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Old 30-04-11, 08:45 PM
sriyanjay sriyanjay is offline
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Default Prize giving- 1983 (10.12.1983)



Speech/Report of Headmaster Mr.Patrick Gunawardena


Mr. & Mrs. Weerakoon, Members of the Board of Governors,
distinguished guests, Old Boys, parents and friends.
It is with much pride, honour and joy that we welcome you,
Mr. Weerakoon to your Alma Mater today as our Chief Guest. It was very kind
of you to have accepted our invitation at such short notice, in spite of the
magnitude of the burden of your new office as the Commissioner General of
Essential Services, to grace this important school function.
We rejoice in seeing you as one of the most eminent men in our country
today featuring very often in the news headlines and ranked high by popular
vote in the “personality of the Year” contest run by a leading newspaper
organization.
Of the galaxy of outstanding students that adorned our College during
those pioneering years under Dr. Hayman, you were one of the brightest stars.
In those early days you took part in practically every sport, like soccer,
swimming and hockey but your first love was cricket, in which sport you
represented S. Thomas College Mount Lavinia at the 1st XI Cricket in 1948 and 1949 and won your cricket colours.
I remember you hitting a mighty six at the Royal-Thomian Match in 1949
as an opening batsman and putting up a useful 37 runs in a bid to win the match at a very exciting stage of the game when we had only to make 7 runs to win with 6 wickets in hand. The match however ended in a draw for want of time.
You were a clever student at the College and had a brilliant career at the
University of Colombo where you received a Second Class Honours degree in
Sociology.
After completing your University studies you served on the Staff of our
school for a short time.
You were awarded a Smith Mundt Scholarship and proceeded for post-
graduate studies to the University of Michigan, U.S.A. where you obtained the
M.A. Degree.

After you returned to Ceylon you entered the Civil Service and from then
on there was no stopping you in your march to success.
One of your earliest appointments in the Civil Service was as Asst.
Secretary to the Prime Minister, Sir John Kotalawela and you followed it up by
serving as the Secretary to the Prime Minister for five Prime Ministers thereafter.
A unique record for a public servant. You proved acceptable to them all despite their varying political ideologies.
Your rise to prominence without the stepping stone of patronage is a
tribute to your sterling qualities of integrity, reliability, adaptability, courage and total dedication to any task entrusted to you by the state.
The whole nation applauded the skilful manner in which you accomplished a task of the gravest national urgency and your humanitarian approach to the problems of caring for and the settlement of more than 50,000 refugees and displaced persons during the aftermath of human misery caused by the ethnic riots.
As a member of the Board of Governors of the College you have always
identified yourself closely with the hopes and aspirations of St. Thomas’ and we are grateful to you for the encouragement and support you have always given our school as a member of the 10 Year Development Plan Committee of the Old Boys Association.
We believe that no greater honour could fall on an Old Boy than that he
should be asked to preside at a Prize Giving of his Old school and to make the
Prize Day Speech and at the same time to be held up before the present boys as a worthy example to emulate.
It has become customary on occasions of this nature to offer pride of place
to the Chief Guest and later, almost as an act of grudging courtesy to receive his wife into our midst with a few casual compliments.
I am sure that you would rather than take umbrage with us acknowledge
with gracious gratitude the contribution of Mrs. Weerakoon to your success in
life. She must surely have been a great source of inspiration to you and given
you all the emotional and intellectual support that nurtured and enhanced your career.
We thank Mrs. Weerakoon for graciously consenting to give away prizes
and awards today.

We are happy to see several members of the Governing body of our school
present today. We are grateful to them for their wise judgment in directing the affairs of our school. I must especially thank Mr. Gerald de Alwis, the Manager of our school for his advice and ready help in solving school problems and thevaluable circulars and Educational material which he sends us from the Examination Department from time to time, and Mr. Leslie Habaragoda the Asst.Manager for the support and encouragement he has always given me.
We record with deep sorrow the death of Mr. Colvin Sirimanne, a member
of our Board of Governors.
We remember him with gratitude for his many acts of kindness, his deep
concern for the promotion of inter-religious and inter-racial co-existence in our Thomian family of schools and for the welfare of our school and education in our land.

