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S. Thomas’ College celebrates 100 years at Mount

S. Thomas’ College Warden Rev. Marc Billimoria, Sub-Warden Asanka S. Perera, Bertal Pinto Jayawardena, Suren Dayaratne, and Senaka De Fonseka at the press briefing. Picture by Saman Sri Wedage.

S. Thomas’ College, Mt. Lavinia, will celebrate its 100th anniversary on January 26, 2018, with a series of events scheduled until end of February, College Warden Rev. Marc Billimoria said.

Rev. Billimoria was speaking at a press briefing held regarding the anniversary’s programme of events, at the college premises, yesterday.

The college was initiated as a collegiate school 167 years ago, when it was founded by Rt. Rev. James Chapman D. D. on February 3, 1851 in Mutwal. The school was later relocated to Mt. Lavinia on January 26, 1918, after it grew into a prominent boys’ school in a short period of 67 years.

Rev. Billimoria further said there would be a special thanksgiving service at the Chapel of the Transfiguration on the anniversary date, along with a special general assembly at the College hall. Six special speeches would also be delivered by distinguished old boys of the school, he added. The release of two books; Bishop Chapman’s Memoirs and Poems and Prose on S. Thomas’ College, would also be held alongside the assembly, he said. The Thomian Parade, which is to be held on January 27, would be the largest school parade ever in Colombo, with the participation of a crowd exceeding 8,000 from across the country, Rev. Billimoria said. He expressed his gratitude to the old boys of the school and the Warden’s Special Event Team, for their commitment in organizing a grand celebration for the college.

“Having completed a 100 years at Mt. Lavinia, we look back with a sense of pride and achievement, because during those 100 years, we have achieved quite a lot; not only academic life, sports, and other extracurricular activities, but also in the number of students who have turned out who have gone into the world of men and had an impact on Sri Lanka. Over the years, the college has achieved much and contributed largely to this country, and it is those achievements and contributions that we want to celebrate, so that modern generations of Thomians would realize their heritage,” Rev. Billimoria said.

Meanwhile, a representative of the Warden’s Special Event Team, Bertal Pinto Jayawardena speaking to media, said the ultimate goal of the anniversary celebration events, is to find funds to develop the school. He added that the net proceeds of all the events would be allocated for the development of the school.

Suren Dayaratne, the representative of the Special Events Team by the Old Thomian Cadets’ Union, said the Thomian Parade – 2018, would go with the themes Safety First and Going Green. A Cycle Parade of 200 cyclists completing a 100-km ride, would commence from Christ Church, Mutuwal, as a part of the parade, he added. The cyclists would join the main parade from Milagiriya to Mt. Lavinia along Galle Road, which would be participated by S. Thomas’ College students, parents, old boys, retired staff, branch schools from Gurutalawa, Kollupitiya, and Bandarawela, and other invitee schools with well-wishers, he added. He added that they would not include elephants to the parade, as environmentalists have raised concerns to the sensitive issue. School Warden Rev. Billimoria said S. Thomas’ College always adheres to a strict environmental policies.

Senaka De Fonseka, a member of the Warden’s Special Events Team, speaking to media, said the Gala Dinner and Life Time Achievement Awards event would take place at the Galle Face Hotel Grand Ball Room on February 17, as a part of the 100-year anniversary celebration. Fonseka added that the tickets for the Gala were sold out one month prior to the event. S. Thomas’ College Sub-Warden Asanka S. Perera was also present at the press brief.