ORGANISATIONS WITHIN THE SCHOOL
METHODIST COLLEGE OLD GIRLS' ASSOCIATION
It was in 1919, when Methodist College was a little over 50 years old, that the Old Girls' Association was formed with Miss Choate , the Principal as President. The decision was made and the first committee appointed, at an informal get-together of the Old Girls on Tuesday, 5 August. At this first meeting the establishment of the School Magazine was also discussed.
The first Old Girls' Picnic was held in 1924, but it was in 1926 that the Annual General meeting was held in March, with a further reunion in November begun in the following year. The Annual General Meeting had become an established part of the College weekend. Thus began with the Prize-Giving on Friday, included an Inter Form Sports Meet and Garden Party on Saturday, and terminated with the College Service on Sunday morning. This pattern of evens continued for many years, being disrupted only by unforeseen crises, as in the recent past.
In 1927 the number of members was 95, and Life Membership too had been introduced. When the school reached its 70th Anniversary in 1935, the November reunion was held on the 8th, to coincide with Miss Choate's birthday - this is now considered the official School Birthday.
Over the years its members have worked diligently to help the school and to help each other. The 25th Anniversary of the Association in 1944 saw the inauguration of a 'Friendly Fund' to help unobtrusively any Old Girl who might be in special need. Even today a helping hand is still given by the Association not only to Old Girls but also to present students. From its early years, the needs of the school have been given the highest priority by the OGA. The maintenance of high standards in the school has always been a prime concern of the OGA. The OGA presently has Branch Associations in the UK, Victoria, Sydney and Toronto who continue to support the school by providing funds for various school requirements.
The OGA is proud to record that students have gone forth from Methodist College to become pioneers in the sphere of women's achievement I Sri Lanka. Today too, many of our old girls hold eminent and responsible positions in various fields. But above all, the OGA and its Branch Associations have formed an enduring bond, based on their love for their Alma Mater between women of different races, religions, languages and age groups, living in different countries of the world.
THE PARENT-TEACHER ASSOCIATION
It was on 15 November 1940 that Miss H M Park sent out letters to Parents of students at Methodist College inviting them to be present at a Meeting of Parent and Teachers, in order that they might discuss the desirability of forming a Parent-Teacher Association (PTA). In her letter she stated "it would be a good thing if the Parents and the staff of our school could meet occasionally, so that there might be more mutual understanding between Parents, Teachers and Scholars". The Methodist College PTA became a living reality on November 21, 1940 when in response to the letter sent by Miss Park a group of about 80 parents and the college staff decided to form such a fellowship. Miss Park spoke convincingly of the great help such an Organisation might be, if it enabled Parents and teachers to work together in loyalty to the School, to face together the problems that were bound to arise from time to time in a spirit of friendliness and to share in the joy of watching the progress of the child who was the centre of interest to both Parent and Teacher.
The first Annual General Meeting of the Association was held on 27 June 1941. In November that year the school celebrated its 75th Birthday.
At a meeting of the Association in 1946 it was resolved to launch an Endowment fund for the school. At the prize-giving of 1953, the Gladys Loos Prize for General conduct donated by the PTA was awarded for the first time.
In February 1967 the PTA inaugurated the Grace Robins Fund. Every year a prize for Scripture is donated from this fund. The PTA celebrated its 50th Jubilee on 23 November 1990 with a Campfire and Dinner.
It does not suffice merely to look back at the past several years of the Association's assistance and be satisfied with what has been achieved. The past should be an inspiration to the future. It is hoped that the Association of Parents and Teachers will continue to venture out in the service of the School which has always stood for high standards and ideals.
THE METHODIST COLLEGE EUDCATION SOCIETY
There have been many windows opened over the last 132 years in the history of an educational experience called Methodist College. One of the windows that God chose to open was that of the Methodist College Education Society.
The Metholdist College Education Society was formed on 21 November 1960. The inaugural meeting of the Methodist College Education Society was held on 3 December 1960 and was attended by over 30 parents, old girls and well-wishers. The meeting adopted a Constitution, spelling out the main objectives of the Society -
1. To promote the welfare and interests of Methodist College, Colombo
2. To maintain and foster a close, cordial relationship between the Manager, the Parent-Teacher Association, the OGA and the Society; and to co-ordinate the efforts of all those interested in the welfare of the school.
3. To render all assistance to the college to maintain the high standard it has built up
4. To undertake and carry out all such activities as may appear necessary to achieve the aims and objects of the Society.
The Society was formed to support and maintain a school which in its own way has enriched the religious and social fabric of our country by producing young women of character and integrity, moulded by the example and leadership of ten successive Principals.
One of the earliest projects of the Methodist College Education Society was the establishment of the Institute of Further Education, which initially was a success. However, due to financial constraints and the lack of competent teaching staff, the Institute was compelled to close down in 1974.
The Nursery School was the next major project sponsored by the Methodist College Educatioin Society and it came into being in 1996. The Nursery School run as an independent unit is a financially viable project.
The Methodist College Education Society has over the past years and particularly from 1977 onwards, inaugurated and helped in a number of fund-raising projects for the school. At present Methodist College Education Society meets a heavy salary bill every month. In addition to this commitment the Methodist College Education Society meets the cost of repairs and maintenance of school buildings, furniture and equipment. The society also meets part of the cost of purchase price of Prize Books for the Prize Giving and has since the introduction of the Law pertaining to the payment of Gratuity, paid all teachers who have served over years, the Gratuity payment retiring/resigning from service. The physical development of Methodist College in the form of the new Science Block, new Class Rooms, the Auditorium and the newest four-storeyed block of classrooms has also been assisted by the Methodist College Education Society.
In conclusion we remember with gratitude the successive Managers of the School who have encouraged and fostered the development of the Methodist College Education Society. The Methodist College Education Society moves forward to the future with hope and faith that God would direct them in the many spheres of helping the school in its progress.