Prefect in pursuit of perfection | Sunday Observer

Prefect in pursuit of perfection

Madara Thalduwa has around 8,000 boys looking up to him as a role model and mentor. For, he is none other than the Head Prefect of Royal College, Colombo, one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious boys’ schools.

Madara walked through the Boake Gates of Royal College at the tender age of five years and promptly became a Royalist in the famed Blue and Gold tradition taking to heart. The true meaning of the College motto, ‘Disce Aut Discade’ (Learn or depart). The pinnacle of his school career was when he was awarded the coveted post of Head Prefect of Royal College.

His track record at Royal made Madara a front runner for the Head Prefectship. He had to face a very tough selection process with the final selection committee comprising the Principal, past Head Prefects and the Secretary, Royal College Union (RCU).

For this enterprising and versatile young man, this much desired post is more than a position. For him, it is a sacred responsibility. He utmost to serve his alma mater to the best of his ability while shouldering this responsibility. He is very grateful to the schools authorities for having recognised his ability to carry responsibility on his young shoulders and his many talents.

In the Primary School Madara achieved much. He was a Primary School Prefect and achieved the third highest marks in the school at the Grade Five Scholarship Exam in 2009. In the sports sphere he took part in the long jump and ball throwing competitions and played cricket for the Royal Junior Academy (Grades 4 and 5).

As a youngster with a talent for music and rhythm in him, Madara was a natural choice for the Junior Western Orchestra and the Junior Dance Troupe. He played the recorder for the orchestra and swung to the rhythms of songs like Oo la paloma blanca with the Dance Troupe.

Madara is also a skilled debater and a good actor and made no mean contribution in these fields in the Primary section of Royal College.

In the Middle School, he was a Junior Prefect (Grade 9) and played for the under 13 and 15 cricket teams as a left hand batsman and right arm off spinner. They became the Runners Up in the All Island Schools’ Cricket Tournament in 2011 and 2013.

It was also during this period that Madara joined the National Youth Orchestra as a violinist.

Jack and the soy bean stalk is the musical which really brought Madara to the dramatic limelight at Royal and established him as a member of the College’s English Drama Society. He played the part of I- harp ( a character supporting the Giant) and all his lies were delivered with rapping. Rapping is something Madara is really good at and enjoys. Needless to say, he really went to town on the rapping and made a name for himself.

The Schools’ Shakespeare Drama Competition was another dramatic event where Mdara could showcase his performing abilities. In 2019, he played Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet . He brought Cassius to life in Julius Caesar in 2016 and 2017 was Lysander in A MidSummer Night’s Dream. In 2015 and 2018, he was a member of the Ensemble.

In 2017, the served as a Steward ( the highest in student leadership) and has done his bit to maintain law and order, especially at the Big Matches.

In the Senior School, Madara was in the First eleven pool and had the distinction of captaining the Second Eleven.

One of the biggest challenges Madara faced as Head Prefect was organising security at Royal College in the wake of Easter Sunday bombings. With about 8,000 students plus academic and other staff and parents circulating in the school and its vicinity, it was a very tough job to handle. Traffic plans had to be seen to and the manning of gates had to be done. A Prefect was stationed at every gate from 6.15 a. m. to 1.15 p.m. Approximately eighty thousands school bags had to be checked.

Blessed with a photographic memory, Madara kept up with his academic studies inspite of his many extracurricular activities. He aced nine A’s at the GCE O/L examination and obtained thee As at the GCE Advanced Level Examination in the commerce stream. This well disciplined youth locked his phone and put away his laptop during studying and burened the candle at both end to score high at the exam.

His parents delighted at his achievements gifted him a Prado land Cruiser.

Madara is now exploring his options for his tertiary studies targeting Law. He comes from a family of lawyers. Father, Nihal Thalduwa is a lawyer as well as being a Superintendent of Police. Mother Sandhya is also a lawyer and is the Immediate Past president of the Women Lawyers’ Association. His only sibling, sister Nimansa is also a lawyer.

Madara was also the President of the Interact Club of Royal Collge and during his tenure, he initiated an International Cultural Youth Exchange Progam with the Interact Clubs in Malyasia and led a delegation of six members from the Interact Club of Royal College to Malaysia.

With such a busy schedule how does Madara relax and rejuvenate? He maintains a journal which is a great stress reliever according to him. He also enjoys watching football and is a fan of Manchester United. Madara also enjoys watching movies and listening to music. He enjoys songs of many genres and to him it is the song that matters rather than the genre.

On November 29, Madara bids adieu to school life. The last year has been the extra year that Royal College requires the head Prefects and Prefects to serve.

Madara is grateful to everyone who has helped him. He appreciates that his parents never pushed him and have always trusted and supported him.

Madara at twenty is on the threshold of adult life and Youth Observer wishes him good luck and all success!