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It was almost three years after our passing out from the school and a period which we were contributing to all school’s affairs, even if we had already passed out. Meanwhile, on a day during 1984 when I met Mr. Thilak Sudharman, we agreed to pay a visit to school according to my suggestion. As of our visit, we were seeking for Mr. Panangala from the tutorial staff who had taught us during our school days. However, we could not meet him, as he had gone on leave. This made us to walk towards the ‘Commerce Section’. When we were walking through the corridor, a smart gentleman appeared in a bit distant from our vision. As he inquired us: “Where is this duo?” We responded: “We are here to meet Mr. Panangala”. So that, he introduced himself to us as: “I am the new principal: Premasena Udugampola [1983 – 1988]”. “Meet me first, before meeting anyone else here in going forward”, Mr. Udugampola added. Since we were speechless, we made it as: “We are here to discuss establishing the Past Pupil's Association (PPA)”. Mr. Udugampola immediately conveyed his cooperation: “That’s a good initiative, let’s do it soon”.
As I found, the existing PPA was inactive at that time. Therefore, I met the senior members of the initial PPA and, acknowledged about our idea to revamp the PPA and the meeting which would be held at the school premises for this purpose. Those days, most of our past pupils were used to gather at ‘Himali Shoe Palace’ in Main Street, Gampaha which was owned by Mr. Hemantha Edirisuriya. Those who passed by the shop after office work were acknowledged about this initiative and agreed for a date for the meeting. The initial meeting was graced by nearly twenty- five members. As we relaunched the PPA and today, the PPA is being operated in a two storied office building with a high financial stability which is being contributed by a lot of members. Thus, the PPA has been gaining the strength and capacity to facilitate most of the necessities of the school.
Soon after our first meeting, the first task which was allocated for us by the principal those days: Mr. Udugampola was: organizing the ‘Annual Prizes Awarding Ceremony’ which had not been held for some time. With the contribution of our past pupils who were representing the business community in Gampaha town, we were able to complete our first task successfully. Accordingly, we came up with the requirement of calling a ‘General Meeting’ (GM). We acknowledged some of the past 2 pupils who were known to us about the GM. Newspaper Notices about this GM were facilitated by a veteran media professional: Mr. Karunadasa Suriyaarachchi. On the GM day, we did not have a traditional oil lamp to light up, which was facilitated by our sister school: ‘Ratnavali Girls’ School’. As the GM continued, Mr. Suriyaarachchi made the members aware on this incident. Consequently, a ‘hat collection’ was held on the same day and offered a traditional oil lamp for our school. That was the starting point for being a strength for the school as the PPA which has been progressing over time.
As we continue our work, the necessity of an office complex was emerged. Mr. B. A. Abeyratne (1998 – 2001) who was the principal those days, arranged us a temporary space inside a classroom at school. Later, it was commenced to construct a building for PPA office complex in the adjourned land of this classroom. This project was contributed by the valuable contribution of the PPA’s members. Hence, this new office complex was completed and opened on 09th September 1999 at 09.09 AM by one of the former principals: Mr. Mr. D. N. Rajapakse (1972 – 1979).
Apart from these projects, the annual events such as: ‘Inter-house School Sports Meet’, ‘Annual Prizes Awarding Ceremony’, ‘Annual Colors Night’ and, many other events at school are being sponsored by the PPA. During this year, we were able to contribute nearly two million rupees for the school’s projects including the refurbishment of the school’s playground.
Moreover, we launched a project to develop the schools in rural areas. For an instance, we could fully renovate, ‘Sinhalagoda Maha Vidyalaya’ which had been affected by landslides, as a result of this project. Further, we could assist the community in Gampaha area, who were affected by the floods in terms of distributing dry rations and cleaning the sources of drinking water. During this year, three schools in rural areas have been selected to donate school stationery and school uniforms for school students, where two of these schools will also be equipped by library facilities. And also, one of the students of our school has been selected to offer a house, whose family is in low income level. All these projects which are in progress, are expected to be completed in par with the 101st anniversary of the school which will be celebrated in September, this year (2019).
