In February 1994 five former work colleagues, spending a leisurely retirement, discussed the idea of forming an association of the past teachers of Royal College: they were Mr. W. Kannangara, Mrs. C. Liyanagama, Mrs. Hema Rajapakse, Mrs. Wimala Rajapakse, and Mrs. Padma Samaraweera. As they sent the word around of their idea, enthusiasm built up and the inaugural meeting of the Royal College Past teachers’ Association was held on the 31st March 1994 at the Nawarangahala with its very first twenty members. The names of the first working committee appear on this website.
It’s been over sixteen years and the association has not looked back! The following provide ample proof for that.
A constitution was drafted by the committee and was given to attorneys at law, Mr. Thusantha Wijemanna, who was the Chief Legal Officer DFCC at the time and the late Mr. Christie Wijeratne, and for their input, amendments and approval.
The late Mr. C.T.M Fernando was the first patron of the association and the membership which commenced with 20 members now stands at 249 members.
The aims and objectives of the society is to promote and foster a spirit of camaraderie among members, assist in their general welfare, to assist and participate in all the activities of Royal College and to strengthen the relationship of the present and past members of the staff and students.
The membership consists of Life Members, where the membership was granted initially on payment of Rs. 500.00 which was subsequently increased to Rs. 1000.00. Further, all past principals of Royal College have been granted Honorary Life membership and teachers who have served Royal College as permanent members of the tutorial staff for a minimum of five years or teachers who have served as permanent staff for at least two years continuously prior to retirement from Royal College, are eligible for membership.
In 2004 a Members Directory sponsored by The Royal College Group of ’87, was compiled giving names, addresses, and contact numbers of the members, which has been of immense value to association as well as to all those connected with Royal College. The Members’ Directory was updated in 2008 and in addition to the contact information in the previous directory, photographs of each member and their e-mail addresses were included. Preparation of the latest edition of the members’ directory is currently underway. A word of gratitude goes out the Royal College ’87 Group and to Mr. M. H. M Farouk, Vice President, who coordinated the compiling of the directory with the ’87 group.
The Executive Committee of the association is elected at the Annual General Meeting. The AGM is also the forum where suggestions for the activities of the association for the year are welcomed from the general membership. The Executive Committee meets monthly to discuss and implement the activities lined up for the year and where special action is required on these activities Special General Meetings are called.
Needless to say that for the smooth functioning of the association a steady flow of funding is necessary. The Annual Raffle Draw has been a consistent and successful fund raiser for the association and we are grateful to Mrs. Rohini Alles who spearheaded this fundraiser. Further to an idea by our incumbent President Mr. Ranjith Edussuriya, the association sent out an appeal to Old Boys and well wishers requesting for voluntary donations. We are grateful to all those who contributed and a list of names of donors are given special mention on this website.
The 10th Anniversary of the association was commemorated in 2004. The Chief Guest at the celebrations was distinguished old boy, Mr. Lalith Weeratunge, secretary to His Excellency the President; Mr. Weeratunge was the secretary to the Prime Minister at the time. Further, a souvenir to mark the event, which included a variety of articles contributed by members were published and distributed among the membership. We take this opportunity to thank those who advertised in and donated funds towards the souvenir, as well as our editors who did a great job in compiling the souvenir.
Members who have served the staff of Royal College for 25 years or more were felicitated at a Special General Meeting followed by lunch on 25th October 2008 at the Marine Grand Banquet Hall in Wellawatte. These members were presented with a token of gratitude, and the updated Members Directory was launched.
A special part of the annual activities of the association is travel where a trip to a destination in Sri Lanka and out of Sri Lanka is organized every year. The local trip attracts a larger crowd and participation is limited to the members of the association only. We are grateful to the Royal College Group of ’83 and The Olive Group for having sponsored some of these outings. When sponsorship was not available, the members were asked to contribute approximately 50% of the cost and the association contributed the balance to cover the expenses. The total financial commitment of foreign trips is borne solely by the members themselves and member’s families and friends who are welcome participate. Details along with photograph of our travels are available on the website.
