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ST. PETER'S COLLEGE (1922-2022)


ST. PETER’S COLLEGE (1922-2022)

Posted on 03 January 2022 by admin

2022 is a banner year for St. Peter’s College Colombo!The school celebrates its Centenary this year. Due to prevailing Omicron/Covid pandemic conditions celebrations are scaled down for 18th January 2022. However, other activities connected with the centenary have already been published by Algi Wijewickrema, spokesman for the St. Peter’s College Old Boys’ Union.This illustration showcases the Founder and Rectors who have worked diligently to build and raise the standard of this prestigious educational institution. The school has produced many stars and superstars in the one-hundred year span in many spheres. Be it academics, discipline, sports, politics, government, armed forces, music and entertainment, the alumni of St. Peter’s College have carried the blue, white and gold flag flying high and made a huge contribution to the their alma mater and the nation.

Happy 100th Anniversary! May the school go from strength to strength and continue to maintain its gold standard.

  • Founder: Rev. Fr. Maurice J. Le Goc OMI
  • First Rector: Rev. Fr. D.J. Nicholas Perera OMI
  • Present Rector: Rev. Fr. Rohitha Rodrigo
  • President, SPC OBU: Mr. Ravika De Silva

Design & Layout: Josephian-Peterite NEWS NETWORK 360

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Posted on 09 June 2021 by admin

By: Upali Obeyesekere – Editor, Josephian-Peterite NEWS NETWORK (JPNN)

Schools are the lifeblood of any community! Education is the bedrock of our contentment as a society, as an economy and as a people. It has often been stated that our greatest resource is our people. We have nurtured that resource and enriched its potential by the professionalism, dedication, and generosity of generations of teachers in all levels of our educational system. The British colonial period lasted from 1796 to 1948 and shaped the development of education in Sri Lanka. But it was only after the British took over that formal primary and secondary education was actualized with the establishment of schools by British missionaries.

The Northern Province were the early beneficiaries of the hard work done by foreign missionaries in setting up schools in Ceylon. History tells us that Jaffna Central College (JCC) was the first school established in the island. It was founded in 1816 by Rev. James Lynch, the leader of the Wesleyan Methodist Missionaries who arrived in the country in June 1814 and journeyed to Jaffna two months later in August 1814. His mission in Jaffna was to establish English schools on a directive by the 3rd British Governor, Sir Robert Brownrigg. Union College in Tellippalai was founded in 1816. St. John’s College was established in 1823. Jaffna College in Vaddukoddai was established in 1823. Uduvil Girls’ College was established in 1824. Vembadi Girls’ High School was founded in 1834. Hartley College was founded in 1838. Holy Family Convent, Jaffna was founded in 1845.

A standard system of government schools was established by the British based on the recommendations of the Colebrooke-Cameron Commission in 1833. This is regarded as the beginning of the government’s schooling system in the island. It started with the establishment of the Royal College in Colombo (formerly the Colombo Academy) in 1835. St. Anthony’s College Kandy was founded in 1854, same year as St. Sebastian’s College Moratuwa. Other schools to be established in the 19th Century are St. Benedict’s College Kotahena in 1865, St. Joseph’s College Trincomalee in 1867, St. Anne’s College Kurunegala in 1867, Richmond College Galle in 1876.

Given this scenario, the write-up moves to the city where we have on record that St. Joseph’s College Colombo was founded in 1896 by a visionary group of French Missionaries led by Rev. Christophe-Etienne Bonjean. In 1914 Rev. Fr. Maurice James Le Goc, a French Missionary arrived in Sri Lanka. He was appointed to St Joseph’s College and was made the head of the school’s Science Department. In 1919 Fr. Le Goc was appointed the Rector of St. Joseph’s College. St. Joseph’s recently celebrated its Quasquicentennial or 125th Anniversary.

Fr. Le Goc envisioned an overflow of students and decided to set up a second educational institution in the south of the city (Colombo). This gave way to St. Joseph’s College South that was established in January 1922 on the land side of Galle Road, Bambalapitiya bordering the Wellawatta canal. The inauguration took place on Wednesday 18 January 1922 as 204 students were admitted on that day and by the end of the year the number had risen to 268. Fr. Le Goc overlooked the administration of the school until 1927. This school was re-branded and named St. Peter’s College in 1927. The name change was documented on April 8, 1927, vide Gazette Notification No.7575. Rev. Fr. D.J. Nicholas Perera was appointed the first Rector of the newly established school in 1927, a role he performed with distinction until 1943 for 16 years.

This writer joined St. Peter’s College thirty-four years later in 1956, in the 6th Standard that was called Prelim A. My first school was St. Anne’s College Kurunegala from Kindergarten to 5th Standard in the Primary School. The transition from my hometown to Colombo was smooth and I was housed at my aunt’s at Bambalapitiya Flats. Rev. Fr. Arthur Fernando was appointed the 3rd Rector of the school having taken over from Rev. Fr. Basil Wiratunga (1943-1956). Mr. Primson Jayasekara, a calm and collected individual was my class master. He had two celebrated musical sons – Perrin & Gerrinus who performed as the famous “Jay Brothers”.  The duo, quite popular at the time had passed out as doctors from the Colombo Medical College. Sunil Liyanage from Negombo, Chandra Fernando from Matara and Ranjit Wijesinghe from Galle joined me from outstation towns who joined St. Peter’s in 1956.

