records more events in August
Ananda moves from Pettah to Maradana
Ananda College moved to its present location at
Maradana on August 17, 1895 after a philanthropist, Gate Mudaliyar
Tudor Rajapakse gifted three and a half acres at Paranavadiya. The
school, first known as Buddhist English School, had been established
at Maliban Street, Pettah on November 1, 1886 on the initiative
of Colonel H. S. Olcott.
A report in the 'Buddhist' described the event
thus under the heading "Opening of new Buddhist College at
Maradana": Ananda College, the new Buddhist Institute, was
formally opened by Mr. Tudor Rajapaksa, Gate Mudaliyar. After the
opening ceremony a benediction was pronounced by Buddhist priests
of whom 10 were present, including the Rt. Rev. H (Hikkaduwe) Sumangala,
head abbot at Dodanduwa, Piyaratana Maha Nayaka Thero, Chief High
Priest of the Amarapura Sect. The large hall was decorated with
flags and filled to its utmost capacity. The report of the building
committee was read after which a sum of Rs. 905 was laid on the
table collected by the merchants of Pettah. Addresses were delivered
by the High Priest Piyaratana, Dr. W. A. de Silva and the Chairman.
Mr. Rajapaksa was presented with a silver trowel with which he laid
the foundation stone of the buildings some months ago. Light refreshments
were then abundantly served round. The meeting dispersed shortly
after 6. The College has got its name from Ananda, Our Lord's favourite
and the most learned disciple. The building is intended to be enlarged
soon for which plans were laid on the table, and a Vihara is to
be erected in the grounds for the benefit of the students".
After A. E. Buultjens took over as Principal from
the first Principal, C. W. Leadbeater in 1890, the school had made
rapid progress and in 1894 the numbers on the list reached 200,
the average attendance being 174. By the time the school shifted
to Maradana, the number of roll had reached 300.
The passing-away of the scholar monk, Venerable
Ratmalane Sri Dharmaloka Thera, founder of Vidyalankara Pirivena,
Peliyagoda occurred on August 15, 1885. It was two years after the
establishment of the Vidyodaya Pirivena at Maligakanda that the
Vidyalankara Pirivena was founded on November 1, 1875.
Born on May 28, 1828 at Ratmalana, Dharmaloka Thera
entered the Order in 1837 when he was just nine years. He received
higher ordination (Upasampada) from the Malwatta Chapter in 1860
by which time he was accepted as a learned monk. He taught the Dhamma
to the monks and lay students at his resident temple at Ratmalana
and wrote and edited several classics. It was when he, along with
a student monk, came on invitation to Dalugama to observe the 'vas'
season in 1875, that he took the initiative in setting up the Vidyalankara
Dayaka Sabha. Thereafter the Pirivena was established.
Leading a simple life according to the teachings
of the Buddha was his motto which he promoted among the inmates
of the Pirivena. By training his chief disciple, Ratmalane Sri Dharmarama
Thera, to be well versed in the Dhamma, by the time he passed away,
he had established a solid tradition to continue the good work he
A pioneer painter
In the early days of the British administration,
many talented painters recorded events and the country's beautiful
scenery. Samuel Daniell was one of these pioneer artists. He arrived
in Ceylon on August 14, 1805 and was appointed Assistant to the
Secretary to the Board of Revenue and Commerce by Governor Sir Thomas
Maitland who later created a special post for him titled 'Ranger
of Woods & Forests.' He was just 36 when he died while serving
as Superintendents of the Forests in Ceylon.
Twelve of Daniell's paintings have been published
in a book titled 'A Picturesque Illustration of the Scenery, Animals
and Native Inhabitants of the Island of Ceylon,' published in London
in 1808. An interesting text accompanies each picture.