Nalanda College Scouts troop started in 1967 and it was registered with the Sir Lanka Scouts Association on 18th June 1967 under the name Colombo Scouts Troop.
History of the Nalanda College(32nd Colombo) Scout Group
Nalanda College Scouts troop started in 1967 and it was registered with the Sri Lanka Scouts Association on 18th June 1967 under the name Colombo Scouts Troop . The honour of being the first Group Scout Leader goes to Mr. Gunapala Wickramaratne,the then Principal.
Honour is also due to Messer’s D.Jayasinghe, B.D.Fernan o and Widanagamaarachchi, the leaders who pioneered the setting up of the Nalanda Colege Scout Troop. The first Group Leader was Mr. Sunil Wickramaarachchi.
The first camp was held at Homagama. Participation in religious activities and also in Sramadanas conducted by the Sarvodaya movement formed the main community services of the then scouts. The concentration was on service to the public.
The annual scouts camp in 1968 was held at Ovitigala,Matugama and the Colombo Camporee was held at Bullers road with the participation of Sir Charles Mackeen, Chief Scout Commissioner of the Commenwealth as the chief guest.
With Mr. Gunapala Wickramaratne leaving the college in 1969, Mr. Sugunadasa Athukorala, the new principal became the Group Scout Leader. The Scout Leaders also left the college at that time, and during the period 1970-1971, the activities of the Scout Troop were paralysed. Again in 1971 the Troop was reorganised and Mr.M.D.R.T. Kuweju functioned as the master in charge .In 1973 Mr.C.W Senaviratne joined Mr. Kuweju to assist him and was appointed as Assistant Group Scout Leader. The leadership given by Mr. Kuweju, Mr. Upali Rajapakshe and Mr. Ajith Kamal Wijegunawardena during this period deserves much appreciation.
With the setting up of the Nalanda Cub Scout section in 1974, the Scout Troop became the Scout Group. For this purpose Mr. Malcom Goonaratne of Colombo Rotary Scout Group 44 played a leading role. Mrs Mallika Goonaratne, Mrs Genet Karunaratne, Mrs. V.I, Wijesinghe, Mrs S. Warnasooriya, Mrs S.M. Wanigatunga and Mrs Susima Jayawardane functioned as the first …………… of the cubs.
Mahinda Wilathgamuwa , Meril Gunathilake, Vignana Ariyarathne and Janaka Walgama joined the Scout Group in 1974 and they attended the Colombo district Camporee held at Viharamaha Devi Park Colombo in 1974. Later all this Scout became excellent personalities in their chosen fields. The leadership and guidance shown by Mr. Malkam Gunaratne immensely assisted in achieving our aims and objectives. The annual camp of 1975 was held in Udawalawe, and co-operation extended by Ashoka Samarabandu should be commendable. A special event occurred during this year was his walk around the Island. Raja Weerasinghe along with Ajntha Padmasiri participated in this camp as Scout Leaders .
The main events occurred during the year 1976 were the annual camp at Matugama and the participation in Colombo Camporee. The leadership of Mr. A.B. Pathmasiri, then Group Scout Leader contributed to the success of this year’s programmes.
The annual Camporee of 1977 was attended under the leadership of Mr. Malcom Gooneratne. Mahinda Wilathgamuwa was the group leader, who succeeded in wearing the first scout green code.
During 1978, our scouts participated in several camps, which included the annual camp at Ambepusa, the annual Colombo Camporee and the weekend camps held in the college. A farewell party was held in honour of Mr. Malcom Gooneratne who left the country for overseas employment . We recall with gratitude and honour, the services rendered by him to the scout group and to the college.
The contribution made by Mr. K.A.D.A. Gunawardane , the scout leader towards the success of the programmes also deserves appreciation. Thereafter, Mr C.Chandrasekaran took over the group for a short period and he also contributed immensely to the development of the group.
In 1979 Mr. Ajith Saman Cooray, the group leader went abroad after completing his education and Mr. Malinda Peris succeeded him as the group leader.
The twelveth anniversary of the scouts group at which the chief guest was Mr. Hemapala Ratnasuriya, the Chief Scout Commissioner was held on 30th March, 1980 .At this ceremony the scouts won medals and awards while cubs were awarded gold stars. Milinda Peiris, who was the group leader during 1979 was appointed as the chief scout.
The period of his leadership showed a significant development in the senior scout section. This was a landmark in the history of the scout movement of the college. The open air cubs day held at the Sir John Kothalawala’s estate, the camp fire display at the college grounds with the participation of small children in rural small schools in the Matara district, the guard of honour accorded to His Excellency J.R Jayawardena, the then President who declared opened the new three storied building and the 150 miles walk – conducted under the leadership of Milinda Peiris were among the programmes of the year. The senior scouts Milinda Peiris, Lasitha Fernando,Udaya Indunil, Deepal Sudharshan, Kevin Cooray and Wajira Jayasinghe participated in the walk .
