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P De S Kularatne Mawatha
(Buddhist quote from the Apramada Vagga in the Dhammapada)
(Heedfulness, Punctuality leads to Nirvana)
|Established||1 November 1886|
|Founder||Colonel Henry Steel Olcott|
|Age range||6 to 19|
|Color(s)||Maroon and Gold |
Following a meeting of Buddhists at Pettah, under the patronage of Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala Thera, an English-Buddhist school was inaugurated at 19 Prince Street on 1 November 1886 by the Buddhist Theosophical Society. The first session was attended by 37 students. In 1888, when about 130 boys were attending, it moved to 61 Maliban Street. C. W. Leadbeater was appointed the first principal of Ananda today.
By the time the school was officially registered in March 1889, there were 120 students. That same year, J. P. R. Weerasuriya became the first Anandian to pass the Cambridge junior examination. The Cambridge graduate and confessed Buddhist A. E. Bultjens became principal.
In March 1890, the school's proximity to a Catholic school led to controversy--and a move to 54 Maliban Street where further growth ensued, and student enrollments rose to 200 in September 1892 and 270 in 1894. As principals followed Don Baron Jayatilaka. That year, Mr. Tudor Rajapaksha donated 3.2 acres (13,000 m2) of land and the school was relocated in the suburb of Maradana. On 17 August 1895, the former English Buddhist School was renamed to Ananda College Colombo with R. A. Mirando serving as its manager till his death during the 1915 riots.
By 1961, the college had officially become a government school.
The Ananda Viharaya, is the most easily distinguishable building of the college.
Completed under Col. E.A. Perusinghe, Late Governor, Honourable William Gopallawa handed over the Viharaya to the School on 6 March 1969. The Buddha statue has been designed by Venerable Kalasoori Mapalagama Vipulasara Thero.
In a tradition dating back to 1924, an annual cricket contest is held between Ananda College and Nalanda College Colombo. The two schools have contributed many players to the Sri Lanka national cricket team, including the old Anandians Sidath Wettimuny recipient of Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1985, Arjuna Ranatunga (who captained the Sri Lanka Cricket team to victory in the 1996 Cricket World Cup and who was also named as a Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1999), former mod captain Marvan Atapattu and T20 captain Chandimal Jayasinghe.
Sir D. B. Jayatilleke, the then principal, conceived the idea of the Ananda College Old Boys' Association in 1908. Initially its main function was to organise a sports-meet and the annual dinner. In subsequent years the OBA and the school's administration have co-operated in furthering the development of the College. Prior to 1961 (when the school was nationalised) the incumbent principal of the school presided over the OBA. Since that date, a president is elected by members at each annual general meeting. The present president of OBA is Mr.Dushmantha Karannagoda.
Ananda Gallery is the official Ananda College Merchandise portal. Ananda Gallery was established in December 2017 by Principal S.M. Keerthirathna.
Olcott oration is an annual event organized by the old boys association of Ananada College, which commemorate the founder Colonel Henry Steel Olcott of Ananda College and other leading Buddhist schools in Sri Lanka. Every year famous personalities who educated at Ananda College, share their own experience for the "Olcott oration" and renowned dignitaries who have delivered the oration in the past, include Prof. Nimal Rajapakshe, Prof. Sumedha Chandana Wirasinghe and Prof. Ravindra Fernando.
The Ananda College war memorial is situated in front of the Henry Steel Olcott Hall, and is dedicated to alumni of Ananda college who died while members of the Sri Lankan armed forces. Lieutenant A.P.N. P de Vas Gunawardana on 23 July 1983 became the first Anandian officer to sacrifice his life while in the Military. The plaque bears the names of old Anandians who were killed in the line of duty which includes the names of 45 war heroes from the Sri Lanka Army, and many more names of war heroes from the sri Lanka Navy and the Sri Lanka Air Force. Ananda College OBA organises an annual "Ananda Viruharasara" event to honour military dead.