The 11th of October 2015 was the last day of the FoC 2015 committee and this was marked with the Annual General Meeting held at the Holiday Inn London, Kensington Forum. FoC 2015 on the 12th of July set new datum and pushed standards higher, moving the organisation to a professional body where Sri Lankans from all walks of life, race and creed worked together towards the same goals.
The outgoing president Mr.Upul Ekanayke from Dharmaraja College thanked the general committee, the subcommittee chairmen, the advisors and the sponsors, SriLankan Airlines, Bank of Ceylon, Constantine associates, Fairway Holdings, Lycafly , TILLMAX and the Ceylon tourist board for their contribution to make the FoC 2015 a huge success.
He was very appreciative of the dedicated service rendered by the outgoing secretary Mr.Samantha Siriwardena ofSt. Anthony's college, who served the organisation for two consecutive years in the post. Further he thanked the honourable treasurer Mr. Shanaka Rodrigo, Holy Cross college for his diligence which made the delivery of the event a reality. Mr. Ekanayke mentioned how the FoC has become an annual family event where the Sri Lankan community awaits impatiently to see it promote peace, harmony and togetherness through a day full of cricket, played by 31 teams.
The Honourable secretary presenting his report thanked all for supporting him during his two years and said that it was an honour for him to have served this prestigious organisation in his capacity.
The ‘father of FoC’, Mr GC Perera from Ananda college addressing the assembly spoke of how difficult it was for him to set up the FoC 27 years ago, admired it’s growth to what it is today and said now it’s a matter of working together with mutual respect for each other whilst protecting the constitution.
The honourable treasurer producing his comprehensive report through an independent auditor mentioned how difficult it was for him to fulfil his target, which would in return facilitate funding of the charities and OBAs.
The finale of the AGM was to appoint the executive officers for FoC 2016 and first it was the reappointment of Mr. Shanaka Rodrigo for the office of honourable treasurer. Secondly Mr. Krishan Bulathsinghala from Nalanda college was placed at the office of honourable secretary and finally Mr. Shiran Almeida from DS Senanayake college was appointed as the honourable president, FoC 2016. Mr Almeida who has served the FoC for many years in very challenging chairmanships addressing the committee pledged to take the family of FoC from strength to strength whilst safeguarding the constitution. Thanking the house for his election he said “Productivity is never an accident, it is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning and focused effort”.
Then the recognition ceremony, the first ever, was graced by Mr. Chris Whittaker, the manager, facilities and investment of England and Wales cricket board who guaranteed their support for FoC 2016. Mr Arfan Akram from the Essex cricket board admired the FoC for promoting the ‘spirit of the game’ of cricket in the community. Mr. Tarrin Constantine, director, Constantine associates, addressed the gathering behalf of the sponsors and elaborated on his experience and the expectations for the future.
We as the organisers of the biggest Sri Lankan event in the UK humbly expect the fullest support of the community and will do the best to keep the flag of Festival of Cricket flying high.
Photographs by Praneeth Hettiarachchi