House System at St. Peter’s College – by Algi Wijewickrema
If you attend a sports event of any school, particularly athletic meets you will come across divisions by Houses to enable competition within the school environment in healthy rivalry. St. Peter’s is no different and currently has six Houses.
When the house system was introduced at St. Peter’s College in 1930 there were four Houses namely (in alphabetical order), Anthony, Maurice, Nicholas and Peter while from 1982 these have been increased to six with the addition of Arthur and Basil Houses.
How they were named makes interesting reading and good for Peterites past and present to know.
When St. Peter’s was inaugurated in 1922 as St. Joseph’s College Colombo South, the Bishop in charge of the Colombo Archdiocese was Anthony Courdet (or Antoine Coudert, O.M.I. to give his proper name). It had been Bishop Coudert (1905-1929) who had encouraged Fr. Maurice Le Goc to start a new school in the south of Colombo and Anthony House is named after Archbishop Anthony Coudert. The House colours are purple and yellow.
Maurice House is obviously named after Rev. Fr. Maurice Le Goc OMI, the visionary Rector of St. Joseph’s College, Colombo who founded St. Joseph’s College Colombo South, which was later renamed St. Peter’s College. The House colours are blue and white.
Fr. D J Nicholas Perera (1927-1943) who was appointed President (or Manager) of the school at its inauguration, was later appointed Rector when the school was renamed St. Peter’s College in 1927. He was responsible for the rapid development achieved by St. Peter’s College, and held sway up to 1943 before handing over the reins to the 2nd Rector. Nicholas House is named after this illustrious 1st Rector of St. Peter’s College. The House colours are blue and yellow.
We come back to an Archbishop, namely Peter Marque (1929-1937), or to give his proper name Pierre-Guillaume Marque (Pierre meaning rock, Peter). He was the Bishop who presided over the affairs of the Colombo Archdiocese in 1930 during which year College opened its playground and initiated the House system. Peter House is named after this Archbishop. Peter House has the Papal colours of yellow and white.
Basil House was introduced in 1982 and is named after Rev. Fr. Basil Weeratunge OMI (1943-1955), the 2nd Rector of St. Peter’s College. This was one of two houses introduced in 1982. The House colours are blue and green.
Arthur House was also introduced in 1982 and is named after Rev. Fr. Arthur N. Fernando (1955-1963), the 3rd Rector of St. Peter’s College who managed the school so well during the start of a difficult period after the schools take-over in 1960. He was instrumental in introducing many a novelty to St. Peter’s, mainly to keep the school afloat when it was decided to run St. Peter’s as a private non-fee levying institute. The formation of the Welfare Society, the creation of a boarding, a well managed canteen, the farm are but a few of the novelties introduced by Fr. Arthur Fernando. Arthur House colours are red and white.
Hope the readers find this brief write up interesting and sufficiently informative.