Accommodating exceptionally able students

02-Oct-2017 13:20

accommodating exceptionally able students-18

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In 1936 Kularatne was re-appointed as the principal of Ananda, and L. Mettananda, who was Ananda’s principal at that time, was appointed principal of Dharmaraja.Mettananda identified the necessity of more buildings for the College and set off to build two two-storey buildings at the Lake View premises.The Cricket Big-Match between Dharmaraja and Kingswood also began in this time. But Kularatne, was able to save the land and secure a home for Dharmaraja, for centuries to come.Several world-renowned figures visited Dharmaraja during his office, including Mahatma Gandhi, Lord Baden Powell and D. He restored the Hostel and transformed the Principal’s quarters at the city premises to classrooms and a laboratory complex, and Dharmaraja started teaching science subjects in 1933.In 1915 a two story building completed at the city premises, which later was named in honour of Billimoria.

He was ably supported by the Venerable Migettuwatte Gunananda Thera – hero of the ‘Panadura Vadaya’, the Venerable Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala Thera, the Venerable Dodanduwe Piyarathana Thero, the Venerable Walane Sri Siddhartha Thero and the Venerable Ratmalane Dhammaloka Thero, along with Anagarika Dharmapala, Walisinghe Harischandra, and Don Agaris Divakara Mohottige, Mudaliyar of Central Province.Once, a Nobel Laureate in Literature, the great Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore did a dance recital at the Principal's bungalow when he visited the school in the 1920s. The College Scout Group began in 1914, under the patronage of De Saram Brothers and many sports and other extra-curricular activities were encouraged.The '1st Kandy Dharmaraja Scout Group' won the coveted "King's Flag" for three consecutive years from 1917 to 1919.Mettananda served Dharmaraja for nearly ten years, and those would be put as an exceptionally important chapter of the college history. Wijayathilake was appointed principal of Dharmaraja in November 1945, the same year that free education was established in Sri Lanka.

In 1946 he was appointed principal back at Ananda, but his service to Dharmaraja would be remembered for years to come, especially with the Mettananda building which now houses the College Offices and the Library. Wijayathilake faced the challenging task of maintaining the momentum set by Mettananda and Kularatne.

It was funded using proceedings of the Golden Jubilee Carnival in 1937 and other fund-raising projects.

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