The place of English

There is an urgent need in our country today, for the establishment of a
permanent autonomous body comprising respected educationists, men who are personally and politically disinterested, and have only the welfare of the children of our country and the nation at heart, for Educational planning in Sri Lanka.
This is necessary to ensure autonomy in education, educational stability
and planning for the future. Education is too valuable to be left in the hands of politicians and Ministry officials who change with monotonous regularity.
Today it is these authorities who decide what is best for our schools, what
we should teach, what language we should teach in, and even the books that
should be used for teaching.
The methods used are authoritarian, impersonal and characterized by a
uniformity which leads to produce a stereotyped, Examination-orientated system of education which stultifies the intellectual curiosity of a formative mind. The danger, of too rigid and uniform a pattern of education is that it will
not provide scope for individual difference and innate ability.
Over emphasis on examination has contributed to making school work
oppressive, fiercely competitive and private tuition orientated.

The greatest challenge to education comes from new opportunities for
introducing diversity in education and the need to apply the latest finding of
psychological, developmental and educational research over the last few years, namely that no one educational method fits all children, and schools must be open to educational experimentation.
The increasing popularity of Private evangelical Church schools and the
increasing pressure of demand for enrollment in these schools which cannot be met shows an amazing ability of these schools to prosper even during a period of recession and rising costs. This is an indication of the growing awareness even among the rural population of the importance of an education with an Englishbias and an international outlook.
Educational institutions which are not Government controlled have the
right and responsibilities to express their views about what needs to be done to develop the education system in keeping with the new demands to promote and foster racial integration and national unity in the years ahead.
Questions which were formerly taboo are being asked now, and asked
repeatedly in the context of socio-economic instability caused by distressing
current events.
Socio-economic and educational circumstances and needs have changed
and we need to adopt new measures to meet these changing circumstances.
One problem which this autonomous body can deal with is a very thorny
question as far as politics is concerned…..the place of English.
“More and better English for our children.” is the cry even among rural
parents, hence the rush for the “good schools”.
Over 140 Tamil students left our school soon after the communal crisis to
join schools in India where they could obtain an English medium education.
This is a clear indication that given the right of self determination of their
language policy in education the minority communities will opt for English as a
medium in the prestigious schools in the North and East.
The need has now arisen for science, Mathematics, accountancy and
Computer Programming to be taught in the English medium even up to the
G.C.E. (O/L) in schools that are able to cope with the demand.

The neglect of English during the recent past has already caused a good
deal of hardship and frustration to thousands of school leavers, and the
mushrooming English Tutories and “Spoken English” classes throughout our
country are capitalizing on this.
If anything tangible or progressive is to be achieved in this direction, this
problem should be tackled in the context of education and not politics.
On the question of the medium of instruction, the choice should be left
entirely to the parents, the students and the teachers, and should not be state decreed.
We need at the present time an educational system that is useful to the
country, a system that will weld the different ethnic components of our
population together, and at the same time one that is complete, modern, liberal and job-oriented in character with an international flavour, in view of the increasing job opportunities abroad for our youth.
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Old 30-04-11, 08:46 PM
sriyanjay sriyanjay is offline
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Default Prize giving- 1983 (10.12.1983)

