Highlights of the Jesuit Era at St. Aloysius College, Galle

K. K. de Silva, as Compiler……. (at Sacred Heart Convent: 1943-44; then at SAC:1945 -1958; on Staff in 1959) … with highlighting being the work of The Editor, Thuppahi

St. Aloysius College & St. Mary’s Cathedral stand together on Mount Calvary Hill, known in earlier times as ‘Poraka kande’ or Gibbet Hill, in Galle. The Hill was the place where executions were carried out during Dutch rule, & Hemantha Situge, a distinguished old Aloysian, refers to its  significance in his blog of 31 Dec. 2012 titled “The Scaffold City Galle”.

Later , during Dutch rule, a church was constructed at the premises where the Cathedral is today & it had also been used as a school hall, according to Sagara Jayasinghe in Dwelling of Faith.pdf p.13. He points out that a 1795 map of Galle shows a small church, the church of Holy Rosary, the first to be built on Mount Calvary.  Could the image below, titled ” Distant View of the Catholic Church near Point de Galle ” taken by German  Photographer, Frederick Fiebig, in 1852, be an image of the old church on Mount Calvary Hill?

The Cathedral was built by the Benedictine Fathers in 1874, and St. Aloysius College was started by the Jesuit Fathers, 21 years later.

BENEDICTINE ERA : 1845 to 1895:

Part 1 – Background by Fr. Thomas C. Kuriakose S J. SAC 1930-1931 Staff 1950-1951

1854 • English School in Galle started by Rev.Fr. C.J.B. Fernando O.S.B.

1864• School named the Mount Calvary Anglo -Vernacular School. (English, Sinhala and Tamil ).

1868• Galle Cathedral: The foundation was  laid by the 2nd Sylvestrine to come to Ceylon,  Rev. Fr. E. Miliani O.S.B. prior to leaving the island in 1868.
• Rev.Fr. Benito Martin O.S.B. , a Spanish Benedictine, replaced Fr. C.J.B. Fernando in the Galle Diocese on November 16.

1870s • School known as Mount Calvary Boys High School (English).

• Cathedral built in 1874 with funds collected in Manila by Fr. Martin. (Twentieth Century Impressions of Ceylon p. 276).
• The inscription 1874 appears at the top of the church facade, just below the cross.

• Most. Rev. Dr. Hillarian Sillani O.S.B. Vicar Apostolic of the Southern Vicariate blessed the church built by Fr. Martin at the latter’s request on January 18. Fr. Martin was very sick in  hospital in Colombo at the time. Fr. Martin’s mortal remains buried at Galle on April 1.

• An Italian Priest, Rev. Fr. Johannes Palla O.S.B., a musician, introduced the 1st Brass Band to Mt. Calvary Anglo – Vernacular School; Catholics at church were treated to its performances on Sundays & Feast Days; concerts were organized at the New Oriental Hotel in the Fort of Galle; public performances were held twice a week in the Victoria Park.

• The first two students, R.G.Gunesekera and his brother D.J. Gunasekera admitted on September 5, according to an extract of the cover page of a document titled SAC Admission Register 1888 – 1969, Admission Nos. 0001 to 9960. The 1st page of the Register  shows the names of the students admitted under the numbers 1 to 25 . A copy of the 1st page has been handed over to the School by Mr. Hemachandra Dias, a distinguished old Aloysian. (Facebook post on 11 January, 2021 of Old Aloysians Media Circle).
The School was then known as the Mount Calvary Anglo-Vernacular School. Therefore it is likely that some students originally admitted to this School were absorbed into the School established by the Jesuit Fathers after 1895; the original Mt. Calvary School continued to exist even after SAC was formally established in 1910 & existed as a Sinhala School even in the 1950s.

1891 to 1894
• School known as Mount Calvary Boys English High School.

1894 to 1895
• School known as Mount Calvary Mixed English High School suggesting that girls too were admitted.
• Pope Leo  XIII reorganized the Hierarchy of Ceylon & carved out of the large dioceses of Colombo & Jaffna , the new dioceses of Galle & Trincomalee; the flourishing Belgian Province of the Society of Jesus provided Galle with the Rt. Rev. Dr. Joseph Van Reeth as its 1st Bishop.

Part 2. The Beginning by Fr. Thomas Kuriacose  S.J. SAC 1930-1931 Staff 1950-1951

JESUIT ERA : 1895 to 1910 – Belgian Mission

• March 19 : Rt. Rev. Dr. Joseph Van Reeth S.J. from the Belgian Province of the Society of Jesus  consecrated Bishop of Galle in Antwerp, his hometown.
• November 9 : Bishop Van Reeth  arrived in Galle with Rev.Fr. Joseph Cooreman S.J.and Rev. Fr. Theodule Neut S.J.  A Lay Brother, Rev. Polydore Verbrugge S.J. arrived a few days earlier.
• Fr. C.J.B. Fernando O.S.B., then Vicar General of the Kandy Diocese assisted them to organize the Diocese, learn Sinhala etc for 3 months.

 Rt. Rev. Dr. Joseph Van Reeth

Rev. Fr. Theodule Neut S. J.

 Rev. Fr. Joseph Cooreman S. J.

Rev. Fr. Dennis Murphy, S. J.

Rev. Fr. Augustus Standaert S.J. arrived in Colombo.
• Rev. Fr. J. D’ Herde S.J. joined the Galle Diocese.
• Bishop Van Reeth erected new buildings for the School on available church property  : Fathers’ Residence & Cambridge classes.
• The 1st Fathers and 1st batch of Boarders occupied small houses near the Cathedral, while others occupied the go-downs and store- rooms of Bishop’s House. 1st students occupied 8 class rooms.
Sacred Heart Convent established by Bishop Van Reeth  with 5 European Sisters.( 20 th Century Impressions of Ceylon p. 276); at the request of Bishop Van Reeth, his sister, Rev. Mother Mary Bernadette, who was the Superior General  of the Sisters of Charity in Belgium sent 5 Sisters: Rev. Sr. Amelie Jannsens, the 1st Mother Superior of the Ceylon Chapter, Rev. Sr. Mary William Brennan, the   1st Principal who held the post for 45 yrs till 1941, Rev.Sr. Alexandra Cooreman (sister of Fr. Cooreman, already at Galle ? ), Rev Sr. Marcia Bossaert, Rev. Sr. Alberta Donny; within a week of their arrival on November 23 , they set up a day school with 36 mixed students, in a house on Mt. Calvary next to the Cathedral; the School moved to the present premises in 1901 & became a girls only  Convent.

Illustrations in THE ALOYSIAN

1897 to 1899
• School known as St. Aloysius’ English High School. Also known as  ‘Collegium Episcopale’ in Jesuit catalogues .
• The School was named after the Jesuit Saint of Youth, St. Aloysius Gonzaga ( 9 March 1568 to 30 June 1591).
• Bishop  Van Reeth arranged to recruit Rev.Fr. Dennis Murphy S.J., Rev. Fr. C. Piler S.J. and Rev.Fr. John Delaney S.J. from Ireland, Rev. Fr. Francis De Herdt from the Belgian Province, and Rev.Fr. John Biezer S.J., a German scholastic from the English Province to augment the teaching resources, on a tour to Rome, UK and Ireland.
• Fr. Standaert was posted to Matara & established St. Servatius College, Matara and served as its 1st Principal from 1897 to 1901.

Fr. Standaert appointed the 1st Superior Registrar of the Galle Mission (while at St. Servatius College).

The School then under the supervision of the Bishop was entrusted to the care of Fr. Cooreman who became its Director in 1902.
• Fr. J. D’ Herde, one of the teachers, later assumed responsibility for academic studies.

Cricket: Introduced in 1901 or earlier.
• Rev. Fr. Dennis Murphy S.J. (Irish Jesuit / Belgian Mission) arrived in Galle.
• The School had 85 students  in attendance &  5 teachers : Fr. J. D’Herde &  4 Ceylonese ; 1 or 2 students in the Cambridge class.

Staff : 4 Europeans & 5 Ceylonese; Students : 182 on roll, 143 in attendance ; Cambridge class had a number of students ; College Boarding – 20 boarders. ; boarders were given residence in a house, later the parish house, & in some rented houses adjoining it.
• Old Hall was pulled down & a larger one with a stage erected; during this period classes were held in verandahs, cadjan sheds & a part of the hall.

Revd Fr Standaert

1902 to 1910
Fr. Joseph Cooreman S.J. Vicar General of the Diocese & Parish Priest of the Galle Parish, was the Director of the School, also known as Collegium Episcopale.

Examination Results : 3 Cambridge Junior passes.

• Staff : 10; Students : 260 on roll, 200 in attendance.

• Staff : 5 European Fathers & 8 local teachers. 300 boys on roll. Classes up to Cambridge Senior.  Grant from the Treasury &  subject to government supervision. (20 th Century Impressions of Ceylon p. 276).
• Boarders : 50
• Simon Gregory Perera entered the Society of Jesus, the 1st Sinhalese to do so. Fr. S. G. Perera S.J. spent the major part of his spiritual life at the
Fr. Standaert appointed Superior of Galle Mission & of the School.

1905 to 1910
• Construction of the large school building with class rooms on several floors, chapel, boarding house   etc may have commenced during this period with funds from Belgium.

Football : Introduced in 1907 or earlier. Inter – collegiate matches commenced & the School won the championship for over a decade.The School maintained its supremacy in football in the Southern Province over the years.
Fr. Theodule  Neut appointed Superior of the Jesuit Mission & Superior of the School.
Staff : 4 Europeans, 9 Ceylonese; Students 300 .


Part 3
The Development Years
By Fr. Thomas Kuriacose S.J. : SAC 1930-1931 Staff 1950-1951 ;  L. G. Ponnamperuma SAC 1924-1933;  Pat Williams SAC 1924-1937 on Sports ; Eric Ferreira SAC 1939-1952 on Music & Drama.

JESUIT ERA : 1910 to 1939 – Belgian Mission

• The School formally named St. Aloysius’ College (SAC) in Jesuit catalogues ; however, the name appears to have been used in local correspondence,  a few years earlier.
• Music : SAC Fife & Drum Band started under Rev. Br. Polydore Verbrugge, popularly known as the ‘ Singing Brother’.
• Staff : 6 Europeans, 13 Ceylonese; Students: 372.

1910 to 1921
According to the Archives of the House of the  Superior General of the Society of Jesus, for the periods 1882 to 1914 & 1915 to 1935, the following Fathers have joined the College during this period:
1910 – Rev. Fr. O. Feron S. J. ; 1911 – Rev. Fr. J. Delaney S. J. ; 1912 – Rev. Fr. E. Gaspard S. J. ; 1914 – Rev. Fr. E. Lermusieaux S.J. ; 1918 – Rev. Fr. M. Soden S. J.

