Poignant Days in the School History
|14th January 1941||The day of foundation|
|1947||Start of School Scout Troop|
|1950||Enrolment of the Scout Troop under the Sri Lanka Scout Association|
|1958||Commencing A/L Classes|
|1st June 1962||School Management being vested in the Government|
|28th July 1974||Inauguration of the two storey building with 8 class rooms|
|1979||Commencing A/L Science Streams|
|12th February 1995||Opening of the Shrine Room Inauguration of the two storey building donated by Mr. Ananda Ganegoda, a prestigious Old Boy and naming the Library on the 1st floor after him|
|18th August 1995||Conversion into a National School.|
|13th March 1999||The fist Big Match – Vidyaloka vs Meepawala, Amarasooriya College|
|16th September 1999||Holding the 1st ever Scout Jamboree in Tree Houses|
|19th June 2000||Inauguration of the new Computer Laboratory|
|18th January 2001||60th Anniversary Celebrations – commencing with the inaugural commemoration held in parallel to the Vidyalokian March for Peace|
|28th December 2004||Devastation of the whole premise due to Tsunami|
|3rd March 2005||Laying foundation stone to a 3 storey building under the patronage of Hirdaramani Industries Commencement of the reconstruction work|
|January 2006||Official handing over of the new buildings and reconstruction work jointly done by Hirdaramani Industries and Harrow School|
Venerable Welivitiye Punnasara Thero (Founder)
The most venerable Welivitiye Punnasara Thero, the late Chief Incumbent of Vidyaloka Vihara, Galle & Pirivena, founded the Vidyaloka College with the bare objective of providing the children of poor mass, especially of Galle and suburbs, with English education. Such children having no access to the available leading schools in Galle touched the heart of the Venerable Sir and his compassion on them led foundation to the start of a new English College, Vidyaloka, thanks to his benevolence.
His great vision to create a society with values and proper conduct through a Buddhist environment gave birth to the school.
Mr. H.W. Amarasuriya (1941 – 1962)
Until it was vested in the government in 1962, fulfilling the objective of Chief Priest most venerable Welivitiye Punnasara Thero, the School management was taken up by Mr. H.W. Amarasuriya, a leading philanthropist and pioneering figure in the Buddhist Renaissance in the south. It was his personal wealth spent on the procurement of the land of the School premises and erections of the buildings further to the school management which was financed through Amarasuriya Fund.
Mr. E.A.C. Munasinghe (1941 – 1944)
The founder Principal of the College who tried his best to bring about a Golden Era for the School. However, due to a sudden transfer he had to say good bye to the school leaving all his efforts behind. It is said that the students picketed and had a boycott against that transfer of him which is testimonial to his untiring efforts taken towards the school upliftment.
Mr. B.D.P. de Silva (1945 – 1964)
Appointed to the school during an era of great reformations introduced to the education system Mr. B.D.P. de Silva who was of a mighty and virtuous character did a loadable service contributing immensely towards bestowing upon Vidyaloka a Golden Era. His vision was to set priority not on superficial or outward look of the school but on the academics and his mission was based on ‘Dhammapada’ upon which he molded the students with no punishment instead made use of Dhammapada which was his hand book of his life and served as a cane. During his rule the student population exceeded 500 further to the academic staff of 21 versatile teachers. Since, the Pirivena hall was not sufficient to occupy all the students he established a Parents’ Society thus was instrumental in enhancing the physical capacity of the school by adding new buildings. One such contribution of his was the ‘Buddha Jayanthi’ Laboratory. With the approval of the then Minister of Education Hon. Dr. W. Dahanayake, he commenced an A/L class in which four (4) students out of the six (6) who took the exam for the first time got selected to the University, bringing a fruition to his efforts. By the time the school was vested to the government he could make it a school a complete with all the components other than a playground.
Mr. A. Hendra Vitharana (1941 – 1944)
As the Principal after Mr B.D.P. de Silva Mr. Vitharan continued the school convention with the intention of bestowing upon the nation align of dynamic and versatile scholars. The most of the next A/L batch of students could claim for University entrance, thanks to his efforts. However, he couldn’t go ahead with his mission due to ill health and had to be in service only for a short period. He passed away in 1971.
