WALK A MILE TEAM
Message from the Warden
S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia is a pioneer institution in Sri Lanka in many spheres not least in the organization of mega sponsored events to raise funds for its many causes over the years. From the first Sponsored Walk (1984), the first Triathlon (1988) and the first Tetrathlon (1992) in the history of schools in Sri Lanka to the mega Thomian Parade of 2018, S. Thomas’ College and her support groups such as the STC OBA, the STC PTA and indeed its alumni near and far have successfully completed many such sponsored projects over the years.
In responding to the challenges posed by the global Covid-19 pandemic the STC OBA, under the dynamic leadership of the current Hony Vice President Senaka de Fonseka and the indefatigable Hony Secretary Tilan Wickremesinghe, has planned the latest in a series of sponsored events – a sponsored Walk a Mile Project to raise funds for ongoing infrastructure development projects of the School as it prepares to complete 175 years of existence in 2026. This unique project will enable present boys, alumni, parents and friends of the College to raise funds by walking a mile wherever they are, even within their homes and gardens if required, in March 2022.
Significantly part of the funds raised by this initiative will go towards the Covid Response projects of the College and the OBA. I have no doubt that the team led by the able Richard de Zoysa, a veteran of organizing major events in Sri Lanka and also thought up this concept, will do an amazing job. I am very thankful to each and every one of them for the time and talents they have invested on behalf of the College, as always, paying back in their own ways the nurture fee they owe their alma mater.
I commend this project to all present Thomians, alumni near and far as well as all friends of the College. I wish the organizing committee every success.
The Rev’d Marc Billimoria | Warden STCML & Ex Officio President STC OBA
Honorary Secretary's Message
It is with great pride that I issue this message as the Honarary Secretary of the STC ML OBA in recognition of this monumental project.
Walk A Mile for S.Thomas’ is one unique funding concept that was born during a discussion on how the OBA can support the prevalent need to raise funds for the development of the college infrastructure and human resources in these changing times.
S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia, is an Anglican selective entry boys’ private school in Sri Lanka. Founded by Rt. Rev. James Chapman, the first Anglican Bishop of Colombo, in 1851, it was setup as a college under the new Diocese of Colombo of the Church of Ceylon and modelled on British Public-school tradition, and especially that of Eton College, Bishop Chapman’s own alma mater and one of the preeminent public schools in England.
The college’s alumni includes the Father of the nation Hon, Prime Minister D. S. Senanayake, the Head Mudaliyar of Ceylon, Solomon Dias Bandaranaike, and three other Prime ministers. Many of the prominent leaders of the independence movement in the early twentieth century were also educated at the college. STC has for nearly two centuries, produced outstanding leaders in all walks of life, be it in Politics, Governance, Education, Corporates, Enterprises and the field of Sports.
The college is established as a not-for-profit institution which manages its operational costs through the raising of school fees. However the aforementioned infrastructure Development is supported by it’s connected stakeholders which is lead by the OBA.
Over the years my predecessors have led many projects that have been instrumental in the development of the college to what it is today. It has one of the most beautiful campuses in the world and has stood in pride for the entire nation.
The call is now for the present Thomian family to rally round this institution and support to build itself to become greater, especially in this ever changing environment. I am humbled to be part of such a monumental effort led by Richard de Zoysa bringing together old boys across all eras and all geographies of the world as well as the present boys, parents and other well-wishers, using state-of-the-art technology.
Despite challenging circumstances both in our island nation as well as the world at large, it is important that we remain committed to the cause and rally around our alma mater in these defining times. As with any great institution, how STC chooses to respond, collectively, to these difficult times, will significantly influence how it will define itself for future generations of Thomians and for the country at large.
I look forward to your participation and support for this one-of-a-kind project.
Tilan Wickremesinghe | Honorary Secretary STC ML OBA
Project Chairman's Message
Let us in all solidarity and togetherness embrace this initiative, to give back a trifle of our time and resources to the great halls of learning, and the playing fields that gave us so much.
It has been my privilege to work with my colleagues at the OBA to unfold this ambitious fundraiser. It is my fervent hope that each and every Old Thomian, no matter which part of the globe he is in and all the students of STC throw in their might to help make this fundraiser a tremendous success.
There is no getting behind the fact that we have on many occasions proclaimed proudly, that we are Thomians – a fortunate few who have been nurtured in an institution that is among the best in the world.