1910 to 1921
• 1st Prefect of Studies : Fr. Dennis Murphy (Irish Jesuit) took over from Fr. J. D’Herde, on being appointed to the post.
Fr. Murphy believed that every individual is gifted with physical, intellectual & moral faculties , and that their  full development is the aim of education; he therefore initiated wide ranging measures for the growth of the School :
– Recruited able and competent staff, procured appliances & equipment for the teaching of Science, Literature & Commerce;
– Introduced compulsory morning & evening studies, & week-end swimming  for boarders ;
–  Took steps to improve the standard of English and produced a booklet on ‘ Idioms & Pronunciation’; insisted on students speaking English during prescribed hours ; introduced debating & formed a Debating Society that later branched out to 6 distinct associations;
– Started Commerce classes with the assistance of Messrs. W.L.Selby & H. Wimalaratne;
– Conscientized parents about their responsibilities vis a vis their children’ education;
– Added new volumes to the library shelves and freshly equipped the Science Laboratory;
– Published the Aloysian Magazine ;
– Encouraged extra – curricular activities : games & sports, cadetting , scouting;
– Introduced Green & Gold as the College Colours
– Planned and put up new buildings;
– Encouraged the spiritual growth of the students;
the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin  attracted a number of boys; the enthronement of the Sacred Heart in the College Chapel invited the boys to join their consecration to the Sacred Heart; the Apostleship of Prayer, helped to give meaning and orientation to the daily events of their lives.

• Cadetting : College Cadet Corps registered & cadetting introduced on January 1.
• Examination Results : Honours with Distinctions in Latin, English, French & Mathematics in various years; in 1912, 5 Distinctions & 5 Honours with 1st  Junior  Exhibition.

Fr. Theodule Neut passed away on May 19 at Naples.
• Rev. Fr. Olivier Feron S.J. succeeded Fr. Neut as Superior of the Jesuit Mission in Galle &  Superior (not yet Rector) of SAC.
• 1st Staff Photograph taken. 6 Fathers & 12 teachers.
• Fr. J. D’ Herde returned to Belgium.

1914 & 1915
• Examination Results :  : 8 passed the Cambridge Senior with 2 Honours; 18 passed the Cambridge Junior with 2 Honours; 14 passed Public Examinations for entry to government service.
• Staff : 31; Students : 530; Boarders : 55.
• Students won many laurels in public examinations & athletics, winning the Flag thrice on Empire Day, holding in football first place, gaining two cups, & in the Cambridge locals  many honours & distinctions, together with the much coveted Junior Exhibition.

1913 to 1929
Football: 1st  Tournament among Galle Schools for the L.C.A. Leefe Trophy ran from 1913 to 1929.  SAC  won the trophy  on 11 occasions;  runner up on 4 occasions.
– 1914 : Van Velzon captained the team.
– 1915 : 4 Abeysundere boys played for the team.
– 1920s : Rajapakse brothers, Joe, Roy & Andrew , great exponents of the game emerged during this period; another brother, Andrew played at a later date; other players of note were: Wilmot Serpanchy, Pancras Rayen,  Walter Perera,  Emile Arendtsz,  ‘Papa’ Abeysekera, Remy Juriansz,  Daniel de Silva  & Nicetus de Silva.

1915 to 1922
• Rector, Rev. Fr. Olivier Feron S.J. : the 1st Rector of the College. Zealous missionary,  linguist, administrator & friend of the poor.

Aloysian Magazine published for the 1st time on July 11. Fr. Piler was the 1st Editor of the Aloysian.
• The 1st College Crest was introduced in this Magazine. It encapsulated the Aloysian spirit ‘Certa Viriliter ‘ & had at the 4 quarters , 2 lions & 2 elephants placed diagonally across each other. The letters I.H.S. in the middle & at the centre of the cross referred to the holy name of Jesus .Not known who designed it and what the elements in the 4 quarters signify.  It was re-designed in 1933.(Fr. Peter Gomez S.J.).

  • Rector’s Day : A Variety Entertainment held for the 1st time; this remained an annual feature.
    • A Shakespearean play, ‘Merchant of Venice’ staged for the 1st time. Stage plays were an annual feature.
    • College was best known for the  Distinctions, Honours & Passes obtained in both Humanities & Sciences at the Cambridge School Certificate examinations, & its extra curricular activities ranging from Sports & Cadetting to Music & Drama.

• 4th Galle Aloysius’ Scout Troop established by Fr. Murphy.
• Prize Giving : Entertainment Programme with 2 choruses by the College Choir & 2 one act comedies.
• Cricket : Captain, F. E. Alles.

• Fr. J. D’ Herde passed away in Belgium.
• Cricket: Captain : K. B. V. de Silva;  P. H. Gunatilleke picked up a staggering 66 wkts. for an average of 5.8 runs in 7 inter-school games; his best bag was 6 for 8 runs vs Holy Cross College.

1918 -1920
• SAC had a great reputation for the discipline inculcated in her students ; parents sent their children to the college boarding for this reason; the Fathers were kind but very strict about studies.
• Life in the Boarding : 50 to 60 boarders including non-catholic students; membership in Cadet Corps & Saturday sea bath compulsory;  special study hours in the morning & evening; strict discipline; fine community spirit.
Student Roles : Students were assigned responsibilities in the Library, Debating Societies, Athletic Committees, as Class Monitors etc.
• Moral Science was taught to all students
(P. A. Cooray from Kalutara , SAC boarder 1918-1921, later Attorney at Law, M.P. (1952-1956) writing about his time in the College, in 1994 at over 90 years of age).
• In later years, instead of a sea bath,  training in Swimming & Life Saving was encouraged for all students & students qualified for certificates & other awards of the Royal Life Saving Society.

Fr. Cooreman passed away on August 1 at Calcutta in India.
• Cricket : Captain, Collin Wijesuriya

Fr. Standaert passed away on May 14 at Kegalle.
• Cricket : Captain ?

• Rev. Br. A. di Paola took charge of Singing & SAC won awards at Schools’ Singing Competitions for several years.
• Cricket : Captain  ?

N.U. Jayawardena,  later Governor of the Central Bank of Ceylon, Founder of the Sampath Bank, etc  was admitted to Form 1 on February 2 at the age of 12 years ;  he left in 1925 January 14, after sitting for the Cambridge Senior Examination; he received Honours & 3 Distinctions including Latin, but failed in Mathematics; he recalled  that Fr. S. G. Perera gave him special tuition in Latin, & Fr. Soden in Chemistry, out of an abundance of kindness; he  sat for the London Matriculation Examination later in 1926, as a private student,  offering Mathematics also , & obtained a 1st Divsion Pass, being one of 2 overseas students to gain that distinction; he has referred to the dedication of his teachers & stated that SAC left an indelible impression on his life, it moulded his character, he learned the art of writing, the elements of sound reasoning & logical sequence, & above all ‘precision’ & the importance of detail. (N. U. Jayawardena ) ; he was the 1st Secretary of the Colombo Old Boys Association in 1935, & its President in the years, 1953-1955, 1956-1957, 1957-1959, 1959-1961.
• Cricket : Captain,  Noel Perera

Departure of Fr. Murphy for Ireland after a period of 20 years’ illustrious service to the College on February 28 ; at the time he left, Calvary Hill was covered with new classroom buildings.
• Cricket : Captain,  D.W. Wickremaratne

1921 to 1925
•  Prefect of Studies, Rev. Fr. John Delaney S.J (Irish Jesuit). He took over from his compatriot,   Fr. Murphy. (Available documents do not throw light on his contribution).

1922 to 1931
• Rector, Rev. Fr. Edmund Lermusieaux S. J. (Belgian Jesuit). Soft spoken visionary, planner & developer, teacher of Latin in the Upper Forms  & singer – outstanding soloist at X’mas Midnight Mass.
• Fr. Feron appointed Principal of St. Servatius’ College Matara. He was there till 1930,
Teachers : Michael Croos, W. Dahanayake,  Albert Ranasinghe,  W. E. Goonewardena, W. H. de Silva, M. E. Fernando, Fr. S. G. PereraP. S. Vedamuttu,  P. R. Venkatachalam , Fr. M. Soden,  S. E. R. Perimpanayagam.
Drama : Fr. Lermusieaux was very keen on drama, & trained students to take part in plays. Moliere’s plays were his favourites; A. C. Alles was one of those chosen very often to play a role.
• Boarding life : it was a rewarding experience, with time set apart for studies, recreation & religious observances; recreation  included indoor & outdoor games, sea bathing, walks in the Park or Ramparts, Picnics etc. Corpus Christi was celebrated on a grand scale & one of the repositories was situated in the college quadrangle, gaily decorated with streamers, flags & buntings. (A.C. Alles from Colombo, boarder from 1921 to 1931; later Justice of the Supreme Court).

• Cricket : Captain, M. Gunaratne

Opening of the new wing of SAC by Rt. Rev. Dr. Joseph Van Reeth on June 23. Planned by Rev.Fr. Ernest Gaspard S.J.&  Rev. Fr. Michael Soden S.J., with guidance from Rev. Fr. S.G.Perera S.J. & Fr. E. Lermusieaux S.J.
The new wing  comprised of :
– special facilities in a tower in the 4th & 5th levels, with a telescope for astronomical observations;
– a fully equipped Laboratory &  Lecture Theatre with elevated seating on tiers, on the 3rd floor;
– a ‘Teachers’ Room & class rooms for Science teaching on the 2nd floor;
– an enlarged Reading Room cum Library & Indoor Play room on the ground floor; planned by Fr. Soden; international level journals for school goers such as Scout, Boys Own Paper, & other reputed journals such as the ‘Illustrated London News ‘, the National Geographic  Magazine, the more sophisticated G.K ‘s Weekly & even the British satirical ‘Punch’  made available; light Classical Music played on a HMV gramophone at the lunch break  introducing Beethoven, Bach,Strauss, Tchaikowsky etc.; the lending library supported  by a printed classified catalogue with thousands of volumes  on the shelves; besides Ping Pong, Indoor games like Draughts, Chess, Dominos, Word Building, Nine Men’s’ Morris, Game of Bees, provided;
– facilities for amateur photography, including a photographic Dark Room provided;
– an X-ray unit in the laboratory, the 1st in the South & patients from the Galle Hospital were brought to the College laboratory for X-rays,
The above facilities which may appear to resemble those of an university, rather than that of a school in the 1st  quarter of the 19th century enhanced the reputation of the College which continued to attract students from all over Ceylon.
Fr. Soden was a teacher, scientist, innovator and versatile genius flowing with kindness and concern.
Fr. S.G. Perera, who was involved in establishing the new wing,  was the 1st Sinhalese Jesuit to join the Belgian Mission. Famous as a scholar & historian locally & abroad, teacher of Latin, Language & Philosophy in the Upper Forms , he was responsible for the translation from Portuguese to English of a monumental work: Fr. Queyroz’s  ‘ The Temporal & Spiritual Conquest of Ceylon ‘  – 3 volumes –  on the Portuguese period, at the request of the government . The work was carried out over a period of 10 years, & printed by the Government  Printer in 1930.

