St. Peter's College, Colombo

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St. Peter's College
St Peter's College crest.png
College quadrangle
St. Peter's College is located in Colombo Municipality
St. Peter's College
St. Peter's College
Location in Colombo

Coordinates6°52′50″N 79°51′38″E / 6.880597°N 79.860470°E / 6.880597; 79.860470Coordinates: 6°52′50″N 79°51′38″E / 6.880597°N 79.860470°E / 6.880597; 79.860470
TypeGovernment-aided private school
MottoVirtus Et Veritas (Latin)
(Virtue and Truth)
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic
Established9 June 1922; 97 years ago (1922-06-09)
FounderRev. M. J. Le Goc
RectorRev. Fr. Rohitha Rodrigo
Grades1 - 13
Age5 to 19
Colour(s)Blue, Silver & Gold               

St. Peter's College (Sinhala: සාන්ත පීතර විදුහල, Tamil: செயிண்ட் பீட்டர் கல்லூரி) is a boys-only primary to secondary (inclusive) school in the Bambalapitiya zone of Colombo, Sri Lanka, founded in 1922.

In 1919, just after the end of World War I, Fr. M.J. Le Goc, Rector of St Joseph's College, Colombo, wanted to start a college in the southern suburbs of Colombo, and acquired a block of cinnamon land in Bambalapitiya.

Construction began on 7 July 1921 under the supervision of J R J Jayesuria, an alumnus of St. Joseph's College. In December 1921, Fr. Le Goc announced that St. Joseph's College South would open in January 1922.

The buildings were designed by Fr. Le Goc, and were built in six months. The quadrangle in front had an oval drive running around it. Fr. Le Goc also incorporated the concept of open-air classrooms.

The inauguration took place on Wednesday 18 January 1922. 204 students were admitted on that day and by the end of the year the number had risen to 268. The First rector was Fr.D.J.Nicholas Perera O.M.I. As of 2019 the Rector is Rev. Fr. Rohitha Rodrigo, and there were 6,088 students.

St. Joseph’s College South[edit]

St. Joseph's College, Colombo was founded in March 1896. St. Joseph's College South, later St. Peter's College, was built on neglected cinnamon land bordering the Galle Road and alongside the Wellawatte Canal, starting on 7 July 1921.

Opening of St. Peter's College

On 18 January 1922, Fr. LeGoc with a large number of Josephian students and Staff opened the new school.

Thus was St. Joseph's College South born on 18 January 1922. Rev. Fr. D. J. Nicholas Perera was appointed President of the College, with classes from Grade 1 to Grade 7, while the number on roll was 204. [1]

1956 - 1977[edit]

The period 1956 to 1977 covers the Rectorships of Five Rectors, all of whom were dogged by the problem of the Schools Take over bid, with severe financial constraints consequent to the decision by St. Peter's not to be vested with the State but to function as a ‘Non Fee Levying Private School’. Nevertheless, and notwithstanding each of the five Rectors of this difficult era made their individual contribution to the progress of St. Peter's never succumbing to problems of the times.

Fr. Arthur Nicholas Fernando, who succeeded Fr. Basil Wiratunge as the Third Rector of St. Peter's from 1956 to 1963, developed Aesthetic Studies and started the first school's Fife and Drum band on 30 June 1956. A Cultural Centre to promote Music, Drama, Dancing and Art was started in November 1956 with the help of Fathers Mervyn Weerakkody and Marcelline Jayakody. Kandyan Dancing, Oriental Singing and the Western and Oriental Orchestras were set up. Rowing was introduced to St. Peter's in 1959, as also a unit of the St. John's Ambulance Brigade. On 1 December 1960 St. Peter's decided to remain as a private non-fee-paying institution. Arthur Nicholas Fernando set up the Welfare Society, a modern canteen, college boarding.

