After many years, the Oxford Society of Sri Lanka, comprising of alumni that had enrolled into one of the colleges or Halls, will meet to re-establish the society.
The society existed from British times and Rt. Rev. Lakdasa De Mel was the first Sri Lankan President in the 1950s. S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, Lalith Athulathmudali, G.L. Peiris, Tyronne Fernando and C. Sundaralingam were among some notable alumni. Several other Anglican Bishops in Colombo were also educated at Oxford.
Oxford University holds the title of being the oldest English language university in the world, with evidence of teaching dating back to 1096.
Today, the university is made up of a variety of institutions, including 38 constituent colleges. Being a city university, it does not have a main campus, instead, all the buildings and facilities are scattered throughout the city centre. Most undergraduate teaching at Oxford is organised around weekly tutorials at the self-governing colleges and halls, supported by classes, lectures and laboratory work provided by university faculties and departments.
A few Sri Lankans held the position of President of the highly regarded debating society - the Oxford Union. Others earned their ‘Blues’ in many sports and notably F.C. De Saram’s record for the highest score for the Oxford 1st XI against a touring Australian national cricket team still stands.
The diplomatic circle has been a great source of encouragement to the society as past high commissioners and ambassadors have taken much interest in promoting the Oxford Society of Sri Lanka, especially when they too have been alumni of Oxford. In this effort, they have hosted events at their premises and at their costs, thus bringing further benefits for the few members that exist in Sri Lanka. In the past, an Oxford-Cambridge annual cricket match in Sri Lanka was part of the societies’ events, where F.C. De Saram, Lakshman Kadirgamar and Prof. Michael Roberts, etc., played against a Cambridge team that was also once led by former P.M. Dudley Senenayake. More recently, public debates, an annual boat race dinner, which commenced from British times, hosting dignitaries including Chancellor of the University Lord Chrs Paton, musical evenings - most of which were open to friends and invitees had kept the society in Sri Lanka vibrant.The society provides an opportunity for ex-Oxonians to acquaint themselves with each other and bring back into meeting and events some of the traditions of that great academic institution. The Oxford Society of Sri Lanka will reconvene at the Loft, Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Janadhipathi Mawatha, on Thursday, December 10 by prior confirmation to Gayathri Rajaguru on 081 555 5595.