Thurstan College

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Thurstan College Colombo
කොළඹ තර්ස්ටන් විද්‍යාලය
TC Crest.JPG
Thamaso Ma Jyothirgamaya
("Lead me from Darkness to Light")
Colombo, Sri Lanka Sri Lanka
Coordinates 6°54′13″N 79°51′36″E / 6.90361°N 79.86000°E / 6.90361; 79.86000Coordinates: 6°54′13″N 79°51′36″E / 6.90361°N 79.86000°E / 6.90361; 79.86000
Type National school
Established 1950

College Day - 11 January

Founder Major E. A. Nugawela
Principal Mr. A.D.M.D Bandara
Gender Boys
Colour(s) Blue, Gold & Red



Thurstan College is a national school in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Situated in the Cinnamon Gardens of Colombo 7 it is in the heart of the educational triangle of Sri Lanka with the University of Colombo and the Royal College Colombo as neighbors[citation needed]. As a national school it is controlled by the Central government as opposed to the Provincial Council and provides both primary and secondary education.[citation needed]

Thurstan College, has a student population of 2500 and prepare students for the examinations conducted by the Ministry of Education. The facilities at college include science laboratories, computer laboratories and library. The school has more than 30 clubs and societies.[1][2]


Thurstan College main building

Reverend Father A. J. Thurstan started a private technical school in 1859 and maintained it out of his own funds. This institution had been an agricultural and multimedia technical training centre for many years but had to be closed down after a few years. In 1884, with the assistance of the British government, an agricultural school was started in the same place. There is evidence to show that around this agricultural school there had been a flourishing cinnamon cultivation, and today Colombo 7 is known as Cinnamon Gardens due to this cultivation. The agricultural school was started by the then Director of Education Mr. H. W. Green. In 1910 it was closed down.[citation needed]

Thurstan College at Present

In the 1930s free education concept brought by scholar and minister of education Dr. C. W. W. Kannangara. A new school was opened by then Minister of Education by Major E. A. Nugawela on 11 January 1950 named as the Government Senior School at Thurstan Road (now known as Kumarathunga Munidasa Mawatha), on one side was the old Royal College Colombo established in 1835 and on the other side was the University of Ceylon which was of established in 1922. It was formed to accommodate the overflow of students from Royal Preparatory School. They were the students who could not gain admission to Royal College. The Government Senior School was later renamed as Thurstan College and 26 students who entered the grade one and 2 of from Royal Preparatory School to grade six.[3] The principal of the new school was Mr. D. E. A. Shokman. He introduced a house system for sports, student leadership (prefects), cadetting, and literary associations. He named the houses after the four directors of Education during British rule namely Denham, Macrey, Robison and Sandeman.



  • Mr. D. E. A. Schokman - 11.01.1950 - 31.12.1955
  • Mr. M. D. Gunawardhana - 01.01.1956 - 17.01.1967
  • Mr. P. M. Jayatilaka - 01.02.1967 - 09.10.1969
  • Mr. S. Pandithasekera - 16.03.1970 - 30.04.1974
  • Mr. A. K. Waidyasekara - 02.05.1974 - 20.01.1978
  • Mr. P. S. Gunasekhara - 24.01.1978 - 31.12.1987
  • Mr. H. D. Herman Perera - 01.01.1988 - 20.10.1992
  • Mr. R.D.M.P. Weerathunga - 1992 - 28.08.2006
  • Mr. R.M Jayasekara - 2006 - 2008
  • Mr. W. Gunarathna - 2008 - 2010
  • Mr. D. Bandara - 2010
  • Mr. Y. A. N. D. Yapa - 23.09.2010 - 20.05.2013
  • Mr. Daya Bandara - 21.05.2013 – to date


Thurstan College has Junior and Senior playgrounds, swimming pool and tennis courts. Some of the sports played are

Traditional Fixtures[edit]

CRICKET: Thurstan-Isipathana

Main article: Thurstan-Isipathana

Thurstan plays annual cricket encounter starting the cricket match season of famous schools with Isipathana Vidyalaya called Big Match and it is called Thurstan-Isipathana.

Thurstan's rich and colourful rugby history is over 52 years old. History records that Thurstan began playing rugby in 1957. Thurstan was the second government school to take to rugby and from the inception started playing with all leading teams.

In addition to the "Abdul Jabar Trophy" which is played with the traditional rivals Isipathana two more annual encounters for the "Diyanesh Rajarathnam Memorial Trophy" in 1998 with Wesley College and "Graetian Gunawardhana Challenge Trophy" in 2001 with D.S. Senanayake College were added to the Thurstan rugby fixture.


Notable alumni[edit]

Alumni of Thurstan College are known as Old Thurstanites.[4][5] They include;

  • Major General Dudly Perera Retied Sri Lanka Army
  • Major General Jammika Liyanage Retied Sri Lanka Army
  • Major General Mohandas Sumanasena Retied Sri Lanka Army
  • Major General Rukmal Dias General Officer Commanding Sri Lanka Army
  • Major General Sathapriya Liyanage General Officer Commanding Sri Lanka Army
  • Brigadier RV Ravipriya Commander of the Presidential Guards Sri Lanka Army
  • Colonel Harendra Parakrama Ranasinghe Commander Sri Lanka Army Special Forces (SF) Defence Attache USA
  • Colonel Lal Chandrasiri Commander of Sri Lanka Army 9 Gamunu Watch
  • Group Captain Sampath Thuiyakoontha Base Commander of Sri Lanka Ari Force Anuradhapura
  • Dr. Narendra Pinto, Orthopedic Surgeon

Notable teachers[edit]

Abraham Kovoor - Professor and rationalist

Past head prefects[edit]



External links[edit]

  1. ^ "GCE Examination mess". Daily News. 2008-12-18. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  2. ^ "Quick Look". Daily News. 2010-10-09. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  3. ^ Priya Paranavitane (18 January 2005). "Thurstan College 55th Founder's Day - Jan. 11". Daily News. 
  4. ^ "Old Thurstanites". Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  5. ^ Dilwin Mendis (2013-04-10). "Thurstan Old Boys win". Daily News. Retrieved 2014-02-18.