News

RCOBAA AGM – Eddie Gray Memorial Oration by the High Commissioner for Sri Lanka to Australia and New Zealand

Royal College Old Boys in Australia Association (Victoria) held their Annual General Meeting on the 17th September 2017.  The High Commissioner for Sri Lanka to Australia and New Zealand, His Excellency Somasundaram Skandakumar, delivered the Eddie Gray Memorial Oration before a distinguished audience of old Royalists of all vintages.  The Oration is a traditional part of the Agenda of the AGM, and the High Commissioner’s address this year was extremely well received and greatly appreciated by the many attendees.

After touching briefly on his association with Eddie, initiated in 1985 through the Sri Lanka Cricket Foundation of Victoria, and relating two anecdotes on the humorous side of the Gentleman’s life which raised laughter round the crowded hall, the speaker focused on how the Spirit of Royal was scrupulously followed by Eddie Gray, throughout his life.

“When our first Prime Minister D.S. Senanayake fell off his horse and died in Eddie’s arms, the blame fell on the Mare.  Eddie was quick to point out that it was a seizure that led to the fall, which was confirmed later. In doing so Eddie adhered to our first lesson, “To distinguish between right and wrong and to stand up for what is right.”

When he got off his Police vehicle to punch a man who was harassing a beggar on the street, he upheld our second lesson, viz to “Emulate the strong but never forget to protect the weak”.

In his blessed and blissful 64-year marriage to Yvonne, he lived up to our third lesson that “Every right implied a corresponding responsibility.”

As Head Prefect of Royal College and thereafter as the first Ceylonese head of the Mounted Police and Officer in Charge of the Fort Police, he discharged his duties with impeccable integrity, upholding our fourth lesson, viz “Greater the authority, greater then had to be the accountability.”

When he stepped aside in the boxing ring in a crucial international bout to allow his opponent to pick up his fallen gum guard and went on to lose the bout, he lived up to our next lesson, that “It was not the winning that mattered but how one played the game.”

The High Commissioner added ” Indeed he played the Game of Life as well to perfection and I have no doubt that the greatest scorer who called time on his life, welcomed him to his heavenly abode with open arms.”

“Finally, gentlemen, let us reflect on the portraits that adorn our sacred Hall of Fame. Those distinguished men are remembered even today for two things; their intellect and their integrity.  Yes, there is no greater asset that a man can cherish than his integrity, and Eddie’s was impeccable.”

“As a further tribute to him, I like to mention that our lives are divided between needs and wants. Being human our wants will continue to change but basic needs will always remain the same, represented by food, water, clothing, shelter and peace.”

“Our Country invested in us in our early education and there could not be a better way to reciprocate that blessing than to make our own meaningful contribution to that process of peace, because no nation can aspire to fulfil the true potential of its independence unless that independence embraces each of its citizens equally.”

“Our loyalty to our school is reflected in a crucial line in our College song, ‘We kept thy fame inviolate’. Our National Anthem has the line ‘Eka Mawakage Daruwo’ while our National flag has four Bo leaves representing Karuna, Metta, Muditha and Upeka, essentially love and compassion.”

“Loyalty to one’s country must necessarily reflect commitment to these precious values as well, so let me conclude by quoting a very famous journalist Oliver Stone in his farewell address at the US Writers Guild Awards 2017, ‘Find time to be by yourself to listen to your inner silences. Try to find the true meaning to your life on Earth, and, never give up on your struggle for peace, decency, and telling the truth’”.

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Wayo 360 – Organised by the Royal College Group of 2008

Wayo 360° – A musical extravaganza which was brought to life by the Royal College Group of 2008 was held on 23rd September 2017 at the Royal MAS arena.

Wayo and Umaria Sinhawansa brought glamour with the first ever 360° degree concert in Sri Lanka – offering a ‘one of a kind’, novel composition to the audience.

It is noteworthy that this is the first Mega concert which was organised at the Royal MAS Arena which will bring in more foot fall for the arena in the future. The event was well organised with food stalls, VIP lounge with the stars and a night with great music and fun, under an air-conditioned stadium by the group of 2008!

The group organised the event – Wayo 360° in aid of providing educational support in the form of scholarships for underprivileged students

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PREMAYA

 

‘Premaya’; a musical extravaganza bridging eastern classical music of the 70’s, 80’s and the present was brought to stage at Nelum Pokuna, by the Royal College Group of 1999.  The second such extravaganza presented by the Group, was organized as a part of their magnanimous effort to raise funds to purchase a luxury coach for College.  The event was held on 20th August 2017 featuring pioneer artists: maestro Victor Rathnayaka, multilingual award winner Nirosha Virajini and talented next generation musician Kasun Kalhara. Adding to the glamour of the evening was the novel composition of music by Suresh Maliyadda and compering by legendary Saman Athawuddahetti, proud products of our great alma mater. ‘Premaya’ was graced by chief guest Hon. Gayantha Karunathilaka and a full house audience of music loving fans.

