Archive | June, 2013



School Anthems stir up pride

Posted on 22 June 2013 by admin

AnthemsJPAA Canada has posted YouTube instrumental versions of the school anthems for SJC and SPC on its website. The video can be accessed by clicking on the two icons in the last column to your right of the site and at the bottom against an image of the two schools. We felt this was a need that has to be filled within the website specially when the alumni are far away from their Alma Mater. The value of singing the school anthems at events organized by JPAA Canada cannot be measured. It is the singlemost respect the alumni could pay to the Alma Mater. It should be sung with passion and pride and while singing the anthems our memories go back to the highlights of our school times!

Shown below are the words for the school anthems:



Comments Off on School Anthems stir up pride



Launch of “Saints Quadrangular” T20 Cricket Tournament in Canada

Posted on 18 June 2013 by admin

SJC LOGOSPC LOGO 2013SBC LOGO SACK LOGOThe Canadian version of the “Saints Quadrangular” T20 Cricket Tournament was lunched in 2009. Due to an initiative from JPAA Canada, the “Saints Quadrangular” was formally introduced to the Benedictines and Antonians who agreed to join together to form the great “Saints” forum. What a fitting launch it was as JPAA Canada was celebrating its 25th Anniversary in 2009. Incumbent President, JPAA Canada Roshan Navaratnam, Trevor Brown (President, St. Anthony’s College Kandy OBA) and Lucian Alles (President, St. Benedict’s College OBA) ably assisted by Tournament Secretary/Coordinator Srinath Wijeyeratne (JPAA Canada) were instrumental in putting the logistics together for the tournament.

Photo Gallery of “Saints Quad” 2009 Tournament is available by downloading link below

Comments Off on Launch of “Saints Quadrangular” T20 Cricket Tournament in Canada


Tags: ,

Flashback: Tyrone Le Mercier was adjudged Best School Bowler in 1960

Posted on 13 June 2013 by admin

1960 was an interesting year. W. Dahanayaka from Galle caretaker Prime Minister of Ceylon – a post card cost 3 cents and John F. kennedy had just assumed office. School cricket had reached a very high standard and become so competitive that spectator interest had pole-vaulted to a new high. With this backdrop, the popular media giant at the time – The Times of Ceylon conducted the popular School Cricketer of the Year contest picked by a non-biased panel of judges.
1960 was also a year that school cricket was studded with some outstanding cricketers and the game was becoming bigger than the players. Brilliant all-rounder Priya Perera captained St. Joseph’s College while that indefatigable batsman Premasiri Athukorale was the Peterite skipper. Both Priya and Premasiri are no more and may they rest in peace. Royal was led by that stylish left-hander Michael Dias and S. Thomas’s College was led by Lareef Idroos (now a doctor living in California).
Both SJC & SPC had strong teams in 1960 and a few of them gained recognition at the School Cricketer of the Year award ceremony. Tyrone LeMercier, Peterite left-arm bowler was adjudged the Best School Bowler with Josephian Priya Perera 1st Runner-Up and Peterite fast bowler Anton Perera 4th Runner-Up in this category. Tyrone lives in Melbourne while Anton lives in California.


Comments Off on Flashback: Tyrone Le Mercier was adjudged Best School Bowler in 1960



JPAA Newsletters

Posted on 01 June 2013 by admin

JPAA LOGOJPAA Newsletters over the years have been informative, precise, comprehensive and well designed. The newsletter has been well received not only in Canada but in the global Josephian-Peterite community. The editor of the newsletter has always kept in mind that news of the Joe-Pete global community is important to make the document newsworthy. With this in mind, the JPAA Newsletter always contain news from the Alma Mater, parent unions and all other overseas Old Boys’ Associations belonging to the two schools. Download the link that takes you to past newsletters.


Comments Off on JPAA Newsletters

SPC Entrance


Many Peterites excelled in Music & Broadcasting fields

Posted on 01 June 2013 by admin

Peterite Singers: Keeping musical tradition alive

SPC EntranceW.Aiyyar and Gerard Puvinayagam discuss an observed phenomenon at St. Peter’s    College Bambalapitiya that has been noted for well over half a century.

St. Peter’s College hall was built in 1931 and    provided excellent acoustics to all singers and musicians. The    performers in turn paid tribute to the hall’s sound-enhancing capacity    with their well-rehearsed and first-rate renditions. St. Peter’s College as an institution has always had a deep interest in    all forms of music. In addition, many of its students possessed    outstanding musical talents which were recognised and appreciated even    after they had left school.

