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Old 14-03-11, 12:41 PM
sriyanjay sriyanjay is offline
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Default The Mount Lavinia - Gurutalawa Thomian Nexus and the Big Match

The Mount Lavinia - Gurutalawa Thomian Nexus and the Big Match

The College of Saint Thomas the Apostle, was founded at Mutwal by Dr James Chapman , the first Anglican Bishop of Colombo . He himself was a product of Eton College and King's College Cambridge . The foundation stone was laid on St Thomas Day , the 21 st December 1849 and declared open on 3rd February 1851 in Mutwal . The College motto Esto Perpetua and the College colours Blue, black and blue are Etonian legends and the naming of forms and classes at STC were set to be based on the prestigious English Public School pattern . We are indeed privileged to have our present Warden Rev .John. C Puddefoot , who is also a renown product of Eton College and Oxford . In 1886 the STC Mt Lavinia Old Boys Association was formed , which is the oldest OBA in the world , untarnished and unimpaired and is 125 years old now ..

After having been at Mutwal for 66 years , the 1st term of 1918 saw S.Thomas' settling down in Mt Lavinia . In 1924 the legendary Big Club Grounds was declared open by Warden McPherson as a Memorial to those who sacrificed their lives in the First World War . The Small Club ground were laid in 1928 . Also in 1928 by an Act of Parliament the Board of Governors was founded and incorporated .

In 1932 Canon R S De Saram the Sub Warden was elevated as The Warden in Mt Lavinia, at a relatively young age , having had a distinguished record at Keble and Cuddestone, Oxford. He is remembered for the high levels of discipline that he strictly maintained , apart from all the development at Mt Lavinia in many fields . His " spare the rod and spoil the child " philosophy frowned by modern reformists , was appreciated by the Old Thomians , who revere him even today . Warden De Saram once remarked at a Big Match to a VVIP that Thomians are never dead till their buried when we were in a tight spot . True to his wisdom , STC had come out of it with flying colours at the end .

The Second World War disrupted life at STC Mt Lavinia and the school had to vacate the premises on 9th April 1942, to make way for the 35th British General Hospital for Armed Services in the College premises . Notably, Old Thomian Lt Basil Horsefall was awarded the highest recognition with the Victoria Cross in 1918 for his bravery in World War One . The Thomian grit, guts and glory is also International and Historical .

STC at Gurutalawa was born on 12th May 1942 with the revered Dr R L Hayman as the Headmaster . STC Mount was relocated in Guru during the World War Two . The life and time spent by Dr Hayman at Gurutalawa from 1942 to 1963 is exceptional . He spent his personal wealth to establish the school and bequeathed his wealth to Guru at the end . He bestrode the affairs of the school like a colossus . Dr Hayman was the longest standing Sub Warden at STC Mount from 1937 to 1959 and the Headmaster STC at Gurutalawa, which is unique .One cannot forget genial Mrs Mary Hayman who carried high standards at Mt Lavinia and later at Guru as the Sick Room Matron .

In spite of the rivalry, Royal and STC have often contributed to each others growth . In April 1916 , Royalist Edmund de Livera wrote the five versus of our present Thomian College Song , that was set to the music by Warden Stone . In lighter vein , he might have been inspired seeing the obvious grandeur at STC ! The Gurutalawa Estate was donated by Leslie De Saram a Royalist to build the school . The Thomian fraternity is grateful to Mr Leslie De Saram ( a close relative of Warden Canon De Saram ) and Mr Edmund de Livera .

There was no distinction between Mt Lavinia and Gurutalawa as said by Warden De Saram . In 1947 he addressed the Education Dept of Ceylon and later the STCML OBA AGM that both STC Mount and STC at Gurutalawa was to be considered one and the same school . Warden C H Davidson in verse quoting Two Voices by Wordsworth did refer to " the voice from the sea and the voice from the mountains - two great voices " , with ref to Mount and Guru .The College shifted back to Mount again after 1945, with the conclusion of the War.

In 1946 all but two players in the Thomian team were from Guru and the post war Thomian cricket captains 1947, 48 and 49 were from Guru . In 1943 the last wicket partnership for the Royal Thomian was broken with a Gurutalawa connection and in 1945 a Guru bowler trained by the coach Rev A J Foster ( later Headmaster ), took a hat trick in the encounter . There has been many cricketers produced by STC at Guru for Mount apart from other sportsmen and scholars too . The list is endless . STC despite in new surroundings and colder climatic conditions in Guru , adopted and performed well . The unique Obstacle Course initiated by Dr Hayman made tough Thomians on a tougher terrain . It is no surprise that the " Thomian Grit " prevails at crucial times from the inception , well known, respected and feared by the Royalists in particular, over many decades !

I take this opportunity to wish debonair Duleep Mendis the very best as he concluded his innings with the Sri Lanka Cricket Board . To us he remains not out for ever . We will remember him for his superlative batting display , leadership and the honour he brought to STC and Sri Lanka . Between us there will never be good byes Duleep ~ we will keep in touch as you touch our hearts genuinely at all times . Grateful thanks for the unsurpassed performances on the field , still remembered and cherished here and abroad .

The " Thomianness " is the resilience of the high quality value for which it stands and for which we are renowned and of which forever we have reasons to be justifiably proud .

Our best wishes to the gallant Thomian Cricket team and remember , " you are playing for the honour of the best school of all " .

Esto Perpetua ~ for all we have and are .

Milinda Hettiarachchi
Hony Secretary - STC at Gurutalawa OBA

Writers Note : The above article is complied by some interesting notes randomly adopted from the History of S.Thomas' College written by distinguished personalities .
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