BY Bandula de Silva, Mohan Dayaratne and the St. Anne’s College Old Boys Union Colombo
The young and the old, present and past students of St. Anne’s College, Kurunegala, flocked in their numbers to the College premises and participated in the Annite Jubilee Walk held on the morning of August 05 at 10 a.m.
It was indeed a spectacular pageant. A procession or a walk of such a magnitude has never been seen before in the city of Kurunegala.
The College premises, the road leading up to the College, the St. Anne’s Street, the Puttalam Road, the Negombo Road and the Bazaar Street and other routes were all decorated with beautiful jubilee flags in the College colours (green, gold and blue), depicting ‘St. Anne’s 150 years’, which gave a magnificent sight to the city.
All participants were clad in College T-shirts and College caps specially tailored for the occasion. It was gorgeous to see them all assemble at the College grounds which occupies a vast expanse of land. There were present students, old Annites of both the Kurunegala Old Boys Association and the Colombo OBU, present teachers including the pastors and brothers, a few past teachers, some parents and invitees representing the Holy Family Convent Kurunegala, the Maliyadeva Girls and Maliyadeva Boys Colleges amongst others.
The Chief Guest was the Provincial Visitor of the De La Salle Brothers, Pastor Christy Croos. The other distinguished guests were the Bishop Emeritus of the Church of Ceylon Kurunegala Reverend Dr. Kumara Ilangasinghe (an old Annite), Deputy Minister Indika Bandaranayake (an old Annite), Principal of St. Anne’s Pastor Tarcisius, President of the OBA Kurunegala Felician Perera and President of the OBU Colombo Cyril Victor.
The proceedings of the day started with the playing of the national anthem and the St. Anne’s College anthem followed by the hoisting of the national flag and the College flag.
Thereafter, the Principal of St. Anne’s College addressed the gathering and welcomed and thanked the guests of honour, and all those who were gathered there. He also thanked the organisers for the wonderful manner in which this event had been organised. Large numbers of balloons in College colours were released to the sky from the grounds, which signalled the start of the walk.
The length of the procession was over 4 kilometres, with over 4,000 participants. The shop workers, inmates of houses, pedestrians and passersby were all lined up to see the pageant and were enthralled with it. The procession started from the College premises and the St. Anne’s Street, making its way along the Puttalam Road, the Negombo Road and up to the Puwakgas Junction.
From there the procession turned into the Circular Road, leading up to the Kadurugas Junction, before turning to the Colombo Road, the clock tower and back to the Puttalam Road before winding up at St. Anne’s Street.
Each grade in the School and each old boys batch group had a float to lead them, adding eye catching attractions such as limousines, vintage cars, horse drawn carriages, dance troupes and disc jockeys amongst other attractions. Nagasalam and papare bands joined the College bands to accompany the large crowd in a rhythmic walk.
After the walk which ended at about 2 p.m., the crowd was entertained to a musical session.
It was indeed a historic day for the Annites in particular and for the citizens of Kurunegala in general.
We of the OBU Colombo wish to place on record our appreciation for the excellent manner in which this historic event was organised and held by the organisers.
May St. Anne’s College Kurunegala continue to go from strength to strength.