Mela Comments

At a “Pirith” ceremony in Boralesgamuwa recently, I met a few senior retired government servants who were basically from Horana area, but they were not past pupils of Sri Palee. One of them was a retired Director of Education – Mr. W. Wickramarachchi. He commented that in 1955 -60s, they were young lads, and they looked forward for Sri Palee Mela for non formal education, fun and laughter. He was indicating the novel experience they had. He continued to express that closer to his residence at Poruwadanda, there were posters giving the full description of the mela/carnival with the dates. At the opening day most of his friends rallied in the evening and had visited the carnival (in some years almost all four days) – otherwise at least two days.

There was another retired deputy bursar of the Colombo University – Mr Nandasiri Wijeyawardena. He had studied in Vidyarathna Horana, and he too was eagerly awaiting the entertainment /enjoyment filled Sri Palee Mela. In his own words the Sri Palee Carnival was a “Money’s worth” experience to young people for a joyful nights. His hometown, Kahawala, was about 10 km from Sri Palee - yet he indicated he and his friends used to come to mela for the full four days.

Comment by Mr. K.S. Perera, a retired post master, past pupil of Sri Palee who is now residing in Boralesgamuwa. I visited him in May 2009, and I told him as a reviving old memory that the Sri Palee Colombo branch is preparing a commemorative publication. Then he indicated to me I have a story to tell. This is his episode in his own words.

“I was a meek student, fighting was not a habit with me. Unfortunately I had to engage in a fight in a mela. A Boy came to the science exhibition to enter without the tickets. When I refused he tried to use force. I too used force, and draw him away. He was from a nearby school. One day I had to go to that school to collect a book. Then he saw me, came round and locked my bicycle. I had to make a complaint to their principal. He arranged and gave me the cycle key. Following day this boy came to our school with a gang during the lunch interval. He challenged me for a fight and slapped me on my face. I gave several blows, ran to our principal’s office. I was very frightened. I complained the matter to our principal. He came out of his room, and called the boy and the gangsters in polite terms. He created a peace between them and me. I regard this incident as a bitter experience in my school life, and would like to pass on a complement to Mr. G.P. Ariyaratne – for having settled this in such a short time. I feel this experience as a childhood adventure. “

My friend K.S is very old today – but his mind was very active, and was coming out with more stories and positive comments about mela and Sri Palee childhood era.

As a Sri Palee student from KG to University entrance classes (One school man) many incidents and stories of “felt experience” surface in my mind when I start to write about Sri Palee. I was never a writer not even for a while, but Janaka and Jayasundara – the brains behind this commemorative publication prompting me to write a short article about Sri Palee Science Education created a unique memory mindset. This mindset is now developing to a passion to write few more sentences about Sri Palee in the 1940’-60 era.

Let me proceed to continue write-up of dear memorable teachers and tributes for all our teacher’s in general.

Last Updated on Friday, 25 December 2009 15:38