Our Annual Prize Giving - 2015
Our annual Prize Giving was held on 27th June 2015 under the chairmanship of Ven. S. J. Jeyaveerasingan, Archdeacon of Jaffna and Manager of our College. The Chief Guests of this function were Mr. Manicavasagar Elancheleyan, and his wife Mrs. Lalitharani Elancheleyan.
The Chief Guest, a distinguished Old Boy of St. John's College, had been the Vice Captain of the Under 17 Soccer Team, and Champion of the Under 17 Table Tennis competition. He was a Scout who devoted himself to social service. During his school days, he is known to have won many prizes and held responsible office in many clubs and societies. Moulded during his formative years at St. John’s, he gradually advanced in his career, rung by rung, to become the High Court Judge of Jaffna. His wife, Mrs. Lalitharani, is a Justice of the Peace. The function commenced with the Welcome Dance, College Hymn, Prayer by the Rev. Jayanth Jeyaveerasingan. and a Welcome Song by the College students. The Chief Guest was garlanded and a bouquet was given to Mrs. Lalitharani in the presence of a large audience. The hall was packed to capacity by guests, parents, old boys, teachers, students and well-wishers. Many times the size of the audience in the hall is be lieved to have watched the function streamed live via "http://sjcjaffna.com/sjc/stjohns/live.html".
Several years ago, a Canadian, Severn Suzuki, delivered a speech at the Earth Summit in Rio. With eloquence and passion, she appealed to world leaders not to protect Earth for the sake of economics or politics, but for the sake of humanity. Severn, now known as "The Girl Who Silenced the World for 6 Minutes,” moved her audience to tears with her speech. It was this speech that English Gold Medalist, C.Gowribalan delivered.
The Principal, the Rev.N.J.Gnanaponrajah presented the Principal’s Report for the period from 21st June 2014 to 26th June 2015. After heaping praises, he invited the judge on stage to receive the memento presented by the College in honour of his presence as Chief Guest at his Alma Mater. The Principal, the ‘Everest of the College’ according to the Chief Guest:
- Congratulated all those who achieved academically including the 33 students who entered the university based on the A/Level Results of 2013.
- Said that 67 students have been awarded Academic Scholarships and 36 students in need have received assistance from the College Bursary.
- Appealed for sponsors to support the Internally Displaced School Children Project which has supported 756 students to date.
- Invited everyone to the Blessing Ceremony of the First Four-Storeyed Technology Building in the Island on 5th of July 2015 and to the one-week exhibition thereafter. He said that St. John’s, being a private school (state- assisted), could not enjoy the benefits of the capital grant provided by the government and therefore had to secure a loan to finance the buildings and the facilities. He requested all well-wishers to kindly commit to contribute to purchase the much needed machineries and other equipment. He also sought assistance to construct the Staff Quarters and two blocks of classrooms.
- Appealed to the students and younger generation not to be negatively influenced by certain elements in the society. He went on to say that happy individuals created happy families and therefore happy societies - and happy societies made happy countries.
- Thanked all the donors and all the stakeholders of St. John’s.
- Praised God for guiding the College for the past 192 years, and prayed that He continues to do so
The Principal’s speech was followed by an English Recitation on ‘Glory of Spring’ by R.Abinayan. As the name suggests, the poem talked about the beauty of Spring. But as Anne Bradstreet rightfully pointed out, “If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome." After the speech, 460 students received prizes from the hands of Mrs. Lalitharani.
C. A. Jenushan was awarded for International Participation. He represented Sri Lanka at the Asian Football Confederation U/14 Regional Festival of Football (2015). The School awarded him the Johnian Eagle, the Highest Award in Sports at St. John’s College, for this achievement. Nationa l Achievers who were recognized are: · Six Cub Scouts – P.Sudharon, A.Luckshiyanth Jeyanth, A Harisraj, M Rhaguraaman, S Ebenezer Johanan and S.Piranavan won Gold Star in 2014 / 2015. · M.Nilojan was selected for the Sri Lanka (U-19) 40-member Soccer Pool.
P.Thuvarakaseelan & S.Jeni Flemin were selected for the Sri Lanka (U-19) 31-member Cricket Pool. First XI Cricket Team 2015 became Runners-up in the Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association Division III Tournament 2014/15 and were promoted to Division II for the 2015/16 season. They were adjudged as the Most Promising Team in the Whole Island by BATA – SUNDAY TIMES SCHOOL BOY CRICKETER AWARDS. P. Thuvarakaseelan was adjudged as the Best Runner-up Batsman in Division III. First XI Cricket Team 2015 became Joint Champions in the JOHNIANS FAMILY T20 Tournament held in Colombo in May 2015. Cricket U-17 “A” was promoted to Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association Division I from 2015. M. Sivavithushan secured the 2nd Place in the Northern Province and 4th Place in the All Island IT Master Mind Quiz Competition organized by ESOFT on November 10, 2014. Our school won 4 Gold Medals and one Bronze Medal at the 7th National Karate Championship organized by the Shotokan Karate Federation Sri Lanka. Two Scouts won the President’s Scout Award: P.Samuel and M.Tharushihan Sathiyakumaran Kaarunyan of Grade 10 won the plaque for the Best Performer Junior Award from RACI, Australia and certificate from IChemC for the Australian Chemistry Quiz Examination 2014. The next item was a Tamil speech by the Tamil Gold Medal Orator, T.Sukirthan. In his speech, he lamented over the fact that Tamils were losing their identity and pointed out that ignorance was to be blamed. He said he hoped that his speech would edify people on how they could protect their sense of identity and belonging.
Mr. M.Elancheleyan delivered the Chief Guest’s Address. In his address, he:
- Congratulated all the prize-winners and said that all the students were, in a sense, prize-winners.
- Said that students leaving St. John’s College should have attributes of self-confidence, self-motivation, integrity, industry, responsibility, tolerance, loyalty, kindness and good manners and a sense of the importance of service to others.
- Spoke of the sale, possession and use of drugs and its social impact. He cautioned that drug use can cause chaos in human lives and kill people; it can make it impossible for users to pursue an education, hold a job, or remain healthy. He went on to say that thecommunity at large live every day in fear that they will get robbed or killed, that their children will get snatched up by a life of addiction and crime. The quality of life indeed, the very existence of life itself may be threatened or damaged by the ingestion of drugs. He proposed drug education as an effective method to counter drug abuse.
- Thanked all his teachers, said that his role model is the Late Mr. C. E. Anandarajan and addressed Mr. Jeevanantham as ‘My God, Guru, and God father.’
- Ended his speech by thanking everyone for inviting him to the function.
Remarks by the Chairman was followed by the Vote of Thanks that was proposed by Mr.A.T.Aravinthan and seconded by Mr. S. Gobinath, Director of the Jaffna Academy and School of Technology. The function came to an end with the College Song.