Trinity College, Kandy

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Trinity College Kandy
Crest of Trinity College, Kandy.png
Crest of Trinity College
262, D.S. Senanyake Veediya,

TypeIndependent Private
MottoRespice finem
Latin – "Look to the End"[1]
Religious affiliation(s)Christianity
Established1872; 149 years ago (1872)
FounderJohn Ireland Jones
PrincipalAraliya Jayasundara
ChaplainShelton Daniel
Age6 to 19
Colour(s)Red, gold and blue    
AffiliationChurch of Ceylon, Anglican
Former pupilsOld Trinitians

Trinity College, Kandy, is an independent private school for boys in Kandy Sri Lanka. It was founded in 1872 by British Anglican missionaries,[2] and offers primary and secondary education. It is a leading private school in Sri Lanka managed by the Church of Ceylon. [3][4]


Rev. J. Ireland Jones (1857-1860), founder of the Kandy Collegiate School
Rev. Richard Collins (1872-1878), founder of Trinity College
Trinity College flag

In 1857 the local Anglican community in Kandy urged the Church Mission Society (CMS) to establish a school for boys in the area.[5] On 16 October 1857 the Rev. John Ireland Jones arrived from England, establishing the Kandy Collegiate School.[6][7] The school operated for approximately six years.[7] On 18 January 1872, it was re-opened as the Trinity College and Collegiate School, with the Rev. Richard Collins as Principal [1][8] and by the end of that year there were 120 enrolled students.[7] The school library was opened in 1875. Early in 1877 the Collegiate School name was dropped and it simply became Trinity College.[7] Rev. Collins left in 1878[9] and Mr. Thomas Dunn became acting principal of the school. In 1879 the college was affiliated to the University of Calcutta.[10]

Administration building, Trinity College, Kandy

In 1880 the Rev. John G. Garrett was appointed as principal of the school and by the following year enrolments had increased to 238 students, with 30 boarders.[7] In 1885 Garrett had to resign due to ill health and was replaced by the Rev. Dr. E. Noel Hodges, formerly the principal of the Noble High School, Machilipatnam.[7] In 1889 Dr. Hodges was appointed as the Anglican Bishop of Travancore and Cochin and his post at Trinity was taken by Rev. Edward John Perry, who had been a master at Merchant Taylors' School.[7][11] On 2 April 2, 1890, Perry was accidentally shot dead near Alutnuwara, whilst on a visit to the Vedda people in the area.[7][11][12] The Rev. J. W. Fall, who was the vice-principal, became the acting principal until the arrival of the Rev. Henry Percy Napier-Clavering, in June 1890.[7] At that time Trinity had 298 students, of whom sixty-three were boarders.[7]

In August 1900 Napier-Clavering resigned to return to England and attend family matters.[7] He was replaced by Rev. Robert William Ryde, who had previously been the vice-principal at the school from 1895 to 1899 before becoming the principal at St. John's College, Jaffna.[7] Rev. Ryde held this post for a brief two years, leaving in 1902.[7] In 1902 the Rev. J. Carter became the temporary principal followed by a succession of temporary principals, including the Rev. Napier-Clavering[13] and the Rev. A. MacLulich. On 5 November 1904 the Rev. Alexander Garden Fraser was appointed as the principal of the school.[7][14] During Fraser's tenure he transformed a provincial school into a nationally recognised institution.[1][15] His educational reforms included the introduction of Sinhalese and Tamil into the curriculum and increased its involvement in the local community.[16][17] He was responsible for a number of building projects, including the Asgiriya Stadium and the Trinity College Chapel. He served continuously as the principal for eighteen years until 1922, his service only interrupted by two years where he served as an army chaplain with the British Expeditionary Force in France during World War I.

