Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The Colombo Scouts

The Colombo District Branch of the Sri Lanka Scout Association celebrates 100 years of Scouting in Colombo this year. Scouting has a rich history commencing in 1914 and producing great leaders to the society. Colombo has been celebrating the centenary year with several events including the Colombo Centenary International Scout Jamboree in Madampe. Lord Robert Stevenson Smyth Baden Powell known as Baden Powell of Gilwell, created this Movement in 1907 and over 40 million youth around the world are in the scout movement.The movement does not place its members in a world apart, but strives to increase their involvement in their own community. The mission is to enable boys and girls to develop their fullest potential as responsible citizens of the world.

Colombo District Logo
Started in 1912, the Sri Lanka the scout movement, was nurtured by District Civil Engineer F.G. Stevens who was employed in the Public Works Department in Matale.He started the First Boys Scout Group at Christ Church College Matale, with which the story of scouting was initiated and later grown in to a stronger movement across the country. The story goes that Stevens was greatly troubled by the unruly acts of the school boys next door who made more than a nuisance of themselves as they ransacked his garden, throwing stones at the fruit trees and plucking fruits from the trees. After many problems and constant disturbances of his much needed rest he decide to do something about putting the boys "spare time" to better use. Thus he came up with the idea of starting a 'Boy Scout Troop' already a major success in England. Further on establishing the first scouts troop Stevens became its Chief Commissioner from 1912 to 1920 within which period he also started the publication Ceylon Scout. Stevens left the country in 1945 on retirement. His services to the movement were recognized by Lord Baden Powell who awarded Stevens the "Silver Wolf", which is the highest award for adult leaders. F.G. Stevens will always be remembered as the founder and father of Sri Lankan Scouting.On June 14, 1914 the 'First Colombo - President's Own –scout troop which is the First Open Scout troop and the Third Scout troop of Sri Lanka was established.
Colombo - Coat of arms of Colombo from the Dutch Ceylon era, depicting a mango tree.
Coat of arms of Colombo from the Dutch Ceylon era
The Colombo Scouts Centenary Dinner will provide an opportunity for the current & former scouts, scouters and veterans in scouting to look back at what they have done to their communities and the country at large and to continue pledge to uphold the vision of its founder Baden Powell who believed that the fraternity of scouting could do much for social and civil amity. Thus its objective could be said to inculcate in a scout the spirit of self-respect and love for his community and country; all this and more learned in a sharing and caring and fun atmosphere. Fourteen Scouting personalities will be felicitated at this event for their dedication, commitment and services extended voluntarily to the District movement and the country at large. 


1916 - Creation of the 10th Colombo Ananda College Scout Troop at Ananda College, Colombo 
1916 - Western Province Rally at Havelock Park, Colombo. 
1917 - Scouting was introduced to Wesley College, Colombo by Rev. P. T. Cash
1917 - First all Ceylon Rally at Havelock Race Course, Colombo.
1921 -1921 - B. P. s visit to Sri Lanka with Lady Olave Baden-Powell
1930 - Scout HQ moves to an old guardroom at Galle Face
1934 - Lord and Lady Baden-Powell visit Sri Lanka 
1952 - Ceylon Jamboree at Koombi Kele, Colombo
1962 - Golden Jubilee Jamboree at Race Course, Colombo
1977 - National HQ shifted to Chitthampalan Gardiner Mawatha, Colombo 02     
1990 - 1st SAARC Jamboree at Vihara Maha Devi Park, Colombo
Colombo Scout Troops

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5th Colombo
St. Benedict's College, Colombo

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10th Colombo
Ananda College, Colombo 10

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14th Colombo
 Wesley College, Colombo
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16th Colombo Scout Troop
S. Thomas' College, Mount Lavinia

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21st Colombo
St. Joseph's College, Colombo 10

32nd Colombo
Nalanda College, Colombo 10

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43rd Colombo 
Thurstan College Colombo 7
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75th Colombo District Rover Crew

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60th Colombo
D.S.Senanayake College, Colombo

Colombo Scout Camporee

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 Colombo Centenary International Scout Jamboree
 CCISJ 2014

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"Passion for the environment"
23rd to 27th August 2012
Viharamaha Devi Park
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Keeping Scout Spirit Alive
26th to 30th of August  2015
Viharamaha Devi Park


Story of Colombo

Colombo is the commercial capital and largest city of Sri Lanka. According to the Brookings Institution, Colombo metropolitan area has a population of 5.6 million and it is the financial centre of the island and a popular tourist destination. It is located on the west coast of the island and adjacent to Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, Colombo is often referred to as the capital since Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte is within the urban area of, and a satellite city of, Colombo. It is also the capital of Western Province, Sri Lanka. Colombo is a busy and vibrant place with a mixture of life and colonial buildings. It was the capital of Sri Lanka until 1982. Due to its harbour and its strategic position along the East-West sea trade routes. It was made the capital of the island when Sri Lanka was ceded to the British Empire in 1815, in 1978, when administrative functions were moved to Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, Colombo was designated as the commercial capital of Sri Lanka. The main city is home to a majority of Sri Lankas corporate offices, restaurants, the name Colombo, first introduced by the Portuguese in 1505, is believed to be derived from the classical Sinhalese name කොලොන් තොට Kolon thota, meaning port on the river Kelani. Another belief is that the name is derived from the Sinhalese name කොල-අඹ-තොට Kola-amba-thota which means Harbour with leafy mango trees, the author of the oldest Sinhalese grammar, Sidatsangarava, written in the 13th century wrote about a category of words that exclusively belonged to early Sinhalese. It lists naramba and kolamba as belonging to an indigenous source, kolamba may also be the source of the name of the commercial capital Colombo. As Colombo possesses a harbour, it was known to Indian, Greeks, Persians, Romans, Arabs. Traveller Ibn Batuta who visited the island in the 14th century and their descendants now comprise the local Sri Lankan Moor community. Portuguese explorers led by Dom Lourenço de Almeida first arrived in Sri Lanka in 1505, as part of the treaty, the Portuguese were given full authority over the coastline in exchange for the promise of guarding the coast against invaders. They were allowed to establish a trading post in Colombo, within a short time, however, they expelled the Muslim inhabitants of Colombo and began to build a fort in 1517. Following the fall of the kingdom in 1593, the Portuguese were able to complete control over the coastal area. This part of Colombo is still known as Fort and houses the presidential palace, the area immediately outside Fort is known as Pettah and is a commercial hub. In 1638 the Dutch signed a treaty with King Rajasinha II of Kandy which assured the king assistance in his war against the Portuguese in exchange for a monopoly of the major trade goods.

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