Visit of Dr. Karunyan Arulanantham
The Reverend John Thaigarajah Arulanantham (13 May 1897 – 21 June 1964) was a Ceylonese priest and teacher. He was the Principal of St. John's College, Jaffna from 1940 to 1957. His son, Dr. Karunyan Arulanantham is a physician currently practicing in California. He received his medical degree from the University of Colombo Faculty of Medicine and has been in practice for 50 years.
He specializes in Pediatrics, Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism. He is also the Medical Director of Antelope Valley Community Clinic.
On 12.01.2016, he paid a visit to his Alma Mater, St. John’s College, Jaffna. He visited the grave of his father and laid a wreath on his tombstone.
He was escorted to Peto Hall where the students had gathered for a special assembly. The Principal introduced the ‘guest’ as ‘One of the greatest and most distinguished old boys from the United States.’ The Principal went on to say that Dr. Karunyan:
- was born on 3rd January 1942 in the Principal’s Bungalow.
- studied at St. John’s College from 1946 to 1960, won the General Excellence Award in 1959 and entered the Medical Faculty.
- played almost all the games, especially Cricket.
- was the Cricket Captain in 1960.
- represented the Jaffna Combined Cricket Team and also the All-Ceylon School Boys’ Cricket Team
- supports the development programmes of the College every year.
- had supported two large projects – the Ground Expansion Project during Mr.S.Thanapalan’s Principalship and the construction of the A/L Computer Lab.
He said that not only Dr.Karunyan, but his entire family, especially his siblings are ever willing to support the programmes at St. John’s. His family helped in the construction of the Music Room – in remembrance of his mother who was a Music teacher.
The College organizes a Birthday Celebration for Old Boys annually. Since Dr. Karunyan was in his 70’s, he was given a Gold Medal by the Principal.
Principal invited the eminent old boy to the lectern. Dr. Karunyan had the following to say.
- ‘I am deeply honoured and humbled to be here.’
- ‘I am happy to see the students saying the Students’ Oath and Prayers which encapsulate the values that St. John’s tries to impart.’
- ‘I was first in the first row, then a little behind, then a little behind and after about ten years, was seated at the last row. I played games, attended the assembly, made friends and studied just like anyone of you here.’
- ‘I learnt the most important things that have helped me to lead a happy and successful life from St. John’s College – from within the classrooms, on the grounds, in the church, in the choir, chatting and socializing with my classmates and friends.’
- ‘Simple values that I learnt at St. John’s like befriending people, respecting others, caring and sharing helped me progress. It ultimately ensured happiness which remained with me for life.’
- ‘Study hard, work hard and help people. Make working hard a lifelong habit. That will lead you to success.’
- ‘My happiest years of my life were the years spent at St. John’s. You are in a wonderful place – and this is the best time you are going to have. So cherish it.’
Blessing everyone present, he stepped down from the lectern. The College Hymn brought the assembly to an end. After the assembly, the entourage went towards the new Computer Lab.
On the way, the Principal and Dr.Karunyan stopped to speak to a few students who were seated on the Pavilion. Coincidentally, it was the Dr. Karunyan Arulanantham Stand – the Pavilion built in recognition of Dr.Karunyan’s role in supporting and sustaining the College. This structure stands as a token of appreciation for all the help Dr. Karunyan and the Arulananthams have rendered to the College.
Dr.Karunyan Arulanantham declared open the new IT lab by cutting the ribbon after prayers by the Manager of the School and Archdeacon of Jaffna, the Rev. S.J.Jeyaveerasingan.
The College is greatly indebted to his family for everything they have done and for everything they continue to do. May God continue to bless them.
‘’I will bless you . . . and you will be a blessing to others” (Genesis 12:2 NLT).