St. Joseph's College, Colombo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
St. Joseph's College
Logo of Saint John's College in Colombo.jpg
In Scientia et Virtute
In Knowledge and Virtue
Location
T. B. Jayah Mawatha, Colombo 10
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka
Information
Type Semi-Government
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 2 March 1896
Rector Rev. Fr. Travis Gabriel
Staff 450
Grades 1 to 13 Local Syllabus

London A/L's

Gender Boys
Age 5 to 19
Color(s) Blue & White

        

Website

St. Joseph's College is a Catholic educational institution in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It was established in 1896 by French missionaries, with Rev Christopher Ernst Bonjean playing a leading role. The college has over 4000 students with a staff of over 200. Distinguished former students include Cardinal Thomas Cooray the first Cardinal from Sri Lanka,[1] and President Ranasinghe Premadasa. The motto of the college is "In Scientia et Virtute", meaning "In Knowledge and Virtue" in Latin.

History[edit]

In 1892, the idea of a Catholic College emerges with the proposal of the Archbishop of Colombo Rt. Rev. Fr. Christopher Bonjean.

On 6 January 1892, a pastoral letter was sent to all the priests espousing the desirability of building a Catholic College at St. Mary’s College premises at Mattauliya. In April 1892, a public meeting was held to collect funds and discuss the plans for the Catholic College.

Thereafter 27 acres of Land called the ‘uplands’ was bought by the Archbishop for this project, from the government. Later however, this land was bought back by the government with compensation, and the Catholic Church bought a land at Maradana in Darley Road from an Egyptian called Arabi Pasha for the College building.

On 12 December 1894 the foundation stone was laid by the papal delegate for Asia Rev. Msgr, Zalesbbi. In 1896, on 2 March 1896, St. Joseph’s College Colombo was declared open with 211 students in the school proper and 96 students in the preparatory school with Very Rev. Fr. Charles Collin as the First Rector. In November 1896, the College building was formally declared open by Governor of Ceylon West Redgeway and was blessed by Most Rev. Msgr, Zalesbbi, in the presence of the Archbishop Rt. Rev. Fr. Melizan O.M.I.

The Rector‘s office, the College office and the classrooms were all housed in the first building – the Clock Tower building of the College. The College Magazine was started in 1905. The Bonjean Hall was the third building to be completed. Fr. Charles Lytton, the second Rector, planned and supervised the building project of the Bonjean Hall.

Fr. Emil Nicholas O.M.I. was the third Rector appointed in 1910. To Fr. Emil Nicholas goes the credit of primary work on the first Religious Association of the College – the Guild of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

In 1914, there was the appointment of the great educationist, scientist and efficient administrator Fr. Maurice J. Legoc O.M.I. the fourth Rector. In 1933 the present Primary building – originally named “The Maurice Block” was constructed. The exterior facade of this building was an exact copy of the Bonjean Hall was declared open by Most Rev. Fr. Marques.

The next massive building was the (south Wing) a two-storied building to house the classrooms. During Fr. Maurice Legoc’s tenure of office, there was emphasis of the science subjects in the curriculum, Fr. Legoc’s favourite subject was Botany. His own publication “Tropical Botany” was used as a text book in O’ Level classes in India and Sri Lanka. In 1930, Fr. Maurice Legoc introduced a scheme of scholarships to the under privileged students.

To extend the fruits of knowledge to the students in the outstations, Fr. Maurice Legoc commenced:

(b) St. Paul’s College Waragoda (1935)
(c) St. John’s College, Dematagoda (1939)

On 19 March 1929, the foundation stone for the College Chapel was laid by the Archbishop of Colombo. The College Chapel is a fitting memorial to Fr. Maurice Legoc.

The southern end of the Primary building an exact copy of the Grotto in Lourdes was built. In 1940, the Very Rev. Fr. Peter A. Pillai (fifth Rector) was appointed. In 1947 – 27 February, due to the World War 2, the College buildings were taken over by the Army. The College was in ‘exile’ from 1942 to 1946, branches of the College were housed in Homagama, Kalaniya, Gampaha and later at Borella.

On 30 July 1952, the swimming pool was declared open by Lord Soulbury, the Governor General of Sri Lanka. after the era of Fr. Peter A. Pillai, Rev. W. L. A. Don Peter (sixth Rector) was appointed as the Rector of St. Joseph’s College in 1959. Fr. Don Peter was the first diocesan priest to hold this responsible post.

In 1960, after the take over of the schools by the Government the financial support was stopped by the government. The College became a private, non fee levying school.

To uplift the financial situation of the College, Fr. W. L. A. Peter founded the Welfare Association, and also started a pre-school for St. Joseph’s. After the tenure of the Sinhala scholar, Fr. W. L. A. don Peter, Rev. Fr. Mervyn Weekakkody (seventh Rector) was given the task of being Chief Executive of St. Joseph’s. after a brief period, Fr. Weerakkody retired as Rector and in 1974, Rev. Fr. Quintus Fernando (eighth Rector) was appointed as Rector. FR. Quintus Fernando was called the architect of the green revolution at St. Joseph’s. He gave pride of pace to agriculture. The agro 74 was a great exhibition which displayed agricultural plots and stressed the importance of agriculture in the school curriculum.

The ‘Open air stadium’ was constructed during the era of Fr. Quintus. The cricket ‘Tuft Pitch’ became a reality during Fr. Quintus’s tenure of office. On 19 September 1977, the Hon. Ranasinghe Premdasa, the first old boy Prime Minister was felicitated by the Josephian family. The work of the Premadasa Pavilion was directed by Fr. Quintus Fernando.

