|Maris Stella College|
|Negombo, Sri Lanka|
|Motto||Iter Para Tutum
Meaning: "Show Us the Way"
|Color(s)||Red and Blue|
On 2 January 1817, Father Marcelline Champagnat, son of a farmer in the hamlet of Rozey close to the town of Marlhes in Loire, France, founded the religious order of the Marist Brothers. A hundred years later, in 1918, four religious Brothers of this congregation came to Negombo, Sri Lanka, and took over the management of St. Mary's College. In 1922, the school moved to its present site and assumed the new name of Maris Stella College.
The History of the Primary School goes back to 1921 when Bro. Lewis was in charge of the elementary School, Standard Two E.S.L.C Elementary School Leaving Certificate) Class. There were three long cadjan sheds which housed eight primary classes.
Bro. mafia took charge of the Primary Department in 1929. Bro. Paschal was aum cician and with Mr. Edward Ferdinands, the music teacher, trained the choir to sing in parts. When the boys came out first in the school singing competition in Colombo, the newspapers referred to them as the "Magic Singer" from Negombo.
The School's broadcasting Services were inaugurated in 1930. Maris Stella installed a wireless set in the library, and the boys followed lessons, such as Nature Talks to children. Electricity came to the whole of Negombo in 1931. The same year the first Corpus Christi procession took place. It went around the quadrngle. The cadets presented a Royal Guard of Honour.
In 1935 Mr. M. Joseph was appointed Headmaster of the Primary School. Later he took to politics and eventually became the Mayor of Negombo. Some veteran teachers of the era were Mr. K. Joseph M. Fernando, Mr. W. Don Thomas, (father of Eddie Jayamanne) Mr. W. Don John, Mr. B. C. Edmund, Mr. J. M. de Levera, Lieutenant Vincent Fernando, and Captain D. F. Jayamanne.
In August 1939, World War II broke out. The following year Maris Stella was requisitioned in part by the Royal Artillery for the headquarters. The Primary School shifted to Tammita Church grounds into temporary cadjan sheds. Then Royal Artillery moved out in November, but the Royal Air Force occupied the buildings in March the following year.
Bro. Nazier took charge of the Primary School in January, 1941. The war was hotting up. The College was put under protection of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, to be spared the ravages of war. There were frequent practices of Air Raid Precautions in schools. Trenches were dug for shelter, and every child knew what to do in case of and air raid warning. Fortunately, the school was in Easter holidays when the Japanese Air Raid took place in 1942 but their invasion fleet was turned back.
In the meantime, we brought a three quarter acre block of land behind Maris Stella, put up 12 classrooms, a staff room and a principal's office and shifted back the Primary school from Tammita.
When the war ended, the students of Maris Stella made a pilgrimage of thanks giving to Our Lady of Lourdes, Kimbulapitiya.
When Bro. Nazier went to Europe in 1950, for a year's study leave, Mr. Leonard Obris acted as Principal of the Primary Dept. For many years the Primary Dept. was in temporary cadjan sheds. So a building project was launched. Funds were raised through carnivals and other means. The Primers staged a Rosary Pageant presented by 250 little actors. The mysteries came to life with a glittering cavalcade of Eastern kings, colourful tableaux of the nativity of our Lord, the coronation of the blessed Virgin and the realities of the Via Dolorosa.
The late Bro . Xavier was the architect and the builder of the Primary School. It was storeyed building east of the play ground, extending between the College Hall and the large portico which was to house the College bus.
In June 1959, Bro. Nazier went on transfer to Tudella and Bro. Gerard Peiris became the next principal of Maris Stella Primary School.
Maris Stella Primary School had been going on for years as a separate third grage aided school recognised by the Government with separate tutorial staff and annual returns. When all the third grade schools were taken over by the Government. Maris Stella Primary School together with the Primary Schools of many leading Chritian schools came under this category. This position was contested upon and the Government gave back the Primary Schools after some time, now to be recognized only as a section of the upper school under on Principal and to be continued as a non fee levying school.