The Appeal
Dr. Hayman’s visit helped to bind more closely various generations of our
past pupils and his death has spurred them to show renewed vigour and interest in the affairs of our school so that it would be a fitting memorial to him.
There remains one important matter with which I must deal namely, the
Dr. Hayman Memorial Development Fund Appeal, launched officially by the
Executive Special Committee of the Old Boys’ Association to finance the future development projects of our College.
There can be no doubt about the need for an Indoor Stadium, extension to
the laboratory, and new Dormitories if our school is to remain competitive with
other schools and have up-to-date and modern teaching facilities.
Today is an opportunity to thank the Hayman Memorial Building Fund
Campaign Chairman, Mr. S.K. Wickramasinghe, and the moving spirits behind
this venture, Mr. P.S. Duleep Kumar and Mr. M.A. Navaz Caffoor, all of whom
have given so much of their valuable time in organizing this appeal and
approaching potential donors.
It is a time also to thank those who have so generously supported the
Appeal.
I hope that by the next Prize Giving everyone connected with the school,
everyone who values what Dr. Hayman and the school he built has done for
them in the past, and is doing for their children at present, will take the
opportunity to support the appeal even though it is being made at a time of
inflation and when school fees have been recently increased.

THE OLD BOYS’ ASSOCIATION
History of the College
The Old Boys have decided that the time has come for the History of the
school to be written by an independent historian setting the school in its context in Gurutalawa and Sri Lanka. We are thankful to Mr. P.S. Duleep Kumar for volunteering to take up this task. He has already started collecting its archives, truly as a labour of love.
Our school is only 41 years old and we have sufficient people alive who
have first-hand experiences of the early days of the school. Their experiences
must be recorded and preserved. I appeal to them to send any useful material
either to the College or direct to the historian.
This History will be a record of people, and the school’s achievements
from 1942 to 1983.
We are appreciative of the support given to the school through the Old
Boys’ Association. A beautiful trophy donated by Mr. Raja Ratnam in memory
of Dr. Hayman, which is on display on the Prize Table, was gratefully received.
We are also thankful to another Old Boy, Mr. Ananda Jayasinghe, for
donating a Sinclair ZX81 and for making another more expensive model – the
Sinclair Spectrum – of the computer available to the school on easy payment
terms.
We also greatly appreciate the services of yet another Old Boy, Mr. S.
Murugesan who travelled up from Colombo by night mail every Tuesday night
to conduct classes in Computer Programming, free of charge for our Staff and
students, on Wednesdays and then travel down by the night train on the same day. It is hoped that these students would gain the highest level of professional competence in the course of time.
We are thankful to yet another Old Boy, Mr. Ravi Samaraweera, who
rendered a magnificent service to the College at a time of desperate need when all our water sources had dried up owing to the prolonged drought that hit our area. As Chairman of the District Development Council, Welimada/Badulla, he obtained a special permission for the school to tap the main Ohiya water line at its terminal point and lay a 1 mile length of water pipe to our school. This was done on a Shramadana basis by the Staff and boys. Had this facility been denied us the alternative would have been to close our school from June to September.
We are thankful that so far we have been exempted from the payment of
water rates.
I now come to the report on the school which covers the period from the
31st July 1982 to 01st August 1983.
I am proud to report that during the height of the recent disturbances in
accordance with true Thomian tradition the Sinhala and Muslim senior boys and staff banded themselves together to form a school guard to protect the lives and property of the large number of Tamil boarders, staff and minor employees residing within the campus. They count themselves as the luckiest group of Tamils in the island for they were spared the horror of violence and the hardship and humiliation of refugee Camp life during those dark days.
A romantic attachment cultivated during this period resulted in racial
integration in its ideal form viewed from two dimensions both racial and
religious when a Sinhala Buddhist member of the teaching staff married a Tamil Christian lady teacher a few weeks ago.
I am also glad to report that I have received the wholehearted cooperation
of the staff in raising the standard of the school in all areas namely studies,
sports, discipline, financial standing, its general appearance, the tone of the
school and its reputation in the province.
After two lean years, the worst crisis this school has been through since its
inception in 1942, I am happy to report that the school has bounced back into shape
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Old 30-04-11, 09:12 PM
sriyanjay sriyanjay is offline
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Default Speech of Chief Guest Mr. Bradman Weerakoon

