Richmond College celebrates 140th Anniversary
Richmond..it’s a rich tradition… nurtured and cultured for over 140 years..it has made communities… it has evolved many traditions.. it has propelled many generations forward… it has marked unique identities.. all in all.. wherever you are, whenever you come up.. whatever field you indulge in.. whichever the circumstances are , there is an underlying common factor you to rise high against the rest.. that’s – You being a Richmondite ! We all make a special breed of homo- sapiens by way of Richmondites. New World Order set foot through 140 years long history. It’s the School of Thoughts.. College of Rich Men – Richmond College.
Richmond College has produced alumni of excellent caliber serving the motherland in various fields since 1876. The legendary, Dr CWW Kannangara who has earned the name as “The father of free education in Sr Lanka “ is one such personality. Old Richmondites have excelled in various professions and disciplines. Richmond alumni are not in short of world renowned scientists, medical doctors, engineers, educationists, civil servants, members of the judiciary and prominent artists and sportsmen.
The school is founded, 1876
Among the most important business transacted at the meeting of the Missionaries of South Ceylon in the early months of 1876 in Colombo, was the recent development of the work in Galle. Owing to zealous and preserving applications of Mr. Baugh the authorities in England had decided on the establishment of a Superior School for Boys at Galle under the charge of Missionary and had made a liberal grant for erection of buildings at Richmond Hill. This District Meeting of Missionaries voted their thanks to the Committee for the generous aid and their congratulations to Mr.Baugh on the success of his plans.
The meeting also appointed the Rev.Samuel Langdon Principal of the new school.
Work in connection with the new school in Galle progressed with feverish haste. There existed already on Richmond Hill the Boys Anglo Vernacular School. An additional building was erected where the main block of class rooms built by Mr.Darrel now stands. A new bungalow close to the rooms of the Theological students was built for Mr Langdon.
Mr Baugh continued to occupy what has been since the time of Mr.Darrel The Principals bungalow. Furniture was hurriedly procured, and a syllabus drawn up . When this was over the following advertisement appeared in the local papers.
GALLE HIGH SCHOOL – This school will be opened on RIchmond Hill on Monday 1st May. All those who intend to become pupils are requested to do so with as little delay as possible , so that the classes might be arranged. Boarding accommodation available for few. Sgnd. S. Langdon.
Mr & Mrs Langdon arrived on the Hill on 6th of April 1876. They did their journey by coach, there being no railway. Towards the end of the month Mr.Langdon held a meeting in the Fort Church, where he explained the need for this new school. He told his audience that it was in no way meant to rival the Galle Central School- Late named All Saints College.
The new Galle High School was established on the 1st May 1876 with 104 pupils. Mr Baugh expressed his joy in these words. May 6, 1876 It is with unfeigned gratitude to God that I am now able to record the establishment of two superior schools so long needed for this neighbourhood, viz., The Galle High School for boys & the Whitfield Road School for Girls. Ever since my first practical acquaintance with this circuit in 1864 now more than 12 years ago, I made it my one great work next to preaching the Gospel to prevail upon our authorities to enable us to secure them and it is a matter of much gratification that persistent effort has resulted in success…. I heartily thank the gentlemen of our Foreign Missionary Committee in London and the good ladies of our important Ladies Auxiliary for female education for both the needed schools.
Six months later Mr Baugh was transferred to Calcutta on promotion. He left Ceylon in the early months of 1877, having however had the joy of being present at Richmond first Prize Giving in December 1876, and at the laying of the foundation for the new Chapel at foot of the Hill.
Great credit is due to Mr Baugh for his noble persistence of effort. He well deserves to be called the Founder of Richmond.