The Sri Lanka Association of New South Wales Inc. Annual Winter Ball 2019 ‘Pride and Passion’ – Reported by Kithsiri Senadeera – Photos thanks to Roy Grafix
The Sri Lanka Association of New South Wales Inc (SLANSW) Annual Winter Ball 2019 ‘Pride and Passion’ was held on a grand scale on Saturday, the 7th of September at the Mercure Hotel, Liverpool. Attracting a full house, the event was a great success raising awareness and funds towards the SLANSW’s seniors programs.
Chief Guest for the occasion was the newly appointed High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Australia, H.E Mr. J.C. Weliamuna.
There were a number of distinguished guests present including, Mr Lal Wickramatunga, the Sri Lankan Consul General for New South Wales and Queensland, the Honourable Mr Kevin Conolly, Member for Riverstone and Parliamentary Secretary for Education and the Honourable Ms Jodi Mckay, Leader of the Opposition of the Parliament of New South Wales.
The curtain raiser was a beautiful fusion dance performed by Ms Sasani Jayasinghe and the troupe.
The event commenced with the welcome speech by the President of the SLANSW Dr (Mrs) Gnani Thenabadu. In, H.E Mr. J.C. Weliamuna’s inaugural address to the Sri Lankan community in New South Wales, emphasized the need to further strengthen the bilateral relationship between Australia and Sri Lanka and reinvigorate trade and ‘people-to-people links’. Mr.Weliamuna took the opportunity to thank the outgoing Consul General, Mr Lal Wickramatunga, for his initiative to bring all Sri Lankan ethnic groups together and promote trade and tourism. The Consul General, Mr Lal Wickramatunga, arguably the most popular Consul General we have had in Sydney, appealed to the Sri Lankan expatriate community to help the motherland which had suffered from a brain drain to share their knowledge and experiences gained from living in a developed country. Both, the Honourable Mr Kevin Conolly and the Honourable Ms Jodi Mckay recognised the significant contribution made by Sri Lankans to the Australian community.
Guests were quick to their feet when popular band ‘The Kamis’ took to the stage to perform hits from good old nostalgic Waltz and Quickstep numbers to Rock, Samba, Ramba and also some ‘ABBA’ numbers.
Guests were welcomed to participate in a raffle draw and a charity auction consisting of cricket memorabilia from Sri Lankan cricket legends including Muttiah Muralitharan, Chaminda Vass, Mahela Jayawardana and the Sri Lankan T20 World Cup 2015 team. The MC of the event Mr Duke Ramachandran conducted the auction professionally which brought good offers for all the auctioned items with all proceeds going to the SLANSW’s senior citizen programs.
Over 25 electronic banners of the sponsors and portraits of the distinguished guests were displayed on the giant projector screen to run continuously during the event. There was a short Power Point presentation displaying the main activities carried out during the year by the SLANSW.
Special thanks to Mrs Sriyani Tennakoon for the elegant table arrangements, Mr.Saliya Tennakoon of Event360 for a wonderful job in stage management, sounds and lighting, D,J. Shankster for providing Sinhala pops and Baila hits, Roy Gunaratne of RoyGrafix, our official photographer for capturing the event beautifully as you can see from the photo gallery. Big thank you to Mr. Harry Solomons of Kingsgrove Sports, for his generous sponsorship and the Mercure Hotel for their delicious food and service. Last but not least the executive committee members and their families for their efforts for making the 2019 SLA Winter Ball ‘Pride and Passion’ a great success.