Mr. B.K. Silva (1965 – 1971)
Mr. Silva who was efficient and prudent was an asset to the school while carrying forward the school conventions set up by the former Principals he could develop steadily the school Sports unit as well. Specially, due to his efforts to uplift Football in the school, several Football trophies could be won. As a mark of respect for his untiring service he was honored the President of Southern Football Club. Keeping up high discipline he contributed immensely in the forward march of the school which was suspended owing to his sudden demise.
Mr. Chandradasa de Silva (1971 – 1977)
Mr. de Silva, a scholar who excelled in many fields was a Sun that lit up the school. With the existing OBA he strived hard to develop the school further. The dense student population which exacerbated the prevailing space problem led him the adjoining land to be vested to the school. However, as this gave rise to a boarder dispute between the School and Pirivena which was detrimental in the school development, Mr. de Silva attempted a legal separation of the school from pirivena. In the process of the legal takeover of adjoining blocks of land, he had to face even death threats. However, all the related matters were cleared with the take over of those blocks of land settling the trivial disputes making the school a separate independent entity. The line of buildings in which Wijayagiri Hotel & Bakery was running, was also vested to the school to settle the space problem to occupy the classes conducted at the ‘Sangharama’ facing the China Garden mid lane. Thanks to untiring efforts taken, a two storey building with methodically set up eight (8) was erected. Furthermore, for the benefit of those students studying technical subjects, he could obtain newly equipped buildings. More over, he started a residential sports training camp. It was not held later on whereas the annual education excursions were a success with his active participation. Being a scholar he promoted literary skills of the students through the introduction of Sinhala & English Literary Associations which went up to the extent of holding even English Days. Unfortunately, due to the influence of some followers with sinister motives, he became sluggish at the later years of his rule. However, saying that the rise of the school became impulsive from his period is regarded right an honour for him. His sudden loss at an unexpected moment was a hindrance in the process of the school upliftment.
Mr. D.P. Christy Nanayakkara (1977 – 1981)
With the prevalent political trend Mr. Nanayakkara was appointed the Principal of Vidyaloka. As a well experienced Principal to meet with the shortage of physical resources he could influence the government for the erection of many buildings for the school. The main assembly hall opened on the 1st of February 1980 was one such building granted. In 1978 he could revive the sports meet which had been suspended for several years due to dearth of resources. To make the intruders refrain from using the school premises after school he built up a defensive wall. He could manage to get telephone facilities for the school fulfilling a basic amenity which was much needed. Another significant milestone in the history of Vidyaloka was commencement of A/L Science stream which took place during his rule during which the school produced a significant number of University entrants to Medicine, Engineering, Art & Commerce faculties and we are proud that they are serving back the nation as competent consultant doctors, engineers, administrators or bankers.
Mr. D.H. Senevirathne (1981 – 1995)
Mr. Senevirathne who was valiant and straight forward was the pioneer of renaissance of Vidyaloka. His aspiration was to upgrade the quality of the school in all facets. Through the intervention of Mr. E.W. Edirisinghe, a former Urban Council Commissioner, Mr. Senevirathne could obtain some welding machines to that technical unit of the school from the ‘Holland Friendship Foundation’ for the benefit of those who have made living out of what they have gained at the school. The student population exceeded 2500 and the number of University entrants in four all streams were raised. Expanding the building capacity, two and three storey buildings were added to the school and his effort to upgrade and refurbish A/L Laboratories is note worthy. He was so keen on maintaining discipline among students that during the insurgency in 1988/1989 non of the students could not be stepped out of the school to join the uprisings in the country for which he had to face death threats which he ignored and faced bravely. Challenging the leading schools in the district he could lead the school to give them a tight fight. Vidyaloka was announced a National School on 18th August in 1995 bringing fruition to his devotion. Revival of the OBA during his tenure was for the benefit of further development of the school. During his rule he introduced an internal communication system to enhance the smooth functioning of the school. It was during his rule the tradition of calling an Old Boy of high status to grace any school event as a Chief Guest was introduced. Later he left the school as Mr. Senevirathne was promoted a Director of Education. Though he passed away still his fragrance is left in the school.
