Sylvestrian boxer Malcolm Bulner represented two countries | Sunday Observer

Sylvestrian boxer Malcolm Bulner represented two countries

St. Sylvester’s College, Kandy is a school which has produced some versatile sportsmen with limited facilities. This school is situated in the heart of the seat of ancient Sinhala Kings and remains as the one and only school in the country if not in the World to have produced a sportsman who was selected to represent two different countries at two different Olympic games..

That is none other than boxer Malcolm Bulner. He represented Ceylon at the Olympic Games in Tokyo and was later selected to represent Australia at the following Olympic Games. But unfortunately he was deprived of achieving this rare feat owing to technical reasons. However, Bulner later qualified as a world class boxing judge and officiated at several boxing meets in Australia.

He also boxed for Sri Lanka at the Empire Games in Perth and the Asian Games in Bangkok. Malcolm Bulner was one of the best boxers produced by late Derrick Raymond the famous coach. Some of the other top boxers produced by Derrick Raymond were Nimal Lewke a retired DIG and now security adviser to the President. Lewke was also a stylish boxer and brought honor to his school and country in several meets locally and Internationally and was adjudged the best boxer at several national meets.

He also excelled in the rugby arena and later became a coach, referee and the first to head a national body that was rugby. In 1970 as a schoolboy, after winning the novices meet he entered the big league, intermediate boxing for Danton Obeyasekara trophy, which was held at Echelon Square, the present Galadari Hotel premises.

In this meet all three forces and most of clubs took part. As a schoolboy he boxed in the flyweight class, he represented St .Sylvester’s boxing club.

In football the Sylverstrians have produced players of the calibre of Mahinda Aluwihare and Nihal Samarasekara was the first Sylvestrian to reperesent Sri Lanka at cricket before Sri Lanka gained Test status.

Ishak Shahabdeen was the first to play for the country after gaining full Test status in 1982. Shahabdeen was a double international who also played hockey for the country.

The history of St. Sylvester’s dates back to the early 1940’s. The school began as a separate institution on November 1, 1940 with very Rev. Fr. D. Robert. Perera O.S.B. as the principal. The College owed much to the foresight of his Lordship Bishop Regna and Abbot Weerasinghe, the heads of the Sylvestro-Benedictine congregation.

They felt that a good catholic school in the Kandy town was a prime need as St. Anthony’s had been completely shifted to its home on the banks of the Mahaweli at Katugastota. Rev father Robert M Pereira was given the tremendous task of overseeing the progress of the new school. Later in the 1950’s the school was taken over by the Government. Principals like late D.J.N.Senaviratne who did yeoman service to the development of the school followed by K.S.Gunaratne, W.B.Goppallawa, late Bertie Nillagoda, and Asoka B.Hearth who were the heads of the school at some time or other have given their best. Present Principal T.R. Meetiyagoda who is an old boy is bound continue the good work. 

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