St. Peter’s College, Colombo, is one of the largest Catholic schools in the country will celebrate 100 years on January 18, 2022. It will mark an important milestone in the College calendar, as the boys in blue, white and gold cherish and celebrate the completion of the century of their alma mater. Today the College has proven itself to become one of the largest Catholic schools in the country with almost 4,500 students on roll while seven priests, 215 teachers and 100 clerical and support staff serve the College. Producing a fully-fledged individual has always been the vision and mission of the College, reiterated the current Rector – Fr. Rohitha Rodrigo while stressing, “Every Peterite has to strive to become a versatile person and upon leaving College be able to excel in any field he chooses to pursue.”

The Motto of the school is Virtus Et Veritas (Latin). The sister school is Holy Family Convent. St. Peter’s College is centrally located on the landside of Galle Road. Commuting to the school is easy by bus or train. The cross section of students who walk through the hallowed hallways of the school comes from Bambalapitiya, Kollupitiya, Thimbirigasyaya, Nugegoda, Kirillapona, Pamankada, Wellawatta, Dehiwala and Mt. Lavinia. Neighbouring schools’ in Bambalapitiya are St. Paul’s Milagiriya, Holy Family Convent, Visakha Vidyalaya, and Hindu College Colombo. To the south in Wellawatta, there are two girls’ schools – St. Clare’s College and St. Lawrence’s Convent.

The ninety-nine-year period of St. Peters’ College, beginning 1922, could conveniently be divided into six distinct eras. Firstly, The beginnings dominated by Very Rev. Fr. Maurice Le Goc; Secondly the era of the First Rector, Very Rev. Fr. D. J. Nicholas Perera (1922 to 1943) who laid a solid foundation, a period which saw St. Peter’s making a big impact on the local educational scene in double quick time; Thirdly, the aftermath of World War II and the Rectorship of Very Rev. Fr. Basil A. Wiratunga O.M.I. from 1943 to 1955; Fourthly, an era spanning 21 years which take in the Rectorships of five Rectors all of whom had to grapple with financial constraints brought about by the daring and bold decision not to be vested with the State, but to function as a ‘Non fee levying private school’ – Rev. Fr. Arthur Nicholas Fernando (1956 to 1963), Rev. Fr. Mervyn Weerakkody (1963 to 1971), Rev. Fr. Theodore E. Peiris O.M.I. (1971 to 1975), Rev. Fr. Claver Perera (1975 to 1976), and Rev. Fr. Francis Madiwela (1976 to 1977); Fifthly, the enlightening and brilliant Rectorship of Rev. Fr. Joe E. Wickramasinghe (1978 to 1994) an era which could well be called ‘The Renaissance in Peterite History’; this was followed by the eleven year old Rectorship of Rev. Fr. Felician Perera (1994-2005) on whose young shoulders fell the responsibility of guiding St. Peter’s into the early 21st Century, bringing us up to the 21st Century – the era of Fr. Travis Gabriel (2005-2014), the 10th Rector of St. Peter’s College. Then came the builder of the century and the 11th Rector, Rev. Fr. Trevor Martin (2014-2019). His tenure in office was marked with infrastructure development projects. This was the beginning of a chain of buildings and innovations to St. Peter’s College. As he started the office renovations, he dreamt of having a suitable hall that could accommodate three hundred people. Fr. Trevor got the architects and engineers for a meeting and changed the whole foundation and came up with a plan for a three-storied building, finding space for a computer section on the first floor.

Rev. Fr. Rohitha Rodrigo, A proud old boy of St. Peter’s College, has been appointed as the 12th Rector of St. Peter’s College. He served earlier as the Principal of the Primary School at St. Peter’s and later as the Rector of St. Jude’s College Negombo.  Under his guidance our alma mater will reach new heights.

The quality of education one receives at. St. Peter’s College is exceptional. For science students the laboratories are well equipped. The school hires first-class teachers’ who impart their knowledge to the students with ease and clarity. Sports has always been its forte going back in time to the early 30s when the cricket, rugby football and athletic teams excelled at inter-school championships. Clive Inman is perhaps the most decorated cricketer produced by the school. His innings of 204 (retired hurt) at the Josephian-Peterite big match in 1954 remains the highest individual score of the 86-year-old history of the series that began in 1933. Inman represented All-Ceylon in cricket and emigrated to England where he played for Leicestershire County Cricket Club, one of the first-class clubs in the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales. Rohan Buultjens (St. Peter’s) remains the only cricketer in the series to score two centuries in the big match in 1979.

Other notable cricketers who earned their national caps are Dr. H.I.K. Fernando, P.A.T. Kelly, Tony Opatha, David Heyn, Rohan Buultjens, Roy Dias, Rumesh Ratnayake, Vinothen John, Amal Silva, Russel Arnold, Kaushal Lokuarachci, Malinda Warnapura, and Angelo Perera. Santhush Gunathilake, 2018 Peterite skipper is part of the current squad and is likely to represent Sri Lanka shortly. Gunathilake holds the record for the highest score by a Peterite ever when he scored 252 runs against Ananda College in 2019. Gunathilaka’s awesome score of 252 runs surpassed the previous record held by Angelo Perera – 239-runs in 2009 against Nalanda College. The other double-century scores on record for the Peterites are that of 1963 skipper Tyrone Le Mercier’s unbeaten 235 against St. Anthony’s College Kandy in 1962.