Fr. Mervyn Weerakkody succeeded Arthur Nicholas Fernando and was the Fourth Rector from 1963 to 1971. He formed the Parent Teacher Association. Boards of Discipline, Studies and Sports were formed. He established the Employees Provident Fund for the Teaching Staff. On 24 July 1971 he left St. Peter's to take up the Rectorship of St. Joseph's.

Fr. Theodore E. Peiris O.M.I., who had been on the Tutorial Staff of St. Peter's in the 1940s, succeeded Weerakkody, and was Rector from 1971 to 1975. He presided at the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the College on 18 January 1972.

The Sixth Rector of St. Peter's, Fr. Claver Perera, was the first Peterite rector, from 1975 to 1976. He decentralised the administration with the appointment of Sectional Heads from Grade 6 to the Advanced Level. He enlarged and renovated the College Chapel for the first time in 50 years.

Fr. Francis Madiwela took over from Fr. Claver Perera, from 1976 to 1977. He arranged for the Old Boys to have their own president, from 4 December 1977. He transferred to St. Thomas, Kotte as Principal.

From 1978[edit]

Swimming pool and sports complex

Fr Joe.Wickramasinghe took over the Rectorship for 16 years from 1978. He built a vocational training centre with computer Lab, audio visual studio, a science Laboratory building, the swimming pool complex, new primary school building, new dental clinic, canteen and a mini zoo for the primary school.. He set up scholarship funds to support students entering university and established a board of administration to assist in managing the school. The first branch school in Gampaha was opened.

St. Peter's College, Gampaha Branch[edit]

The branch, St. Peter's College, Gampaha, was inaugurated by Archbishop Oswald Gomis on 2 February 1993, as the first Branch school in Sri Lanka after the schools take over act No.8, passed in 1961. As of 2013 it had more than 14 staff members.

St. Peter's College, Udugampola Branch[edit]

Oswald Gomis, the Archbishop of Colombo, initiated opening Branch Schools of the Catholic Colleges in Colombo and rural areas. St. Peter's College Branch School at Gampaha was the first of 10 branches opened as of 2013. Udugampola Branch School was opened on 24 September 2005 by Archbishop Gomis, and Fr. Siri Cooray was appointed Principal of the Branch Schools of both Gampaha and Udugampola in January 2007. Fr. Suranga Fonseka became Assistant Priest to the school in January 2008.

New Chapel

New Chapel at St. Peter's College Branch, Udugampola was blessed and dedicated by Archbishop Gomis on 21 October on the occasion of the 4th Anniversary of the Branch School.

Old Boys Union Gampaha branch and Udugampola branch[edit]

On 15 March 2009, all the Old Peterites of Gampaha and Udugampola gathered to the Udugampola School college hall to form the 1st Branch OBU under Main OBU at St.Peter's College Colombo 04.Under the Guidance of

Rev. Siri Cooray (Principal - Udugampola and Gampaha) Bernard Fernando (Vice Principal) Thilak Rodrigo (Vice Principal) Mrs. Chandani Perera Suranga Senevirathne - President of SPC OBU Lasantha Dissanayake - Vice President of SPC - OBU


There are 4 houses in the Primary School and 6 houses in the Upper School.

Primary School Houses Upper School Houses
  • Gregory
  • Julian
  • Marcellous
  • Paris
  • Anthony- Named after Most Rev. Dr. Anthony Coudert OMI, Archbishop of Colombo (1903-1928) and Founding Archbishop who rendered much to the initiation of St. Peter's College.
  • Arthur - Named after Rev. Fr. Arthur N. Fernando Mis. Ap., Third Rector of St. Peter's College. (Served 1955-1963). Was one of two houses introduced in 1982.
  • Basil - Named after Rev. Fr. Basil Weeratunge OMI, Second Rector of St. Peter's College (1943-1955). Was one of two houses introduced in 1982.
  • Nicholas - Named after Rev. Fr. D. J. Nicholas Perera OMI, President of St. Joseph's College- Colombo South (1922-1927) and First Rector of St. Peter's College (1927-1943)
  • Maurice - Named after Rev. Fr. Maurice LeGoc OMI, Rector of St. Joseph's College, Colombo 10 (1921-1940), Founder of St.Joseph's College Colombo South (later renamed St. Peter's College) and Rector of St. Joseph's College Colombo South (18 January 1922 to 8 April 1927) after which it was renamed St. Peter's College.
  • Peter - Named after Most Rev. Dr. Peter Marque OMI, Archbishop of Colombo (1930-1937). Archbishop at the Initiation of the House System.



