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DSA Era Group 1959 to 1976, those under Wardens Davidson, Selveratnam and Annadanayagam

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Old 24-07-09, 06:22 PM
sriyanj sriyanj is offline
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Default TEAchers Felicitation Ceremany 4th Dec.2007

Teachers and Masters present at the felicitation ceremony were: Mr. N.B. Arputharaj, Mrs. M.L. Fernando, Mrs. U.P. Kalupahana, Miss. Iia Mendis, Mrs. Doreen Warasakoon, Mrs. R.Samuel, Miss. Nalini Jayasuriya, Mr. Brodie, Mr. G.J. Arulanathan, Mr. Arisen Ashuboda, Mr. S.C. Coperahewa, Mr. G.K. Mandawala, Mr. W.G.Sugathadasa, Mr. Daniel Edirisinghe, Mr. J. Waidyasiri,Mr. Siril Edirisinghe, Mr.S. Paramasothy,Mr. J.M.V.L. Peiris, Mr. A. Karunasiri,, Mr. J. Karunarathna, Mr. Asoka Weerasinghe, Mr. Ananda Weerasekara, Mr. Lal de Mel, Mr. M.B. Warasakoon and Mr. Shuja Cassim. (Mrs. Lorna Mendis, Mr. E.P. Abeysekara , Mrs. Chitra Jayawardena and Mr. Jayawardena were absent)

To ‘Sir,’ with love for all your services

By Promodh Gamage

Standing L-R; Mr.W.G.Sugathadasa, Mr.R.Batholamuze, Mr.J.Waidyasiri,
Mr.Daniel Edirisinghe, Mr.J.Karunarathna, Mr. N.B. Arputharaj, Mr.J.M.V.L. Peiris, Dr. David Ponnaih Warden, Mr. N Jayakuru, Mr. S.C. Coperahewa, Mr. Asoka Weerasinghe, Mr. G.K. Mandawala, Mr. Lal de Mel, Mr. Arisen Ashuboda, Mr. Brodie, Dr.Frank Jayasinghe, Mr.Ananda Weeraseekera, Mr. G.J. Arulanathan,Mr.Siril Edirisinghe,
Seated L-R; Mrs. Rani Perera, Miss. Nalini Jayasuriya, Mrs. U.P. Kalupahana, Miss.Ila Mendis, Mrs. M.L. Fernando, Mrs. R.Samuel, Mrs.Viswendraraj, Mrs. Doreen Warasakoon.

We live in a society where it is easy to forget those who have helped us in the intrinsic stages of our lives. Many would blame it on the busy brisk change and the hectic lifestyle.

Although we pride ourselves of our academic achievements, we must be ashamed, at the same time, of the sense of self importance inculcated within ourselves. Do we care about the people who have lent their hand and time to create who we are today? Do we at least have time to remember them?

The dedicated and thorough teachers of a bygone era are very much ahead of many of the present generation teachers.
Ex-Thomians this week remembered the effort, the passion, and the dedication their teachers put in, to make S. Thomas College an institution renowned for creating outstanding personalities in the country. They gathered at the Sasakawa Hall with all smiles, wondering how it would be to meet the teachers they feared as schoolboys.

Teachers during the era of Wardens C.H. Davidson, A.J.C. Selvarathnam and S.J. Anandanayagam, popularly called the DSA era were hosted to a dinner and gifts distributed as tokens of appreciation of their service to the school.
To say thank you to the teachers in a big way together, a group of Ex-Thomians including Sriyan Jayasekara, G.Y. De Silva and Kesaralal Gunasekara organised the event.

“We did this to felicitate and honour the service and dedication of 31 teachers of this era who are living and in Sri Lanka. Just four teachers could not make it due to illness,” said a member of the organising committee, adding that he thoroughly enjoyed the night.
“The event was marvelous. It was well organised,” said Miss Nalini Jayasuriya, a former English Teacher who was felicitated.
Miss Jayasuriya, who graduated from Yale University, said she was happy to see so many young boys who have grown up to be giants in stature and in their respective fields.

“I was delighted to see all of them doing so well and tears (of joy) came to my eyes,” said Miss Jayasuriya, who proudly announced that she was a third generation Thomian on her father’s side.

Expressing the feelings of the old boys towards their teachers, through poetry, drew the attention of all. Many old boys and teachers recalled their past in the school and shared their emotions with each other.

Warden David Ponniah and Minister G.L. Peiris were among those who spoke at the felicitation, while Kesaralal Gunasekera had observed that ‘masters were masters in every sense of the word.’
The event was a two-way success, re-establishing the bond between the teachers and their protégés.

Last edited by sriyanjay; 17-01-11 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 07-09-09, 05:22 PM
sriyanjay sriyanjay is offline
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Default Teachers Felicitation 2007

Sent: 07 December 2007 16:46
To: GY De Silva
Subject: Fellow Ship

Dear GY,

Just a short note for being instrumental in arranging
a wonderful evening of Thomian Fellow ship.

