Dhammika Devapriya Jayasuriya
Dhammika Devapriya Jayasuriya, is an old boy of S.Thomas’ College, Mount.Lavinia who has represented his alma mater in crickrt and rugby with distinction.
Better known as DD to his associates he was a third generation school boy of S.Thomas’ from 1959 to 1971. He was in the College Hostel from the age of seven years and started playing a game called Fives which is like Squash and this game is played with both hands using a hard Rubber ball. This game helped him to handle the ball with flexibility and developed the fitness expected of a seven year old boy. As he grew up he was very interested in Cricket and Rugby due to this experience and ability. In time to come he started sports like Cricket, Rugby and Hockey in School. But as hockey was played in the same season as rugby he had to give up hockey and continue with playing Rugby and Cricket.
Please scroll down for the Sir John Kotelawala article below the Desmond Kelly article…
“PETERITES AROUND THE WORLD” – Appointment of Desmond Kelly, an old Peterite, as Administrator on the Forum
This was a recent Article sent in to the “Captain” of S.L.S. eLanka on 1st Oct., 2020.
Interesting, to say the least.
Hi Neil, (Jayasekera),
I believe that Desmond Kelly is the Editor of eLanka, Main Website for all Lankan Australians, and now the Special Website for all Lankan Britishers as well.
We are happy & proud to announce that we have decided to appoint Desmond, also an old Peterite, as Administrator on our Forum
“Peterites Around The World”, with immediate effect. The reasons for this appointment are varied.
Firstly, we believe that due respect has to be shown to all Peterites & others who are now in the twilight years of life. Secondly, as an advisor to younger generations of Peterites who are the hope of our future, & thirdly, last, but by no means least, is the fact that Desmond Kelly has had quite a full and satisfying life so far, himself. During his early teens, he was recognized as a vocalist at St. Peter’s College, and sang regularly in the Choir, even learning all the Latin Hymns sung each day at Benediction. In addition, he became a leading character with the Music, Art & Drama Society at College.
He left College & home, to join an English Circus Troup, touring the Island at the time, then later, joined Radio Ceylon and started to write his own musical compositions, one of which was the first local English song accepted by the huge Philip’s Corporation of the Netherlands, from where the very famous Blue Diamonds duo, were sent on contract to Ceylon to perform their own show. Desmond was their guest-star. Later, when television was being introduced into Ceylon, he was again, the 1st local Artiste to be featured on T,V, with his hit of that era, called Dreamworld.
Later still, Desmond Kelly joined the Royal Ceylon Navy, then becoming known as the Singing Sailor, leaving the Navy after eight years, to migrate to Australia. He then continued his Showbiz career on a part-time
basis, did recordings both in English & Sinhala, finally retiring from stage & screen, to continue, on an honorary basis, the roles of both an Editor-in-Chief of eLanka & now an Administrator for his ex- Alma-Mater.
We are very proud to include him on our Forum, where his knowledge & skills, especially in music, will be a great advantage to all ex-Peterites, everywhere.
Desmond Kelly is a proud ex-Peterite who has brought honour to our great School, St. Peter’s College. We wish him the best, and blessings in his new position as an Administrator in our globally popular Forum for Peterites, everywhere.
Thank you, truly,
“Peterites around the World”.
eLanka wishes Desmond all the very best and thank him for the continuous support to eLanka too!
Address by the Right Honourable Sir John Kotelawala, K.B.E., M.P.,
Prime Minister of Ceylon, at the Distribution of Prizes,
S. Thomas’ College, Mt. Lavinia, Saturday, 31 st July,1954
(image source: wikipedia )
When I played for Royal against S. Thomas’ many years ago my intention, which was shared by my team-mates, was to give the Thomians a good drubbing, and, if that was not possible, at least to give them a test of endurance. Much as I value the opportunity which I now have of presiding at your Prize Distribution, I shall endeavor to do neither this afternoon. I mist congratulate the Warden on his Report, which illustrates what opportunities school like S. Thomas’ have of continuing to play a leading part in the training of our youth and the moulding of their character.
I am glad that the Warden’s Report did not follow the usual pattern of Principals’ Report on such occasions, when the Government’s policy on education is taken up for microscopic examination and dissection. Our policy on education was born of the county’s needs, and does not claim to be a perfect solution to the Problem that confronts us of providing the best possible education for the rising generation without cost to the parents. Now that we have Free Education we have 6,561 schools and 1,570,000 school going children. Our high standard of Literacy, no doubt, enabled us to obtain our freedom at an earlier date than we otherwise might have, and in an atmosphere of calm. Peace, and quiet, Since then , however, various problems have cropped up like little mushrooms, and one hears it said that education in the mother-tongue is likely to put the clock of political progress 50 years back, and that the next generation will see the ugly monster of communalism rear its head amongst us, The problem of taking education to the masses and giving equal opportunities to the sons of rich and poor parents alike could not have been tackled unless children were given instruction in the only language they knew, which was their mother-tongue.
