Team spirit | Sunday Observer

Team spirit

“Royal College has always been a college that provides disciplined military officers to the tri-forces. The legacy of our cadets in the military is phenomenal”, said Captain Gunawardana. Eighty percent of the current cadets are also planning to join the tri-forces once their college education is over.” “There are a few boys who are doing cadeting for the prestige and fame of being a member of the Royal College cadet platoon. We welcome all these cadets despite their final goal. And they also do their best in terms of uplifting the college cadeting” he said.

He also has an unforgettable memory of the western band and HL a few years ago. “In our platoon each cadet has a role to play. Therefore, their individual contribution is vital. I remember one incident where one boy in our western cadet band was very sick at the time of the HL camp and how he contributed towards the victory of the college, with all the odds against him” said Captain Gunawardana.

Captain V.S.S. Gunawardana with junior cadet pipers

The student was suffering from a kidney disease but he was instrumental in gaining support for the college at the camp. The boy was an experienced side drummer. “I could undoubtedly say that he was the best side drummer in school at that time. He could play the side drum with two fingers” added Captain Gunawardana proudly.

His father, also being a Royalist decided to bring his child to the camp at any cost. The father came to Rantambe with a privately hired doctor and they had stayed at a bungalow close to the camp. “When I was worried about allowing this boy to play, this father came to me and said, this is my son. I will take the responsibility for him. I don’t want to see Royal defeated because of my son’s absence” said Captain.

That was indeed a very emotional moment. With the continuous support received from his parents the boy was allowed to attend the camp. The boy participated and did his maximum for the band performance managing to play the side drum for his alma mater for about twenty minutes. The band driven by the spirited dedication of their fellow player claimed victory among the all Island western bands. However, the boy was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance.

“It was a frightening moment but everything ended up in a good way. We won that day too. Now the boy is reading for his degree in Engineering at the University of Moratuwa” said Captain.

He gives the credit the parents of cadets for giving their best for the betterment of cadets. “We have the most expensive western cadet band instruments among all the schools in the country, I believe. The total value of our western band instruments is approximately 220 lakhs” he said.

As he said, not only where the western band is concerned, but the support of parents in general and especially the support of old boys has been an immense strength for cadeting at Royal College. He also has great faith that the tri- forces commanders after 2035 will be boys he trained, as they will be the most senior officers, by that time in the tri-forces”

“We receive good support from both the Ministry of Defence and the NCC headquarters. With their support we have been able to produce valued cadets at the end of their college time” he added.