Principal’s Report for Prize Giving 2019
Chaplain, members of the Trinity College Board of Governors, Chief Guest and Mrs Gunaratne, distinguished guests, teachers, parents, and Boys and Old Boys of this great Institution. It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to this year’s Prize Giving at Trinity College, Kandy.
To begin with, let me say a few words about our Chief Guest to you:
Maithri Gunaratne was Educated at S. Thomas College, Mount Lavinia and then at Law College in Sri Lanka. He is a distinguished Criminal Lawyer and member of the Attorney General’s Department. He has also been a member of the Southern Provincial council for 15 years.
Mr Gunaratne has held a number of non-legal positions; most notably, as Chairman of Lanka Coal Company, and Mineral Sands Corporation, both Government-owned corporations.
Mr Gunaratne was recently appointed a “Presidents Council” the highest distinction for a lawyer in Sri Lanka. And he has also just become Governor of the Central Province.
Sir, please forgive me for saying this… as an illustrious alumnus of the institution known as the “School by the Sea”, it is both a pleasure and an honour to welcome you to the institution simply known as “the best School of all”!
Before I ask the Governor to say a few words let me speak about the past year and share with you my updated vision for the future of Trinity College. There is so much happening here at the school now that I cannot possibly refer to it all now as we would be here all night if I did. The full version of my Report on the Year will once again be published on the College website though even that cannot cover everything that has been going on. I am pleased to say that so many important developments are now happening at Trinity. All these have been introduced for the benefit of the boys and with the intention of restoring Trinity to its rightful position.
We must never forget that children primarily come to school to work, even though extra-curricular activities remain valuable and enjoyable. In the past, maybe exam results did not matter that much for many Trinitians. There were plenty of opportunities to be successful without them. However, the world has completely changed. Nowadays, if children are to achieve any sort of career success, they will almost certainly need a degree. If not, in this rapidly changing world, they will simply not be able to impress potential employers, even if they have been to Trinity.
New initiatives in 2018
There are far too many new initiatives taking place at Trinity to list them all here. Some of them are purely academic – including the introduction of London A Levels and of new technology-based subjects in the Local system.
More and more boys in the Junior and Middle School are now opting for English Medium, though that does not mean we will be getting rid of either Sinhala or Tamil medium, assuming that there is demand for them.
And in the Junior School, thanks to the generosity of Old Boys, before the end of 2019, there will be state-of-the-art Smartboards in every classroom in the Junior School; linked to this, all boys at this level are now benefiting from a completely new IT syllabus, put together by Chamira Athauda, our Director of IT, and Dr Asitha Bandaranaike, an Old Boy working at Peradeniya. He is also a Junior School parent and the new secretary of the PTA. From this year, even our 5-year-olds in Grade 1 are being introduced to Programming and Coding. And our Grade 5 boys are now basically doing the same level of computing as those currently doing Local A Level IT.
In terms of extra-curricular initiatives, we are now offering about a hundred different clubs & Societies at the school.
Whilst many of these have been part of Trinity for generations, a number are brand new to Trinity, reflecting interests of the teachers as well as the changing world we now live in. So alongside old favourites like the TCLA, Young Farmers’, Astronomy, Automotive, Commerce, Western and Oriental Music and Heritage Societies, we now offer ones as diverse as Design, Media, Young Inventors, Environment, Aquatic, Culinary, Model United Nations and the Peace Circle.
And, of course, there are a number of Technology-based Societies too, at all levels of the school. Whilst Senior boys are strongly encouraged to take part in as many of them as they can, all boys in the Junior and Middle School are now required to select 4 different Clubs & Societies to do each week during the period after lunch.
Involvement in all these activities will certainly help boys to develop holistically and creatively, thereby becoming more rounded and interesting people. They should also be enjoyable and stimulating too!
Also, we are also reinvigorating Social Service, for so long a vital component of Trinity life. It was one of many things which had faded away, but which we are now revitalising. For me, it is crucial that our boys grow up with an understanding that they need to display genuine care and concern for those who are not so fortunate. We are actually now starting this at the very bottom of the school. Following examples found in other countries, our Kindergarten boys are now regularly going to visit an Elders’ Home nearby. Not only do the elders love spending time with the little ones, but the children have a great time too.
Admission to Trinity is more competitive than ever. So it is vital that the whole process is transparent, comprehensible and (above all) fair. I am very grateful to the Admissions Committee for their professionalism, integrity and hard work last year. I can assure everyone that the process was conducted in a totally fair and honest way and the objective points system which was brought in by the Board for Grade 1 was rigidly adhered to by all members of the Committee.
Despite attempts by one or two old boys and even a former Senior Board member to benefit illegally from admissions, no boys were admitted through the back door.
As I said last year, Trinity has been a leading school for so many years, and we must set the highest standards for ourselves in terms of professionalism, honesty and integrity. This is true in all areas of school life, but particularly in the admissions process where, as you all know, corruption and dishonesty are commonplace, even in top schools within Sri Lanka. I fear that may have been the case at Trinity in the past, but it must not be so in the future. So every one of the 220 boys who joined Trinity last year entered through the front door.
Academically, 2018 was another very good year for Trinity at GCE Public Examinations. Trinity boys achieved high rankings, including coming District first and second in Commerce. 13 boys achieved 3 A Grades. Their names are all listed in the full report.
