Some of the landmarks people were familiar with have now vanished; yet there are others still standing although undergone modernisation. Nevertheless whatever existing should bring memories. The pictures of those that have got erased from the Richmond Hill hopefully will bring some memories to those who remember them and give a glimpse to others of Richmond’s past.
html css templatesThe Church built in 1878, meet ones eyes as the hill is approached. It was a part of the school premises until the takeover when the school was separated from the church. However until the new access road was built the entrance to the Church and the College was the same.
The church was constructed two years after the Galle High School came into being and has regular Sunday mass for the methodists in Galle.
html css templatesThe Principal’s Bungalow built during Rev. Baugh’s time is still standing in its majesty and together with a building of Rippon Girl’s school are the oldest buildings on the hill. There is an interesting lore about the Bo tree surviving the axe. When the hill was being flattened to construct the Bungalow the Bo Tree was earmarked to be hewed. However Rev. Baugh seeing the tree has enquired for its name and being told it’s called ‘Bo’ he had instructed not to touch it but leave it alone in his memory – for the tree was his name sake.
The present Principal’s Bungalow was originally the missionaries bungalow; during which time the Principal’s bungalow was sited where the present kindergarten is which is shown on the right built after 1876 parts of which forms the kindergarten today. Both building’s front facades have a striking similarity.
THE MAIN HALL
The Main Hall came up during Rev. Darell’s time. He took a personal interest having designed and supervised the construction and the hall speaks volumes for Rev. Darell’s Engineering skills which was marvelled even by the engineers at that time. It is said that Rev. Darrell used to climb the gabels often during construction to ensure that the walls were built straight. The slightest build that was off the plumb line had to be redone. Rev. Darrell took that much trouble. This was the only hall and perhaps even today the only school hall that has no support from the floor to the roof.
html css templatesThe exterior and interior has now been restored to pristine glory thanks to the old Richmondites of the RCOBA – Colombo. The windows and doors were once daubed in ‘black wood preservative’ which took a long, long time to dry, earning the Principal at the time a ‘non complimentary nickname’. Many would remember the paint soiling the white shirts. Then later the doors and windows were painted in yellow and it became horrible to look at. Finally it is now back to what it was – those shiny varished wood.
The interior too had undergone some changes. There were no fans before Mr. Welikala got them fixed which was a welcome addition. He also affixed a better curtain as the the earlier curtain has out lived its life. It was common to witness the curtain coming down or not closing or opening properly during concerts to the chagrin of those who produced concerts and to the amusement of the spectators usually accompanied by “boos”. The stage was given a permanent facade by Mr. Welikala, otherwise everything else has remained unchanged.
Early days the hall had no stage but wooden platforms to suit the needs from time to time. With Drama taking a prominent place in school life a permanent stage which is found now was constructed in early 1930’s.
THE LECTURE THEATER
html css templatesThe “Theatre” was a gift from Muhandiram F. A. Wickramasinghe and named in his memory with gratitude. He spent his wealth on several other building donations not only for Richmond but for other schools in Galle.
The theatre was mainly used for Chemistry and Physics classes as it was adjoining the W. J. T. Small Science Laboratory or as the boys called it the ‘Senior Lab’ with easy access. It was not confined for teaching of science subjects but was used by the Camera Club, the Radio club and various other clubs to conduct their activities.
html css templatesThe interior of the theatre is terraced so as not to obstruct the view of anybody seated. It can seat more than 50 people comfortably and todate is furnished by the original furniture that was installed more than six decades ago. There are several smaller rooms attached to the theatre of which one was used as a ‘dark room’ for the camera club.
The theatre was constructed during Rev. Sneath’s time.
THE LIBRARYhtml css templates
The Darrell Memorial Library is a gift from Mr. J. E. Perera an old boy of the college. It was more significant of the fullness of the loyalaty of old boys to their alma mater.
Richmond has had a library from almost from the inception although housed elsewhere. It was started with 500 books in 1878. With the contruction of the present library in 1926 it became a boon to the students. It was a well stocked library catering to all tastes and had comfortable accomodation for those who used the library. One of the long standing librarians from the 50’s was Wilson. The library lent books whilst some books were meant only for reference. With the taking over Mr. Welikala expanded it adding more room to accomodate the increasing number of users. It can boast as one of the finest libraries of a school not only by the numbers of books but by the quality of reading material.