Best regards,
Gamini Kohona

Am so glad you enjoyed the 'glimpse'. By the way, the vow was uttered, that this will be repeated next year, and further attempts will made to persuade the teachers, especially those those that DID NOT turn, to do so the next time. They may well feel more confident were they to hear of how things went in this present attempt. I must say, the gifts these men had organized were sizeable and very very generous!!!

Please congratulate Sriyan, Kale and Keseralal!!! They deserve EVERYTHING for the sheer labour with their love. Quite something- certainly, deserving of a bottle or two [or a cask] of a bubbly brew!!!!!



run, my Maaaaaaaaan!

What a DELIGHT! What pleasure, now doubled and that 'many-fold'. The said pleasure, derived during the composition of the doggerals, was excrutiating enough! But to learn of this?!! Impossible!!!!!

Your account is - as we expect - MASTERLY!! ...and so 'vivid'! We ARE THERE!!!!!!!!!!

Wonderful work Arun. Many thanks.

Milroy! You'll need a CASK of red for this one!!!!!!!

dsrun, my Maaaaaaaaan!

What a DELIGHT! What pleasure, now doubled and that 'many-fold'. The said pleasure, derived during the composition of the doggerals, was excrutiating enough! But to learn of this?!! Impossible!!!!!

Your account is - as we expect - MASTERLY!! ...and so 'vivid'! We ARE THERE!!!!!!!!!!

Wonderful work Arun. Many thanks.

Milroy! You'll need a CASK of red for this one!!!!!!!

Things went well beyond what 'Coca Cola' would have ever imagined!!!!!

Firstly, your plumbing the realms of poesy had sizzling resonance, albeit not all might have gathered the 'niceties' of poetic form or relished the metric or other literary devices and employments. I read selected 'works' because of the impress of the hour [or lack of it!]. Each one that I chose, seemed to have had something MORE than a merely suitable response. Ashuboda seemed eminently pleased, as was Sugathadasa of Hitlerian moustache [since shaved] and 'crafty' mind. Manda guffawed the loudest over his verse, and 'aunty Doreen' in fact ASKED, "is there one for me?" I led her up the garden path [metaphor only please!] and said that there seemed to be none about her, and then later dropped it on her!!! To say she 'squealed with delight' may perhaps be a lapse into hyperbole, but her blush showed through the considerable layers of pan-cake make-up and other emulsions. Brodie seemed bemused more than amused, but the audience loved the 'mase' and all.

Nalini J, alas, seemed in stupor most evening, but was immensely grateful for the wonder of it all, and Frank Jayasinghe [erstwhile sub-warden] waxed naturally eloquent over the gesture accorded by Sriyan, Kale and Keseralal in setting up the evening.

It was a 'grand' evening, and only Thomians would have comprehended the essence. It was interesting for me to note that, since my professional engagements brings me constantly in front of varying audiences in this country, and I can sense that 'times are a changing' with respect to grasp if idiom and cast of phraseology. G.L.Peiris was also on hand, and PAID his dues promptly, as was Warden Ponniah, himself a 'student' in the context of the evening's felicitation. They all spoke well and elegantly with winsome phrase and nobility of expression.

Among the teachers, we invited a sampling to address the audience, Ashuboda, Coperahewa, Mandawala, Sugathadasa and Frank J. They were in 'character' as we'd remember. Ashuboda did some 'kavi' which was tasteful and completely appropriate to the occasion and virtually brought the house down. Coperahewa mentioned some episodes from Canon de Saram's time. Not very clear of speech though, but an amazingly facile and retentive mind, albeit a little crusty at the demise of good manners and the parlous state of education in general- his humour has dimmed, but not his mind. Mandawela obviously nursed some grudges; these he seemed to have acquired during the tenures of Illangakoon and de Alwis. He did not refer to them directly, but lamented the fact that Thomiana was the poorer for certain unsettling elements that eroded it, but was confident that Ponniah was 'on-track'. Frank shared some insights of his time as a disciplinarian, and later, R.S.Perera, [portly senator Reggie Perera's portly son] verified the stories that Frank told, and it turned out that HE was the errant lad that had caused such mischief. Obviously, this lent admirably to enhance the merriment quotient of the evening! 'Good touch', as the saying would have it- it provided me an aside such as 'we wanted to hear some stories, and what we were told were confessions'!!!!

Dr. Leca was present from Australia and there was another "Wicka" who is now in the UK who turned up; our junior at school, but was later in the forces before his removing to England . It was, as I said, a grand affair, and there were plenty present who were older than us and younger too, like the Jasinghe boys [neighbour to Aunty Therese Speld].

Many thanks for your inputs and sharing. Please convey this to Mils too. I have no photos, but am certain that the many that were taken by those present will ere long be in circulation in cyberspace. If you get some, please share them with me too.

Keseralal had arranged for a newspaper man to cover the event as well- whether he understood any of the subtleties and nuances, of which the evening was full, is anybody's guess!!