We have two major linguistic groups in this country and education has, therefore, to be conducted in both these languages. But education in one language does not necessarily mean that people must not learn the other language, or cease to enjoy the obvious benefits which the knowledge of the English language brings with it in science and cultural subjects. One must not under-estimate the role of language in a child’s life during his formative years, or forget that language is a child’s chief means of making social contacts and influencing others. In actual use, language plays an important role in thinking and the solving of problems. Bi-lingualism, and even tri-lingualism, should therefore be encouraged as far as possible, if the communal harmony which we pride ourselves in having today, is to be preserved for the future; because, unless we understand the other man’s language and talk to him in his mother-tongue we would have failed to reach his innermost thoughts and have merely succeeded in creating a barrier between ourselves and our neighbours. I would welcome, therefore, every opportunity a Sinhalese takes of learning Tamil, and vice versa.
Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting
of the S.Thomas’ College Old Boys’ Association, New South Wales Branch Inc. will be held at 5:00 pm on Sunday, 25 October 2020
at the Wok Works Thai Cuisine, Shop 2, North Village, 4 Beaton Road, Kellyville NSW 2155
THE RUGBY FOOTBALL TEAMS OF S.THOMAS COLLEGE, ROYAL COLLEGE AND TRINITY COLLEGE OF 1977,1978 AND 1979, A TRIBUTE TO THE COACHES OF ALL THREE SCHOOLS OF THE SAID ERA , A SEMI FINAL AND FINALS OF THE FIRST EVER SCHOOLS RUGBY FOOTBALL KNOCKOUT TOURNAMENT PLAYED IN 1978 WITH SNIPPETS OF BOB HARVEYS LIVE RADIO COMMENTARY , THE SECOND DE SARAM SHIELD MATCH PLAYED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN COLOMBO IN 1979 AND A BRIEF CLIP OF THE LATE COACH MR QUENTIN ISRAEL SINGING MY WAY AND THE THOMIAN SONG IN THE 80″S. …
THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO NEED FOR ANY FORMAL
INTRODUCTION TO THIS STORY. THE NAME SAYS IT ALL.
It will always be a matter of pride and gratification to the people of Sri Lanka that the struggle for political emancipation was launched, supported and sustained by a long line of patriots so fired by their devotion to make this country a better place to live in, rid of the shackles of alien rule.
The road to independence has been a hard and rugged one. Immeasurable therefore is the country’s debt to those intrepid pioneers for the courage and determination they showed in the face of insuperable odds to launch and carry out their campaigns. One such pioneer was …
Charles Edward Corea – proctor had three sons and two daughters – Charles Edgar (C.E.), Alfred Ernest, Agnes, Evangeline and Victor. When Victor was only an year-old, the young family lost their father and they came under the sole guidance and upbringing of their mother Henrietta, a young widow of 21 who sought to implant in them the spirit of their father and nurture them in traditions of a family that sought to free the country from the incubus of an alien yoke. Independence Day Supplements issued by Daily Mirror on February 4, 2013 and 2014 celebrating 65 and 66 years of independence has this to say about Victor Corea:
“ As well as being a successful advocate and politician, Victor Corea also spent much of his time fighting for Sri Lanka’s independence against the British or against anyone or anything where there wasn’t justice. He fought fearlessly with the help of his older brother Charles Edgar Corea and became two of the most famous political figures their country had ever seen, and were particularly well-known in their hometown Chilaw.”
Charles Edgar entering Royal College had a brilliant career and made his mark as an outstanding speaker and matchless debater. He passed out as a proctor, joined the Chilaw Bar and rose to the top of his profession. He exerted himself professionally on behalf of the victims of oppressive laws and made his services freely available to villagers. He formed the Chilaw Association to safeguard the rightsof the villager which before long became the most powerful political body in Ceylon.
Alfred Ernest went to S. Thomas’ College and later passed out as a doctor. During the deadly ‘Parangi’ epidemic, Dr. Corea volunteered to work free-of-charge when no one was prepared to run the risk of exposing themselves to the epidemic. Victor too entered S. Thomas’ College and later passed out as an advocate of the Supreme Court practising in Chilaw, Puttalam and Kuliyapitiya courts.
“Mahatma Gandhi paying a glowing tribute to Victor Corea presented him with a coloured poster captioned ‘FIGHTERS FOR SWARAJ’”
Young Lanka League – March 2, 1915
Victor Corea was a firm believer that the youth of the country should be trained to play a significant role in nation-building. His sole objective was to instill in the minds of the youth that they were the future leaders of the country and that it was their responsibility to groom themselves to play that vital role. He was the founder-president of Young Lanka League and in order to inspire the youth to undertake such responsibility, he spent a vast sum of his own money in purchasing a printing press, housing it and recruiting staff to launch the journal titled ‘Lanka Tharuna Handa’ which will inspire the formation of a young dynamic force.
