89th Anniversary Celebrations of the Old Boys’ Day
The 89th Anniversary Celebrations of the Old Boys’ Day of Sri Sumangala College, Panadura were held on the 28th & 30th October 2011.
The Sri Sumangala College Old Boy’s Association (SSCOBA) was inaugurated on October 28th 1922 by Mr. Abeyseela Ginige, a past principal of Sri Sumangala College. He was the first President of Sri Sumangala College Old Boy’s Association. Up-to-date the SSCOBA embarked on variety of activities to support the development of its Alma Mater and its student population.
Sri Sumangala College was formally established on March 3rd 1909 by founder members, Philanthropists of Panadura, late Mudliyer Thomas Rodrigo, M. Mathes Salgado, P. Lewis Dias, P. Domingo Dias, P.C.H. Dias and M. Coranelis Perera under the patronage of Chief incumbent of Rankoth Viharaya Most Ven. Walpita Gunarathanatissa Thero who suggested that the new school in the temple premises to be named of his teacher, most Ven. Sasanawansha Kavidhaja Weligama Siri Sumangala Nayaka Thero to immortalize his name of his teacher. Mr. Thomas Gunaratne was the first Principal of the College and the classes were conducted at the Dhamma sermon hall of the historical Rankoth Viharaya Panadura. Later few buildings were constructed to meet the demand of the increasing number of students to the College.
As the time went on with the increase of the student population, Sri Sumangala was in need of expansion and was required to move out its secondary classes due to limited land space at the Rankoth Vihara temple. The OBA was instrumental and took the initiative to establish Sri Sumangala College at Nalluruwa in 1942 in a land donated by the first student of the College, Mr. Walter Salgado. The College was later expanded with the donation of block of land by Mrs. Sicilyn Perera, the wife of one of the founders.
In December 2004, Tsunami destroyed most of the buildings of the College facing sea and it had a direct impact on some of the parents & students, tutorial staff and there was a unanimous request to relocate the College to a safer location. Accordingly a decision was taken by the Government with the sponsorship of Japanese Government to relocate the College to a more secure and suitable land at Wekada, Panadura. Despite resistance by a few, with the leadership of the Principal and with the able support of the SSCOBA, it was possible to overcome all these obstacles to realize the dream of a brand new school but with the same blend of the Sumangala to become the beacon of the Kalutara District. It is the desire of the SSCOBA to see that Sri Sumangala College is one of the leading pioneering educational institutions in Sri Lanka.
The SSCOBA is ever grateful to His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapaksha, President of Democratic Socilistic Republic of Sri Lanka, Mr. Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to HE the President & Mr. Mahinda Illeperuma, the Director – Media to HE the President and to the People of Japan without their support and assistance the Re-construction of the New College would have been a dream. The co-operation and assistance extended for this project by the officers of Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) & Japan International Co-operation System (JICS) are commendable.
Sri Sumangala College, with over 100 years’ history, is a pioneering institute of learning in Sri Lanka which continue to produce a wide array of outstanding of Sri Lankans. Among them there are professionals of high caliber, in Engineering, Medical, Technical, IT fields, Public Administrators, Accountants, Scientists, outstanding Sportsmen, Businessmen, Entrepreneurs, Media personalities, Artists & politicians. It could be easily recognize Sri Sumangala College as an institution that has contributed directly and widely toward the well being and development of our country and it stands out as one of the leading National School in Sri Lanka.
The SSCOBA is growing day by day with many branches and associate groups are being founded. As at now there are several branches established, namely Junior OBA, Colombo Branch, Kandy Branch, Australian Branch, Italy Branch, UAE Branch etc. In addition several other associate groups have been formed for the betterment of the Alma mater, such as, Old Sumangalian Medical Association, Past Cricketer’s Association, Past Cadets Association, Past Scouts Association etc. It is the common objective to work towards a better tomorrow for the College & for students.