Speech of Chief Guest Mr. Bradman Weerakoon

My good friends Mr. Patrick Gunawardena, Headmaster of S. Thomas;
Gurutalawa, and Mrs. Gunawardena, Members of the Board of Governors, the
Headmaster of S. Thomas’ Bandarawela School, Members of the Staff,
distinguished Old Boys, Parents of students, and students of the school, both
male and female.
First I must thank Mr. Gunawardena on behalf of my wife and myself for
the very special privilege he has given us of inviting us to come and be with the school on this very important day in the life of the school. It is indeed a special honour to be invited to be the Chief Guests and to help by providing one’s wife to distribute the prizes, at the Prize Giving. And I am very thankful to Patrick for having invited us. This is not the first occasion on which my old school has honoured me in this fashion and therefore count myself doubly privileged. Seven years ago, when I was then a Government Agent of the Galle District, the Principal at that time, Mr. Lyn Ilangakoon, invited me to be the Chief Guest, so I get some chance of comparing then and now. And I want to congratulate very sincerely Mr. Patrick Gunawardena and his excellent staff for all the improvements, for all the work that has been done to make this school one of the finest schools in the country. I think that there is acknowledgement of that fact. Many years ago when I was a little boy at S. Thomas’ Gurutalawa I used to sit in the back of the hall, like many of you little boys now and wonder what the Chief Guest at the Prize Giving would say. All I wanted and hoped was for one thing that he would be very short and that the other that he would proclaim the next day to be a school holiday. I find that Mr. Patrick Gunawardena has been very clever about timing the day of the Prize Giving. We used to have it in the middle
of the 3rd term, he has had it on the last day of school, so that the only gesture I can make is to inform all the students here that for the next month you can have holidays.
I like to go back with you, if I may, a few years of really 40 years. The
Headmaster told you that the school was now 41 years old and he also
announced that it was now bouncing, and I want to congratulate him very
heartily for having produced a bouncing baby of 40 years. When we go back 40 years – that is to 1942, I was 12 years old and I had moved as many of my friends too did from S. Thomas’ College, Mt. Lavinia. It was taken over during the war for use as a British hospital and we were moved here. There were I think 40 of us, and I count it a very singular privilege, and I am very proud of that, to mention here that in this group – I have been looking round the audience and those who sit on this platform and I find that there are 7 people, 7 of the 40 who began this school in those dark days of 1942, with a war going on a Japanese navy threatening to invade the country, here in Gurutalawa was born this school with people like Dr. Hayman and Father Foster, and there are 7 of my friends here with me today out of that original 40. I like to mention them by name because I consider their presence here a very special act of affection, both towards the school, and to me personally. They are, from the platform, Mr.Gerald de Alwis, who is – and I say this for the attention of the students so that you may know to what heights you too can rise – even though it may take you 40 years to do that. He is the Deputy Commissioner of Examinations, he is the Member of the Board of Governors and he was here in 1942. Then, there is Mr. Leslie Habaragoda. Leslie Habaragoda, many of you may know, is the Assistant Manager of the school, and lives close by, he is a very senior planter who is planting in the Nuwara Eliya District. He was here in those days. Then I see Mr. Arthur Perera. We used to have very few day scholars those days. Out of the 40
there were I think 2 Day Scholars, and Arthur Perera was one of those day
scholars. He lived just outside the farm, just outside the school, and his home
was extremely useful if you ever wanted to do anything a little bit naughty.
Then there is my good friend from 41 years ago, V.K. Wickramasinghe, a very
senior official in the Central Bank, now a General Manager of the National
Development Bank. Then you have Suhaib Cader who is very high in the
business and private sector – he owns the Odeon Theatre at Mt. Lavinia, if he
sees a Thomian he generally puts him in free, and Roland de Alwis. Roland de
Alwis holds the position of Senior Secretary in the Ministry of Highways. Now,
he is such an important person that any of you who came to the school today
would have seen a lot of activity going on along the roadside. Lots of people
cutting and shovelling earth on the road, making the road platform, I think all of that was done because Roland de Alwis was on inspection today, and then there is a very good friend sitting in front of me, Mr. Dambawinne. He was very high in the Excise Department and is now retired. He comes from this area, as you know we belong to an area which is I believe called Dambawinne when you think of the old “Vasama” and he was a very special person. There were only two people in his class, you now have very large classes, and Dambawinne was always number one. I think last year our good friend Shelton Ranarajah who is Junior Minister of Justice did make a slight error in his memory. He seemed to say, I seem to recall somewhere that speaking of Leslie Habaragoda, he seemed to have confused the story and made the point that Leslie Habaragoda had been a member of a class of 2 and that he had come 2nd. Actually, that was not true.
The chief qualities of these gentlemen who I mentioned who have reached such eminent positions in life, to which all of you students can aspire, they had some very special attributes when they were in College. None of us showed, I think, the marks of whatever status and position we might achieve. We were just ordinary people. I don’t think any of us marched up like many of you did to receive prizes. I can hardly remember coming up on a prize day to receive a prize from the wife of the Chief Guest. We all had different attributes, different skills. It was a very good farm here in those days. There are no fruit trees now but there were very many fruit trees then and what Leslie Habaragoda was very well known for, and later went on to graduate in things like Biology and so on, was how to pluck fruits. He was excellent at that game, and may be that helped him later on to become such an excellent planter. There were others equally skilled in physiology and they learnt their physiology in the dissections they performed on the chickens, of whom there were many in this farm. So we need many skills to get on in life. And I think one should really remember that the classroom alone is not what is significant but so much on what you do outside.
So coming back to what the Headmaster said in his marvelously comprehensive and deep philosophical report. I have hardly had the pleasure of listening to something which was so impressive in its presentation and scope and I congratulate him on that too, and in that report he went through a large area of work that you cover and I was comparing all the time what we had and what you have. And I think there were good points in what we had and there are very good points in what you have. Two little observations on that. How much you have changed! How much S. Thomas’ has developed, in the various activities you perform! Patrick, you skipped over many things in your report but we were reading them and the variety of sports and other activities that you do is very impressive indeed. Look at even a thing like Squash. You reminded me that we had horse-riding, yes, we had. There were some horses here and we had horse riding but you have squash and you have produced a national champion in Squash, and I think that this is a very remarkable achievement for a small school like this. And another very significant thing you have is that you have girls in school. They are still very small but I think you are going to get into some kind
of a problem when they grow up. We had no girls in school and the only
support that we used to have at Royal Thomian matches when you were trying to show off walking around in your blazer and so on were the girls from Bishop’s College, and they sometimes used to cheer for you but finally here we are going to have our own Thomian girls cheering for us! I think that is going to be a very interesting sight. I remember when we were in school, we were a very male dominated thing here. Thomians were males and we were very much restricted to that category, and I recall one of our teachers who was a very brilliant geography teacher, there must be some like him on this staff too, but this brilliant geography teacher had one little thing he couldn’t help. He had a head that was rounder than most of ours, we must have had flat heads, but he had a round head so that boys called him, bolaya. It was most unfair as that was the only defect that he had, but this geography teacher, after some years of teaching us happened to get married and he brought to the school to our tender years of 12 and 13 one of the most beautiful people we had seen and you could immediately see the effect on the cleanliness, on the neatness and the personal appearance of
the students. Everybody looked very good people and were brushing their teeth, shaving their beards, combing their hair, getting into good clothes and the entire tone of the school went up, so I think a very good innovation has come about by these Thomian girls, and I wish them all the best.
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Old 30-04-11, 09:14 PM
sriyanjay sriyanjay is offline
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Default Speech of Chief Guest Mr. Bradman Weerakoon

