Historical glimpses of Holy Cross College - Kalutara
Perusal of the historical annals of the inception of the Holy Cross
College, Kalutara reveals that in an era as far back as the latter half
of the 19th century, a Burgher national named Brohier had taken the
initiative to start a private school. This private school was
functioning in a rented house in close proximity to the Holy Cross
Since then a number of educational luminaries both foreign and local
took the reins of Holy Cross College and continued its strenuous path
with firm determination and dedication to bring the college to its
pristine glory overcoming numerous barricades on its way.
Holy Cross College, Kalutara
In 1890, the Parish of Kalamulla, Kalutara, Rev. Father Wilkinson
became the first Rector and he was instrumental in naming this
Institution of Education as Holy Cross English School which was later
registered as a ‘grant in aid school’ by Rev.Fr. Leo Fernando who
succeeded Rev.Fr. Wilkinson and became the founder Principal of Holy
Rev. Fr. M. Herel hailed from Nancy, France became the Rector of the
Holy Cross College for a period of 7 years since 1905 and he was
succeeded by Rev. Fr. Robert Fernando who was responsible for
introducing numerous innovative features to the Holy Cross College.
One of the most striking achievements during his period was that a
pupil of the college emerged as the first on obtaining the best results
out of the entire Commonwealth Countries in Cambridge Examination.
Rev.Fr. F.L. Breton assumed duties as the Principal for a period of 3
years from 1918-1921. During his tenure in office, it was Rev.Fr. Briton
who introduced the Cadet Platoon to Holy Cross College.
Rev. Fr. Breton succeeded by Rev. Fr. C.V. Croos served Holy Cross
College for 9 years since 1921. He was successful in expanding the
buildings by adding a Science Laboratory and another building to the
In addition, Holy Cross College was upgraded as a Secondary School
during the period.
Rev. Fr. Gaston Chaulieu, a French national happened to be the only
Principal of Holy Cross College to serve an unbroken period of 16 long
years from 1930-1946. This era was considered by many as the golden era
of the College which could be proud of its unique achievements.
Construction of new buildings, conducting Inter-House Athletic Events
transforming the mixed school to a boys’ school, preparing students for
London Matriculation and Chamber of Commerce Examinations took place
during this period.
Rev. Fr. Benedict J.C. Pinto (1948-1954) : Rev. Pinto in responsible
for holding National Independence Day Celebrations in Kalutara District
Schools in Holy Cross College grounds could be cited as an important and
colourful event participated by an unprecedented gathering of
distinguished visitors. The First Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, D.S.
Senanayake was present to grace the occasion as the Chief Guest.
In addition, Cadet Troop of the college was able to win the covetous
Herman Loos Trophy meant for the Island’s Best School Cadet Troop. In
1948, College Drama Troupe won the Shakespeare Trophy in the
Inter-School Shakespeare English Drama Competition organized by Ceylon
The Radio Ceylon (present day SLBC) organized All Island Inter School
English Speech Contest and the participant pupils of the Holy Cross
College won the First Place in both Junior and Senior contests.
Rev. Fr. Theodor E. Pieris (1954 - 1970) During this era, government
was engaged in taking over of schools. Holy Cross College was allowed to
function as a non-fee levying Private School. Banning of Cadet Platoon
and the termination of State grants were some of the crises encountered
by the college during this period.
Holy Cross College won the Gold Medals as the winners in both Senior
and Junior Contests in the All Island English Speech Contests organized
by the Department of Education.
M.J. Anthony Cooray (1973-1978) : For the first time in the history
of Holy Cross College, Anthony Cooray happened to be its lay Principal.
During his period the Old Boys’ Association was formed.
Every Institution has to encounter both vibrant and dormant periods
on its forward march and Holy Cross College was not an exception. Due to
unavoidable circumstances, the college had to maintain a low profile in
every sphere for a brief period until the arrival of the Congregation of
Marist Brothers for its rescue.
On the invitation of Archbishop of Colombo, since 1978 Marist
Brothers took over the administration of the Holy Cross College. Speedy
resurgence in every facet of the Holy Cross College could be witnessed
under the dedicated Marist Brothers.
In order to cater to the growing demands of the parents, for
admissions, the Marist Brothers had to face the onerous task of
providing more and more buildings and the development of infrastructure
facilities of the college. Rev. Brother E. Francis Silva (1978-1987) :
During the vicissitudes experienced by the Holy Cross College in its
dark era, a great endeavour was made by Rev. Brother Francis Silva to
revive the activities of the college.
Sports Section of the college was revitalized. In 1980 the Teachers’
salaries were paid once again by the government.
As a result of the maintaining good public relations, Rev. Brother
Francis Silva could obtain the cooperation of the Old Boys’ Union for
the forward march of the college.
Rev. Brother Clinton Perera (1900-2000) : Expansion of the college
playground and the construction of four-storeyed building complex and
foundation laying for a five-storeyed building complex took place during
his tenure of office. The expansion of Laboratory and Library facilities
had also been done by him.
Rev. Brother Lal Fonseka (2000-2004): During his period the
infrastructure development activities launched by Rev.Br. Clinton Perera
The present Principal and the Director of Holy Cross College, Rev.
Brother Ranjith Perera launched a massive project of the construction of
the Auditorium Complex which could be considered as the show piece of
Realising the importance of keeping abreast with the demands of the
modern trends of Education and to address the needs and requirements of
the growing student community he soon identified the long felt need of a
modern Auditorium Complex for the college.
Having the traits of a true crusade backed by firm determination and
the blessings of the God, he unwaveringly embarked on the massive
project of Auditorium Complex. Then the total cost of the project was
estimated to be considerable amount.
Miracles do happen in the precincts of Holy Cross College sanctified
by the Statue of Our Lady of Grotto which has been frequented by
Catholics as well as devotees of other religions from various parts of
The newly built state-of-the-art Auditorium Complex of Holy Cross
College is having a seating capacity for 1200 persons. It is comprised
of Sport Pavilion with all the facilities and three Science Laboratories
This Auditorium Complex will be ceremonially commissioned on June 13
by Rev. Father Ranjith Madurawela, the Director of Catholic Schools of
A multi cultural show will be staged on the newly built auditorium in
the evening and will be graced by Rt.Rev.Dr. Nobert Andradi, the Bishop
Holy Cross College of Kalutara which stands as a beacon on the
majestic Holy Cross Hill unique with its own enchanting nature’s beauty
constantly provides its everlasting rays of light on spiritual and
intellectual guidance for the children in and around Kalutara.