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Old 15-07-09, 04:38 PM
sriyanj sriyanj is offline
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Default Thomians domiciled in California

Domiciled in California, USA - Keeping in Touch and Cricket!

An Old Thomian domiciled in the USA. I'm one of many and we do our best to recall and relive the memories of our Years at STC... in Sri Lanka.

It is very heartening to see many Old Thomians forming groups based on their exam Years/final Year at College. These groups offer us expats a chance of reminiscing and rekindling friendships. A recent revival of boys who completed the OL's in 1983 has resulted in a barrage of fantastic stories that have included getting to know the "other side" of many an escapade during our College days. I do not have the permission to share some of these hair raising stories and will not do justice to all my former mates if 1 do not mention all of them. However, let me introduce you to a few of them.

Class mates:

"Lampi" - Thikshan Arulampalam (the best DJ of our times) Andrew Dias Jayasinha (rugby fanatic, son of top journalist lan Jayasinha) and Naresh Thangiah (former top hair stylist).... are the only fide OL83 folk here in the USA. We have heard much about the UK boys:

Gerald Simon and Barmy Army
Dr. Rukmal Gomes - who keeps us healthy
Suresh Rasiah - who chips in with his advice occasionally
Walter de Kretser - expert on Irish lasses, molasses and sports, and
Rukesh (R.S.) Perera - former Senior Sacristan.
From Aussie-land we have some of the most colorful bunch:
The tough talking, versatile businessman Priyatha Cooray Former
cricketer and now writer extraordinaire - Randy De Silva
Convener Dinesh Edwards
Jack of many trades, man of many talents - Duke Ramachandran (Suren)
Podda's son - P. Roshan
Music maestro - Chritan Duraisamy and "Ferdi" John Ferdinands -
note no canine references have been made!

Then there are the others from all over in varied walks of life
Stock master Ray Abeywardene,
Techno expert - the speedy Kapila Wijeratne
Pastor Dinesh Bulathisinhal
Top banker Shahan Peiris
The Popular Daulagala twins - Jite and David
Peacemaker Fazni
The ever-joyful Laffa - Lafir
The travelling academic Udan Femando
Entertainment mogul Mahesh Manamperuma

The fit and wiry Janaka Nanayakkara of the Air Force... and now I have to apologize for the non - mention of some, lest it least to a roll call! Businessman CP/Puncha (Chandana Punchihewa) is the kingpin of our group. A master organizer and a chum of the highest order, Puncha has many stories to tell!

Whilst most topics discussed range from our antics at STC, we also reminisce fondly of our teacher. Mr. Jayasena - currently the Head Master of the Commerce Section in the Upper School, who with the right combination of force and words was instrumental in shaping the careers of many of us at STC; A.E.N. Fernando (now the Headmaster of the Lower School) was another who injected knowledge into some of us who were "Knowledge resistant;" Mr. A.E.R. Manoharan - taught us the positives and the negatives of many topics and also gave us a good dose of social responsibility! We recall fondly the synopses demanded by Dr. Rajiva Wijesinghe (when he was Sub Warden) and the Special English classes chaired by Warden de Alwis.

Personally, Mr. Russell Bartholomeusz was a tremendous influence in my life. Being a senior Chorister my whole academic career at STC, he influenced my beliefs, character and in short - life! During my last visit to Sri Lanka, I had the privilege of dining with former choristers and Sir- himself. It was time well spent and blessing to see his steady recovery from recent surgery. It is expected that

College and/or Old Boys will undoubtedly continue to take care of this much treasured, wonderful Master who has positively impacted many of us and is undoubtedly one of the most dedicated teachers STC has ever produced.

A topic that recently developed was the impact ofPrep-ites (Colpetty guys from STC Prep) on sports at STC Mount Lavinia. Andrew Jayasinha and Randy De Silva are experts on this topic! I remember a challenge issued by the incoming Prepites of Coll B for a game of cricket. The College cricketers kept away from this game and it was left to Mount stalwarts Dinesh Edwards, Janaka Nanayakkara and Mahesh Manamperuma to help eke out a face saving win! I doubt if this game is still a fixture on the Coll B calender!

