Royal regains the Stubbs after 30 Years at the 100th Shield Meet

It was simply a Royal performance by our boxers at the 100th Stubbs Shield meet held at the Royal MAS Arena, from 7th to 10th October 2017. Having trained under Head Coach, Ibunu Abdulla, six of the eight member team were able to qualify for the finals. At the finals, four boxers won their weight classes and ended up winning Gold Medals, while the other two ended up with Silver Medals. The 2016 Royal College Captain, U. M. B. Niranjana was adjudged Best Boxer of the meet. Principal of Royal College, Mr. B A. Abeyrathna, handed over the Shield. The Teachers in charge of Boxing, Mr. Janaka Atulugama and Mrs. A. D. S. de Silva and the Senior Games Master, Mr. Riyaz Aluher were also present, along with members of the Royal College Union – Boxing Advisory & Management Committee Members.

Medal Winners

52 Kg Weight Class – M. M. A. Ahamed won a Gold Medal

56 Kg Weight Class – U. M. B. Niranjana won a Gold Medal

56 Kg Weight Class – H. V. D. Hettiarachchi won a Gold Medal (Youth)

75 Kg Weight Class – P. Samarasinghe won a Gold Medal (Youth)

60 Kg Weight Class – M. A. M. Aseen won a Silver Medal (Youth)

64 Kg weight Class – V. Attygalle won a Silver Medal (Youth)

49 Kg Weight Class – R. A. Altaf won a Bronze Medal (Youth)

52Kg Weight Class – M. I. M. Ishaq won a Bronze Medal (Youth)

The team Captain, M. A. Ahamed thanked the Event Organizers, Referees & Judges, The Principal of Royal College, Senior Games Master and the Teachers in charge, President of the ABA Mr. Dian Gomes and all ABA Ex-co Members, Secretary and members of the Royal College Union and the RCU – Boxing Advisory and Management Committee, the members of the Royal Boxing Club, Past and Present Boys of Royal College, who supported the team and to all the academic staff at the College, saying “If not for all of you this achievement wouldn’t have been possible – after a hiatus of 30 years.”

A brief History of Royal College Boxing – Courtesy of Mr. Priantha Malavi (Immediate Past Chairman RCU – Boxing Advisory and Management Committee)

The first Ceylonese and the first Royalist to make headway in boxing overseas was Donald Obeyesekere. He fought his way to victory at Cambridge at the turn of the 19th century, way back in 1898. On his return to Ceylon, his set resolve was to further the cause of boxing, which is an art of self-defence in schools, and Royal became one of the chief beneficiaries. To remedy the dearth of organised sports, boxing was introduced to Royal in 1913.

The Principal then, was Mr. Charles Hartley. A challenge shield was presented for the inter-house boxing champions in 1919 by Mr. Donald Obeyesekere and this gave Royal a head-start over most other schools. Mr. L. Mac D Robison, a Director of Education also assisted in training the boys. The son of the Bishop of Oxford, Sir R. E. Stubbs, when serving as the Colonial Secretary of Ceylon, bestowed a thrust to boxing, that is still very much alive, by presenting the Stubbs Shield, for competition among schools in 1914, making them veritable nurseries of the noble art. It could be said of Donald Obeyesekere, that he lit the torch of boxing at Royal, which was ably carried on by his son, Danton, for 55 years!

This is best illustrated by the fact that Royal has participated in every Stubbs Shield meet since its inception in 1914, except in the years 1999 and 2010.

Danton Obeyesekere was the first Royalist to win the Best Boxer’s Cup at the Stubbs Shield in 1925 and later became the first Asian to captain Cambridge University in any sport, in 1928.

The other Cambridge ‘Blues’ were Steve Dassanayake, Frederick Obeyesekere, Cedric de Soysa and Ponnambalam Rajendram, whilst Chris de Saram captained Oxford University.

A. W. Henricus won a gold medal for the country at the Empire Games in Sydney, Australia in 1938, whilst A. I. Obeyesekere won a bronze medal at the Empire Games in Auckland, New Zealand in 1948.

