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Old 17-07-10, 07:55 PM
sriyanjay sriyanjay is offline
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Default Stc gurutalawa infrastructure development programme

30th January 2010

Dear Old Thomian,


Warm greetings from Guru.

I have decided to write to you as I know many of you old boys of STC at Gurutalawa and indeed of STC at Mount Lavinia are not aware of the steps that have been taken to raise standards here at the unique campus of S. Thomas' College in the hills of Uva. Despite continued limitations we are taking one step at a time to pursue the goals and ideals that made this great school what it was and can be again.

Since January 2007 there have been many improvements effected that have enhanced the quality of life for those who live here as students or staff and undoubtedly contributed to the continual raising of standards at Guru. For your information I am including below a list of the major items of our Infrastructure Development Programme that we have attended to during the period up to December 2009 to improve the infrastructure and facilities we offer Guru Thomians.

I have deliberately not referred to the improvement of standards in other spheres of life at Guru about which I have elaborated in my Prize Day Reports and annual Report at the STCG OBA AGMs of 2008 & 2009. Needless to say there have been considerable strides taken.

With funds contributed by the Bishop, Board of Governors, Old Boys and Friends of Guru.

1. The Water Problem that plagued the school in the past has been solved to a great extent by the restoration of unused storage tanks and the utilization of the deep well and other wells on the campus.
2. The kitchen, dining room and toilets of the Headmaster's Bungalow were renovated.
3. The Chaplain's Rooms adjoining the Chapel and occupied by Revd H. C. Goodchild were provided with a brand new toilet and bathroom
4. Brand new Night Toilets with up to date facilities were installed in all the dormitories [other than the former Winchester (now Hayman Junior) by the Basket Ball Court, Illangakoon near the Sick Room (part of the old Dining Hall) and Jayasinghe by the Stores] with the help and support of the OBAs in the UK, Australia and Sri Lanka.
5. A brand new set of day toilets and wash rooms for the Junior Dormitories were opened in 2008 thanks to the efforts of the STCG OBA in its 50th anniversary year.
6. The roof of Read Junior was given extensive repairs although only the timber could be replaced due to the cost.
7. The Davidson Dormitory by the Headmaster's Bungalow was restored and rewired and is now being used to house the aesthetic subjects, agriculture and practical technical skills classrooms.
8. A model classroom was renovated and furnished in the Middle School by an old boy.
9. The former Chummery that was in a state of dilapidation and on the verge of being demolished was converted into the stables for the four horses donated by Mr. Jacques Huyghebaert who functioned as Advisor on the revival of Guru and overlooked the infrastructure development programme in 2007 & 2008.
10. The drainage system of the Keble & Blanchard dormitories was completely replaced.
11. An entirely new set of toilets and wash rooms was erected for the Blanchard Dormitory for Girls at Keble by Ladies' College, Colombo.
12. The Staff Quarters allotted to Mr V. W. Dikkumbura was restored with funds provided by an old boy.
13. New school-time toilets were built for the girls and boys of the Middle and Upper School and for the main Staff Room in the Upper School by Brandix
14. The College Office was computerised and networked with funds from an old boy.
15. Two Dialog TV connections were provided for the students by an old boy and a parent.
16. The 'Isolation Room' of the Sick Room that was once the home of Dr and Mrs Hayman has been given a new look and now serves as the College Guest Room that can be booked by old boys, parents and others for short stays.
17. 5 brand new Computers were purchased for the IT Unit with funds from the OBA in Canada
18. 50 new desks and chairs were provided through funds from the OBA in California.
19. Iron Bunk Beds were provided by an old boy in Australia through the STCG OBA
20. The College Bakery was recommissioned and a dough mixer was donated to the bakery by an old boy through the STCG OBA
21. A multi chopper was donated by an old boy for the purpose of making our own compost etc out of our large amounts of waste available on the campus.
22. A new sound system, vestments, altar linen, hangings, hymn books and bibles were provided for the Chapel by an old boy.

With Funds from Sherborne School (Dr R. L. Hayman's alma mater in the UK)

23. Pavements and drains were constructed for the Keble dormitory block, the Keble classrooms, the main Dining Hall, the Middle School and Upper School classroom blocks
24. A new Chummery for single male staff was opened below the Simon Perera Block of Classrooms and houses 6 to 8 single male staff
25. The entire roof of the Upper School block was replaced with new timber and asbestos sheets
26. The Middle School classrooms were renovated
27. A platform was erected in the Dining Hall for the High Table on the lines of the old Dining Hall
28. A dining room was put up in the space between the kitchen and squash court for the Support Staff to have their meals and an Office Room for the Food Warden was put up in the Pantry.
29. A ceiling was installed for the entire Office Section while the Exam Room was enlarged.
30. A Duplo Machine and Computer were purchased for the purpose of Examination work.
31. The roof of the Lower School classroom block was repaired and replaced where necessary.
32. The roof of the Keble Dormitory was repaired and repainted.

