St. Benedict’s College Prefects Investiture 2020

Monday, 27th of January 2020pinterest.svg

The Benedictine Prefects Investiture 2020 was held on 21st January 2020 under the patronage of distinguished Old Benedictine top banker, past Deputy Head Prefect, Public Schools Athletics Coloursman and Best Allround Student 1989 Sriyal de Silva and his wife Nilakshi. As per tradition, the Chief Guests were welcomed by the Director of the College Rev. Bro. Tarcisius FSC and senior staff members and led to the Open Air Stage under the Banyan Tree accompanied by the College Western Band. The proceedings started with the lighting of the Traditional Oil Lamp followed by the College Anthem.

The highlight of the day was the formal Swearing in and the pinning of the Prefects Badges on the new Board of Prefects led by the incoming Head Prefect Master Shaveen Fernando, facing the giant backdrop with the immortal words of the Benedictine Anthem ‘HIGH BE YOUR AIM IN LIFE’S ONWARD VIEW’. The Chief Guest Sriyal de Silva’s address included numerous words of wisdom starting with asking the new Prefects to remember that they were not elected or selected but they earned this honour by sheer hard work, character, and discipline.

He stressed that they should perform their duties with the correct attitude, which he considered more important than knowledge and skills. He impressed upon the youngsters that Prefectship is not a free licence to bully or harass their fellow students and the challenge of leadership is to be strong but not rude, be kind but not weak, be bold but not bully, be thoughtful but not lazy, be humble not arrogant, be innovative but not imitate and to always take responsibility and ownership of their actions whether right or wrong and never ever lose their integrity because if you lose it you cannot get it back.

The immediate Past Head Prefect Master Deeshan Fernando in a stirring message to his fellow students said that the work of the Prefects during the past year was inspired by another great line from the College Anthem ‘DOING THE DUTY WITH THE CROWN IN VIEW’. He was full of gratitude and appreciation to the Teacher In Charge of Prefects Mr. Titus Withanage for his commitment, hard work and sacrifices he made to make the Prefects greater citizens ready to face the challenges of the world as strong leaders.

The event was attended by the proud parents of the new Prefects, members of the staff and representatives of the supportive bodies of the College and concluded with the singing of the National Anthem led by the College Choir. All in all, it was a great, solemn and dignified occasion and the credit for it goes collectively to the Sub Director of the College Rev. Bro. Pravin Vaz FSC, the Master In Charge Mr. Titus Withanage, Rev. Bro Dilshan Vimukthi FSC and the immediate Past Head Prefect Master Deeshan Fernando and his band of past Prefects.

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St. Benedict’s College OBU: The legacy continues

—– Forwarded Message —–
From: Eric Motha
Sent: Thu Jan 16 2020 10:42:47 GMT-0800 (Pacific Standard Time)
Subject: Re: St. Benedict’s College OBU: The legacy continues

St. Benedict’s College OBU: The legacy continues

6 January 2020 12:01 am

At service for 115 years in existence towards the college, the Old Boys Union of St. Benedict’s College started another distinct journey with the newly elected council members in June 2019 on a great vision led by General Secretary Priyal Perera along with a dedicated Council membership, and with guidance and blessing of Director of the College also the President of the OBU, Rev. Bro. Ernest Tarsicius.

Ever since the 114th AGM was held, the OBU has initiated multiple projects which provided better results towards old boys, present students and College at large. The new OBU office has been established up within the college premises to make the networking convenient to Old Bens.

This Secretariat is open for business during weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. which enhances the relationship in great heights. Taking another step further, the OBU council organized a Batches Forum with an intention of recharging the interest and the love towards the college which was also the strength to college.

The forum was very successful and taken many valuable suggestions came up and made productive decisions for the betterment of old boys and the college. Not forgetting the old boys and their loved ones who departed from their lives and souls; the annual Requiem Mass Service” held in November with large participation.
The mass was conducted by Rev. Fr Rajitha Liyanage who is also one of the great products of St. Benedict’s College.