Peterite musicians had their own unique style. Many popular bands were    dominated by former Peterites. They included musical legends such as :    Harold Seneviratne, Micki, Tom, Ralph and Roger Meneazes, Sonny    Bartholomeusz, Raddy Ferreira, Patrick Nelson, Arden Nelson, Malcolm de Zilwa and    Conrad Silva. Among choir-masters and choristers who were former Peterites were    Elsworth Anrado (Dehiwala) Ray Forbes (Dehiwala) Prof. Earle de Fonseka    (Bambalapitiya). Choristers in the St. Mary’s Choral Group which was    formed in 1967 and was trained by Rev. Fr. Claver Perera, were largely Peterites.

Many priests who served at St. Peter’s College, were a source of    strength and example of the Catholic faith. They included Rev. Frs.    Basil Wiratunga, Mervyn Weerakoddy, Marceline Jayakody, Arthur N.    Fernando, Theodore Peiris, Joe Wickramasinghe.   St. Peter’s produced the first school band in Ceylon in 1955. It was the    Rev. Fr. Arthur Fernando’s brain-child. Dodwell de Silva was the band    leader. He now resides in Australia.

The Peterite school choir, since the 1940s, excelled in Gregorian chants    to such an extent, that their chant truly sounded divine.

Guitarists among the Peterite fraternity were Winston Jayawardene    (classic) both musician and teacher. Alfo Paiva was a lead guitarist,    rock music being his forte. He performed with Gabo and The Breakaways,    Sohan and the Experiments.

 The following describes some of the outstanding former Peterite singers and their unique musical talents:

  • Tenor Nihal Fonseka’s voice is of operatic quality. He has sung in Sri    Lanka and abroad to captive audiences. Nihal is now resident in Canada    and performs regularly at public concerts and at church services. He is    married a second time, his wife Eve being a soprano who often performs    with her husband.
  • Bill Forbes has been London – based from the early fifties. Bill worked    at the Shell Co. of Ceylon. His voice had a high-frequency vibrato that    was hardly heard in his pop rendition. With proper training he could    have risen to classical heights of a famous tenor. However he opted for    pop music. His repertoire ranged from local pop music to `Ave Marias’.    His own compositions that ranged from `Believe in me’ to the light –    hearted trilingual “Oh to be in Yengeland” with snatches of carnatic    music are still remembered.
  • The Rev. Fr. Claver Perera has a Caruso type robust tenor voice. He    returned to Ceylon from Rome in the late sixties. He founded the St.    Mary’s Choral Group in (1967) whose members were largely Peterites. Now    resident at the National Seminary, Ampitiya, Fr. Claver trains young    seminarians in vocal music and elocution. He also teaches English, being    a graduate of the University of Peradeniya (Jennings era).
  • Bede Zilwa is a high – register Tesatura tenor. His voice is on disc in    Australia. He also sings Church solos. He was a well known radio artiste    whilst in Sri Lanka. Bede now lives in Australia with his second wife.    Sal, who hails from the island of Tonga. As a lyric tenor, Bede takes    high Cs with the greatest of ease while he rolls off the low notes with    equal panache.
  • Mellifluous baritone Douglas de Niese was born to sing. A graded Radio    Ceylon artiste, he also made on invaluable contribution to the St.    Mary’s Choir, Dehiwala, together with his lovely wife Estelle, a teacher    of vocal music and a fine mezzo soprano. Douglas’s memorable renditions    will always be perennial favourities . For example: “I’ll Walk Beside    You” and “Loves Old Sweet Song”.
  • Light baritone Vernon Crusz performed over Radio Ceylon in the fifties, singing perennial favourites. Vernon’s father, Michael Crusz, was on the    staff of St. Peter’s College.
  • Desmond Kelly, now residing in Australia, is a pop singer of repute. His    “Dream World” was a memorable number heard over Radio Ceylon.
  • Green-eyed Dennis Roberts joined the navy to see the world. He will    always be remembered for his effortless vocal renditions.
  • Light tenor Dr. Tony Don Michael was a most enthusiastic and correct    tenor. When Luigi Infantine visited Ceylon in 1955 and sang in the    College Hall, Tony later sang privately for him. Tony did well in the    field of medicine and he is now an eminent cardiologist who lives in the    USA.   Gerard Puvinayagam (Lyrical Tenor) is a graded Radio Ceylon artiste who    performed in the sixties and seventies. He was a member of St. Mary’s    Choir Bambalapitiya, and also a soloist. He commenced his self trained    vocalizations in the early sixties. Gerard is thankful to Neville de    Cruse, Librarian of the Medical Faculty, Colombo, for his knowledgeable    advice on intercostals breathing and diaphragmatic control, when one’s    voice is emitted in the bel canto style. Bel canto also produces a    purity of tone which calls for maximum use of the head register. This    austere and classical style also epitomizes good singing to those of    that school.
  • Pop singer Steve de Silva performed regularly at concerts and dances in    hotels.
  • Baritone Rohan Jayawardena has lots of quality. He is rarely heard these    days, except at weddings, funerals and at St. Mary’s Church, Dehiwela.    The timbre of his voice has a resonating nasal quality, like that of his guru Douglas de Niese.
  • Malcom de Zilva is an accomplished saxophonist similar to maestro Harold    Seniviratne. He was sought after by popular bands.
  • Prof. Earle de Fonseka was both conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of    Ceylon as well as the Catholic Choral Society. He was also a choir-master at St. Mary’s Church, Bambalaptia. Earle was considered an amateur conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of    Ceylon. He kept western classical music alive in the Island. Without his    efforts, many generations would not have had this type of exposure. He    always channelled his energies towards inculcating knowledge in the    young who were keen to learn. He had a rare collection of musical scores    and recorded music of the great masters covering classical, romantic and    choral. In a nutshell, this former Peterite’s contribution is    outstanding.
    Earle de Fonseka’s academic qualifications included: Bachelor of Music    London; Professor of Privative Medicine Colombo; Dean of the Faculty of    Medicine – Colombo University 1988; Professor of the Institute of Post    Graduate Medicine, Colombo.   Fame rested lightly on Earle de Fonseka and simplicity was his main    feature.
  • Harold Seneviratne, Mickey, Tom Ralph and Roger Menezies in the 1950s    and 60s were the popular bands during that period. Harold was unparallel    during that era and the image of St. Peter’s College, really stood tall.
  • Patrick Nelson was a lobby pianist in the seventies who had a wide    repetoire. He was much sought after especially by hotels. He died in a    tragic bus accident, the victim of misplaced hospitality by his many    admirers who plied him with liquor. Finally, Patrick missed his footing    on the bus when he boarded the bus to go home.
  • Mano Chanmugam is a pianist with a delicate touch, who was a marvel at    improvisation. An engineer by profession he helped to structurally    modernize St. Peter’s College Hall.
  • Tony Ambrose is a walking encyclopedia. He possesses an in- depth    knowledge of vocal music. His enthusiasm has spurred him to visit many    opera houses at his own expense. Among these are La Scalla, Milan,    Vienna Opera House – Austria; Covent Gardens, London the Metropolitan,    New York and the French opera house in Paris. Tony Ambrose aspired to be a tenor but eventually realized he was cut    out for intellectual pursuits. His father, John Ambrose was on the staff of St. Peter’s College in the    forties and fifties.
  • Sunil Perera is the leader of the Gypsies and he is their soloist. His    renditions are full of catchy and homely humour. He is widely    appreciated both here and abroad. He is much sought after for concert    appearances and commercial advertisements because of his unique style    and tone of voice that endears him to millions.
  • The following names are those of old Peterites who became announcers all    Radio Ceylon.   Jimmy Barucha – of ` Melodies and Memories’ fame, Stephen Alagaratnam –`    famous songs by famous singers’; Tommy Perera – Sports round-up; Jimmy Barucha was a legend as a presenter of programmes and the timbre of his    speaking voice was a joy to listen to. Stephen Alagaratnam was a member of St. Mary’s Choral group and at St.    Mary’s Choir, Bambalpitiya, in the sixties and seventies. A man of many    parts, he captained St. Peter’s at rugby and basketball in the sixties.    He holds a doctorate in law and is lecturing in the USA. He is a    national of Canada.
  • Tony Perera is well known for his sports round-up eagerly looked forward    to by young and old.If there were a need for a mixed choir, our sister    school Holy Family Convent, Bambalpitiya readily participated. The girls    of HFC can boast of an equally rich musical tradition over the years as    that of the boys of St. Peter’s College. The Peterite musicians consisted of students from many ethnic groups.    Special mention must be made of those who belonged to the Burgher    Community for their substantial contribution in upholding the Peterite    musical tradition from the forties to the mid-seventies.