St. Peter’s also excelled in Rugby Football, Athletics, Basketball besides cricket. Due to lack of space, details of these sports will be covered in a sequel to this write-up. All said and done, this writer is proud to have had his high-school education at St. Peter’s College.  A great school that prepares you well for your adult life.


St. Joseph's College Colombo 125th Anniversary


St. Joseph’s College Colombo 125th Anniversary

Posted on 07 March 2021 by admin



St. Joseph’s College Colombo has reached a milestone as it celebrates its Quasquicentennial or 125th Anniversary on 2nd March 2021. St. Joseph’s College Colombo was founded as a seat of learning on 2nd March 1896.On the 12th December 1894 the foundation stone was laid by the papal delegate for Asia Rev. Msgr. Zalesbbi. On the 2nd March 1896, St. Joseph’s College Colombo was declared open with 211 students in the school proper and 96 students in the preparatory school with Very Rev. Fr. Charles Collin as the First Rector.The Josephian-Peterite NEWS NETWORK (JPNN) wishes a Happy Anniversary to Rev. Fr. Ranjith Andradi, Rector, his dedicated teaching staff and all students who walked through the hallowed hallways of St. Joseph’s College Colombo.

St. Joseph’s College Colombo is celebrating a milestone. A seat of learning since 1896, the renowned educational institution at Darley Road, Colombo 10, will be 125 years on 02 March 2021.

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A Rich History in Education, Sports, Discipline, etc....


A Rich History in Education, Sports, Discipline, etc….

Posted on 02 March 2021 by admin

  • SJC founded in 1896 celebrates its Quasquicentennial or 125th Anniversary in 2021 – history was made when a visionary group of French Missionaries led by Rev. Christophe-Etienne Bonjean established St. Joseph’s College Colombo – a proudly Roman Catholic educational institution in 1896.
  • SPC founded in 1922 celebrates its Centenary or 100th Anniversary in 2022 – St. Peter’s College was established in 1922. Rev. Fr. Maurice Le Goc was Rector, St. Joseph’s College when he scouted for land to build a second educational institution in Colombo South which he named St. Joseph’s College South. This school was re-branded and named St. Peter’s College in 1927. The name change was documented on April 8, 1927, vide Gazette Notification No.7575.

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Rev. Fr. Trevor Gerald Martin - Tribute to a beloved rector


Rev. Fr. Trevor Gerald Martin – Tribute to a beloved rector

Posted on 08 December 2020 by admin

Rev. Fr. Trevor Gerald Martin

Tribute to a beloved rector

Tuesday, August 6, 2019 – Daily News.

Rev. Fr. Trevor Gerald Martin was appointed to St. Peter’s College five years ago. I knew him at All Saints Church as an Assistant Parish Priest. From there, he was appointed Parish Priest of Koralawella, Moratuwa. He later joined the staff of St. Joseph’s College, where I was the Vice-Rector.

I noticed in him the characteristics of a good administrator as he was looking after the Middle School. He came and asked me how to go about the discipline of the students and I advised him to punish one boy at the beginning of the year; that it would keep the rest of the boys well-disciplined right through the year. Whatever way we punish, we should do it out of love for the students.

Start of his career

I was transferred from St. Joseph’s College and appointed Rector of the Aquinas College of Higher Studies in Colombo 8, where I spent seventeen long years. Then again, Rev. Fr. Trevor G. Martin came for further studies to Aquinas College and completed his studies to obtain a B.A. degree from the Peradeniya University. Thereafter, I suggested him to get permission for Higher Studies in London from the then Archbishop and we worked out the process. He was successful in gaining admission to the University of London, where he did a Master’s Degree in Education.On completion of his studies in London, he returned to the island and was appointed Rector of St. Loyola College, Negombo. Over there, he proved himself to be a progressive Educationist and a great builder by raising the standards of studies and putting up the necessary infrastructure for a conducive environment for the integral formation and education of students.

I would say that he mobilised all his friends at St. Joseph’s College to lend him a hand to put up several impressive buildings and a well-equipped swimming pool. After fourteen years of yeoman service, he was transferred to St. Peter’s College. At Loyola College, he could be considered as a catalyst of wealth distribution to the periphery.

At St. Peter’s College

Before his arrival at St. Peter’s College, his impressive image and profile as a strict disciplinarian and administrator had already reached St. Peter’s College. The incoming Rector was the subject of discussion mostly among the teachers. From day one, he was seen in front of the chapel to observe the flow of students and teachers to school in the morning.

This made the students and the teachers to be punctual. He went round the classes and barge in wherever there was no teacher. This conveyed the idea that the present rector was more a moving outgoing Rector than an office rector. His observations, as he went around, fired him with a few ideas as to the improvement of the infrastructure of the college.Rev. Fr. Trevor started by giving a facelift to his office, as well as those of the priests and the clerks. This was the beginning of a chain of buildings and innovations to St. Peter’s College. As he started the office renovations, he dreamt of having a suitable hall that could accommodate three hundred people. So he got the architects and engineers for a meeting and changed the whole foundation and came up with a plan for a three-storeyed building, finding space for a computer section in the first floor.

