A school session on a Saturday evening. One by one, children come to school, neat ly attired in ill-fitting uniforms. Boys in blue and white. Girls in pure whites. All wearing smiles that surpass their age, retracing their steps back to school. This is how they reminisced their memories when the felicitation started off at Negombo Kochchikade Maha Vidyalaya for past teachers who had taught them 25 to 40 years back. This was indeed an occasion to to cherish, as one of teachers remarked, "We've never witnessed a felicitation ceremony at this school before."
The School band escorted the past Teachers to the main gate, where they were garlanded by the past pupils now in their 40’s-50’s. Then the morning assembly. It started with a past teacher and the Principal K.P.S. Kumarasinghe hoisting the National flag and the School flag respectively, while a past teacher Mr Kirthi Perera- former Asst. Commissioner of Scouts, Negombo District, who had formed a Scout Troop in the 70’s and brought it to international level, unfurled the Scouts Flag. Then the past pupils presented items they did, as in their school days.
Prefects were seen discharging their duties to the letter, as they made latecomers kneel, and pulled their ears by changing hands. C h i e f Guest Rev B ro Chrishantha speaking at the ceremony, said "In today’s busy world, man finds no time to think of their teachers, but these past pupils have made a difference. They know the value of their teachers. They have set an example to be followed by the younger generation." Mr Fonseka, a retired Science teacher, with long years of service, said "I am indeed extremely happy on this occasion.
Initially, we had to struggle to bring the school to this state . It is up to the present teachers to take this ship far into deeper waters – the globe to be explored by the child’ It was well attended, with the past pupils making it a point to chat with their teachers. Stories were told and retold by both the teachers and the past pupils sitting together . At last the ceremony came to an end, with the past pupils bidding tearfull farewell to their aged teachers, some of whom were confined to wheelchairs.
K.L.Richard Walter Perera