|Monday, 11 February 2002|
Royal College Principal H.L.B. Gomes said if a survey is conducted to verify on the oldest educational institution in our country Royal College, Colombo will undoubtedly take first place. The school has a history of about 167 years.
In fact Royal College is known to be the second oldest school in the world, after St. Peter's College, Australia which is the oldest in the world. The school was first named as the Hill Street Private Academy. The headmaster of the Hill Street Academy was Rev. Marsh. Thereafter, the Hill Street Academy was renamed as the Colombo Academy in 1936 and was then changed to Royal College.
He said: "Today is another memorable and unforgettable day for the past and present Royalists who are anxiously awaiting to convey their heartfelt congratulations to 18 old Royalists who are members in the present Parliament." Principal H.L.B. Gomes will be at the main gate along with the members of Royal College Union to greet them. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will be the chief guest on the occasion while all other MPs will be the guests of honour.
In addition to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, the other 17 distinguished old Royalists who will be visiting Royal College today are Tyronne Fernando, Ravi Karunanayake, Anura Bandaranaike, Milinda Moragoda, Dinesh Gunawardana, Mangala Samaraweera, Arumugam Tondaman, Dilan Perera, Rauff Hakeem, Naween Dissanayake, Sajith Premadasa, Sagala Ratnayaka, Gayantha Karunathilaka, Kabir Hashim, Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, Mahindananda Aluthgamage and Gajendra Kumar Ponnambalam.
During its 167 years history, Royal College has created number of records by producing not only eminent personalities such as doctors, lawyers, engineers, scientists, Buddhist dignitaries, philanthropists, playwrights,dramatists, journalists, servicemen, sculptors and sportsmen but also an unpresident number of personalities who later represented the country's highest legislature like the House of Representatives, the State Council and the Parliament. There were MPs, deputy Ministers, Ministers, Prime Ministers and also a President.
A distinguished old boy of Royal College, the late Junius Richard Jayawardene became the very first Executive President in Sri Lanka. President Jayewardene can be regarded as the only old Royalist Parliamentarian who excelled in both sports and studies as well. During his days he represented both the College Cricket and Rugger teams.
Sir John Kotelawala was also a product of Royal College. The name of the present Prime Minister Rnil Wickremesinghe will also be written in the history of Royal College as the third Royalist to become Prime Minister.
Apart from Sir Richard Morgan, the first Ceylonese to be a member of the Governor's Executive Council in 1863, Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam, Sir. Ponnambalam Ramanathan and Sir James Peiris were some of the other distinguished old Royalists who became parliamentarians in this country. Some of the prominent Parliamentarians produced by Royal College during 1950s were Sir Razik Fareed, Dr. Colvin R. de Silva, A. Ratnayaka, E.A. Nugawela, P.B. Bulankulame, R.G Senanayaka, A.P. Jayasuriya, T.B. Panabokke, H. Sri Nissanka, Wilmot A. Perera, G. Arthur de Zoysa, J.A. Martenze , Dr. V.R. Schockman, Cyril de Zoysa, Justin Kotalawela, P.B.G Keuneman, Sydney de Zoysa, Anil Moonasinghe, Felix R. Dias Bandaranaike, Gamini Jayasuriya, G.T .Kapukotuwa, George Rajapaksa, S. Nadesan, Lalith Atulathmudali, Dinesh Gunawardena, Indika Gunawardena, Cyril Mathew, Tyronne Fernando, Anura Bandaranaike and Dr. Ranjith Atapattu.
Principal Gomez said that this is the very first occasion that the staff members, old boys and the present students of Royal College will get to-gether and honour a section of old Royalists who are representing the country's highest legislature, the Parliament.
Produced by Lake House