He realised his dream while working day and night. We could see him in the night, seated on a chair in the site and sleeping and probably dreaming of the next building. Before this building came up, all staff meetings and parents’ meetings were held in the Chapel. A hall of this nature was essential for St. Peter’s College. The Computer Section, too, needed modernisation with Interactive Smart Boards. Accordingly, with the support of the Old Boys, he brought about an improvement so as to keep in line with modern day demands.

Renovation projects

The second project was the refurbishing and modernisation the laboratories. The chemicals and apparatus were old and irrelevant and had to be discarded. This project was mostly funded by an Old Boy in the UK and a past batch of Old Boys in Sri Lanka. The stock of chemicals and apparatus were shipped by one of our loyal old Boys, Themiya de Mel, in whose presence the labs were opened.

The third project was the establishment of a fully-equipped medical centre by dismantling the then existing medical center and relocating it in a more conducive and convenient place. During these projects; there were, I would say; other secondary projects that were going on. The refurbishing of the male and female staff rooms, as well as the provision of new cupboards and furniture, were also carried out, expressing the Rector’s concern for the teachers. He installed air-conditioners for all the staff rooms, both in the College section and the Primary section.The Rector planned out a pavilion project. He also gave two other priests to plan out another chapel. We had with us these two plans and it was a question of which should be the first. After discussing with the priests and some Old Boys, a decision was made to go ahead with the pavilion. It was a massive project and it was only a man like Rev. Fr. Trevor who could take up the challenge. He spent days and nights at the site, encouraging the workers, engineers, and architects to make sure that it would be ready for the opening by Colombo Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith.

The other project was the Chapel Project; to put up a spacious Chapel at the centre of the buildings where the portico exists. Last week, when I was having a chat with the Rev. Fr., he told me that if he had one more year, he would have seen to the completion of that project, too. He had been dreaming as to how he could make St. Peter’s College a unique Institution. The latest dream was to have a solar power system so that we could cut down the electricity bill.

In spite of all the building activities, Rev. Fr. Trevor focused on providing an integral education to the students. Thus, we had regular meetings to plan out the academic training of students. Sometimes, he fished for good teachers elsewhere and had the courage to replace some teachers who were inefficient. He followed up the teachers to see how ‘many real good class hours a teacher was putting in so as to cover the syllabus. He did not fail to pull up teachers who were not teaching properly.

Rev. Fr. Trevor and sports

Rev. Fr. Trevor often talks about him playing hockey and some cricket at St. Benedict’s College, Kotahena. He also enhanced his sportsmanship by being the Prefect of Games at St. Joseph’s College. All these experiences contributed to his commitment and dedication to sports at St. Peter’s College. He would encourage the coaches and the students to do their best in sports. He had committees appointed to oversee the progress of each sport and never failed to take necessary action when targets were not attained. He never missed any matches of any sport. He was a lover of sports and wanted to see the college doing well in every sport. Under his leadership, the college achieved great heights in almost every sport. Peterites should appreciate the encouragement and motivation that he gave.

When Rev. Fr. Trevor is bitten by a project bug, he never fails to rest until he has turned every stone to realise that project. Thus, he would also reach out to the Old Boys for help and motivate the parents to lend a hand, whatever way possible to realise his dream. His PR is such that many Old Boys would respond positively to his requests. He also made it a point to reach out to the Old Boy Peterite Unions across the globe to muster their support, which, I think, no other Rector has done in this manner.

Rev. Fr. Trevor: a priest and friend

Whatever we do, if we fail to project our priestly image, we are failures. As priests, we are not without shortcomings. Jesus himself knew our weak human nature and that is why he said that we should be ready to forgive our brothers who do wrong to us; not only seven times, but seventy times seven. We are also called upon to wipe the feet of our subjects and be of humble service to them. To do all these, it is important for us to be animated and encouraged by the life of Christ. Christ is the vine and we are the branches. So, if we are to produce results according to the mind of Christ, we have to be united with him.

Rev. Fr. Trevor believed in this and he often expressed his gratitude to God and Mother Mary in all the assemblies and tried to inculcate this kind of spiritual attitude even among the students. For him, the Eucharist was quite central to his life and it was what pushed him to dedicate himself to the service of St. Peter’s College.I noticed Rev. Fr. Trevor as a friend in need and a friend indeed. During my acquaintance with him, I found him to be always obliging and generous. For the fiftieth jubilee of my priestly ordination, he showed great concern to do it in an impressive manner and, going out of his way, he made it a special occasion for me. But it was not only for me; all the birthdays of priests in the community were celebrated by getting other priests to join the celebrations. In various ways, he tried to build a happy community and to see to the comfort and convenience of the priests.

Let me express our deepest gratitude for what you have been to the Priestly Community. I thank God for the gift of Rev. Fr. Trevor Martin to St. Peter’s College and the church. Our wish for him is that wherever God places him, let him always be true to his priesthood, and to the service of God’s people.

Ad Multos Annos in an ambience of Virtus et Veritas.

