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Courtesy of OzLanka

The Sri Lanka Association of NSW (SLA) celebrated its 40th anniversary in grand style on the 6th of July 2013 at its Winter Ball, an event that many within the Sri Lankan community in New South Wales, their friends and well-wishers consider as the premier social event of the year.

The SLA held the event at the prestigious grand ballroom of the Sofitel Wentworth Hotel in Sydney, and a packed house enjoyed an evening of joy and fellowship. The hall was decorated immaculately, with floral arrangements created by the very talented Mrs Lasha Renugadevan. The MC for the evening, Mrs Sangeetha Paski guided the proceedings throughout the night in her inimitable style.

In welcoming the guests and eleven of the past Presidents of the SLA and their spouses, the current President of the SLA, Professor Shelton Peiris, said that he would not be standing there and making his speech if not for the efforts of these past Presidents, other Presidents who have passed on and are no longer with us, and several other Past Presidents who could not attend this function. The untiring work of all Past Presidents, their office bearers and their committees had enabled the Association to go from strength to strength as an organization that was multi ethnic and multi religious, and one that had been and still is a beacon for the multiculturalism of Australians of Sri Lankan origin in New South Wales.  President Peiris welcomed and thanked The Honorable Kevin Connolly representing the Premier of NSW, and The Honorable John Robertson, Leader of the Opposition in NSW, who had very kindly accepted the invitation extended to them to attend this function. He said that their presence reaffirmed the pivotal place that the SLA had in NSW.

President Peiris also gave a brief outline of the projects being undertaken by the SLA, the chief amongst them this year being the assistance given to the Children’s Leukemia ward at the Cancer Hospital in Maharagama, Sri Lanka. This project was made possible due to the very generous contributions from many Australians, both of Sri Lankan origin and others.

Besides this, the SLA was also promoting a project which aims to distribute school books and other necessary items to schools in Sri Lanka in order to aid aspiring students to advance their education.

In conclusion, President Peiris thanked his Winter Ball organizing committee for producing a superlative evening of fellowship and revelry, and the entire committee of the SLA and their spouses for the team work they have shown throughout his Presidency.  He also called upon everyone to support all the donors, and those who had very kindly taken advertising space in the Souvenir magazine, and all who had supported in so many ways to make this event a great success. He wished everyone a very enjoyable evening.

The Winter Ball organizing committee, ably led by S. Renugadevan with Lanchani Gamage, Rajan Wijey, Omar Sheriff and Shelton Peiris spared no pains to make the event a resounding success, judging by the fun and laughter, and the amazing dancing of the couples that took to the floor. Age was no barrier for the “older” folk to outdo some of the younger members of the fraternity when it came to very serious shaking, twisting and jiving that went on to the wonderful music of the band New Horizons and DJ Neil, who got the hotel floor to shake to its foundations with a delightful session of baila.

A special surprise for the revelers was a fantastic performance on Bangara dancing by Bollywood Sensations. The Bangara music and the dancing was enough to get everyone’s blood pressure rising, and many showed their talents, rising to the challenge posed by the energetic and athletic group by joining them on the floor and showing their hidden talents!

Many prizes were offered to participants at a raffle draw as well as a ticket draw, and two cricket memorabilia were auctioned through a silent auction. All these sponsors were duly acknowledged in the souvenir magazine.

The Winter Ball organising committee chairman S Renugadevan gave the vote of thanks.

The function was happily concluded at midnight with the national anthems of both Sri Lanka and Australia.

Courtesy of OzLanka | Full Photo Album


Sri Express
Sri Express
Courtesy of OzLanka

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