• Fr. Soden applied for  Radio Revenue License. This was the year BBC started its service.
• Mr. Paul S. Vedamuttu joined  the College Staff at the age of 20 years on July 15. He served the College for 38 years.
• Bishop Van Reeth passed away on September 11and his mortal remains interred in Galle.
• Cricket : Won all matches; R. Amarasekera & Walter Perera were 2 good bowlers; Amarasekera took 8 for 14 runs vs St. Thomas College, Matara. Captain, K. B. E. De  Silva scored 120 not out vs Govt. Technical School.

Fr. Soden installed a small 110 volt DC generating plant to light up the college , the cathedral & even the convent; Mr. C.O. Williams assisted Fr. Soden in all technical matters & was an enthusiastic associate.
• Scholastic, Rev. Fr. R. Chiriatti S.J., the 1st  priest of the Neapolitan Jesuit Mission from Italy arrived; the Belgian Jesuit Mission which promoted & sustained SAC could no longer send personnel, as it was ravaged by the 1st World War;  those who had arrived by 1915, stayed on & managed SAC until the Neapolitan Jesuit Mission took over in 1939.
• Sports Meet : held in the Galle Esplanade for the 1st time in October. It blossomed into the annual Inter-House Athletic Meet & participation in the annual Southern Schools Sports Meet & Public Schools Sports Meet.
• Cricket : Captain,  Walter Perera
• Lakshman George Ponnamperuma  (1924 -1933), the eldest of the 3 Ponnamperuma brothers, later Ph.D from London University & 1st Chairman, CISIR, now Industrial Technology Institute SL, & Technical Adviser, Commonwealth Secretariat, London,  was witness to or a beneficiary of much of the development work carried out from 1915 to 1933; his recollections are part of this record, in particular, about Fr. Soden’ s contribution to the development of the College.

* 1924: St. Aloysius Old Boys Association was formed in 1924 and Rev. Fr. Delaney , the Prefect of Studies made an appeal to all old boys to enrol as Life Members of the Association. The response to this appeal is recorded by Fr. Delaney in the College Magazine  as follows: ” …………. As far as I am told, the applications for membership have been very poor. There is only one life member from ‘California Estate’ by the name of Mr. P L Weerasooriya. How I wish that he was  an American millionaire from California itself ; he could then pay for every Old Boy and make all of them life members. However we thank him for the  good example he has set and hope all the tea, rubber and plumbago kings will come out of their seclusion and emulate this young old boy’s example ………”.
Mr. P. L. Weerasooriya was at College from 19 Sept. 1903 to 1917, being the 463rd student, and was, a member of the Cadet Corps, the Football  Team & the Secretary of the Literary Association .( http://dodanduwaweerasooiya.blogspot.com/2010/06/mr-p-l-weerasooriya-and-family.html ). His son, Mervyn, also studied at SAC & played for the College Football Team in 1957, & later retired as the Commissioner General of Inland Revenue,  after serving the Department for 37 years.”

• Stage Play : ‘ Barber of Seville’.
• Cricket: Captain, ?

• St. Mary’s Cathedral illuminated at the Silver Jubilee Celebrations.
• Limited electricity supply provided to the Galle town by the government.
• Miss C. Overlunde , later Mrs. S.D. Gibson joined the staff . She retired in 1960, after 34 years ‘ service.
• Cricket : Captain, Victor Alles.

• Fr. Soden obtained a receiver & experimentalist license & installed it, one year after Radio Ceylon was inaugurated. King’s Speech, cricket matches etc were broadcast & people came to listen to programmes amplified through large loudspeakers.
• Cricket : vs Mahinda College –  ended in a tie;  captained by K. L. Daniel de Silva, batting first,  SAC  managed 59 runs; Mahinda College were bundled out for 44 runs; in the 2nd innings SAC were bowled out for 45 runs, only  George Dias entering double figures with 10; Mahinda College needed 61 runs to win; they were 46 for 5 down at one stage; Leonard de Zilva who did not bowl in the 1st innings mesmerized the remaining batsman taking 4 wickets for 5 runs in 5 overs and the scores were dead level;  vs Richmond – Henry Alles took 7 wickets for 17 runs.

• Fr. Chiriatti left for India to follow his theological studies.
W. Dahanayake,  (later Prime Minister of Ceylon)  joined the Staff of SAC. He taught Latin, Mathematics, History, Geography & Moral Science. He was also the Games Master. He acted in the College plays many of which were adaptations from Moliere’s comedies. He left in 1936 in order to pursue a career in politics.
• Senior Cambridge Examination : 3 students, obtained Honours  – Basil Corera, Edmund Wimalaratne (Distinctions in Latin & Sanskrit) & A.C.Alles.
• Peter Gomez, (later Jesuit Priest) was a student from 1928 to 1934 ; his teachers were : Fr. Gaspard,  Fr. Chiriatti, Fr. Soden, Fr. Vercruysse, Fr. Peter de Silva, Mrs. Ernest, P. C. Dias, Ratnayake,  F. E. Alles, W.H. de Silva,  Thomas Mackessack, S. E. R. Perimpanayagam,  P. S. Vedamuttu, & P.R.  Venkatachalam; there were  600 students on roll; he was admitted to Std. 2B & Felix Nelson  Ponnamperuma,  later Ph.D. from Cornell University, the world renowned Principal Soil Chemist, IRRI, Phillipines & developer of the miracle rice, IR 8, was in Std 2A.
• Cyril Andrew Ponnamperuma, later, Ph.D. California University,  the world  renowned NASA Scientist, (who analyzed the soil samples from the moon,)  & Professor of University of Maryland,
was admitted to College & later joined St. Joseph’s College, Colombo. According to Arthur C. Clarke, ” No other scientist of Sri Lankan origin was internationally known & respected as he was.” He was probably admitted to the College in 1928 & left in 1933 along with his brothers, but the dates need verification.
A group of Scouts engaged in an expedition to the Himalayas.
• The Cadet Battalion  under Lt. Wickremasuriya & Lt. W. H. De Silva provided  a  Guard of Honour      to His Excellency the Governor General.
• Cricket : Henry Alles captained the team & was acclaimed the steadiest & soundest batsman among Galle schools; M. H. Azeez took a hat-trick vs Mahinda.
• Football: Captain, George Dias

New College Hall with an auditorium,  theatre style balcony & stage opened in June. It was  unsurpassed in schools at the time. Fr . Lermusieaux was its Construction Manager with the full support & versatile skills of Fr. Soden, & Bros. Polydore Verbrugge (builder) & Van Lierop (supplies & materials manager).
• Teachers Guild : Inauguration on August 20.   Office Bearers : President : Fr. Lermusieaux ,
Vice Presidents : Fr. Gaspard & Mr. Wimalaratne, Secretary & Treasurer :  P.S. Vedamuttu, Committee : W. Dahanayake,  A.Ranasinghe, Miss Theodora de Silva.
• Stage Play : ‘Julius Caesar’ staged for the Prize Giving held in March. Last concert held in the old Hall.
• Football : Captain : George Dias again; 1st Eleven team won the L.C.A. Leefe Trophy;  Form 1 teacher, W. Dahanayake , took the Form 1 team to Richmond to play against their counterparts in charge of his twin brother, K. Dahanayake & SAC won the match.
• Cricket : Captain,  Samson Kulatunge

Moliere’s plays, translated into English by Fr. Lermusieaux,   were regularly staged in the new College Hall  and  prominent actors among the staff were: Messrs. W. H. de Silva, A. Ranasinghe, W. Dahanayake, E. F. de Silva  P. S. Vedamuttu, P. C. Dias, S. D. Gibson, Wickremasuriya & Ponniah.
• Rector’ Day : Playlets by kiddies introduced by Mrs. Theodora Alles were a regular feature thereafter.

1930s  to 1940s (subject to correction)
College Anthem in EnglishLyrics : Miss Dorothy Anghie – teacher at the Sacred Heart Convent & later at SAC; Music – Rev.Fr. Stromer Sidicinus S.J.- teacher at SAC from 1938 to 1943. Effective date not clear.
College Anthem in Sinhala – Lyrics – Rev.Fr. Moses Perera S.J. , an Old Boy & brother of Marcelline Perera, Principal of Mt. Calvary School; Music : Sunil Shantha – teacher at Mt. Calvary School from
1933 to 1940. Effective date not clear.
• Stage Plays :  ‘Mock Doctor’, ‘Cook & Cook’, ‘Playing at Fashion’, “The Money Box’, “Dandy Dick’, ‘A Thumping Legacy ‘. Fred Serasinghe seen on stage often. His rendition of ‘Alfred Hamu’ was highly appreciated.
• Football : George Dias (1925 to 1930), Clarence Ferreira (1936 to 1940), & Dominic Pereira  (1936 to 1940) all served 5 years in the Football team, while David Gibson (1936 to 1941) beat them all with a 6 year spell.

Fr. Standaert passed away in Kegalle on May 14.
• Cricket : Samson Kulatunge, Kingsley de Zilwa,  George Dias  & Anthony Walles gave some good performances.  Samson Kulatunge captained the
side again ; Kingsley broke the then school batting record hammering the All Saints College attack to the tune of 121 n.o.
• Football: George Dias, Captain for 3rd year, centre-half par excellence,  possessed an uncanny sense of anticipation and his ball control was sheer magic; he played for the team from 1925 to 1930; his team had an impregnable defence in Lancy Wootler as goal-keeper,  Anthony Walles & Aloysius de Silva as full backs.

Governor of Ceylon, Sir Herbert Stanley visited the College & was received by the Rector , Fr. Lermusieaux & the College Captain, A.C.Alles (later Justice of the Supreme Court).
• Stage Play : ‘Vocation of St. Aloysius’ in August. Pat Williams played the role of St. Aloysius.
• Cricket : Captain, George Dias

Pat Williams

1931 to 1933
•  Rector, Rev. Fr. Ernest Gaspard S J.
Science teacher, co-planner with Fr. Soden of the magnificent Science Dept., strict disciplinarian, tough, hardworking & dedicated conservative teacher with a sense of humour.