Bye and lots of love,


Dear Arun,

Wonderful to hear your news. This certainly has the possibilities of becoming bigger than Ben Hur in the Thomian calendar of annual events. Sriyan's efforts I can understand to a degree, his Dad was on the staff. Keserale I have never met but have read his script with interest over the WWW from time to time. The man that surprised me was young Kale who crept out of the woodwork. A bottle of Champers I agree but for Kale he will have to be drowned in a vat of premium Red!

I was just discussing the event with David and we both agreed that beyond being an unique event of size it was also a great blessing for the feted and the fetees! To gather so many teachers in one room and talk to them in verse, song and speech certainly dwarfs the traditional eulogy by a few light years of common sense and down to earth goodness.

David's prose etched on a brass plaque with College Crest on top, mounted on polished wood, will make a handsome ornament in any drawing room. And bring miles of endless smiles to the casual reader.

We all get wonderful ideas from time to time particularly when standing under the shower…to see a good idea executed with such pomp and class must have been a humbling & enriching experience.

Thanks as always for organising and sharing as you never fail to do.


Dear Thomians,

Just to share the news of a Thomian event that took place yesterday.

Arun in his mail has summed up the evenings events very well.

The Sasakawa Hall was full. My worry was whether we will run out of food.

Out of the 30 Teachers invited 27 turned up.

Next year I am sure we will have to move into a Hotel.

At this point on behalf of the organizers let me thank all those Thomians who attended, made it possible by encouragement and also by extending the much needed Cash and kind.

Let me share with you all a SMS correspondence between Arun & me of this morning;

GY wrote; " U were Great, as always, last night! We r lucky to hv a mate with such talents. The event got extraordinary colour n flavour with your maestro skills. Thnx
– GY.

Arun replied; " You are too kind! Thanks G Y for the generous compliment, I thank Baldwin Daniel for all my skills!

GY replied; Having had the privilege of being seated in ur proximity at STC, I have seen & enjoyed the cartoons & humour. Now, who was responsible 4 that?

Arun replied; Ah! Noel J and I used to do quite a bit of that,and Herald Roberts too.

Well Sriyan, Kesaralal and myself did much of the spade work to make the event to happen. But Arun is the one who ran it in STYLE, making the evening a memorable one.

Please send this mail to all the Thomians you know of.


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Old 10-09-09, 06:28 PM
sriyanjay sriyanjay is offline
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Default Teachers Felicitation 2007

Dec 6, 2007 1:25 AM
subject Re: Late teachers

I just wondered about Lambert Abeyratne. Do we know about him? Has be passed on? Is that the ‘L. Abyeratne’ we had on the list?

The list is yet with me. I shall create an electronic copy of the same and send it to you, and you can maintain it in a ‘database’ of sorts for later reference, and, sadly, to add to when the need arises.

Shall work on that in the next few days as and when I have time available.

With best wishes and resounding round of applause to you all and Kesaralal for an EXCELLENT and PERFECTLY motivated job of setting up an event which, I believe, all in attendance felt was sorely needed and most laudable. Good of you guys, you will be blessed for your kindness.

Warmly and sincerely,


Bonjour David,

Sat down @ 7.30AM Sydney time and read, and read, and red…with moments lived and memories of times gone by. Thanks for taking up the challenge at short notice and stamping your seal of family values and lessons well learnt. You demonstrated with word and deed that ‘distance’ does not matter, what matters most is plain heart and soul.





I shake your hand for all those verses. The one about Ashubodha and Kalagolaya made all laugh their hearts out!

Please send me a copy of your verses.

Warm Regards,


GY, "you are too kind" (Arun DB/Baldwin Daniel; circa 1967!!??!)

Machang! I had a BALL!! And a special "thank you" for your top story...of the origins of your pet name.

Attached is the "presentation-package" of the lines. I could "tribute" 19 of the 27 names I received. Didn't know the others...some, not well enough (eg. E.P.Abs), others, not at all. I requested some "biog hints" on the subjects...but nought were forthcoming. Happy to write 'em all up if you will supply some tid-bits!

Most sincerely,


P.s. Arun, sorry to land you with another copy of the sonnett-ettes. What to do?!

My Dear Sriyan,
Hearty Congratulations to you and the whole team of Old Thomians who
the (DSA) Teachers' Day.
May you inspire all future generations of Thomians by your honourable
What you have planned and carried out has its philosophical and
social validation,
the action of such world greats as Dr. Radhakrishnan ( who was himself
a Teacher- and one time President of the Republic of India, who inspired
Lok Sabha to declare a Teachers' Day- for the recognition and
felicitation of Teachers).
Also the fact that the United Nations have declared a Teachers' Day-
although the 'Day' may be differ from country to country - shows us
that the concept is of contemporary and lasting significance.
Please forward this eMail and my appreciation to other members of your
'DSA Team'.
Well Done and Thank you.
Esto perpetua.
Kind Regards
Godfrey Senaratne
December 09 2007.

Last edited by sriyanjay; 17-01-11 at 10:32 PM.
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