Honour Roll: Peterites in Canada who earned their stripes

Posted on 05 March 2018 by admin

SPC-LOGO SITESince 1922, St. Peter's College, Colombo has provided primary and high school education to thousands of students. After passing through the hallowed hallways of this great school, some have taken the bold step to seek greener pastures in other countries. This exodus started in the fifties when many went to the U.K. for studies and then decided to stay on as permanent residents. After the infamous "Sinhala Only" bill introduced by SWRD Bandaranaike's SLFP government, many Peterites left the shores of Ceylon and migrated to Australia. Later, others immigrated to Canada, USA and New Zealand. Many live semi-permanently in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as well. St. Peter's College has gone from strength to strength over the years. The school proudly count many eminent alumni who have excelled in their respective professions, serving the country and overseas proudly.

This post will focus only on the Peterites who made Canada, their adopted home. The author of this article declares that he may not have captured the information 100%, but is confident he has covered at least 90%.

Canada is home to about 200-300 Peterites today. While most live in the Greater Toronto Area, others are scattered around Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, and a few other Canadian cities. Some represented Sri Lanka and have earned national honours. They were household names in and out of school.

Representing your country in sports is a dream for many. In this regard, we take pride in recognizing this core group of stars of yesteryear who represented Sri Lanka nationally and in one case – Canada in Sports and Entertainment. Names of Ranjit Wijeyesekere (Ahtletics), Nihal Fonseka (Tenor), Jeyer Rodriguez (Rugby), Hazmee Hameed (Rugby) and Mario Motha (Basketball) stand out. Of particular note is the performance of former Peterite cricketer Srimantha Wijeyeratne, a resident of Mississauga, who was picked to represent Canada in Cricket in 2015, and thereby gained national honours. As at writing this post, Srimantha is still a member of the Canadian Cricket Team. We wish him well.

Many other Peterites in Canada have excelled in their chosen professions and/or fields of business or entrepreneurship in Canada.

Message to Peterites in Canada – Be cognizant of the fact that you belong to a select group of Sri Lankans who were privileged to receive their education at St. Peter's College in Colombo. In matters of your Alma Mater, we request you to act with dignity and uphold the strong values you grew up with in the class rooms of our great school. Refrain from any acts (verbal or written) that may deface, disgrace or dishonour your alma mater and your fellow-Peterites who live amongst you. We are the face of St. Peter's College in Canada and it is imperative to live up to it. Respect for the individual is very important. 

Always, keep the Peterite flag flying! Thank you. 

PETERITE HONOURS

RECIPIENTS OF PETERITE HONOURS FROM CANADA

Year HONOREE CATEGORY

1984

NONE FROM CANADA

Inaugural Year

1988

JEYER RODRIGUEZ

Rugby – Sri Lanka Player

1997

RANJIT WIJEYESEKERE

Athletics – National Champion 

1997

NIHAL FONSEKA

Music – Famous Tenor

1997

MARIO MOTHA Basketball – Sri Lanka Player

2002

MAXWELL RANASINGHE

Entrepreneurship

2002

HAZMEE HAMEED

Rugby – Sri Lanka Player

2006

DARREL PERERA (DEC)

Trade & Commerce

2006

DYLAN MODDER

Entrepreneurship

2016

SRIMANTHA WIJEYERATNE        

Canadian cricketer

2016

UPALI OBEYESEKERE

Trade & Commerce

 

 

 

 

HEAD PREFECTS
Clarence Mendis – 1958
Stephen Alagaratnam
Mario Motha – 1989
Tissa Perera
SENIOR PREFECTS
Ricardo Joseph
Nelum Attanayake (1988-1990)
Roshan Hennennayake
PREFECTS
Bertrand Mendis
Marius Fernando
James Alagaratnam

 

BASKETBALL
Daya Chandraratne (Capt.)
Ranjit Wijeyesekere
Stephen Alagaratnam (Capt.)
Mario Motha (Capt. & Colours)
James Alagaratnam (Colours)
FIELD HOCKEY
Crofton Joseph (Colours)
Nelum Attanayake (Colours) 1988