The time has come to show ourselves that we can all strive towards a common goal and succeed in reaching our objectives.
For All We Have And Are!
Executive Committee Officers - Project Representation
The Rev'd Marc Billimoria
(Warden & Ex Officio Hony President STC OBA)
Mr. Asanaka Perera
(Sub Warden & Ex Officio Hony Precident STC OBA)
Mr Senaka de Fonseka (Vice Precident STC OBA)
Currently is the Chief Operating Officer at Outreach Projects (Guarantee) Limited which is the CSR arm of Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC. Held many important managerial roles at Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC where he has covered nearly 40 years of service. He also sits on the Board of KBSL Information Technology Ltd. Senaka was appointed College Prefect in 1981, was the senior Senior Sacriston and was awarded the best All-round Sportsman of the year 1981. He was the Troop Leader and a President Scout as well as a Senior Cadet.
In the field of sports, he Captained the College in Boxing, Vice Captained the senior Swimming and Basketball teams, represented the College senior teams in Rugby, Diving, Water Polo, Athletics and Hockey. He also excelled in Art while in School and one of his paintings is displayed in the College Chapel and a wood carving at the Scout Room.
A Member of the Board of Governors since 2012. Senaka is the Manger of S. Thomas’ College, Gurutalawa (January 2013 to date). He was Secretary of the STC ML OBA , OBA 2005-2007 which was a very important era for the School. He was also the Secretary of the Parent Teacher Association in 2005.
He was the Chairman, of Royal Thomian Joint Organizing Committee 2013 which was a highly successful and profitable event.
Senaka was appointed Secretary of Thomian Fair 2006, a fund raiser organized for STC at Gurutalawa. He was also appointed Secretary of Thomian Fair 2011 and was instrumental in raising a record LKR 18.6 million funds.
He Was a key member of the Chapel Renovation Fund, which raised LKR 22 million and helped restore the icon of the school.
He Chaired the Thomian Triathlon 2014 raised close to LKR 18 million and kick started the Thomian Senior Commerce block project.
Group Committee Chairman of the 16th Colombo Scout Group since 2007 to date. Thomian Ride Team in 2016, 2017 & 2018 which raised close to LKR 12 million. Senaka rode his bike around the island as a participant during this great endevour.
Presently he serves as the Vice President STC OBA Mount Lavinia 2020/ 2021 and mentored the team that raised Rs. 9.5 Million to support the students who were affected by the covid 19 pandemic in 2020. He is also mentoring the Covid Response task force set up by the OBA as Community Serving Project this year (2021).
Mr Tilan Wickremesinghe (Hony Secretary STC OBA)
Under his leadership, the OBA delivered a number of successful projects including the Covid-19 relief Fund scholarship and the Momentum education Expo 2020, He was the convenor of the Triathlon held in 2017 which raised close to Lkr 17+ million. He was also an integral part of the OBA’s special events committee during the years 2012-2016 that raised close 50 million in funds for STC.
As chairman of the membership engagement committee STC ML OBA, Tilan was instrumental in setting up the Class group affiliation program that brought the all Class groups under the STCML OBA umbrella, facilitating the long lasting requirement of auxiliary alumni groups to to work as one cohesive group when supporting the needs of STC and its stakeholders. He and his team organized many large Class group Heads meetings and fellowship events at college which allowed the Warden to communicate with the ever important class groups. Today the communication are further streamlined through a well managed Social platforms that includes the heads of these groups.
He also gave leadership to some strategic operational changes to the stakeholder communications modus of the STC ML OBA using state of the art Digital tools and social media Platforms at its infant stage as Chairman IT. In recent times he was part of the leadership of a committee that set up the Thomian Global Alumni portal online which connects the entire Thomian global fraternity together. This system allows members of the fraternity to self maintain their profiles, Allowing all of their contact and professional information to be current as possible internationally. This system gave birth to many projects involving the global community, including this walk a mile initiative.
Tilan headed the Interact Club while at college and was a Senior School Coloursman for Tennis and the Vice Captain of the team. he Is a Past Rotarian Vice President where he held membership in the Rotary Club of Colombo Re Connections which was setup by Rotary International for returning scholars. He is currently the CEO of a Digital services company and a former visiting lecturer in the Architecture Faculty of the University of Katubedda.