I would like to touch on one or two ideas that the Headmaster spoke
about in his report. On a rather more serious note. You talked about the “July
problem” the “July riots”. I’d like to say something about that as I happened to be in my present capacity, as Commissioner General of Essential Services,
looking after some of those people who went through a terrible time. You also
spoke generally about the role of the school. What role does a school like S.
Thomas’ College, which is private, which has a strong Christian background and which has a strong religious motivation, which is served by very dedicated people, what kind of a role does it have in contemporary society? Does it have any role at all? Is it redundant? Is it useless? Does it give any ideals to live up to? Let me deal with that point first. What role does the school play? I think that there is absolutely no doubt that in a system which is a ‘state system’ essentially, where you have a monopoly of government schools, schools such as this do stand for the really fundamental important values of our society and I mean by that things like the need for harmony, the need for unity, the need for discipline, all of those factors which are very important qualities in society come out of schools of this kind. I am not using any particular person as an example but when you look back at what this school has achieved by producing people of various kinds for serving various professions in various fields, one can then say with some justification that S. Thomas’ College, has not been in vain. That it’s effort has been worthwhile. That it has done something for the stability and the continuance of the kind of society that most of us want to have here. The society in which all men are regarded as equal, in which there is no distinction between races, no distinctions between classes, no distinction between religions, where
each man treats the other as his brother. And that is the essence of all the
religions, though it starts from a Christian background if you examine
Buddhism, or Hinduism or Islam all of the major religions would agree that what
one wants to do is to treat a human being as an equal of any other and to behave with love and respect and decency. Now if those values are fundamental in our society and we appreciate them and we want them to be what Sri Lanka is, then I think there is an immense place for schools of this type. And everything that dedicated teachers, people like the Headmaster, people like the Deputy Headmaster, Mr. Jayasinghe, those people like the ones that were teachers with us, like the Marasinghes and the Laffirs, and all of the others whom I don’t personally know but who must have imbibed those qualities, if they can work towards those ideals then I think the future of this school is safe in their hands and they would be contributing mightily towards the ideals that this society professes. And then the problem of the July troubles. I am not going into the causes of it. I think the causes are very complicated. But I want to look into the consequences and how does one prevent a repetition of what happened, because I believe that all of us here would equally wish that there would be no repetition. And again I think that it is schools such as this, where you have the races integrate, as long as language is a barrier and you have a Sinhala stream, and a Tamil stream perhaps you can’t do much more than enable a linkage through English. You raised the question of what is the future of English? I really do not think that you can bring back English as a medium of instruction and forget about Sinhala and Tamil. That would seem to be too unreal, an objective, too
unreal an ideal. You can’t change back the course of rivers. They flow on, there is a historical continuity. But certainly within the limits of having to work with Sinhala and Tamil there can be very many things done like bringing people together through English, bringing people together through work, and through play; bringing as we do here at S. Thomas’ Gurutalawa, through the largest boarding school that there is in the country, we bring Sinhala and Tamil students face to face. Get them in dormitories together. Get them eating together, working together, playing together and then you are building up the kind of mutual trust and confidence, and an appreciation of each others ways which is so important if you want to build real racial unity and harmony. So here we are trying to do that, and I think all the encouragement must be given by the staff and all the cooperation must be given by the students if you want to achieve that.
In fact S. Thomas’ would be living true to those fine words that Dr. Hayman
spoke to you and which you referred to in your report. I think he said ‘maintain the tradition’. Don’t try to copy anybody else, build and innovate for yourself. We must combine all of that. The tradition is there, the traditions set by people like Dr. Hayman and Father Foster. And when I speak of Dr. Hayman I instinctively bring in Father Foster who is also no more, and who many of you, especially the Old Boys, the parents and the staff would know, because they were a wonderful combination and they emphasized the need for team work. You can’t achieve much by yourself, and I think Dr. Hayman depended a great deal on Father Foster. They were a marvellous pair. I used to compare them to a great cricketing pair opening for England I used to think of them walking out to face any bowling, and while one would hook and cut and would do all of that the other would very painstakingly keep defending. And Dr. Hayman I remember with some kind of awe, we were frightened in some sort of a way, we respected him, but we were frightened of the very strong arm. And when he came down hard on your back, it hurt. And if he caned you then Father Foster was there to almost sooth you and to pour some love and sympathy and compassion, so that you learnt many things from those two men. You learnt from the one the importance of discipline, the importance of rules, the importance of humility and simplicity and all of that and you learnt from Father Foster all the milder, virtues the love, the compassion, the tolerance, and so on.
In a way they were like the sun and the moon complementing each other and
making up a perfect 24 hours. So one can think of those fine traditions as one
looks at the way the school develops. Try and use those traditions and build on them. Not staying put in the same place, but improving as you have improved.
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Old 30-04-11, 09:15 PM
sriyanjay sriyanjay is offline
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Default Speech of Chief Guest Mr. Bradman Weerakoon

