Welcome to STC OBA Canada
The evening of May 11th 2013 saw Thomians of all ages resident in Toronto and Ottawa gathering together with their wives and partners to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Association in Canada. The Hilton Garden Inn in Vaughn being the location of the annual dinner dance this year. The hotel décor in white cloth covered seating and the huge stage backdrop swathed in Blue and Black drapes gave the desired Wow effect to set the tone for a beautiful evening.
People started trickling in from 5:30 pm to register themselves and were immediately showered with gifts of a glass paperweight with STC crest embedded inside for the gentlemen and a bag of chocolates for the ladies. From then on everyone met old and new friends in the foyer of the hotel with hors d’oeuvres and champagne being served. At 7:15 pm the evening’s events commenced with the traditional parade of Thomians gathered, led by the flag bearer D.R. Weerasinghe followed by singing of the College anthem.
At dinner time the guests were entertained to some saxophone sounds from the guest artiste present. The dinner served of personalized menus of steak, salmon, chicken breast and vegetarian was of the highest quality and enjoyed by all. This was then followed by DJ music provided by ‘Ultimate Sound & Light’.
The most anticipated moment of the night then was the coming on stage of the live band to provide music for dancing to those present. The ensemble of professional musicians from Toronto gathered together by Ravi Niles and performing under the name ‘Fusion Station’ took everyone’s breath away with a repertoire of dancing music which kept everyone on the floor.
Several prizes were given out during the evening including the grand raffle draw with the first prize of a $1,000 being excitedly followed by all.
As with all good things having to come to an end, by 1 am on Sunday morning the evening’s fare concluded with everyone gyrating on the floor to the sounds of ‘papare’ music.
Accolades went out to Dance Committee Chairman, Sumith Samarasinghe and his team who organized yet another superbly executed event.
On a warm and lovely Saturday morning of May 18th 2013 which was tempered with a gentle breeze, several Thomians and friends along with their wives and some children gathered at the Toronto Maha Vihara in Scarborough after 10:00 am to conduct a prayer service led by Ven. Ratnasiri, Head Priest of the Meditation Centre. Gathas and Stanzas were repeated in the traditional Buddhist custom.
Before 12:00 pm, over 35 persons present gathered downstairs to offer alms to the three priests’ resident in the Vihara. All those present brought in an array of dishes that were pre cooked in their homes.
Soon after the mid day meal was complete everyone went upstairs to the shrine room and meeting hall to once again listen to the chants of the monks which was followed by a talk and sermon by the Head Priest. He emphasized the need for ‘Karuna and Compassion’ for those we meet in our lifetimes and extend assistance to anyone needing a helping hand. He also made special reference to S. Thomas’ College as a leading educational institution that has many of its past students across the world as leading contributors to the societies they are resident in. He also extolled the virtues of STC inculcating tolerance in all faiths and creeds. Special mention was made of the existence of the STC OBA in Canada for the past 20 years keeping the bonds of our youth strong and associating together in harmony.
The highlights of the proceedings was the tying of the blessed ’pirith noola’ on the hands of all those gathered.
Special guests who participated along with Thomians were two Royalists and the President of the Nalanda OBA, Chandana Ranasinghe and family.
Thereafter all gathered partook of the food prepared. A big thank you to the ladies present who brought dishes and cleaned up the premises prior to leaving.
A special thank you to Prasad Jinasena and Chico Guneratna, who made all arrangements to host those present and Gihan de Silva who unfortunately was not present, but made the reservations and arrangements with the Toronto Maha Vihara.
A STC OBA Canada event that commenced last year has generated a lot of interest this