He served STCML OBA for over seven years and this is his second year as the Hon. Secretary. He previously held the position of Assistant Secretary and headed up a number of sub-committees of the STC ML OBA.
Mr Ranil Goonetilleke (Hony Treasurer STC OBA)
Ranil Goonetilleke is the Director – Finance at Lion Breweries and is the current Hony Treasurer of the STC OBA. Ranil has ensured fiscal stability and prudence of the OBA while supporting the commercial matters for the numerous projects that have been successfully implemented.
Richard De Zoysa (Project Chairman)
Richard is the Project Lead for Walk A Mile and the powerhouse that has brought the vision to life. The team has galvanized under Richard to help deliver this important initiative which will benefit several of the College’s infrastruture projects as well as the OBA Covid-19 effort. Richard represented the school in Cricket at the U-14 and 2nd X1 levels and is a Consultant in the security industry. Richard also organises music events to help the less fortunate. This is his second year in the OBA as a nominee of the Warden.
Chandana William (Class of ‘73 - O/Level)
Chandana is the Project Secretary of Walk A Mile and has been the anchor around whom the project team has steadied itself. He is a retired banker having spent several years in the sector and is now actively dedicated to the work of the OBA, of which he has been part of over the last 30 years, currently in the position of Assistant Secretary. Chandana has a keen interest in sports and represented the First XV team in 1974. Chandana has been involved in several committees including Merchandise, Secretariat, Legal, Green Initiatives, X Mas under the Stars, Walk a Mile.
Harshana Hewamanna (Class of ‘93)
Harshana provides financial advise and assistance to the Walk A Mile committee, knowledge he has accumulated in his professional capacity within the finance industry. Harshana has been actively engaged with the OBA for over six years serving in various event committees and also as Assistant Treasurer in 2018 and 2019. He was a member of the OBA Special Events Committee from 2015 to 2018 and involved in the Water-festival, Walkathon and Divorce Me Darling projects which raised funds for College. He was also in charge of the collection along the entire length of the Trail project including committee member cash collections.
Manojith Weerasuriya (Class of ‘04)
Manojith is the Project Treasurer and is also an integral part of the OBA’s Financial Committee, which he has been part of for several years. Manojith’s skills in squash saw him not only represent the College, but also go on to play at the national level. He has been part of the OBA from 2016 onwards and led the Membership Engagement Committee in 2018/19. He is also a keen scuba diver.
Ashean Karthelis (Class of ‘04)
Ashean is key cog in the Walk A Mile Fund Raising team, supporting the project reach its financial ambitions and make the event a success. He has been a lively and active member since he joined the OBA and serves on the Membership Engagement Committee as well. Ashean represented the College in rugby and was the Caption of the 1st IV team in 2003.
Puritha Wijewickrema (Class of ‘01)
Puritha is the Tech Lead for the Walk A Mile initiative, a role to which he brings a wealth of experience including from his current position as General Manager of IT for the Derana Group of companies. He is also currently serving as the Chairman of the OBA’s ICT Committee. Puritha captained from the College tennis team all the way from U-10 to U-18 and continues to play the sport.
Ravin Fernando (Class of ‘96)
Ravin is assisting the Walk A Mile project with its editorial output. This is his second year in the OBA and he serves as the Head of the Editorial Committee as well being part of several other sub-committees. Ravin represented the school in basketball and was also President of the Drama Society and Leader of the Hewisi Band during his time. He is actively involved in the digital communications industry. Ravin has been part of his batch (‘96) project committees which have raised funds for the School.
Sanjeev Palihawadana (Class of ’95)
Sanjeev has been instrumental in transforming the OBA over the past few years, chairing multiple Sub Committees within the ExCo including the Strategy Committee, IT committee and the Secretariat Committee.
He is a veteran in the Technology Consulting and Transformation industry with over 23 years of experience in guiding Fortune 500 companies and other National and Global Enterprises in their technology transformation journey.
As a Vice President of Virtusa Corp., Sanjeev held the distinction of leading the Sri Lanka Technology Center as well as the Healthcare and Lifesciences Business Unit globally, delivering unprecedented business growth during his tenure. Currently, he is holding the position of Chief Operating Officer at Mitra Innovation Ltd., a UK based Technology Services and Consulting company, enabling its journey in becoming a key player in the Global Technology Services sector.
Sanjeev was a College Prefect and was also awarded the prize for the best all-round student under 17 years of age, among his many accomplishments during his school days.