[Nation, Sunday Sep 23 2007]

Comments Off on Many Peterites excelled in Music & Broadcasting fields



Peterite Walk for the Chapel Project

Posted on 01 June 2013 by admin

SPC LOGO SITE 2By Algi Wijewickrema – Secretary, Peterite Walk Committee
People walk for many reasons. Some walk for pleasure, some for exercise, yet others for records and glory. There are also walks, especially by schools to support various projects or to commemorate events, but rarely do we hear of a Walk for a noble cause such as the renovation of a school’s chapel. That is exactly what St. Peter’s did last Sunday, 13th May, when they turned Galle Road between Wellawatte Junction and Dickman’s Road into a veritable carnival. St. Peter’s which celebrated its 90th year of existence is credited with being the pioneers of Walking for a cause by anyone in Sri Lanka, when the 1st ever Walk (titled Walkathon) was held in 1986.
The day began with Holy Mass concelebrated by the Rector, Rev. Fr. Travis Grabiel, old Peterite priests and other priests from the College and the Walk proper was officially started off with a special prayer and hoisting of the College flag. The organising committee planned for this Walk with their previous experience but all predictions were proven wrong when with an unprecedented response, Peterites rallied round their alma mater and Walked in their thousands. There were boys from year 1 to year 13, old boys from those who had just left school to great grandfathers and there were mothers and sisters of the Peterites too. Teachers, minor staff, the PTA and the Welfare Society all were behind the organisers supporting the event and joining in the Walk. There were even Elephants and horses that were included, not to mention a cycle parade and cartoon characters, to add colour to the event.

The Walk also saw Old Boys from the quadrangular schools, namely St. Anthony’s, St. Benedict’s & St. Joseph’s and their sister school, Holy Family Convent, Bambalapitiya joining the Peterites .

While there were bound to be some irritated motorists on Galle Road that day, others enjoyed the scene, seeing so many frolicking while supporting their school. The fun did not end with the procession returning to the school. The College ground had been turned into a carnival ground. There was music by “Black” and games of skill, bouncers for children, eats and drinks and ice cream aplenty in addition to other entertainment that had been lined up. Being citizens who take their civic responsibility seriously, even though this was a fun event, they ensured that garbage was collected and disposed so that the road users are not inconvenienced.

A very happy and beaming Rohan Victoria, Chairman of the Walk committee and an equally elated President of the Old Boys Union, Dr. Neilhan Samaranayake were seen at the end of the Walk, mingling with those enjoying the fun and thanking those who participated.  Peterites must be a proud lot for having conducted such a successful Walk for such a noble cause.

The Organizing Committee also announced that the first substantial contribution, which has come from the Josephian-Peterite Alumni Association, Toronto, Canada was officially handed over to the Rector.

Comments Off on Peterite Walk for the Chapel Project



A Look at the “Battle of the Saints”

Posted on 01 June 2013 by admin

By: Sankha de Livera Tennekoon , 2010-02-08 11:30:24

PETERITE TEAMOn March 5 & 6, the oldest test cricketing stadium in the Island, the “Oval” will play host to one of the biggest cricket encounters in the Sri Lankan cricketing calendar, the “Battle of the Saints”. The Saints will yet again march on to the P. Sara stadium to battle it out after ending last year’s encounter in a draw.  The battle for the Rev. Fr. Maurice Legoc trophy which was offered in 1933 with St Josephans winning the clash has seen the Josphians leading the series with twelve wins as opposed to seven by the Peterites with the rest drawn. Rev. Fr. Maurice Legoc has been the Rector of both the institutions and the trophy for the big one is named in his honour. He first served St Joseph’s and then went on to become the first Rector of St Peters later on. The event which was started on the 23rd and 24th of February 1933 is by far one of the most looked forward to encounters during the season of March madness which includes several other prominent big matches like, ‘The Battle of the Blues’ and the ‘Battle of the Maroons’.

The Josephians have taken the upper hand in series of encounters winning twelve matches in comparison to seven by the Pete’s out of the 75 times the saints have played 56 times it had ended in a draw.

Last year we saw some of schools crickets finest locking horns together. The Peterites were lead by their experienced skipper Angelo Perera who was also the skipper of the junior national team, while the Josephian unit was lead by another promising cricketer in the form of all rounder Shameera Weerasinghe. The Pete’s were set out to break a long standing curse of 30 years but failed due to a gritty batting display by the Josephians.

So with both the teams possessing talented players there is going to be a close tussle for supremacy and of course the two teams are also on a mission with the Josephians hoping to retain the title and the Peterites coming in to the game to avenge the defeat of last year and break the 30 year old jinx of having last won the encounter in 1978 under Suraj Abeysekera.