Rev. Dr. W.D.G. Chrispin Leo
Emeritus Rector,
Aquinas College of Higher Studies

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Fife and Drum Band of St. Peter's College & Rev. Fr. Arthur Fernando - Rector (1956 - 1963)


Fife and Drum Band of St. Peter’s College & Rev. Fr. Arthur Fernando – Rector (1956 – 1963)

Posted on 25 September 2020 by admin

Fife and Drum Band of St. Peter’s College & Rev. Fr. Arthur Fernando – Rector, SPC (1956 – 1963)

Rev. Fr. Arthur Fernando

Sri Lanka gained independence in 1948, and by this time the education system was firmly in place thanks to British-Ceylon influence during the period 1815 – 1948. The first school established by the British in Sri Lanka was 'The Galle School', now known as Richmond College, in Galle.


Archived history tells us that St. Joseph's College, Colombo was established in 1896 and will be celebrating its 125th or Quasquicentennial Anniversary in 2021.

St. Peter's College, Colombo was established in 1922 and will be celebrating its centenary year in 2022. From 1922-1926, the founder Rev. Fr. Maurice Le Goc overlooked the administrative and operational functions of St. Joseph's College (South), later renamed as St. Peter's College.

Technically, the first Rector of St. Peter's College was Rev. Fr. Nicholas Perera who provided stewardship from 1927 – 1942. During this period, Fr. Nicholas initiated a few important matters in sports and also spearheaded the formation of the St. Peter's College Old Boys' Union in 1927. Norman Paternott was named the first cricket captain of St. Peter's College in 1927, and the rich legacy he left behind has been carried by his three sons Aubrey, Rodney and Hamish who excelled in both cricket and rugby.

A lot of cricket was not played between schools at this time. Historical records claim that only friendly games were played until the "Battle of the Saints" or the Josephian-Peterite series was launched in 1933. George Jayaweera was named to captain his alma mater in the inaugural "Battle of the Saints" series. A great honour that remains etched in the annals of history with this memorable series. Once again, George Jayaweera's legacy was honourably carried later by his three sons Tissa, Shanthi and Ruwan (Captain – 1974), who played cricket for college.

Rev. Fr. Basil Wiratunga took over as Rector, SPC from 1943 – 1955. By this time St. Peter's College had built formidable cricket and rugby teams. The highest individual score of 204 not out by Clive Inman in 1954 in the "Big Match" still stands as a record unbroken for 66 long years.

 Then came the dynamic years of Rev. Fr. Arthur Fernando who served as Rector from 1956 – 1963. He was the 3rd Rector of St. Peter's College, and will be remembered for the encouragement and support he gave to the development of Aesthetic Studies. Fr. Arthur is credited for starting the island's first schools' Fife and Drum Band on June 30th 1956. The band led by debonair Dodwell de Silva was the cynosure of all eyes and the "Peterite Brand" was further enhanced by this new initiative. Our boys looked very smart attired in white and we were all proud of the "Fife & Drum Band".

A Cultural Centre to promote Music, Drama, Dancing and Art was started in November 1956 with the help of Rev. Fr. Mervyn Weerakkody and Rev. Fr. Marcelline Jayakody. Kandyan Dancing, Oriental Singing and the formation of Western and Oriental Orchestras came about. St. Peter's College also staged "Trial by Jury" under the direction of Douglas Ferdinands during Fr. Arthur's tenure as rector. Sandy Reimers and Nihal Fonseka played major roles in this super production.

The fantastic Carnival of Carnivals held at St. Peter’s College in 1961, the ‘Fun-O-Rama’ was Fr. Arthur's brainchild. The carnival offered numerous features that in post-independence era, a first in the island. These features included Close Circuit TV, Fountains with coloured underwater lights, a model train exhibition, variety entertainment in the College Hall (which was seen outside through CCTV), etc.

International entertainers Tony Brent and "Blue Diamonds" performed at St. Peter's College Hall during Fr. Arthur's tenure of service as Rector.

It was Fr. Arthur who first had to manage the direct impact of the Schools take over from December 1st 1960 when St. Peter’s decided to remain as a Private Non Fee Levying institution. The Welfare Society came into being under his astute leadership. A superb organizer and administrator, he installed a modern Canteen to supplement the much needed finances. He also set up the College Boarding.

Fr. Arthur was a visionary and took the school to the next level in many spheres. His seven years as Rector seemed like a memory but there was so much activity that was all credited to his able leadership.

May he rest in peace!

Editor's Note:

Yours truly started his high school studies at St. Peter's College in 1956 in the Prelim A, the same year Fr. Arthur Fernando became Rector .I was booked to enter my father's alma mater St. Joseph's College but plans changed as my father and Fr. Arthur were schoolmates/good friends and the former asked that I enrol at SPC where he was going as Rector. I remain blessed. Rest is history!

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Peterite Sports Complex to be declared open on Friday, February 1


Peterite Sports Complex to be declared open on Friday, February 1

Posted on 27 January 2019 by admin

Dream come true! This was Rev. Fr. Trevor Martin's pet project. It took less than two years for the project to be completed from 2017 – 2019. The new Sports Complex will be declared open on Friday, February 1, 2019, by the newly appointed Minister of Sports Harin Fernando. Minister Fernando is an old boy of St. Joseph's College. Congratulations to Fr. Trevor for stick handling the project from concept stage to execution.

The Josephian-Peterite Alumni Association of Canada – JPAA Canada made a significant contribution in 2017 towards the Sports Complex project. 


By: Dhammika Ratnaweera – Courtesy: Sunday Observer.




