Cambrian Kollo, Princess of Wales Kello
Bandula Jayasekera’s recent piece on Trinity Kellos in The Island went down with the reading public very well. Saldin came out with an equally interesting piece on Kingswood Kellos.
My good friend, Rohan N Fernando, an old boy of Prince of Wales College, Moratuwa who has excelled in his banking career telephoned me. Rohan has been a regular contributor too to the ‘Opinion’column in The Island.
Rohan asked me whether I had read Bandula Jayasekera’s piece on ‘Trinity Kello’ inThe Island and another one by Saldin on Kingswood Kellos. He suggested that I write something about ‘Princess of Wales Kellos’. He said he didn’t have time to do so himself.
I said to him, "Rohan, as you know our alma mater, Prince of Wales College in Moratuwa didn’t have girls."
Prince of Wales boys enjoyed only brief encounters with the Princess of Wales’ girls when they entered the school premises through the girls’ school main entrance and walked a few yards up to their main building in the morning and after school. The biggest drawback the boys experienced was that the majority of the girls were brought to school by parents in their vehicles and only one or two walked through the main gate.
The two schools were headed by strict disciplinarians—J. B. C. Rodrigo and Miss Roper (an English lady)).
A high parapet wall separated girls from the boys at Prince of Wales College. Senior boys used to swim across the river bordering the college land up to St. Sebastian College. There were others who were up to mischief after school hours; they would climb coconut palms at the school yard to pluck young coconuts though one of our school masters, Sagara Palansuriya (Keyas), who authored the popular poem, Sudo Sudu, was living in a house that belonged to the college at the very edge of the land near the river. Vice Principal Ram lived in a room close to the hostel. A Brahmin, he was a tough teacher with a dead pan; he made students shiver with fear.
Boys had a canteen run by the ‘grounds boy’ (Top Charlie), and even that was open only for a few minutes during the short interval in the morning. In contrast, the privileged girls at Princess of Wales College had a milk bar. During the short interval many girls spread out into the back yard, some enjoyed flavoured milk while ‘small fellows’ bravely managed to jump over the high parapet wall and enter the Princess of Wales domain, creep into the milk bar and quenched their thirst with a glass of milk.
Senior boys were jostling to get on to the base of a coconut palm that had been felled to have a glimpse of the girls over the parapet wall. The moment one secured a foothold on the coconut base he was pushed by another one who was equally desperate to have a look at the girls on the other side.
That was all boys did manage in trying to mingle with the girls at Princess of Wales College!
The most important event on the school calendar, the annual big match between Cambrians and Sebastians cannot possibly be missed out which brought the whole atmosphere to a carnival ambiance. That was the single occasion where the Princess of Wales girls came out in their numbers and cheered for the Prince of Wales boys.
Cambrian kollo and Princess of Wales kello - The Island