St. Bridget's Convent, Colombo

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St Bridget's Convent
St Bridgets Convent Colombo emblem.jpg
C.W.W. Kannangara Road


MottoGently and firmly
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic
Established1902; 120 years ago (1902)
GradesNursery - Grade14
Color(s)Green, White

St. Bridget's Convent is a private girls' school in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It was founded on 1 February 1902 by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd order, making it one of the earliest mission schools of the Roman Catholic Church of Ireland in Ceylon. The school today consists of a Montessori school, a primary school and a collegiate school. It comprises 1324 students taught by a staff of 105 teachers.


On 1 February 1902, at the request of T. A. Melizan, Archbishop of Colombo, St. Bridget's Convent was established as the second house of the Good Shepherd congregation for the education of young ladies. It was the third school in the Colombo area opened by the nuns.[1] The first classes were held at a rented house on Turret Road (Colpetty) called 'The Firs' before moving to the current location, the premises of the former Henley House, Horton Place in 1912.[2][3][4][5] Two sisters, Mary of St. Francis Borgia and Mary of Our lady of Lourdes, came from the original Kotahena Convent school (Good Shepherd Convent) to undertake this work.


The Irish origins of the Good Shepherd sisters are seen in the school colours, emblem and unique traditions.[6]


The school emblem depicts in essence the heart of the school. The rationale for its functioning and for its role within and without is reflected in the school motto ‘Gently and Firmly’. The other symbols include:

  • Fountain: symbolises fountain of learning
  • Dark green leaves and shamrock: the sisters' resilience and Irish origins
  • Shepherd's Crook: refers to the Good Shepherd sisters and God as the Good Shepherd who looks after his fold and guides them safely across the path
Patron saint

The patron saint of the school is St. Bridget, the patron saint of Ireland, whose feast is commemorated in the 1st of February of each year.


There are 4 houses in the primary school and the collegiate school:

  • Borgia House - motto "Charity to All, Malice to None"
  • Coudert House - motto "Fidelity to Duty is the Path to Glory"
  • Griaux House - motto "Onwards and Upwards"
  • Melizan House - motto "United We Stand, Divided We Fall"

The houses are named for Dr. T. A. Melizan, Mother St. Francis Borgia, Father G. Griaux and Dr. A. Coudert, who were involved in the development of the school from the start.

Notable alumni[edit]

Name Year/degree Notability Reference
Chandrika Kumaratunga Chief Minister of Western Province (1993–1994), Prime Minister of Sri Lanka (1994), President of Sri Lanka (1994–2005) [7]
Sirimavo Bandaranaike Member of Parliament Attanagalla (1965–1980), Prime Minister of Sri Lanka (1960–1965,1970–1972, 1994–2000) [7]
Sunethra Bandaranaike socialite, philanthropist (founder and chair of Sunera Foundation) [8]
Ezlynn Deraniyagala Sri Lanka's first female Barrister
Mignonne Fernando singer, songwriter and pianist [9]
Marini De Livera lawyer, social activist [citation needed]


  1. ^ Wright, p.272
  2. ^ Wright, p.582
  3. ^ School History: St. Bridget's Convent, Official Website, Retrieved 9 June 2015
  4. ^ Mansions of Kolluptiya, Colombo in the early twentieth century Retrieved 10 December 2014
  5. ^ A Tribute to DR. KINGSLEY DE SILVA DEVA ADITYA on his 100th BIRTH ANNIVERSARY, By Niranjan de Silva Deva Aditya (MEP) Daily News (Sri Lanka) Retrieved 15 December 2014
  6. ^ "School Emblem and Anthem".
  7. ^ a b Jayawardena, Kumari (1995). The White Woman's Other Burden: Western Women and South Asia During British Rule. Routledge. ISBN 9781136657146.
  8. ^ Jayasinghe, Rajinda (March 2015). "Sunethra Bandaranaike". Life Times.
  9. ^ "Mignonne - the pioneer of home-grown western pop". Sunday Observer. 18 May 2003.

External links[edit]