The school was headed from 1925 to 1935 by Canon John McLeod Campbell[18] (who later served as chaplain to the Royal Family). McLeod Campbell retired in 1935[19] and was replaced by Rev. Robert Stopford. Stopford was the last English-born principal of the school,[20] remaining in the position for five years. He later became Bishop of London. During his tenure the college hall was gifted by former student Mr. A. H. T. De Soysa.[21][22] In 1940 the Church Missionary Society handed control of the school to an independent board of governors. The board's first appointment was Mr. C. E. Simithraaratchy, the first old boy and Ceylonese born principal, who ran the school from 1941 until 1951, including the Second World War years. His successor was Mr. Norman Sydney Walter, from 1952 to 1957. Walter returned to England and later became the headmaster of Loughborough Grammar School.[23] The responsibility for the school was then passed onto Mr. Cedric James Oorloff (formerly the principal of Wesley College, Colombo)[24] between 1957 and 1968.[25] In 1968 Mr. E. Lionel Fernando became the second former student to be appointed as the school's principal. His tenure ran for nine years, until 1977. At which time Rev. Dr. W. G. Wickremasinghe (the principal of Carey College, Colombo) was appointed as principal of the school.[26] He was followed by Lt. Col. Leonard M. De Alwis in 1988 who was responsible for the Pallekele Rugby Stadium.[27][28] He administered the school until 1998 and resigned to take on the role as the inaugural principal of Springfield College, Kandy.[29][30] De Alwis was succeeded by Dr. Warren Ranjithan Breckenridge. Breckenridge was a former student at Trinity and a professor of zoology at Peradeniya University, a post he held until 1998, when he was appointed the principal of Trinity.[31] Following Breckenridge's retirement the college in 2003 appointed Roderick Gilbert as the school's principal.[32] Gilbert, an Indian-born Englishman, who was previously the principal at the Hebron School in Ootacamund, India.[33] Brig. Udaya Aryaratne [34] was the principal from 2008 to 2015 and was succeeded by former vice principal Colin B. Ratnayake, as the acting principal until the appointment of Andrew Fowler-Watt in 2016.

Principals of Trinity[edit]

Installation service of the principal, Rev. Fr. Araliya Jayasundara OSB
Name Qualifications Year
John Ireland Jones[nb 1] MA (Trinity College, Dublin) 1857–1860
Richard Collins MA (Cantab) 1872–1878
John G. Garrett MA (Trinity College, Dublin) 1880–1886
Edward Noel Hodges MA (Oxon), DD 1886–1889
Edward John Perry[nb 2] MA (Oxon) 1889–1890[nb 3]
Henry Percy Napier-Clavering MA (Cantab) 1890–1900
Robert William Ryde MA (Cantab) 1900–1902[nb 4]
Alexander Garden Fraser MA (Oxon), CBE 1904–1924
John McLeod Campbell MA (Oxon), MC, DD 1924–1935
Robert Stopford MA (Oxon), DD (Lond), KCVO, CBE 1935–1941
C. E. Simithraaratchy[nb 5] BSc (Cey.) 1941–1951
Norman Sydney Walter MA (Oxon) 1952–1957
Cedric James Oorloff BA (Lond), CCS 1957–1968
E. Lionel Fernando BA (Cey.) 1968–1977
W. G. Wickremasinghe MA (Oxon), DD 1978–1988
Leonard M. De Alwis MA (Hull) 1988–1998
Warren Ranjithan Breckenridge BSc (Cey.), PhD (McGill) 1999–2003
Roderick Gilbert B.Ed. (Lond) 2004–2008[nb 6]
W. Gamini Kumara Udaya Aryaratne [nb 7] [nb 8] B.Tech. (CME, Pune) 2014–2015
Andrew Fowler-Watt MA (Cantab) 2016-2020[38]
Araliya Jayasundara [39] MSc, MA (Pera), MPhil, SL Principal Service 2020 -

School song and hymn[edit]

The school song, "The Best School of All", was written by Sir Henry Newbolt,[40][41] and the school hymn by Rev. Walter Stanley Senior. Rev. Senior was the vice-principal at the college for ten years (1906–1916), he also deputised as acting principal for a short period in the absence of Rev. Fraser.[42][43]

College Crest[edit]

The design for the present college crest was inspired by the crest of Clifton College, Bristol (a boarding school based on Rugby) and by the crest of Trinity College, Cambridge. The Crest was designed in 1912 by the Vice-principal, Rev. Lewis John Gaster who was a qualified architect and draughtsman.

Rev. Lewis John Gaster, designer of the college crest and architect of the College Chapel

The Red Cross[edit]

Depicts the identity of Trinity as a Christian school and represents the Church missionary society and the Anglican church through which the school was built.

The three crowns[edit]

Represents the Triune God. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

The Lion[edit]

The lion symbolisess the Sri Lankan identity, influenced by the Sri Lankan flag.

The Scholastic scroll[edit]

Includes the motto "Respice Finem", meaning "Look to the end".


Ryde Gold Medal[edit]

The Ryde Gold Medal is awarded each year to the "best all-round boy" at Trinity.[44] The Ryde Gold Medal is the highest honour that the school can bestow. It is awarded on the result of a secret ballot conducted among the senior boys and the staff whose votes, together with that of the principal, each count as one. While this system makes deadlock possible, it is only on four occasions that the Medal has not been awarded as a result of the three votes going to three different people.[44] The medal cannot be won more than once.[45]

The Ryde Gold Medal was first presented in 1908 to John Andrew, but he was not the first boy in the history of the school to be adjudged the best all-rounder. Historical records show that such a prize has been awarded as early as 1894.[44] The Ryde Gold Medal is named after Rev. R. W. Ryde, a former principal of Trinity (1900–1902).