Saints invade SL cricket In the recent times, the Sri Lankan cricket team has been muscled with a lot of new youngster. Some of these youngsters have matured and lived up to expectations and some more often than not single handedly have won games for the country. During the past when a youngster was thrown in to the deep end to perform, in most cases fail to deliver the goods. The Saints have come on to the big stage and defied all odds to bring glory to our country.

Angelo Mathews who burst in to the National scene was the skipper of the Josephian unit in the year 2006. He has been a fine fined for the Lankan seniors and many pundits have tipped him off to be one of the captains in the national team in the future. He has matured as a cricketer and has been a huge force in the middle order for the Lankans in the recently concluded season. Mathews who came in replace of former Wesley College skipper Farveez Maharoof cemented his place quickly and now is a permanent figure for the men in blue.

Another player who came out to the big stage was Angelo’s school mate, Thissera Perera. The bulky all-rounder stamped his authority in the national team coming out with several match winning performances in the recently concluded series against India and Bangladesh.

In the not so distant past cricketer in the mold of ex-Peterite batsman Russel Arnold and ex-Joephian bowler Chaminda Vaas donned the national jersey and turned out to be two of the greatest players who have played the game. The latter is still tagged as one of the best left arm swingers in the world and was undoubtedly ‘the best’ left arm pacie in Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lankan juniors  travel around the world year in year out and has seen a lot of talented cricketers in amongst their ranks. The juniors have also been taken over by the Peterites and the Josephians. Angelo Perera, last year St.Peters skipper lead the juniors last year while the current skipper has taken over duties this year. Up to four Peterites toured in the recently concluded under 19 world cup. Namely, Andri Berenger, Chathura Peiris (skipper), Akshu Fernando and Lahiru Jayaratne.

Taking a look at the past The first ‘Battle of the Saints’ was played in 1933 at St. Peter’s College Grounds Bambalapitiya when the Joes, captained by Robert Fernando, easily eclipsed St. Peter’s under George Jayaweera by an innings and 105 runs. Cyril Dias of St. Peter’s stole the show with phenomenal bowling figures of 9 for 64.

In the following year Joes lead by skipper Claude Wijesinghe wrecked the Petes to register an impressive innings and 202 run victory at Darley Road. The highlight of this game was the highest partnership for the series of 219 runs by Fred Perera 114 not out and D. Arndt 110 for the 9th wicket. This record stands to date. The next 5 encounters ended in no decisions till 1940 when St. Joseph’s registered a 108-run win at Bambalapitiya under Czerny Serpanchy. In 1942 and 1943 the annual battle was not played during the Second World War. The Joes won in 1944 and ’45 under Malcolm De Costa. It took 13 years for St. Peter’s to register their first win in 1946 led by Dion Walles. Walles led the winning side the following year also, but the Joes bounced back to win in the next three years up to 1949.

In the next few years the matches were drawn. The 1954 encounter, though drawn, was a special year for the Peterites when one of their most illustrious cricketers, Clive Inman, scored a classic 204 not out at the P. Saravanamuttu Stadium (Colombo Oval). This continues to be the highest individual score in the series. In 1955 St. Peter’s, led by Clive Inman, reversed the Joes winning run with a comfortable 8-wicket victory. In a thrilling finish Joes won in the following year by 5 wickets under Kirthi Caldera. From 1957 to 1964 both sides could not pull off a win though the matches provided plenty of excitement. However in 1965 Peterites led by Travis Fernando registered an excellent 6-wicket win to break the ten-year hoodoo. The encounter faced a four year jinx again until St. Joseph’s won in 1970 under Hector Perera. A draw took place in the following year and in 1972 St. Joseph’s enjoyed their last win by an innings and 87 runs under Rohan Fernando. Six years  later St. Peter’s also registered their last win by 6 wickets in 1978 under Suraj Abeysekara. All matches in the past 29 years ended in draws.

For after all, and whatever anyone else says, at no period in the history of the game has any other team, either Peterite or Josephian produced three Test players, two who shared the new ball for Sri Lanka – Rumesh Ratnayake and Vinodhan John and the other Amal Silva, opened batting. In addition, Kitto Fernandopulle opened batting for Sri Lanka Schools and scored 58 against the Australian Schools team, Rohan Buultjens captained Sri Lanka Schools against the Indian Schools and the Dutch team and subsequently toured India with the Sri Lanka Test team, Suraj Abayasekera played for Sri Lanka ‘A’ while Trehern Perera and myself were also chosen for the trials of the Sri Lanka Schools squad.