Overall, 234 students sat for the A Level examination with 133 students qualifying to apply for university entrance. That is 55.6% of the total.
These are the 13 boys who gained 3 A Grades at A Level in August 2018:
S.R. Waidyatilleke, S.C. Manawaduge, B.N. Jayaratne, U.V. Jayalath,
K.C.B. Samarasinghe, D.H. Ketipearachchi, C.J. Kurkulasuriya, M.S. Mohamed Salman,
M.S. Firdous, W.M.P.M. Gunasinghe, G.M.K. Bandara, V.A.A.T. Wijeratne, A.D. Bandara
I am delighted to report that the 2017 O Level results were extremely good. There was a pass rate of 98.4%, up on the previous year, and 253/257 boys who sat their O Levels in December 2017 qualified to do A Levels. An impressive 35 boys achieved 9 As (a slight increase on last year). Nearly 60% of all boys achieved 5 or more A Grades. For a school with non-selective entry, this is a genuinely good result.
The boys who achieved 9 Grades in December 2017 (the O Level year group who receive their prizes today) are as follows:
A.M.G.B. Agalawatte, D.M.T.B. Dissanayake, T.D. Fernando, H.M.K.G.B. Herath,
M.N. Jayalath, J.M. Ranhaluge, T.B. Herath, R.M.S.A.B. Ratnayake, U.W.M.B.Y.D. Welagedera,
E.R. Bodhinarayana, P.G.K.N. Dayaratna, K.A.R.K. Karawita, K.M.H.I. Konara, H.V.L. Ranasinghe,
L.H.W. Gunawardena, H.O.C. Hiripitiya, K.J.A. Jayawardena, Y.D. Mallawarachchi, M.P.K. Lalith Kumara.
I.U. Jayathilake, S.M.P.D. Samaraweera, N.S.M.J.L. Senanayake, H.T.P. Seneviratne, R.P. Seneviratne,
P.D. Thilakasiri, A.B.W.C.P. Attanayake, A.K. Hettiarachchi, D.W.M.S.S. Dewanarayana, E.M.K.C. Ekanayake,
D. Kisor, M.S. Wazil.
G. Arunesh, M.L. Mohamed Rashad, Y. Navin, S. Yahthurshan
I am very proud of all boys who did well in their academic studies, especially those who managed to combine excellent academic results with significant contribution to Sport or other extra-curricular areas of Trinity life. I wish those who are now leaving College all the very best in their further studies and careers. And I know they would like me to thank all those teachers who helped them achieve their potential.
In terms of sport, the Prefect of Games tells me we are actively competing at about 20 different sports here at Trinity. Whilst this is great in many ways, we need to make sure that we do not spread ourselves too thinly by encouraging boys to specialise in only one sport; particularly not when they are young.
In the old days, school sport in Sri Lanka (like most western countries) was divided into seasons. Boys were therefore able to compete even at senior level, in at least three different sports during the year. As proof of this, there are plenty of triple coloursmen amongst the Old Boys, with Colours or Lions in Rugby, Cricket and Athletics.
Nowadays, there seems to be a belief (clearly disproved around the world) that school sports results improve if students only play one sport. So, for instance, our 1st XV rugby players will, this year, have had 7 months of pre-season training for a season that lasts only 3 months. The 1st XI cricketers, on the other hand, have no official pre-season, but instead play a large number of tournament and traditional matches from September right through to at least March (it was May last year).
Is this one-track approach really educationally beneficial to the boys, I wonder? Or to the development of sport in the country? Variety, as they say, is the spice of life; and it certainly helps young people to grow up into balanced, interesting adults.
I really wish we could get back to that system; but it is impossible for Trinity to do so unilaterally. All of the Principals and parents I have spoken to agree with me about this, but for it to work, there has to be agreement and cooperation between the Governing bodies of all school sports.
At the moment, they do not seem inclined to talk to each other. However, what we have now done here at Trinity is return our Junior School to its old system of separate seasons, where boys are encouraged to play three different sports each term.
Evidence suggests that the so-called major sports will benefit from this, both because skills are transferable and also more boys will be inclined to carry on with them further up the school. At the moment, for instance, only about 10% of our boys actually play either rugby or cricket. In a relatively small school by Sri Lankan standards, we cannot realistically hope to compete regularly at the highest level in a major team sport unless our best natural sportsmen are playing that sport.
I hope that other schools will follow Trinity’s lead in returning to a system of separate seasons, including at the top of the school, where boys also have to balance their studies with sport, as I said earlier.
As they get close to public exams, they clearly need to rein back on their extra-curricular involvement, but they really should not need to stop playing sport altogether. As the poet Juvenal’s famous saying from ancient Roman times goes, Mens sana in corpore sano (a healthy mind lives in a healthy body). Contrary to what many parents tell their children, that remains true even when O and A Levels come along.
As I stated earlier, Sport remains a very important part of Trinity life. There is a huge quantity and variety of sporting opportunities available for boys throughout the school. I have included as much as I can in my written Report, to be published online, but apologise if I have missed out something, such is the range and extent of sporting achievement at Trinity, both by teams and individuals.
As for now, in this speech, I will just pick up a few highlights of the last sporting year at Trinity.
