The first term of the year 1996 was definitely a busy one with a lot of events on schedule for this term.
We started off this year with the annual job week which went on from the 24th January to the 11th of February. This year this annual event too took a different face. It was inaugurated with a walk from Ratmalana to Mount Lavinia. The minister of Industrial Development Mr. C.V. Gunaratne was the Chief Guest at this event. After two weeks of dedicated work, the Thomian Scouts were able to collect a total of Rs. 80,000/-. We also had a day’s programme out in the beach to teach the scouts the practical side of Scouting, in order to enhance their Scouting skills.
The 16th Colombo Scouts continued with their benevolent work by helping out the underprivileged. A community service project was held at the deaf school and also a couple of scouts helped out the blind school administration at their annual sports meet.
Four of our senior scouts completed their efficiency decoration. They are M. Mallawarachchi, K. P.L. Perera, D.N Peter and I.U.P. Suriyapperuma. The four of them and V. Samarasinghe were selected to take part in an International Jamboree in Korea. We extend our heartfelt congratulations to them for their achievement.
Two of our scouts Beshan Kulapala and Ravin Gunawardene successfully completed Phase – I course for scout leaders and were elevated to the rank of Assistant Scout Leaders of the 16th Colombo Scout Troop. We congratulate them on their worthy achievements and look forward to their guidance and support to the troop in future endeavours.
The month of April, too was not an empty one for us. We were able to go to the Pedro Scout Training Centre and Camp there for five days. This was a Holiday camp in Nuwara Eliya organised specially for the scouts to enjoy and forget about their books after the tedious studying for the term exams.
As usual this term too was a busy one for the Thomian Scouts.
A lot of variation was added to Saturday Scouting by way of having special programmes to enhance our scouts on their practical knowledge and scout skills. We started this by having a day’s programme on the beach with sessions on various aspects of scouting. We also included a time for swimming on our Saturday programme for the scouts to practise for the swimming championship which was just round the corner.
We organised a Leadership Training camp tor the junior and senior patrol leaders and their assistants to train them to perform their duties better and to be good and efficient leaders.
The Troop Night, too was a specialty in our list of activities for this term. It was held alter a lapse of 3 years and this time it ended up highly successful with the scouts giving away an excellent exhibition of talent at the inter patrol drama competition which was also in the agenda that night. We also had a camp fire or that day.
Three senior scouts and three junior scouts represented the troop at the inter-troop General Knowledge competition organised by Royal College and our senior scouts managed to secure the first and second places. We take great pride in mentioning that six of our scouts were chosen to represent So Lanka at the 17th Asia Pacific Jamboree held in Korea. The scouts are I.U.P. Suriyapperuma, M. Mallawarachchi, D.N. Peter, K.P.L. Perera, V. Samarasinghe and N.D. Dias. We congratulate them on their achievement.
We continued to receive invitations for various District Scout and Guide activities, one of them was the campfire at Royal College of which the Chief Guest was Hon. Minister Mr. C.V. Goonaratne. We were also invited for the campfire at S. Thomas’ Prep. for which our presence was of great help. The guide troop of Manister College also invited us for their inter patrol sports Meet.
We also look part in District activities such as the inauguration of the Bata Scout Shoe at Hilton and the Seamen’s Sunday, day at St. Peter’s Church in Fort.
Our scouts continued their social service by organising five community service projects. Two of them at the Blind School in Ratmalana, one at the Home for the Elders at Moratuwa, one Cheshire Home at Mt. Lavinia and Deaf School Ratmalana.
As usual this term too was a very active one for the Thomian Scouts. The hard work put in by all the Scouts made the annual Colombo District Scout Camporee a great success. We were able to top the list on both days of inspection and won the coveted “Onally Gullam Hussein Flag” for producing the most number of President’s Scouts and the “P.S.R. Rajamani Shield” for producing the highest number of first class Scouts.
S. Samarasinghe, A.N. Manamperi, R. Wanigatunga, S. Jayasuriya, C.S. Seneviratne and C.R. De Alwis were awarded the President’s Scout badges at the Camporee.
The next event for this term was the “Tidal Wave ‘96”. This was the first ever joint Scouts’ & Guides’ two day programme organized by the Thomian Scouts. This event which was held towards the latter part of the term was a great success with the participation of about 150 Scouts and Guides.
During the term we were invited by Ladies’ College and Musaeus College, for their campfires.
Finally we take the opportunity to thank our Master in Charge Mr. D. Edirisinghe and G.S.L. Mr. Victor for all the support and guidance given to us in order to make efforts a success and we also thank all the A.S.L.s and Instructors for their support. May the 16th Colombo Scout Troop continue to be “The Tribe of the Evening Star” as always…