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Peradeniya Alumni Get-Together in Ottawa

By Rajendra Alwis

A special General Meeting of the Alumni Association of Peradeniya (Ottawa Chapter) was held at St. Monika Parish Church, in Ottawa, on 16th November. The evening witnessed a houseful gathering of alumni at the church assembly hall, along with their families and friends. The attendees of the event responded enthusiastically to the events of the day and it turned out to be truly memorable evening. The chief guest of the meeting was the Most Venerable Brahmanagama Muditha Nayaka Thero, the chief incumbent of the Hilda Jayewardenaramaya of Ottawa, who is also a product of Peradeniya University. The meeting began by lighting the traditional oil lamp by several graduates of the Peradeniya University, which symbolized eradicating darkness and radiating brightness to ensure future prosperity.

Pictured here, clockwise, Keerthi Weerasooriya, Renuka Subasinghe, Apsara Jayasinghe, Nimal de Silva, Harini Silva, Dammika Premaratna, Nimal Ratnayake, Lakshman Dias, in the middle, Ven. Brahmanagama Muditha Thero.
(Photograph by Manoj de Silva)

Setting the tone for the day, the president of the Peradeniya Alumni (Ottawa Chapter) Dr. Nimal Ratnayake addressed the gathering. At the very outset he extended a warm welcome to all those who were present at the occasion. He stated that the aims and objectives of this function were to renew our old friendships, to meet and socialize with our fellow University mates, their families and their friends. He also said that this is the time for us to re-connect; to swap stories of escapades and to relish the happy times that we experienced as students of our Alma Mater, the University of Peradeniya.

Dr. Ratnayake speaking further added that we should not forget the main purpose of our Alumni Association, that is to share ideas, develop plans and strategies that will help the University of Peradeniya-our Alma Mater- our University - to sustain as an outstanding institution for higher education in Sri Lanka.

Continuing his speech Dr. Ratnayake said that during last twenty months, since its inception, still being a young organization it has managed to award 14 scholarships in cash, each worth Rs. 12,000 per year, to the needy students. A donation of 273 books was made which covered diverse disciplines. Another new project is now well underway to provide computers to one of the university women’s residential halls for the common use of the resident female students.

One of the most attractive pieces of the agenda was the playlet, titled ‘Gajabahu’, produced by Keerthi Weerasooriya of which the theme was ‘gaje gesima’ in the campus halls. The playlet rekindled the sweet memories of the past grads not only because of the famous, well-known theme but also it was symphonised in classical Maname style. Members and participants enjoyed a delicious dinner, specially prepared in Sri Lankan style. Sing-song party after the dinner brought almost everyone to the floor.

At the end, the vote of thanks was proposed by the Secretary of the AAUPOC, Dr. Jayananda Weerasinghe. He extended his sincere thanks, on behalf of the Executives Committee, to all those who contributed to make this event a success.