“Besides the OBU in the process of organizing a grand motor parade and lined up several events, including a Carnival night at the College Grounds. These initiatives are targeted with the year 2020 where old boys could come and enjoy with their families.”

Another initiative that the OBU has undertaken is an Archive Room: A place of gallery to showcase and secure good memories of the past.

Besides the OBU is in the process of organizing a grand motor parade and lined up several events, including a carnival night at the college grounds. These initiatives are targeted with the year 2020 in mind where old boys could come and enjoy with their families.

Gen. Secretary Priyal Perera speaking to us said that the OBU was going at a rate and there was a need to take it to the next level.

“In fact in near future, we will be on a digital platform where you could connect the Benedictine fraternity so quickly,” he said.

“The general public may have an opportunity to see who we are and what we have done this far also. Further, with the present administration, OBU was able to secure a very strong relationship and mutual understanding amongst the Benedictine fraternity. It is a big achievement as an organization of this nature being the facilitator, bridge between the old boys and the college.

“We are quite confident that during the current tenure St. Benedict’s College and the OBU will gain more positive results and each and every Benedictine would join hands with us by contributing their valuable support in respective avenues. I urge my colleagues to come and join with us and pave sincere gratitude to our alma mater in your capacity.”

Walter Fernando – a tryst with hockey

  • Hi all,

    I penned this article for the Daily News-Walter aged 88 was the uncle of the famous Bens Hockey stars-brothers Stanley,Homer & Subhas who dazzled hockey fans in SL

     in the 60’s and 70’s.

    The brothers created history being selected to play in the same National team with Stanley captaining the side.

    Sadly all three have crossed the great divide.


    Walter Fernando – a tryst with hockey

    Walter Fernando
    Walter Fernando

    It was in 1946 during his student days at St. Benedict’s College, Kotahena that Walter Fernando recalls fiddling with an ‘ash wood’ English long blade hockey stick which belonged to his brother who participated in tournaments conducted by the Government Services Hockey Association. It was a time when Mabel Stores, in Dam Street, Colombo 11 was the sole outlet to purchase hockey sticks, pads and balls discarded by the Services after World War II. In later years, Dianas, Chands and Sportsmen in Fort held sway.

    Commencing with initial forays into the fundamentals of the game Walter teaming up with his nephews Anton and Edward played at the cemented floor in New Chetty Street, Kotahena, quickly moving on to nearby Mater Dolorosa Church grounds, and later to the gravel ground of St. Mary’s Church, Kochikade. It was a convenient location since several of his extended family, friends and hockey enthusiasts either resided or were employed in Main Street and Bankshall Street, Pettah. The tryst with hockey in Colombo North had commenced sans any fanfare.

    The players who joined the starting trio were: Chelliah, H. Missier, Dasan, Cardoza(Senior) Stephen, Emmanuel Raj, Alexander, John, Ramalingam. In this backdrop Walter’s request to his teacher at St. Benedict’s, a former hockey player in India to consider introducing the sport to the school reportedly went unheeded, much to the former’s dismay. In 1948 permission was granted by the Mayor of Colombo Hon. V. A. Sugathadasa for the players to practise on Sundays (7 to 10 am) at the Ratnam Park, Kotahena which was a gravel surface all through and players prone to injury. At this time in a twist of Providence Walter visited Mr. J. Camillus, who was Chairman of AVRA (later Pettah Pharmacy) to enlist his patronage on their onward journey. Mr. Camillus a close family friend lived at Mayfield Road, Kotahena and a philanthropist.

    Mr. Camillus, always immaculately clad in white and had played hockey in India responded positively and was instrumental in promoting competitions among the players, rewarding them with miniature replicas and cups. The club was christened as “YOUNG INDIA” at the behest of the benefactor Mr. Camillus who donned the mantle of Patron of the fledgling club. Thus was born the pioneering hockey club in Kotahena which entered tournaments conducted by the Colombo Hockey Association. The KCYMA was a favourite club for Tennis. Mr. Camillus was a reputed sponsor in the hockey arena during yesteryears with leading clubs vying for the Camillus Cup, a legacy he left behind.

