Motto Matters !
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
A school motto embodies the spirit of a school. It unites the school under a common goal and vision. It provides the students with an ideal to follow and strive for. It gives them hope and strength. Daily News spoke to some leading schools in Colombo to find out how their school motto has molded them and inspired them.
Daily News first spoke to the Sub Warden of S. Thomas’ College Mount Lavinia, the Rev. Marc Billimoria who provided some insights into the Thomian motto - ESTO PERPETUA
“The origins give us the meaning. It is a Latin term from Eton College in England which was introduced to S. Thomas’ College by our Founder, Bishop James Chapman. Before coming to Sri Lanka as the first Anglican Bishop, he was a Fellow of Eton College, having also studied there. He wanted to start a school in Sri Lanka that was modeled on Eton and so among the many features from Eton that he introduced here was this motto that was a traditional motto of Eton - ESTO PERPETUA, that basically means - May it last forever, Last thou forever or as every Thomian today understands it Be thou forever. Although the present motto of Eton College is FLOREAT ETONA, meaning ‘May Eton flourish,’ ESTO PERPETUA is said to have been the motto from about 1635. At S. Thomas’ the motto became part of the present college crest in 1947 under Warden R S de Saram. What is interesting is, that it is also the State motto of Idaho in the United States of America where the translation is ‘Let it be eternal.’
We sing the motto every time we sing the College Song, which interestingly was written in 1916 by Edmund De Livera an old Royalist! In the College Song there is a chorus in which we repeat the term ESTO PERPETUA three times. Thus it almost becomes a part of a student’s life for the period of time he spends at STC.
Well, the more he sings it, the more he has to realize that what he is being asked to do, is to be part of this institution which is going to last forever or flourish forever and prosper. So the student has to realize that he is part of the flourishing or the prospering of the institution. Beyond that while he receives the best education that is possible from the school, he also has a duty to give back to the school, in order that it may flourish. And the school may only flourish, if its products contribute positively towards that flourishing. For the students, it is therefore an important if not vital symbol of the school and the more they reflect on its meaning, they have to realize that they are part of an institution that is long lasting and that needs to flourish, and from which they also get something for their lives in order for their lives to blossom and flourish when they leave its portals. ‘Be thou forever’ what? Be thou forever- loyal, faithful, honest, true and compassionate. To me the motto encompasses all the good values the school promotes in a child that need to last forever, that need to flourish.
“There are two lines of one of the verses that go like this: ‘We rejoice in victory when our foes we beat and we know when fortune frowns how to take defeat.’ This has to be hit home over and over again at a time when competitive sports are in danger of becoming more of an obstacle than a support to education as a whole. Today it’s all about winning at any cost and at all costs. Our children must learn how win but also how to lose and to know how to handle and face defeat on the sports field. Life is not about winning all the time. There will be victories and there will be defeats. School prepares you to face both.
The school is not just as an institution with buildings and facilities but the school is a living entity which flourishes forever as long as the children are getting the best from it. The spirit that is fostered by the motto is something that will never be outside the Thomian psyche, because it is part of our song and crest. It is always in front of us and we cannot forget it. What we need to constantly remind ourselves is - what does it mean for us today? If you just come to school at 7.30am and leave at 1.30pm and don’t really take a part in the life of the school, you are not contributing to the flourishing. You are just playing lip service to the motto. But if you are part of the system and you are learning from the system and giving back to the system by way of doing well in your studies or doing well in your sports/ extra curricula activities then you are contributing to the motto becoming a reality,” said Rev. Billimoria. S. Thomas’ College is 163 year old. It was opened at Mutwal on February 3, 1851. It was transferred to and opened in Mount Lavinia on January 26, 1918 and will be celebrating 100 years at Mount in 2018.
Subject: S. Thomas' College - YouTube
Last edited by sriyanj; 27-11-14 at 02:14 PM.
