Sri Sumangala College was established in Panadura on March 03, 1909 (popularly known as "Town Branch"), in a land belonging to Rankoth Vihara Temple 25 km south of Colombo, fulfilling the vision of six philanthropists of Panadura, namely, M. Cornelis Perera, Mudliar Thomas Rodrigo, M. Mathes Salgado, P. C. H. Dias, P. Lewis Dias and P. Domingo Dias.
The prime idea was to deliver an education to the children of Panadura, in English at a standard equal to that in a Colombo school. The first Principal was Mr. Thomas E. Gooneratne who held the principal ship for three years. The school was further expanded with the help and contributions from philanthropists / old boys.
The foundation stone for the new building was laid on March 24 1940 by Mr. P. de S. Kularatne, an Educationist of great repute on a land gifted by the first student of the College, Mr. M. Walter Salgado and situated at Nalluruwa, about one-and-a-half kilometres south of Panadura town.
The new building was to be ceremonially opened by the Governor of Ceylon, H.E. Andrew Caldecott on August 7 1942, but due to unavoidable circumstances it was declared open by the Governor's Legal Secretary, Mr.H. B. Nihill on behalf of the Governor. This event marks the beginning of the expansion of our Alma Mater in the new premises and the first Principal was Mr. P.J. Jayaratne. The establishment of Sri Sumangala College was a boon to those who sought higher education in English.
The school was devastated by the Tsunami which struck on December 26 2004. However with the blessings of the Government of Sri Lanka, Mr. L.W. Somatilaka - Principal, OBA, teachers, students, parents and well wishers, commenced the uphill task of the construction of a brand new school amidst challenges, in a land which belonged to the CTB and the Army in approximately 7 acres in close proximity to Panadura Town along the Panadura-Horana main road, funded by the Government of Japan.
History of Scout Troop
According to the earliest written records available, the Panadura Sri Sumangala College Scout Troop was started on a request by the then Principal Mr.K.L.V.Alagiyawanna by Mr.M.N.Fernando, a teacher of the school, with 24 members, on February 18 1959.
After the basic training by holding weekly Troop meetings, the Troop was invested on December 8 1959 in the presence of the then Kalutara District Commissioner Mr.C.A.Devasabhagam and Scouting Field Commissioner of the Western Province Mr.Lionel de Silva and other V.I.P.s, and given the status of a Junior Scout Troop. After being trained at Scout Training Centres like Lee Dassanayake, Mirigama and Pedro of Nuwara Eliya, Kiriberiya and Horana, the Troop graduated as an experienced Senior Troop of Scouts.
Janalal Rodrigo, who was the first Troop Leader, is recorded as the first recipient of the Queens' Award. The presentation of the Award was held at the school grounds on July 1 1962 in the presence of the then Assistant Scouts Commissioner Gate Mudliyar V.L.Dahanayake.
Panadura Sri Sumangala College Scout Troop has the honour of being the first Scout Troop to be registered with the National Scouts Headquarters representing the Kalutara District. The Troop, registered under No. A - 76, was then named the first Kalutara Scout Troop. Because of administrative difficulties, the new Scouting District of Panadura-Horana was separated from the Kalutara District and the inauguration was held on Brotherhood Day which fell on September 26 1962, at a festival held at Sri Sumangala College with the participation of the then Chief Commissioner Mr.E.W.Kannangara, Field Commissioners Mr.Lionel de Silva and Mr.Nihal de Mel and Mr.Richard Salgado who was the first Chairman of Panadura - Horana District.
The Sumangala Scout Troop, the first Panadura- Horana Scout Troop takes pride of place as a Centre for the training of real scouts. Another single honour for the Troop was the participation of Queen's Scout Janalal Rodrigo and Mahinda Senarathne at the 11th World Scout Jamboree held in Greece in 1962. Meanwhile, a pack of Cub Scouts was started for the first time in the school's history with the leadership of Mrs.T.M.Fernando and Mrs.N.R.De Mel, both teachers of the school, and the investment was held on October 30 1962 in the presence of Mr.A.Abraham, Headquarters Commissioner. By this time, the scout group consisted of Wolf Cubs, Junior, Senior and Rover Scouts and Mr.N.B.Perera trained the troops as Scout Master and Mr.M.N.Fernando was Assistant Scout Master, both teachers of the school.
