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Old 09-02-18, 11:56 PM
sriyanj sriyanj is offline
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Default Dr R L Hayman

Dr R L Hayman – a life dedicated to the education of Ceylonese “An Institution is the lengthened shadow of a man” • Dr R L Hayman Early days Rollo Lenden Hayman MA, DPhil (Oxon), MBE, was born on 14 December 1902 in the London suburb of Clapham. He was the son of William Hayman, a General Practitioner. The family later moved to Bournemouth on the south coast of England. Their beautiful house was right on the edge of a cliff overlooking the sea, in fact, the street was named Boscombe Overcliff Drive. Dr Hayman became the founding father of St. Thomas College, Gurutalawa. Hayman started his schooling at Wychwood Preparatory School in Bournemouth and in 1914, he was admitted to Sherbourne School in Dorset, not far from Bournemouth. This is a private school founded in 1550 and is in the top one per cent of all UK schools. Alan Turing studied here a few years after Hayman. Turing is considered to be the father of Artificial Intelligence and during World War II, he worked at Bletchley Park, the site for British codebreakers, and his Turing Machine cracked the German codes and ciphers and as a result it is estimated that the war in Western Europe was shortened by two years with the saving of 14 million lives. About 1919, Hayman was admitted to the University of Oxford to read Physics. When he graduated, he decided to continue studying in Oxford and obtained the Phd Physics, his particular field was radiation. Although there was an offer of a PostDoctoral Fellowship, he decided on a teaching career and trained as a Teacher in North London for Ministry in the Anglican Church. Meanwhile, K C McPherson, who was the Warden of St Thomas College, Mount Lavinia, from 1926 to 1930, when he was on holiday in 1928 visited Keble College, Oxford where he was educated. He was looking for suitable recruits to join the staff of St Thomas College and he persuaded Dr Hayman, Rev. A J Foster, Rev. J G Elliot and William Thomas Keble to join St Thomas College. Keble College, Oxford, founded in 1870, was named after W T Keble’s greatuncle, John Keble. In 1938, W T Keble founded St Thomas Preparatory School in Kollupitiya. This was the first Prep School in Ceylon and was modelled on a typical private Primary School in England. In 1942, during World War II, the Navy commandeered the School premises and Keble moved to Bandarawela and founded the St Thomas Prep School there. He was also a writer and author of several books, including the travel book “Ceylon Beaten Track.” When Dr Hayman told his parents that he was going to Ceylon they were initially against it, saying that they had spent a lot on his education and it may well be wasted. Dr Hayman contacted the SPG (Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts) and they told him that Ceylon was working its way to independence and needed good teachers to produce the men who could lead the country. As Dr Hayman said “To this end anything I could teach in England would be equally useful and acceptable in Ceylon. So, in the end my parents rather unwillingly allowed me to follow my wishes.” Mutwal St Thomas College was founded in Mutwal in 1851 by Bishop James Chapman. He was an old boy and Master at Eton College, Windsor, and graduated from Kings College, Cambridge. Eton College is arguably the most prestigious private school in England and Bishop Chapman wanted to model St Thomas College along the lines of his former school. It is believed that both schools have the same motto “Esto Perpetua” (Be thou forever). Boys in the highest classes at St Thomas were treated more like undergraduates than schoolboys and were addressed as ‘Mister’. The Curriculum was complex and included the study of Xenophon (a historian and student of Socrates), Cicero (a great Roman prose stylist), Grotius (a 17th century author of theological works), Butler’s Analogy (the full title is “Analogy of Religion Natural and Revealed to the Constitution and Course of Nature”), Aristotle, Mental Philosophy, and Greek Testament. It is not surprising that Warden Baly said of his students “Were it not that their Latin Composition is deficient, they would be on a level with the average Oxford Undergraduates in their second year.” Mount Lavinia In the early part of the twentieth century there by Thiru Arumugam 20 • STC Mount Lavinia Swimmng Pool donated by Dr Hayman in1933 (Courtsey: Sanjeeve De Silva). coaling in the adjacent Colombo harbour. The whole Mutwal school compound was covered in a layer of coal dust. In 1918, the decision was made to move to the more salubrious climate of Mount Lavinia. Dr Hayman arrived in Mount Lavinia in 1929, just over a decade after the school moved from Mutwal. It was believed that he was the first Assistant Master in any school in Ceylon who had a Doctorate, and that too from Oxford. He started teaching Physics and Mathematics with great enthusiasm. He also started a long stream of donations to the College. His father was a well-to-do General Practitioner and built up a portfolio of investments in British stocks and shares which Dr Hayman inherited. This provided Dr Hayman with a steady income stream. He built and donated a set of Fives Courts in 1931. This was the first school in the country to have Fives Courts. In 1933 he built and donated a full-size swimming pool, complete with filtration plant and diving boards. This was the first school in the country to have a swimming pool. He also became the swimming and diving instructor. He also started Scouting in the school. In 1935 he was appointed Sub-Warden of the school. In the new site in Mount Lavinia, the school had embarked on a substantial building program in the 1920s. The buildings included the chapel, classrooms and dormitories. The cost of these buildings was financed by borrowings and the issue of debentures with interest rates of 6 percent and in the 1930s the school was finding it difficult to meet the loan repayments. In 1930 R S de Saram was appointed as the Warden. He was the first old boy and Ceylonese to be the Warden. He also had studied at Keble College, Oxford and won an Oxford Blue for Boxing. The new Sub-Warden was a pillar of strength to the Warden during this difficult financial period, giving substantial donations to the school. As Warden de Saram said “What Dr Hayman has given to the school nobody knows. He gave us our Swimming Pool – everybody knows that. But he has given a great deal more which nobody knows about. It may be seriously doubted whether he knows himself. He does not let his left hand know what his right hand gives.” Hayman purchased the house named “Thalassa”, the Greek word for sea, on the beach adjacent to the College and gave it to the College for use primarily as an Office. The combination of de Saram and Hayman at the helm of the school has been described as “a rare blend of Homer and Einstein!” In April 1942 the School suffered a major setback. The Military inspected the place and gave the School just five days to vacate the premises as they wanted to use it as a Military Hospital. It was decided to break up the School, which had 700 students, into four sections and have classes at St Paul’s Girls School, Milagiriya, sharing the premises with the girls; at Girls High School, Mount Lavinia sharing the premises; at Kingswood College, Kandy, again sharing the premises. The fourth premises was to start a new school at Gurutalawa. Gurutalawa Mr and Mrs Leslie de Saram owned a farm of about 35 acres in a little village called Gurutalawa about five miles from Welimada. Leslie, an old Royalist, was a cousin of Warden de Saram. When they heard that St Thomas College was short of accommodation, they promptly donated the entire Farm to the College, lock, stock and barrel, even including the livestock. There was only one condition attached to the donation, agriculture should be a part of the school curriculum. It was a very generous donation and they even refused to allow their names to be mentioned on the plaque commemorating the donation, it merely says “from two well-wishers”. The only buildings in the Farm were the Manager’s Bungalow, some out-houses, sheds and servants quarters.
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