Trinity became Zonal Meet champions for the 22nd consecutive year. The athletes toured to India to take part in a meet where they had a great experience. The Junior Relay team was especially successful. The 2018 Inter House Athletic meet was a huge success and the senior competition was won by Oorloff House.
At the Trinity Thomian annual encounter Damsith Aluthgedara and Milinda Sirimanne was awarded the most offensive player in Under 16 and Under 19. The House tournament was a big success, and was won by Lemuel House.
We are in a development phase of school badminton. As such, our results have not been that impressive this year. However, we did become All-Island Schools Under 11 champions, which is very encouraging for the future.
Trinity won 5 medals at the Stubbs Shield, and were runners-up at the 45th L.V. Jayaweera All Island Boxing Tournament among 64 schools. But the undoubted highlight of Boxing this year is that we became Champions (for the 1st time in 49 years) of the T. B. Jayah All Island Boxing tournament competing with 41 schools. This great achievement was fittingly marked by the Kandy OBA, who generously hosted a felicitation ceremony for the boxers and their coaches at the Earl’s Regency Hotel.
The 1st XI had a very successful season and became All Island Runners Up. Hasitha Boyagoda was adjudged the Observer Mobitel School Boy Cricketer of the year. He also kept a world record at the Under 19 world cup by scoring 191 runs. He also did very well in the Schools Cricket season and in the Under 19 international level. Present Captain Pubudu Bandara and Fast Bowler Ruvin Peiris also represented the Sri Lanka under 19. We won the 50-over Match against St Anthony’s comfortably, whilst winning the 1st Innings in the Big Match itself.
Whilst thanking all the coaches for their hard work, especially Kavinda Jayasuriya and Rushan Jaleel, my particular thanks go to Nilantha Rathnayake, Amil Ramanadhan and others in the Cricket Foundation for all the support they continue to give in order to raise the standards of Cricket at Trinity. And as he takes a well-deserved back seat (hopefully just for a while), I would also like to take this chance to express my gratitude to Mr. Bilal Fassy, our primary Cricket Sponsor for many years. The current success of Trinity cricket owes much to his generosity and enthusiasm.
At the All Island Inter School Chess championship Trinity Under 13 and 17 teams became 2nd Runner up. The Chess Inter house Under 13 and 15 tournaments were a big success.
A growing number of boys of all ages are now playing golf regularly. I am very grateful to Victoria Golf and Country Club (managed by Old Boy Asela Wavita) for their generous support of Trinity golf, as well as a number of other Old Boys (led by Bimal Fernando and Ravana Wijeyeratne) for their enthusiasm and efforts to increase the opportunities for our boys to become good golfers. We even had a successful Inter-house Golf tournament in 2018 for the first time ever.
The Hockey team played some good hockey in 2018, though our results were not great at the Senior Level. Our Juniors, though, look very promising and did very well. At the annual TPT Hockey carnival, the Under 14 became group champions whilst the Under 16 were runners-up. We were Under 16 group champions at the Kandy Hockey Sixers. And at the Sri Lanka Inter Schools Hockey Carnival 2018 our Under 14 boys received the Gold Star (effectively winners). Finally, the House tournament was also held successfully for the first time in many years.
The Trinity Hockey Foundation (led by Deva Ellepola) is helping to revitalise the sport at Trinity by supporting and advising the School. They are, of course, supported in this by the former Vice Principal Mr Paul Jeyaraj, who personally ran Trinity Hockey for many years, taking it to great heights.
Osanda Bandara, Sudesha Jayasinghe, Randil Weerakoon and Nadeesh Illukkumbura represented Sri Lanka in the 15th Asia Pacific Shitoryu Karate Championship and Commonwealth games in Indonesia and South Africa respectively.
Though the Under 20 didn’t have a great season (coming 6th in the League), other age groups had much more success in 2018, including the Under 14 team, who finished runners-up in their tournament. 25 of our present players had a successful training camp in New Zealand during August and September. And I am delighted to say that Inter house rugby resumed once again after many years. Boys trained hard and represented their house with great pride in the competition which was held in a carnival atmosphere at Nittawela. Lemuel House emerged worthy winners.
I call on all stakeholders, including Old Boys and parents, to rally behind our rugby players this season, and remember that the boys are doing their best at all times and sacrificing so much for their school.
We also need to remember that these are children not professionals; their young bodies should not be mistreated or abused; and they need to do their academic studies too. I am confident that Scrummage agrees with me on this.
Mindiya Jayasinghe and Avon Dikdeniya was selected to represent Sri Lanka at the 54th Malaysia International Age Group Swimming Championship. At the Provincial Sportsmeet Trinity College emerged Overall Champions.
Many thanks to the Old Boy Swimming Foundation for their continued support and leadership of swimming at Trinity. I am also delighted to see them working closely with both the Coaching Staff and the Parents in order to uplift the standard of Trinity swimming to something like its former glory.
Soccer continues to grow and flourish at the school, with an increasing number of boys playing it at both Junior and Senior levels. Trinity became 2nd runner up in the Provincial Football tournament. The Inter House football tournament was conducted very successfully and was won by Garrett House.
The highlight of the year in soccer is that we easily beat Royal College 3-0 in the 3rd Annual Encounter. The Footballers also had a successful overseas tour to India where they played 12 competitive matches (W4, D4, L4).
13. Table Tennis
At the annual Trinity Thomian encounter, Trinity Won the under 19 Match. And at the Nationals School games Trinity was placed 3rd in the Under 17 and 20 age groups.