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Royal SLAMJAM 3X3 Inter Batch Basketball Tournament 2017

Royal SLAMJAM 3X3 Inter Batch Basketball Tournament 2017 was held on 12th August 2017 at the Henry Pedris basketball court, Colombo 5. This event was organized by the Royal College Basketball Advisory & Management Committee together with the Royal College Group of 2002. The tournament was played under four categories: 20-30, 31-40, 41-50 and 51 years and above. It was a fun-filled family event with a children’s play area filled with games and events.

The main objective of this event was to bring together past Royal Basketball players to showcase their skills, revive their school memories and motivate them to give back to Royal College Basketball. The event was patronized by a large number of past and present Royalists and turned out to be a day that showcased a number of competitive games. Furthermore, equipment for the betterment of Royal Basketball was donated by the organizers, at the event.

All in all, Royal SLAMJAM 3X3 Inter-batch Basketball Tournament 2017 was a great success.

 

 

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Royalist Minul Doluweera secures crown in Game of Kings

Seventeen year old Royalist Minul Doluweera was crowned National Chess Champion on Thursday, 17 August 2017 at the Royal College Skills Centre.

Doluweera ended on 9.5 points, followed by Udith Jayasundara of the University of Colombo on 8.0 points, and four other players who ended on 7.5 points in the 13-round all-play-all tournament organized by the Chess Federation of Sri Lanka.

He is the fourth Royalist to win the Sri Lanka Chess Nationals after Chris Parakrama who won it in the inaugural year of 1973, followed by Muditha Hettigama, the present Royal College coach, in 1994 and Nirosh de Silva in 1999, 2001 and 2002.

Doluweera was awarded College Colours for Chess in 2015. He is the Vice Captain of the College Chess team and has been awarded the Maalyn Dias Scholarship by the college, for the most outstanding emerging player in 2014. In addition to chess, he has also excelled in other extra-curricular activities, including debating and is the Chairman of the English Debaters’ Council of the College. He also obtained 9 A’s at the GCE O/L examination in 2016.

Another outstanding achievement of Doluweera, is that he is the first Royalist to be awarded the international title ‘FIDE Master’ by the World Chess Federation, in 2016

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Discovery of Principal Harward’s final resting place

It is with a great sense of achievement that we announce the discovery of Principal Harward’s place of final rest.  A collaborative investigative effort by the QORA (Queensland Old Royalists Association) and RCOBAA (Victoria-based Royal College Old Boys Australia Association) has succeeded in locating Principal Harward’s grave in the cemetery of the Queensland country town of Warwick.

John Henry Harward was Principal, Royal College from 1892 to 1902. In retirement he moved to Australia, settling in the country town of Warwick, Queensland.

Early attempts by George Fernando, a resident of Victoria and a long standing member of RCOBAA, to locate the principal’s grave in Warwick were unsuccessful, despite a visit to the cemetery some years ago. Earlier this year, Inji Wijegunaratne (President) and George Fernando from RCOBAA alerted Rohan Jayaratne (Founder President, QORA).

 

QORA, having contacted the Warwick cemetery authorities, then organised a three-man expedition (Rohan Jayaratne, Shan Attygalle, Kalum de Silva) on 14th July to locate the grave, which, we are proud to announce, was successful.

RCOBAA and QORA plan to erect a small plaque on the grave.

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ANNUAL MEDICAL SCREENING PROGRAMME FOR THE NON-ACADEMIC STAFF OF ROYAL COLLEGE 2017

Non-academic staff members are a group of individuals who renders their contribution to our Alma Mater, without much of prominence. For their benefit, a medical clinic was conducted by the Royal College Doctors’ Association (RCDA) in collaboration with the College Interact Club on 07th April.

The intention of the clinic was to ensure the non-academic staff stay healthy,  to perform their day to day functions, effectively.
A medical team comprised of over twenty general practitioners and specialist physicians and surgeons, all of them being old Royalists serving in different parts of the country, volunteered their valuable services at no cost to the school and non-academic staff. The Senior Deputy Principal Mr. P. Wickramasinghe, Assistant Principal Mr. Ashoka Galahitiyawa, President,  – Royal College Doctors’ Association Dr. Ajith Tennakoon, and Secretary – Royal College Union Mr. Athula Munasinghe, were present at the occasion.

A Total of over 100 non-academic staff members were screened.

As a result of the intensive screening, the medical team was able to detect three persons suffering from Haemorrhoids and three persons afflicted with Varicose veins. In addition, it was detected that two others had enlarged goitres requiring treatment

It was very salutary that apart from physical ailments, persons who were found obese with a high body mass index (BMI), potentially at a health hazard stage were given medical advice regarding dietary habits to be followed and appropriate referrals were made to Healthy Lifestyle Centres for follow up processes to ameliorate the typical situations and conditions.

As far as the problems connected with the eye care of the staff the ophthalmologists had found staff requiring vision corrections, and those needing spectacles were donated such on the 09th of May 2017. The Spectacles were donated by Dr. Manilka Sumanatilake, Consultant Endocrinologist.