Notable winners of the Ryde Gold Medal include Dr Jayantha Dhanapala (1956), the former Under Secretary General of the UN and senior special advisor to presidents Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and Mahinda Rajapakse, former Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar (1949), former vice president and CIO of the World Bank; M.V. Muhsin (1962), first Ceylonese IGP and Ambassador Sir Richard Aluwihare (1915) and Sri Lankan Cricket Captain Kumar Sangakkara (1996).

Trinity Lion[edit]

The Trinity Lion is the most prestigious award a sportsman can achieve at Trinity.[46] Rugby Lions were awarded in 1915, to A. Halangoda and R. Ondaatje. Since then there have been 129 Rugby Lionsmen (until 2004). Notable awardees of Trinity Lions includes former Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar; former Lieutenant General Denzil Kobbekaduwa: Sri Lankan Cricketers Kumar Sangakkara, Ravi Ratnayeke, Olympic Silver Medalist Duncan White and former major general and Ambassador Niranjan A Ranasinghe. There has been one Triple Lion in Trinity's history that is Thushara Weerasuriya who achieved this feat in 1986 in Rugby, Cricket, and Athletics.


The senior school students are divided into five houses. Their names are derived from past principals and teachers of the college. There are three boarding houses, however due to low numbers of boarders they collectively compete as the Central Boarding House.[47] The houses are led by House Captains, competing in all major games to win the inter-house competitions. The houses are:

Garrett House
  • Colours : Green
  • Established : 1910 (named after the third principal, Rev. J. Garrett)
Lemuel House
  • Colours : Blue
  • Established : 1954 (named after Mr. C. N. Lemuel, a long-serving teacher at Trinity College)
Oorloff House
  • Colours : Purple
  • Established : (named after the thirteenth principal, Mr. C. Oorloff)
Simithraaratchy House
  • Colours : Yellow
  • Established : (named after the eleventh principal, Mr. C. Simithraaratchy)
Central Boarding House (comprising Napier, Alison & Ryde Houses)
  • Colours : Red and White – Napier, Blue, and White – Alison, Black, and Yellow – Ryde
  • Established : 1898 – Napier, 1909 – Alison, 1911 – Ryde


