“THE ALMA MATER” – By Des Kelly
They say “Time passes, the Quality remains”,
a proud quote that could describe my College in Colombo.
Seems difficult to believe that St.Peter’s College, in the Suburb of Bambalapitiya, is just two short years from “hitting a century”(in cricket language), talking of which, is, even now, on the top rungs of the “Gentlemen’s Game”, as we know it. Everybody loves cricket in Sri Lanka, and we have to remember that the Sport’s World Cup, just a few years ago saw our tiny ex-homeland beat the “huge” Australian team to take this cup home. In the same breath, I have to remind my readers that, while St.Joseph’s College in Maradana (I think), was the much larger School (plus Sister- College), to St.Peter’s, the Peterite Eleven always seemed to beat the Josephian Eleven, in what was the main cricket match of the Schools in general, going back 60 years or more. Well, St.Joseph’s did win a few, in very close games, as I remember them.
Getting away from cricket, I remember my Alma Mater as a magnificent set of buildings, which happened to be a hospital during WW2, spacious class-rooms along wide corridors, the Rector at the time, Rev.Fr.Basil Wiratunga (or maybe it was Wijetunga, but his first name was Basil), did a great job of keeping us all in control. Of course, we also scored a very good looking dude (Priest), as the Prefect of Discipline, young, but “watch out”, if you didn’t behave. He could wield a rattan cane as good as anyone, unfortunately,
I cannot remember all their names, but we also had some excellent “Masters” to teach us, if we cared to learn.
We used a rectangular area in the centre of the classrooms in which to play games during the intervals, we also boasted a little Chapel, a superb main hall, and one of the largest cricket grounds at the rear of the College, where we would run around, at leisure, play cricket and watch our Senior cricket team beat many other Colleges including you know who !. Our Captain, at the time was H.I.K.Fernando, quite certainly the best Wicket-Keeper/Captain around.
In class with me, was Clive Inman, the batsman who had a
“Guinness book of Records” entry claiming that he scored the fastest half century in cricket, of that particular era.
I am still very proud of my Alma Mater, and would like to congratulate her on reaching this grand old age.
(Editor -in -Chief) eLanka.
St. Peter’s College Colombo turns 98 today
St. Peter’s College, Colombo 4, as a premier Catholic school which focuses on producing integral, holistic and all-round personalities completes its 98th anniversary today (18). The college, while focusing on a teaching-learning culture that is inclusive and is driven by the principle ‘every child matter’ emphasizes on value education, character formation and personality development where every child is respected, recognized through an environment that enables him to realize his dreams and aspiration as well as develop his talents and potentials to the fullest that will empower him to bloom and blossom wherever he is planted.
The College derives its vision and mission from the vision of Catholic education i.e. integral education. It has produced a countless number of Peterites who have rendered a yeomen service to humanity in many a field such as politics, academics, judiciary, defence, sports, literary and entertainment to name a few with many going on to head their respective areas. They have kept the Blue, White and Gold flag fluttering high in the sky ever reverberating the Peterite spirit enshrined in the College Motto ‘Virtus et Veritas’.
It was established on January 18, 1922. The College has slowly and steadily established a brand name for itself nationally and internationally. It has left an indelible imprint in the annals of the history of education in Sri Lanka. St. Peter’s College continues to excel in academics, co-curricular, extra-curricular and sports activities. It has carved out a niche for itself as a global leader and a trendsetter in education.
St. Peter’s College, today, has numerous state-of-the-art facilities that offer the best opportunities to the Peterites. However, being primarily a Catholic school, its chief role is to contextualize every aim and objective of its mission within the larger picture of the Catholic education that focuses on nurturing and nourishing the spiritual growth of the Peterites so that they will not only be loyal Peterites and patriotic citizens, but also be faithful servants of the Holy Mother Church.
St. Peter’s College, Colombo 4 looks back with gratitude towards God our loving Father, Mary our Blessed Mother and St. Peter her Patron Saint for the countless blessing they have showered upon this hallowed institution through numerous individuals and organizations to establish it as what it is today. As it looks forward to the centenary celebrations to be inaugurated in 2022, it expresses its deepest sense of appreciation and overwhelming gratitude to the Old Boys Union branches in different parts of the world who have already rallied round to make this historic event a momentous occasion. Rev. Fr. Rohitha Rodrigo, the Rector of St. Peter’s College has launched a project to construct a Chapel, which is a replica of the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, to mark this gigantic occasion. Numerous other projects are lined up to make the Centenary Jubilee Year Celebrations a memorable and unforgettable event.