An artist’s impression – Peterite Sports Complex 

St. Peter’s College will turn a new leaf in the rich annals of its sporting tradition when they declare open their new Pavilion at Bambalapitiya on February 1 with the blessings of Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith the Archbishop of Colombo who will grace the occasion as chief guest.

Fr Trevor Martin, the Rector of St Peter’s College has been the main architect behind several developments at the school and the pavilion will be named in memory of former rector Fr Joe Wickramasinghe who served the Peterites with distinction from 1978 to 1994. “Fr Joe Wickremasinghe saw the necessity for students to reach greater heights in studies, sports and discipline. The Peterites led the way in cricket, rugby, tennis, basketball, hockey, football and athletics and Fr. Joe played a big part in this,” said Fr Martin. Besides being the rector of one of the leading Catholic schools in the country, Fr. Joe also initially laid the base for everything through spiritual values with prayer being a central part of the students.

“This pavilion is one of the best tributes we can pay Fr. Joe Wickremasinghe,” declared Fr. Martin.

The construction of the pavilion took a lesser amount of time to build than planned and was completed within a period of eight months through the efforts of old boys, parents and well-wishers at a cost of Rs. 185 million. Some of the funds poured in from Europe, the USA, Canada and the Middle East courtesy of fundraising of the school.through

The new building will not only cater to the present boys, but will also provide accommodation and welfare to visiting sports teams from outstation schools.

It will also be complete with sleeping quarters, washrooms, gymnasium, conference room, manager’s room, office room, indoor nets, spectator accommodation and VIP boxes.

“What we had in mind was the comfort of every sportsman and spectator who visits St. Peter’s College for sports events, especially when it comes to cricket and rugby,” said Fr. Martin.

A 400-meter track for athletes is also a feature connected to the commissioning of the new pavilion. St. Peter’s College also has basketball and tennis courts. The school will open its sporting doors for any other school that is in need of a ground and facilities, according to Fr. Martin.

“We want other schools also to benefit from this whole concept. It is a very worthy cause and investment,” he said.

One of the spectator stands will be named in memory of rugby legend and Sri Lanka player Archibald Pereira.

“There is no one who does not know Archibald Pereira and he was a household name and his services have to be appreciated,” said Fr. Martin.

Sports Minister Harin Fernando, a product of St. Joseph’s College will grace the occasion as the Guest of Honour– along with distinguished old boys and heads of other schools as well as Sri Lanka rugby officials. According to Fr. Martin the school has plans to internationalize the venue.

End of News Item that appeared in the Sunday Observer of Jan. 27, 2019.


Editor's Note: A significant contribution was made in August 2017 by the Josephian-Peterite Alumni Association of Canada – (JPAA Canada) towards the proposed Sports Complex/Rugby Pavilion. It is good to read in the Sunday Observer that the sports complex is scheduled to be declared open on February 1, 2019. All Josephians and who were associated with JPAA Canada (1984-2017) should be proud that we made a generous donation from Canada to Rev. Fr. Trevor Martin for this project.

We hope Fr. Trevor will  the arrangement we had with him to have a plaque installed with the words "JPAA CANADA 1984-2017". Thank you.

Relevant News Release is displayed below.






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His Grace Archbishop Emeritus Nicholas Marcus Fernando : Illustrious Son of 'Little Rome'

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His Grace Archbishop Emeritus Nicholas Marcus Fernando : Illustrious Son of ‘Little Rome’

Posted on 05 December 2018 by admin

His Grace Archbishop Emeritus Nicholas Marcus Fernando :

Illustrious Son of ‘Little Rome’

Courtesy: Daily News.

‘He inspired me and I started to grow…’:

Rev. Fr. Nicholas Marcus Fernando

Four score and six is a glorious inning in these cricketing days. One wonders how it feels to be 86 years of age in this twenty-first century for a colossus of the Catholic Church. Though ranked among the ‘80 Club’ and bestowed with ‘Emeritus’ status, His Grace Archbishop Most Rev. Dr. Nicholas Marcus Fernando was at the helm of Sri Lanka’s flock as the Chief Shepherd for well nigh 25 years.

Little has changed in that familiar exterior at ‘Emmaus’ in Tewatte where he spends his retirement in the environs of the Basilica of Our Lady of Lanka. Archbishop Fernando, as he is still affectionately referred to, does not look a day older than when he opted to call it a day at 69 – 17 years ago. He is very relaxed and fit, but prefers to respect ‘old age’ and to be identified as a ‘senior citizen’. In the annals of Christianity in Sri Lanka, he truly played a decisive role as the Chief Shepherd of the Archdiocese of Colombo, despite his comparatively young age of 44.

He was respected as a scholar, a man of integrity and a linguist of no mean repute. He was fluent in English, Sinhala and Tamil and had a command of many other languages as well. With constancy and care, Archbishop Fernando laboured along with the priests, religious lay catechists and the faithful during his tenure as the Chief Shepherd, not only for the effective promotion of evangelisation of the people but also for the provision of earthly needs of the flock and social progress of all classes.

Glimpses of a shepherd

I am truly blessed to have sailed the early years of my life on the course steered by Archbishop Fernando. We were born as parishioners of St. Mary’s Church, Grand Street, Negombo; christened at St. Mary’s Church, Grand Street, Negombo; educated at St. Mary’s College, Grand Street, Negombo and grew up in the confines of St. Mary’s Church, Grand Street, Negombo.

