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THE CREST OF TRINITY COLLEGE KANDY

The Elements of the Crest

The crest of Trinity College Kandy is a vibrant emblem that encapsulates the college’s rich heritage and Christian foundations. It prominently features:

  • The Lion: Poised atop the shield, symbolizing strength and vigilance.
  • The Three Crowns: Representing the Holy Trinity, a core element of Christian doctrine.
  • The Cross: Emphasizing the college’s Christian missionary roots.
  • Colours: Roaring red, glorious gold, and brilliant blue, each chosen for their historical and symbolic significance.
  • The Scholastic Scroll: A scroll of wisdom, underscoring the college’s dedication to academic excellence.

Origins and Inspiration

Historical Evolution

The crest’s design was first introduced in 1912 A.D., as depicted in the inaugural college magazine published by Rev. Gaster. It draws inspiration from the English crests of Clifton College, a boarding school influenced by Rugby School, and Trinity College at the University of Cambridge.

  • The Lion: The Lankan lion atop the shield, wielding a sword in its right paw, draws influence from the Sinhalese flag’s borders.
  • The Cross: Replacing the chevrons seen on the Clifton and Trinity Cambridge crests, the cross reflects the college’s Christian roots.
  • The Three Crowns: Borrowed from the coronets of Oxford University, these symbolize the Holy Trinity and embody a sense of royalty and nobility, aligning with Trinity College Cambridge’s heritage.
  • The Motto: Respice Finem – a most inspiring motto as the Centenary Volume notes, expounds the precept that it’s more than merely fighting on to the end, showing guts and grit; but requires every student, and staff member to have the highest ideals and standards to do everything they could to live up to them to the end (The Trinity Story 1872 – 2022, Arjuna Ranawana & M.V. Muhsin)
The colours red, gold, and blue, while potentially influenced by Clifton and Trinity Cambridge, also symbolize the fundamental presence of ‘The Trinity’ in the world.

The Founding

Trinity College Kandy traces its roots to the founding of Kandy Collegiate School in 1857 A.D. by Rev. Ireland Jones. The original crest, designed by Principal Rev. Richard Collins, laid the foundation for future emblems. Key elements included:

  • Crouching Lion: Representing the Sinhalese people.
  • Adam’s Peak: Symbolizing a place of historical significance in Sri Lanka.
  • The Sun: Indicating the college’s welcoming attitude towards Orientals.
  • College Motto: “Respice Finem” meaning “Look to the End”.

The Rebirth

Although Kandy Collegiate School lasted only a few years, it was reborn as Trinity College Kandy on January 17, 1872 A.D. In 1878 A.D., a new crest was adopted, featuring:

  • Palm Tree: Representing the people of Jaffna.
  • Nominal Change: Reflecting the institution’s new identity as Trinity College Kandy.

The crest of Trinity College Kandy is more than just a symbol; it is a testament to the college’s enduring legacy, its foundational Christian values, and its commitment to academic excellence. The rich history encapsulated within the crest continues to inspire and instill pride in the students and old boys of Trinity College Kandy.

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