Enthusiastic chanting could be heard by the Peterites as their vehicle parade took to the streets of Colombo from Marine Drive to the Oval, by storm last week.
An interesting new feature of the eventful annual Big Match Season, the parade has grown from 300 participants to a 1000 in its two year history.
After 32 long and somewhat frustrating years of anticipating victory over their archrivals, it is safe to say that the parade was even more high spirited than before, in light of the Peterite victory at the Big Match. As many Peterites present declared, the parade was a march to a second victory – at the 50 over encounter. And they were right.
Whatever the final outcome of the match however, the Peterites maintain that the parade was a one of a kind experience for them as both a morale booster and a massive, fun filled reunion.
Lashan Ranasinghe and Shanaka Gunasekera- members of the organizing team- describe the parade as “an open invitation for Peterites to celebrate all that was and is great about school. The primary focus of the parade is to build strong relationships between Peterites of all ages.”
Based on an initiative which took shape at an OBU meeting last year, the second Peterite parade saw a vast improvement from its first year, with fifty vehicles, fifty bikes, two large buses and 1000 people parading the streets.
“The idea of a parade was unique for all of us,” explains Lashan. “All we had was determination and there were challenges; and times when we were not certain about how we would manage this project,” adds Shanaka, saying “we were always positive; and encouraged by the tremendous support of the team and the faith people had in us to make a success of the parade.”
Hoping to make the parade an annual tradition, the organizing team is motivated to continue in the venture knowing that an event of this nature – primarily a morale booster – was something missing for a long time. “We feel that the parade is a great place for the Peterite family to have fun together; and will be part of many great memories of school,” agree Lashan and Shanaka.
Despite challenges of crowd control and of not having sponsors, the organising team collectively agrees that the effort has been more than worthwhile. “At the end of the day, it was an unforgettable parade; with all the energy and confidence of an upcoming victory.