The life-long reminiscences for a Maryite of that era could be the beautiful bronze statue of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary that occupied the niche of the Main Block of the College, the life-like statue of the founder, Rev. Fr. J. B. Vistarini that stands before the façade of the church, and the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in the precincts of the church.

Rev. Vistarini was the Parish Priest of the majestic church and was considered a ‘living saint’. His last resting place is at the side altar where his grave is identified with his statue in repose. After his death, hundreds of sons of Negombo were named after him and he shall always remain in the hearts and minds as their first saint.

Reverting to the life of Archbishop Fernando, I was the Head Prefect at St. Mary’s College, Negombo, when the good news from the Holy See in Rome of his elevation reached the city of Negombo, well known as ‘Little Rome’. I vividly remember how the bells of the grand old church peeled and how the people of all walks of life in Negombo united to share the joy of producing the first son of the parish as the Archbishop of Colombo.

Ever since, I was privileged to associate with the then serving Archbishop of Colombo, all along my career as a Naval Officer. During my school days, he was my ‘hero’. In my youth, I preferred him to be my role model. As the years rolled by, he became my mentor and later spiritual director – a unique bond of friendship that has now flourished for 40 long years.

Year after year, I have never failed to wish His Grace on his Patronal Feast and Birthday and His Grace reciprocates as our birthdays fall on December 6 and 16. His Grace never fails to contact me whenever he reads anything I have penned, to congratulate, to inspire, and to motivate me. He has always been pleasant, unassuming and easy to talk to.

As I linger down memory lane, many nostalgic events of my association with him flash before my mind and I would like to share a few. His Grace installed me as the youngest President of the OBA of St. Mary’s College, Negombo. I was privileged to confer on His Grace the prestigious ‘Award of Excellence for the Old Maryite of the Century’.

Then, I was privileged to deliver the keynote speech at the book launch to mark the Silver Jubilee of his Episcopal Ordination and to lend a helping hand for him to settle down at ‘Emmaus’ in retirement. His Grace always reminds me of our unforgettable pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health in Vailankanni amidst a severe threat of floods.

His Grace kindly consented to preside at the first-ever Joint Christian Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving of the Sri Lanka Navy in 1991 and immensely helped me to conduct the service for 25 uninterrupted years amidst ups and downs. He was present at All Saints’ Church, Borella, to renew our wedding vows when Carmel and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary.

Birth and divine call

In the Register of Baptism at St. Mary’s Church, Grand Street, Negombo, that boasts a legacy of 455 years, the name ‘Nicholas Marcus’ appears as the 115th entry in the year 1932. He was christened on December 13, in the presence of his beloved parents, Wilfred Severinus Fernando and Mary Lily Margaret Fernando, with Theophilus Fernando and Maria Harriet Fernando as God Parents.

He was born a week earlier on December 6 in the renowned fishing hamlet of Munnakkara. Incidentally, it was on their feast day and the church and the city are dedicated to St. Nicholas. Thus, his humble and pious parents who cherished the proper endowment of spiritual values to their children would have been encouraged to name him after St. Nicholas.

Archbishop Fernando is the second child in the family and he has seven siblings. According to the order of birth, they are Frank, Archbishop Nicholas Marcus, Benzy, Camillus, Victor, Beryl, Nicholas Alexis and Maureen. Archbishop Fernando had his primary education at the Roman Catholic Mixed School in Munnakkara.

Then, he entered the leading Catholic educational institution, St. Mary’s College, Grand Street, Negombo, where he was beckoned by God to His vineyard to enable him to fulfil his allotted vocation. The effusive showering of talents and the providential timing of his birth made young Nicholas Marcus more and more conscious of his obligations before God. These ideas and ideals which matured in him from childhood made him what he became.

Responding with devotion to the Divine call, he entered St. Aloysius Seminary, Borella, in 1945 and passed the SSC Examination with exemption from the London Matriculation in 1949, the London University Inter-Arts Examination in 1951, and the London University BA Examination in 1953, and entered St. Bernard’s Major Seminary in 1953 for his Philosophical studies.

In the seminary, he set his goals straight and charted the correct path. His perfection was to seek God’s will and fulfil it and as a result, glory and honour followed him – as the day follows the night. And the day dawned for young Nicholas Marcus to approach the altar.

Ordination and priesthood

He was sent to Collegio de Propaganda Fide in Rome in 1954 to pursue his studies and obtained Baccalaureate and Licentiate degrees in Philosophy from Urban University in Rome in 1955 and 1956 respectively, and a Baccalaureate in Theology in 1958. He was ordained a priest by His Eminence Cardinal Agagianian on December 20, 1959, in Rome. Later, he obtained his Licentiate in Theology as well from Urban University in 1960.

Fr. Nicholas Marcus returned to Sri Lanka and was appointed to the staff of St. Peter’s College, Bambalapitiya, in 1960. Later, he was appointed to the staff of St. Aloysius Seminary, Borella, in 1963 and was elevated as the Rector in 1965. In 1973, he was sent back to Rome to read for his Doctorate in Moral Theology which he achieved with a Summa cum Laude in 1976.

