110 Imran Furkan Mutukumarana
69 Dhilshad Sideek 111 Indika Mohottige 154 Madhupa Fernando
70 Dick Siebel 112 Indika Hathurusinghe 155 Madusha Kularatne
71 Dilan Costa 113 Indika Wanigasooriya 156 Madusha Jayawickrema
72 Dilan Perera 114 Indrajit Abeywardene 157 Mahen Ellawala
73 Dilash Ranatunga 115 Indrajit Wijegunaratne 158 Mahesh Godavitharane
74 Dhilharan Sivaratnam 116 Iruka Kumarage 159 Mahinda
75 Dilip Somaratne 117 Ishan (Saji) Bahar Wickramasuriya
76 Dinesh Chelvathurai 118 Ishan Jinadasa 160 Malindra Fernando
77 Dinesh Epitawela 119 Ishara Perera 161 Maliq Deane
78 Dinesh Perera 120 Ishara Rambukgala 162 Malith Fernando
79 Dinesh Rahim 121 Isuru Jayathilake 163 Mangala Akarawita
80 Dinesh Weerakkody 122 Jafir Dawood 164 Mangala Jayawardene
81 Dinuka De Zoysa 123 Jahanghir Abdul Majeed 165 Manoj Aluthwatta
82 Channa Wijesinghe 124 Janaka Kodithuwakku 166 Manuja Jayawardhana
83 Dulip Jayakody 125 Janaka Seneviratne 167 Manura Hapuarachchi
84 Duminda Yapa 126 Janek Ratnatunga 168 Maurice Anghie
85 Dushan Fernando 127 Jayantha (Jay) Adihetty 169 Maxwell Solomons


170 Mayrujaan Jayakumaran 212 Prajith Perera 254 Sarath Mendis
171 Michael Kreltszheim 213 Pramitha Ranishtka 255 Sarvendran (Saru)
172 Michael La’Brooy 214 Prasad Herath Sivarajah
173 Mohan De Run 215 Prasanka Rajapakshe 256 Sasanka Dharmasena
174 Mohan Pillai 216 David De Kretser 257 Shamendra Kannagara
175 Mohan Tisseverasinge 217 Pubudu Lankadeva 258 Shanaka Jayarathne
176 Moshane Koswatte 218 Pushpika Gamage 259 Shanaka Perera
177 Pasan Manitha Palihapit 219 Pushpitha Atapattu 260 Shanaka Senarathne
178 Muditha Jayasinha 220 Radhesha (Rad) 261 Shanka Gunawardana
179 Murthaz Mowlana Rasaratnam 262 Shanti Arangala
180 Nadaraja Canagasabai 221 Rajeev Peiris 263 Shehal Gomes
181 Nadeera Weerasinghe 222 Rajitha Tillekeratne 264 Shiran De Silva
182 Nadie Gamalath 223 Rajith Wijeratne 265 Shyam Sideek
183 Nalaka Kolamunne 224 Ramesh Nadarajah 266 Siddika Bandusena
184 Nalin Manorathne 225 Randula Thenuwara 267 Sirimevan Ranasinghe
185 Namal Aruna Joseph 226 Ranga Perera 268 Soba Ranasinghe
Fernando 227 Ranjan Muttiah 269 Sonny (Pradeep) De Silva
186 Nandalal (Lal) Jayasinghe 228 Ranjeev Ekanayake 270 Spencer Foenander
187 Nandika Dias 229 Ranjith Wijeratne 271 Stuart Roland
188 Naveed Zanoon 230 Ransi Fernando 272 Subodha Wanasundara
189 Navin De Silva 231 Ravinath Gunasakera 273 Sudath Gunatilake
190 Nigel De Kretser 232 Reggie De Silva (Cyril) 274 Sugeesha Dinushan
191 Nihal Kodituwakku 233 Rez Rahim 275 Sujan Jayasiriwardena
192 Nihal. M. D. De Run 234 Romesh Gunaratne 276 Sujith Satkunam
193 Nilupa Suresh 235 Roshan Weerawardena 277 Sunil De Silva
194 Niranjan (Chris) 236 Ruchira Hewavitharana 278 Surane Gunasekera
Tisseverasinghe 237 Ruchira Withana 279 Susil Ranasinghe
195 Niranjan Arachchi 238 Rumal Gallage 280 Sydney Perera
196 Niroshan Hewakoparage 239 Rumesh Perera 281 Theshan De Silva
197 Nisal Ranaweera 234 Rumesh Samaraweera 282 Tharaka Chandrasakera
198 Nishantha Rajapakshe 241 Sahan Basnayake 283 Tharin Peiris
199 Nithy Chellapah 242 Sahan Fernando 284 Tharuka Manawadu
120 P.H. (Piloo) Billimoria 243 Sajeewa Rathnayake 285 Tharuka Wijeratne
201 Pasan Balasinghe 244 Saman Ranasinghe 286 Tharun Delpachitthra
202 Pasan Gunasekara 245 Saman Wijeratne 287 Thenura Keenawinna
203 Pasindu Epa 246 Samath Wijeyasinghe 288 Thilanga Fonseka
204 Pasindu Yasantha 247 Samitha De Silva 289 Thilanka Hetti Gamage
205 Pavithra Danansooriya 248 Sampath Edirimuni 290 Thilina Gajanayake
206 Peshan Perera 249 Sampath Walpola 291 Thushara Kumarage
207 Piloo Rustomjee 250 Sandeepa Deheragoda 292 Timothy Wijesooriya
208 Piyal Gunaratne 251 Sandy (Ranoir) 293 Tisara Gunasekara
209 Piyal Rathnayake Jesudhason 294 Tissa Galagedara
210 Prabodha Kulasingha 252 Sanjeewa Udumalagala 295 Tony Anghie
211 Prageeth Weerasinghe 253 Sarasi Herath 296 Trevor Jansz


297 Uchin Alwis 303 Venura Welagedera 308 Viresh Dissanayake
298 Udara Fernando 304 Vibodha Sampath 309 Wangisa Jayatilake
299 Umesh Goonawardena 305 Vidyananda 310 Yasantha Kalupahana
300 Upul Kularatna Silphadipathi 311 Yogalingam Rajkumar
301 Varna Amarasinghe 306 Vijitha Illukpitiya 312 Yohan Pasqual
302 Varuna Wickrama 307 Viran Abeykoon

RCOBAA Committee

Patron: Prof. David de Kretser AC
Vice Patrons: Fred Kreltszheim
Nihal de Run

President: Soba Ranasinghe General Committee:
Vice Presidents: Dhammika Perera Akvan Gajanayake
Athula Ratnayake
Ranga Perera Aslam Assen
Treasurer: Charith Jayathilake Aynkaran Sivaratnam
Chinthana Wijeweera
Secretary: Dinesh Rahim Deepal Perera
Immediate Past President: Indrajith Dinesh Perera
George Fernando
Wijegunaratne Lochana Premarathna
Membership Secretary: Ranga Perera Shanka Gunawardena
Shanaka Perera
Web Master: Shanka Gunawardane Shyam Sideek


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