Trinity placed 1st in the Boys Doubles category at the Mahaweli Reach Junior Tennis Championship
Trinity not only emerged central provincial Champions but also All Island School games under 20 champions as well as Senior, Junior and Youth Nationals Under 20 Mens Champions.
B. J. Wijewickrema, E. R. Bodinarayana, P. D. Jayasuriya and G. G. K. J. Gamage were adjudged Best Lifters and G. G. K. J. Gamage performed brilliantly to achieve a New Junior National record and win the title.
Weight Lifting had another superb season in 2018, and I am especially proud that Trinity became the All-Island Under 20 Champions once again. This is an outstanding achievement, for which credit must go to the coaching staff as well as to the weightlifters themselves. You will have a chance to applaud the boys later when they come up as winners of the Team of the Year Award.
School Sports Colours were awarded to:
R.M.P.D.B Rathnayake (Athletics), M. Luqman and K. Denagama (Boxing), Y. Rodrigo (Badminton),
N.N. Vithana (Chess), N. Divyan, M. Sameer and M. Akkeel (Football), S.H. Aamir Shoaib (Hockey),
A.I.S. Dikdeniya and H.O.C. Hiripitiya (Swimming), P. Karunananda and N. Abeyrathne (Table Tennis),
P.D.S.O. Gunawardena and D.R. Tennakoon (Weight Lifting), Y.S. Malawana (Basketball), K. Senadeera,
A. Anandakumara and R. Peiris (Cricket), V. Ranarajah and L. Calyanarathne (Rugby),
S.M. Angekumbura and H.H.M.S.D.B. Hapukotuwa (Swimming),
P.D. Jayasuriya, N. Jayakody, M. Abdullah, H.P.M.L. Mayadunne, G.G.K.J. Gamage (Weight Lifting).
Lions were awarded to:
T. Weerasuriya, H. Jayasuriya, V. Nethumal, P. Bandara (Cricket), G. G. K. J. Gamage (Weight Lifting)
I would like to thank the Prefect of Games, and all the Coaches and MICs for their efforts this year. And my thanks, too, to the Vice Principal and Headmasters for their help in ensuring that the sports’ programme runs smoothly but does not interfere with the academic side of school life… at least not as much as it used to.
The welfare and protection of children should be a school’s primary concern at all times. As responsible adults we cannot stand by if there is a threat to any child.
All over the world, there are horror stories of respected coaches who have abused young people in their care. Very often, they get away with it for years because their victims are frightened to speak out. Just last week, a scandal rocked South Korea about this. And the official US Gymnastics team doctor was recently jailed for life for abusing young gymnasts over many years. This happened in countries which already have legal measures to safeguard children.
Here in Sri Lanka, however, there are currently no legal procedures in place to check that those who are working closely with children are actually safe to do so. I urge the Government to look into this situation on a National Level for the protection of all children here in Sri Lanka.
Here at Trinity, all coaches have to sign the Code of Conduct and adhere to it if they wish to remain. We are also conducting more due diligence before appointing them in the first place. I am pleased to say that there are now very few concerns raised by parents. I am sure that, at least in part, this is because Coaches now know exactly what is expected of them here at Trinity in terms of their behaviour, integrity and treatment of the boys in their care. They also know that we are keeping a close eye on them.
Trinity has always had a huge number of Co-curricular activities, catering for children of all ages, abilities, faiths and interests. I cannot possibly mention all of them here today, as we would be here all night if I did. I have tried to include as many of these activities as possible in the written report, but will just pick out a few highlights now.
Religious Societies: Trinity is an Anglican Foundation, and we remain a proudly Christian School. However, as has always been the case, we welcome boys and teachers from all religions. So I am pleased that, once again, all four of our Religious Societies organised highly successful and well-attended events this year. It is important that we teach all children to be tolerant and accepting of others, whatever their religion, culture and backgrounds.
Tamil Literary Union: 2018/19 is the centenary year of the TLU. We have already started a series of special events to commemorate this remarkable achievement. Everything will build up to a major celebration planned for October this year. As soon as the date is finalised, we will publish it on our website and Social Media pages, in the hope that as many former members of the TLU will come and join us on that evening.
The Interact Club: Interact Club Being the oldest Interact Club of the Hill Country, initiated the Interact Year with the 41st Installation Ceremony, which was conducted with grandeur and opulence, with the participation of many schools.
The Traditional New Year Celebrations organized by the Interact Club for the first time and the Annual Medical Camp with Trinity Doctors’ Association, with all the facilities, for the staff of Trinity College were the most highlighted events of the year. Interactors participated in number of events conducted by the Rotary Club and Interact District 3220.
Young Farmers’ Club: This year, the young farmers club have truly espoused their ethos of Young agriculturists that of distinctive agricultural techniques, proven excellence and Scientific work.
From a field work perspective, it has certainly been a year of achievement, being able to conduct a research on gastrointestinal parasites in wild pigs and publish an international scientific paper on Nematode infection in wild pigs.
Also, while concentrating with greater emphasis on Animal parasitological science, they enthusiastically went about about raising the bar on technology in the intensive cultivation of local underutilized crops. This positioned them to exceed the goals they had set for themselves. This included in TCKYFC being positioned as a Centre of Knowledge and Technology which has seen Trinity being upheld as a role model in the field of agriculture.
