School of Gentlemen

School of Gentlemen – Ananda College

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To build a new era for Sinhalese Buddhist education, Buddhist leaders understood that, there must be a great school. So, they bring forth schools around the Country knows as Olcott Schools. And Ananda College (School of Gentlemen) is the elder brother among them.

History of the School

Following a meeting of Buddhists at Pettah, under the patronage of Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala Thera, an English-Buddhist school was inaugurated at 19 Prince Street on 1 November 1886 by the Buddhist Theosophical Society. The first session was attended by 37 students. In 1888, when about 130 boys were attending, it moved to 61 Maliban Street. C. W. Leadbeater was appointed the first principal of Ananda today.

By the time the school was officially registered in March 1889, there were 120 students. That same year, J. P. R. Weerasuriya became the first Anandian to pass the Cambridge junior examination. The Cambridge graduate and confessed Buddhist A. E. Bultjens became principal.

In March 1890, the school’s proximity to a Catholic school led to controversy—and a move to 54 Maliban Street where further growth ensued, and student enrollments rose to 200 in September 1892 and 270 in 1894. As principals followed Don Baron Jayatilaka. That year, Mr. Tudor Rajapaksha donated 3.2 acres of land and the school was relocated in the suburb of Maradana. On 17 August 1895, the former English Buddhist School was renamed to Ananda College Colombo.

When Patrick de Silva Kularatne took over in 1918 attendance was 450 which rapidly increased to 1000 two years later. At this time the annual budget was 80000 Rs.

By 1961, the college had officially become a government school.

Present State

Sathmahala at ananda college
Image from Daily Mirror

At present, Ananda College stands in a domain of 15.5 acres in Maradana, with several imposing buildings that house classrooms, laboratories, libraries, hostels etc. and a majestic Viharage (image-house) adoring the frontage. It is the second home to more than 8000 students across the Nation and holds state of the art facilities for sports activities and co-curricular activities.

College Flag and Crest

The College flag and crest, which are designed in gold and maroon, represent the core values of Sri Lankan culture and Buddhist teachings. The College motto, which is in Pali – ‘Appamādō Amathapadan’, a Buddhist quote from the ‘Apramadha Vagga’ in the Dhammapada; means – heedfulness and punctuality leads to emancipation.

Since its inception, Ananada College has produced many eminent alumni, who contributed immensely to Sri Lanka. Such alumni continue to thrive in various disciplines such as religion, politics, Diplomacy, Military, Academic, Corporate, Sports, Judiciary, Medicine, Engineering, Media and Arts.

School Anthem

Dina dina kitu gosa boovii – Vajambenu ananda pa maataa
Sudilii – Jayavii – Lovehii
Saadaa diilaa sipsata haa – Kala da vinea da pahadaa
Editara Sinhala daru kela sadalaa
Dina dina kitu gosa boovii – Vajambenu ananda pa maataa
Lakehii bo anandee paturaa
Anada terun se lo vada salasaa
Peavii seave nisaa veseavaa
Pamaada novemuu tiloona desusee
Dina dina kitu gosa bovii – Vajambenu ananda pa maataa

Principals who lead the Ananda College

  • 1886 – C. W. Leadbeater
  • 1890 – A. E. Buultjens
  • 1898 – D. B. Jayathilaka
  • 1908 – J. T. Davis
  • 1909 – D. B. Jayatilaka
  • 1910 – M. U. Moore
  • 1913 – Dandiris de Silva (acting)
  • 1914 – Fritz Kunz
  • 1917 – C. V. Ranawake (acting)
  • 1918 – P. De S. Kularatne
  • 1923 – G. P. Malalasekara (acting)
  • 1923 – P. De S. Kularatne
  • 1932 – L. H. Mettananda (acting)
  • 1935 – L. H. Mettananda
  • 1936 – P. De S. Kularatne
  • 1938 – S. De S. Jayaratne (acting)
  • 1938 – P. De S. Kularatne
  • 1943 – A. B. Perera
  • 1945 – L. H. Mettananda
  • 1955 – S. A. Wijayatilake
  • 1962 – M. W. Karunananda
  • 1964 – Lt. Col. E. A. Perusinghe
  • 1981 – Col. G. W. Rajapaksa
  • 1981 – S. K. Nettananda
  • 1982 – Col. V. S. Kudaligama
  • 1987 – A. P. Guneratne
  • 1995 – T. B. Damunupola
  • 2001 – B. A. Abeyrathne
  • 2008 – Lal Dissanayake (acting)
  • 2009 – L. M. D. Dharmasena
  • 2013 – Kithsiry Liyanagamage
  • 2016 – S. M. Keerthirathna

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