Rev Billimoria along with his brother Hans Billimoria spent a short visit with their family in Sydney which
gave the NSW OBA, the opportunity to welcome the Sub Warden and his Sydney family to a marvellous
dinner at the Blue Elephant restaurant. We thank his uncle Mr Roger Billimoria for rearranging a busy
schedule to enable the Sub Warden to meet members of the STC OBA in New South Wales.
The evening kicked off with the eloquent Kumar Rasiah introducing and welcoming Rev Billimoria to
the NSW members – he gave us members, a grand description of Rev Billimoria’s achievements from a
brilliant student at STC, progressing to Oxford University, moving to become a clergymen, returning to
STC as Headmaster Gurutalwa and currently serving as the Sub-warden of the school by the sea.
Kumar was followed by the NSW OBA President Eksath Perera who gave an in-depth history of the OBA
in NSW starting from its humble beginnings. Today, it is a vibrant group which includes young and senior
old boys working together to further the interests of the Thomian community in NSW. He explained
that the major fundraising event is the annual dinner dance – and that the main charter in the NSW
OBA constitution was to extend available funds for worthy projects at STC Mt Lavinia and Thomian
Eksath presented a book on Australia to the Sub Warden on behalf of the STC OBA (NSW).
Rev Billimoria responded, by giving us details of the new standards implemented at STC. The school
GCE results have improved markedly in recent times. Identifying dyslexic pupils in the early stages so
that they can be assisted is another important program. Now pupils had access to computers – power
points for each class room was an ongoing major project. The Warden explained that Class Teachers did
not walk in with their mark books as in the past. Today, at STC class teachers came to class wheeling in
computers and a screen hence the need for electrical connections in class rooms.
The new Commerce Building donated by the Gnanam family in memory of their late father Deshamanya
A.Y.S Gnanam will enable STC to give future Thomians more choices and options. It was the largest
single donation made to STC by his three sons Arul, Rajaseelan and Jeyaseelan Gnanam.
In the sporting arena the electronic Scoreboard donated by the UK OBA for the big club grounds has
made a significant difference in a visual and inspirational manner.
He also told us that the “Old Lavos” are all gone to the dismay of the Old boys bringing back old
memories. That space has given way to a 19,000 square foot building consisting of 11 spacious class
rooms the home for three new faculties at STC.
Warden Indra had also initiated a program to ensure that STC had a zero fail rate at the GCE examination.
It involved identifying students that needed special attention, ensuring that they got it in an empowering
manner. This was warmly welcomed by the Old Boys some of whom silently wished that this had been
around 40 years ago.
The Sub Warden was very clear in his speech imploring Old Boys to visit STC and see for themselves what
was actually happening on the campus. While he said that various points of view could be seamlessly
circulated on the internet he was confident that visiting Old Thomians would be impressed with the
progress STC was making to educate new generations of Thomians to take their place in society.
After enjoying a sumptuous meal provided by Shiva – the famous old Thomian the Mayor of Undercliff
Mr Milroy Berenger Esq took the stand to conclude the evening by thanking Rev Billimoria and His
Brother Hans for visiting Sydney and partaking in meeting Old Thomians young and old. Milroy’s brief
after dinner speech lightened proceedings with his words of encouragement and humour. The highlight
was requesting Rev Billimoria to stretch a point and to put Messrs Jayawickrema, Masefield and himself
off General Conduct Report. Proving to the audience and himself that however old we Thomians may
get, you just cannot take the boy out of the man. The Sub Warden did listen but I doubt Milroy was able
to convince him!
The welcoming dinner for Rev Billimoria had a great turnout of 40 members, as Kumar said on a school
night! Much of the reason for the success of the event and our thanks should go the Committee headed
by Eksath for a great job well done.- keep up the good work lads.
Stone House STC 1962 – 1969