•  The House System introduced. 700 boys were divided into 5 groups and assigned to 5 houses, each house in a particular zone.
Houses named after the pioneers who established the School – Cooreman (Yellow), Murphy (Red), Neut (Green), Standaert (Purple ), Van Reeth (Blue).
• House Masters & House Captains appointed.
• House Captains: 1st group -: J. Weeraratne (Murphy), A. Rodrigo (Van Reeth), F. Cole (Standaert)  C. P. Wickremasinghe  (Neut) & F. Xavier (Cooreman ); 2nd group –  A. Rodrigo, L. D. Jayasundera, D. de Zylva, W. Furlong  P. Williams; & 3rd group  : S. A. C. Shums, R. Kulatunge,   S. S. Bawa, F. Scheffer, M. Jayasekera.
• Inter-House Competitions commenced.
• Cricket : Kingsley de Zilwa , Captain, created a wonderful batting record with an aggregate of 466 runs,  being not out 4 times  & having an average of 155 per innings; his scores were : 107 n.o vs Dharmasoka, 99 n.o vs St. Servatius,  58 vs St.  John’s,  94 n.o. vs Holy Cross & 78 vs Galle C. C.; Shelton Hoffman’s wily spinners proved the downfall of many a batsman during the season & he took 4 for 5 runs in 5 overs vs Holy Cross .

Fr. Soden, a teacher, scientist, innovator & versatile genius,  drowned in the sea while trying to save the lives of 2 boys who got into difficulty in the waters of Buona Vista; Fr. Soden, a Britisher by birth, came from a prestigious & aristocratic European ancestry dating back centuries; he was a demonstrator of science & its fascination & a genius with a flair for technological innovation; he was curator of the laboratory;  he was also the 1st environmentalist in  Ceylon in that he campaigned successfully against the establishment of a whaling station at the Buona Vista Watering Point; he edited the College Magazine, the Aloysian, for many years.
Fr. Chiriatti returned from India , & undertook  a number of assignments : Prefect of Boarders, Prefect of  Games, Prefect of Discipline, Prefect of Cadetting, &  Editor of the Aloysian, on the death of Fr. Soden.
• Cricket : Sol Gunatilleke,  captain of the team was the 1st cricketer to be awarded the College Cricket Colours.

Fr. Chiriatti

Re-designed College Crest: Fr. Chiriatti introduced a new  Crest, & according to him it was designed by S.A.Wickremasuriya of the academic staff & Fr. Ernest Gaspard on the advice of Rev. Fr. John Herat O.M.I. of the Colombo Archdiocese, who was an  authority on  heraldry; the  4 quarters contained an elephant, standing for Ceylon ; 3 lilies for purity of conscience ( an outstanding characteristic of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, the patron of the college) ; the flaming torch for the torch of learning passing on knowledge from one generation to the other & the rooster standing on a pile of rock stones representing the town of Galle , dating back to the Portuguese period . (Fr. Peter Gomez S.J. )
• Consecration of Bishop of Galle Rt. Rev. Dr. Nicholas Maria  Laudadio S.J. of the Neapolitan Jesuit Mission.
• Football: Many good players came on the scene; Tidy Abeygunawardena, Felix Cole,  Arthur Sheen,  Willie Furlong,  T. Drahman & Jansz were prominent; the last named excelling as goalkeeper.
• Cricket : Captain, Sol Gunatilleke,  again.

1934 to 1939
•  Rector, Rev. Fr. Edmund Lermusieaux S J. for a second time.

1935 to 1949
•  Prefect of Studies Rev. Fr. Ernest Gaspard S.J.


1935, March 23
Old Boys’ Association launched. Elected at 1st meeting : President – Dr. Marcelline de Costa, Secretary –    Mr. N.U. Jayawardena, Treasurer – Mr. P.D. Henry (All Office – bearers to date listed in
the SAC OBA website )
• Football: vs St. Joseph’s College, won by one goal to nil. Pat Williams, Douglas Jayawardena and Freddy Furlong combined brilliantly , according to plan, to score the winning goal.
• Athletics: Pat Williams, Neutonian,  outran all his opponents in the 1st cross country race organized under the House system.
• Cricket : Captain,  Walter Perera

Stage Play: ‘Tons of Money’ performed for the 1st time in Ceylon for the O.B.A. celebrations in June; adjudged as one of the best produced in several years; principal actors : E.D.A. Gunasekera, Douglas de Zilwa, Peter Phillips, Pat Williams & Sumitta Dahanayake accredited themselves beyond expectations; Fr. Chiriatti produced the play with contributions from Frs. Lermusieaux & D’ Amelia.
• Football: Pat Williams captained the team;  switching to  centre forward position he displayed his goal scoring skills; he scored 26 out of the 39 goals scored during the season, a Southern Province record; he also scored 32 goals in the 3 seasons he played creating another record.
• Cricket : Walter Perera captained the team again   & was a very able leader, consistent with bat  &  ball.

• Cricket: S.A.C. Shums, a fine left arm spinner came on the scene; in  his 1st year he took 34 wkts;  in 1938 he increased it to 59 wkts; in 1939 and 1940 he took 52 & 43 wickets respectively; in all, 178 wickets in 4 seasons, a truly proud achievement; team was captained by Douglas de Zylva.
• Football : Richard Kulatunge captained the team. Dominic Pereira & David Gibson (inside forwards) Clarence Ferreira  a brilliant centre half, N.H.L.  Sirisena & D.G. Nandadasa (forwards) were the pick of the players in the late 1930s & early 1940s. Clarence and Dominic served the team for 5 years from 1936 to 1940. David beat both with a 6 year spell   from 1936 to 1941.
• Athletics : Alavi Ismail of Murphy House won the Champion Athlete Trophy both in 1936 & 1937.

Music : Fr. A. De Burra S.J. made a  splendid debut as Choir Master & formed the Chromonica Band. The Band consisted of 20 players & functioned well for some years. It was revived in 1959.

Part 4
The Golden Years
By Dudley Wijesiri SAC 1946-1956 Staff 1959-1960; Pat Williams SAC 1924-1937 on Sports;  Eric Ferreira SAC 1939-1952 on Music & Drama.

JESUIT ERA : 1939 to 1960 – Neapolitan Mission

1939 to 1949
•  Rector, Rev. Fr. Realinus Chiriatti S J. (Neapolitan Jesuit). Simple & aloof; determined & durable; astute & methodical ; administered discipline in a calm & quiet manner; teacher of Latin & Apolegetics in the Upper Forms; steered the College with distinction during the war years.

• Old Boys’ Concert : Items were four part choruses,namely the ‘ Halleluiah Chorus’ from ‘Messiah’ by ‘Handel’ & ‘Queen of Angels’ by ‘Verdi’.
• College Choir – 100 to 150 boys.
• Cricket : Captain : S.A.C. Shums; John Hettiarachchi scored 114 vs St. Sebastians.

The Fathers : Frs. R. Chiriatti,  A. De Mattia, Felix Rajapakse,  E. Gaspard,   A. De Burra,   V. Perniola,  S. G. Perera, J.  Pogany,  J. Chianese, V. Caly,  Marino, Catalano, Vernon Buyzer, Basil Corera, Albert Silva, Joseph Angele, Louis Cramer, Mark Perera, Paul Caspersz & Lay Brothers, Verbrugge,  Van Lierop,  Anacletus Rodrigo & de Nola.
• The Teachers: : Mrs. K. L. J. Dias, Mrs. Theodora Alles,  Mrs. Ernst, Mr. W. B. Ratnayaka,  F. E. Alles,  J. W. S. R. Senaratne, G.G. Gomez, H. S. N. Sarma, N. Venketeswaran,  A . S de Z . Jayatilleke, K. C. Nair, P. S.Vedamuttu,  P. B. J. Hewavasam, Anton Ferreira, P. C. Dias, S. W. Wickremaratne  W. E . Goonewardena.  W. A de Silva, E. F . de Silva,  Benjamin Blaze , D. B. Weerasinghe, E. Wimalaratne,  S. E. R. Perimpanayagam,  S. D. Gibson, Mrs. Gibson, A. Ranasinghe,  G. A. M. Ganepola, S. Selvaratnam, D. B. Siritunge, M. E. Fernando,   P. R. Venkatachalam,  E. S. Menon, C. A. S. Manatunge, V. V. Perumal, S. P. Fernando, G. L. Jinadasa, J. Varnakulasingham,  E. Dabrera, N. C. Siriwardena, Mrs. B. W. Wickremanayake,  Mrs. S. W. Abeytunge, Miss Gogerly. (Eric Ferreira SAC  1939-1952).

A group of Scouts climbed the Himalayan mountain up to a height of 14700 ft.
• Cricket : Captain, S.A.C. Shums again.

• Cricket : Alex Dias, Captain,  scored 115   vs All Saints College.
• Athletics : E. Wijekulasuriya of Murphy House scored the highest number of points ever, to win the  Champion Athlete Cup, viz. 25 points.

• Cricket : Captain, John Hettiarachchi

Fr. Murphy passed away on 19 February at N. Wales.
• Carnival held in the college grounds.
•Cricket : Captain, John Hettiarachchi .

• Athletics: Public Schools Athletic Meet – L.L. Teneris distinguished himself by winning the Mile event; the 1st Aloysian to win an event at this meet; he ran barefoot.
• Cricket : Captain,  M. B. Gunatilleke
• Golden Showers Carnival held in the college grounds in aid of the Endowment Fund.

• First Aid : Training promoted by Fr. De Mattia, who also took Latin in the Junior Form. Fr. De Mattia was later made a Serving Brother of the St. John Ambulance Brigade, an honour bestowed on him by Queen Elizabeth II  of England. First Aiders received training & qualified for certificates & awards of the Brigade, throughout the years.
• State Educational Policy : The Reform of the Educational System & the Free Education Act 1945 was passed amidst mounting agitation against the inequalities caused by the existence of poor quality free education in vernacular schools attended by many & high quality English education on payment by a few. A movement to do away with the denominational schools(who received a monthly grant from the state in addition to levying fees ) & for the state to take full control of all schools was set in motion. Leading politicians of the day supported this movement and/or advocated withdrawal of assistance to denonimational schools. There was uncertainty in the air. The denominational schools  had to decide by 1948, later extended to 1951, whether to join the free education scheme or not.
• Cricket : Captain,  Joe Abeysundera .

