The alma mater is the divine medicine that heals every heart.
I wish you all a day full of happy smiles.On another new day with new thought and important day that is very special to Catholics around the world as well as our alma mater we Crossians celebrate our 93rd historical celebration at Holy Cross College in 2020
In the year 1900 there was only an English medium Boys School in Gampaha. Therefore in 10th march 1924 Roman Catholic Church decoded to initiate an English medium girls school starting with 7 students. The first principal of Holy Cross College Gampaha was Rev.Sr.Franci Perera who was well known as Emaly Margret Perera. Our School which started with six female students and one male student and with one teacher can be described as the gateway to English Education in Gampaha area at that time. We were also the pioneer English girls’ School between Colombo and Kegalle. In the year 1928 we joined as one of the registered schools. At the time of Rev.Sr.Francis Perera, three nuns in Apostolic Carmelite congregation were invited by Rev.Fr.Margus as teachers to teach in our school. In 1941 the school consisted with 200 students and was managed by the nuns of the Apostolic Carmelite Sisters. During the time of 2nd World war people in Colombo area had migrated from Colombo to Gampaha area. As a result, by 1945, with the increase in the number of students, the school was running out of space. Due to this the school had to shift to Bandiyamulla. The place where current school is located. At this time classes were held in a makeshift building that was roofed with coconut twigs and clay walls. In 1955, “Fatima Hall” the main hall and some other halls were constructed .By 1956 the playground was built and “Loretto Hall” was completed. By this time Holy Cross College had reached a stage where education, sports and other activities could be equated to the Colombo school level. In 1960, we became non-aided private school and a fully-fledged Catholic private educational institution. In 1961 a circular was issued after the takeover of private schools by the government. The school was prevented from being taken over by the government due to the far-sightedness of Rev.Sr.Yufomia who was the principal at that time and has been able to come to the present day as a government aided private school. We are proud to be the only private school to be governed by the Apostolic Carmelite sisters.
Most of the nuns worked in our school were Indians but due to the new school policy adopted by the government in 1961, they had to return to their native country. As a result, the nuns of the apostolic Carmelite sisters could serve our “Alma Mater”. The Preschool was started in 1961 and is run by the Lisieux convent adjacent to the Holy cross. At present there are about 325 students studying at Lisieux preschool. Lisieux convent maintains a completely developed hostel to provide accommodation for children from distant areas when they study in our school. By 1960, the number of resident students was about 150. The nun, who taught at the school, also served as the hostel’s caretaker, and in the past, these students worked diligently for school events.
Our beloved and reverend principal Sr.Dharshika who draws our children to God and strives like a lamp to deliver us from sin and the 250 teaches who take immense pain to uplift the standard of our college is respectable. With the encouragement and dedication of the Carmelite principals have purchased several pieces of land adjacent to our school, which are progressing day by day also in the year 2018, our present Principal Rev.Sr.Dharshika also bought an 80 Perch land adjacent to the Child Jesus Hall.
The year 2018 was very special for us as the nuns of the Apostolic Carmelite order began to start their missionary work around the world before 150 years ago. We are proud to have 52 nuns from our schools Apostolic Carmelite congregation serving in various fields. The main religious mission of our sisters is the educational services. Their mission is an inspiration to the present generation who experience the educational service in order to join this mission in near future. It is my hope that God has called us to take on future responsibilities as the only private Catholic school under the Carmelite Sisters and to secure the school for a long time to come.
There are many principals who have enlightened our school. Mrs. Frasncis Perera served as the newest principal of our school from 1928 – 1941. In 1941 Rev.Sr.Carmeline was appointed as the principal. After that Rev.Sr.Ruth, Rev.Sr.Lelia, Rev.Sr.Jean, Rev.Sr.Euphemia following Rev.Sr.Innocentia, Rev.Sr. Nellie Hellen, Rev.Sr. Mary Carmella after Rev.Sr.Mary Deepani.
Mr.S.D.P.Peter Dissanayake also donated about 320 perches of land which is in front of the school on 24th April 2013. Accordingly, this school premises is located on 6 acres and 23 perches and more buildings are being constructed for all the needs of the children. Every principal was committed to the construction.
Fatima Hall in 1950, Loretto Hall 1955, A new section of Fatima Hall was added in 1981, Child Jesus Hall in 1985, Little Flower Hall in 1988, Carmel Hall in 1992, Nimala Kumari Sewana in 2001 and Veronica Hall in 2006. In addition, the computer Laboratory and library in 2008 and Helena Hall was also completed in 2011. The indoor stadium was established in 1997 to revitalizes the sport field. The Nisala Sithum Piyasa building was set up for art and chess, the Joseph Vass Hall in 2016, and our school’s Auditorium, which occupies a special place in western province also built in 2016.
The School anthem, which is the lifeblood of Holy Cross College Gampaha, was composed with important admonitions by the Rev.Edmund Peiris retired Archbishop of chilaw, who passed away. When we sing our school anthem, it evokes a sense of devotion in anyone’s heart. However, the meaning of our anthem cannot easily understand because of its language combinations. The meaning is to move forward overcoming all obstacles to face the waves of the sea.
Our Motto of our school logo is through the cross to the light. The cross is the symbol of salvation. Following the motto of the Holy Cross, our school girls have always been guided by our alma mater to be spiritually free, mentally balanced and to have a balanced personality. Our daughters who have been in the shadow of the cross for 13 years are not only endowed with technical knowledge that comes out of it, but also with performing skills and talents of dancing, playing, singing and acting.
The child should have a school curriculum as well as mental satisfaction and a good physical health for their intellectual development. Therefore sports plays a vital role for a Child’s growth starting with netball, badminton, chess, carom, swimming, volley ball, taekwondo, air riffle shooting, gymnastic were developed. Our school girls were able to shine the name of our school not only island wide but all over the world by achieving many district, provincial and all island victories in the field of sports.
There is much more to reflect on the journey that the Holy Cross has overcome through.
May the Holy Cross be praised and glorified forever for the precious services rendered to the world. May the Holy Cross still exist in the world then, today and forever.