The first term of the year 1997 was most certainly a very busy one for the Scouts of 16th Colombo.
On the 22nd of February the Scouts participated in a rally to mark the birthday of our founder Lord Baden Powell. On that same day we were also invited for two Peace Walks and Thinking Day rallies organised by the Guides.
This year at the Job Week the Scouts did well in collecting a record figure of over 100,000/= rupees during the period of 10 days in which it was held.
Our Scouts did exceptionally well at the 15th Annual Scout Swimming and Diving Championships held at the Josephian pool. They emerged Champions in all the age groups except one in which they were placed runners up. But the height of the event was the Thomians winning the Relay Championship. Diving champs and the S. Aloysious Memorial Challenge Shield awarded to the overall champion for the 6th consecutive year. This year the team was led by Suresh Peter.
At the Presidential Scout Awards Ceremony held on the 13th of March 1997, Mr. Daniel Edirisinghe was awarded the Silver Lotus for an especially distinguished service, and Mr. A.L. Victor and Mr. M. Nanda R. Fernando were awarded the Certificate of Merit for a faithful service by the Chief Scout Sri Lanka H.E. the President Chandrika Bandaranayaka Kumaranatunge.
Five of our senior Scouts did well in passing their final interview for the President’s Award, which is the highest award a Scout can win. They are Rakitha Wanigatunge, Isuru Suriyapperuma, Pasan Perera, Dananjaya Peter and Milindu Mallawaratchie. We congratulate them on their achievement.
During this term the Scouts were invited to campfires organised by the Prep. School and Royal College. During the course or this term, two projects in order to help the community were organized at the Cheshire Home for the handicapped and at Gamini Martha Elders’ Home. The Thomian Scouts also helped out at the Sports Meet of the School for the Blind, Ratmalana.
The Thomian Scouts also helped out the Girl Guides of Colombo at their “April Rhythms ‘97” fun fair held during the holidays. This was the first event at which the “Dreaded Dunk” was born, a brainchild of the Thomian Scouts.
Even though this term was as successful as the previous ones the Scout Troop suffered a great loss as Mr. A.L. Victor our Group Scout Leader passed away on the 11th of June after serving the troop for many years. He was a very dedicated Scoutmaster who stood by us through thick and thin and worked for the betterment of the Troop.
During the course of this term we took a pioneering step forward in organising “Cook-It-Out ‘97” a cooking competition, inviting Girl Guides of 23rd Colombo and 11th Colombo Guide Companies (Museaus and Visakha). This was followed by “Troop Night” – a one night camp in College for the Scouts, who enjoyed it thoroughly.
We were invited by the Scouts of Royal College for their Scout Day and we also staged a drama at the evening of entertainment organised by the Guide Company of Girls’ High School.
Our scouts participated in several Community Development Projects which included the “Clean the City Campaign” organised by the Colombo Municipal Council and several other projects at the Cheshire Home, Dehiwala and Helpage Elders’ Daycare centre, Ratmalana.
The third term was, as always a very active and enjoyable one for the scouts.
At the 36th Annual Scout Camporee, the scouts did exceptionally well in winning pennants on both days or inspection and collecting the highest points in the sub-camp for maintaining high standards in camping.
During this Camporee, five of our Senior Scouts were awarded the President’s Award badges. They are I.U.P. Suriyapperuma, D.N. Peter, K.P.L. Perera, M. Mallawaratchie and R. Wanigathunga.
Three more senior scouts passed the final Interviews for the President’s Award within the course of this term. They are N.D. Peiris, S.N. Peter and A.A. Farook.
Sri Lanka was represented by two of our scouts, A.A. Farook and M.B. Perera, at the 18th Asia Pacific Jamboree held in Malaysia. They brought with them more experience and wider knowledge to enrich our Troop.
Having been invited, our scouts participated in the campfire organised by the Scouts of Royal College and the “Scout Day” by the scouts of Ananda College.
Our Scouts participated in the first ever Jamboree on the Internet (JOTI) which was held on the 18th of October. This was the first time a jamboree of this nature was ever held. Our scouts communicated with Scouts and Guides of other countries through the Internet. This was conducted with the assistance of one of our A.S.L.s B.R. Kulapala.
This year the 16th Colombo Scout Troop celebrates 75 years of Thomian scouting. As one of the main activities in connection with this, the scouts organised “Coastal Winds”, a Scouts and Guides get together for two days during which a concert was staged. The Chief Commissioner of Scouts, Mr. Camillus Fernando was the Chief Guest at this event which was successfully concluded.
Finally we would like to thank Mr. Daniel Edirisinghe, Mr. A.L. Victor and all Asst. Scout Leaders for their advice and guidance to the troop throughout the term to maintain high standards of the Troop.