125th anniversary celebration of Jaffna Hindu triggers in Sydney
Posted on: 11/05/2015 (Monday)
The 125th anniversary celebration of Jaffna Hindu triggers in Australia. The function to celebrate the Jaffna Hindu's 125 years excellence was hosted by the Sydney OBA on Saturday, the 9th May 2015, at the Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School, Seven Hills, New South Wales. The theme of the event was Saivamum Thamizhum.” Mr.S.Ponnampalam, former principal of Jaffna Hindu, was the chief guest. Mr.P.Maheswaram, former deputy principal of Jaffna Hindu, was invited as a special guest.
The function, without failing in tradition, started withThevaram, Thamil thai valzthu, Australian national anthem , School Song and one minute silent. Then all the guests were greeted with a welcome Bharathanatiyam by the students of Mrs.Ajanthini Carthikeyan.The formal welcome was done by Dr.T.Kamalanathan, former teacher and Sydney OBA committee member. A set of speeches followed the welcome address. Chief Guest’s speech by Mr. S. Ponnampalam, former principal and patron of Sydney OBA, special address by the Special Guest Mr.P.Maheswaran, who taught mathematics for over 35 years at Jaffna Hindu and was also a former vice-principal, and then the President’s speech by Mr.G.Partheepan, President Sydney OBA. Releasing of stamp next, to mark the 125th anniversary, was a special moment for all the sons of Jaffna Hindu, who are now living in Australia. The stamp was released by Mr.G.Partheepan, the current president of Sydney OBA and was received by Mr.K.Shanmugasothy, the first president of Sydney OBA. With that, the book “Saiva Siddhantham – A Way of Life” was also introduced. Mr.Sathiyamoorthy introduced the book and the first book was bought by Mr.V. Gunaranjithan, past president of Sydney OBA. The sales benefits of which will go for JHCOBA Sydney.
To break the evening from becoming too formal, a passionate musician Dr.R.Rajayogan (also a past president of Sydney OBA) with other vocalists Mrs.Prashanthy Aravinthan, Mr.J.Harithupan, Mrs.Ruba Harithupan, Mr.Vishnugar Arunasalam provided some musical treat to the audience.
The second session of the events started after breaking for dinner. After dinner, Prof.(Mrs.) Vijeyalaksmi Ramasamy, former Professor of Stella Maris College, talked about ‘Life and Religion.’ Then it was time for paying tributes. Principals and teachers, who have contributed to the school during its 125th years of excellence in the educational arena, were honoured first. Mr.Siva Pasupathi, an eminent personality that Jaffna Hindu has produced honoured the principals and teachers. Mr.Siva Pasupathi was the Attorney-General of Sri Lanka from 1975 to 1988. He was the longest served Attorney-General of anytime in Sri Lanka. He was also a past president of the OBA Colombo during which period he obtained a grant of rupees one million from the President’s Fund for the Science Block of Jaffna Hindu. Mr.Saravanamuthu Ponnampalam, Chemistry Teacher and also Principal, Mr.Ponnusamy Maheswaran, Maths Teacher and also Deputy Principal, Dr. Thirunavukkarasu Kamalanathan, Social Sciences Teacher ,Mr.Petersingham Savarimuthu, Chemistry Teacher, and Mr.Babu Balasingham, also a Chemistry Teacher, were honoured at the event. Then the past presidents of Sydney and Melbourne OBAs and their executive committees from 1994 to 2015 were honoured for shouldering the responsibility of carrying the legacy of Jaffna Hindu in Australia. Mr.Samy Pasupathi was invited to honour them. Mr.Samy Pasupathi, a proud son of Jaffna Hindu, was a high profile personality in the field of taxation and accounting in Sri Lanka.
Honouring those who have contributed to OBA Sydney sports activities continued after the debate. First, the Sydney OBA’s Over 40 cricket team members were honoured by Mr. Karthikeyan, who was the house captain of Casipillai house in 1986 and represented the school cricket Under-17 team in 1984 and was its captain in 1985. Also, he represented the Under-19 cricket team in 1984, 1985, 1986, and was its vice-captain in 1987. He was the cricket coach for the Under-15 team in 1986. The Sydney OBA’s Open team members were honoured by Dr. Paran Sithamparakumar, an athlete, cricketer, and a chess player. He played cricket for the Under-14, Under-17 teams, and represented the school at JSSA in track events. He also represented the chess team in 1978 and 1979, during which it became the all Ceylon runners up. Also, the Sydney OBA tennis team members were honoured by Mr.Ramasamy Jegendran, an athlete, cricketer, and a soccer player. He represented JHC cricket from 1955 to 1958 and was its vice-captain in 1958 and represented 2nd X1 soccer from 1955 to 1956 and was its vice-captain in 1956 and 1st X1 in 1957. He also represented Jaffna Schools Cricket against the Indian School Boys in 1958 and was a professional umpire in Adelaide for Grade cricket from 1991 to 1994. In athletics, he represented the school in JSSA meets in long jump and hop step and jump.
Next, some food for thought was given in the form of a debate on the topic இந்துவின் மைந்தர்களின் உயர்விற்குப் பெரிதும் வழிகோலியது கல்லூரியிற் பெற்ற அறிவே! கல்லூரியிற் பெற்ற ஆளுமையே (The Knowledge or the Leadership Skills the Hinduites received at the school contributed most to reach great heights in life). Mr.Krishna Sarma and Mr.J.Jeyakanthan articulately debated in favour of Leadership Skills and Mr.Sivapragasam Shanmugathas and Mr.V.Suntharesan debated eloquently in favour of Knowledge. The judgment was given in favour of Leadership Skills.
An American auction too was held to raise fund for JHCOBA Sydney. The auction was conducted by Mr.Prabaharan Maheswaran. After this Melbourne OBA President Mr.Kathirgamarajah Vijayarajan addressed the gathering where he has highlighted Melbourne OBA's activities towards Jaffna Hindu College.
The Master of Ceremonies Mr.Narenthiranathan Kathirgamanathan and Mr.Prabaharan Maheswaran smoothly conducted the event, which ended satisfactorily by around 11 PM with the vote of thanks by Mr.Sivagurunathan Srikumar, the Secretory of Sydney OBA.
This is a historical event and a proud moment for all Hinduites to share the pride of their school reaching a milestone in the path of educational excellence. Sydney OBA is proud to have opened the quasquicentennial celebration of their alma mater which is being held all around the world by the proud sons of Jaffna Hindu.