E. I. Gray and A. I. Obeyesekere represented the country at the Olympic Games in London, England in 1948, while B. C. Henricus did so at the Olympic Games in Helsinki, Finland, in 1952.

M. A. Jayalath represented Sri Lanka at the Asian Games in New Delhi, India in 1982.

Danton Obeyesekere, Eddie Gray and Maj.Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya have had the distinction of qualifying as AIBA Referee/Judges.

Royal emerged champions at the Stubbs Shield meet for the first time in 1935 during the centenary year of the College, two years after Danton Obeyesekere had begun coaching the Royal team. Royal’s boxing struck a purple patch during the 1940’s (1944-47) and the 1980’s (1984-87), to set up a series record of four consecutive wins. This record was subsequently broken by Vidyartha College- Kandy, who won for seven consecutive years. (1991-97).

Royal still holds the record for the most number of wins in the Stubbs Shield series with 18 (now 19) wins. The most number of individual wins recorded in the Stubbs Shield series were by A. B. Henricus(7), F. I. T. Labrooy(6), H. Bandara (6), S. B. Samaratunge (5), H. Ousman (5) and M. M. A. Nisthar (5).

Royal has also won the Phelps Memorial Trophy at the A. B. A. Junior Championships on four occasions, the T. B. Jayah Memorial Challenge Cup for Novices on six occasions and the L. V. Jayaweera Challenge Cup for the Freshers, once.

D. V. Boderagama has been the only Royalist to win a National title as a schoolboy, when he won the Fly weight in 1946, at the age of 17.

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Royal annexes Aturupane-Parakrama Challenge Trophy

Royal College, led by SachindraMendis, defeated S. Thomas’ College by 5.5-0.5 pointsin the second annual chess encounter between the schools and thereby became the first winners of the Aturupane-Parakrama Challenge Trophy.  The match was held at the Royal College Union Skill Centre on Thursday, October 12, 2017.

The annual encounter between these traditional rivals was inaugurated in 2016 with Royal scoring a resounding 6-0 victory.  The series tally, as such, stands at 2-0 in favor of Royal.  The Aturupane-Parakrama Challenge Trophy was on offer for the first time this year.

The trophy is named after two prominent chess-playing families.  Harsha Aturupane was one of the strongest players produced by Sri Lanka.  He won the national title on three occasions, the first time whilst still in school.  His brother Harinlal also won the national title on multiple occasions.  Both captained S. Thomas’ and Sri Lanka.  Incidentally, Harinlal’s son represented his school in the Under 15 match.

Chris Parakrama became National Chess Champion in 1973, while still a schoolboy.  His brother, Arjuna, was at one point the Number 1 chess player in the country.  Both captained Royal while Arjuna went on to captain Sri Lanka.  Their father, SaliParakrama, captained Royal in the 1930s and won the unofficial national championship on several occasions in the 1950s and 1960s.

Apart from the Under 20 encounter which was for the trophy, teams of the two schools crossed swords in other age groups as well.

Royal won the Under 17 match 4-2, the Under 15 match 4.5-1.5, the Under 13 match 6-0 and the Under 11 match 5-1.  In the inaugural year, the event was held across three categories, Under 20, Under 15 and Under 13.  Last year too Royal swept S. Thomas’ in all the matches.


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10th Annual Royal-Thomian Badminton Encounter

The 10th Annual Royal-Thomian Badminton Encounter was held at the Royal College Sports Complex, on 29th September 2017 from 2 pm onwards. Matches in the under 20 category held for the Ranil Wijesekera Memorial Challenge Trophy, was won by Royal (3 – nil) where Royal won all the singles matches. The under- 16 challenge shield was also won by Royal in the same manner. With this year’s win, Royal has won this encounter continuously, since 2012.

The chief guest at this occasion was former Captain, Cricketer and Head Prefect Mr. Jayantha Kudahetty. The event was organized by the Badminton Advisory & Management Committee with the assistance of the school authorities and was funded by old boys and well wishers. T-shirts for the teams were once again sponsored by the Old Royalists Association of Piliyandala.