In 1979, Fr. Neville Emmanuel (ninth Rector) was appointed as Rector. During the era of Fr. Neville he tried his best to re-introduce the Catholic atmosphere in the College. Fr. Neville started the scheme of granting incentives to teachers based on punctuality, attendance, good teaching etc. Fr. Neville initiated the sports council, to improve standards in the sports arena. In May 1983, Rev. Fr. B. Stanley Abeysekara was appointed as the 10th Rector of St. Joseph’s College.

To provide an opportunity for deserving under-privileged students to study at St. Joseph’s, a grade 5 scholarship examination was inaugurated in the College. On the results of this examination these students were give an opportunity to study at St. Joseph’s College. In 1987 Thomas Cardinal Cooray, a past student of the College was conferred a very special honour – ‘Deva Dharma Keethisiri Uttunga Vidyala Puthra’.

During the era of Fr. Stanley Abeysekara, the following additions and renovations to the college buildings were completed with funds provided by the Welfare Association and Old Boys.

(a) A two storied building was completed. The top-story for the classrooms, and the ground floor for the sick room, boarders’ refectory and modern kitchen.

(b) An auditorium was built where the Chemistry labs were housed.

(c) In 1991, a three storied building was constructed for class-rooms and laboratories for the advanced level students.

(d) The Enderamulla Branch school was inaugurated.

(e) A sports complex cum auditorium was declared open by Nicholas Marcus Fernando on 19 March 1996, funded mainly by Old Boys worldwide.

The College centenary year was inaugurated.

On 30 March 1996, Rev. Fr. Victor Silva (11th Rector) was appointed as Rector of St. Joseph’s College. The Choral singing at St. Joseph’s College reached very high standards, with Mr. Francis Almeida as music director. The Bonjean Hall and the College swimming pool were renovated with funds from Old Boys from the country and overseas. The introduction of the boating facilities were a valuable addition to St. Joseph’s College during the era of Fr. Victor Silva, three classroom buildings were constructed for the Enderamulla branch school. The branch-school of St. Joseph’s at Kadolkelle – Negombo was inaugurated during the latter days of Fr. Victor Silva.

On 3 October 2005, Sylvester Ranasinghe was appointed as 12th Rector of St. Joseph’s College. A systematic staff development programme was introduced at St. Joseph’s by the Rector. During Ranasinghe’s era, different age groups of past students started undertaking different projects for the welfare of the College – innovations and refurbishment of the different buildings were undertaken by the old boys under the direction of the Rector.One significant restoration was the Bonjean Hall undertaken by the Old Boys' Union at a cost of over Rs. 12 m. The dormitory, classrooms were restored and renovated by old boys.

Computerizing different aspects of school administration and curriculum has been completed.

The present college[edit]

The school functions as an "assisted school" with substantial state funding but mainly from its old boy unions worldwide

Situated in the heart of the city, its set of buildings cover 12 acres (49,000 m2) and comprise a sports complex, and a swimming pool that is built to Olympic Standards.

The school prepares students for local Ordinary and Advanced Level examinations in Sinhalese, Tamil and English Mediums. In 1996 the latest branch School of St. Joseph's College was opened in Enderamulla, Wattala, 15 km from Colombo. Another branch school that has become a leading Catholic school in the country is St Peter's College, Colombo. Previously known as St. Joseph's South, it was built to cater to the families in the southern part of Colombo who failed to admit their sons to St. Joseph's Colombo, which has now become their main rivals and compete in sports and other activities which are known as "Battle of the Saints" in Sri Lanka. In 2009 st Peter's won the battle after 30 years.

Present rector of St.Joseph's college is Rev.Fr.Travis Gabriel while Rev.Fr.Anton Ranjith is the vice rector.

Uniform[edit]

Grade 1 to 9 : White collared shirt with the school badge as well as Blue colored short-Pants with White socks and Black Shoes.

Grade 10 to 13 :White collared shirt with the school badge as well as White colored long-pants with white socks and black shoes.

For Special Occasions : White collared long sleeved shirt with white colored pants plus the college tie and also white socks with black shoes

Houses[edit]

The 4 houses at St. Joseph's were named in honour of the 4 archbishops who were influential in running this great institution in its early years.

     - Bonjean

     - Coudert

     - Melizan

     - Marque

Past Rectors[edit]

Rev Fr Charles Collin O.M.I. 1896–1910
Rev Fr Charles Lytton O.M.I. 1910–1912
Rev Fr Emile Nicholas O.M.I. 1912–1919
Rev Fr Maurice Legoc O.M.I. 1919–1940
Rev Fr Peter A. Pillai O.M.I. 1940–1961
Rev Fr W. L. A. Don Peter 1961–1971
Rev Fr Mervyn Weerakkody 1971–1974
Rev Fr Quintus Fernando 1974–1979
Rev Fr Neville Emmanuel 1979–1983
Rev Fr Stanley Abeysekara 1983–1996
Rev Fr Victor Silva 1996–2005
Rev Fr Sylvester Ranasinghe 2005-2014
Rev. Fr. Travis Gabriel 2014– up to date

The College Anthem[edit]

The College Anthem was composed by Edgar and J. M. L. Neydorff, and the original manuscript is dated 25 November 1920. The words are by J. M. Lanigan, OMI ................................................................................

Notable alumni[edit]

This is a list of some of the notable alumni of the St. Joseph's College in no particular order.


References[edit]

External links[edit]