    The euphoria that Young India enjoyed was short lived due to J. Novatus leaving the club and some players joining the exodus to form Colombo North Hockey Club. Young India after a short lived presence faded away into oblivion.

    Despite the setback, “UNITED YOUNGSTERS” made their debut in 1951 with the following forming the nucleus of the Club: Walter Fernando, Anton, Edward, Camillus Fernando, John, Julius and Lebianz Fernando, Ghandhi, Dasan, Chelliah, Cardoza, Edward Cadelis, Francis Le Grand, Hickman and Amalan. Missier, Placidus Selvaraj, Arokiasamy, Franklyn Rayen, Vellasamy, Ramalingam, Emmanuel Raj, Stephen, George Fernando, Sylvester Croos, T. Navaratnarajah. The following subsequently joined the club and enhanced its stature: SA Selvarajah, Stanley and Homer Fernando, Dennis de Rosayro, T Rajaratnam, Subhas Fernando, Thiyagarajah S. Sandrasekeram, Ishan Jamaldeen, Lalith Gunasinghe, Chellapah, Murad Amirdeen, Desmond, Jerry and Monty Weerabangsa, TS Kitchilan, PA Gunawardene and Christopher. The club relied on “trial by error” methods and due to the determination and dedication of the young hopefuls teaming up with the more experienced players who had a stint with their former club ‘Young India’ caused ripples of trepidation to leading clubs in the metropolis and beyond.

    At this stage the club suffered a major setback when the following players, past students of St. Benedict’s opted to leave at the request of the Old Bens Sports Club who were celebrating their Jubilee: Stanley, Homer and Subhas Fernando, S. Sandrasekeram, SA Selvarajah, A Arokiasamy and Placidus Selvaraj.

    Walter was disappointed with this turnaround which seemed to hint at the inevitable winding up of this formidable team which had made considerable progress under Walter’s able stewardship and guidance.

    The club lost several matches and sadly it marked the end of the tryst with United Youngsters for Walter who thereafter played for Old Zahirians and Colts CC where he was Secretary and captained the team. Walter , during the halcyon days of United Youngsters was buoyed with the idea of fielding a team comprising entirely of Fernandos – due to the break-up it was not to be.

    It was 1989 when Walter aged 59 suffered a heart attack whilst at practice. It signalled a farewell to the game Walter played with distinction for a record 42 years. He may have been on record at that time as the oldest player in the premier ‘A’ Division.

    Dennis de Rosayro, the first Benedictine to represent his country in the international hockey arena, was a member of United Youngsters and coached the club during its early stages whilst also playing for BRC.

    In brief hindsight Walter reminisces of his tenure at St. Benedict’s being a classmate of the mercurial soccerite Albert Fernando, who led the champion teams at College in the late 40’s.

    Walter was a member of the Cadet platoon commanded by Major DV Chapman and a pupil of George Atkinson, the father of Gymnastics in Ceylon.

    He recalled the day when Subhas was selected to play for St. Benedict’s hockey team at the age of 13 after he proved his mettle scoring a goal for United Youngsters at the Tamil Union grounds. Walter was the paternal uncle to the Fernando brothers Stanley, Homer and Subhas who have carved a niche for themselves in the annals of hockey in the country and found their place in the Guinness Book.

    Walter was saddened when his nephews and others left United Youngsters at a critical stage having been under his watch in their formative years spending his time and finance in pursuit of his avowed dream.

    Walter’s grandsons Shaveen and Shevan represented S. Thomas’ College Mt. Lavinia at Rugby and Basketball with the former being awarded double colours whilst grand daughter Christina played basketball for Holy Family Convent, Bambalapitiya.

    Walter’s daughter Shirani is married to Chrishantha Kapuwatte, a former cricket captain of St. Anne’s College, Kurunegala and Kurunegala SC and presently Assistant Secretary at Sri Lanka Cricket.