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RCOBAA AGM – Eddie Gray Memorial Oration by the High Commissioner for Sri Lanka to Australia and New Zealand

Royal College Old Boys in Australia Association (Victoria) held their Annual General Meeting on the 17th September 2017.  The High Commissioner for Sri Lanka to Australia and New Zealand, His Excellency Somasundaram Skandakumar, delivered the Eddie Gray Memorial Oration before a distinguished audience of old Royalists of all vintages.  The Oration is a traditional part of the Agenda of the AGM, and the High Commissioner’s address this year was extremely well received and greatly appreciated by the many attendees.

After touching briefly on his association with Eddie, initiated in 1985 through the Sri Lanka Cricket Foundation of Victoria, and relating two anecdotes on the humorous side of the Gentleman’s life which raised laughter round the crowded hall, the speaker focused on how the Spirit of Royal was scrupulously followed by Eddie Gray, throughout his life.

“When our first Prime Minister D.S. Senanayake fell off his horse and died in Eddie’s arms, the blame fell on the Mare.  Eddie was quick to point out that it was a seizure that led to the fall, which was confirmed later. In doing so Eddie adhered to our first lesson, “To distinguish between right and wrong and to stand up for what is right.”

When he got off his Police vehicle to punch a man who was harassing a beggar on the street, he upheld our second lesson, viz to “Emulate the strong but never forget to protect the weak”.

In his blessed and blissful 64-year marriage to Yvonne, he lived up to our third lesson that “Every right implied a corresponding responsibility.”

As Head Prefect of Royal College and thereafter as the first Ceylonese head of the Mounted Police and Officer in Charge of the Fort Police, he discharged his duties with impeccable integrity, upholding our fourth lesson, viz “Greater the authority, greater then had to be the accountability.”

When he stepped aside in the boxing ring in a crucial international bout to allow his opponent to pick up his fallen gum guard and went on to lose the bout, he lived up to our next lesson, that “It was not the winning that mattered but how one played the game.”

The High Commissioner added ” Indeed he played the Game of Life as well to perfection and I have no doubt that the greatest scorer who called time on his life, welcomed him to his heavenly abode with open arms.”

“Finally, gentlemen, let us reflect on the portraits that adorn our sacred Hall of Fame. Those distinguished men are remembered even today for two things; their intellect and their integrity.  Yes, there is no greater asset that a man can cherish than his integrity, and Eddie’s was impeccable.”

“As a further tribute to him, I like to mention that our lives are divided between needs and wants. Being human our wants will continue to change but basic needs will always remain the same, represented by food, water, clothing, shelter and peace.”

“Our Country invested in us in our early education and there could not be a better way to reciprocate that blessing than to make our own meaningful contribution to that process of peace, because no nation can aspire to fulfil the true potential of its independence unless that independence embraces each of its citizens equally.”

“Our loyalty to our school is reflected in a crucial line in our College song, ‘We kept thy fame inviolate’. Our National Anthem has the line ‘Eka Mawakage Daruwo’ while our National flag has four Bo leaves representing Karuna, Metta, Muditha and Upeka, essentially love and compassion.”

“Loyalty to one’s country must necessarily reflect commitment to these precious values as well, so let me conclude by quoting a very famous journalist Oliver Stone in his farewell address at the US Writers Guild Awards 2017, ‘Find time to be by yourself to listen to your inner silences. Try to find the true meaning to your life on Earth, and, never give up on your struggle for peace, decency, and telling the truth’”.

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Wayo 360 – Organised by the Royal College Group of 2008

Wayo 360° – A musical extravaganza which was brought to life by the Royal College Group of 2008 was held on 23rd September 2017 at the Royal MAS arena.

Wayo and Umaria Sinhawansa brought glamour with the first ever 360° degree concert in Sri Lanka – offering a ‘one of a kind’, novel composition to the audience.

It is noteworthy that this is the first Mega concert which was organised at the Royal MAS Arena which will bring in more foot fall for the arena in the future. The event was well organised with food stalls, VIP lounge with the stars and a night with great music and fun, under an air-conditioned stadium by the group of 2008!

The group organised the event – Wayo 360° in aid of providing educational support in the form of scholarships for underprivileged students

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