Twenty six years! Wycherley's journey towards becoming one of Sri Lanka's top establishments of Secondary Education hasn't been an easy one. However, like everything and everyone associated with the school, it has become a success.

Having recently visited my Alma-Mater during my University vacation, I couldn't help but wonder; What made Wycherley so special to all of us that walked through its gates all these years? Why do we still feel that inevitable sense of pride and reminisce about our time at Wycherley, as though it happened yesterday? Its facilities for students weren't exceptional. Its architecture wasn't cutting edge. However, it is the unique "culture" of Wycherley and its insistence on every one in the school being a cohesive group, that set it apart from other school's in the country.

All credit should go to the ones who have created and maintained that Wycherley "culture" - the teachers and the Principal. Since my first day in school, I was encouraged to share my possessions with my class mates. Selfishness was always frowned upon. This kind of environment enabled our students, irrespective of ethnicity, religion or gender to get along and enjoy each others company. As the years passed by, mutual respect for one's class mates grew and together we learnt many a lesson about generosity, friendship and life in general. While other schools had "cliques" in each class, ours was one big family.

Endless disagreements with teachers weren't a rarity. Looking back, it was probably what accelerated our serendipity, enabling us to think on our own and moulding us in to becoming the positive and forward thinkers we are today. The teacher's trust in a student was rewarded with the student developing a never ending desire to learn. Teachers never held grudges when students committed wrong doings. Instead they always showed us how to behave appropriately and make ourselves look presentable. They taught us that despite our comfortable upbringing, to always be humble and never lose that common touch. I always wondered how our Principal Mr. Jayasinghe, could be so patient with all of us during the numerous times that we were called into his office, regarding some misdeed that we had caused. He would stay back in school even after closing time and make sure that our doubts in Chemistry - a subject which he taught us - were clarified. Dedication and commitment to success when coming from the Principal, will obviously inspire the rest of the school to follow suit. From the Principal and teachers to the office staff, the sports coaches and the lads in the Canteen, the warm environment and the sense of community living that they create is one of the reasons why Wycherley is held in high esteem by everyone in the country today.

As Wycherley embarks on building a bolder and bigger step into the future, with the goal of the new Management set on improving its already excellent standards for Education and Sports, we can all afford to look back and marvel at how far that colonial old place from 1985 has come forward today. However, the importance of the "Wycherley Culture" being carried forward to the next generation of teachers and students cannot be stressed enough. State of the art facilities or fancy new buildings won't be of any use, if all the work done by the Past and Present Staff in cultivating this special atmosphere is "left for dead" That being said, "TAKE A BOW WYCHERLEY" - you've earned it. Thank you for everything you have done for me and helped to mould me into the person that I am today. I can proudly say this on behalf of all my classmates and the graduating batches before us, going back to 1985. You will always hold a special place in our hearts ………… Wycherley our ALMA MATER.

Yohan Tennakoon, Civil Engineering Undergraduate, University of New South Wales. Sydney, Australia

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