The 2009 Annual General Meeting of the Association was held at the Kukuleganga Army resort. A highlight of this meeting was the presence of two of our distinguished Old Boys; namely Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya Commander of the Sri Lanka Army and Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe, Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy. These two service commanders were very happy to reminisce their school-days with the teachers over lunch.
We are grateful to the Royal College Doctors Association for holding medical camps annually in the college premises, where a large number of our members attend for consultation and treatment and are well cared for. The Doctors Association also organized a “Well Women Clinic” for the benefit of the members.
An alms’ giving in memory of our dear members and their spouses who passed away was held for the last two consecutive years at the Asokaramaya Temple in Narahenpita, the incumbent chief priest of the temple being a member of our association Ven. Havovita Deepananda.
Since the year 2005 each member of the association was issued with a photo identity card with their membership number. “Meeting the Challenges of Ageing” a priceless project initiated by the then secretary, Mrs. Fowzia Juranpathy, organized a Senior Citizen’s identity card to be issued to members, by the National Council for Elders under the Ministry of Social Services and Social Welfare. Priorities in Health, Transport, Postal & pension, Banking, Police and Legal Advice are some of the services entitled to a card holder.
Every member is remembered on their Birthday and they receive a beautiful birthday card from the association. We are grateful to Mr. M.H.W Hemachandra for organizing the designing, printing and identifying the sponsor for this project. The card was designed by Mr. Hemachandra’s daughter.
A semi-annual News Letter detailing out the activities of the association as well as other literary contributions by members is published and circulated to the membership. The Principal of Royal College on being presented a copy of the most recent edition of the News Letter at a committee meeting requested that a copy be placed in the archives of the College. We thank the editorial board of the News Letter for their untiring efforts.
Audited accounts of the association are printed and distributed among members at each Annual General Meeting. Thanks to the successful fund raising projects, the association presently has Rs. 1.1 million in fixed deposits and treasury bills. When required, only the interest earned from these investments is used for the expenses of the RCPTA, while the principal amount of the investments are reinvested at their periodic maturities. As such, in order to augment our fund, we welcome all financial donations and contributions from our well-wishers.
The association is presented with 50 tickets to the Royal-Thomian Cricket Encounter each year. Initially this was sponsored by the Royal College ’86 Group and at present, the OBU issues 50 tickets free of charge and these are distributed among the members on a first come first served basis.
The association is well aware that there is much to do by way of helping the society. In keeping with this noble thought, we organize an annual social service project and in the past three consecutive years, meals were donated to selected elders’ and children’s homes, along with much needed basic, personal items and books donated by our members. May the members gain merit by taking part in this noble cause.
Royal College celebrated 175 years in 2010 and members of the RCPTA, also had the opportunity of participating in the events held in this connection. We offered Ata Pirikara to the Maha Sanga at the Alms’ Giving organized to commemorate the occasion. Some members attended the all night pirith ceremony held in College. Members of the association participated in the Royal Walk, proudly displaying a RCPTA banner with them. The Executive Committee was invited to the Special General Assembly, where His Excellency Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, the President of Sri Lanka, was the Chief Guest.
A sil campaign for the members is planned for 2010 and is yet to be organized.
It is with great sadness we note the demise of several members of the association whose names appear on the website. Many members took the time to attend the funerals of our ex colleagues and the association helped the families of the departed in a small way with a financial donation. May the merits gained during the alms’ giving held in their memory be bestowed upon them and may they attain nibbana.
Finally I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Principal of Royal College Mr. Upali Gunasekara for his generous support and encouragement extended to the RCPTA at all times during our activities. We are grateful to him for allowing us to hold meetings in College as well as providing the College bus for the local tours. Thank you sir.
Last but not least our gratitude goes out to Mr. Madhawa Kodithuwakku, old boy of Royal College, for constructing this website and Mr. M.H.M. Farouk Vice President of the RCPTA for spearheading the project.