Founders’ Day Commemoration Service 2018
Trinity College was founded on 17th January, 1872. Commemorating a hundred and forty six years of continuous existence on the same premises is something any institution would be proud of.
To mark the Founders’ Day at Trinity, a commemoration service has been organized to take place on 18th January (Thursday) during morning devotion time at 7.30am.
History of Trinity College, Kandy
Though Trinity College records its continuous existence from 1872, it started with a small mission house built by Mr. and Mrs. Browning in 1823, where the current Wickramasinghe building stands, which functioned only as an elementary school.
Picture: Matron’s Dormitory, Ryde book room (In the location of the Mission House, 1823)
Rev. Ireland Jones is recorded as the founding father of our school, who started it as the Kandy Collegiate School in 1857. It is stated as follows about Rev. Ireland Jones:
“It is as an ardent and ideal missionary he will ever be remembered in Ceylon. Many men gratefully acknowledge the magnetic influence of his personality in shaping their lives, and implanting within them those qualities which tend towards the betterment of the community. His sermons were always impressive and caused conviction. An earnest delivery, a natural eloquence, profound scholarship, careful study, combined with mental powers of a rare order, produced a preacher, who attracted crowds and left a lasting impression behind”
Picture: Rev. J. Ireland Jones
Having started the school, Rev. Jones retired after 3 years to engage in his calling in evangelistic work. The school for some reason closed down for sometime before it was started again in 1872 as our beloved Trinity College Kandy.
On the 17th of January 1872, the Rev. Richard Collins reopened the Kandy Collegiate School, which was then renamed as our beloved Trinity College Kandy, recognising what the school owed to its founder Rev. Ireland Jones, who was from Trinity College, Dublin. It is said about Rev. Collins:
“Mr. Collins was a man of varied gifts and talents. He was not only skilled in verse; he was not only a writer; he was also a musician. He was again, an artist and his love of science showed itself in varied ways in Ceylon. But above all he was a Christian Minister and a missionary with the outlook of a statesman”
Picture: Rev. Richard Collins
The humble beginning of Trinity with Rev. Collins had only four buildings in the school which included Mr. Browning’s Mission house. The School also had only 139 students in its first year under Rev. Collins.
The real strength of Trinity has lain over the years in the long line of remarkable men and women who have served there. It all began with Rev. Collins’ teaching staff of four: Mr. Alfred Clerk – The Head Master, Mr. Clement Edwards – Teacher and Choirmaster, Mr. Andrew Loos who started the Literary Association, and Mr. Perera.
Trinity was not built in a day, neither its traditions nor its buildings. It has had the unique advantage of growing gradually in the same premises over a hundred and fifty years, sometimes slowly, sometimes rapidly, and, on occasion with bursts of remarkable energy. It has remained and continues to grow as a closely knit community on its own little hillside of over 20 acres.
The dynamic and outstanding characters of our founders are embedded into every aspect of Trinity today. A citizen of the world called a “Trinitian” has to be, therefore, obviously unique.
We thank God for our priceless heritage as a school, as we commemorate our founders’ day. As we remember and rejoice, let us make every effort to capture in our thinking, emotions and spirit, the tremendous commitment of our founders in order to take their mission forward, and be inspired to add our own selfless efforts for the years to come.
(Information extracted from “The Centenary Number, 1872 – 1972”)