Tags: , , ,

NORMAN PATERNOTT and his three sons kept the Peterite flag flying high for 43-years!

Posted on 01 March 2018 by admin

By: Upali Obeyesekere – Toronto, Canada.

SPC-LOGO SITESt. Peter’s College was founded by Rev. Fr. Michael J. Le Goc, a French Missionary who was Rector, St. Joseph’s College.  A few years later in 1927, Rev. Fr. Nicholas Perera was appointed Rector, St. Peter’s College. The first cricket team and the Old Boys’ Union were both formed in 1927 and the appointment of Norman Paternott as the first Head Prefect and the first cricket captain of St. Peter’s College heralded the school’s stature as a fully fledged educational institution. Notably, many significant events occurred under the insightful stewardship of Fr. Nicholas Perera (1927-1942). Every Peterite who has walked the hallowed hallways of our beloved school should pause for a moment and salute the memory of Rev. Fr. Nicholas Perera and Norman Paternott who were fixtures of importance and relevance in the formative years of St. Peter’s College.

From the annals of Peterite history we learn that picking a player to lead the young Peterite team was never in question. Out stood Norman Paternott (in photo) with his imposing personality who easily slipped into this role. He was a fiery pace bowler and lusty hitter of the ball. He also had inborn leadership skills which helped him to lead his alma mater from 1927-1930. Mind you, during these early years the team only played St. Joseph’s 2nd XI and other outstation schools like Holy Cross Kalutara, St. Aloysius’ College, Galle. Word has it that Norman Paternott terrorised the opposition at the time with his pace bowling. The “Josephian-Peterite series or the “Big Match” was not inaugurated until 1933. Later, the honour of captaining St. Peter’s College in the inaugural Josephian-Peterite fell on George Jayaweera who took over the captaincy from Paternott in 1931.

pdf version PATERNOTT ARTICLE 2017

Just over three decades later, it was nostalgic to see Norman Paternott park his car near the college canteen and then walk down to the Peterite Grounds to see his three athletic sons – Aubrey, Rodney and Hamish excel on the field representing St. Peter’s College in both cricket and rugby. The Paternott brothers were a fixture in the Peterite firmament from 1964 – 1970. Rodney Paternott was only 14 years when he first wore the Peterite rugby jersey to represent his alma mater in 1964, along with older brother Aubrey. Next year at 15, Rodney was included in the Peterite cricket team where both brothers played for St. Peter’s in both rugby and cricket. Rodney was only 17 when he captained his school’s rugby team. Next year he captained the cricket team.

Rodney Paternott had the unique honour of captaining both cricket and rugby, a feat so rare that only five others have done this remarkable double in eighty-four years (1933-2017) – Shirley de S. Illesinghe (1934/35), Percy Perera (1937/38), Jayantha Fernando (1957), Adiel Anghie (1959/1961), and Darrel Wimalaratne (1965/1966). Another rare honour that father Norman and son Rodney shared is that they are part of an exclusive club where father and son captained either of the “Saints” schools in cricket. Others in this club are George Jayaweera (1933) and his son Ruwan Jayaweera (1974) for St. Peter’s and Hector Perera Sr., (1939) and Hector Perera Jr, (1970) for St. Joseph’s College.










The dominance of the three Paternott brothers Aubrey, Rodney and Hamish at St. Peter’s College is legendary. There was always one or two of Norman Paternott’ sons playing either cricket and/or rugby for the ‘blue, white and gold’ flag every year from 1964 to 1970. This was a period where the Peterites had crack teams in both sports.

I will briefly capture details of each brother’s presence in the teams.

  • 1962 – Aubrey had his baptism into the rugby 1st XV for St. Peter’s led by Jeyer Rodrigues;
  • 1963 – Aubrey’s 2nd year playing rugby under Stephen Alagaratnam;
  • 1964 – Aubrey played cricket under David Heyn and Rugby together with brother Rodney under Rohan Abeysundera;
  • 1965Aubrey & Rodney played cricket and rugby under Travis Fernando (Cricket) and Darrel Wimalaratne (Rugby);
  • 1966Rodney played cricket and rugby under Darrel Wimalaratne (Cricket) and Hazmee Hameed (Rugby);
  • 1967Rodney captained the Rugby team and played cricket under Tony Opatha;
  • 1968Rodney captained the Cricket team with younger brother Hamish, and both played rugby under Ronnie Gunaratna;
  • 1969 Hamish played cricket and rugby under Denham Juriansz and Sunil Perera respectively;
  • 1970Hamish captained the Rugby Team and played cricket under Rory Inman.

I am making a profound statement here and is open to correction. My humble opinion is that the all-round remarkable achievements of Norman Paternott and his three sons Aubrey, Rodney and Hamish in cricket, rugby and athletics singles them out as the first family in the sporting history of St. Peter’s College, to date. Close runners-up would be George Jayaweera and his three sons who played cricket for St. Peter’s – Tissa, Shanthi and Ruwan (Captain in 1974). The only other notable family achievement that crosses my mind is that of the Heyn brothers – Richard and David who both captained cricket and played hockey for St. Peter’s.

Club Rugby & Cricket

All three Paternott siblings played club rugby. Aubrey played as lock forward (2nd row) for Havelocks Sports Club with Peterite star Royden de Silva. Aubrey continued to play rugby and cricket for Dimbulla and Uva later in life just prior to immigrating to Australia.

After one season with Havelocks, Rodney Paternott joined CH&FC where he blossomed out as a rugby player of international repute going onto represent the country against the Australian Emus in 1971. He played for CH as a wing three-quarter from 1970-76, captaining in the final year and, later became their coach in 1980. He also coached S. Thomas' College, Mt Lavinia for three years from 1981. He was also an International Rugby referee having refereed two Asia Rugby Tournaments in Taiwan (1980) and Singapore (1982). Rodney Paternott and brother Hamish, who also played for CH&FC in the early 70s made a formidable combination. Playing inside-three, Hamish's scissor passes, side stepping and sizzling runs are still spoken of in rugby circles today.

Cricket had not reached international status at the time but club cricket was at a high with the Sara Trophy Tournament. Rodney Paternott enlisted for the first CCC team to play in division I of the Sara trophy tournament in 1970-71, captained by Dan Piachaud (Old Thomian). This team was unique in the sense that it comprised five former Peterite captains – Dr. H.I.K. Fernando (captain in 1950), Travis Fernando (1965), Darrel Wimalaratne (1966), Tony Opatha (1967) and Rodney Paternott (1968). Other members of that team were Abu Fuard, Kanthi Johnpillai, Kevin Perera, Brian Obeyesekere (Captained St. Joseph’s in 1969), H.N. 'Porky' de Silva, and Tony Amith.

First batch of Head Prefects - St. Peter's College 1927

First batch of Head Prefects – St. Peter’s College 1927

Paternott 2Paternott - SPC Rugby 1965
1965 Cricket team led by Travis Fernando. St. Peter's beat St. Joseph's by 6 wickets.

1965 Cricket team led by Travis Fernando. St. Peter’s beat St. Joseph’s by 6 wickets.

Comments Off on NORMAN PATERNOTT and his three sons kept the Peterite flag flying high for 43-years!

Advertise Here
Advertise Here
%d bloggers like this: