Speaking of past Head Masters or Head Teachers there were several of them during the time when Richmond College was the “Galle High School” and even before the original school was moved to the hill. Not much of the school activities during the period 1814 up to the time it was moved to the hill is known.
MR. C. E. WIKRAMANAYAKE (1876 — 1916)
html css templatesAffectionately called the “Grandfather of Richmond”, Mr. Charles Edward Wikramanayake was the Head Teacher of the Boys Anglo Vernacular School, which formed a part of the precursor to the College. He is the earliest known head teacher. When the school ceased to function with the inauguration of the Galle High School and amalgamated he joined the Staff of the Galle High School in 1876 as a Teacher. In addition to his teaching he was the Bursar and continued until his retirement in 1916. He was a Singhala, Pali and Sanskrit Pandit or Scholar and taught the languages to Rev. Darell and Rev. Small, as well as other Missionaries, Theological Students and in the Girl’s School.
It is not known to many that almost a century after his joining the College his great-grand-daughter joined the College as music teacher. One of his sons – an old Richmondite – Vincent Stuart Wikramanayake served in the Legislative Council. Rev. Darell wrote of him: “Mr. Wikramanayake’s career is bound up with Richmond Hill. He passed away on 28th November 1936.
MR. J. DANIEL FERNANDO (1882 — 1904)
Mr. Fernando joined the Galle High School as an Assistant Master in July 1882 and became the Head Master in 1894. He was also the boarding master.
MR. E. A. SENEVIRATNE (1876 — 1879)
Mr. E. A. Seneviratne was the first Head Master of the College. Mr. Langdon wrote of him: “His name should be mentioned in any connection in any success achieved by the School.”
MR. R. G. ANTHONISZ (1879)
html css templatesMr. R. G. Anthonisz succeeded Mr. Seneviratne in 1879, and held, office for a short period. He later held the important post of Archivist to the Ceylon Government.
MR. W. H. SOLOMONS, B. A. (1886—1895)
html css templatesMr. W. H. Solomons, was the third Head Master of the School. The School records bear evidence of his versatile gifts and devotion. He started the College Magazine in 1887, introduced singing to the School, launched the Jubilee Scholarship Fund and inspired the founding of the College OBA, in 1894. He collected early information regarding Richmond and recorded it in the Log Book. It is at a time like this that at least a part of the debt owed to him can be assessed. He kept up his interest in the School till his death.
Headmaster from 1886 to December 1895 and made a special contribution to Richmond College. He was educated at St. Thomas’ College, Mt. Lavinia, founded twenty-five years before Richmond. He won the Duke of Edinburgh scholarship there in 1872, and contributed an article to the first number of the College Magazine in 1875. He was successful in the Calcutta B.A. examination and qualified as a lawyer, but a little later, came to Richmond as Headmaster on the invitation of Rev. S. Wilkin. He was a classical scholar and taught various other subjects too, including French and shorthand. He introduced singing in the School and formed a Musical Society of which he was the conductor. He also started a college Magazine of which he was the ideal editor though Thomas de Silva, who later won the Ceylon Mathematical Prize, was given the title. Shortly before leaving Richmond he took a leading part in founding the Richmond College OBA and acted as Secretary at the inaugural meeting on December 24th 1894. He was elected as one of the two first Vice Presidents. “He was a man of many parts, Scholar, Educationalist, Preacher (in English and Portuguese), Musician. Lawyer and Journalist”.
MR. J. E. WICKREMASINGHE, B.A. (1896 — 1903 & 1910 — 1913)
html css templatesRev. Heartley appointed Mr. Wickramasinghe as the Head Master in 1896. He was teacher, administrator and disciplinarian. An old Trinitian he taught at Trinity College, Kandy from 1903 to 1908 and then was the Headmaster of Prince of Wales School, Moratuwa for two years. in 1910 he returned to Richmond as Headmaster. His ripe experience was of great help to the new Principal Mr. Small, but after some time his health began to fail, and he died prematurely in September 1913. He was a good classical scholar and teacher. As Headmaster he was a firm disciplinarian. In private life, “he was a most genial and true friend, and a liberal host”.
MR. E. F. C. LUDOWYK (SNR) (1916 — 1935)
Mr. E. F. C. Ludowyk joined the Staff as an assistant teacher in 1908. joined the staff in 1908 and was appointed Headmaster of the college by Mr. Small in 1916. He was a dynamic character, not least on the cricket field. He was a tremendous worker and was successful in getting his pupils to work. A student and colleague has written of him: “The happy atmosphere of the staff common room was due to his understanding leadership, Richmond will remember him with gratitude as an unusually able teacher, a fine disciplinarian, a tireless worker and a thoroughly loyal friend.” He is the father of the famous Prof. E. F. C. Ludowyk (Jnr) better known as “Lyn” who brought Richmond much honour, and is one of her most distinguished old boys.
