St. Xavier’s College, Nuwara Eliya stresses educational excellence and human development

1947- 2022 St. Xavier’s College OBA

The Vespers service of the patron St. Francis Xavier took place last Saturday at the St Xavier’s Church Nuwara Eliya in the presence of the Chief Celebrant Rev. Fr. Roshan Almeida, and the feast was headed by the Vicar General of the Diocese of Kandy, Rt. Rev. Fr. Alvin Fernando. The highlight of the 75th-anniversary celebrations of the OBA was the formal gathering and the fellowship dinner at Grand Hotel Nuwara Eliya.

Addressing the gathering the Past President RM Nawaz went on to say that the Old Boys’ Association of St Xavier’s College which was founded in 1947 by Rev. Fr. Fareena and a handful of old boys has come a long way and during the last 75 years it has grown from strength to strength, and today one cannot think of the College without thinking of the Old Boys’ Association.  The construction of the up-stair building was a major effort initiated by Rev. Fr.D.M.Xavier with the assistance of the Old boys in 1958; conducting the Annual inter-house sports meet, organizing the feast of St Francis Xavier; educational and religious activities and several extra-curricular activities have been spearheaded by the OBA over the years.

Joint Secretary Benjamin Jeganathan unfolded the OBA plans for 2023/24. At the outset, he mentioned that the stakeholders, the education and Ecclesiastical authorities , parents, present students, teachers, and old boys share equal responsibility in maintaining the standards while developing the institutions. Initiating the construction of a modern school building on the site where the Hundred-year-old Rev. Fr. Siriwardene block stands today, organizing fundraisers, introducing scholarships to facilitate promising students in their educational pursuits. Upgrading of the library, continuation of the online non-fee levying English course for adults were some of the main proposals welcomed by the house with an applaud. The secretary reiterated the fact that the generosity of a few old boys enabled them to raise over 1 million Rupees that was donated towards the renovation of the main church building. Dr Savitri Ravi Warma who was the first Xaverian entrant to the medical faculty of the university of Peradeniya in 1981 urged that the A/L classes at SXC be recommenced.

Old Xaverian Senior Advisor Suren Swaminathan, Chairman Sri Lanka Business Council who was awarded “Special Global Sri Lankan of the year 2022” at the WIM Top 50 Global Awards Ceremony held in Dubai this year, and Old Xaverian Travis Boulton for being awarded by the Sri Lanka Football Federation for his outstanding services to Football in Nuwara Eliya were congratulated.

Members mentioned that they are certain that St Xavier’s Parish that comprises over 150 families along with the residents of Nuwara Eliya of all ethnic groups and creeds will be ever grateful to the authorities if this noble institution could be put on its feet again as the humble and sincere desire of the parents is to see their children blossom forth as men of good moral standards with a good education. This augurs well for all parents, and the revival of the College will be a forerunner for peace and goodwill among all communities as a well-knit Sri Lankan community.

Mohan Samarakoon, the well-known rugby player of Up-Country, one of the trustees of CPRFU and the main benefactor of the Kandy Cancer Society delivered the keynote address. He mentioned that reunion of Old boys is important in focusing on productive projects and he went on to mention that the Roman Catholic church and other denominations have done yeomen service towards education in Sri Lanka. He spoke about the importance of quality in education and urged that the neglected institutions should be revived for the benefit of the next generation and congratulated the St Xavier’s OBA for its longstanding service to the College and the area.

The 75th Anniversary toast was proposed by Suren Swaminathan who added his nostalgic memories and urged all the old boys to join the OBA to revive this noble institution that has nurtured inclusiveness irrespective of differences. The St Xavier’s Old Boys’ Association Official website was launched by the Mayor of Nuwara Eliya along with Senior Advisor Paul Perera. Many Old Xaverians were felicitated at this event. The Dinner dance was led by the band Temptations with Paul Perera of the celebrated band Rubicons, Ajith Silva, Peter Arsakularatne of Peter Combo and Dilan Dominic.

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