The Old Nalandians’ 69 Group was founded in 1996 with Ajantha Dias as its first President with the sole objective of offering and maintaining comradeship and healthy fellowship to all its members
The Old Nalandians’ 69 Group re-visited their alma mater on November 9th, to declare open the long-awaited English Activity Classroom to which its membership generously contributed.
The establishment of a truly, state-of-the-art English Activity Classroom at Nalanda College, Colombo 10, was the brainchild of its principal Iran Champika Silva who identified a need to further facilitate the learning of English both in the written and spoken word, of the students who had already excelled in curricular as well as extra-curricular activities, be it in debating, drama, oratory, compering et al, with the limited resources available.
Having identified the need, the principal had conveyed it to the most senior and active Old Nalandians Group to date, none other than the 69 Group.
The 69 Group volunteered and undertook this arduous and exorbitant task and made it a reality.
They had collected a sum of approximately three million rupees from its membership to complete the project. The main contribution had been made by their founder Secretary Gamini Jayatilake, a renowned social worker and philanthropist who ceremonially unveiled the plaque and cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony amidst much pomp and pageantry.
A former President of the Group Asoka Subasinghe, in his address to the august gathering, opined that they received their education for free and they undoubtedly owed their alma mater so much of riches untold. “We are, what we are today, is because of Nalanda. Now it’s our turn to pay back abundantly,” he said.
The Old Nalandians’ 69 Group was founded in 1996 with Ajantha Dias as its first President with the sole objective of offering and maintaining comradeship and healthy fellowship to all its members, ideals which they have sustained to this day.
Furthermore, the Group organises one day and multi-day excursions for its membership and their immediate family members as well, even extending to overseas trips for a few who could afford it.
The Group had been of yeoman service to their alma mater on earlier occasions too. They had paid tribute to their school by contributing Rs. 500,000 for the construction of the Malalasekara Auditorium in 2020.
They had offered one year scholarships to five needy children during the period 2001 to 2021. Later they had suspended this scheme and presented Rs. 1,000 to each, on a monthly basis instead.
The Group had donated Rs. 500,000 as a fixed deposit for the college prize giving, for five prizes.
It had also presented a telescope to the college in 1997, in memory of renowned NASA fame space scientist Sarath Gunapala, also a 69 Group member and a distinguished Old Boy of Nalanda.
To add further into its altruistic agenda, the 69 Group has also donated school books, uniforms and other amenities to the Laurie’s Orphanage on an annual basis.