Golden Jubilee of the College celebrated with much festivity, belatedly.
• 1st Medical Student : Wilfred Samuel Emmanuel Perera (later Consultant Gynecologist & Professor) became the 1st SAC student to be admitted to the Medical Faculty of the University of Ceylon.
(Eldest brother of Rev. Fr. Mark Perera SJ., Daisy Pathirana SAC Teacher for over 35 yrs , Rita Perera – founder of Marcsri Kalutara, Newton Perera – Chartered Accountant, Joseph Perera – High Court Judge & Dr. Christopher Perera – all Aloysians,  Sacred Heartians).
State Educational Policy: Sinhala / Tamil became the medium of instruction from Grade 1 to 4. Muslims,  Burghers & Malays were instructed in English. Sinhala became a recognised subject in the  curriculum. Sinhala and Maths/Arithmetic were made compulsory subjects for the Senior School Certificate examination.
• New teachers recruited for Sinhala & Maths.
Sinhala : P.B.G.Hewavasam  (later Ph.D. University of Ceylon), & Benedict Sirimanne (later, while following a course at Peradeniya University,  played the role of the Prince in the widely acclaimed play ‘Maname ‘ produced by Dr. Ediriweera Sarathchandra, another distinguished old boy);  ………….. Maths : H.S.N Sarma (hard task master, but excellent teacher).
• A  Pack of Cub Scouts  was formed under Mrs. Theodora Alles & Miss Sujatha de Silva.
• Cricket : Captain,  H. C. Durrant

Stage Play : ‘Kapuwa Kapothi’  by the College  Rovers.
• Female students from the Convent at SAC for higher studies also participated at the annual concer , persuaded by Fr. De Burra to display their talents.
• Athletics: Public Schools Athletic Meet – SAC , 7th in the Championship table, a  creditable performance for an outstation school; Collin Durrant won the Putt Shot and 3rd in Discus Throw; Douglas Senaratne, 2nd in Hop Step & Jump; Southern Schools Athletic Meet – Senior Relay Championship won by the College team comprising of C. Durrant, S. Abeysundera, D. Senaratne, D. Palipane & D. Alles.
• Cricket : Captain, ?

SAC participated in the celebrations held in the Galle Esplanade on Independence Day , February 4 ; First Aiders were on duty.
• Cricket : Captain, ?

Teachers who had completed 25 years service : outstanding teacher of science , Fr.  E. Gaspard S.J. , that incomparable teacher of English, P.S. Vedamuttu, W.E. Gunawardena , E. F. de Silva & Mrs. Theodora Alles.
• Fathers guiding the students / boarders: Fr. V. Caly, Fr. J. Angele, Fr. O.  Morelli as Prefects of Discipline, Fr. A. De Mattia, a loveable priest,  who silently kept on grinding & polishing the uncut diamonds, & the Sub Prefects : Frs. Kuriacose,  Peter Gomez,  Buyzer, Cramer, Caprioli & Catalano. (Bertram Dabrera , SAC  1948-1955, later Fr. Dabrera).
• Operettas & operas became very popular. ‘Barber of Seville’ staged again.

1949 to 1952
•  Rector, Rev. Fr. Dr. Vito Perniola S. J. (Neapolitan Jesuit). Scholar & historian, known locally & abroad. Obtained Ph.D in Linguistics from University of Poona  & degree in Oriental Languages after he came to Ceylon. Wrote the history of the Catholic Church in Ceylon from the time of the Portuguese, an outstanding work. Passed away in 2016 January, at the age of 102 years & laid to rest in Kandy.

Fr  Gaspard & Fr Paul Peiris  

1949 to 1962
•  Prefect of Studies, Rev. Fr. Paul Nazarine Peiris S.J.
Fr. Gaspard &  Fr. Peiris shaped the future destinies of the College for almost 40 years with a commitment & dedication unparallelled in the history of any other  educational institution in the country.
• Fr. Peiris knew the name of every student and those of their parents too; he exercised great influence over his charges and helped to mould their value systems; a great disciplinarian, he was responsible for ushering in the Golden Years of SAC.
• SSC & HSC classes were introduced in place of  Cambridge & London  examinations & the  curriculum adjusted accordingly.
New subjects, Botany & Zoology were introduced, • Science laboratories were re-equipped &
Botany & Zoology  laboratories were created.
• Brilliant Aloysians like Karl Gunewardena (Ph. D. London University, Professor & Dean, University of Peradeniya etc ), Michael Roberts (Ph. D. Oxford University, Professor, University of Adelaide etc), J.B.X Devotta (Ph. D. London University, Professor, National University of Singapore etc), Granville Dharmawardena (Ph. D. Cambridge University, Professor, University of Colombo etc), Lakshman  Amaratunge (Ph. D. Birmingham University, Professor, University of Toronto etc ) & Bryan Fonseka emerged during those glorious years & the College obtained the best results ever.

•  Stage Play : ‘The Pirates of Penzance’ was the 1st of the famous operas staged in the College by  Fr. De Burra  with the Ferreira brothers, Anton, Eric & Ben, Susila Abeysundera, Douglas  Senaratne & Ignatius Raymond. Mervyn Ferreira , talented & regular pianist for such occasions, was the accompanist.
• Cricket : vs Holy Cross S. H. Chandrasena started the innings on a sensational note dismissing their 3 best batsmen in the 1st 4 balls – all clean bowled. Captain,  ?

• Fr. Gaspard became General Manager of Catholic Schools in the Galle Diocese.
Fr. S.G. Perera passed away on February 19 at Galle. His reputation as scholar & historian had enhanced the image of the College.
• Teaching of Sinhala & Tamil: Not one of the school’s candidates for the SSC Examination failed in Sinhala & Tamil. 3 non Sinhalese candidates secured Distinctions in Sinhala & 1 non Tamil in Tamil.
• Fr. Peiris’s Principal’s Report contained the prophetic words : “children of different communities should be encouraged to study, play & mix freely with one another in amity & concord without unhealthy congregation that must inevitably follow any attempt to erect linguist & religious barriers.” At SAC, there was perfect harmony among students of all communities, who regarded themselves as Aloysians & Ceylonese.
• Reading Room took on a new look, thanks to a donation from A.R.M. Thassim, Mayor of Galle.
• Stage Play : ‘The Mikado’ staged by Fr. De Burra with Clarence Ferreira  as Mikado, I. D’abrera as Koko, Anton Ferreira as Pooh Bah & Susila Abeysundera as Pish Tush.
• Art Exhibition : Organised by Art Master, W.D. Samarasinghe.
• Cricket : H.H.Vedamuttu took 36 wickets at an average of 7.6; D.G.Nandadasa’s fielding, above average. Captain,  S. H. Chandrasena.

Action songs came into the school musical  programmes; delightful, colourful & tremendously popular; ‘Coach & Four” produced by Mervyn Ferreira, outstanding among musical programmes.
• Percussion Bands added to the musical programmes & the youngsters received tremendous applause for their performances.
• College Music Society formed .
• Stage Plays : ‘Cook & Cook, ‘ Tons of Money’ staged again; Fr. Chiriatti played a leading role in producing a number of plays,  his gem being ‘Tons of Money’ with  Sarri Junaid, E. Wickremasekera, G. R. Edema, J. Jamieson, R. Daniels, Ranjan de Silva, Ashton Peiris, J. M. G. Vedamuttu.
Football: W. Piyadasa was reported to be one of the best centre-halves in the schools in the early 60s;  Noel Edema, Darrel Walles, & Carlyle Rodrigo were a trio of crack players , all of whom captained the College team in successive years 1953, 1954 & 1955; Carlyle Rodrigo was the longest serving player in both the College Cricket & Football teams – 5 years from 1952 to 1956.

Fr. S. G. Perera Oriental Library was declared open by Dr. Andreas Nell; this library now housed at Tulane Research Centre for Encounter & Dialogue, Kelaniya founded by Rev. Fr. Aloysius Peiris S.J. , a brilliant product of SAC, who entered the priesthood in 1953. He later obtained 3 theological degrees, a degree in Pali & Sanskrit, from the University of London, & a Ph.D. in Buddhist Philosophy from the University of Sri Lanka.
The Aloysian Magazine had articles in Sinhala, English & Tamil for the 1st time.
• State Educational Policy : The Educational Amendment Act was passed & in April SAC joined the Free Education Scheme, with the assurance of parity of status & parity of treatment for all schools. There was no immediate danger. The agitation for final take over of all schools continued.
• Stage Play : ‘That Rascal Scapin” staged with John R. de Silva, Derrick Jordan, T. E. D. Bulner, R. Oorloff, Felix Silva, Joe Silva, R. Vanderputt,  Sarri Junaid, D. S. Wijesundara, R. Mortier.
• Cricket : H. H. Vedamuttu captained the side; he scored 70 run vs Holy Cross College & took 6 wkts for 27 runs & vs St. John’s had a great match with figures of 7 for 25 & 7 for 31.
• Football : M. H. M. Hussain captained the team   which  was unbeaten.

1952 to 1959
•  Rector, Rev. Fr. Oliver Morelli S J.(Neapolitan Jesuit). He did much to encourage sports in the school, while being mindful of all other activities in the college & maintaining the highest standards.

• Photographic Exhibition : Sir Alan Rose, Chief Justice , was the Chief Guest & declared open the Exhibition.
• 6 Scouts were awarded the Queen’s Scout Medal for the 1st time: J. Ondaatje, R. Samaraweera, D. Wickremaratne,  J. Jamieson, N. Edema  & T. Pierez.
• Cricket : Captain,  Ben Ferreira

• Stage Play : ‘Nothing but the Truth’  with Malcolm Furlong, Derrick Jordan, R. Ludowyke, Nihal Bandaranayake, among others.
• University Admissions : 11 out of 13 science students gained admission.
• Scout Jamboree in Pakistan : Scouts M. Gunadasa & N. Ranawake  participated.
• Cricket: Noel Edema played a classic innings of 94 vs Richmond. Captain,  Terence Jayasuriya.
• Football  :Captain, Noel Edema

Among the many outstanding staff we feature Anton Ferreira, PG Vedamuttu  & Ms Dorothy Anghie  

• Stage Play :  ‘The other Mr. Smith’ with  John R. De Silva, Malcolm Furlong, Derrick Jordan among others.
• Rev. Fr. Perceval Abraham S.J. , a medical doctor & chest specialist, who had joined the Society of Jesus,  was posted to SAC for his ‘Regency’ on 10 May 1954 & taught Bio Science in the HSC  classes  till 31 May 1955; at the Annual Sessions of the Ceylon Association for the Advancement of Science, Dr. P. E. P. Deraniyagala, one of Ceylon’s foremost zoologists announced that among a collection of snakes sent by Fr. Abraham to the  Medical Research Institute for identification were 2 new ones belonging to the genera Uropeltis Cuvier & Plectrurus Dumeril respectively; .these were deposited in the zoological laboratory of the National Museum.(Hemantha Situge, SAC 1970-1983)

• Athletics :- Southern Schools Athletic Meet  –     Ivor Kelaart burst on the scene & lowered 2 records in the 100 & 200 yds; his time of 10.2 secs in the 100 yds was only one tenth of a second outside the then Ceylon record: for the 2nd time running awarded the Galle Gymkhana Club Challenge Trophy for his performance in the 100 yds;  1st time the trophy was won in successive years by any athlete.
– Public Schools Athletic Meet – Ivor Kelaart won the 220 yds and was placed 3rd in the 100 yds proving himself to be one of the top class sprinters in schools.
• Cricket : Noel Edema captained the team & knocked up  scores of 109 n.o. vs Matara Sports Club,  91 vs St Servatius & 50s vs St. John’s College & All Saints College; M. Anver also played attractive cricket with 106 n.o. vs All Saints College & 94 vs Mahinda College;   Carlyle Rodrigo displayed sparkling batting form with useful scores while M. Chandrapala,  Gerry Jayasuriya,  P. Somapala & Darell Walles provided good support.
• Football: Darrell Walles captained the team which was unbeaten ; the side was fully booted.

