The ninth annual ‘Leelananda Memorial Debate’ between Isipathana College and Anula Vidyalaya concluded successfully on March 8 at the main hall of Isipathana College. It was organised by the academic staff and Old Boys’ Association (OBA) of Isipathana.
Anula Vidyalaya clinched the challenge trophies for both Sinhala and English medium debates. Sasindu Palihawadana of Isipathana and Kusali Rupasingha of Anula were adjudged the best Sinhala and English debaters respectively.
Labour Tribunal/Magistrate Labour Court Chairman Bertrum Dalpadathu and State Councillor Harshana Nanayakkara – both distinguished old boys of IsipathanaCollege– graced the occasion as Chief Guest and Guest of Honour. On behalf of the Leelananda family, Dr. Ajantha Jayatunge, Dr. (Mrs.) Rasieka Jayatunga (nee Leelananda) and Mr. & Mrs. Vasantha Leelananda attended the occasion.
The unique status of this demised couple T.E. de S. Leelananda and Swarnapali Leelananda, and the strong bond established between the two schools, helped the establishment of the Leelananda Memorial Debate
The inaugural debate between the two schools was held in 2011. The annual debate became a reality after a discussion held among members of the Leelananda family, Isipathana College OBA and Anula Vidyalaya OGA. The unique status of this demised couple T.E. de S. Leelananda and Swarnapali Leelananda, and the strong bond established between the two schools, helped the establishment of the Leelananda Memorial Debate.
The late T.E. de S. Leelananda was the Principal of Isipathana College from 1972 to 1979, and his wife, the late Swarnapali Leelananda, served Anula Vidyalaya as Deputy Principal and finally as Principal until her retirement in 1987 after 32 years of service. Both were scholars and had made immense contributions as educationists and deeply valued by the alumni and alumnae of Isipathana College and Anula Vidyalaya.
Dr. (Mrs.) Rasieka Jayatunga spoke on behalf of the Leelananda family and expressed their heartfelt gratitude to the principals, staff as well as the alumni and alumnae of both schools for their untiring efforts to make this event a success. She also thanked the former Senior Vice President of Isipathana College OBA, Anura Serasingha and the former Vice President of Anula Vidyalaya OGA, for organising the inaugural competition in 2011.
Meanwhile, Isipathana College Principal Premasiri Epa in his speech said it was a very rare coincidence for a married couple to serve as principals of two leading schools in the same epoch.
The Leelananda family has undertaken to meet the cost of all trophies presented to the winning school as well as for the ‘Best Sinhala Debater’ and ‘Best English Debater’ each year
“It is noteworthy to see how the old boys and old girls of that era have duly reciprocated. This annual competition does not only provide the opportunity for both schools to remember the late Mr. and Mrs. Leelananda, but moulds the students of both schools to face the contemporary world with more confidence and courage,” he said.
On the other hand, Anula Vidyalaya Principal (Mrs.) Jayani Prishangika said it was an absolute honour to be a part of this competition. “Irrespective of the results, to participate in this debate alone is a great opportunity as it fosters personality development and inculcates great values in these school children,” she said.
The Leelananda family has undertaken to meet the cost of all trophies presented to the winning school as well as for the ‘Best Sinhala Debater’ and ‘Best English Debater’ each year.