During the period 1969 - 70, Mr.M.N.Fernando who was later Deputy Principal was the Leader of Scouts. The assistance and guidance given by the Field Commissioner (later the National Training Commissioner) Mr.V.Nihal de Mel must also be mentioned when talking about that period. In about 1973, Mr.N.B.Perera gave the responsibility of the scout troop to two young teachers of the school Mr.W.M.H.Dayarathne and Mr.P.A.Dayasiri, both Wood Badge holders. Mr.W.Dushmantha Fernando and Mr.Gamini Somathilaka were their Assistant Scout Masters. They succeeded in winning great fame for the Scout Troop and the school.
Mr.Gamini Somatilleke who won the Wood Badge in 1979, gave leadership to the Cub Scout Pack of the Panadura Sri Sumangala School, one of the leading Cub Scout packs in the Island, and went on to be a full time Field Commissioner and then worked as a Headquarters Commissioner till the year 2000, completing 10 years of service to scouting. During the 1985 - 90 period Mr.W.P.Mendis was the Master-In-Charge of Scouting and Mr.V.Nihal de Mel who undertook the training of the scouts did his work with such dedication and feeling that the Scout Troop of Sri Sumangala College, Panadura, became, and remains one of the best Scout Troops of Sri Lanka.
The Golden Age of Scouting in Sri Sumangala College, Panadura, began with the arrival of Mr.W.D.V.Padmalal Perera, (Current Group Scout Leader) a former President's Scout of our school, as a teacher in 1992. He showed his mettle by being selected for a post of Leader Trainer in the National Training Team, and is at the time of writing providing an excellent service as the District Commissioner of Panadura-Horana District and the Group Scout Leader of our school.
The Old Sumangalians' Scout Association was started in 2006 as a brainchild of Major W.D.V.Padmalal Perera. Under his leadership, Mr.Prasad Vithana, Mr.Saman Hemantha, Mr.Thanuja Salgado, Mr.Shamenu Dias, Mr.Ravindra Mahesh, Mr.Sujeewa Abeywickrema, Mr.Daminda Balawickrema, Mr.Pubudu Danushka Peiris, Mr.Wasantha Pushpakumara and Mr.Hasaral Kamalanka worked as Assistant Scout Leaders in various periods.
Currently the college has over 200 scouts and cub scouts under the supervision of Mr.L.W.Somathilake the Principal and the Group Scout Leader Major Padmalal Perera. The college Scout Group has become one of the leading Scout Groups in the country.
Sri Sumangala College has produced a large number of Presidents' Scouts and Gold Star Cubs to the nation, and also several numbers of Wood Badge Leaders who are currently stars of the National and District training teams. Janalal Rodrigo, Mahinda Senarathne, Rohana Perera, Gamini Somathilake, Padmalal Perera, Manoj Pramuk have participated in foreign jamborees and gained lots of experience.
The 1997 and 2003 Panadura - Horana District Scouting Rallies were held in Sri Sumangala College in great splendour and the Troop of Scouts takes the lead in organizing all District Scouting rallies. The College has won the District Rally Championship continuously up to the present.
Centenary celebration 1909 - 2009
His Excellency the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa ceremonially opened the newly constructed complete school funded by the Government of Japan on April 23 2009 the year that Sri Sumangala College is celebrating her 100th Anniversary along with the students, Old Boys' Association, Old Scouts' Association and well wishes all over the world.
Centenary celebration Scout Day
Parallel to the college centenary celebration, Sri Sumangala College Scout Group with the co-operation of Old Sumangalians Scout Association will be proudly organizing a Scout Day on July 5 2009.
We expect around 1000 participants (scouts, cub scouts, girl guides and scout leaders) from all over the country to participate in this event. Major Padmalal Perera - The Group Scout Leader (Head Quarters Commissioner) will lead this event with the cooperation of all Scout Leaders, Cubs Scout Leaders, Asst Cub /Scout Leaders and the Old Scout Association of Sri Sumangala College.
The event will provide scouts an opportunity to develop their leadership skills, personality, team work and many more in a friendly atmosphere. The day will begin at 9.00am with a grand opening ceremony with the participation of Chief Scout Commissioner Mr. C Batuwangala.
There will be lots of activities which will help to build quality scouts to the nation. The day will finish with a colourful campfire which begins at 6.45 pm.