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December 06, 2017
Devi Balika's Dinner Dance: A Night of True Elegance and Style
Devians of different vintages celebrated the 26th Anniversary of the Past Pupils' Association on Saturday 25th November 2017.

The event brought together dispersed Devians who had left Mother Lanka and were working in various sectors in the UK. As the guests - ladies in their brightly coloured sarees and gents in their dinner suits - gathered outside the Empire Suite sipping the welcome drink, they renewed old acquaintances and made new friends. When everyone was called to dinner, Dr Harshi Boralessa, a longstanding member of the PPA, navigated the guests through the night with her experienced compering.

Vice President, Ms Chandani Ranatunga, welcomed the guests with much elegance, draped in a celestial blue saree adorned with sequins. After sumptuous starters, the guests enjoyed an Asian buffet. They could not have expected a better start to a night full of fun and friendship. Some had travelled miles to be at the event and they enjoyed the moments as the night's programme unfolded.

President Dr Malathie Peiris thanked the committee members for their support throughout the year and reminded the large gathering at the Holiday Inn (Wembley) of the main goal of the night - raising funds for scholarships which funded Devians in need, struggling to complete university education, back home in Sri Lanka. She also mentioned the annual sponsored walk which raised funds for a Sri Lankan charity; Little Hearts was the chosen project this year. After her speech Malathie opened the dance with her husband Mr Wasantha Hiddalarachchi who supported her presidency during the year.

Music by Sky High, equally adept at playing western and eastern music, started with the slow waltz but made everyone rock to the beats of the bailas. When the vibrant rhythms were played, even the non-Sri Lankans deserted their tables and took to the dance floor.

The night lived up to its expectations as the generous friends and families dipped into their pockets to buy raffle tickets to enhance the donations. The golden saree of the raffle organiser, Mrs Ruki Wijayasinghe was perfectly coordinated with the gold wrapping paper of the prizes. Guests enjoyed more dancing before winding down with the anthems: School Song, Sri Lankan National Anthem and the British National Anthem.

Mrs Karunaseeli Somasiri, had the last word as she thanked the band, hotel staff and the guests and invited them to be part of next year's dinner-dance.

Dr Shihan de Silva
Devi Balika PPA (UK)

Photography by Karunaseeli Somasiri
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