The 10th Decade (2012 – 2021)
Another project that was commenced by him was the four storied Andradi Library, a modern, well equipped library with a pleasant environment conducive to developing the habit of reading in young minds. This library, a gift by a generous Old Peterite, Mr. Timothy Ashantha Andradi, CEO of the prestigious London School of Commerce, was blessed and opened by the Apostelic Nuncio H.E. Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Spitteri on 1st February 2012, in the presence of Mr. Andradi the donor who was a guest of honour.
It is perhaps significant that for a priest who strived to achieve the best for St. Peter’s and served College for over 22 years in different capacities, St. Peter’s College was the proud Champions in three different sports within one year, Rugby, Basketball and Tennis in 2012 during his Rectorship.
Rev. Fr. Travis Gabriel bade goodbye to St. Peter’s on 11th February 2014, upon being appointed Rector of St. Joseph’s College and Rev. Fr. Trevor Gerard Martin took over on 12th February 2014. If the title “Master Builder” can be assigned to two Rectors at St. Peter’s, Fr. Trevor Martin would qualify for one.
Sheer hard work and dedication allowed Fr. Trevor to achieve so much in such a short period of time which prompted His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith to use the word ‘maverick’ to describe Fr. Trevor’s achievements, at an opening ceremony of one facility.
Before describing the construction boom that followed his appointment as Rector it must be said that his vision for St. Peter’s was holistic education for the boys. He spoke of a basket of values that a Peterite student should carry when he leaves College and saw to it that this was implemented.
To achieve excellence in education at St. Peter’s, he replaced retiring teachers with teachers who had built a reputation for being dedicated and result oriented, who were attracted to his style of administration. With such a laudable goal in mind and to encourage students to continuously improve, he introduced practice exams, mini prize givings and awards of free education at College for the year following the award. As an obvious consequence this improved results obtained by Peterites at public exams.
In order to ensure that the spiritual development of his charges is not neglected, he made sure that the different feasts such as the closing of the month of May and Corpus Christi were celebrated in a spiritually uplifting manner. The 1st Holy Communion day was made more meaningful for not only the Communicants but for their parents as well. Encouraged by the Rector, the Principal of the Primary Section, Fr. Samith Rangana Fernando contributed his artistic and organisational talents to convert the interior of the College Hall into a temporary chapel through the imaginative use of banners and cutouts creating an almost ethereal atmosphere for the little ones receiving Holy Communion for the first time.
Fr. Trevor did not neglect aesthetics at College either. “Bava”, a presentation of song, music and dance was successfully staged by the Oriental Choir and Orchestra of St. Peter’s in 2015 and repeated in 2017 and 2019. He also promoted the discovery of talent among the students from the primary to the Advance Level and a colourful presentation displaying the talents of the students was staged in a concert titled “Beyond Imagination” in 2015. Rev. Fr. Samith Rangana assisted the Rector in organising this hugely successful event and was repeated on 20th October 2018.
As mentioned in the opening paragraph of the tenure of Rectorship of Fr. Trevor Martin, he would be remembered as the Rector who contributed tremendously to the infrastructure at St. Peter’s. To seek funds for the numerous construction projects he had in mind, he did not wait for sponsors to come to him but went in search of them. He personally visited Old Peterites, be they individuals, batch groups or branches, living here or overseas and explained the project/s and the aims and donors did not hesitate to fund the different projects from the renovation of the office block to the massive project of constructing pavilions.
He undertook to ensure that the offices were comfortable for the staff to work in and undertook to renovate the offices and the staff rooms along with a new Office Room for the Rector. Combined with this project was the construction of an air conditioned, 300 seater hall named after the Founder Rector, Rev. Fr. Maurice J Le Goc, Smart Classrooms and IT Laboratories. These were completed and opened on 29th June 2017 on the occasion of the feast day of St. Peter.
Two days later (1st of July 2017), was the massive ‘Peterite Walk’ the scale of which had never before seen for a ‘walk’ by a school in Sri Lanka. This should come as no surprise to anyone for it was St. Peter’s College which did a ‘walk’ for a cause 31 years before that (in 1986). Dubbed the “Walkathon”, that 1986 Walk was the first ever ‘Walk’ in Sri Lanka by any institute. The aim of the 2017 Walk was to generate funds for the projects already commenced including the office renovations and the smart classrooms, etc. and for the projects in the pipeline i.e. a fully equipped Medical Room, modernised Science Laboratory and the Pavilion Complex. Through the sheer hard work of many led by the Rector, the walk earned for the school a sum in excess of Rs.50,000,000/-.
The renovated and modernised science laboratory was declared open on 6th March 2018, by Mr. Themiya A de Mel, a generous Old Peterite who contributed much to make this a reality. The 93-94 Batch Group was also recognised for their assistance for this significant project. One among the several projects undertaken by Rev. Fr. Trevor Martin, this laboratory is now known as the best science laboratory in any school in Sri Lanka. Originally built and opened way back on 24th February 1926, the laboratory housed in a single story building had been previously converted to a three story building to accommodate additional classrooms. The modernised Peterite laboratory now has separate labs for Chemistry, Physics and Biology, a boon to students of these subjects who can gain practical experience using ultra modern equipment.
Another facility that is known to be the best among schools is a fully equipped Medical Unit that was opened on 29th June 2018.
Everyone may have assumed that St. Peter’s now had all the facilities needed to do well in sports but the Rector thought otherwise and he decided that a rugby pavilion was a necessity for College. Construction commenced with the laying of the foundation stone on 12th August 2017 and the pavilion complex consisting of the main pavilion, two wings, a gym for the players and indoor cricket nets, was completed within 18 months to be declared open by His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith on 1st February 2019. The main pavilion located in the northern end of the grounds, has been named after the Very Rev. Fr. Joe Wickremasinghe and the two wings on the east and west of the ground connected to the main pavilion were named after two great sporting personalities produced by St. Peter’s, namely All Ceylon cricketer Brig. Dr. H I K Fernando and the ever popular Peterite, CR & FC and All Ceylon rugby player and Peterite rugby coach for many years, Mr. Archibald Perera. Brig. Dr. H I K Fernando was present in person as a special guest at the opening ceremony.
This magnificent pavilion, having been declared open on 1st February 2019, saw spectators hosted for the first time on 30th March 2019 for a rugby encounter with Royal College, played for the B C Angie trophy. Significantly, it was against Royal College that St. Peter’s played their first ever rugby match and with no other school boasting of such pavilion facilities on their school grounds, a senior Royalist who was seated in the special invitees box was heard to comment “with this pavilion St. Peter’s have one over Royal”.
School operations were interrupted due to Bombings in two Catholic churches and several hotels in Colombo on Easter Sunday, 21st April 2019 and consequently reopening the school for the 2nd term was delayed. College eventually reopened on 21st May 2019. with many security procedures in place.
Another brainchild of Rev. Fr. Trevor Martin, the Technology Stream was opened on 24th June 2019, a boon to those intending to follow this stream of study for their A/Ls. The facility was opened by the Chief Guest, Dr. Manodha N Gamage, a distinguished Old Boy of St. Peter’s College who had helped in many ways to get this project off the ground and has been actively helping his Alma Mater in several other matters as well. This stream supporting innovative thinking has branches for study of Electric/Electronics Engineering; Production/Workshop Engineering; Automobile Engineering; Civil Engineering and at the time of opening was a first-of-its-kind in any Catholic, semi-government or private school in Sri Lanka.
When Peterites look back on the Fr. Trevor Martin era, they would surely marvel not at the number of projects undertaken and completed nor the colossal sums collected for these projects, but on the achievement of success in such a short space of time. Rev. Fr. Trevor Gerard Martin retired as Rector and bade goodbye to St. Peter’s on 30th July 2019, to devote time to parish work.
With his departure, the present Rector, Rev. Fr. Rohitha Rodrigo took over on 1st August 2019.
Schools closed on account of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic 13th March 2020