Friday, 5 November 2004  
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Computer education gets boost at Tangalla National Boys' School

by D. Weligama

Brian Kahlefeldt

Tangalla National Boys' School then known as Tangalla Christ Church College was established on 31st October, 1879. It was taken over by the government in 1962 and was renamed H/Tangalla Maha Vidyalaya. In 1994 this school was elevated to a National level Boys School.

There will be sequence of events commencing 1st November till 5th November and Mahinda Rajapakse, the Prime Minister will be the chief guest among thousands of special guests and invitees who will grace the occasion.

Most significant feature of this programme is the opening of a fully equipped computer laboratory with 20 computers, out of 120 computers received as a donation to schools from an Australian benefactor, Brian Kahlefeldt of Wagga Wagga, N.S.W. Australia. Several other leading schools in Tangalla will also benefit by receiving such computers as donations.

It is with great pleasure that I place on record that the person behind this noble initiative was none other than Sumanasena Abeywarna, a past pupil of Tangalla Christ Church College who encouraged Mr. Kahlefeldt to get involved in humanitarian activities in Sri Lanka.

This was during Mr. Abeywarna's tenure of duty as Consul General for Sri Lanka in Sydney, Australia. After Mr. Abeywarna's retirement from the diplomatic service he continues to work with Mr. Kahlefeldt as his local representative with the sole intention of helping needy children, orphans and elderly people providing them with necessary assistance to uplift their living standards as well as their education, health and social acceptance.

Brian Kahlefeldt likes to call himself a volunteer or a humanitarian worker. He always reflects on his humble beginnings, starting his life as a shop assistant and a clerk, subsequently becoming a real estate agent and valuer. Later he became a Chartered Accountant which led to him becoming a leading accountancy practitioner in Australia.

While practising accountancy he obtained a law degree. Nature did not allow him to be satisfied with this achievement. Just after his graduation as a barrister in the Supreme Court of N.S.W. Australia, and a Corporate Advisor he formed his own company "Kahlefeldt Securities (Pvt) Ltd."

Kahlefeldt has visited Sri Lanka more than 12 times since year 1999 to see the success of his humanitarian projects, implemented utilizing his own funds with able guidance and assistance received from Mr. Abeywarna.

Considering all the good work he has done for the benefit of poor people in his own country, Australia and in Sri Lanka in particular, the Australian Government has honoured him by awarding the "Order of Australia Medal (OAM) on H. M. the Queen Elizabeth's Birthday this year in recognition of his humanitarian work.

In view of the gesture of goodwill and recognition extended to him by the Australian government, it would be a fitting gesture on our part to give him due recognition for the humanitarian work he has carried out so far for the benefit of our people. I feel that he richly deserves such an honour.

I wish Mr. Kahlefeldt good health and courage to continue his good work in the years to come.

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