    Walter now in the twilight of his life with wife Noeline looks back with satiable pride interspersed with disillusionment at his pioneering efforts in introducing hockey to Colombo North in the context of his unfulfilled mission in enabling United Youngsters to annex more laurels due to several who were coached by him leaving and his own health suffering a major setback. Walter’s unswerving commitment in promoting hockey will remain etched in history well deserving the compliments paid to his indefatigable spirit by late Brian Assey, who moulded several champion teams during his tenure as coach at St. Benedict’s and also colleagues who are still around.

Benedictine sportsmen felicitated

The Annual Benedictine Colours Night was held in grand style at the College Auditorium on Friday, 1st November 2019. Distinguished Old Benedictine Jeyam Perumal and Mrs. Eresha Perumal were the Chief Guests and former Benedictine Football captain Dr. Collin Fernandopulle was the Guest of Honour at the event. Rev. Bro. Ernest Tarcisius, Director of St. Benedict’s College started the proceedings with his Welcome Address immediately after the Opening Prayer and the singing of the College Anthem.

317 Sportsmen of the college received Merit Awards, Colours, Star Awards and Special Awards for their achievements in Cricket, Athletics, Football, Basketball, Gymnastics, Hockey, Rugby, Swimming, Karate, Rifle Shooting, Scouting, Tennis, Chess and Prefectship during the past year, in the presence of an auditorium full audience of Parents, Rev. Fathers, Rev. Brothers, Rev. Sisters, Teachers, Coaches, Support Staff, and invitees. Benedictine Star Athlete Sahan Rajapaksha has crowned the Sportsman of the Year with Sri Lanka Under 19, Cricketer Maheesh Theekshana and Champion Javelin Thrower Pragathi Ranawake as Joint Runners Up.

The award for the Best Sportsman of the Primary School went to Nelith Sasmitha Peter. Star Awards were presented to Benedictine Sportsmen who gained National Honours representing Sri Lanka in their respective sports and they included Sahiru Yoshodya Silva (Gymnastics), Dharun Chandrabose (Basketball), Mahesh Theekshana (Cricket), M Kursheeth (Football), Kevin Ranindu Silva (Chess), Yohan Dhanushka Silva (Athletics), Pragati Ranawake (Athletics) and Thiran Ravishka Indrajith (Athletics). Victor Fernando Gold Medals donated by the family members of Late Old Ben-Victor Fernando for the most outstanding Athlete and the most outstanding Cricketer were presented to Sahan Rajapaksha and Maheesh Theekshana.

The coveted Benedictine Spirit Award for the most courage on display at competitions was won by ruggerite and athlete Janith Eranga Seneviratne. The Best Captain’s Award was presented to the captain of the All-Island Schools Champion Gymnastic Team Sahiru Yoshodya Silva. The event also provided the opportunity for young Benedictines to showcase their artistic talents with musical and dancing items performed by the collegiate and primary students. One of the highlights of the programme was a guest performance by the students of the sister school Good Shepherd Convent through the kind courtesy of the Principal of the Convent. The entire event was streamed live on facebook with thousands from the global Benedictine Fraternity watching it as it happened.

A short snapshot of the rich history of Benedictine Sports over the last 150 years was shown during the event which proved to be very educative to the present students, administrators, parents, teachers and invitees. The Benedictine Family is grateful to the main organisers Rev. Bro. Pravin Vaz, Rev. Bro. Dilshan Vimukthi (Sports Co-ordinator), Mr. Nuwan Abeywickrema (Tutorial Staff), Mr. Lanka Amila (Technical Staff) and students led by Master Dilshan Bandara. The Head Prefect of the College Master Deeshan Fernando delivered the Vote of Thanks. The host of the evening Master Binoy Perera was exceptional right from start to finish. The whole programme was indeed a display of Benedictine Brilliance.

Source : Daily Mirror – Wednesday, 13th of November 2019