Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Message from president (PPA) - Ceremonial opening of the swimming pool project

  ON 28TH FEBRUARY 2011 I have the honour & privilege to convey this message at the ceremonial opening of our long awaited swimming pool by His Excellency the President of Sri Lanka.   As you know, we lost nearly 36,000 valuable lives in the Sri Lankan coastal belt at the Tsunami Disaster in December 2004. It was revealed that the reason behind this debacle was that most of our people were either totally unaware of Life Saving & Water Rescue Techniques or they had no aptitude to swim. So as a remedial measure & to ease the situation to some extent, the Past Pupils` Association together with the Principal of Dharmapala Vidyalaya, Pannipitiya thought of constructing not only a Swimming Pool but establish a Training Centre to teach Life Saving & Water Rescue Techniques.   This was indeed a costly affair running into several million rupees & we definitely had to seek foreign assistance to make this dream come true. Here I should specifically mention of our good friend Mr Prasanna Dasanayake – an old Palian & member of PPA being the Chairman of the Finance Commission of Sri Lanka Red Cross, who persuaded Taiwan Red Cross Organization to come to our rescue with financial aid to the tune of US$ 130,000. So our sincere thanks are due to Prasanna, if not for whom this would never have been a reality. At the same time, we are extremely grateful & our regards of the highest order are due to Mr Joseph Chen – the Country Coordinator, Ms Leesa & the rest of Taiwan Red Cross Organization for their generous contribution of Rs 14 million ( US$ 130,000 ) We raised a further 12 – 14 million through PPA & from parents of the school and well wishers totaling 28 million rupees approximately to complete Stage I of the Project comprising
  • A Main Pool of size 25 Meters x 12.5 Meters x 1-1.8 Meters with 6 lanes,
  • A Kiddies Pool of size 8 Meters x 4 Meters x 0.6 Meters
  • 2 Changing Rooms for ladies & gents separately with 5 cubicles in each, complete with Safety Lockers
  • Bath Rooms & Toilet Facilities for swimmers & visitors separately
  • An office for the Pool Manager
  • A concrete slab over the kiddies pool covering 289 Sq Meters to construct a fully equipped Lecture Hall for theory purposes & last but not least a Wheel Chair Access for the handicapped, including our good friend Mr Lalith Welikala, whom we consider as an asset not only for the PPA in particular but for our school in general.
  Here I must mention with pride of the invaluable contribution made by Mr Priyantha Weerasinghe – Chartered Architect, an old Palian & member of PPA who not only designed our project to match with international standards but toiled so hard for its betterment, my predecessors – Mr Lalith Gunasekera – Retired DIG, Mr Lalith Jayasinghe - Engineer & Mr Ranjith Korale for the leadership & initiative they have taken, the tireless efforts of our Construction Engineers Mr Ponnamperuma, Mr Piyatilleke & all others of the Technical Evaluation Committee, who met weekly after office until 10 o`clock in the night some times, not only to review the progress but to brief the contractor thoroughly & the unstinted co-operation extended by our Principal – Mr K G Wimalasena to make this project a reality.   My sincere thanks are also due to the rest of our Technical Evaluation Committee comprising of the following for their dedication & loyalty. Mr Sumana Waragoda – Chartered Mechanical Engineer Mr Nishantha Jayalath – Chatered Electrical Engineer Ms Chandanie Weragala – Chartered Secretary – Dy President PPA Mr Gamini Wijayasekera – Civil Engineer – Vice President PPA Mr Susantha Ariyasinghe – Treasurer PPA Mr Ajith Senadheera – Accountant Mr Harendra Welivita – Ex Treasurer PPA Mr D C M Dissanayake – Secretary SDS   Further I am personally happy to have been able to devote much of my time towards this project & achieve the desired goal by completing Stage I during my tenure of office, as per my assurance given to the general membership & our Principal at the last Annual General Meeting of the PPA in April 2009, when I was elected the President.   Stage II of the project will consist of
  • A Pavilion for spectators, the construction of which is currently underway.
  • A Cafetaria
  • A cubicle for the life guard on duty
  • A fully equipped Lecture Hall for theory purposes
  • A Shopping Complex &
  • A Car Park for Visitors.
All this is estimated to be in the region of another 20 million rupees & we probably have to find another donor to make this a reality.   Finally my sincere wish is that may all our dedicated Palians live long to serve our “Alma Mater” !   Lakshman Wijesinghe Hony. President Past Pupils` Association Dharmapala Vidyalaya - Pannipitiya