Joy of giving
Joy of giving
‘NON SIBI SED OMNIBUS’ - ‘Not for self but for all’ is the Bishopian School motto. Member of the staff at Bishop’s College, Shirani Welgampola spoke about the ‘Happiness you create in the less fortunate and the smile you bring to them, into their faces which is your priceless satisfaction.’ “Our school was started by the missionaries over 137 years ago. They handed the school over to the nuns to run the school. So there is a big connection with our religion and our motto and what we do,” she added.
“When they came from England to our country during the British Era, they believed in something called ‘White Man’s Burden.’ So here they took it as a ‘Woman’s Burden.’ They felt, because they were Christians, that they had received in abundance everything, maybe education, comforts, peace and a better type of living. They saw us, the locals as needing a lot. So they thought that it was their burden to uplift these societies.
So the nuns came here to give the females, an upliftment of the female section of the society. So they wanted a school for the girls and the nuns came and started the school.
What we got from them is what is in our motto - Not for self, to teach the values of selflessness to our children. The nuns were selfless.
This means you are concerned more with the needs and the wishes of others and not yourself. From that day we started, to date we have been practicing - ‘Not for self but for all,’” said Welgampola.
“What we teach the children is to consider themselves fortunate to be blessed with material comforts and peace of mind. We teach them to give it back to the world. If you come to Bishops College, every day it is a case of helping some organization. We have a lot of social service organizations.
The biggest and what we are most proud of is St. Margaret’s Day. The St. Margaret’s nuns ran our school and brought it to a top class school. So we are ever grateful to those nuns. So generation after generation, St. Margaret’s day is marked in our diaries as special. And every child puts in a little bit of her efforts to make something to help the less fortunate.
We have our own social service clubs in the school and all of it is not for self but for all.
So that is the motto.
We teach the children of the less fortunate, people who are deprived of the things that they have. No child refuses to give. They love it. Giving is something in this school.
They don’t show off. They only give. Giving is part of our life.
Though it is a Christian school, we are a pluralistic society. All the religions are here. We all help each other. Recently the students gave hearing aids. Everybody helps someone, and for Christmas, especially we give stationary to poor children. A lot of preparation goes on. The students lovingly come and give, and we don’t ever force them. There is no forcing in our school.
Another point is to motivate you to help others selflessly. This is selfless dedication. We don’t expect anything in return. That is what we teach our children. And they become very good citizens. It also helps them to take leadership. They are not looking for personal glory. So they have learnt something from what we are trying to teach them. We cultivate in them the joy of giving. Being a privileged person you are able to give what you have. When they become leaders of the country they will lead others to help,” she said.
Haec Victoria Nostra Fides which means, ‘This is the victory even our faith.’
Ladies College is regarded as one of the best private girls’ schools and its Principal Eesha Speldewinde spoke to the Daily News about their motto.
“The Ladies College founder was a Christian missionary named Lillian Nixon, who was sent by the CMS to Ceylon at that time. She formed the school in 1900. Her origins were Irish.
Originally the emblem of Ladies College was in the form of a shield. In Ireland there was a patron saint named St. Patrick and basically they had a shield. In this shield he defends his people. That is why it is a shield of faith. And always it is held in front of somebody - if you are in conflict. We have trust and faith in God, so this is our protection. So those days according to myths and legend, you fight the dragon.
So this is a shield you hold in front of you to fight the dragon - It can be an enemy or an obstacle.
It is actually a shield of victory. You are defending yourself and you are victorious. So Haec Victoria Nostra Fides - this is our victory even our faith. That is the Irish characteristic, that our founder brought and made that our school motto,” said Speldewinde.
“The next principal, Gwen Opie she came from New Zealand so she made the emblem round - like it is a never ending circle or never ending faith. So it is a similar kind of belief. But the wreath has remained. But the shield has gone off and replaced by the circle, which is never ending.
We have Founders day in February, so every year on Founders Day we have a chapel service and a Founders day service where the history of the school is also brought into the service.
So the children are made aware of their motto, and what it means. So at Assembly the children themselves sometimes take assembly, and act out certain scenes, as how the Founder came. They do this through song, dance and drama.
