St. Benedicts College, Colombo, Sri Lanka
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Sydney Bens
Our Mission and Aims
To be loyal to and support our Alma Mater at all times when necessary, and to foster fraternity, friendship and camaraderie to all Old Bens in Sydney and worldwide.

THE WAY WE BEGAN
It was just a passing comment, a loud thought over dinner. Some Old Bens had met one wintry Saturday night in 1992, in Razikin and Zahara Dole ’s home in the leafy Sydney suburb of Carlingford, just like on other Saturday nights when they meet regularly on weekends in each other’s homes.

On such weekends, these expatriate Old Bens, who had migrated to Australia and made Sydney their home, had convivial times, exchanged ideas and shared meals in a fraternal, family way.

On that particular night, there were Harold Christie-David, Michel Jason, Sri Rajan Fernandopulle, Max Perumal, Anton Massilamanny, Milburn Caspersz, Ronnie Almeida, Gordon Rebeira. And their respective wives, of course.

Over a heart-warming dinner of buth curry and fine Aussie wine, the idea to form an Old Bens Association germinated.

Sri Rajan had been mulling over this idea for sometime and had compiled a list of potential members. They acted swiftly and before the weekend was over, telephones ran hot as they enthusiastically asked around. The response was great and so on a fine Sunday morning, not long after, a BBQ picnic and cricket match were arranged at Centennial Park, a prestigious place for picnics in Sydney. The attendance was promising and the groundwork was laid for the birth of the Sydney Bens.

The inaugural meeting was held in June 1993 at a prominent Sri Lankan restaurant at the time managed by the late Milburn Caspersz. To an attendance of 32 Old Bens and families, Nihal Fernandopulle outlined a brief history of St Benedict’s College, listing ways this embryo OBA can focus on assiting the Alma Mater in the future - for that was the vital reason for the Sydney OBA’s existence. Harold Christie-David was elected first President of St Benedict’s College Old Boys Association (NSW) Inc.

Following the pioneer leadership of Harold Christie-David, the OBA has had Michel Jason, Max Perumal, Sri Rajan Fernandopulle, Doug Jones, Fred Herft, Ranjith Velayuthen and now Garrick Muttukisna (present incumbent) preside over the successul life of the Sydney OBA. Their success is entirely due to the support received from committee members who, through the years, evinced a dedication and commitment to their goal with untiring effort.

Considerable amount of activities including sporting, social and cultural for both fund-raising purposes and for the enjoyment and benefit of Sydney Bens and their families are continued to be undertaken. We hold Curry nights, kareoke nights, Carol singing at Christmas and have held coach tours for members and friends to such places as the NSW’s wine region of Hunter Valley and many other places of interest.

We hold a Dinner Dance once every two years. This is the Sydney Bens’ main fund-raising effort in the social calendar. Our 2007 dance was held on June 30 and, on all counts, was a great success. Today the Sydney Bens have 105 past pupils of College on their roll. Membership is availble to all Old Bens for an annual fee of AUD$15. Old Bens who reach the age of 65 years are bestowed with Life membership due to their seniority. Life membership is also available for those more youthful Benedictines for a nominal one-off payment. There are 43 Life members in both categories.

Among these conferred with life membership and not residing in NSW are: Rev. Fr. Joseph Vas (formerly Bro. Flavian) now residing in Oklahoma, USA, Rienzie Rupasinghe (Monash ACT) E.C.T.Candappa (Melbourne VIC)

These Sydney Bens were called to their Eternal Reward:
  • Milburn Caspersz
  • Rev. Bro. Justinian Thompson FSC
  • Joseph D'Abrera
  • Patrick Fernandopulle
  • Mrs Romany Pieris
  • Claude Rebeira
  • Wolstan D'Abrera
  • Dr Joe Sandanam
  • Patrick Wickramaratne
Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace.
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