He was appointed to the staff of the National Seminary of Our Lady of Lanka in Kandy in 1976. With his elevation as the Archbishop of Colombo on March 30, 1977, by His Holiness Pope Paul VI, he became the youngest to be appointed to the office at the age of 44. He also became the first Diocesan Priest to be appointed an Archbishop.

Spiritual colossus

A scholar, preacher and spiritual colossus, Archbishop Fernando, during his 25 years as the Archbishop of Colombo from 1977 to 2002, expanded the Archdiocese in several directions. He was a spontaneous and compelling priest, whose interests gave him new strength and greater depth.

Archbishop Fernando welcomed Pope John Paul II to Sri Lanka on January 20, 1995, for a historic visit during which the Beatification of St. Joseph Vaz took place in Colombo. He celebrated the Silver Jubilee of his Episcopal Ordination at St. Lucia’s Cathedral, Colombo, on May 14, 2002.

It is indeed a rare blessing and a privilege for one to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the Priestly Ordination and His Grace thought it fit to bestow the honour to the parish that nourished him and it was befittingly celebrated with pomp and pageantry and with the participation of all the bishops and hundreds of priests at the beautiful St. Mary’s Church, Grand Street, Negombo, on December 20, 2009.

Archbishop Fernando is a man of utter simplicity, disarming humility and of patient holiness and piety. All along his long and distinguished religious duty spanning 59 eventful years, he endeared himself to the poor and the rich alike.

He continues to keep fit and fine and maintains a good rapport with his bishops, priests and friends, to their admiration. His entire life has been nothing short of miraculous. Archbishop Fernando was like the good and faithful servant in the parable – he was faithful in small matters, therefore, he was put in charge of great matters.

I will never forget or cease to appreciate the pivotal role he played in my life as my mentor. His grounding and counsel has stood me in good stead and given me strength to overcome many tribulations. My thoughts and prayers for him on this 86th birthday are God’s abundant blessings and good health to notch up a century.

Ad multos et faustissimos annos!

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St Peter's night beyond imagination, trapezes to the next level with Na Tree


St Peter’s night beyond imagination, trapezes to the next level with Na Tree

Posted on 03 November 2018 by admin

Courtesy: Colombo Gazette:

A gala event showcasing the musical and thespian talents of primary level students of one of Sri Lanka’s premier boys’ schools St. Peter’s College, got underway at the open air stadium of the school recently. The creative talents of students were unleashed at this event,  that earned kudos of the large and involved crowds present.

Over 5000 audience members were treated to a smorgasbord of culinary delights by Na Tree Caterers, a trusted name in the food and beverage industry in this country.

“The innocence and guilelessness of childhood were celebrated. ‘Beyond Imagination 2018’ encapsulated, galvanized and enthralled the audience, and compelled them to recognize the limitless possibilities of childhood imagination. It definitely was a scintillating, exciting and a tantalizing experience transcending the immediate, engaging with the creative intellectual dynamism which is uniquely human. It created the possibility to go beyond human imagination, which in itself is a tangible experience of the transcendent,” said the Rector Principal of St. Peter’s College, Rev.Fr. Trevor Martin, assessing the event that was an amalgam of the students' talents, and Na Tree’s hospitality.

‘I congratulate St. Peter’s College for staging an event of this nature that brings out the innate talents and creative instincts of students. We are thrilled to sponsor this extravaganza. Students of this day and age are stressed out and often do not come by their nutritional needs as a result. Since nutrition is a key component in their intellectual development, Na Tree caterers are mindful of nutritional aspects, no matter what type of food is being prepared for consumption by students,’ said the CEO of Na Tree Caterers, Mr. Viran Perera.

No Tree caterers also provided hospitality to the media that covered this key event in the school calendar.

Na Tree caterers, 45-year veterans in the food and beverage industry, have earned a local and international reputation for providing quality, healthy food that’s free of artificial additives.

Na Tree which participates regularly in vital Social Responsibility projects hopes to organize some special events in the near future, focusing primarily on providing schoolchildren with a healthy and wholesome diet.


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Happy Easter 2018!


Happy Easter 2018!

Posted on 01 April 2018 by admin

On Easter Sunday Christians world-wide celebrate the Glorious Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the core-truth of their religious faith and spirituality. Jesus of Nazareth thus became an Eternal Galilean who will rule the world and human history till the end of time. The Crucified Nazarene, the carpenter’s son, the authoritative preacher, the healer of the sick and the possessed, the threat of the demons has vanquished the gloom of the grave and the darkness of that cave having emerged glorious in the brilliance of the Risen Life.

Easter Sunday is the most important day in the Christian church calendar in Canada. It celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion, according to Christian belief.Christians celebrate Easter on a Sunday as it was the day Jesus rose from the dead, following being crucified on a Friday two days before.

Centuries ago in 325, it was determined by a council of Christian bishops that Easter Day would always be on a Sunday to commemorate the happy occasion. 

Why does the date of Easter change each year?

While the dates for Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Halloween are fixed, Easter can fall any time between March 22 and April 25

In Western Christianity, Easter Sunday must always fall on the next full moon after Spring Equinox.

Easter can fall as early as March and as late as April or May, depending on the year and calendar used.

Christians in the east who use the Julian calendar instead of the Gregorian calendar may have a different date.

The date of Easter changes because the full moon can fall on different days in different time zones.

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