Battles of the Saints[edit]

The Battle of the Saints is the annual cricket contest between St. Peter's College, Colombo and St Joseph's College, Colombo commonly known as the "Big match".

St. Peter’s Sports Centre[edit]

St. Peter's sports Centre is an indoor sports complex that is built alongside the extended duplication road. This is a four-storey multipurpose sports complex consisting of four Badminton courts, a Basketball court and a concert hall with accommodated for 1,500.

Clubs and Societies[edit]

Western Brass Band[edit]

The western band of St. Peter's college was formed on 30 June 1956 during the period of Rev. Fr. Arthur Fernando as the rector of St. Peter's college. It was the first school cadet band in Sri Lanka. The maiden performance with the roll of drums, the crash of symbols with the Bugle Blast was at the Annual Athletic meet. In 1983 they were runners-up in the "Colombo School Band Display" competition. The Western Band of St. Peter's was the first to organize an Indoor School and Outdoor School band displays and they were named as "PETERITE TEMPO" and "VERTUS et VERITAS". They have organized another four band festivals, there are

  • "VERTUS ET VERITAS" outdoor band display in 1997
  • "PETERITE CANTABILE" indoor band display in 1999
  • "PETERITE TEMPO II" indoor band display in 2001
  • "PETERITE CANTABILE II" indoor band display in 2003

The western band completed 50 years of great service to St. Peter's and to God in the year 2006.

The Western Band celebrated their 50th Golden Jubilee in year 2007 by organizing a Band Fiesta "Ritmico Con Spirito", under the guidance of the Rector, Rev. Fr. Travis Gabriel, the priest in charge Rev. Fr. Siri cooray.

The ICT Club[edit]

The ICT Club of St. Peters College, Colombo 04 is a very active and versatile association both inside College as well as in the local arena. The Club has proved to be one of the most outstanding and hardworking amongst College groups in Sri Lanka. A "I.C.T day" is held every 2 years by this club.

The Explore Project

The Explore Project was initiated in 2011, in the presence of many local ICT Clubs and reputed Companies. The aim of the Explore Project is to bring to the forefront, student abilities by means of both Intra-School and Inter-School Competitions in the form of an annual ICT Day. The inaugural ICT Day was ceremoniously held on 3 November 2011, at the Galle Face Hotel, Colombo with the attendance of many reputed schools and educational institutions Islandwide.

The English Literary and Drama Society[edit]

2016 saw the Cast of St Peter's College emerge victorious at the Inter School Shakespeare Drama Competition for their adaptation of Julius Caesar. Devinda de Silva went on to win the Best Supporting Actor Award, while the Trophy for Best Stagecraft was carried off along with the overall Championship. The ELDS has been directed by Old Boy, Jehan Bastians and his wife, Neidra Williams for over 18 years.

The ELDS has staged three musical productions in recent times: A Christmas Carol (2010), A Christmas Wish (2013), and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat [lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber] (2017) . All three Productions garnered much popularity among the theatre-going crowd in Colombo in those respective years, especially the latter, which lasted for six entire performances.[3]

The Society has produced some of the greatest theatre personalities in the Island. Concerning our Avenue of Drama, Peterites both young and old will undoubtedly agree that the revered Nicholas Perera Memorial Hall beautifully contains myriads of memories from past productions. Diverse personalities have stepped in and out of the doors of the Hall, sacrificing their time and energy to be trained and be moulded into Peterites who emerge and excel as performers. Theatre holds a rich history at St. Peter's College, being one of the oldest Clubs, formed in 1924.