Adding value to these, they also lead the way in Artificial insemination in poultry, Forest dieback phenomena in Horton plains National Park and Ornamental fish breeding. It has certainly been a busy and successful year for the Young Farmers Club!
Automotive Society: The year 2018 had been an eventful year for the society, an industrial visit was organized to the DIMO Lanka showrooms, maintenance facilities and the DATS training institute in Colombo, which was a very informative and useful visit for the members, and it was the first time exposure of most students for the Mercedes Benz automotive legacy. Students of Grades 10 and 11, who follow the subject of “Design and Mechanical Technology” for their GCE O/L examination were taken for an industrial visit to the Railway Workshops, Ratmalana. They are looking forward to a successful year ahead.
The Media Unit: The media unit of Trinity College Kandy rendered their unstinting service to all college programmes from photography to sounds and announcing.
The Media Unit is in the process of learning sports commentary and also looking for possibilities to start up a radio station. We are extremely grateful to the batch of 92 for donating the most needed facility at the main hall which is a proper sound system and multimedia facility.
It was a challenging year but all members took up every challenge very positively and gave their fullest cooperation to make it a successful year.
Kandyan Drum & Dance Troupe: The Trinity College National Drum & Dance Troupe participated in several activities inside and outside the College this year. An early highlight of 2018 was their performance on the Chapel Lawn for the Royal Visit of Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex.
23 young talented Dancers were inducted as Ves Dancers in front of huge gathering at Natha Devela and Trinity College premises. It was the 11th Ves induction Ceremony organized by the Troupe.
The Trinity College National Drum & Dance Troupe entrusted their talents by winning 1st place of Zonal and Provincial levels and finally the ‘All Island 1st runner up award for Drum Orchestra’ item organized by the ministry of education of Sri Lanka.
The troupe for the first time participated in “Rajjaya Narthana Ullela”, an open competition organized by the ministry of cultural affairs of Sri Lanka and won the 1st place in District level and 2nd runner up award in National level for Drum Orchestra item.
They also had the privilege to represent Sri Lanka and Kandy at the 2018 Chengdu International Sister Cities Youth Music Festival which was held in Chengdu, China in July 2018 with more than 30 international delegates. This was another opportunity for our young dancers to perform for our country’s honour as well as that of Trinity.
Incidentally, the respect with which the Drum & Dance Troupe is held within Trinity is reflected by the fact that last year’s Troupe Leader, Bhagya Ranasinghe, is today’s winner of the Ryde Gold Medal.
The Sinhala Literary Union: The Sinhala Literary Union stepping into its 105th consecutive year, organized ‘Sahitha’ and ‘Vaag Prathiba’ annual inter-school competitions. ‘Vaag Prathiba’ the inter-school debating competition which was conducted for the 12th consecutive year as an All-Island event and was a great success. The Championship of the ‘Vaag Prathiba’ Inter-School Debating Competition was won by Dharmaloka College Kelaniya and Runners-Up was won by Royal College Colombo. Maliyadewa College Kurunegala managed to secure the 3rd Place. The profound lecture which was delivered by the Chief Guest Mr S. A. Dunukepotha was highly appreciated by everyone.
Social Service Union: The year 2018 was a very successful year for the Social Service Union; The Social Service Union was inactive for the last 5 years, the union was re-established by the efforts of our TIC Mrs Abeykoon and the Vice-Principal Mr J.D Wilson.
The first project of the Social Service Union after a decade was the car wash project which raised funds for the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Childrens’ Hospital. It was a very cumbersome task to organise a major scale event after the inactive period of the society.
Drop a Coin in Aid of Thalassemic Patients project was also a very successful project by the Social Service Union. The collection was donated to a thalassemic child patient Tharindu Ishara Maldeniya who is expected to undergo a matched related donor bone marrow transplant for thalassemia major at Asiri Central Hospital.
The Social Service Union also donated money to a Girl’s home in Anuradhpura and also to a visually handicapped home in Battaramulla for the Flag Day.
Sri Lanka Unites: The year 2018 commenced with a Workshop which was organized by the SLU Chapter of Trinity College under the theme Reconciliation through Leadership. This was held on the 19th of September at the College Main Hall, which focussed on awareness of the core motives of SLU amongst Kandy Schools and further enlighten them in their knowledge and interest for Communal Harmony and Co existence.
“Stride To Ride” a three phase joint project organized by the Sri Lanka Unites Chapters of Trinity College, Kandy and Ladies’ College, Colombo was also a very successful event.
The Buddhist Movement: The Buddhist Movement of Trinity College Kandy has been an important part of Trinity for more than Four decades.
One of the prominent events carried out by the Movement is the overnight Pirith Ceremony followed by the alms giving for Maha Sanga. The 43rd Pirith ceremony was held successfully in the year 2018.
The Buddhist Movement joined hands with the Heritage Society in helping the underprivileged students in the Palatuwa Primary School in the Dambulla district in the year 2018. In addition the Buddhist Movement looks forward to donate a library for the above school in collaboration with the Heritage Society.
Trinity College Choir: The Choir, under the guidance of Choirmaster Lasantha Tennekoon, were outstanding throughout the year adding. In addition to regular Sunday Services and the Christmas and Easter Carol Services, the choir participated in a number of public events in Colombo and Kandy.
