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November 29, 2017

The Visakha Centenary Ball
Visakhians, young and old, with families and friends met at the beautiful Grange City Hotel eager to continue celebrating the centenary of Visakha in London. This year's Autumn Ball, in keeping with the occasion, was grander than previous occasions. Over two hundred guests attended the Centenary Ball. The guests were warmly welcomed with a drinks reception.

The decorations complemented the grandeur of the venue. At the entrance to the Ballroom was a pedestal of hydrangeas and gladioli in white. Table decorations matched the colour scheme with tall vases with white flowers at the top alternating with crystal hurricane lamps garlanded at the base with shades of white and cream flowers. On entering the hall, one was dazzled by the muted but elegant decor. On the rear wall was the illuminated traditional emblem of our school lamp. The centenary logo was boldly displayed on the video screen behind the bandstand.

Many of the 'old' girls were dressed in blue and gold, the school colours. There was a great deal of chatter, laughter and catching up amongst the gathering. The Events Coordinators, President and the Vice President welcomed the guests. Following the reception the guests sat down to a delicious meal. The meal options were excellent and everyone was fully satisfied and ready for the dancing. In the background the video was depicting the progress of one hundred years of Visakha.

The President Dr Harshi Boralessa spoke of the significance of the year and the role that the Founder Mrs Selestina Rodrigo Dias played in starting and managing this school for Buddhist girls. She hoped that the school would groom Ceylonese girls to meet the challenges of a new independent country. She envisaged the future in the hands of women with all the skills needed for modern life but nurtured in the values and cultural traditions of their country. She pointed out that the Founder was way ahead of her times and the manner in which she organized and managed her school was in fact 'good governance' in the modern sense of the word. Today Visakha is the leading girls' school in the country and has produced women who are achievers in different fields and holding positions of responsibility in different countries in the world. She thanked the guests for their presence and support. The President also thanked the organisers for the day's event and the dedicated committee for the continued success of the Association's events.

The raffle draw attracted a lot of attention as there were many wonderful prizes with the first prize - two return air tickets to Colombo. The beautifully presented souvenir this year told the story of the school and reflected the achievements of the girls she produced.

The music as usual was in the able hands of Denzil and the Breeze with Suresh as the vocalist. The guests were presented with a range of music to suit the very mixed audience. The magical evening ended with the past Visakhians singing the school song and the two anthems.

Another event superbly accomplished by the PPAV (UK).
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