Last edited by sriyanjay; 24-02-13 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 24-02-13, 07:37 PM
sriyanjay sriyanjay is offline
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Default Cont Thomians domiciled in California

With regards to our group, its been just over 20 years since we left College and we already have a few class mates to mourn:

Thilina Kaluarachchi (a victim of the war)
Nalanda Ellawala (victim of political angst)
Ranjan De Silva (died under tragic circumstances in Canada) and
Dennis De Silva (untimely death due to medical complications).
Maythey rest in peace.

Asides from keeping in touch with our Coll mates, we do have a 'representative OBA here OTAC (Old Thomians Association of California). We meet occasionally to invoke the many memories of our days at STC. In the name if Kaakaa, Kunjee, Bulto, Black Tie, Lajjabba, Lingus, Labba, Pol Tokka, Paan, Padda, Vaparayaa and Vidya Kotaa... we recall our .teachers fondly.

Chief amongst these nostalgic events, is the Royal Thomian Cricket match.

The first in this unbroken series was played in 1989 at the headquarters of cricket in Southern California - Woodley Park, Old Marder turf. Both sides agreed to a soft ball game (shame... Shame S-H-E-E!!!).

The Old Thomians were led by Thomian legend Dr. Lareef Idroos and the Old Royalists by Gihan Sonnadara. The Old Royalists included one time staff member - Dr. Gamini Gunawardene...Who helped himself to a half century and was the difference between the two sides. The Old Royalists included Sudath Pasqual (famous for mooning in his heyday!)... so the Old Thomians lost and very vociferously stated that we only play with the leather ball.

Thereafter, the Thomians went on string of six consecutive wins. Showing true Thomian grit, most of these victories were shaped when our side was the proven underdog on paper. Former Sri Lankan cricketer Rohan Jayasekera, Sudath Pasqual and Sandesh Algama assisted by many youthful Old Royalists tried in vain to disrupt the well knit Old Thomians.

The Thomians were ably led the De Silva brothers Rashantha and Rajiv - former Prep-ites who never saw the light of day at Mount Lavinia but played the game like full term Mounties. Sujeeva Pathiratne, who attended STC in his wee days circa early 80's and blossomed into a star athlete here in the USA, had the Old Royalists in North American scrambling to prove the he attended Royal - in order to draft him into their side. Sujeeva (now an enterprising, successful businessman in Northern California) was quite instrumental in the early wins by the Old Thomians. Raj Sivalingam was another wily spinner who with his accurate left arm orthodox foxed many an Old Royalist. There was one year when yours truly and Raj were the last two batsmen at the wicket in the final (40 lh) over with the score on 109 for 9. I had a couple of doubles in the first two balls and took a single in the third. The Royalist pacey to warm up Raj as he slogged the next ball to square leg for four; swept the next for six over square leg and pulled the final ball for 4! We won this game by 14 runs. Raj was the difference (or was it Asela!).

The following guys have swung the bat and hurled the ball for OTAC:

Dr. Lareef Idroos: He spins the width of Warne and possess the guile ofGibbs Pujitha De Silva: He is the Californian local Sanath

Jayasuria with matching pate Shane Pinder, Muzni Sufi Ismail, Sajuth Balasuriya and a host of other ruggerites helped us cricketers one year - when we were badly short of players S.K. Jayasinghe: Spun his balls on the stock market and around the Old Royalists

Aruna Silva: Famous for his home runs in cricket . Saliya Herat: He refused to do scorer duties in California...! Peter Perera: His burly presence would demoralize the Old Royalists here