The Test caps were not mere ornaments either. Amal Silva scored a century at Lord’s against England and still holds the record for the most number of victims in an international Test series, which was against India and this in a three Test series! Vinodhan John and Rumesh Ratnayake’s exploits are well known by all. While the fearsome fast bowlers of the past were probably very quick, there is no factual evidence that they could have taken out several of the world’s top batsman and like Rumesh, hit Larry Gomes on the face, hit the towering Clive Lloyd on the head and in fact caused that most brilliant of players, Viv Richards who usually disdained a helmet, to don one. Rumesh’s ability to make a ball climb very steeply and follow up with a toe crunching yorker brought him over 100 wickets in a school season with more than 50% being bowled. Match bags of over 10 wickets were common and taking over four wickets per inning in almost every match, he was terrifying.

Anyone who was around during this period will not challenge the fact that Rohan Buultjens was one of the best batsman of the period – winning the Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year and Best Batsman, 1000 runs in a season, two centuries both ‘not out` in the Big Match, the Big Match record of the best batting double, the Second best batting double for St. Peter’s, the highest aggregate in the series, the record third wicket partnership of 173 with Kitto Fernandopulle which stands to this day and countless other centuries and half centuries against most other schools. His total command over any bowler of the era backed by hard facts clearly indicates the travesty of justice that kept him out of the Sri Lanka Test team. Though primarily a batsman, Rohan who also captained in 1980, picked up several crucial wickets, specialising in breaking partnerships.

Kitto Fernandopulle, the master strategist was easily one of the best cricketing brains – proved by the umpires’ panel awarding him the Best Captains Trophy in 1979. ” Kitto is today the Second XI coach of St. Peters and is doing a great job at developing cricketers having already fed the First XI team with three players this season.

School cricket in the late 70’s and early 80’s had advanced to a very high standard and Sri Lanka was on the threshold of test cricket. Gearing up for “Tests” more “.professional”’ batting, combined with good quality wickets and more evenly matched teams meant outright wins in two days were rare. In fact, the Royal/Thomian 03 day fixture had just started and batsman like Sumithra Warnekulasuriya of Royal batted two full days for a 100 runs. Yet, between ‘78 and ‘80 St. Peters had fourteen outright wins including St. Josephs, Royal, St. Thomas, Trinity, St. Anthony’s, St. Benedicts, Thurstan, Isipathana and Dharmapala. Some of them after a lapse of many years like St. Thomas’ which was an 8 wicket victory in a match where 2 1/2hrs of play was lost due to rain.

76th Battle of the Saints The teams are gearing up for the all important ‘76th Battle of the Saints’ with the Peterites striving to break the long standing hoo doo of 30 years while the Josephians look to make this their 13 win in the series. The biggest question will be whether the Peterites have what it takes to take back the coveted Rev. Fr. Maurice Legoc trophy after a long wait.

The Peterites sure have the fire power to achieve that feat mainly because of the four junior national players in their side who will be their trump cards. Peterite skipper Chathura Peiris is confident after a stint as captain of the junior side that his Peters side will perform up to the mark and deliver the goods on the day. He will be backed up by senior players, Andri Berenger, Akshu Fernando, Lahiru Jayaratne, Denham Perera, Nilochana Perera and Angelo Emmanuel.

The Josephians will have to hang on for dear life as the Peters brigade will come out all guns blazing to secure their long awaited win. They will be lead by senior player Dinal Dhambarage who is again a seasoned campaigner and will go all out to defend the title.  He has the backing of some experience in the bank in the likes of powerful all rounder Chathuranga Kumara, Enricho Silva, Jhan Jayasinghe and Rosco Tathil.

The stage is set for the saints to collide in what is tagged to be one of the most exciting ecounters in the recent times. Colombo Spirit wishes both teams the best of luck for the “76th Battle of the Saints”.

Comments Off on A Look at the “Battle of the Saints”



‘Jackie’ Van Twest – Champion Coach who made Champs

Posted on 01 June 2013 by admin


Courtesy: DSPC LOGO 2013unstan Fernando – Daily Mirror Sports

It is with a deep sense of sorrow, that I record the passing away of our teacher and coach George Alexander (Jackie) VanTwest on January 2, 2005 after a brief illness.

