Personal Tributes

May I humbly pass on a comment from deep within my heart. A “generous” knowledgeable Teacher fraternity of Sri Palee elevated young minds to brighter frontiers from otherwise doomed destiny of a mono-linguistic practice.  We thank you all very much for the multi language programming of our minds and memory with English characters. All Sri Paleeians of that era are well away today due to the bright multi language spectrum planted by you.

In the era 1950’s speaking in the context on technology a phrase called calm technology, did not penetrate in to our students minds at Sri Palee as findability sources which were so rare. The Science teachers at Sri Palee were the only source of findability. Today all school students in Sri Lanka are bestowed with googleability. This is one of the marked reasons which we took this extra special exercise to “talk and write” about Sri Palee Science teachers in vintage years. They were not only education masters more served as ambient findability resource centers. Our Teachers had all the answers to nourish our quiz mind.

A specific incident comes to my mind to record. In November 2007, the Colombo Past Pupils Association organized a teacher’s felicitation ceremony. Three photographs of the function are reproduced for recollection and fresh-up.

One of our bright ladies, Ms. Kanthi Abeyrathne addressing the invitees made speech and was emotional at the last few lines of her address. After the speech, Kanthi told me “I should have sung Lulu’s famous theme song from the film – To Sir with love”. I felt her suggestion as a heavy commitment and a comment. This reasoning prompted me to reproduce the lyrics of the song “To sir with love” as a tribute to express our feelings from all the past pupils who rallied around the commemorative publication.

This theme song “To sir with love” stands alone to speak by itself. It is a monumental song and a theme song for Teachers universally.


Those school girls’ days of telling tales

And biting nails are gone

But in my mind, I know they will

They’ll still live on and on

But how do you thank someone

Who has taken you from crayons to perfume?

That would soar a thousand feet high

“To Sir, with Love”

The time has come for closing books

And long last looks must end

And as I leave

I know that I am leaving my best friend.

A friend who taught me right from wrong

And weak from strong

That’s a lot to learn

But what can I give you in return?

If you wanted the moon

I would try to make that start

But I would rather you let me give my heart

“To sir, with Love”

Kanthi’s suggestion is implemented in virtual and print reality. It holds very much appropriate today to quote for our teachers. Our Teachers did not teach us what is right and what is wrong, but by mere association with our teachers, some of us had the good fortune to learn how to measure what is right and what is wrong.

In summarizing my article, I hope it will serve as a reference note of mine to create a vivid display of the mental pictures to show, what took place in Sri Palee in 1950s – Five decades ago. The genuine Teacher & Student collaboration prevailed then. This precious collaboration progressed to develop responsible men & women for future Sri Lanka.

This small article depicts a faithful recollection of mine as a Sri Palee student in the 1950-60 era. A special emphasis had been laid on Science Education and the Teachers. My writing today as an engineer is far from standard concepts of established writers, but explained with an opening and an end, to read from left to right - page by page. The article is painstakingly value added to reproduce the memories with a deep sense of gratitude to my teachers and Sri Palee friends of the golden years of Sri Palee life.


I will be the happiest if the majority of Sri Palee students (2009) attempt to read my article in this simple form and our memories certainly will inspire them, to visualize student / teacher enriched understanding that prevailed in the 1940, 50, 60 era.

We as responsible past pupils should pass on this formality & recognition of treating the Sri Palee Teachers and The Founder with gratitude as a continuing trend. This step will develop a sense of living value among the Sri Palee student population in the present and the future.

I must also put on record the untiring effort of the steering committee of Sri Palee Past Pupils Association - Colombo for the giant step taken put out this Sri Palee College Platinum Jubilee – 1934-2009 Commemorative Publication. I must congratulate the President, Joint Secretaries and the Committee & very specially Mr. Jayasundara and Mr. Janaka Kumara for their seen & unseen praiseworthy gigantic contribution.

Last Updated on Friday, 25 December 2009 17:56