Sinhala-Muslim riots – 1915
During the Sinhala-Muslim riots of 1915, Victor Corea and his brother C.E. Corea protected the Muslims in Chilaw from the wrath of embittered Sinhalese and thanks to their intervention, the people of Chilaw were exonerated from paying damages which was a penalty imposed on all citizens of Ceylon.
“Victor Corea was a firm believer that the youth of the country should be trained to play a significant role in nation-building”
Victor Corea respected all religions. He was responsible for building the Buddhist temple and pirivena in Chilaw and obtaining the spot to erect a Buddhist shrine in Colombo Fort. By tradition, he was the lawyer for Munneswaram Temple and was also the legal adviser to the Bishop of Chilaw, Rt. Rev. Dr. Edmund Peiris OMI.
Nation-building efforts – 1924
Victor Corea presided over a meeting at Tower Hall where a packed audience of Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and Burghers met and pledged to be united. At this meeting, he was acclaimed as a great national hero in believing that all races living in Ceylon should unite sinking their differences for the greater glory of the country. Whenever a rift occurred between the North and South, Victor never permitted that rift to widen into a gulf. Many a time, he crossed the Elephant Pass and stretched his hand of friendship to Tamil leaders and the rift became a bedrock of goodwill.
First President of Ceylon Labour Union – 1920
When A.E. Goonesinha formed the Ceylon Labour Union to fight for the rights of Ceylonese workers, he was determined to have a president endowed with courage and the will to give the union a fearless and astute leadership. The popular choice was Victor Corea who gave the labour union the desired brand of dynamic leadership with an aura of respectability.
“Victor Corea respected all religions. He was responsible for building the Buddhist temple and pirivena in Chilaw and obtaining the spot to erect a Buddhist shrine in Colombo Fort”
Poll tax – 1922
When the British Government imposed the iniquitous Poll Tax requiring ALL MALES above 21 years to pay the government Rs.2, Victor Corea relentlessly opposed it on the grounds that the majority could not afford it and publicly declared that he was prepared to go to jail and fight against it to the bitter end. Under the scorching heat of the sun, he was made to break boulders with a pickaxe on the public highway. Inside the jail, he was made to beat coconut husks and twist coir rope and in the night he had to sleep on a wooden plank with no pillow to rest his head. The desire to see the spectacle of their hero fighting their cause drew unprecedented crowds which kept increasing each day.
His palms were covered with blisters but he decided to suffer in silence without complaining. He lived on plain bread and water throughout his month’s stay in jail and finally when the British Government decided to abolish the Poll Tax and release Victor Corea, his popularity was such that he came all the way from Chilaw and decided to contest E.W. Jayewardene (President Jayewardene’s father who was his relative) and won the election by an overwhelming majority as the member for Colombo North in the Legislative Council of Ceylon.
Mahatma Gandhi’s glowing tribute to Victor Corea – 1927
Victor Corea launched a campaign to inculcate a feeling of nationalism and a distaste for what was alien and foreign as was done by Mahatma Gandhi in India. Mahatma Gandhi in 1927 accepted an invitation from the Corea brothers, C.E. and Victor, to be their guest at ‘Sigiriya,’ a stately and exquisitely designed residence that belonged to the Corea family in Chilaw.
At a banquet given by the Corea brothers in his honour, Gandhi paying a glowing tribute to Victor Corea presented him with a 15” x 20” coloured poster captioned ‘FIGHTERS FOR SWARAJ’ in which all Indian patriots who fought fiercely for India’s independence were individually featured in oval shaped, bust size photographs with Victor Corea’s photograph also included in appreciation of the campaign he launched in Ceylon which gave added strength to Gandhi’s campaign in India. Such was the high regard and respect Mahatma Gandhi had for his partner in the fight for their country’s independence!
An entire village turns to Victor Corea
The villagers of Merawela in Chilaw earned their living through the limestone business. When the British Government vested the business as a State monopoly and villagers found themselves helpless without a source of income, the seniors in the village went in a deputation to Victor Corea’s residence pleading for his support. He fought for their rights and had the business restored.
Beating of Hewisi in Dalada Maligawa
Although a Christian, Victor Corea rose in protest against the order sent to Diyawadana Nilame by the Government Agent in Kandy, a Britisher to stop forthwith the beating of hewisi because it was a source of disturbance to his wife. Victor Corea rose on that occasion to display the courage he was well-known for by asking the GA to shift his residence and that the beating of hewisi must continue in accordance with tradition. If the DN were not prepared to resume the beating of hewisi, Victor Corea solemnly promised that he would come to the Maligawa and make sure the beating of hewisi was resumed. Since Victor Corea by that time was known to be a man who lived up to his promise, the GA withdrew his order fearing there would be unrest in the country.