During these events the choir displayed its versatility in performing various genres of music from classical to pop. A real highlight of the School Year was the brilliant “Music from the Movies” Concert which the choir performed in September. They also performed the Hallelujah Chorus for HRH Prince Edward, when he visited Trinity during the year, and at the special service held to mark the Centenary of the Armistice at the end of World War One.
The Culinary: The Culinary Club is one of the new clubs formed at the beginning of 2018 that had gained popularity by encouraging the student community to cook as a life skill as well as to direct some of its members towards possible careers within the hospitality sector.
The club meets every Thursday afternoon to engage in practical activities like demonstrations, discussions, presentations in cooking carried out under a special theme for each month of the year.
The club has identified special culinary skills of each member through various projects carried out by them throughout 2018 like providing celebratory food for special occasions of the school, engaging in food sales and visits to the Hotel School Kandy and the reputed Cinnamon Lodge Habarana.
TCLA: The Trinity College Literary Association had a productive year in 2018. The first event of the year was the first full length production at College in more than a decade. The Drama was “The Secret Case of Sherlock Holmes” by Craig Sodaro. The event was a massive success and set the scene for the coming year.
The Drama team also participated in the Y. M. C. A Inter school Shakespeare Competition which was held in the Lionel Wendt. The team also performed their drama several times inside school. “An Appreciation of the Bard” was the name of the Shakespeare festival organized by the TCLA, reviving the festival that was last held over a decade previously. The winners of the All Island Shakespeare Competition, Ananda College joined us for this event.
The TCLA also wrote and produced a drama for the teacher’s day celebrations in the third term of the year, which focused on all that the teacher’s do for their student’s.
Debating also flourished during 2018, with the team participating in several major competitions. The first of these was the annual friendly Trinity – Thomian debate which was held in the second term as part of the Thomian weekend.
The Debate team also participated in the Ladies College debate competition. Although the team did not achieve great success, the experience they gained was invaluable. The team also won the first place at the inaugural ACBT debate competition, receiving the shield as well as scholarships for all team members
Heritage Society: The Heritage Society has once again taken up the initiative to get boys involved in social welfare. In the year 2018 The Heritage Society and the Buddhist Movement together organized a project to donate stationery needed for the under privileged children in the Palatuwawa Primary School in the outskirts of Dambulla district. It is also expected to build and maintain a school library for the students in the same school.
Library Council: The old boys from Batch of 2000 in collaboration with the College Library council organized a workshop on Design Thinking for youth, which was held at the college main hall 27th July 2018 headed by Mr Sanka Hettiarachchi and Prof Suranga Nanayakkara (Associate Professor, University of Auckland). This was to designed to nurture the young minds to develop skills on creativity and innovation. Two essential competencies that is required in facing the unknown challenges of the future career landscape. The Library Council carried out many workshops and competitions throughout year 2018.
Karnatic Society: The Karnatic Society had a successful 2018.The boys participated in many events throughout the Year 2018. At the All Island Schools’ Karnatic Music Competition, organized by the Ministry of Education, they came 1st in both Junior and Senior Categories.
Western Music Society: The year 2018 was a tremendously successful one for the Western Music Society of Trinity College Kandy. The achievements of the society can be summarized as follows. At the All Island Western Music and Dance Competition organized by the Ministry of Education Central Province the Senior Choral Group became the winner by obtaining 92 points, Senior Piano Solo (Abhisheka Surendrakumar) Winner by obtaining 89 points.
At the National Level competition the Senior Choral Group became the winners by obtaining 87 points and at the same competition Abhisheka Surendrakumar became the All Island winner by obtaining 92 points. The Senior Choral Group became All Island winners for the 4th consecutive year & Abhisheka Surendrakumar won the Piano Solo for the 3rd year.
At the Sri Lanka Festival of Music, Dance and Speech Central Province Competition our Primary Choir, Middle School Choir and the Senior Choir received Distinction Gold Medals and at the same festival Commended Gold Medals were won by Abhisheka Surendrakumar for Piano Solo U18, Sathira Wijethunga for Piano Solo U16, Harshith Karunaratne & Sathira Wijethunga for Piano Duet U16 and Adithya Herath & Rashmika Herath for Piano Duet Under 11.
Also at the National Competition the Primary Choir, Middle School Choir and the Senior Choir became All Island Winners and Abhisheka Surendrakumar for Piano Solo U18, Sathira Wijethunga for Piano Solo U16, Harshith Karunaratne & SathiraWijethunga for Piano Duet U16 and Adithya Herath & Rashmika Herath for Piano Duet Under 11 were All Island winners at the same Competition.
Special Awards were awarded to Primary Choir for the Best Popular Choir, Senior Choir for Best Choir U 18, Highest number of All Island Awards won by a school for choirs – Trinity College, Kandy – for the 3rd consecutive year and the highest number of Gold Medals & All Island Awards won by a teacher for pianoforte Mrs Chryshanthi Cabral Surendrakumar.
I am very grateful to those many teachers at Trinity who are happy to go the extra mile for their students; and who willingly contribute to school activities such as Sports and Societies in addition to their classroom work. I am also delighted that many more teachers now are deciding to improve their own professional qualifications and skills, with large numbers of teachers beginning degrees, diplomas and other courses (including ICT and English proficiency). This increasing awareness of the need for Continuous Professional Development is very encouraging; and I can see it is already leading to a more professional atmosphere amongst the staff.