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Miranda, Sujitha (18 August 2013). "Trinity, Kandy has been looking to the end since its beginning". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  2. ^ Kē En Ō Dharmadāsa (1992). Language, religion, and ethnic assertiveness: the growth of Sinhalese nationalism in Sri Lanka. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. ISBN 9780472102884. p. 32.
  3. ^ "History of 'The Bradby Shield'". The Nation (Sri Lanka). 8 June 2008.
  4. ^ Roberts, Adam (2012). Democracy, Sovereignty and Terror: Lakshman Kadirgamar on the Foundations of International Order. I.B.Tauris. p. 15. ISBN 978-1848853072.
  5. ^ Stock, Eugene (1899). The History of the Church Missionary Society: Its Environment, Its Men and Its Work, Volume 2. Church Mission Society. p. 284.
  6. ^ Meulder, Wallace R. (1962). Schools for a New Nation: The Development and Administration of the Educational System of Ceylon. K. V. G. De Silva & Sons. p. 18.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Balding, Rev J. W. (1922). One Hundred Years in Ceylon. Madras: Church Mission Society. pp. 76–84.
  8. ^ "The Ecclesiastical Gazette". 34. Oxford University: Church of England. 11 July 1871: 6. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  9. ^ "The Church Missionary Review". 51. Church Missionary Society. 1900: 948. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  10. ^ Bandyopadhyay, Pramathanath (Ed) (1957). Hundred Years of the University of Calcutta: a History of the University issued in Commemoration of the Centenary Celebrations, Volume 1. University of Calcutta.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  11. ^ a b "List of Inscriptions on Tombstones and Monuments in Ceylon". Mocavo. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  12. ^ "The Church Missionary Review". 41. Church Missionary Society. 1890: 420. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  13. ^ "The Church Missionary Review". 54. Church Missionary Society. 1903: 876. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  14. ^ "A.G. Fraser Papers". Bodleian Library. 22 December 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  15. ^ Symonds, Richard (October 2006). "Fraser, Alexander Garden (1873–1962)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  16. ^ Anderson, Gerald H. (Ed) (1999). Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions. Wm. B Eerdmans Publishing. p. 223. ISBN 9780802846808.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  17. ^ Sadanandan, Renuka (7 September 2008). "The Spirit of a School". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  18. ^ Stanley, Brian (2009). The World Missionary Conference, Edinburgh, 1910. Wm. B Eerdmans Publishing. p. 6. ISBN 9780802863607.
  19. ^ "Journal of Education". 66. Oxford University Press. October 1934. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  20. ^ Pilimatalavuva, Ananda (12 August 2004). "Whither Trinity College in new century?". Daily News. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  21. ^ Ratwatte, Kanchana (18 July 2010). "In Appreciation Of Trinity". The Sunday Leader. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  22. ^ Albert Hildebrand Theodore De Soysa – 130th birth anniversary of one of Trinity's great benefactors (Official Website), Retrieved 3 April 2019
  23. ^ Ferguson, Alistair Mackenzie (1968). "Ferguson's Ceylon Directory". 110–112. Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited: 255. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  24. ^ Medis, Frederick (Ed) (1995). The Church of Ceylon: A History, 1945-1995. Diocese of Colombo. p. xx.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  25. ^ Amerasekera, Dr. Nihal D. (4 January 2014). "Cedric James Oorloff – A tribute to a great educationist of the 20th Century". The Island. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  26. ^ Jayaratne, Bandulla (4 June 2014). "Appreciation – Wickremasinghe". The Sunday Times.
  27. ^ Ratnayake, Ranjit (2010). "A salute from one old Trinitian to another". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  28. ^ De Joodt, Ken (2006). "Hemaka Amarasuriya – an amiable Sports Celebrity". The Daily News. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  29. ^ "Quality education with a warm touch". The Sunday Times. 2003.
  30. ^ Ratwatte, Charitha (29 January 2013). "Perched On Their Pinnacles Of Triumph". Colombo Telegraph. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  31. ^ Abeyesekera, Ranjan (13 September 2009). "Breck did justly, loved mercy and walking". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  32. ^ De Alwis, Sharm (18 December 2003). "Trinity gets new Principal". The Daily News. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  33. ^ "UK 2012 Reunion Report". Hebron School. 2012. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  34. ^ Marikar, Hafiz (2012). "Trinity Principal a great performer". The Daily News. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  35. ^ "Trinity College Board of Governors slams Govt. over move against Principal". The Island. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
  36. ^ Kannangara, Nirmala (25 February 2013). "Principals Sans Principles". The Sunday Leader. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
  37. ^ Fernando, Lahiru (18 May 2015). "Enjoining Order on ex-Principal of Trinity College extended". Newsfirst. Retrieved 2 April 2016.
  38. ^ "Announcement from the Principal". 1 January 2020. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  39. ^ "Appointment of Principal". 24 August 2020. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  40. ^ Roberts, Adam (Ed) (2012). Democracy, Sovereignty and Terror: Lakshman Kadirgamar on the Foundations of International Order. I.B.Tauris. p. 15. ISBN 9781848853072.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  41. ^ Ladduwahetty, Ravi (25 October 2011). "Play up! Play up! And play the game!". The Island. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  42. ^ Gunawardena, Charles A. (2005). Encyclopedia of Sri Lanka. Sterling Publishers. p. 329. ISBN 9781932705485.
  43. ^ Schokman, Derrick (22 February 2003). "W. S. Senior and "The Call of Lanka"". Daily News. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  44. ^ a b c Marikar, Hafiz (13 February 2014). "Trinity College Prize Giving Today". Daily News. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  45. ^ "Past winners of the Best All-Round-Boy of Trinity College (pre Ryde Gold Medal era) and Past winners of the Ryde Gold Medal".
  46. ^ Caffoor, Inshaf (16 December 2014). "Kaneel Seneviratna – Trinity's first Double Lion of the 21st Century". Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  47. ^ Jayasundara, Upananda (3 March 2014). "Simitharachchi House – Athletic Champions of Trinity". Daily News. Retrieved 13 November 2014.


  1. ^ Rev. Jones was the principal of the Kandy Collegiate School, the predecessor of Trinity College.
  2. ^ Rev. Perry was the first experienced teacher to become principal.
  3. ^ In 1890 Perry was accidentally shot by a pupil.
  4. ^ During 1900 through to 1904 Trinity College had six Principals – one permanent and five acting.
  5. ^ Mr. Simithraaratchy was the first Ceylonese and the first old boy to become principal.
  6. ^ Mr & Mrs Gilbert's visas was cancelled by the Sri Lankan Government in 2008 (7 months prior to its expiry) forcing Gilbert to resign and leave the country.[35]
  7. ^ Brig. Aryaratne's actual rank in the Sri Lankan Army was as a Colonel and he only served as a temporary Brigadier. His tenure was marked by a plethora of court cases, some alleging that he could not substantiate some of the qualifications he had claimed.[36]
  8. ^ His tenure finally ended in May 2015 through court intervention and Mr Colin Ratnayake replaced him as Acting Principal pending the appointment of a new Principal.[37]

Further reading[edit]

  • Valesco L O Reimann (1922). A history of Trinity College, Kandy. Madras: Diocesan Press

External links[edit]