Unveiling of his statue
On December 2, 2008, the life-size statue of Victor Corea was unveiled adjacent to the Chilaw District Court by Urban Council Chairman Hillary Prasanna Fernando in the presence of a large gathering of residents and well-wishers in Chilaw.
S. Thomas’ College was created as the fulfilment of a dream and vision of the First Anglican Bishop of Colombo, the Rt. Revd James Chapman on 3 February 1851.
The college was first established in the then prestigious location of Mutwal, overlooking the Colombo Harbour.
S. Thomas’ College thrived at this location and grew from strength to strength. The vision of the Founder was to produce men of character and also be a platform from which God-fearing men who would want to serve the Lord, as Christian Ministers would emerge.
However, besides producing men for the church, the college produced men who could be rightly referred to as “Giants amongst Men” for the Nation of Ceylon.
Most of the civil society leaders from political leaders to those who headed the State Assembly and then the first Parliament and the Judiciary as well as that very core area –learned men who became school teachers, were produced by S. Thomas’ College.
The college has to take such pride that the very birth of Sri Lanka and the birth of the main political parties of Independent Sri Lanka were founded by products of the school.
It is also a fact to be noted that a large number of sons of college, also served in the Military and Police. Included in that number are the very many who went onto serve the then Colonial power in World War 1. It was a Thomian who became the only Ceylonese recipient of the Victoria Cross, the world’s most recognised medal for battlefield valour.
The almost meteoric growth of the school at Mutwal, then faced an unexpected challenge around 60 years after the birth of the College — the arrival of steam ships!
These ships that were coal fired, began to spew smoke, filled with coal dust into the atmosphere when arriving and departing from the Colombo harbour, which was beginning to boom as a bustling sea port.
This coal dust blew with the winds of change and settled on the once scenic hill overlooking the Harbour. The same hill on which sat the beautiful campus of S. Thomas’ College.
Thereafter the then Bishop of Colombo Rt. Revd E.A. Copleston and the then Warden of the College, Revd W.A. Stone together with C.E.A. Dias an influential and concerned Old Boy, as well as a few other concerned members of the Thomian Old Boys Association, began serious efforts to relocate the college.
This finally came to pass on 26 January 1918, at Mt. Lavinia, this time overlooking the ocean, as against the harbour.
The College of S. Thomas the Apostle, will therefore be completing 100 years at Mt. Lavinia, in 2018 – with this first century of existence at Mt. Lavinia, being an amazing journey of success and service to our beautiful Motherland of Sri Lanka and also to the Anglican Church of Sri Lanka as originally dreamt and envisioned by the Founder.
The incumbent Warden, the 19th to hold this very special office of service, is the Revd Marc Billimoria, an Old Boy of the college.
It has been a vision of his from many years back, to fittingly celebrate the 100th anniversary at Mt. Lavinia by celebrating the varied gifts that the products of the College have been enriched with as a result of being nurtured by some amazing tutors and builders of men; by the facilities available and by the value systems that have grown over the years, to embody what is now termed as ‘Thomian traditions and Thomian values’, which include amongst others the mindframe enriching so-called ‘Thomian grit’ which refers to a sense of courage and of perseverance that is of such value to moulding the minds and character of the boys of the college.
The Special Events Team of S. Thomas’ College, comprising a group of Old Boys, that first came into existence in 1996, a group that is part of the Old Boys Association, that has specialised in working directly with the Head of the School, to provide leadership for delivery of major Projects of the College, has come forward to support the Warden, in his very special endeavour of celebrating 100 years at Mt. Lavinia.
Accordingly a string of activities have been drawn up to celebrate the areas of talent and skill that are considered as very special for all Thomian students who enter through the portals of the college – areas of specialisation that have been prized as hallmarks of the Thomian value system.
These relate to choral music; drama; music in all its forms; debating and sports.
The series of events will culminate in the very traditional and core Thomian “way of celebrating anything of value” which is by conducting a Thanksgiving Service at the Chapel of the Transfiguration, which in itself has influenced and strengthened generations of Thomians, on 26 January 2018. This will be followed by the unveiling of the Bust of Warden Stone and Portrait of Bishop Copleston and the traditional Special General Assembly, followed by a Fellowship Lunch for the Thomian community.
A Cycle Parade and walk from Mutwal to Mt. Lavinia follows the next day, 27 January.
A Special Gala Banquet will be held on 17 February, at the same venue where many of the original Thomian functions were held – Galle Face Hotel.Read More →