Debating workshops are now in the process of bringing back an English Debating Circle to the College.[citation needed]

Past Rectors[edit]

Rev. Fr. Maurice J. Le Goc OMI 1922-1927
Rev. Fr. D. J. Nicholas Perera OMI 1927-1943
Rev. Fr. Basil A. Wiratunge OMI 1943–1955
Rev. Fr. Arthur Nicholas Fernando Mis. Ap. 1956–1963
Rev. Fr. Mervyn Weerakkody 1963–1971
(Rev. Fr. Basil Weeratunge OMI- Acting Rector) March 1967-August 1968
Rev. Fr. Theodore E. Peiris OMI 1971–1975
Rev. Fr. Claver Perera 1975–1976
Rev. Fr. Francis Madiwela 1976–1977
Rev. Fr. Joe E. Wickramasinghe 1978–1994
(Rev. Fr. Kingsley C. Jayamanne- Acting Rector ) July 1983-August 1984
Rev. Fr. Felician Ranjith Perera 1994–2005
Rev. Fr. Travis Gabriel 2005 - 2014
Rev. Fr. Trevor Gerard Martin 2014 - 2019

Notable Teachers[edit]

  • Rev. Fr. Marcelline Jayakody OMI - Well-known Sri Lankan Catholic priest, musician, lyricist, author, journalist and patriot.
  • Ediriweera Sarachchandra - A Famous Sri Lankan playwright, novelist, poet, literary critic, essayist and social commentator.

Old Boys Union[edit]

A few months after the change of the name from St. Joseph's college south to St. Peter College, The inaugural Meeting of St.Peter’s College Old Boys’ Union took place on 15 October 1927, presided over by the rector, Rev. Fr. Nicholas Perera. From 1927 to 1977 a period of 50 years, the college Rector was ex-officio the President of the Old Boys’ Union. In 1977 Rev. Fr. Francis Madiwela mooted the idea of electing a President among members of the Old Boys’ union, with Rector becoming the patron of the union. Accordingly, a 3-man Sub Committee comprising J. A. R. Felix, C.E. Maurice Perera and George Wijesinghe was appointed to draft a new constitution incorporating the new proposal. This new constitution was adopted on 4 December 1977, and J.A.R. Felix was elected as the first President of the Old Boys’ Union. Today after a long history of more than 80 years the old Boys’ Union consists of a membership of over many thousands takes pride in the fact that the objectives of the union as spelled out in the constitution.

  1. To keep the past students of St. Peter's College in a purposeful relationship with their Alma Mater and thereby maintain within them and among them a spirit of Loyalty to their Alma Mater.
  2. To obtain the advice, support and co-operation of past students in all matters affecting St. Peter's College particularly
    • In promoting the advancement, progress and welfare of the school.
    • In promoting and advancing the educational, cultural, recreational, social and economic welfare of the students of St. Peter's College.[4]

The AGM of the OBU is held on the mid month of June annually and the financial year of the OBU starts from 31 March each year.[5]

Past Presidents[edit]

J.A.R. Felix 1977–1980
Shelly Wickramasinghe 1980–1983
V.P.A. Perera 1983–1984
Mano Chanmugam 1984–1987
Gen. Deshamanya Denis Perera 1987–1990
Ranjith Weeraratne 1990–1992
C.E.Maurice Perera 1992–1993
C.Abeygoonewardene 1993–1996
N. A. L. Kabraal 1996–1999
Gerry De Mel 1999–2002
Mano Chanmugam 2002–2003 (re-elected)
Harin Gunawardena 2003–2006
Suranga Seneviratne 2006–2009
Roshan Dharmaratne 2009 - 2011
Dr. Nielhaan Samaranayake 2011 - 2013

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ ST. PETERS' COLLEGE Archived 17 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ College Record Book (2013)- page 22
  3. ^ Read the Review on Page 9
  4. ^ Constitution of St. Peter's College Old Boys' Union
  5. ^ Annual report of OBU 2007/2008

External links[edit]