St. Peter’s celebrate state of the art pavilion | Daily News

St. Peter’s celebrate state of the art pavilion

With sports being given top priority in schools in the country, it was terrific news that St. Peter’s College, Bambalapitiya has built a sprawling state of the art pavilion on their ground.

When this homily is read, the pavilion would have been open and would have been handed over to the schools sportsmen for use and others wanting to use it.

Before going on to dwell on this very vital structure for sports, we must congratulate and offer a big bouquet to that indefatigable lover of not only education, but sport as well, Fr.Trevor Martin, the loved- by -all Rector for the wonders he is doing for the great school by the canal in education and extra curricular activities St.Peter’s College.

St. Peter’s College with a rich tradition in every walk of life including producing brilliant students and sportsmen who were shining examples required a pavilion which was essential for further improving of sport.

And the Rector bowled the first ball which pitched on a line and length. It inveigled the old boys, here and abroad, and well wishes to contribute lavishly for this worthy cause. It was that beaver the irrepressible Fr. Tony Martin who needs special mention being a brilliant academic who donned robes coming from another great catholic edifice – St. Benedict’s College, Kotahena.

All Peterites past and present were unanimous in agreeing to contribute lavishly to make this worthy cause a reality. And they named this sprawling sports pavilion in memory of yet another exemplary former Rector of St. Peter’s Rev. Fr. Joe Wickremasinghe who was a Rector par excellence and made the school what it is today.

The Peterites have also not forgotten arguably their greatest rugby player and who after his playing days were over later coached and made many a champion rugby team Archibald Perera and will have a stand in his memory. Archibald was a rugby legend.

The response from everyone was so spontaneous and contributions came flooding in and the needed funds were collected in record time – 185 million – not a small sum considering the difficult economic times we are in.

Going down the excellent sporting history of the College which produced sportsmen of all aspects, the three most outstanding and celebrated cricketers produced by the school by the canal was the extravagant, stylish and elegant left handed batsman CLIVE INMAN who bashed bowlers on every park he played here and abroad.

And there was that wicket keeper batsman who could have held his own against the best gloveman in the world, the unassuming Dr. Herbert I.K.Fernando. And then another stylish right hander in Roy Dias.

INMAN always batted long sleeved, top shirt button undone and when he took stance at the wicket he was twinkle toed and was all ease and supple. He had a repertoire of strokes that were eye catching.

The Peterite cricketing record books will show that INMAN was the only Peterite to notch up an unbeaten double hundred in the Joe-Pete Big ‘un. INMAN played for the country and then made Leicestershire CC his county where he blazed the quickest 50 in county cricket.

H.I.K. Fernando was born to keep wickets and of the caliber of a Godfrey Evans and a Wally Grout. His stumpings were like flashes of lightning. He captained the school, club, the Army and country and as a right hand batsman made tons of runs in school, club and for the country.

Right hander ROY DIAS was fortunate to be showing his prowess with the willow after the country attained Test status. He was the Rolls Royce of batsmen of his era. All Peterites could be proud of these three illustrious products. Incidentally Roy’s father Norman played football for SBC and later for Ceylon.

On record of being the best ever cricket team fielded by St. Peter’s according to another former Peterite captain Bernard Wijetunge was the team led by Dion Walles whose team it is said won eight matches out of the nine played in the 1946/47 season. Walles as a captain was not made he was born, it is said.

Rector Trevor Martin was a green-blooded Benedictine who ruled over the destinies of SPC and gave momentum and leadership to the lofty ideals and traditions of SPC. Before him there was another Big Ben Rev. Fr. Felician Perera who steered the college to great heights instilling Religion, Morals and Culture.

Rector Trevor had a brother in Johnny Martin who captained the Bens at cricket and hockey and then became the country’s number one hockey goal keeper who stood between the posts for the country at the Asian Games.

Johnny played in an era when the Bens and the Old Bens hockey was I make bold to say Asian class. That was also the era when the college gave to the country the three Fernando brothers in Stanley, Homer and Subash who created history of being the only three brothers to play in international tournament for the country which to date stands as a world record.

That Johnny’s life and career that promised so much was cruelly struck down in an unfortunate motor accident was a tragedy that shook and stunned Kotahena and all Old Benedictines who knew this very caring and like able individual.

As the Peterites celebrate the spring of this Pavilion, let us remember that its not the brick and mortar that will be admired. It will be the great quality and outstanding stature of the great sportsmen that the school produced.

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