Ryan Jayatileke: A versatile athlete who is a hive of activity on the field
Shammika Rodrigo: Came from Guru to Mount and is the scourge of the Royalists here
Lalindra Wickremaratne: He bowls better on US wickets!
Rukshan Mendis: Tragically denied a place in the 1s1 XI in a few years back, all rounder
Navin Peiris: King of the Dallas cricketers Shantha Jayasekera: Remember his straight six of Sudath Pasqual many moons ago?
Romesh Algama : Super athlete, his knack for mixing the booze with cricket are amazing
Lakshan Wannakuwatte : So fast... the Old Royalists could never spot his balls !
Mumtaz Yousuf : Initially at Guru and on to Zahira, a canny cricketer
Eraj Sirisena : Son of cricketing great Daya Sirisena; much is expected of him in the upcoming years.... and Dirk Tissera : Scored 1.000+ runs in a season; Son of cricket maestro Michael.... were others that shone at the right to see us through. We were also taken to a different level with the inclusion of Canadian opening bowler Sanjayan Thurasingham - who would zip it past the scurrying Old Royalists. The Royalists were plain scared to face him. After leading the series 6 to 1, the Thomians exchanged victories over the next 11.... and now lead the series 12 to 6. The Old Royalists have been boosted by the appearance of the talented gentleman cricketer - Ruchira Jayasuriya, who has shone with both the bat and the ball. The 2006 encounter saw talented athlete Ryan

Jayatileke (son ofThomian sports luminary Dickie Jayatileke) and class mate Romesh Algama display that steely Thomian grit and shock the Old Royalists with a classic last over victory. We expect fire works at this year's encounter - scheduled for the 26th of May ! May be we would be assisted by the presence ofAshan Peiris and may be another Peiris Johann (skipper of the STC centenary side!!!)

The Old Royalists organize the Rugby Tournament in September and the Old Thomians have made it to the finals and lost a couple of times. Perhaps it will be our turn this year as a our dedicated pool of young ruggerites train and adjust their focus to making it a first for Old Thomians. We have been well represented by the likes of... Shane Pinder (Winning captain of the Centenary Trophy & National Player)

Dickie Jayatileke (Coloursman of many sports) Ryan Jayatileke (Plays Rugby in pure Aussie style) Charith Wickrematileke (the toughest of them) Tissa Wimalasekera (slick hooker) Muzni Sufi-Ismail (lovers to run)

Ravi Perera (son of dedicated STC teacher - Mrs. Rani Perera) Errol Fernando (an extraordinary leader) Chitral Fernando (gutty former b'oarder) Akila Jayawickrema (versatile sportsman) Lasantha"'Dahanaike (former head cop and National record holder at hurdles)

Pujith De Silva (known more for his cricketing prowess) Lakshan Wannakuwatte (a try is on the cards, when this guy has the ball) . and a host of others.

We Californians love a good party and the Old Thomians set the benchmark with something unique and classy, every Bi-Annual Dinner Dance. Old Thomian - Sohan Weerasinghe has led the stars performing here. In 2005 we were privileged to have Desmond De Silva and this year.... it's a surprise ! This year's dance will be another unique event... you should attend..... experience for yourself... Thomians lead and others still follow ! Visit our web-site for more information - www.thomians.com

The current OTAC committee is chaired by Realtor Deshan Atapattu and has a committee that is a super blend of youth and vintage, the energy of this new committee will drive some exciting, upcoming events. They are much privileged to be ably assisted by the likes of Sriyal Kumarage : Top travel agent in California Dr. Milroy Fernando : The backbone of OTAC for many years Sathy Chandramohan : A much admired successful businessman Dharshan Sutharshana : A top engineer and a classy organizer Shane Pinder : One of a few Old Thomians responsible for the revival and existence of this branch

Dr. Lareef Idroos : The wise Old Thomian of California - continues to steer OTAC from the sidelines.

Good Luck to the STC team as they battle the Royalists. Play the game using your God given talents coupled with the many gentlemanly intangibles that have been injected into your system by default of being a Thomian. May the runs flow from blades of Peiris, Pussegolla among others. Above all, may you bring honour to S. Thomas' College by playing as a team.

Ranesh Peiris (J.R.L.)

Stone 1974-86

Last edited by sriyanjay; 24-02-13 at 07:39 PM.
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