Sacred Heart Convent Galle has progressed beyond all dreams
In order to remember with love and gratitude of the first five Sisters of Charity who initiated the ‘Wonder of Sacred Heart Convent’ and
all those who followed them, the Students Council and the Catholic Association 2012 of Sacred Heart Convent, Galle, organised a grand celebration for its 116th School Anniversary on Friday, November 23, 2012 under the guidance of the Principal, Rev.Sr.Disna Siyaguna.
During the 19th century, the urgent need for the education of young girls in Galle was the start of Sacred Heart Convent. The Galle mission which had been in charge of the O.M.I. Mission was handed over in 1895 to the Jesuits and with this change the Good Shepherd nuns who had been in charge of the girls’ section of the mixed school in Galle returned to Colombo. Bishop Van Reeth, whose sister the Rev. Mother Bernadette, was the Superior General of the Sisters of Charity in Belgium, who had asked for a band of sisters of Charity to be sent out to carry on the educational work of girls in Galle.
At the time there was a great need for such an institution and in answer to the Bishop’s request, on November 4,1896, five Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary left Belgium for Ceylon. They were Rev. Sr.Amelie Janssens (The First Mother Superior), Rev. Sr.William Brennan (The First Principal), Rev. Sr.Alexandra Cooreman, Rev. Sr.Marcia Bossaert and Rev.Sr.Alberta Donny.
The Sisters lived and worked in a house on Mount Calvary (Near the present Cathedral) till the partial completion of the present building to which they moved into in 1901. The Sisters began teaching in the mixed school with 36 day scholars on the feast of St. Andrew – November 30,1896. After they started teaching in the Convent, they sent children for the Cambridge Examination for the first time in 1902.
Within five years of its start, Sacred Heart Convent became an institution which served the needs of the country at that time. The school saw to the intellectual needs, the social needs, and to the economic needs of the little community around the convent. Thus the Torch of Truth and Charity was lit way back in 1896.
Today Sacred Heart Convent houses a large number of students with over 2,200 students and consists of a tutorial staff amounting to 83 teachers. The serving principal of the college, Rev.Sr.Disna Siyaguna was appointed as the 6th principal of the college in 2000.
The students of Sacred Heart Convent stand out in the public examinations with excellent results. They bask in the glory of having
obtained 90% in the G.C.E.(O/L) examinations and 70% in the G.C.E.(A/L) examinations. Annually the A/L students bring credit to the school by taking top places in the districts. Piumi Tennakone of the Arts stream obtained the fourth rank in the district in 2010 while Maleesha Dayaratne (Bio), Anuththara Sewwandi (Bio) and Piumi Jayasinghe took sixth, ninth and tenth ranks in 2011.
Extra and co–curricular activities play a key role in Sacred Heart Convent. Himasha D. Jayasekara will be representing Sri Lanka – Under 10 team for the Asian Chess Tournament. She was also the first runner up at the International Level in Asian Games (Country Medal) 2012 and won the Merit Award in Individual Chess Championship, National Level.
In addition Tania Senanayake represented the Sri Lanka Schools Netball team for the Tournament held in Penang, Malaysia 2012 and
the school’s Under 15, 17 and 19 netball teams emerged champions at the Southern Province Championships. Moreover, M .D. Tharuka Ashwini, a Triple Jumper was placed second at the All Island Athletic Meet 2012 held in Beliatta. However athletes of the school face challenges in their practices as they do not have enough facilities in the school playground. Chalani, Thilini, and Melani brought fame to the college by gaining first place at the All island Gymnastics Competition.
Students who perform dancing and music have obtained places at Zonal, Provincial and All Island levels. The school choirs have displayed their talents extremely well. Fourteen Senior Guides obtained the President’s Guide Award in 2011
During the past 116 years, the school has undergone periods of turmoil and stress and have passed through periods of peace and calm as well. It has undergone several changes and has achieved a lot. Through the years all the traditions, values, ideals instilled by the founding Sisters of Charity have been upheld and has never lost sight of its goal.
This school which has been established with such toil and sacrifice has been set up on a solid foundation. It has been resilient enough to meet the needs and requirements of different periods. But ideals of moral integrity, good manners and a sound religious background are held in the highest esteem and in the pursuit of these ideals there has been no relaxation.
The students of Sacred Heart Convent Galle are scattered all over the island and all over the world. Wherever they are, they have been outstanding people – showing special qualities in the discharge of their day to day activities. This school began with a handful of pupils has progressed beyond the dreams of its founders.
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