President's Message

President's Message

Dear Members,

It is a great joy and privilege to stand here as the 40th President of the OGA of our beloved School. I thank God for this opportunity to serve our Association.

To our Patroness Mrs. Deepika Dassenaike and Vice Patroness Mrs. Ranmali Balasuriya, you have our heartfelt gratitude for your consistent support to the OGA over the years. Mrs. Dassenaike, we greatly appreciate your capable, dedicated, creative and tech-savvy leadership.

To Dr. Anila Dias Bandaranaike, we are honoured to have you as the voice of the OGA on the Board of Governors. Anila and her mother, Mrs. Muktha Wijesinghe, both recipients of the Ingram Shield, stand as shining examples of the excellence our school produces.

To Mrs. Leonie Senaviratne, our pragmatic and hardworking Manageress, we eagerly anticipate your continued support and guidance in the coming year.

Finally, to my predecessor Mrs. Roshanara Page, or Roshi as many of us know her, I would like to express our heartfelt gratitude for the extraordinary dedication she demonstrated during her tenure. Alongside Mrs. Anjali Karunaratne and the entire committee, Roshi steered the OGA through a memorable journey. From the heartwarming reunions, to various OGA events and fundraisers, we owe Roshi a debt of gratitude for her unwavering commitment and passion, which have been instrumental in driving our Association's success.

Roshi attributes much of her own success to the fact that she places God at the forefront of her life. Despite many challenges, Roshi navigated the ship through turbulent waters with grace and poise. Roshi, your tireless work, calm demeanour and graceful leadership style are refreshing qualities. Roshi, Anjali and team, we will continue to turn to you for guidance and good advice. I hope the sisterhood you all nurtured will be a lasting legacy.

My own journey to becoming OGA President in some ways begins with a legacy. At this point, I fondly remember my mother, the late Deshamanya Mrs. Siva Obeyesekere, a Past President of the OGA. Ladies’ College was the “school of life” for my mother, and she dedicated every opportunity bestowed upon her to the service of others.

Her journey began when she entered Ladies’ College under the leadership of Miss. Gwen Opie. In 1940, when she secured first place in the Standard 5 Government Examination, Miss. Opie gifted her a small Gem Dictionary along with a written request to "care for, be concerned about and assist Ladies’ College". My mother wholeheartedly fulfilled this request.

The two trusts that she established, the OGA Trust and the Chapel Trust, continue her legacy. ‘LC Cares’, a group of dedicated old girls, is associated with the OGA Trust, and their unwavering commitment to its objectives is truly commendable. We are deeply grateful to the Trustees of both Trusts and to LC Cares.

My involvement with the OGA began as a member of the OGA Choir. Of all the teams, groups and committees I've been a part of, being a member of the LC Choir is a privilege I hold most dear. Under the exceptional leadership of Surekha Amarasinghe, and at times Anushka Abeyratne, the OGA Choir has evolved into a close-knit and unique group. We are all individuals with our own opinions, yet we come together as a wonderful group that practices tolerance, kindness and patience.

Two years ago, I received a call from Mrs. Roshanara Page asking me if I would consider becoming the President-Elect on her Committee. Initially, I hesitated, as I felt I might not fit the profile, but those of you who know Roshi understand that once she sets her sights on a goal, she has a remarkable talent for achieving that goal. So, instead of 'no' , I found myself saying 'yes'. Another individual who played a significant role in influencing my decision was my former house captain Shermila Rajaratnam, who consistently expressed her wish to see me as the President of the OGA during her lifetime. So here I am, The Utmost for the Highest.

I thank the Lord for affording me this opportunity to give back to this remarkable institution which, for many of us, is akin to a second home. I find myself returning to the school not only to encounter familiar faces, but also to relive my personal history.

The OGA is an indispensable part of the Ladies’ College family. To me, it is an organization that strengthens the bond between the school and its past pupils. Our activities include, but are not limited to, promoting goodwill, fellowship and unity among the old girls of the College; rendering assistance through Trusts; and raising funds for the College.

In the forthcoming year, we have an array of exciting engagements and fellowship events planned. Our calendar commences with the highly anticipated annual Christmas dinner on November 30th and extends to the Founder's Day service and brunch next February. To my committee, let us unite in perfect harmony to craft a year that will leave an indelible mark on our hearts and memories.

Through our fundraising efforts and representation on the Governing Body, we aim to provide essential support and guidance to the school, all while nurturing a sense of fellowship and service among past pupils. This spirit of camaraderie allows us to come together, rekindle friendships, serve our institution and revive cherished memories.

Finally, my deepest appreciation to all our members for your unwavering commitment, and for generously sharing your time and energy with our beloved association. This institution holds a special place in our hearts, and your dedication is the bedrock of its continued success.

May God Bless you all.

Chantal De Saram
President 2023-2025
Annual General Meeting 2023