Kithsiri De Silva is 2nd from left in back row;  while champion miler, Shelton De Silva is seated extreme left; and Ivor Kelaart  ‘stands out’ seated as captain

• Cricket : Carlyle Rodrigo captained the side & scored 101 n.o. vs St. Servatius College.  Other players of note were Ivor Kelaart,  Vernon Regis & Michael Roberts.
• Football : held St. Benedicts College, then Ceylon Schools Champions to a draw; the brilliant goal-keeping of K. K. De Silva, the excellent spoiling work of the full backs, Vernon Regis & Joe Fonseka were features of a hard fought game; Carlyle Rodrigo captained the team.

note goalkeeper Kithsiri in centre back row

• Stage Play : ‘Soap 13’  with Lakshman Abeysundera, S. Jayasundara, John R. de Silva, Ralph Mortier, R. Knower, Oswin Silva, V. Venkateswaran & A.C. Fernando.
• Stage Play : ‘Merchant of Venice’ in Sinhalese.
• State Policy : Country adopted the Sinhala Only policy. No immediate impact but a trend towards a decline in the importance of English and a period of uncertainty loomed on the horizon.
• Cricket : Games Master – Fr. Tim Gomez; Coach  – M.D. Jayasinghe; historic year for the team  captained by Anwar Jawadth; won all their matches & the whole team awarded colours; Carlyle Rodrigo &  Vernon Regis headed the batting and bowling averages respectively; Vernon crashed through the Richmond College 2nd innings taking 6 for 17; Vernon  selected to play for the Combined Schools team vs N.C.C.; Carlyle Rodrigo captained the Galle Combined Schools XI vs Karachi C.C. in which Vernon & Michael Roberts also played. Michael’s score of 35 not out was the highest for the schools side. Other members of the winning team were: L. Abeysundera, Oswin Silva, M. Dias, N. Peiris,  D. Jayanetti, J.M.G. Vedamuttu,  R. Vanderputt, S. Cassim, C. Auwardt, & J. R. de Silva.
• Football : Captain, ?
• Fr. John Delaney, a former Prefect of Studies passed away in Dublin.

• Stage Play :  ‘Barber of Seville’ , for 3rd time with Oswin Silva, Lakshman Abeysundera,  John R. de Silva,  Nigel Kerner, S. Keuneman, F. Keuneman, Rienzie  Perera & Thilakan  Perumal, in June.
• Cricket : Michael Roberts captained the team; centuries continued to flow during the season; vs St. Anthony’s College, Wattala, Michael Roberts scored 101 not out; vs. Richmond College, Vernon Regis scored 112; vs St. Servatius College,  Matara  , hard hitting J. Vedamuttu produced some spectacular batting with his 97 ; other good batting came from Lakshman Abeysundera, Johnny de Silva,& Cedric Auwardt; vs Dharmasoka College, Vernon Regis distinguished himself with the ball taking a hat – trick (3 for 3 ).
• Football: K. K. de Silva captained the team.

• Football: Ben Ferreira, then out of College, became the only Aloysian to don a Ceylon Jersey when he was selected to represent Ceylon on the Ceylon Football Association ‘s tour of Burma & China.
• Football : Hyndley Perera captained the team; a moderately successful season.
• Cricket : Captain,  Nalin Peiris

• Stage Plays : ‘Raththaran” a play in Sinhala by Prof. Ediriweera Sarathchandra enacted by College students with Asoka de Silva, P. Nagahawatte,        G. Pandithasekera, A. Bandara ; ‘Treasure Island’  in English with J. Varnakulasingham, E. Wickrematunge, L. Abeysundara, Ranjit Abeysinghe, N. H. L. Punyadasa ; ‘ Magul Prasthawa’ in Sinhalese.- alynlkh.
• Chromonica Band : Revived with 20 Chromonicas & added features :  8 Piano Accordions, 6 Guitars, 40 Mouth Organs,12 Drums, Tubular Bells, Bongos & other instruments. Bells – Nihal de Silva, Royston Watts & Darrel Ginger. Clarinet players – Royston Watts & L. Cramer. The band made a name for itself in the district & performed at various concerts. Success of the choir and bands was attributed to Fr. De Burra & Mervyn Ferreira, a talented pianist.
• 10th World Scout Jamboree, Phillipines (July 17 – 26): 2 Scouts, Hemachandra Dias & Justin de Silva formed part of the Ceylon contingent.
• Cricket : Hyndley Perera captained ; vs St. Servatius College, Matara, won the match, but a bleak year; Guy de Silva, R. Gunasekera,  M. Hussain, M. Nizam,  H. Perera, & Frank Rodrigo were awarded Colours for individual performance.
• Football : Ranjan Gunasekera captained the team;  won all matches vs Galle Schools, but lost to St. Benedicts College, Colombo 2-3.

SAC Staff 1962

  Two Cooreman House & Aloysian stalwarts of the 1950s Oswin Silva

  Oswin Silva  and

      Johnny d Silva  ….. today among the Moeraki Boulders at the end of the Pacific world  … and Harry Solomons among his beloved ‘rapiers’


Part 4:  The Final Years
By S. A. A. Perera SAC 1946-1951 Staff 1956-1957

JESUIT ERA : 1960-1971 : Neapolitan Mission

1960 to 1965
• Rector, Rev. Fr. Julius Pogany  S J. – Gentlest of men, finest of Science teachers, crushed by the school’s “hand over”.
• Fr. Pogany took over at a time when social & political changes were having an adverse effect on the future of denominational schools; despite a small exodus of staff in 1962 the college continued to maintain the highest educational standards under his tutelage and guidance; the period was a trying one because of the ever persistent problem of finding the finances to run the school; nevertheless, though this was not a role that he envisaged for himself, being more at ease as an excellent teacher of Physics , he did make great strides but was up against  insurmountanle obstacles.
• The annual Aloysian Magazine was published only twice, covering the years 60/61 & 62-65.
• Outstanding Achievement of the Decade by an Aloysian : Michael Roberts, student from 1946 to 1957, later Ph.D. Oxford University, Fullbright Scholar-Chicago University & Humboldt Fellow-Heidelberg University,  & Professor of Anthropology , ” not only obtained a First Class Honours in History at the University of Ceylon but also the Prize for History, the Prize for Ceylon History, the Ceylon University Arts Scholarship & the Dr. Wijetunge Cup for the best All Rounder in the University Campus; to cap it all, he won a Rhodes Scholarship tenable at the Oxford University for 3 years – a distinction so rare  that Michael was only the 2nd Ceylonese to have won it.” ; he also gained University of Ceylon Colours at Cricket & Soccer, Peradeniya Colours in Cricket,  Soccer, Rugby , Tennis & Athletics; he captained the University B Cricket Team; he captained the SAC Cricket team in 1957  & represented the College in both Football & Athletics as well.
• Fr. Gaspard & later Fr. Lermusieaux,  2 of the stalwarts of Aloysian education, passed away after over 40 years of service to the cause of education at SAC.  Veteran teachers, Messrs. W.B.Ratnayake,  Visaga Perumal, B.D.Gunasena & Miss Dorothy Anghie  also passed away around this time.

State Educational Policy : Assisted Schools & Training Colleges(Special Provisions) Act No. 5 of 1960 made the Director of Education the Manager of every assisted school to which the Act applied, except Grade 1 Grade 2 schools. Of 2750 Assisted Schools, 50, including SAC , elected to remain unaided and the rest was taken over by the Dept. of Education by 1st December.
• Stage Play :  ‘The Imaginary Invalid’  directed by Fr. De Burra.
• Cricket : Captain , Ranjith de Saram ; Malcolm Auwardt’s brilliant wicket keeping & batting as an opener was a feature of the 1960 & 1961 seasons; he & Ranjit de Saram were one of the best opening pairs among the outstation schools; useful   contributions from Guy de Silva, Sunil Fonseka, Shirley Orr ; among the wickets were Hilary Paul, G. Pathikirikorale & Fred Keuneman;  Hilary & Shirley toured Western Australia with the N.S.C.A. team ;  Ranjit captained the Galle Combined Schools vs  the Victorian Schoolboys;  Shirley  awarded the O’Neill bat for top score ; Malcolm & Freddie chosen to play for Galle Schools in the Colombo Cricket Association tournament.
• Football : Unofficial champions among Galle Schools;  Meryl Peiris captained the team .
• The Golden Years came to an end. The College was forced by circumstances to become a private school in December.

• College in difficult circumstances : A period of anguish & severe stress commenced for the Jesuit Fathers in charge of the school. Future seemed uncertain  & it was heart-rending for them to realize that the huge edifice built by the Belgian, Neapolitan & Ceylon Jesuits in the previous 6 decades would soon collapse, if funds were not forthcoming.
• Funding had to be organized to pay salaries, for extra curricular activties and maintenance of the buildings. A Welfare Association was formed to collect funds. Old boys and benefactors responded generously.
• Despite heavy constraints the Welfare Association constructed a 4 class room block behind the College Hall , added a Dental Clinic and a Barber Saloon and improved Laboratory facilities.
• Fr. R. Chiriatti  transferred to the Jesuit Residence in Colombo ; he passed away there  at the age of 94, on 20 January 1994.
• “Paul S. Vedamuttu : Senior English Teacher retired after 38 years of yeoman service. Erudite, dexterous in argument, hardworking,  he drilled into his students all the beauty of the English language. Not all the students liked him because of his cynicism & the sting of his remarks. but in retrospect they all admired & respected him because his one great passion was to impart his knowledge to the students.”
• Music : Closer collaboration between the College & the Convent at the Old Boys Day celebrations;   the two Choirs combined to provide a high standard of choral singing.
• Football : Unofficial champions among Galle Schools. Gamini Pandithasekera captained the team;  Modestus Perera was a tower of strength at full back.
• Cricket : Captain,  Sunil Fonseka.

