Daily News Online

Friday, 3 July 2009

News Bar

News: Solar power for rural Madulla ...        Political: Rare show of unity ...       Business: Eastern province hotels to be upgraded ...        Sports: Ashen, Madhushanka enter quarters with clean record ...





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette
Ananda Icons | Dailynews.lk - Sri Lanka

Cradle of patriotism

Ananda continues to be a beacon in the field of education. Anandians serve their country - and indeed the world - in a variety of capacities.:

The colonial period saw a dearth of educational opportunities for Sinhala Buddhist students in Sri Lanka. An acute need was felt for educational institutions that could fill this vacuum. It was in this backdrop that Ananda College was born in November 1886.

Founded as the Buddhist English school at No. 61, Maliban Street, Pettah, by Col. Henry Steele Olcott with just 31 students, Ananda College has become one of the largest educational institutions in South Asia. The first principal was C.W. Leadbeater and the Manager was none other than Anagarika Dharmapala.

Academic Excellence

In 1890 A. E. Bultjens assumed duties as principal. In 1894, Mudliyar Tudor Rajapaksa donated three and a half acres of valuable land at Paranawadiya in Maradana to the Ananda College. This is the school's present location.

Sir D. B. Jayatilake assumed duties as the first Sinhalese principal of Ananda College on the 15th December 1898. Ananda had already set benchmarks for academic excellence and the school was becoming famous for its achievements in the sporting arena as well.

P. de S. Kularatne became the Principal on January 1, 1918, beginning a golden era at Ananda. (Incidentally, the Daily News saw the light of day just two days later, giving voice to the nationalist and patriotic sentiments of the day).

Herman Loos shield

It was during his tenure that Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore visited Ananda as chief guest at the annual prize giving. He declared on that occasion: "I acknowledge that the life of Ananda is its humility and unassuming nature." Kularatne's successor, in 1923, was the equally illustrious Professor and Ambassador G.P. Malalasekera, another giant in the field of education. Another Great Indian - Mahatma Gandhi - visited the school during his tenure, in 1927.

The very next year, Ananda won the coveted Herman Loos cup for the best cadet platoon and the Stubs challenge shield for boxing. In 1929 Ananda won the CVRA shield for rifle shooting.

L.H. Mettananda became principal in 1932. In 1934 the Ananda College rifle shooting team won the prestigious Governor's cup. The school also won the Herman Loos cup again and the Ceylon Light Infantry (CLI) challenge cup.

The school celebrated its Golden Jubilee on November 1, 1936. In 1943, the school began what is now known as A/L classes. In the academic year 1946 -1947 Ananda was in the forefront in the island in the university entrance results.

Rajapaksa Era

Ananda won the Herman Loos cup in 1949 and 1950 as well. In 1952, Anandians set up a record in rifle shooting. The inter school boxing championship was won the same year.

Col. G.W. Rajapaksa, an old Anandian, as the prefect of games was instrumental in this regard. He became principal in 1969, heralding in a glorious decade for Ananda, which was taken over by the Government in 1961.

A profound thinker, he took Ananda to new heights. By this time, Ananda had nearly 5,000 students.

Though firmly rooted in Sinhala Buddhist traditions, Ananda was always multi-cultural and multi-ethnic. The Ananda Viharaya was venerated by students from all religious groups and all sought advice from erudite Bhikku teachers including Most Venerable Aggamaha Panditha Balangoda Ananda Maitreya, Venerable Professor Kotagama Vacissara and Venerable Diviyagaha Yasassi Theras. Children from all communities sat side by side in classrooms and engaged in sports. The teachers too were from different communities. Ananda also had some foreign students, mostly sons of foreign diplomats in the days before international schools came into being.

Ananda continues to be a beacon in the field of education. Anandians serve their country - and indeed the world - in a variety of capacities. Wherever in the world they are, Anandians will never lose their sense of patriotism.

Thus there is no wonder at all that Anandians were in the forefront of the battle against terrorism.

Related Stories | home

  • Cradle of patriotism





St. Michaels Laxury Apartments
Donate Now | defence.lk
LANKAPUVATH - National News Agency of Sri Lanka

| News | Editorial | Business | Features | Political | Security | Sport | World | Letters | Obituaries |

Produced by Lake House Copyright 2009 The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.

Comments and suggestions to : Web Editor