MR. A. W. DISSANAIKE (1935 — 1938)
html css templatesMr. A. W. Dissanaike joined the Staff in September 1905 succeeding Mr. Ludowyk as Head Master in 1935. He held this post till he retired from service in March 1938. He started as a Drawing Master, but made a special study of Geography when the teaching of the subject was modernised, and later also of Arithmetic, becoming a specialist in both subjects. He played a leading part in the Staff, taking up scouting after the departure of Mr. J. V. Mendis, and coming to reside in the Hostel. He won the respect and affection of his students, with many of whom he kept in touch after his retirement. The young and the old sought his guidance on difficult problems. Possessing a discriminating mind he proved a great help to many a colleague and student.
MR. E. R. DE SILVA, B.A (1938 — 1940)
html css templatesMr. E. R. de Silva, B.A. was Headmaster for two years (1938—1940) after which he was promoted to become the first Ceylonese Principal of Richmond College, a post which he held with distinction for 17 years.
MR. G. R. A. FERNANDO (ACTING)
Mr. G. R. A. Fernando acted as Head Master from March to December 1940. He was an all-rounder not only as a Cricketer but in other ways, as a teacher, administrator and Church-worker. For many years he was the Superintendent of the Boarding House, and in all that concerned it he was the Principal’s right-hand man. He was a reliable teacher and an excellent Prefect of Games for many years from 1911. In connection with the Church he was Sunday School Superintendent and also a Circuit Steward.
MAJOR F. A DE S ADHIHETTY, E. D. (1941—1946)
html css templatesMajor F. A de S Adhihetty, E. D. joind the Staff in 1907 and was appointed to act as Head Master in January 1941. In 1943 his appointment was confirmed and he held this post till he retired in December 1946- He was a smart officer of the CCB. It was under him that the College Junior Cadets earned an Island reputation. He is remembered by all generations as one who tried to live up to the ideals of ‘simplicity, sincerity and service’ which he so assiduously placed before his classes. The success of the three Jubilee campaigns will always be associated with his name as well as the Life Membership fund of the OBA, and the prize endowment fund of the school.
MAJOR A. F. DE SAA BANDARANAIKE, E. D. (1916—1947)
html css templatesMajor A. F. de Saa Bandaranaike, E. D. joined the Staff in 1916 and except for two years at the Government Training College remained there till 1947—31 years. He was Head Master for a brief period of three months. He identified himself so fully with the life of the school that it is not easy to associate him with any one department
He received his education at Trinity College under Fraser, and started teaching at the early age of 17. He was for many years supervisor of the lower School of Richmond, and raised it to a high state of efficiency, but he took a prominent part in almost all departments of the College life. He was an Officer in the Cadet Corps with Major Adhihetty from 1923, and largely took charge during its last years, being given the rank of Captain in 1935 when it was discontinued. He then took charge of the Physical Training, First Aid, Swimming etc., which were organised to replace it. He had a fine voice, and was Choirmaster of the College Choir, and also President of the Apollo Club, which encouraged Music and Drama, in both of which he took a leading part. As Editor of the College Magazine he edited the 1926 Souvenir, and continued to be Editor till 1934. He was appointed Headmaster of the College in January 1947. Altogether he made a great contribution to Richmond College. He oversaw swiming and life saving training of the college boys enrolling Richmond in the Royal Life Saving Society a first for any School in then Ceylon. He had a keen interest in Drama as well and produced several plays.
He left Richmond to become Principal of Royal Prep in the middle of 1947, where he did good work till his early death. He will however be best remembered as the head of the Primary Department for many years.
MR. A. S. WIRASINHA, B.A
html css templatesMr. A. S. Wirasinha, B.A. was the Head Master from June to September 1947 when Mr. E. R. de Silva, hand picked him to be the Vice Principal.
MR. W. A. LANEROLLE (1931 — 1956)
html css templatesMr. W. A. Lanerolle started his teaching career as a Pupil Teacher in an Anglo Vernecular School, and worked his way up to become a Specialist in the teaching of Sinhala. He joined the Richmond Staff in January 1931, and was appointed to teach Sinhala in all the classes of the upper school where previously no Sinhala had been taught. In the first two years Sinhala was offered in both the Junior and Senior Cambridge, and all boys passed, after this it was offered in the E.S.L.C. examinations. He was next appointed Headmaster of the Primary School and continued till 1956, when he retired.
He was a Singhala Scholar and has authored many books. A stern disciplinarian outwardly but a kind hearted soul.
MR. H. D. A. GUNASEKERA (1951 – 1968)
html css templatesMr. Gunasekera is a product of Richmond during 1920’s to 1930’s. He left the College in 1936 and took up teaching. In 1951 he joined the Staff of his alma mater and continued until his retirement. He never married and more than half of his teaching life he gave all what he had to Richmond. He became the Head Master during the latter part of Mr. Wirasinha’s time. He was the Scout Master and devoted much of his time to Scouting. A very strict Master he taught mathematics to Junior School. He was a bachelor and even after retirement he continued to be engaged with College affairs.