Eight scouts participated in the friendship camp held at Payagala Vidyalaya in Matara district . Our scouts also participated in the annual Colombo Camporee and won flag awards. The patrol camp held at Athurugiriya and the patient attendance service conducted at Colombo National Hospital were the main community services performed during the year.
Mrs. Malika Gunaratne, Mrs.S.M. Wanigathunga, Mrs.S. Warnasuriya , Mrs. S. Jayawardena Mrs.S.Dassanayake, Mrs.Sheela Liyanage, Mrs.Ramani Gunatilleke, and Mrs. Ranjanie Dissanayake acted as cub leaders.
Malinda Peiris who was the chief scout joined the Sri Lanka Army as an officer cadet and left for India for military training. This event brought back the memory of BP leaving for India for military service in 1876.
Mr. Saman Cooray who went abroad during the later half of 1980 returned and the scouts participated in the annual Camporee under his leadership.
In August, 1980, under the leadership of Udaya Indunil senior scouts namely Deepal Sudarshana, Anintha Samarasena, Anil De Silva , Kavantissa De Silva and Lalith Edirisinghe took part in a 1000 km bicycle tour.
The main events during 1981 were the annual camp held at Uswatakeiyawa, Watala during the first half part of the year, the observation tour of the birds sanctuary at Kumana – Lahugala, the participation in the opening ceremony of the new National Headquarters and in the annual Camporee.
The winning of the award of the President’s scout by senior scout Udaya Indunil was a significant event at this Camporee. He is the first President’s scout in the college. Also three senior scouts namely, Surendra Seaream, S.E.K. jayakody and Jeevananda took part in the 215 miles bicycle tour. During 1981, Saman Cooray was assisted by Dantha Ariyaratne, Lalith Edirisinghe, Kavantissa De Silva and Kevin Cooray. Under these scout leaders, our scouts participated in the Colombo Camporee and demonstrated their skills.
During 1982, two camps were held , one at Kanampella and the other at Biligala, Kegalle. The cricket match of the Scouts between Ananda and Nalanda was held during the year and Nalanada won. At the annual Jamboree 1982, two senior scouts S . Seram and Jagath Leelarathne received the Presidential awards.
The third Sri Lankan National Jamboree was held at Harischandra Park, Anuradhapura in February, 1983 at which Kevin Corray, Scout leader acted as assistant store keeper of the Colombo contingent and Saman Cooray functioned as the leader of unit 6 of the Colombo contingent. Our scouts participated in the district rally conducted at Wellawatte and held a training camp at the college in October.
Our Scout S Seram represented Sri Lanka at the Camporee held in Thailand and acted as the leader of the Sri Lankan party. Anil De Silva received the Presidential award at the Presidential Award Ceremony held at the Royal College. Hon. R.Premadasa, who was the then Prime Minister was the Chief Guest.
The annual camp of 1984 held at Pidrew, Nuwera Eliya was a great success. This was due to the commitment and courage of the scouts and leaders who participated. A contingent camp was held in Hingurala and our scouts succeeded in wining three Presidential awards.
The Nalanda Old Scouts Association was established on 29th April, 1984, under the pioneering efforts of Saman Cooray. The first President was Saman Cooray while K.A.D Gunawardena was the Secretary and Udaya Indunil was the Treasurer. The 17th anniversary of the group was held on July 21st and 22nd in the form of a friendship camp and NOSA played a leading role in organizing it . Richmond college Galle, Sea Scout troop St Mary’s College Chilaw, and Harischandra College Negombo participated in the friendship camp.
The 25th Jubilee Camporee was held from 29th August , to 2nd September………. The Old Scout Association published a newspaper under the title “The Citizen of tomorrow” to mark the occasion. Our scouts were able to secure the third place at the Mayor’s flag competition of the junior section of the inter group tournament held in August. The third place was secured at the Brigadier C.P. Jayawardena challenged shield competition by the senior section as well .
The first training course in the annual programme prepared by us for Troops leaders was held during March 01 – 03 rd at the SOS Children village, Piliyandala in 1985. Mr. Saman Cooray functioned as the course leader. Our college was selected as the best camping site at the Colombo Camporee.
The scout leader Saman Cooray and the junior scout Ravindra Siriwardena represented Sri Lanka at the Indian National Jamboree. In the same year S.Seram represented Sri Lanka at Pakistan National Camporee.