Uduvil Girls College’s Bicentenary

by Dr. Thayalan Ambalavanar, Jaffna, February 7, 2024
Tuesday morning (6th February) saw the inaugural function of the Bicentennial celebrations of Uduvil Girls’ College in their college hall. The program was titled ‘Anthizo’ which in Greek means blossom.
It was 200 years ago that a young American missionary, Harriet Winslow, started this school which was then called the Female Central School. The first two girl students were little ones who used to peer curiously through the windows of the Mission house. Harriet started teaching them and thus  a great institution was born.It is the oldest boarding school for girls in Asia. Despite the resistance of the community to educating girls, the numbers slowly but steadily increased. Harriet, who suffered many personal losses, herself died sadly at the age of 33.
February 6 2024 Uduvil Girls College Jaffna

Chief Guest unveiling logo along with the student designer

In its 200 year history the school has been served by just ten Principals including the incumbent Ms. Rosanna Kulendran. This enabled most of them to leave their own indelible mark on the institution while building on its traditional strengths.

Dancers at Uduvil Girls College bicentennial

Someone many years ago had commented sarcastically that the purpose of the school was to be a finishing school to prepare girls for marriage! No doubt there was more than an element of jealousy in the statement. Uduvil has always been far more than that. From being the first to break social barriers, to empowering young women through academic and extra curricular activities, it has contributed hugely to the rich educational history of this island. This was highlighted by the chief guest, Mrs. Shiranee Mills, herself a past student and Principal. She stressed that long before it became recognised or fashionable the school had always emphasised compassion, empathy and building capability.
Jaffna February 6 2024

Singers at Uduvil Girls College bicentennial

The high  standards that the school maintains were very evident during the program. The presenters were confident and articulate, the primary school kids were charming and enthusiastic during their western dance as were the older students who performed a more traditional but lively dance with obvious joy. The Carnatic music  and the western music choirs performed the Tamil and English bicentennial songs that had been composed specially for this year by students with great beauty and verve, standards that one has always expected of Uduvil. The two bicentennial logos were designed by students as well. All this is great testimony to the talent and capabilities of the students and reflects well on the ethos cultivated by the Principal and staff.
Jaffna February 6, 2024

Children at Uduvil Girls College bicentennial

At a time when many despair of the state of affairs in the world around us, the lack of honesty and sincerity at so many levels, the motto of the school “The Truth shall set you free” resonates with even greater importance
Jaffna February 6 2024

Carnatic singers at Uduvil Girls College bicentennial

On a personal note, I must say that it was a joy to be present for this function. Though my memories of my time here are dim, I consider myself an alumnus of the school having studied for around two years there in the primary section while my mother was Medical Superintendent at McLeod Hospital in Inuvil. I am sure that the students, Principal and staff will ensure that the celebrations this year will be a wonderful tribute to the rich history of this unique institution.

Comments are disabled on this page.