Historical details of Museaus College
Gratitude (katannuta) is one of the virtues the Buddha has taught us
to practice. We are primarily to be grateful to our parents who not only
brought us into the world and nurtured us but were also our 'first
teachers' (pubbachariya). Then there are our teachers in various
institutions of learning without whose help we would never have been
what we are today.
The institutions themselves deserve our gratitude because they
provided all the facilities for us to study. Some of these institutions
were built up from scratch by the personal sacrifices and the
indefatigable dedication shown in the face of many hardships by some
individuals, and they richly deserve our admiration and gratitude.
Two such individuals whom we can never forget when it comes to the
topic of women's education in Sri Lanka are Mme. Marie Musaeus Higgins,
the Founder Principal and Peter de Abrew, the first and the greatest
benefactor of Museaus College. There are also several other idealistic
women and men, some of them foreigners, who contributed much to this
institution by giving generously of their time, energy and wealth.
Museaus College today is one of the leading schools in the island and
we Buddhists can be proud that we have been able to maintain and sustain
the steady growth of this great institution of women's learning for well
over 120 years. Although a Buddhist institution, in true accordance with
the tolerant philosophy of the Buddha and in keeping with the desire of
the Founder Principal to be ' a mother to all daughters of Lanka', its
doors are open to students of all creeds and it gives the gift of
knowledge to all who step into her portals irrespective os class, creed,
caste or any other distinction.
The saga of Museaus College beginning with the wattle and daub 'mud
hut' housing 12 girls in 1891 is an extremely interesting and highly
instructive one. Now one of her illustrious alumni, N.K. Pilapitiya, who
has made an indelible mark in the annals of education in Sri Lanka, by
steering several of our leading girls' schools to great heights, and who
herself presided with great success over the destinies of Museaus for 14
long years, has ventured to preserve that saga for posterity by
committing it to writing.
This is a story told with sincerity and feeling and the reader will
not fail to share in the deep admiration felt by the author for the
pioneering spirit of all those great women and men starting with the
co-founders Marie Museaus Higgins and Peter De Abrew.
- Emeritus Professor K N O Dharmadasa