'Jackie' as he was affectionately known was born on 15th December 1928 and had a brilliant career at St. Sylvester's College, Kandy where he excelled in both studies and sports. He won the 440 yards at the Public Schools' meet held in 1946. At that meet, two of his great friends who also became top sports administrators and coaches, Harry Jayawardena (St. Joseph's) won the high jump and the late Carlton Seneviratne (St. Peter's) was placed third in the long lump.

After passing the Senior Schools Certificate examination with distinction, VanTwest joined St. Peter's College for higher studies. He entered the university of Ceylon and obtained a degree in Bachelor of Arts.

After a short stint as a teacher at St. Anthony's College, Katugastota, he joined the tutorial staff of St. Peter's College, Bambalapitiya in 1954 when Rev. Father Basil A. Weeratunge was the Rector. He taught history, geography and economics to the university entrance students.

VanTwest was also appointed coach of the college athletics team and met with instant success. He produced some top athletes who went on to win public schools and national titles. Some of them were Roger Wright (Throws), Felix Schokman (Pole Vault), S. Nadanasabapathy (Javelin), Ranjit Wijeyesekera (Sprints), Ranjit Weerasena (Discus), Errol de Silva (Discus and Javelin), Desmond Moraes (Sprints), the Gunatilleke Brothers, Andrew and Godfrey (Sprints), W.W. Tambimuttu (Sprints), Kevin Ruberu(Throws) and Didacus de Almeida (Pole Vault and Javelin). Ranjit Weerasena who first won the national discus title as a schoolboy in 1959 successfully defended the title for ten consecutive years. In 1957, a blunder by the referee in the Javelin throw, deprived St. Peter's of winning the coveted tarbat trophy.

In 1966 VanTwest left St. Peter's and proceeded to Nigeria for employment and returned in 1968. After that, he was employed at J. Walter Thompsons, Reckit and Colmans and finally at Glaxo from where he retired and formed his own company, Quest Advertising where he served as the Managing Director.

He was the Assistant Secretary of the Public Schools Athletic Association and was an official of the schools team which toured Australia in 1960. His two friends Harry Jayawardena and the late Carlton Seneviratne and he were founder members of the Ceylonese Track and Field Club and VanTwest was its first treasurer.

His son, Jan, present GM/Director of Tangerine Beach Hotel and Royal Palm Hotel, Kalutara too followed in the footsteps of his illustrious father and was a 400 metres champion at St. Peter's.

Undoubtedly, the late VanTwest was one of the most knowledgeable and greatest coaches the country had, although he gave up coaching after leaving St. Peter's. What I learnt from him, helped me to become a successful athletic coach. In my early days of coaching, I used to get his advice. I was able to produce national champions in every event except Pole Vault and Hurdles as we did not have the equipment at the training grounds, and also international athletes. When I was employed at the Telecommunications Department's Regional office in Badulla, for two years, I was able to produce three national champions in the late Col. G.H. Ariyaratne, M.A. Abeyratne and R. V. Weerasundera. Although Vantwest is no more, he will be remembered by his pupils and friends as a gentleman to the last word.

Comments Off on ‘Jackie’ Van Twest – Champion Coach who made Champs

St. Joseph's College team - 1945 (First row from left) O Perera, S Sarathchandra, M kodikara (Seated from left) C de Mel, m de Costa (captain), Fr. j. Nanayakkara O.M.I (Prefect of Games), Rev. Fr. Peter A. Pillai (Rector), S. Fernando (Coach), F. Matthysz, A. Hazari (Standing from left) N Perera, J de Mel, H Bagot, J Bagot, V Sinnetamby, T Wickramasinghe


Flashback: Epic feat of Malcolm Costa

Posted on 01 June 2013 by admin


Cricket is a reflective game; a game which above all things lends itself to writing in the lovely flexible English which we have inherited from our ancestors; conquerors and the colonial rulers. Considering values and the traditions this game has inherited; it is deservingly denoted as the “GAME OF GENTLEMEN”.

It is once again the Big Match time. The heat, passion, frills and the thrills are being experienced and every body would love to reserve their prestigious seat in order to whisper their halcyon days and cheer the twenty two warriors who are battling for supremacy. It May be Royal-Thomian (Battle of the Blues) or the Joe -Pete (Battle of the Saints); The two most prestigious traditional encounters in the Island (This is no disparagement to any other Big Match); the Old boys, well wishers of all walks of life from here and abroad determined to be at picturesque Sinhalese Sports Club grounds or P. Saravanamuttu Stadium with a sense of tremendous enthusiasm where the friendly rivalry being engaged and at the very same time the game will be played to the best of it's traditions.