And schools like this I think are what we need to produce the kind of people
whom I would say are the ideal of what we want. I made a note of some words which I thought would express the kind of man or the kind of boy that we want to build in a place like S. Thomas’. And that was said not by a great
educationalist but it was said funnily enough by a famous commander of an
United States Army, a man called General Douglas Mac. Arthur, and he said this when he wrote a letter to his son while on the battle field. There was a great battle coming on in a day or two. It was called the ‘Battle of Bataun” in the Pacific. And this is what Douglas Mac. Arthur said when he prayed for his son.
“Build me a son whose wishes would not take the place of deeds,
lead him I pray not in the path of ease and comfort but under stress
and spur of difficulties. Let him learn to stand up in the storm. Let
him learn compassion to those who fail. Build me a son whose
heart would be clear; whose goal would be high; a son who will
measure himself before he seeks to measure other men. One who
will reach into the future, yet never forget the past, with enough of
a sense of humour so that he may always be serious yet never take
himself too seriously. Give him humility the sincerity of true
greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, and the meekness of true
strength. Then, I his father will dare to whisper I have not lived in
vain.”
I think that from many quotations that one can think about one of the
finest that could express the kind of feeling that must live in the hearts of anyone who is concerned with the education and with the bringing up of children and hope that his son and all of your sons here and daughters too, can try to live up to that kind of quality. I don’t want to take much more time but I do want to end with one thought which is personal. The Headmaster said that in addition to all of the things I have done I have now decided to accept an appointment to go abroad. That is true, and in the month of March, perhaps, I will be leaving Sri Lanka and going to live abroad – I hope not for very long – but it will be at least 5 years, and so my association with the school will temporarily cease. Though I am away I will not of course forget the school and I will try to continue those links in other ways, but I think it is appropriate when one thinks of leaving that one also expects to come back. And I hope very much that 9 years from now –
you are 41 years old today and you will be 50 – I believe in 1992 S. Thomas’
Gurutalawa will celebrate a Jubilee, the Golden Jubilee of s. Thomas’
Gurutalawa. What I ask for from Patrick is not that he invite me as Chief Gust
again but that he invite me at all and wherever I am in any part of the world, I will try to come. There is something again which I must express to my friends who are so nice to have come here. Why do you go? Why do you leave? It is a question we have to ask ourselves all the time. All through life one keeps moving. One doesn’t stay still. Like the school moves, an individual moves. Some are given to moving more than others. I have moved many times I was here as I said as a student, I came back as a teacher, I was on the Board of Governors, and one keeps different roles. I find that movement is a kind of destiny and if one moves like that and yet not forget where he came from not forget those who helped him on the way I think that is sufficient to live. – I think of one last quotation, one last poem by a great American poet, Robert Frost, who expressed perhaps the feelings that are today in my mind when one thinks of the journey one makes and why one makes a journey like that in life. He said;
“The woods, are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep
And miles to go before I sleep.”

Thank you very much.
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