At present there are three major projects for which I am trying to raise funds as priorities.

1. The upgrading and renovation of the Swimming Pool – Phase 1 is almost over at a cost of 2 million rupees donated by three or four old boys. Phase 2 requires at least 1.8 million to 2 million. Once completed the Guru Pool will not only have a new look, but as the only pool in the area will be able to generate an income for maintenance etc.

2. Urgent repairs to the Headmaster's Van and College Van that will cost approximately Rs 250,000/- per vehicle.

3. The upgrading of the IT Unit with Broadband, new computers et al – Rs 510,000/-

The long term wish list includes the following:

1. Replacing of the roofs of the remaining Junior Dormitories
2. New day toilets for the Senior Dormitories and the Primary Dormitories on par with those of the Junior Dormitories.
3. Renovation of single staff accommodation for lady teachers at Keble
4. Repairs to and renovations of the various bungalows and quarters for married staff
5. Renovation of the College Hall
6. More double (bunk) beds for the dormitories
7. More desks and chairs for the classrooms
8. Repainting of the Chapel and polishing of the Chapel furnishings in time for the 65th anniversary of the Chapel in December.
9. Upgrading of all classrooms with a large white board, shelves and a cupboard for each class.
These are projects that may be taken up by individual old boys or Class Groups. Should you feel inclined to support your alma mater and join with us in the raising of standards over the next two years, please contact me to find out how you can be of help or how you could send a donation for the projects identified as priorities for this year. Be assured that donations received will be utilised only for the purpose for which they are made and all donations will be duly acknowledged and receipted.

“Our College has not reared us without expecting from us in return some nurture fee. She has given us nurture in order that she might engage for herself our best energies and talent, permitting us to use for our needs so much and so much only as she does not require for her own. The College needs your help to survive. Every Old Boy must give the College the nurture fee he owes.” [Warden Neville de Alwis to the Old Boys of STC ML, 1984]

Gurutalawians, you owe Guru a nurture fee and I look forward to your collaboration and solidarity.

Warm regards,
The Revd Marc Billimoria

Last edited by sriyanjay; 17-07-10 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 05-11-10, 07:31 PM
sriyanjay sriyanjay is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2009
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Default Fundraising for S. Thomas' Gurutalawa

From: Priyan Dias <priyandias55@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Nov 2, 2010 at 8:46 PM
Subject: Fundraising for S. Thomas' Gurutalawa

Dear All

I am trying to raise some funds for S. Thomas' Gurutalawa, the member of the Thomian family in the greatest need. (I served on the Board of Governors for 8 years, and keeping Guru afloat was one of our major concerns in that time...) Some of you may have seen part of what I wrote recently in a newsletter for the Class of 71.

There is however one of our brother schools that does this (i.e. providing social mobility for its students) now more than any other – that is S. Thomas’ College Gurutalawa. Guru has been going through a bad patch and is still far from being out of the woods. Its main problem, among others, has been an inability to attract boys to the school for a variety of reasons. It still has the potential for providing an excellent boarding school experience in the hills, but needs funding to enhance its attractiveness. Fortunately we now have as its Headmaster the Rev. Marc Billimoria, himself a distinguished product of Mt. Lavinia. He is a clergyman with a postgraduate diploma from Oxford University and a historian who was commissioned to write up the history of STC at Mt Lavinia just after he left school, when STC celebrated 75 years at ML (1918-1993). Anyway, the boys at Guru are those who would fully benefit from the social mobility that would arise from attending a Thomian institution. Could we, as the ’71 batch, think of supporting this process? (Mount old boys supporting Guru - A path less often trodden, perhaps?) More details about Guru can be found at http://www.stcguru.com. I have been informed by the Headmaster that the urgent need at present is to raise around Rs 1 million to upgrade the Primary School (by the start of 2011), but there are other needs too. I am sure we can easily meet this together.

So, if you are thinking of giving (suggested range USD 250-500 or SLR 25,000 to 50,000; or even more)

You can wire the money to
Bank: Hatton National Bank
Branch: Welimada
Name: S. Thomas' College Gurutalawa
Number: 033020028772 (Savings A/C)
Swift Code: HBLILKLX
(but please drop a line to the Headmaster (hmstcguru@gmail.com))

Cheques (crossed) can be written in favour of 'S. Thomas' College Gurutalawa'
and posted under registered cover to Headmaster, S. Thomas' College, Gurutalawa, Sri Lanka.

Many thanks. Do pass onto others who may want to contribute too. Apologies if you felt intruded on by this email

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