As I Turn page by page of the Golden Jubillee souvenir of Joe-Pete battle of the Saints Cricket Encounter; what really struck my mind was the matches played in 1944 and in the subsequent year 1945 where the editor; late Harold De Andrado; commonly known to Josephians as the password of Josephian Cricket has given much prominence to the leadership qualities of Malcolm De Costa who led the Darley Road lads in recording back to back victories against the Bambalapitiya School in such a glorious fashion.

In 1944; The Battle of the saints encounter has taken place after a lapse of two years since the match had been interrupted in 1942 and 1943 due to the world war II. In these two years the Josephians were under that dynamic allrounder Fairlie Dalpethado has fielded two invincible teams and in year 1943 they were undisputed inter-schools cricket champions. The big match played in 1944; had been the 10th encounter of the series and the Peterites were led by Anton Perera (Elder brother of famous cricket commentator Maurice Perera).

The venue for this match was the University grounds, Thurstan Road, and played on March 15 and 16, 1944. St Peter's after winning the toss and have batted first were bowled out for 115. St Joseph's in their essay had compiled a massive 288. Skipper Malcolm De Costa had led from the front by scoring a brilliant century. The most successful bowler for the Petes had been Dion Walles who had taken 6 for 105. In the second essay, Petes were folded up for a mere 118 thus conceding a huge an innings and 55 run victory for their counterparts. Only the Pete's captain Anton Perera had shown some resistance by scoring a stubborn 75. The chief wreckers were Joe De Mel (Match bag of 6 for 49) and Malcolm De Costa himself chipped in with 3 for 24.

The following year too, Malcolm De Costa was bestowed upon the captaincy and Petes too were under Anton Perera. The match was played on 17th and 18th of March 1945 and the venue had been Victoria Park SSC grounds. After winning the toss St Joseph's have batted first and had posted a formidable 240. Opener Timmothy Wickremasinghe (58) and Wicket keeper/Batsman Hubert Bagot (64) had reached half centuries. Peterites in their essay were bundled out for just 165 where only E.L. De Souza (83) and Maurice Perera (50) had scored pugnacious half centuries. St Joseph's; batting second have declared at 176 for the loss of six wickets where the show piece of the innings had been the elegant batamanship of Asgar Hazari; who had been dismissed for 92 and was unfortunate to miss a well deserved century. Peterites were chasing a target of 251 for victory; could muster only 102 runs and Joes were the worthy winners by humiliating Petes by a huge 149 runs. Norton Pereira was the most successful bowler for St Joseph's by having a match bag of 7 for 56 and Skipper himself Malcolm De Costa had a match haul of 5 for 41.


Andrado in his own inimitable version hails the brilliant captaincy of Malcolm De Costa. “Malcolm played to win but he played chivalrously; and was later honoured in leading the Ceylon School's against the Indian test team led by great Vijay Merchant. The Value of this level headed and genially ruthless commander could not be over estimated”.Both 1944 and 1945 St Joseph's were crowned as the “Kings” of School cricket.

Being the Volunteer forces Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy; Capt. Malcolm De Costa had the extremely colourful personality of a great sportsman, Officer and a gentleman par excellence. Of course he had been goal oriented, commanded the troops with a mission to achieve success. His coaching stint at St Joseph's from 1960 to 1966 too was a Giant leap forward where he produced cricketers in the calibre of Priya Perera, Raja De Silva (Schoolboy cricketer of the year in 1961), Rufus Buultejens, Polycarp Wijesekera, Hilary Marcelline and Brian Perumal to a name few. Acccording to some of these players those who have come under the watchful eyes of Malcolm De Costa expresses that the method he had used to mould a bunch of schoolboys and make them a match winning outfit. His witty and professional attitude could only be expected from a person of his stature.

The successive victories of the Joe-Pete encounters in 1944 and 1945 were overwhelming evidence of dynamic leadership qualities,will to achieve victory, unwavering the courage and character of the man himself. Importantly these two traditional encounters epitomizes the respect, command, image and the reputation he earned from his fellow team mates and the admiration from his college authorities and those who were in the opposition. The manner in which he had led the teams in these two years symbolizes his character, personality and the professionalism.

It is a pity that we do not see such great men with sterling track record like Capt. Malcolm De Costa (St Joseph's) or Col.F.C.De Saram (Royal). Indeed; they were celebrities of this noble game and equally in the public service alike when men of character led by sheer example, determination and with true professionalism!


Comments Off on Flashback: Epic feat of Malcolm Costa

Advertise Here
Advertise Here
%d bloggers like this: