Trinity College Kandy
The antecedents of Trinity College go back to 1817, just two years after Britain had gained control of the central hills of Sri Lanka and with them the entire island in 1815. The first missionaries from Britain, Mr. and Mrs. Browning, set up an elementary school of humble proportions in Kandy, which flourished in its day but was later closed down for unknown reasons. Four decades later, Rev. Ireland Jones established the Kandy Collegiate School in 1857 at the same premises and James Alexander Dunuwille Snr, Deputy Queen’s Advocate, donated the adjoining land to the College. However, again for unknown reasons it was closed down in 1863.
Trinity College Kandy was founded in 1872, nearly a decade later, by the Principal Rev. Richard Collins. Although, it was founded as an Anglican Missionary school based on the traditions of the best of the public schools in England, the missionaries took into its ambit the best of the indigenous culture. The grand Principal of Trinity College Rev. A.G. Fraser brought the school from a mere provincial school to a national college. In his day (1904-1924), it became a multi facetted educational institution, equal to that of any leading school in the British Commonwealth. In the days of Fraser 17 different nationalities made use of the all round educational Trinity provided. Fraser was an inspiring personality and yet truly self-sacrificing. All his best years were given to Trinity and all his efforts bore fruit. He had the power of persuasion, which he used to inspire brilliant men from Oxford and Cambridge to serve as Anglican missionaries at Trinity College. Walter Senior was one such person who came to serve as Vice Principal under Fraser. Two buildings, one known as the “Gaster Block” and the other was The Chapel which continues to be admired today and bears testimony to the wisdom of Fraser and Gaster.
Over the next few decades the college achieved a period of pristine glory under Cannon McLeod Campbell (1925-1935), later Chaplain to the Royal Family and Rev Robert Stopford (1935-1940) when Trinity's greatest benefactor, Mr. A.H.T. De Soysa financed several building projects, including the college hall. The first Ceylonese Principal was Mr. C.E. Simithrarachchy (1941-1951), an old boy and the last British Principal was Norman Walter (1952-1957). C.J. Oorloff was the Principal (1957-1968) when the country was going through a difficult period, as anti-British policies were fashionable, national feelings were roused sometimes reaching hysterical proportions and the right to survive as independent schools was challenged. Mr. Oorloff’s policy of quiet dignified management helped prevent the government take over. The second old boy to be Principal was Mr. Lionel Fernando (1968-1977), his deputy, another old boy was Mr. Hillary Aberyrathne when the Swimming Pool project was begun. Under Rev. Dr. W.A. Wickremasinghe (1978-1988) Asgiriya was transformed into an International Cricket Stadium with the help of another old boy, Cabinet Minister Lionel Gamini Dissanayeke. Unfortunately, the Agriculture school in Pallekale, an attempt to have an institution of higher learning affiliated to Trinity did not bear results as expected. The new science block, auditorium, the new administration block and the rugby grounds at Pallekale were constructed during the period of Lt. Col. L.M. De Alwis and Dr. W.R. Breckenridge. Recently, the Old Trinitians Sports Club (OTSC) was compeleted with the help of another old boy, Mr. Nahil Wijesuriya and the Pallakalle Rugby Stadium with the help of non-oldboy Mr. Hemaka Amarasuriya.
Today it is one of the leading schools with a rich heritage. Trinity College will build on its heritage and goes to greater heights in the new millennium. The motto of Trinity is “Respice Finem”, so Trinity looks if not to the end, but to the years ahead in serving the youth of Sri Lanka.