 

TENNIS (PUBLIC SCHOOLS)
Neville de Silva (Dec)
Lalith Wiratunga (Dec)
Upali Obeyesekere

 

TABLE TENNIS
Bertrand Mendis (Colours)
Stephen Alagaratnam (Capt)

 

CRICKET  
Neville de Silva (Dec)  1945/1946/1947
Mark Pereira (Dec)  Roy Dissanayake (Dec)
David Muthumani (Dec) Christie Marthalingam
Rumesh Sebastiaan Crofton Joseph
Sunanda Jayasekara Dane Joseph
Ricardo Joseph Srimantha Wijeyeratne
CADETING  
Nelum Attanayake

Best Cadet; Cadet Sergeant & Regimental Sergeant Major (Acting-1990)

Upali Obeyesekere Cadet Camp – Diyatalawa

ATHLETICS

In the fifties, St. Peter's College were blessed with a superb Athletics team that won the Colombo South Group Meet and Tarbat as well (subject to correction). 

Ranjit Wijeyesekere leads the pack among Peterite athletes domiciled in Canada. Ranjit won national honours in the 440 & 220 yards representing Ace Athletic Club. He blazed through the Peterite track in the 220 yards, and his pet event – the 440 yards. Ranjit was the crowd favourite that time and went on to represent Ace Athletic Club, Air Ceylon and KLM after leaving school. He had the honour of been the first Ceylonese to clock under 50 seconds in the quarter mile. Ranjith immigrated to Canada in the sixties and worked for the Federal Government before retiring a few years back. Ranjit alternates his time between hunting in the summer at his farm and his home in Brampton.

Hazmee Hameed is a public Schools athlete who did well in the sprints in the sixties. His extraordinary speed helped him as a wing-three-quarter in rugby which he excelled.

Errol de Silva is another Peterite who did well in the Colombo South Meet and the Public Schools Championships. He threw the javelin and discuss. Errol worked for a Canadian Bank and lives in Scarboroug in retirement.

Nihal Fonseka excelled in the Pole Vault event. Besides his reputation as perhaps the best tenor produced by Mother Lanka, Nihal was a good athlete and boxer in school. Nihal worked for Canada Post for many decades and is now retired and lives in Mississauga.

Bhanu Wijeyesekere is another athlete of repute at college who also represented the CT & FC on leaving school. Bhanu lives in Markham and is married to All-Ceylon Netball player and Athlete Pauline Clogstun.

Larry Landersz was also a noteworthy athlete excelling in the sprints.

RUGBY

Canada has many Peterites who donned the Blue, White and Gold jerseys since college started rugby in 1932. Four of them had the rare honour of captaining the college rugby team – Jeyer Rodriguez (1962), Stephen Alagaratnam (1963), Hazmee Hameed (1966) and Viraj Fernando (1984). Many others played rugby for college 1st XV in the years gone by. It is important to capture this information for posterity. The list is not complete but compiled out of personal knowledge. Highlighted in 'RED' are those who captained St. Peter's College in Rugby. We know that James Alagaratnam, Hazmee Hameed and Dr. R. Paramsothy are coloursmen in rugby. We will be updating this information once we get confirmation from the others.

Ranjit Wijeyesekere Jeyer Rodriguez Stephen Alagaratnam
Durand Beekmeyer Hazmee Hameed Larry Landersz
Mervyn Mendis Dr. R. Paramsothy Chris Serpanchy
Crofton Joseph Viraj Fernando James Alagaratnam
Tissa Perera C.L. (Lalith) de Silva Siva Narendran (Dec)

The 'Honour Roll' of Peterites in Canada will be updated regularly on an ongoing basis. Our thanks to Bertrand Mendis, Tissa Perera, Nelum Attanayake, Ricardo Joseph and James Alagaratnam for their input in compiling this list. This is history that we are recording for posterity.

  • Initial posting on August 9, 2017
  • 1st Update – 9/22/2017
  • 2nd Update – 9/30/2017

Compiled by Upali Obeyesekere – Founding President, JPAA Canada.



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