• Transfer of Fr. Peiris, Principal, to St. Michael’s College, Batticoloa: this was yet another blow to the College; about his departure the 1962-1965 Aloysian Magazine commented thus: “His Principalship was illuminated by a yearly succession of the student successes. Among them were the regular quota of Aloysians to the University, Law, Medical & Technical Colleges ……..To the students Fr. Peiris was a strict disciplinarian, who would not brook any laxity or shoddiness. However he was also their veritable friend & guide. His stern exterior was known to envelop a gentle nature within. As a counsellor he directed many an errant boy in the correct path to success.”
• Photo Club: Successful year; produced greeting cards for Christmas & New Year for sale at competitive prices; had a stall at the Carnival for sale of photographs.
• Football: Standard had decined, & All  Saints College  (Galu Maha Vidyalaya) emerged as the strongest school side in the South. Nihal Samarasinghe at right extreme proved to be an outstanding player among school boys of the South.
• Cricket : Captain, H. Iqbal

Revd Fr Paul Caspersz, S.J.

1963 to 1968
• Prefect of Studies, Rev. Fr. Paul Caspersz S.J.
–  number of students which was 1407 steadily decreased, as the College could no longer admit non – Catholic students; as  the decade closed the writing was on the wall; fund raising campaigns petered out ; college was in dire straits financially.

• Music : Choir teamed up with the Convent & sang ‘Speed your Journey’, one of ‘Verdi’s masterpieces from his opera ‘Nabucco”. Miss Bunchie Rodrigo, Music Teacher of the Convent was the  accompanist.
• Chapel Choir :  Roman Catholic students sang at services in the College Chapel & the Cathedral. Choristers mastered the best of Latin masses and hymns introduced by Fr. De Burra & Mervyn Ferreira.
• Photo Club : Another successful year; participated in the 29th Annual Photographic Exhibition in Colombo – Schools section; 21 specimens displayed; secured 1st & 2nd places; Kodak Challenge Cup won by Vernon Boralessa; Somasiri Jayasena secured 2nd place; had a stall at the Carnival for sale of photographs.
• Cricket : Captain , Gamini Fernando.

• Football: Team captained by M.D.S  Sunimal, who later became an international referee. Keerthi Fernando & Harold Solomons figured prominently during the season.
• Athletics : Public Schools Athletic Meet – Ananda de Silva set a record timing of 15.6 seconds in the 110m Junior Hurdles.
• Cricket : vs Dharmasoka College Edwin Corera scored 111 runs; vs Richmond, the Solomon brothers, Harold & Markie did yeoman service both with bat & ball, in particular, by putting up a century partnership for the 5th wicket, Harold making 54 & Markie 75; others who performed well were M. Jawath, Leslie Silva, N. Ismail & P. Bandara;  Keerthie Fernando  captained the team which was unbeaten.

• Rector, Rev. Fr. Joseph Chianese S J. (Neapolitan Jesuit)
• Football :  Standard had declined by this time. SAC had lost its former glory.
• Fr. D’Amelia, Parish Priest of St. Mary’s Church  passed away at a Nursing Home in Colombo on May  27; he was a loveable priest, who had soft corner for little children ;  in earlier years he was Prefect of Discipline.
• Cricket: Captain,  Mubarak Jawath

Rector, Rev. Fr. Percy Abraham S J. 1st Ceylonese to be appointed  Rector.  A time of great challenges, but the College carried on.
Fr. De Burra left for Italy where he passed away in 1980. He was at SAC from 1938 to 1943 & from 1947 to 1966; he was an Artist, Poet, Musician, Photographer & Teacher; he was Prefect of Discipline for long periods. He is best remembered for the great operas & musical shows he staged in the College Hall on occasions like the Prize Givings, Rector’s Day etc. he also taught Latin in the Junior Form.
• Cricket : Captain,  Patrick Bandara

• Cricket : Captain,  Niranjan Vithanage

• Prefect of Studies, Rev. Fr. Stephen Fernando S.J (Acting).
• Athletics : Public Schools Athletic Meet – SAC  created history  by wining the V.B.M. de Silva Memorial Challenge Trophy awarded  for field events among outstation schools in all age groups; D.S Adihetty, Godfrey Arsekularatne, Lawrence de Silva and Laksree de Mel won the points for SAC; trophy was however shared with St. Xaviers College.
• V.B.M. de Silva was a one time Secretary of the Public Schools Athletic Association. His 2 sons, Joe & Felix were boarders at SAC. Felix, unfortunately succumbed to a head injury sustained with a leather ball whle playing cricket within the college premises.
• Cricket : Captain,  Nimal  Mahagamage

• Rector, Rev. Fr. Oliver Morelli S J. for a second time (1+ yrs).
• Cricket : Captain,  Keith Perera

• Cricket: Captain,  S. Paranavithana

1970 to 1971
• Prefect of Studies, Rev. Fr. Paul Caspersz S.J

• Cricket,  Captain,  Trevor Perera/Rex Manatunge

1971, 1 July
• School was handed over to the government.
• 23 members of the staff were transferred out. Among them were those who had served SAC during its halcyon days & had imbibed the spirit of SAC & its glorious traditions & whose names  were revered by generations of Aloysians ; M/s. Anton, Mervyn & Ben Ferreira, Mr. & Mrs. Ariyadasa Pathirana, M/s. S.P. Fernando, W.D. Julian, Mrs. Rita Dias, Miss Eileen Abeysundera & Mr. J.B.Varnakulasigham.


• Rt. Revd. Dr. Joseph Van Reeth – Bishop of Galle , Founder, Patron & Friend
• Fr. Joseph Cooreman S.J. – Zealous missionary, versatile educationist, genial friend
• Fr. Theodule Neut S.J. – Among the pioneers, lover of God & of men
• Br. Polydore Verbrugge S.J. – First of the Lay Brothers in Galle, artist, architect, builder exemplary , religious
• Fr. Olivier Feron S.J. – Zealous missionary,  linguist, administrator & friend of the poor
• Fr. Augustus Standaert S.J – A pioneer builder, unselfish priest & religious
• Fr. Dennis Murphy S.J – Co-founder, gentleman & saint, everbody’s friend
• Fr. Edmund Lermusieaux S.J. – Among the early stalwarts, builder, musician, holy priest
• Fr. Ernest Gaspard S.J. – Eminent educationist,  big in mind & heart, a complete man
• Fr. S.G.Perera S.J. – Teacher, writer, historian, research scholar
• Fr. Michael Soden S.J.  – Priest of God. Laid down his life to save his student friend. Greater love than this no man hath …….
• Rt. Revd.  Dr. N.M.Laudadio S.J. – Among the 1st batch of Italian missionaries. The only Italian  Bishop of the Galle Diocese
• Fr. Realino Chiriatti S.J. – Astute & methodical to the end
• Fr. Basil Corera S.J.  – Keen intellect & quick in wit
• Rev. Lambert Van Lierop S.J.  – Philatelist & Manager of the College book-shop; generous to a fault.
• Fr. Peter Gomez S.J.  – A colourful personality of the Jesuit fraternity; endowed with an encyclopaedic knowledge & a prodigious memory.
• Fr. Vito Perniola S. J. – Linguist & Historian. In the company of Sir Ivor & Lady Jennings (p. 66)
• Fr. Olivio Morelli S.J.  –  Capturer of many hearts. At ease even with Sir John Kotelawela (p. 66)
• Fr. Paul Nazarene Peiris S.J. – Last of the great Jesuit Principals; much feared at school but dearly loved ever after.
• Fr. Luigi de Mattia S.J. – Most loved & sought after priest for help & counselling in times of distress.
• Fr. Thomas Kuriacose S.J –  friend & guide  our fond Patron
• Fr. Paul Caspersz S.J – To be or not to be – Private? That was Principal  Caspersz’ question. A perfectionist, he urged his boys to climb the heights.
• Fr. Julius Pogany S.J. – Gentlest of men, finest of Science teachers, crushed by the school’s “hand over”.
• Fr. Joseph Chianese S. J. – His delight was to be with the children. Great lover of Sri Lanka, of its people & of its culture.
• Fr. Perceval Abraham S.J. – The only native born Rector of the College. Gave a big ‘face-lift’ to the buildings. Embodied the principle : do what you do; do well !
• Fr. Francis D’Amelia S.J. – ‘Suffer little children to come unto me’ , he kept saying. He loved the ‘little ones’ & they loved him.
• Fr. Louis Cramer  S.J.- Disciplined & methodical ‘pursuer’ of science; spread his influence especially among the science students; Ph.D in Botany.
• Fr. Mark Perera S.J.- Student counsellor who had brought solace & comfort to many an aching heart.
• Fr. Joseph Angele S.J. – Strict disciplinarian whose stern exterior hid a heart of gold.
• Fr. Vincenza Caly S.J. – Gentle & kind, one to whom there was never any guile.
• Fr. Armand de Burra S. J. – Artist, poet & musician; under him the college earned the highest accolades  for song & drama.


  • T. Wimalaratne – Reputed linguist & oriental scholar
    • Albert Ranasinghe – Keen sportsman & a born teacher; unstinted devotion to duty, unswerving loyalty to the school.
    • Paul S. Vedamuttu – Dedicated, inspiring, enigmatic, of acerbic wit
    • S.E.R. Perimpanayagam – His mathematical expositions were gems of clarity
    • Edmund Wimalaratne – Chip off the old block; distinguished scholar in Latin & Sanskrit; model teacher & loyal friend.
    • P.C.Dias – Loved by staff, colleagues & students
    • Mrs. K. L. J. Dias – Of sedate & quiet disposition, she is remembered with love & gratitude
    • W.B.Ratnayake – Ideal teacher & disciplinarian; sympathetic, cordial, good organiser, among the most popular of teachers
    • N. Venketeswaran  –  Steeped in his native culture, he regaled his classes in delightful accent with the science & wisdom of the Ancients.
    • Dr. P.B.G.Hewavasam – Scholar of repute  recipient of Sahithya & Presidential Awards for his Doctoral thesis on the Matara period.
    • Miss Dorothy Anghie – Strict disciplinarian & much loved teacher; opened to her students the fascinating world of English Literature; loyal & generous to a fault.
    • Anton Ferreira – Most devoted & dedicated teacher; lover of SAC & her traditions; friend, philosopher & guide to students
    • Commodore Lionel Mendis VSV  – A loyal old boy & loveable teacher both at SAC & Sri Lanka Navy. His vision of a Defence University as a fine mix of the liberal & martial arts was realised with the establishment of the Sir, John Kotelawela Defence Academy. Logically he was its 1st Commandant.
    • C.A.S. Manatunge – Kind, courteous & soft spoken, counsellor & guide to many a student
    • T.A.J.Pathirana – Artfully & gracefully he crafted his way into Aloysian hearts.
    • Gunasena de Silva – Loyal to the end, died in harness.
    • J.B. Varnakulasingham – Helped to pilot the school in its stormy days; taught the boys to love music & literature.
    • Mrs. Rita Dias – Showered her students with love & kindness.
    • Mrs. Anne de Silva  ‘Tiny’ to all Aloysians, yet so large in service, dedication & love.
    • W. Dahanayake – The G.O.M. of Galle, unrivalled in his loyalty to Jesuits of his time.

Ben Sirimanne in the lead role of Maname under the direction of Prof ER Saratchandra ….https://bensirimanne.co


  • N.U.Jayawardena  (SAC : 1920 to 1925)
    Banker & Economist of repute. Among the best SAC has produced.
    • Prof. Cyril Ponnamperuma (SAC : 1928 to 1933 ) — Advanced the frontiers of science
    • Dr. Michael Roberts (SAC : 1946 to 1957) — One of SAC’s finest products, blending sports & studies in harmonious splendour. SAC’s only Rhodes Scholar .

Thoughts expressed by Distinguished Old Aloysians in the Centenary Souvenir

Rt. Rev. Dr. Elmo Perera, Bishop of Galle in 1994 :
Some of the most brilliant Administrators, Scientists, Educators & Historians, both Lay and Religious, have moulded the destinies of many young perspns who came to this institution to receive education during the past hundred years.

Athula F. Edirisinghe, President OBA Colombo :
Those great people at SAC were not merely teachers, they were builders of men.The College was not only a place of learning. It gave us an identity. It shaped our lives, not only with text books & tutorials, but especially with all those precious ingredients that went to make all of what we are today.

  1. A. Cooray (SAC 1918 – 1921)
    SAC provided me with all the facilities to develop whatever gifts and talents with which God has blessed me. In this way I was able to  build my character and develop the healthy fighting spirit within me that helped me in later life in the legal profession and in politics. My success in life I owe entirely to the Jesuit Fathers at SAC.

Pat Williams  (SAC 1924-1937)
SAC has turned out men of eminence in every sphere of activity, men who have adorned their respective walks of life; the Jesuits placed great importance in the building of character
in  generations of Aloysians who have passed through their care; any scheme of education to be complete and successful must equip the young charges with strength of character and moral fibre.

Lakshman Abeysundera (SAC 1945-1957)
Cricketing Days: Those were great years indeed, when we tasted the fruits of success and defeat alike. I have now only very precious memories stirring within my mind of those wild cheering hordes and of all those happy carefree years we spent at dear old  SAC which will always remain for us the best school of all.

Riza Salie (SAC 1950 -1962 )
The Jesuit Fathers : they produced men of medicine, science & technology; men of letters, history & law; men of commerce;  men of great debate & eloquent speech, men of sterling character, discipline & fair play who turned out to be law-abiding & respectable citizens; the little chapel in the heart of SAC, a place of prayer,  helped to mould fine men for society & for the Jesuit calling; their boarding house, the bastion of discipline, attracted children of some of the best homes in the country.

John R. de Silva (SAC 1951-1958)
The values & character build-up received at SAC were : ability to accept victory & defeat in a gentlemanly fashion; respect for one’s parents, educators & elders; dedication to any task that is undertaken; respect for one’s self, inculcating a sense of right & justice; mateship that goes beyond colur, caste, creed or gender; grit & determination to live up to the College Motto : ‘Strive Manfully’.

Carl Fernando (SAC 1952-1958)
The essence of the Jesuit system of education was to impart an all round education  without narrow specialisation balanced by an equal emphasis on co-curricular and extra-curricular activities.

Nigel Kerner (SAC 1954-1959)
Through the example of her mentors her teaching paradigm included a deep sense of social and ethnic justice, binding the hearts of Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim and Burgher alike with a delight in their differences and a sense of each other’s humanity………A Christian school that cherished every Buddhist, every Hindu, and every Muslim pupil such that every handshake that happens when Aloysians meet is a small step away from an orthopaedic surgeon.

Articles in the public domain by Distinguished Old Aloysians about their experiences at SAC :

  • V. Venkateswaran (1945 – 1957)
    Service to humankind – Venkateswaran,  father & son.
    • Daya Lelwala (SAC 194 -1957)
    Stepladders to learning at St. Aloysius College in Galle.
    • Michael Roberts (SAC 1946-1957)
    Being reflections from a Galle boy in the year 1997.

Part 5

Other Galle Schools of the era :

  • 1814, The Galle School (Methodist Wesleyan) , renamed  Galle High School in 1876, & later Richmond, in 1882 by Rev. Benjamin Clough  ;
    • 1819, Baddegama Seminary, later Christ Church Boys School (Anglican);
    • 1848, Buona Vista School (Christian), upgraded as a High School in 1869;
    • 1854, Mt. Calvary School (Roman Catholic )
    • 1857, All Saints College (Anglican);
    • 1872, Rippon Girls School (Methodist ) by Rev. Joseph Rippon / John Shipstione;
    • 1885, Girls High School, later Southlands (Methodist);
    • 1892, Mahinda College (Buddhist ) by Col. Henry Steel Olcott ;
    • 1896, Sacred Heart Convent, (Roman Catholic Sisters of Charity, Belgium ) by Bishop Van Reeth & Rev. Mother Mary Bernadette of Belgium;
    • 1919, Sanghamitta Girls School (Buddhist) by Muhandiram Francis Amarasiri Wickremasinghe;
    • 1941, Vidyaloka Vidyalaya (Buddhist) by H.W.Amarasuriya & Ven. Welivitiye Punyasara Thera.
    (School Websites)

4 March, 2021.


Aloysian Centenary Souvenir (1895 – 1995) by:
Fr. Thomas C. Kuriakose S. J.- Formative Years ; Meteoric Growth : pp. 31-40
P. A. Cooray – SAC, I Salute You. You Made Me : p. 104
A. C. Alles – The Ordered Way of Life : pp. 49-53
Lakshman George Ponnamperuma – Development Decades : pp. 43-48
Fr. Peter Gomez S. J. – The SAC I Knew : Late 20s pp. 54-56
Eric Ferreira – 13 Unforgettable Years : pp. 59-62
Eric Ferreira – Music & Drama : pp. 145-148
Dudley S. Wijesiri – New Horizons : pp. 65-67
Fr. Bertram Dabrera S. J. – Great Differences : pp.71-72
S. A. A. Perera – From Denonminational State Aided School to Non Fee Levying Private Institution : pp. 75-77
Pat Williams – Sports : pp. 115-131

L. K. Hettiarachchi : Aloysian 1950-1960 Photos  / 4 Mar. 2021
Shanuka Perera : Aloysian 1915 – (30 pages)  / 4 Mar. 2021
Aloysian Cricket Captains / 4 Mar. 2021
Old Aloysians Media Circle / 4 Mar. 2021

Rev. Fr. Laurence Hyde O. S. B. : ‘A Short  Historical Review of the Sylvestrine Monks in Ceylon’ – Hyde pp. 104,105,106. / 4 Mar. 2021
Sagara Jayasinghe : Dwelling of Faith
dl.lib.mrt.ac.lk › handle › Dw…PDF p. 13
dwellings_ all_pages / 7 Mar. 2021

http://hemanthasituge.blogspot.com/2012/12/adieu-scaffold-city-galle-hemantha.html / 7 Mar. 2021
https://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/onlineex/apac/photocoll/d/019pho000000249u00060000.html / 7 Mar. 2021.
http://www.osbsrilanka.org/?th_galleries=st-marys-cathedral-galle / 4 Mar. 2021
www.servatiuscollege.lk / 4 Mar. 2021
https://www.archaeology.lk/20th-century-historians-rev-fr-s-g-perera/ 4 Mar. 2021
https://island.lk/dr-wijayananda-dahanayake-galles-most-flamboyant-son/?fbclid=IwAR1r-BrHpR4BqO6rPc8Mac4oocBxEhiCwGxuBIY7CYD-to-BZlL-lY-BQII / 4 Mar. 2021
https://sacobacolombo.com/oba-history.php / 4 Mar. 2021
http://www.businesstoday.lk/article.php?article=12081&issue=324 / wilfred perera  4 Mar. 2021
https://thuppahis.com/2013/12/30/service-to-humankind-venkateswaran-father-son/ 4 Mar. 2021
https://thuppahis.com/2020/09/17/stepladders-in-learning-at-st-aloysius-college-in-galle/ 4 Mar. 2021
https://thuppahis.com/2021/02/04/being-aloysian-reflections-from-a-galle-boy-in-the-year-1997/ 4 Mar. 2021

Image below could be that of Mount Calvary Hill as it appeared in 1852.


Filed under accountability, architects & architecture, cricket for amity, cultural transmission, economic processes, education, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, performance, religiosity, sri lankan society, teaching profession, unusual people, world events & processes

5 responses to “Highlights of the Jesuit Era at St. Aloysius College, Galle

  1. Srilal

    Very Comprehensive
    Well Done

  2. A Catholic school which taught its students not only Education, but discipline with a capital “D” and taught dedication, commitment, integrity sportsmanship, with the blessings of those Jesuit Priests ( who were my friends and advisers) who knew to mingle with the both the rich and the poor alike and inculcated in the students loyalty, and compassion, as important ingredients, along with religious values, to succeed in life. The Jesuits were real missionaries, who displayed unlimited sacrifice. Nihal De Alwis

  3. Ronnie Dissanayake

    It’s so amazing. When I read this I was carried back to my school days and felt so proud that I still belong to this family of humans.
    Thanks to everyone who made this article appear here.

  4. Tony Adolphus

    Thank you and appreciate all this effort and bringing back some beautiful memories of my childhood days and of teachers, classmates, friends, priests, nuns, and let’s not forget our tuck shop David and Arong (excuse my spelling) the College timekeeper or bell boy-cum-scout camping help who touched my life in many ways. Long live SAC Galle. A. Aubrey Adolphus (Tony) 1965-1970 approximately.

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