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FLASHBACK: IGP Chandra Fernando felicitated at his alma mater

Posted on 23 December 2018 by admin

IGP felicitated at his alma mater

by Sarath Malalasekera – Courtesy of Daily News – Wednesdat, October 27, 2004.

 

Sri Lanka’s police Inspector-General, Chandra Fernando

St. Peters College, Colombo is considered an outstanding education institute, that has during her long history produced many brilliant scholars, outstanding sportsmen and several disciplined professionals in several fields, said Inspector General of Police Chandra Fernando, a distinguished old boy of St. Peters College, at a felicitation ceremony accorded to him by the Old Boys' Union of St. Peters College yesterday morning at the College auditorium.

'As the present IGP, I could today tell you that some of the best, disciplined Policemen produced by St. Peters College, such as former Senior DIG Merril Gunaratne, former DIGs L. M. Jayawardena and Camillus Abeygunawardena, I have worked with, were educated at this college. They have in their own inimitable way shown brilliance whenever they had to shoulder responsibility for the good of the society.

They were also an incentive and an example to others in the Police Force,' said IGP Chandra Fernando.

IGP Fernando emphasised that the Police Force has a flood of Peterites far too many to mention, such as Camillus Abeygunawardena, and expert on Motor Traffic and Sivendran. Those Peterites have always shown that they are disciplined men and have been a great asset to the Police Department.

Today, my mind goes back to fifty-two years, when I was admitted to the second standard of this hallowed institution. Rev. Father Basil Weeratunga was the Rector and Mr. Jayawardena was the headmaster of the Primary School.

The lofty pillars of the College at the entrance stood before me, each perhaps standing for good learning, sportsmanship, discipline, honesty in life and service to others, but perhaps as a small boy they all meant nothing to me. By this time my brother was studying in the third standard. This was one of the reasons I too entered the school.

On that great day, it was my dear mother, holding my hands and I wearing a newly tailored a pair of shorts with shirt had me admitted to school, least realising that fifty two years later, her younger son , would be honoured by the same school, the IGP added.

My dear mother is today no more, to witness what you are doing. During my college days, I was certainly not a bright student. I held no College Prefectship, nor did I walk-away with a single prize, but all knew that I was a great plodder who never, gave up. I was ready for youthful fun that most schoolboys indulge in, but that was part of our life as youth, harming no one in society and not behaving in an uncouth manner. In college I was interested in playing hockey and basketball and was the troop leader to the College Scout Troop, IGP Fernando said.

"One common denominator is that we were all moulded when in youth by this great institution. We can be proud of that. The college has been associated with many great men, professionals such as Dr. Darrel Weinman, Dr. Tony Don Michael, Dr. P. R. Anthonis, Dr. Luxman Weerasena, Dr. P. N. Thenabandu, Prof. Sirisena (now in New Zealand), Prof. Willie Mendis, Justice H. W. Senanayake, Lt. General Denis Perera, President's Counsel H. L. de Silva. Mano Chanmugam, late Gamini Athukorale, Dulip Jayamaha, Ajith Cabral, Rear Admiral Alfred Perera are few of them. Dr. H. I. K. Fernando who earned for himself a great name as a medical man and as a Sri Lankan cricketer and Clive Inman cannot be forgotten today, for his double century at the Joe-Pete encounter in 1954.

They were also the brilliant administrators and many Civil Servants and late Gaya Cumaranatunga is one of them," the IGP said.

IGP Fernando also mentioned the names of Ranjith, Andrew and Godfrey Gunathillake who stone at Athletics, Vinodan John, Roy Dias and in more recent times Russell Arnold.

The first Peterite IGP Chandra Fernando remembered his class teachers and said that some of them are not among us, but it is very important and it is his duty to remember them at a day like this.

College Rector Rev. Father Felician Perera, Harin Gunawardena, president of the OBA Union also spoke at the ceremony. Moanu Chanmugam delivered the vote of thanks.

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