2009 was a memorable year for both SSCOBA and to the College since the centenary of the College was celebrated with the ceremonial opening of the re-constructed Sri Sumangala College by H.E. President Mahinda Rajapaksha on April 23rd 2009 and with a series of events including All night pirith ceremony, Alms giving for 100 priests, Centenary Exhibition, Inter-school Contests in various fields etc. Simultaneously a commemorative stamp and a first day cover were presented to HE the President by Mr. M.S. Sellasamy then the Deputy Minister of Post to mark the centenary of the College. Also a distinguish old boy, Dr. Neville Fernando donated 17 brand new computers to upgrade the computer lab. A long unfulfilled need of the OBA a permanent head-quarter was opened by Mr. K.Thilak Peiris, the oldest living member of the OBA on March 15th 2009.
A much needed necessity of a swimming pool was constructed to the international standard and was presented to the Alma Mater by another distinguished old boy, a former Lion’s Governor, Deshabimannya Rohantha De Fonseka where he donated a sum of Rs. 6.4 million towards the construction of swimming pool. The balance cost of Rs. 5 million was raised from several donors of the OBA and was ceremonially opened and dedicated to the student community on June 28, 2009.
In the year 2011, the SSCOBA along with Junior OBA has embarked on several projects for the benefit & the development of Alma Mater & the student population. These include the establishment of special fund schemes which enable the donor to select the field through which the donor would help the students / College, scholarships for students who excelled in their studies, library development, sports development, development scouting and cadetting, establishment of IT resource centre, counseling & arrangement of medical aid to the needy students etc.
Owing to the dedication, unblemished service of past and present leadership, along with strength and co-operation of the members, the present membership of OBA has surpassed 3000 mark. With the affiliation of the Junior OBA and Colombo, Kandy, Australian, Italy Branches, the Sri Sumangala Old Boy’s Medical Association and other associate bodies has made SSCOBA a very powerful organization of its class to become one of the strongest OBA’s in the Island.
All the above achievements have proved that the Sri Sumangala OBA is able to face any challenge successfully to over come all the obstacles to reach the objectives.
On 28th October 2011, the SSCOBA arranged alms giving to inmates of the Home for the Aged Panadura, inmates of the Girls Home Morawinna Panadura and to the inmates Aruna Home for the Disables at Nalluruwa, Panadura.
In addition to the above activities, the following main activities were also organized on 30th October (Saturday) by the Sri Sumangala College Old Boy’s Association along with Junior OBA & Old Sri Sumangala Medical Association (OSSMO) to commemorate the Old Boy’s day with the co-operation of the Principal and the staff at the College premises and the Chief Guest for this occasion was our distinguish old boy Prof. Mangala Fonseka of University of Sri Jayawardenapura, Kotte.
- Health Camp (From 0900 HRS to 1400 HRS)
- As a social service for the past & present teachers, old boys, needy people, a free medical examination by the Old Sumangalian Doctors (by Specialists in several fields) with free medicine. Nearly 400 were examined / treated and free medication were provided
- Service of Eye Specialists and free advice / free spectacles for the needy.
- Cataract Operation for 10 selected patients free of charge
- Blood Donation Camp
- Awarding of Medals & Certificates to the College students who excelled in “Do You Know contest” & “Oratory” contests
- Handing over of scholarship to over 50 students who have been selected to Universities for higher studies.
The OBA expresses its sincere appreciation to the Mr. L.W. Somatilake, the Principal, Dr. Kosala de Silva (Physician – Advisor to the Old Sri Sumangala Medical Association), Dr. Mangala Dissanayake (Gynecologist – President – Old Sri Sumangala Medical Association ), Mr. Muditha Pathinayaka (President – Junior OBA), Mr. Sarath Alwis (Vice President – OBA – for organizing Blood Donation camp), all Old Sumangalian Doctors, pharmacists, nurses and all members of the OBA, JOBA & OSSMA for their excellent support and assistance extended for the successful completion of the OBA day activities.