Warden of S. Thomas' College | Daily News

Warden of S. Thomas' College

This year, St. Thomas' College celebrates 168 years of existence. The college also celebrates 168 years of cricket, as it was introduced by our revered founder Bishop Chapman, soon after the college’s establishment. 139 of these years of splendid tradition and unwavering spirit have been adorned by the annual Royal-Thomian cricket encounter, fondly known as the "Big Match”. The 140th instalment in this historic series, unbroken since 1879, remains the epitome of the culture of the two great schools, and the catalyst that moulded them.

The Big Match, and all the extravagant events leading up to the encounter such as the Cycle Parade, holds great importance not only for those who are actively involved in the life of the school, but for many generations of Thomians as a calling beacon from their Alma Mater. The match is, to many, a time of meeting old friends; reliving old memories;  and making new ones with cherished friends and family alike. The atmosphere is indeed a great viewpoint of the many changing scenes of life.

The match is a toast to the togetherness of our two great institutions. The schools complement one another for their seas of difference in certain traditions, beginning from the college songs, with an underlying respect for their origins and meaning. These sometimes deep and stormy seas occasionally cloud the vision of the strong sea-farers of both schools.

The Big Match, however, brings together Royalists and Thomians from far and wide, to witness together its splendour. This togetherness is exemplified in the camaraderie with which patrons and students of both schools witness the match together in joint tents such as the Mustangs enclosure and the boys’ tents. It is furthered by the gentleman’s interaction performed in the centre of the field by the gladiators of both schools, in a perfect level playing field, where hard work and preparation are the only weapons. The match is far more than an encounter between enemies; it is a match between friendly rivals, where honour, justice, and courage stand tallest.

The team has shown exceptional poise in their performance throughout the season and has not lost a single match outright. While the hopes of the entire Thomian family from around the world ride on the shoulders of the eleven young men who will take the field on that fateful day, I'd like to remind them that victory at any cost is not the desired outcome, and may even be unacceptable. The team should rather focus on playing to their utmost during the given period, and above all, uphold the honour that is imparted upon them by their respective school the moment they step onto the field of play, as honour can only be given away and never taken.

I wish the best of luck to both the schools, and may the better team win!

Rev. Marc Billimoria


S. Thomas' College, Mount Lavinia


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