Trinity College, Kandy

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Trinity College Kandy
Crest of Trinity College, Kandy.png
Crest of Trinity College
Type Independent Private
Motto Respice finem
Latin - "Look to the End"[1]
Established 1872
Founder Ireland Jones
Principal Andrew Fowler-Watt
Gender Boys
Age 6 to 18
Enrollment 3500

Red, Gold and Blue

Former pupils Old Trinitians

Trinity College, Kandy, is a private school for boys in Sri Lanka founded in 1872 by Anglican missionaries,[2] that offers primary and secondary education. It is considered to be a leading public school in Sri Lanka.[3][4]

Administration building, Trinity College, Kandy


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]

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 1895-1899 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 Cannon 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 - 2015 and the current principal is Andrew Fowler-Watt.

Principals of Trinity[edit]

Name Qualifications Year
Rev. John Ireland Jones[nb 1] MA (Trinity College, Dublin) 1857-1860
Rev. Richard Collins MA (Cantab) 1872-1878
Rev. John G. Garrett MA (Trinity College, Dublin) 1880-1886
Rev. Dr. Edward Noel Hodges MA (Oxon), DD 1886-1889
Rev. Edward John Perry[nb 2] MA (Oxon) 1889-1890[nb 3]
Rev. Henry Percy Napier-Clavering MA (Cantab) 1890-1900
Rev. Robert William Ryde MA (Cantab) 1900-1902[nb 4]
Rev. Alexander Garden Fraser MA (Oxon), CBE 1904–1924
Canon John McLeod Campbell MA (Oxon), MC, DD 1924-1935
Rev. 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
Rev. Dr. W. G. Wickremasinghe MA (Oxon), DD 1978-1988
Lt. Col. Leonard M. De Alwis MA (Hull) 1988-1998
Dr. Warren Ranjithan Breckenridge BSc (Cey.), PhD (McGill) 1999-2003
Roderick Gilbert B.Ed (Lond) 2004-2008[nb 6]
Brig. (Rtd) W. Gamini Kumara Udaya Aryaratne [nb 7] [nb 8] B.Tech (CME, Pune) 2008–2015
Andrew Fowler-Watt MA (Cantab) 2016 -

School song and hymn[edit]

The school song, "The Best School of All", was written by Sir Henry Newbolt,[38][39] 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.[40][41]

School Song College Hymn
It's good to see the School we knew,
The land of youth and dream,
To greet again the rule we knew,
Before we took the stream;
Though long we've missed the sight of her,
Our hearts may not forget;
We've lost the old delight of her,
We keep her honour yet.

The stars and sounding vanities,
That half the crowd bewitch,
what are they but inanities,
To him that treads the pitch?
And where's the wealth, I'm wondering,
Could buy the cheers that roll,
When the last charge goes thundering,
Towards the twilight goal.

The men that tanned the hide of us,
Our daily foes and friends,
They shall not lose their pride of us,
However the journey ends.
Their voice to us who sing of it,
No more its message bears,
But the round world shall ring of it,
And all we are be theirs.

To speak of fame a venture is,
There's little here can bide,
But we may face the centuries,
And dare the deepening tide;
For though the dust that's a part of us,
To dust again be gone,
Yet here shall beat the heart of us,
The School we handed on.

We will honour yet the School we knew,
The best school of all;
We will honour yet the rule we knew,
Till the last bell call.
For working days or holidays.
And glad or melancholy days,
They were great days and jolly days,
At the best School of all.

Where river, lake and mountain meet,
Our boyhood's home surrounding,
A path behold for youthful feet,
The path of life abounding;
Still up it climbs by cliff and crag,
The mount of truth ascending,
Though oft thereon the pilgrim flag,
It leads to life unending.

Oh life is good, both here and now,
And good will be hereafter;
Brave boyhood's unbeclouded brow,
Pure eye and lightsome laughter,
Rich manhood's brain and arm of strength,
In master-purpose mating;
Ripe age, that lays him down at length,
With calm the trump-awaiting.

That joyous Trump! and can it be,
Life now life then excelleth?
The loveliest land that here we,
That where Immanuel dwelleth?
His servants Him shall serve, Tis writ
In revelation's pages;
For ever broader service fit.
Through ever brighter ages.

Then bravely brother, breast the path,
Nor list the voice alluring;
Triumphant ever sloth, the wrath
And scorn of man enduring,
Yet, constant serve with might and mind,
The school, the land that bore thee.
The slumber and the sin behind,
The Mount of Truth before thee.

Now unto Father, Spirit, Son,
The Deity Triunal,
The timeless throne when things are done,
The last the dread Tribunal,
The Mighty helping God, from whom
No force the saints can sever,
Our Savior in the Day of Doom,
Be Manhood's praise for ever.

Sir Henry Newbolt W. S. Senior


Ryde Gold Medal[edit]

The Ryde Gold Medal is awarded each year to the "best all-round boy" at Trinity.[42] 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.[42] The medal cannot be won more than once.[43]

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.[42] 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.[44] 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 have been two Triple Lions in Trinity's history: Sydney Ratwatte who won his 'Lions' in Rugby, Cricket and Boxing during the late 1920s; and Thushara Weerasuriya who achieved this feat in 1987, winning 'Lions' in Cricket, Rugby and Athletics.[44]


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 collective compete as the Central Boarding House.[45] 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 it's 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 1848853076. 
  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. 
  9. ^ "The Church Missionary Review". 51. Church Missionary Society. 1900: 948. 
  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. 
  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. 
  13. ^ "The Church Missionary Review". 54. Church Missionary Society. 1903: 876. 
  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. 
  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. 
  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. ^ The evolution of Trinity college Kandy (Official Website), Retrieved 03 December 2014
  23. ^ Ferguson, Alistair Mackenzie (1968). "Ferguson's Ceylon Directory". 110-112. Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited: 255. 
  24. ^ Medis, Frederick (Ed) (1995). The Church of Ceylon: A History, 1945-1995. Diocese of Colombo. p. xx. 
  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. ^ Roberts, Adam (Ed) (2012). Democracy, Sovereignty and Terror: Lakshman Kadirgamar on the Foundations of International Order. I.B.Tauris. p. 15. ISBN 9781848853072. 
  39. ^ Ladduwahetty, Ravi (25 October 2011). "Play up! Play up! And play the game!". The Island. Retrieved 24 September 2014. 
  40. ^ Gunawardena, Charles A. (2005). Encyclopedia of Sri Lanka. Sterling Publishers. p. 329. ISBN 9781932705485. 
  41. ^ Schokman, Derrick (22 February 2003). "W. S. Senior and "The Call of Lanka"". Daily News. Retrieved 24 September 2014. 
  42. ^ a b c Marikar, Hafiz (13 February 2014). "Trinity College Prize Giving Today". Daily News. Retrieved 24 September 2014. 
  43. ^ "Past winners of the Best All-Round-Boy of Trinity College (pre Ryde Gold Medal era) and Past winners of the Ryde Gold Medal". 
  44. ^ a b Caffoor, Inshaf (16 December 2014). "Kaneel Seneviratna – Trinity's first Double Lion of the 21st Century". Retrieved 24 September 2014. 
  45. ^ 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]