16 March, 2009
HelpLanka Project - A Big Thank you for St James
At the Headmaster's assembly on Wednesday 11th March, Mr Sam Goonetillake, the Chief executive of the Helplanka Project, addressed the whole school to report on the progress of the rebuilding programme following the destructive power of the Tsunami on December 26th 2004. It left 40,000 dead and 2.5 million displaced...
...St James Senior Boys School was among many thousands of schools in the UK to render financial and, in some cases, actual physical assistance and support. Mrs Jan Hockley of St James was the architect of the fund-raising operation and the scheme to send 6th formers to distribute funds and witness the destruction at first hand. The Senior Boys raised £15,000 and £5000 of this was sent to HelpLanka. Mr Goonetillake thanked the tremendous efforts of the school and marked the occasion by presenting a carved statuette of the Buddha and a certificate marking the gratitude of the children and families in Sri Lanka for the support received.
Mr Goonetillake's powerpoint presentation showed images of the actual improvements to the life of the pupils of St Anthony's School for Boys in Panadura, which is now officially twinned with St James Senior Boys School. Nearly 300 boys at St Anthony's were directly affected by the killer Tsunami, either losing family or becoming homeless.
After the presentation, Mr Boddy invited 6th Formers to volunteer to spend time in Sri lanka to directly support the Helplanka project. About a dozen students came forward and discussed the idea with Mr Boddy and Mr Goonetillake in the Headmaster's study.