We recently had a visit from two Old Boys living in Australia, who are both experienced in the introduction of Performance Management systems in the Educational and Corporate sectors. In their two weeks here, largely sponsored by the PTA and Old Boys (I’m delighted to say), Peter and Gavin spent time with all teachers at Trinity, starting to raise awareness and implement a formal system of Professional Development and target setting which will be linked to the Bonus incentive scheme being introduced over the course of the next year. They spent most time with the newly appointed Grade Heads and Senior Faculty Heads.
The introduction of Grade Heads here is a much bigger deal than people perhaps realise. For the first time ever at Trinity (or perhaps in Sri Lanka), these specially selected teachers are being asked to support and manage their colleagues rather than just look after the boys (as was the case with Sectional Heads).
So as well as checking that the boys in their Grade are thriving, they are also going to ensure that teachers do those things which they should be doing, but which nobody has really been checking on. I am talking about things like thorough Lesson planning, punctuality and attendance, prompt and full marking of homework, and effective classroom management and discipline. They will also communicate directly with Parents and PTA Grade Reps, to help sort out little issues before they become big ones; and act as a conduit with Management when necessary.
With the appointment of Grade Heads, we are therefore creating a genuine layer of “Middle Management” within the school, which will in turn lead to much better chains of communication and accountability. The Grade Heads report directly to their respective Headmasters, who in turn report to the Vice Principal and me. As you can see, this is indeed a significant change within the school’s hierarchy; and it is one which will hopefully benefit teachers, parents and boys themselves. I am most grateful to those 14 outstanding teachers for agreeing to take on this significant extra responsibility.
There are far too many outstanding staff members to mention them all by name; but I would like to express my thanks in particular to my Vice Principal, Mr J.D. Wilson. Shaw has been a strong and active presence around the school. He has helped ensure good discipline and orderly conduct, especially in the Upper School, amongst both students and staff. I am very grateful to him for his hard work and support.
Ananda Marasinghe, the Co Vice Principal and Junior School Headmaster, remains a massive asset to the school. He knows everyone and everything to do with Trinity. If ever I want to find out something, he is the first person I ask.
I would also like to publicly express my thanks to the Chaplain, Sanath Madagamgoda for his wise, balanced, compassionate advice and his strong presence around the school.
And we have indeed been fortunate this past year to welcome back Mr Krishanthan Anthonydas after a gap of about 9 years when he was teaching overseas. Krishanthan has very quickly reintegrated into the school, earning the respect of boys and staff along the way. His calm and measured manner, linked to a very strong sense of right and wrong, made him the ideal choice to be the new Headmaster of the Upper School; a position which he took up in January.
Finally, I would like to thank Nirosha Gunawardane (Finance Manager), Ravi Amarasekera (Head of Administration), Ashanthi Tennekoon (Principal’s PA), and Mark Navamani (Admissions Officer). All of them are a pleasure to work with. They and their teams do an outstanding job behind the scenes; often with little thanks.
The following Teaching Staff joined Trinity College during 2018:
Ms A.D. Pilimathalawa, Ms D.G.B.D. Dharadakumbura, Ms Bhagya Madushani, Ms A. Herath, Ms T.U. Bamunuarachchi, Mr A. Munasinghe, Ms T.M.M De Silva, Ms M. Suganthiny, Ms N.B.T.R. Balalle, Mr N.B Munasinghe, Ms B.M.J.B Balasooriya., Mr A. Krishanthan, Mr L.A. Vidanapathirana, R.M.R.S.K. Munasinghe, N.P.Fernando, P.A.I.M. Ranasinghe, Mr P.G.S. Peramuna, A.B.K.S. Somarathna, Mr J.L. Wijayaweera, V.G Seneviratna., Ms M.T.N. Shifa, Ms W.W.R.W.M.B.C Weerasooriya, Ms T. Dishiwarthani, Ms D.N.L. Deraniyagala, Ms. G.J.M Krishanthan, and Mr P.E.K.J. Perera,
The following Teaching Staff left Trinity College during 2018:
Mr S.M.D.J. Senanayake, Mr L.L.K. Silva, Ms W.K.Gamage, Mr U.K.H.Ekanayake , Ms H.R.S.G. Kumari., Ms M. Mayuran, Ms K.M.G.S. Seneviratne, Mr A.K.B. Alahakoon., Mr E.J. Gomm., Ms B.K.A.C.M. Rodrigo, Mr S. Heenagama., Mr P.A.I.M. Ranasinghe, Mr B.M.J.B. Balasooriya, Mr P. Selvakumaran, Mr K.H.I.S. Ranasinghe, Ms W.M.M.R.A. Perera, Mr L.C.K Weerasinghe, Mr A.J.G. Hathurusinghe, and Ms C.J.S. Lamb.
I thank all of the Staff Leavers for what they have given to Trinity College, over many years in some cases. And I wish them all the very best for the future.
Whilst on the subject of staff, I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the immense contribution made to Trinity by Alex Lazarus, who very sadly passed away about 3 months ago. Alex will doubtless go down in Trinity history as one of the legends of the school. He did so much over such a long period of time. Some of it was high profile and very visible, like his work as Senior Boarding Master, or the fact that he was Head Coach of the unbeaten 1987 1st XV Rugby team.
