1942 was a momentous year for Sri Lanka. The war in the East was at its height and drawing perilously close to our shores. On April 05th 1942 Sri Lanka experienced its first air raid Japanese bombers, bombed Colombo harbor.

On April 04th, the day before, a deputation from the military authorities inspected the buildings of St. Thomas` College, Mt Lavinia. On the 05th of April the warden was informed that the school was to be handed over within five days. On the ninth of April the sub-warden, Dr. R.L. Hayman was sent to Gurutalawa to prepare a branch of the school.

A branch of St. Thomas` College at Gurutalawa was made possible by a generous gift made to the college inv Feb. 1942 by Mr. and Mrs. Leslie de Seram.

It was on the 12th of May 1942, that this school in the hills was started by Dr. R.L. Hayman as its first and long standing headmaster and Revd canon A.J. Foster as its first chaplain.

The College chapel dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi was consecrated on the 03rd of December in 1945 by the Bishop of Colombo, Rt. Resvd Archibald Graham Campbell and Rt. Revd Lakdasa de mel, the auxiliary Bishop of Colombo.

Headmasters who have served at STC Gurutalawa

  1. Dr. R.L. Hayman
  2. Mr. Frank Jayasinghe
  3. Mr. E.L. Perera
  4. Mr. M.L.C. Illangakoon
  5. Mr. S.C.H. de Silva
  6. Mr. Patrick Gunawardene
  7. Mr. J.B. Gunasegaram
  8. Mr. Colin Ratnayake
  9. Mr. Olban Fernando
  10. Mr. G.C. Mendis
  11. Mr. Canagasabey
  12. Revd Marc Billimoria
  13. Revd Nihal Fernando (from 01st November 2011 up-to now)

The present ministry is to provide holistic education to children of all faiths and races. Still STC Gurtalawa remains the largest boarding school in the island.


Head Master

Revd. Nihal Fernando

Higher Qualifications:

Baccalaureate in Philosophy
Pontifical Urban University, Rome, Italy – 1987

Baccalaureate in Theology
Pontifical Urban University, Rome, Italy – 1991

B.A. Kelaniya University – 1997

Diploma in Counseling
University of Dallas U.S.A – 2000



S. Thomas’ College,

057 2280000

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