School History School Background
 

On 15th April, 1869, Rev. Sr. Mary Anucita Marandi, Sr. Mary Suzanne Cardiff, Sr. Euphstie Joseph and Sr. Mary Sacred Heart Masi arrived in Sri Lanka consequent to a request made in 1867 by the then Bishop of Colombo, His Lordship Hilarion Sillani to Mother Mary of St. Euphrasia Pelletier (now St. Mary Euphrasia), to set up a school of the Good Shepherd order. The Rev. Sisters had been given a grand welcome which was followed by a Thanksgiving service.

On 1st May 1869, the school began functioning with just 8 students and the first Superior of the Convent, Sr. Mary of the Seven Dolours Joly taking over the task of leading the School as Principal.

One of the priorities of the Good Shepherd Sisters had been to pursue the construction of a Chapel. Consequently the site was blessed on 21st June 1869 and the construction was left in the able and artistic hands of Fr. Stanislaus Tabarrani, who was then regarded as a world icon in par with popular characters such as Michael Angelo. During the 1870s' the school had around 100 day scholars. The construction of a two-storey building, to house an orphanage began on 21st June 1869, guided by Bishop Sillani.

School History


On 8th September 1910, the new Convent, which was designed by Rev. Fr. Collier, was blessed open by the Archbishop of Colombo, His Lordship Anthony Courdet to accommodate the growing congregation.

In 1915, the construction of a further building to cater to the growing need was undertaken and on 17th July that year, the newly constructed building was blessed and declared open by Archbishop Anthony Courdet. It is recorded that in the 1930's Kotahena had been considered as the largest Catholic Parish. Mother Mary of St. Prosper, Rev. Mother Canice, Rev Mother Finbarr, Rev Sr. Lourdes Paiva, Rev Sr Sabine Crooz, Rev Sr. Agnes de Sampayo, Rev. Sr. Rohini Mendis, Rev. Sr. Lynette, Rev Sr. Immaculate de Alwis and Rev. Sr. Gertrude Vithanage will always be remembered as those who continued to add new buildings and renovate the older ones of the school, over the years.

GSCK was also fortunate to have the primary school building declared open by Cardinal Spellman, Archbishop of New York in 1953. Fr. Maurice Legoc had contributed to designing certain structures of the school.

During the take over of school in 1959, the loyal past pupils, staff, parents and the people of Kotahena, had exercised their utmost effort in protecting it, which to date is commended and will always be remembered with gratitude.

The Convent taught the girls of Kotahena the three R's (Respect for Self, Respect for Others and Responsibility for all your Actions) and helped them master the skills of needle work, cookery, painting, music etc, whilst emphasis was on good manners and disciplined behaviour. Mother of Lady conducted and trained the awarding winning Choir. The school also won acclaim in the field of oratory. Rev. Mother St. Benedict initiated the opening of branches.

Earlier, the sporting events were limited to: hopscotch; rounders run and catch, whilst Netball and Tennis were introduced later. The 'House' system in school was introduced by Mother St. Gerald, whilst the first ever Sports Meet was introduced by Mr. Andrew Silva, during his tenure as Chairman of the School Welfare Association. Later Basketball and Athletics were introduced. Ms Nancy Silva, Ms Sunimal Kurumbalapitiya and Ms Sushila Palihawadane, Mr. Francis D'Almeida are some of those who helped to develop these sports in school.

The school music bands were initially setup by Sr. Sabine Crooz, whilst Ms Helen Rupasinghe and Ms Elsie Silva were responsible for training the Western and Eastern bands respectively.

In 1915, under the able guidance of Mother Mary of St. Aloysius, the Past Pupils Association was established, which to date plays a vital role in the development of the school. The alumni comprises of Professors, Physicians, Engineers, Lawyers, Business Women, Teachers and Industrialists, Sports Women, Musicians etc.

GSCK today, provides education to over 3500 students and has around 200 teachers. It is backed by the School Development Society and the Past Pupils Association, under the able leadership of Rev. Sr. Renuka Silva, whose vision is to steer the students along the right path in life, towards greatness.

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Good Shepherd Convent was established 140 years ago on Colombo’s highest point, like a light set on a towering hill.

It was the Benedictine Italian Archbishop of Colombo, Rt. Rev. Sillani, who initiated the first Catholic Convent, yet it drew upon the efforts of a French Saint Mother Euphrasia to plant the seed which has now become a mighty tree through whose portals thousands of girls have passed through.

Past Principals