Royal College, Colombo is celebrating 100 years at Reed Avenue this year. On the 10th of October 1923, the Governor of Ceylon, Brigadier-General Sir William Henry Manning, GCMGKBECB, ceremoniously declared open the Main College Building. In celebrating its centenary at Reed Avenue, a multi religious blessing took place on the 10th of October 2023 at the College Hall to bless our beloved Alma Mater, its precincts, past and present teachers and its students – both past and present. It also signified the “Century Ahead” initiative, which looks forward to shaping its future with a renewed focus on Education, Skills, Innovation and Character. I have attached a few photographs of this occasion.

Commencing celebrations with a multi religious blessing symbolizes one of the most treasured values of Royal College, Colombo. Secularism has been a cornerstone of Royal College’s identity and ethos since its incipient days. Although founded in the back veranda of an Anglican church, since its transformative establishment as the ‘Colombo Academy’ by governor Sir Robert Wilmot-Horton in January 1836, as part of the implementation of the recommendations of the Colebrooke Cameron Commission (1833), it assumed and institutionalized a secular character and atmosphere.

Royal College’s commitment to secularism is rooted in its mission to provide a holistic education that transcends religious affiliations. The school has consistently promoted a diverse and inclusive learning environment where students of various religious backgrounds coexist harmoniously. This inclusive approach fosters tolerance, respect, and cultural understanding among its student body.

Throughout its history, Royal College has remained open to students of all faiths and backgrounds, nurturing a spirit of unity and social cohesion. This commitment to secularism aligns with Sri Lanka’s diverse cultural landscape and contributes to the school’s reputation as a beacon of educational excellence and cultural harmony.

What sets Royal College apart is not only its secular character but also its unwavering commitment to meritocracy, which form an essential part of its core values. These ensure that no student is favoured or disadvantaged due to race, creed, or background. This dedication to merit-based education complements the school’s secular values, seamlessly.

Furthermore, Royal College’s unique secular identity stands out in Sri Lanka’s educational landscape. Unlike many other popular schools that maintain strong affiliations with a particular faith, Royal College serves as a representation and an ideal example for the multi-faith and multi-cultural Sri Lankan society to follow. By embracing diversity and inclusivity, the school contributes significantly to social cohesion and harmony.

Royal College continues to champion secularism and meritocracy, setting a commendable standard for educational institutions worldwide. Its commitment to a diverse, inclusive, and merit-based education system, not only prepares students for academic success but also equips them with the values and skills needed to thrive in a multicultural society. Royal College remains a symbol of unity and progress in Sri Lanka’s rich tapestry of cultures and faiths, exemplifying the ideals of a harmonious, inclusive society.