It was during the time of Bor. Gerard Peiris as Principal of the Primary School that the change took place. During the intervals his office was flocked by the tiny tots. That was because of the love and affection shown to them in his own simple way. History reveals that he had contributed immensely for the development of the Primary Section. After serving the College form 1959 to 1965 he was transferred to Christ King College at Tudella which was another Maris Institution.
Bro. Joseph Fonseka succeeded him. He was very methodical in his dealings and was insistent on cleanliness. "Order leads to God" was one of firm beliefes. The class room and its equipment had to be very neat and tidy. He supervised the cleanliness of the place himself visiting every nook and corner of the Primary department. The first thing he attended to at the beginning of every school year was painting of the desks, chairs, and benches of the classrooms. This has now become a tradition at Maris Stella thanks to Bro. Joseph's untiring efforts. His office gave evidence at who he was. Each item in his office had its due place and it was a model office it was a model office item in his office had its due place and it was a model office without any exaggeration. After eight years of dedicated service, in 1972, he left Maris Stella for further religious studies.
Bro. Ephrem Obris took his place next. A man of not too many words, he served the college for four years as the sectional head of the lower classes. He then left for Pakistan to work as a missionary.
Bro. Joseph Fonseka who was his predecessor joined the College administration again for a short period of three years.
Brothers Shanthi Liyanage, Dela Soysa (may his soul res in peace) Remigius Fernando succeeded Bro. Joseph, each for a short period respectively and offered their services to the College as Head of the Primary Section. They all worked for the development of the school in their own inimitable way. Maris Stella Primary is what it is today; thanks to the services rendered by these dedicated Brothers. The credit earned by them is no doubt shared by the members of the staff, in each era.
Today the College has become one of the leading schools in the island and one reason for its popularity is the dedication and loyalty of the staff. Hence a big demand by the parents for admission to the College every year.
Presently Year—1, 2, and 3 class rooms are placed in the buildings behind the main builing. These have come up on a piece of land that was muddy and marshy a few years back. Year 4 and 5 classes are held in the new three storeyed building. The children in Years 1,2 and 3 are fortunate to have a small ground well reserved for them the gotto built at a corner is the cynosure.
Our main aim is to produce well-balanced citizens to the country. Sports and Aesthetic activities go hand in hand with the formal work in the class rooms.
One significant feature that is very obvious is the close relationship the teachers maintain with their parents. Teacher Parent relationship has helped many teachers to assist and guide the children through their College years.
Today the student population in the Primary setion is 900 and there are 27 dedicated teachers to guide them. We are ver grateful to all those who looked after the College in innumerable ways for the past 70 years to bring the school to what it is today.
source : Bro. A.F. SALES FERNANDO, F.M.S,Head of the Primary Department
The College flag is composed of two blue stripes and a red stripe in between. The upper blue stipe connotes God while the lower blue stripe signifies the earth and water. The red stripe in the middle stands for love. Thus the College flag is symbol of God’s love and man’s love for each other.
The main freatures in the College Crest are. A shining star, the English letters A and M, 12 small stars,a yacht sailing in the sea and the words Iter Para Tutum. The shining star at the very top of the crest reminds that we are on a life journey and this star shows us the correct way. The English letters A & M stand for the words “ Ave Maria “. The yacht likens our life’s journey to a yacht sailing the seas. The three Latin words “ Iter Para Tutum “ at the bottom mean “ Show Us the Way " or "Prepare a safe way.“
Postal Address: Maris Stella College,Negombo,Sri Lanka Province: Western Province District: Gampaha Distance From Main City: 1 km Classes: Grade 1-13 Number Of Students: 2500 Number Of Teachers: 138 Medium Of Teaching: Sinhala/English Other Sites : www.marisstellacollage.net Contact Person: Rev.Bro.Mervin perera School Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Contact Number: +94322254058
Rev.Bro. B.P.R Mervyn Perera.