‘Bandaranayake College, Gampaha’ was founded as a mixed school: ‘Henarathgoda Seewali Buddhist School’ at the premises of current ‘Yashodara Devi Girls School, Gampaha’ on 18th September 1918. Mr. Charles Samarasooriya became the first principal for the school
|Mr. Charles Samarasooriya||1918||1923|
|Mr. G. S. Selviya||1923||1924|
|Mr. E. W. P. Smaranayake||1925||1938|
|Mr. D. H. Silva||1939||1941|
|Mr. K. A. Peris||1941||1944|
|Mr. D. W. P. Samarasinghe||1944||1948|
|Mr. M. A. R. Cooray||1949||1953|
|Mr. G. Munasinghe||1954||1968|
|Mr. S. A. W. Subasinghe||1968||1972|
|Mr. D. N. Rajapakse||1972||1979|
|Mr. D. S. Gunapala||1979||1980|
|Mr. E. Jayanettiarachchi||1980||1982|
|Mr. A. J. K. Jayasundara||1982||1983|
|Mr. P. Udugampola||1983||1988|
|Mr. P. P. D. T. Aquinas||1988||1991|
|Mr. S. K. Mallawaarachchi||1991||1992|
|Mr. R. M. Sumanapala||1992||1998|
|Mr. M. L. B. Peiris||1998||1998|
|B. A. Abeyratne||1998||2001|
|Mr. J. H. M. W. Ranjith||2001||2002|
|Mr. W. M. J. Wickramanayake||2002||2004|
|Mr. P. R. Nonis||2004||2005|
|Mr. A. D. M. D. Bandara||2005||2006|
|Rev. Labutale Sudhassana Thero||2006||2012|
|Mr. D. M. L. P. Dissanayake||2012||present|
The initial building complex constructed on the government’s aid, was opened by the former Chief Governor: Sir William Henry Maning on 08th August 1922. The former Provincial Governor: Sir John Presser also supported the cause. As Mr. Samarasooriya took a transfer in 1923, Mr. G. S. Selviya became the successor. During Mr. Selviya’s tenure, the school was promoted as a ‘First Grade’ school on 13th February 1923, whilst the tutorial staff comprised of 10 teachers. At the same time, 75% results were reported by the school’s candidacy in the Senior School Examination (S.S.E.) during 1923. In the same year, the school’s ‘Library’ and ‘Cadet Corps’ were initiated. In 1924, 88% results were reported in the S.S.E. On 16th January 1925, Mr. E. W. P. Smaranayake succeeded as the principal. During Mr. Samaranayake’s tenure, the completed ‘Library’ was opened on 13th June 1926.
On 11th March 1928, the former Chief Warrant Officer for the British Armed Forces: Sir Rolles Wattner made a special note after inspecting the school’s ‘Cadet Corps’, “Well-mannered with good disciplines”, where Mr. P. Rajasekera was recognized and awarded on the same. As the school had been progressing over 18 years, the school was demonstrating its performance in both educational and extracurricular activities such as ‘Sinhala and English Literary Associations’, ‘Athletic Union’, ‘Drama Circle’, ‘Cadet Corps’, ‘Riffle Troops’, ‘Media Unit’ etc. In 1948, the school comprised of 592 students and 20 teachers in the tutorial staff. Mr. M. A. R. Cooray was the principal during this period.1949 – 1992
In 1949, the school was relocated to its current location as ‘Henarathgoda Secondary English School’ with the contribution of the Member of the Parliament representing Gampaha: Late Mr. S. D. Bandaranayake and his colleagues. In 1958, the school’s ‘Main Hall’ was opened by the Former Prime Minister: Late Mr. S. W. R. D. Bandaranayake, who graced the first ‘Prizes Awarding Ceremony’ of the school as the chief guest on the same day. In 1973, the ‘Cadet Corps’ received its first official registration and; in 1974, the school’s ‘Red Cross Unit’ was established. On 30th June 1975, the school won the ‘All Island Volley Ball Championship Trophy’. As Mr. P. Udugampola succeeded as the principal on 19th October 1983, there were 2,068 students, 78 teachers in the tutorial staff and 57 classrooms in total. In 1985, the school owned the largest ‘Scouting Troop’ of the Gampaha District. In the same year, the school was converted as a boys’ school.1993 – 2011
Thus, on 25th May 1993, the school was advanced as a ‘National Level’ school and renamed as ‘Bandaranayake College, Gampaha’. On 20th March 1995, the first ‘Colors Awarding Ceremony’ of the school was held, as Former Her Excellency President: Mrs. Chandrika Bandaranayake Kumaratunge and Honorable Minister of Education: Late Mr. Richard Pathirana graced the occasion
On 09th September 1999, the first office of the ‘Past Pupil's Association’ (PPA) for the school was opened. Meanwhile, as the school turned 80 years, in October 1999, ‘X-Ban 99’ educational exhibition and carnival was held. Consequently, the income of this event was contributed to get the first bus for the school along with the participation of the PPA. As Mr. M. H. W. Ranjith succeeded as the principal on 05th February 2001, special attention was given to both educational and development activities. During Mr. Ranjith’s tenure, 1 Million Rupees was earned and banked to develop the school’s playground. So that, the initial planning was performed to initiate the development projects for both the esplanade and the indoor stadium during this period. On 08th November 2002, Mr. W. M. J. Wickramanayake as the successor, took the initiative to continue these development projects.
