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August 15, 2017

Charm of a newly appointed President, little bit of Billy and a bit of cabaret
seemed to have been the winning formula for Ananda OBA's Summer Ball
Ananda Old Boys Host Sizzling Hot Summer Ball
By Pandula Ranatunga

Ananda College Old Boys Association recently held a high-octane Summer Ball extravaganza at the London Heathrow Renaissance Hotel that led to even revellers dancing on the tables long into the early hours of the next morning. Guests were treated to an array of entertainment which includes Burlesque Cabaret dancers came adorned in elaborate costumes with resplendent Ostrich feather plumes, who gyrated exotically from Salsa to popular Bollywood numbers much to the delight of all the gathered partygoers. Sri Lanka's renowned singing sensation Billy Fernando brought the house down with his raucous renditions of various baila hits and was ably accompanied by the sensational UK Bass group, Front Line.

This year's Summer Ball was an unforgettable night to remember and far removed from Ananda OBA UK customary sedate gatherings of previous years. All aspects of the Summer Ball, from the tasteful décor, to the exhilarating entertainment line-up and the delicious food, had been meticulously put together to make the evening a memorable and worthwhile event for all those who attended. Guests gleefully commented that the 2017 Ball certainly contained more pizazz than had been seen at any Sri Lankan function for many years. Billy Fernando's larger-than-life personality made a huge impact on the entertainment offered at the Ball. His inimitable electric personality and charm meant that the dancing floor continued to be packed to overflowing throughout the night and ensured that guests were constantly clamouring for the attention of the talented singer to play their favourite tunes. The raffle draw had many wonderful prizes, ranging from a £500 cash prize to Air tickets to Sri Lanka, which had been graciously donated completely free of charge. The whole function left an indelible memory to all those who attended.

This year the crowd numbers had increased immeasurably for the dance and was probably one of the best attended and talked about social events organised by the Ananda OBA in UK. There can be no doubt that the vast credit for this transformation should deservedly be attributed to the newly appointed President of the Ananda OBA, Mr Bhuminda Karunatilake. His magnetic charm, engaging personality and pleasant nature have added much to his renowned ability of being able to galvanise dedicated teams of volunteers to work together towards a common objective. Bhuminda has always been a considered a live wire in the Association, who is known as a cultural connoisseur and ardent supporter of all aspects of Sri Lanka's varied forms of entertainment. His keen affection for Sri Lankan art and heritage is clearly evident in all Ananda OBA events that he has been associated with. This year's Ananda OBA Sinhala New Year event had been organised in a unique collaboration with the Musaeus Old Girls Association and proved to be a huge success with flamboyant celebrations of traditional Kandyan dancing and rituals unique to Sri Lanka's rich traditions. It was noticeable even at this year's FOC with the commitment and the added support of the new sports coordinator Chinthaka Gunawardena, the sporting spirit was much higher among the Anandians and there was more enthusiasm and camaraderie among the supporters and the team.

In his programme souvenir message, the President mentioned via various cultural and social events, that the OBA continued it support for their Alma Mater by sponsoring the school's English Laboratory in collaboration with the British Council, for the benefit of Primary Grade 1 & 2 Classes. The OBA also provided support for the College's Senior English Debating Team to participate in the Asian School Debate Championship held in Malaysia this year. Bhuminda commented that these activities would not have been possible without the commitment and the support of the social sub-committee led by Mr Kumara Wickeremasinghe and the friends and members of the OBA. The next major event organised in the calendar of Ananda OBA is the Battle of the Maroons which is a special Cricket match for over 40's against Nalanada OBA the brother school on the 27th August at the Old Elizabethans Cricket Club, Memorial Playing Fields, May Lane, Barnet EN5 2AG. All are welcome.

Photographs by Sisira Maddumage
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