Royal People

A dedication to those wonderful people who served Royal Primary School & Royal College, in Sri Lanka, since 1835, and, who will be remembered for their committment, sincerety and unselfishness.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

1947 Group Celebrate 60 at GFH

60th anniversary of the Royal College 1947 Group

It was such a privilege to witness a school class reunion last Saturday the 17th February 2007, in the gracious setting of the Palm Lounge at the Galle Face Hotel, when boys from the 1947 class at Royal College were welcomed back from near and afar, for their 60th Anniversary. A surprise bag of goodies with the 47 logo on it, welcomed all who graced the occasion.

The College colours - blue and gold - featured with festive balloons, pretty floral baskets, school banners of outstanding design and in the blue and gold spotlights, an ice sculpture of the number "47" (wow!!!). These and many other decorative touches were unmistakably a labour of love by the reunion Committee, their wives and some of the Hotel staff.

A wonder evening unfolded. Often with hands on hearts the old school boys became young again, with all the excitement of 11 and 12 year olds! Recollections of good friends, - dramatic, funny, sentimental and sad stories.

Heads together, as though the passage of time hadn't existed, with expressions of admiration for others, tales of masters and school boy mischief and memories of sports, the arts and sciences. Then pausing in silence, to mark the passing of 33 of their dear school friends, with invited relatives and widows in attendance. Monies were contributed generously to a Benevolent Fund for the needs of some of the less fortunate "Fortyseveners".

The "Fortyseveners" together with the two Guests of Honour dutifully lined up for the 60th Anniversary Group photograph and many cameras flashed throughout the evening.

Evening activities included the presentation of special individual Awards as well as commemorative awards to all in the Group, in the form of a beautifully crafted and engraved timepieces - may be to remind them of the next get-together!

All received a treasured Souvenir publication - an essential reference to pick up and pursue again and again, and on which a Souvenir 'draw' was conducted for three valuabel prizes. Ah, what fun with a "Guess the Guru" quiz! - Masterly portraiture (by another talented classmate) of a line up of old masters (Gurus!) with some pretty wild guesses and nicknames flying around the room.

This brought back memories of their beloved teachers who helped to make the boys what they are today. A spread of 32 items laid out for the Buffet Dinner was enjoyed by all present, after which the merriment continued, when fine voices lifted the school song into the evening air.

All were touched by this wonderful occasion, with good music throughout the night stirring the "47 Group" present with many old favourites. In particular the 'baila' drew all together in body and spirit.

It was momentous to think that all these Classmates were born around 1935, when Royal College was celebrating its Centenary (1835 - 1935). The College motto - "Disce aut Discede" (Learn or Depart) signified this very special reunion evening. Perhaps the "47 Group" motto in reply would be - "We did and came back"!! - Because of the great affection for their old school - Royal.

Dr. Merl de Silva and wife Anne Simpson from Tasmania.
Daily News Tue Mar 6 2007


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