Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 5 August 2012





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In Brief

Twenty years a priest

Rev. Fr. Mahendra Gunatilaka, the Parish Priest of St. Mary's Church, Nayakakanda, Hendala, the largest parish in the Arch diocese of Colombo completed his 20th year in priesthood recently. He pioneered the 150th Jubilee celebrations of St. Mary's Church successfully.

Fr. Gunatilaka inspired the parishioners in cultivating spiritual values during his stewardship in a short period of time.




Leukaemia patient appeals for help

The nine-year-old daughter of trishaw driver S.A. Gafoor of Grandpass, Colombo Fathima Rikasa is suffering from leukaemia. The mother died of a heart attack six months ago. Gafoor has no other income. Specialists have recommended that the child should undergo a surgery at Meenakshi Mission Hospital and Research Centre in India.

The cost is Rs. 2.5 million and the President's Fund has released Rs. 125,000.

Gafoor appeals to the public for financial contributions which may be remitted to A/C No.71449879, Bank of Ceylon under his name Tel: 011-5724214.

Newstead turns 196

Newstead celebrated its 196th anniversary on July 31. The school will celebrate its 200th anniversary in 2016. Newstead College, Negombo is named after the Rev. Robert Newstead, the first resident Wesleyan Methodist missionary appointed by the Methodist mission to Negombo.

Newstead Girls' College, Negombo has a reputed history, being an off-shoot of the first Wesleyan school which was set up in Negombo in 1816. A Dutch bungalow in a salubrious location was baught for 1500 Rixdollars (Rixdollar is the English term for silver coinage used throughout the European continent.

The Rixdollar only existed as a coin in Ceylon. The Rixdollar was the currency of British Ceylon until 1828) to be used as the mission house.

A past pupil said that Newstead did not have enough money to buy the present High Court premises in the 1940s. In 1917 the first woman missionary principal Miss A.D. Dixon was appointed. In 1919 the school was renamed 'Newstead' after the first resident Minister of Negombo.

In 1951, Newstead became an assisted school in terms of the Free Education Act of 1944. In 1962 the School was vested in the government, ending a period of 147 years during which the school was run by the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society. Miss Edith Ridge was the honorary Principal during that time.

The motto of the school is 'More Beyond', translated from the Latin plus ultra, the motto of Francis Bacon, who used it, along with the device of a ship of discovery, sailing past the Pillars of Hercules, out of the small Mediterranean sea into the vast Atlantic ocean beyond, to describe the knowledge he offered mankind.

It is a symbol of transcendence: open systems go beyond boundaries and point past themselves, toward a greater universe; beyond the finite, there is the infinite; beyond the known, the unknown.

Annual Ifthar program today

The annual Ifthaar program organised by the Board of Trustees of the Masjid ul Quba will be held at the Kirulapura Community Centre from 5.00 pm. to honour Former President of the Kurulapura Community Centre Sugath Kumara Ariyaperuma MMC and Past president of the Kurulapura Community Centre H. Duminda Prabath Perera will be felicitated on the occasion.



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