However, as only those who knew him well were aware, so much of Alex’s life was spent quietly, generously and selflessly serving others, even at the expense of looking after himself. So although he did not like going to formal Church services, he was actually one of the most Christian people I have had the pleasure of knowing. Like many others who knew him much longer than me, I personally miss Alex hugely; and Trinity is a poorer place without him.
There are so many Old Boys, both in this country and overseas, who are extraordinarily supportive and helpful in every way; who do not make a song and dance about it; and who genuinely want the best for their alma mater. I have met with many Old Boys over the past year, including overseas in London and Toronto, where I was made to feel incredibly welcome last October.
It never ceases to amaze me how many genuinely successful Old Boys there are all over the world, including some here in Sri Lanka of course. And I am always happy to hear ideas and professional wisdom from those people who have achieved so much (in such diverse fields) since they left Trinity. The fact that these people still care so much for Trinity is very humbling.
I have already mentioned the wonderful support given by the Cricket Foundation. I would also like to thank the members of Scrummage for their commitment to Rugby at all levels of the College. Much has been said recently by some people about my disagreements with certain members of Scrummage; and I am not going to pretend that nothing has happened. But this should not disguise the fact that I greatly value their voluntary and wholehearted support of the sport they love so much.
I would like to clarify that, as happens with the Cricket Foundation, all Rugby Coaches (from 1st XV down to Under 10s) are identified, interviewed and recommended by Scrummage; only then are they employed by the school. And, exactly as I said last year, Scrummage remain the men who keep a technical eye on all that is going on at all levels during the season. They have particular expertise in this area; not me, the POG or the MICs.
Scrummage, the Cricket Foundation and the other Old Boy Sports foundations traditionally lend their support on a voluntary basis, despite having very busy lives of their own, because they love Trinity and they love Trinity Sport. I am very grateful to them for all that they do.
I would ask all Trinitians, whether current students or Old Boys, to unite now behind all school teams; and, as the Big Match and Rugby Season rapidly approach, I urge as many people as possible to physically come to matches and support the boys. Having a large and proactive crowd behind them really does make the team feel like they have an extra man on the pitch.
I am very pleased to say that we have passed the point of no return. The Green button has been pressed by the Board of Governors, and the first two major building projects under the Trinity150 banner will be started concurrently within a very few weeks. These are the construction of a new Commerce Block and the complete internal rebuilding of Alison House.
I am hugely grateful to the T150 Advisory and Oversight Committee for their untiring and remarkable work to get us to this stage. Under the inspired Chairmanship of Jayantissa Ratwatte, they have done so much more than oversee the financial integrity of the fund-raising, which is what they were originally formed to do. But in addition to that, they have managed and directed every conceivable part of this massive undertaking. We could never have managed this huge project without them.
In fund-raising terms, we are on track and have currently raised over 100 Million rupees, primarily from Old Boys. This is an amazing achievement, once more spearheaded by the T150 Committee. Along with what the Board can finance this year (none of it from fee income by the way), it is comfortably enough to start and complete the first two projects. But we need more (for the other 3 new buildings and the Napier conversion).
So I also ask the parents of current Trinitians to be as generous as they can. With the exception of those whose sons are about to leave, it is your children who will directly benefit from all the new facilities. Not to mention, in years to come, their sons and grandsons.
So parents, please look at the Trinity150 section on the School website, and support the project as generously as you possibly can. Only by planning and building for the future will Trinity ever be able to return to its rightful place as “the best school of all”. Trinity150 is a giant step towards achieving that goal.
Let me finish this report by thanking everyone who has helped me this past year; in particular, my Senior Management Team, Teachers and Support Staff. My wife, Viv, continues to be a tower of strength. I’d also like to once again thank the Board of Governors under the chairmanship of the Bishop of Colombo. As I said this time last year: I often wish that everyone knew what a selfless job the Governors do for Trinity. And all on an entirely voluntary basis.
There was a great 18th Century Irish statesman called Edmund Burke, who was himself educated at Trinity College Dublin (after which we are named). He once said “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” How right he was! I know it would be so much easier for me personally if I turned a blind eye to incompetence, bullying, immorality and corruption. But, as a Christian and a passionate educationalist I simply can’t do so. Even when it makes me unpopular with powerful people, or insulted yet again on social media, I tell you this: everything I do at Trinity, without exception, is done with the best interests of the boys and the school in mind.
The boys need to learn the same core values of compassion, honesty, sportsmanship and generosity of spirit that were learned by their fathers and grandfathers at Trinity. Only if this happens will the school survive and thrive long after all of us on this stage have departed.
On that note, let me end by announcing the name of the new Senior Prefect. We have left the appointment of prefects for a few weeks longer than usual. After the problems with the School Officers Guild last year, we want to be absolutely sure to appoint the right sort of prefects, who will lead through example and who will consistently display those core values I have just spoken about.
Whilst the rest of the new prefects will be announced at a special assembly next week, it gives me great pleasure to announce today that the Senior Prefect for 2019 is Mark Seneviratne. I wish Mark and his team well for the coming year and I look forward to working closely with them to ensure that Trinity is a place which exhibits the highest standards of self-discipline, honesty and mutual support; and to help rebuild the passionate school pride for which this great school once used to be so famous.