RCOBA Contribution

Richmond College Old Boys’ Association-1894 to 1976

The Richmond College Old Boys’ Association was very auspiciously inaugurated on the 4th December, 1894, and the first ex-officio President of the Association was the Principal, Rev. Horatius Hartley. Being founded on the 1st May 1876, the College was eighteen years old then. This event was the result of a resolution moved by Mr. W. L. Faber and seconded by Mr. H.S. Abayawardena, and was enthusiastically accepted by all who were present. Mr. C.C. de Silva was the first Honorary Secretary of this Association.The original Constitution was adopted at the Annual General Meeting held in 1895.

Very soon the responsibility for the Associaon fell on the able shoulders of Rev. J.H. Darrrel who succeeded Rev. Hartley on the 11th September 1896. Rev. Darrell put new life into this young Association and made it a living force, the energy of which is felt strongly even today.The photograph of the Rev. George Baugh, the founder of the college, was unveiled in the College Hall during this period.

In 1904 Mr.G.R. Siriwardena was elected as secretary and Mr. George Amarasinghe assistant secretary. The Association took over the responsibility of conducting the Inter House Sports meet of the College from this year. The Prize endowment Fund was started in 1905. This period of lively activity came to a very unexpected end when the President Rev. Darrell, passed away at the very early age of thirty five, on the 12th May, 1906. Rev. Darrell’s period of ten years at the helm of activities put Richmond on the map among the leading Schools of the country. He lined for himself the lasting affection of all those who knew him, and even in this today,we hear this name mentioned with affection and respect.

Rev. W.J.T. Small took over after Rev. Darrell on the 16th November, 1906. Taking over the wake of such a tragedy which had seriously disorganised everything. Rev. Small worked full time, even without a clerk, to restore order. His example in character and principles was as important as the devotion to duty that he brought into Richmond.

The Colombo Branch of the R.C.O.B.A. was founded in 1916 and this branch has since been a very active supporter of the parent body.

Richmond Traditions


“Forty years on, when afar and asunder

Parted are those who are singing today

When you look back and forgetfully wonder

What you were like in your work and your play

Then It may be there will often come o’er you

Glimpse of notes like the catch of a song

Visions of boyhood shall float them before you

Echoes of dreamland shall bear them along…..

(A verse from the Song “Forty Years On” sung at the OBA concert each year in the forties and early fifties by the choir of Richmond under the direction of the late Maj. A. F. de Saa Bandaranaike)

Rev. A.A. Sneath took over from Rev. Small and the earlier build up of the Association began to bear fruit during his period. The Golden Jubilee of the School in 1926 and the Diamond Jubilee in 1936 were two very important events of his period. The Constitution of the Association was revised in 1934. The Golden Jubilee Fund and the buildings that came up as a result stand to the credit of the Old Boys of this period, and we should record here with gratitude the name of the very energetic Secretary of the Association of this period, Mr. E.M. Karunaratna. Another fund was floated in 1935 in view of the Diamond Jubilee and the Sneath Playing Field became a reality when it was declared open by Mr. E.M. Karunaratna on 23rd July, 1937.