Mr. M.B.L. de Silva (1996 – 2004)
Mr. M.B.L. de Silva, a man with a remarkable personality, was the next Principal appointed. The school was fortunate enough to have such a Principal as he was an Educational Psychologist and Environmentalist too. His vision was to create a motivating and pleasant education environment for the students to get them fully or effectively engaged in the teaching – learning process. Therefore, he took immense trouble in making the premises attractive. Thanks to his efforts the school could get a new pleasant look with the name board in Stainless Steel letters and railing alongside the entrance to the school. During to his rule he could upgrade the Computer Unit added to the school by the former Principal. With this the students were empowered to compete with the fast moving world with English ICT knowledge. To enhance the knowledge, skills and attitudes of the students further to the class room environment he tried to develop the school library by adding books worth more than Rs. 400,000/-, providing the school with a standard school library. Moreover, he worked in the furtherance of Aesthetic unit as well. Specially both Oriental & Western Music units were upgraded. A Piano was obtained which was something the school was short of. In addition, he could formalize the school management with a proper administration upgrading all the documents maintained and documenting the duties. As an Educational Psychologist he used subtle methods to maintain and establish discipline and for administrational purposes. His office was always opened to students, teachers, parents and Old Boys. He could co-ordinate both School Development Society and OBA which was not operational for sometime, for the school development. It was he who should be remembered for laying foundation for the Annual Cricket Encounter of Vidyaloka vs Meepawala Amarasuriya College which commenced under the patronage of late Mr. Richard Pathirana, former Minister of Education who was one of the prestigious Old Boys. The school came up and was raised to a height of challenging other schools in many fields inclusive of Sports, Aesthetics & especially in debating competitions. Before he left the school, he could establish a modern electronic internal communication system making the school systems functioning more efficiently. The system of conducting the morning assembly was renovated by making it a live programme with which patriotism and national dignity were inculcated and enhanced within the students. Adding further identity to the school uniform, he introduced with the co-operation of the OBA a pair of socks of school colours too.
Mr. N.G. Gunapala (2004 – 2010)
Out of all the Principals who served here, Mr. Gunapala was the one who had to face the most disastrous and vulnerable experience. Just after 14 days of his appointment to the school he had to face the most catastrophic situation in the history of Vidyaloka i.e. the Tsunami disaster on 26th December 2014 which devastated most of the Southern and Northern coastal belt in which Vidyaloka being of close proximity to the sea experienced huge damage resulting in a destruction of most of the buildings, documents and all the physical resources of all the school. Under this challenging situation, he stood upright facing bravely those situations individually as well as collectively showing his personality as a Principal. It should be note worthy and much appreciated his untiring efforts taken towards re-building the school within a short period of time with the contributions of Government and Private sector. Specially, Hydramani Industries & Harrow College of U.K. extended their goodwill in the process by financing the erection of a three storey building and Gymnasium. In 2006 with the intervention of OBA he could obtain a bus for the school from the Ministry of Trade & Consumer Affairs.
Mr. F. Welege (2011 – 2012)
Mr. Welege, with a remarkable personality rendered the school a yeomen service during his short tenure. He was the pioneer in lifting up the school image into an outstanding status. Launching “Vidya Videsa”, a novel concept in the Sri Lankan school history, he could bring together all the schools in an exhibition in which the first ever robotic competition for the island wide students was held. Further, he extended his fullest corporation to OBA in obtaining a double door bus worth of Rs. 2.6 Million which was a vital amenity for the school at that time. The first ever outdoor Musical Show of the school was staged in the course of raising funds towards this worthy project extracting the utmost co-operation of the OBA towards the school upliftment. Promoting the school image in parallel to the 70th anniversary he could be instrumental in broadcasting 2 live programmes of the school on ITN and Rupavahini Channels. Bearing testimonial to his untiring efforts taken towards the school upliftment, both the parents and the OBA jointly picketed and had a boycott against the news of his sudden transfer which took place according to a decision taken by the higher authority.
Mr. Bandula Jayasinghe (2013)
Mr. Jayasinghe was appointed the Principal while the protests were going on against the transfer of Mr. Welege. His appointment became a controversial point among the parents and the OBA due to the fact that he was to be appointed only for a term of eight months. Marking a historical point in the Education field, this led the liner department to issue a circular against such appointments further.