 

This event was organised by Dr. Charitha Wijesiriwardana and Dr. Pubudu Jayasara.

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Workshop on Learning Difficulties in Primary School Children and Relevant Management

Learning difficulties amongst the school children, particularly those who are in the primary grades, is becoming a serious concern. To effectively address this the Royal College Doctors’ Association (RCDA) conducted a workshop on learning difficulties in primary school children, identification & management of such problems, for the teachers of the Primary section of Royal College, on 4th June.

Dr (Mrs) Swarna Wijethunge and Dr (Mrs) Sudarshi Senevirathne, consultants in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, participated as resource personnel, while Dr. Miyuru Chandradasa, senior lecturer in Psychiatry conducted the programme.

Over 60 Teachers from the primary section of Royal College participated, actively shared their experiences on students with learning disabilities and discussed with resource personnel the ways of managing such problems.

The RCDA extend their sincere thanks to the Principal of Royal College Mr B A Abeyrathne, Deputy Principal of the Primary section Sister Disna Siyaguna for their courtesy and Dr Miyura Chandradasa who coordinated and organized this workshop on behalf of the RCDA.

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We had joy and we had fun and the best Avurudhu Kreeda under the Sun!

April 22. 2016. The inaugural Royal College Union Staff Avurudhu Day went off with a bang!

Sparked off by a simple thought in order to strengthen bonds of friendship, whilst enacting the traditional “Avurudhu Kreeda”, symbolising the dawn of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, held at the Royal College Junior Grounds on Friday 22nd April, the event was a tremendous success.

Bonds of friendships were made much stronger by events such as the tug of war (‘kambha adheema’) which were team events. The ‘laughing’ and the ‘crying’ competitions, were symbolic of real tears of joy and pain we experience at times. Food and drink is always an integral part of the RCU culture, for host and guest alike, and this was ever present.

All the participants at the RCU Skills Centre, Merchandise Shop, RCU Office, MAS Arena, LPMC, EDEX Secretariat, Janitorial staff and Security staff were all engaged with the events worked for the day from 1.00 – 5.00 p.m., which witnessed excellent team spirit, individual talent, sportsmanship and much camaraderie, with maximum joy under the Sun.

The thrills, spills of Yoghurt and water and the breaking of pots, plastic chairs and opening of gifts at the end all contributed to be a memorable day, with each event worked off created spontaneity, a healthy competitive spirit, fun and laughter, for each participant.

The live organ music, the fun-compering and children’s cheering added to the day’s ethos of friends’ and family togetherness.

A significant aspect of the event was that everyone was a “winner”, and went home with a gift.

The day’s events were concluded with giving away of the gifts at the grounds, amidst applause, with the presence the RCU Asst. Treasurer, EDEX Treasurer, Skills Centre Chairman and a committee member. This was followed by an evening fellowship of Kiribath and the traditional sweetmeats in abundance in the RCU Board-room.

May the spirit of “Avurudhu” Bless each and every one and their families at RCU, in the New Year!

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Thomians drowned in Royal roar, as Underdogs became Topdogs cruising to victory

Royal College produced a stunning fight-back to turn the tide and reverse fortunes against S. Thomas’ College who might take some time to comprehend what caused them to lose their 137th big match Battle of the Blues cricket encounter on the third day at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground in Colombo. The Reid Avenue boys scored a seemingly impossible four wicket win.

This is Royal’s second victory in four years after Devin Padmanathan’s side beat them in 2013.

The Thomians and their supporters from all counts may go through some sleepless nights over the next couple of days, as they try to figure out how and why they lost their stranglehold of the match after declaring their first innings at 350 for 5 and then crashing for a paltry 127 in the second innings with a little airy-fairy batting, as Royal like the dark horse came from behind to shatter the party hopes of their arch rival.

Royal needed just 150 for victory which they had no difficulty in reaching as Malith Kariyawasam (38 n.o) held the stage after his team lost four wickets in pursuit of the target.

With both teams scoring over 300 plus in the first innings, the match may have been destined for a draw. However, the poor batting display by the Thomians in their second inning opened the floodgates for an interesting tussle and Royal made certain not to miss the opportunity.

When Royal continued their overnight total of 280 for 7, the main focus was on Pasindu Sooriyabandara (97 not out) and whether he could get that elusive century. He did so unnerved before he was bowled by Kodituwakku for 123 with seventeen fours. Sooriyabandara was engaged in two useful stands first with Kariyawasam adding 139 for the sixth wicket and later another 59 runs with Helitha Vithanage. Royal declared with a deficit of 22 runs.

Royal College batsman Malith Kariyawasam celebrates taking his team to victory over S. Thomas’ College at the SSC ground yesterday (Picture by Saman Mendis)

The Thomians got off to a disastrous start in their second inning losing the first inning centurion Rashmika Opatha for 8 as paceman Himesh Ramanayake was able to extract some life off the pitch and kept the Thomian batsmen guessing. None of the Thomian batsmen could really settle down and they lost wickets at regular intervals.

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