During Mr. Wickramanayake’s tenure, measures were taken to commence English medium classes since Grade 6. As the PPA donated, the school was equipped with a ‘Computer Laboratory’ with 40 computers during this period. In 2003, the school’s ‘Eastern Cadet Band’ won the first runners up for the year at the annual appreciation camp held in Rantambe. Meanwhile, the school’s banking unit was established by ‘Bank of Ceylon’ with the coordination of its Gampaha branch. Subsequently, On 16th August 2004, Mr. P. S. Nonis succeeded as the principal. On 11th November 2004, the school’s ‘Western Cadet Band’ won the first place for the year at the annual appreciation camp. In 2005, the ‘Eastern Cadet Band’ won the all island first runners up, while the ‘Western Cadet Band’ won the all island first place. Mr. A. B. H. D. Bandara was the principal at that time.
On 16th January 2006, Most Reverend Labutale Sudhassana Thero succeeded as the principal, who took the immense responsibility to revamp the school’s activating programme, which comprised of the lively projects such as; creating the physical environment of the premises including refurbishing the canteen, purchasing a bus for the school and, the development projects: the esplanade, the indoor stadium, the Volleyball Courts and the Swimming Pool could be considered as the main activities as the parents and the PPA assisted. As Sudhassana Thero retired after witnessing a glorious era of the school, on 13th March 2012, the present principal: Mr. D. M. L. P. Dissanayake succeeded as the principal.2012 - present
During 2012, the ‘Master Plan’ was presented with the scope: future development plan for the school. Further, Chinese, German, French and Hindi were introduced as international languages to be taught in the school in the same year. Moreover, ‘Army Cadet Corps’ of the school won the ‘Hermanlose Trophy’ in 2012, where Mr. Dinesh Thilakaratne from the tutorial staff was recognized as the best drill commanding officer at this event. The ‘Past Teachers’ Association’, ‘Air Force Cadet Corps’, ‘Navy Cadet Corps’ and ‘Police Cadet Corps’ of the school were established during 2012. Subsequently, the ‘Air Force Cadet Corps’ won the all island fist place at the annual evaluation camp held in 2012. Moreover, the ‘Eastern Cadet Band’ won the all island first runners up in the same year. On 02nd April 2012, the ‘Big Match’ tradition was introduced to the school and consequently it was commenced by collaborating with Lumbini College, Colombo 05. On 25th June 2012, the annual ‘Prizes Awarding Ceremony’ was held, where former Minister of Education: Mr. Bandula Gunawardena graced the occasion as the chief guest. Mr. Gunawardena witnessed the commencement of constructing the ‘Mahindodaya Technological Laboratory’ at the premises on the same day. Meanwhile, on 18th September 2012, the school celebrated its 94th anniversary with religious proceedings: a pirith chanting event and an alms-giving for 94 Buddhist monks.
In 2013, the ‘Air Force Cadet Corps’, ‘Police Cadet Corps’ and ‘Western Cadet Band’ won the all island first runners up in the respective annual evaluation camps. On 15th July 2013, the new ‘Technological Stream’ was introduced to the G. C. E. (Advanced Level) Curriculum of the school. The former Chief Minister for Western Province: Mr. Prasanna Ranatunge graced the occasion. On 02nd August 2013, the former Minister of Education: Mr. Bandula Gunawardena opened the ‘Mahindodaya Technological Laboratory’ at the premises. On the same day, the school was promoted as a ‘1AB Superior School’ as Mr. Gunawardena witnessed the occasion. Subsequently, on 18th September 2018, the school celebrated its 100th anniversary, which was a remarkable mile stone of the school’s history. Thus, the school had been demonstrating a rapid progress along with the untiring efforts of the principal and the administrative staff, the tutorial and the other staff, the PPA, the well-wishers and the government.