Every year we speak about our founders and definitely it is inculcated in the children - the motto, our founder and where she came from and the meaning of it. We sing the school hymn every Wednesday.
When you say this is the victory even our faith, through faith we move forward. Whether it is in our studies or whether it is in our sports, whether it is relationships that we have with people. We go in that confidence. That gives us the strength to move forward.
Our school has children of all faiths. We have Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims. I feel that this motto although it has a Christian foundation, can be applied to any of our children. It gives you that strength, to think positively,” she added.
Pray and work
Deshaka Perera, Class of 2002, and Old Wesleyite spoke about the importance of daily prayers that is emphasized by their motto.
“The Wesley college motto is “ORA ET LABORA” which means ‘Pray & Labor on’ which means - Pray and work. It was coined by its second principal Rev. Arthur Shipham (1880-1883). Rev John Dalby (1928-1940) another principal of Wesley College commenting in a later time said “Worship & Prayer are the salt of life,” which has meant so much to generations of students at Wesley.
The College motto has been an important part of school life and has remained a unifying force within the school. The motto is one of the most remarkable and enduring aspects of education at Wesley in terms of maintaining the discipline and conduct of the pupils.
The College motto is also part of the college song “....Taking cool what e’er befall pray and labor on....”
Wesley College is a Methodist educational institution and used the motto since inception.
The daily prayers reminded us that it is the vital center of moral strength which is the ability to maintain life and to perform its mission without imposing standardized beliefs on society.
The motto embodies Wesley’s vision for all its students to become exemplary citizens. No matter where you come from or what community you live in, or who your parents were, Wesley has always been committed to nurturing and developing and transforming all students’ inherent potential into towers of strength.
From the classroom to the boardroom, from the stage to the field, from the tent to the examination hall, Wesley was there to help one and all to get to the mountain top, to reach out to the stars, and to light up the distant future with a rainbow of hope. At Wesley prayer is integral part of everything we do,” said Perera.
Either study or leave
Shanthi Dias Principal of Methodist College also laid stress on the ethos of service when Daily News spoke to her.
“We Scatter Light” is their motto. ‘Light’ is taken from the bible as there is a verse in Mathew 5:14- 15 which says: ‘You are the light of the world - like a city on a mountain glowing in the night for all to see.
Don’t hide your light under a basket. Instead put it on a stand and let it shine for all’
We want our alumni to be ‘scattering light,’ in the sense that, where there are areas of darkness, (areas of need, or neglect of people who are marginalized or discriminated) we hope our girls are bringing some light by working in those areas. That is the idea of service; service to people.
We try to promote this in the school: having many service projects, getting them to contribute items when there are disasters or need in the country etc so that they are made aware.
Sometimes at general assembly we commend instances where they have helped someone etc so that the student body knows what the school values.
In a sense a school has to have good academics and achievements which we are also striving for, but we want to say that in this school we promote these values too,” she added.
A simple yet weighty motto is that of Royal College. Daily News spoke to the Principal of that institution of learning.
“Our motto is Disce Aut Disce De - Learn or Depart and I’m sure lot of students are aware that it says you have to either study or leave the school. It is very simple. But this is what we always mention to the children and the children might have taken it in that spirit,” said Principal Upali Gunasekara.
- See more at: http://dailynews.lk/?q=archives/2014....FDF25hLL.dpuf
Last edited by sriyanj; 01-12-14 at 05:49 PM.
The School by the Sea ( STC ) ~ some classic photos of College
The School by the Sea ( STC ) ~ some classic photos of College
Last edited by sriyanj; 20-05-15 at 03:41 PM.
Arial Photo taken by Captain Chira Fernando,
I am sharing with you an Arial Photo taken by Captain Chira Fernando, son of
Mrs Merline Fernando, our class & English teacher in Upper 3 C, 1962.
check out the rest of the Windows LiveT. More than mail-Windows LiveT goes
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