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Maris Stella College

Coordinates: 7°12′50″N 79°50′56″E / 7.213923°N 79.848915°E / 7.213923; 79.848915
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Maris Stella College
College Crest
College Main Gate

Coordinates7°12′50″N 79°50′56″E / 7.213923°N 79.848915°E / 7.213923; 79.848915
Former nameSt Mary's College (1918-1922)
TypePrivate Catholic Boys School
MottoLatin: Iter para tutum
(Show us the way)
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic
Established1922; 102 years ago (1922)
PrincipalSunanda Alwis
Age5 to 19
Number of students1,657 (2017-2018)
LanguageEnglish, Tamil, Sinhala
Color(s)Red and blue

Maris Stella College is a Catholic College in Negombo, Sri Lanka, which was founded by the Marist Brothers in 1922.


In 1918 four Marist Brothers came to Negombo, Sri Lanka, and took over the management of St Mary's College. In 1922, the school moved to its present site and assumed the new name of Maris Stella College. The history of the primary school goes back to 1921 when Bro. Lewis was in charge of the elementary school, standard two Elementary School Leaving Certificate classes. There were three long cadjan sheds which housed eight primary classes.[1]

The school's broadcasting services were inaugurated in 1930. Maris Stella installed a wireless set in the library, and the boys followed lessons, such as nature talks to children. Electricity came to the whole of Negombo in 1931. The same year the first Corpus Christi procession took place, which went around the quadrangle. The cadets presented a Royal Guard of Honour.[citation needed]

In August 1939, World War II broke out. The following year the school was requisitioned in part by the Royal Artillery for their headquarters. The primary school shifted to Tammita Church grounds into temporary cadjan sheds. Then Royal Artillery moved out in November, but the Royal Air Force occupied the buildings in March the following year. The college was put under protection of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. There were frequent practices of air raid precautions in schools. Trenches were dug for shelter, and every child knew what to do in case of an air raid warning. The school was in Easter holidays when the Japanese air raid took place in 1942 but their invasion fleet was turned back.[citation needed]

In the meantime, a three-quarter acre block of land behind Maris Stella was purchased and twelve classrooms, a staff room, and a principal's office were built; the primary school moved back from Tammita. When Nazier went to Europe in 1950, for a year's study leave, Leonard Obris acted as principal of the Primary Department. For many years the Primary Department was in temporary cadjan sheds. So a building project was launched. Funds were raised through carnivals and other means. Bro. Xavier was the architect and the builder of the primary school. In June 1959, Gerard Peiris became the next principal of Maris Stella Primary School.[citation needed]

Maris Stella Primary School had been going on for years as a separate third-grade aided school recognised by the Government with separate tutorial staff and annual returns. When all the third-grade schools were taken over by the Government. Maris Stella primary school together with the primary schools of many leading Christian schools came under this category. This position was contested and the Government gave back the primary schools after some time, now to be recognised only as a section of the upper school under a principal and to be continued as a non-fee levying school.[citation needed]

It was during the time of Peiris as principal of the primary school where the change took place.[clarification needed] After serving the college from 1959 to 1965, he was transferred to Christ King College at Tudella, another Maris Institution. Joseph Fonseka, Ephrem Obris, Joseph Fonseka, Shanthi Liyanage, Dela Soysa, and Remigius Fernando succeeded Gerard Peiris.[citation needed]

On 18 June 2022, Maris Stella College celebrated its 100th anniversary with the presence of Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith.[citation needed]


Time Period Name Of The Principal
1922 - 1926 Lewis Gervaise
1926 - 1926 Bro. Joseph
1927 - 1949 Anthony Pigenwall
1949 - 1956 Bro. Conran
1956 - 1959 Stanislaus Gunawardana
1960 - 1966 Peter Wijethunga
1966 - 1979 Gregory Appuhamy
1979 - 1989 P. R. Clinton Perera
1990 - 1995 A. D. A. Shanthi Liyanage
1996 - 2001 K. A. Godfrey Edward Perera
2002 - 2004 P. R. Clinton Perera
2004 - 2007 M. L. Sunanda Alwis
2007 - 2010 B. P. R. Mervin Perera
2010 - 2017 M. L. Sunanda Alwis
2017 - 2018 Chinthana Nonis
2018 - 2021 Michael De Waas
2021–present M. L. Sunanda Alwis

Notable alumni[edit]

Name Year/degree Notability Reference
Carlo Fonseka Professor of Physiology, President Sri Lanka Medical Council (2012-2017)
A. N. S. Kulasinghe Civil engineer, Founding chairman State Engineering Corporation of Ceylon (1962-1971)
J. F. A. Soza Supreme Court judge (1982–1984)
Graeme Labrooy International Cricketer (1986-1991)
Wijayapala Mendis Mayor of Negombo (1954); Member of Parliament - Katana (1960-1970, 1975–1989), Gampaha (1989-2000); Minister of Textile Industries; Minister of Transport and Highways; Leader of the House; Chief Opposition Whip
Sunil Mihindukula Journalist, author (1960–2017)
Jeyaraj Fernandopulle Member of Parliament - Gampaha (1989-2008), Ministry of Highways, Ports & Shipping (2005-2008)
Ranjan Ramanayake Actor, Member of Parliament - Ratnapura (2010-2015), Gampaha (2015-present)
Dasun Shanaka International Cricketer / Captain of Sri Lanka Cricket ODI and T20I teams(2015–present)
Dushmantha Chameera International Cricketer (2015–present)
Ashan Dias Actor, TV Host (2008–present)


  1. ^ "Maris Stella College - History".[non-primary source needed]

External links[edit]