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Boarding System

Trinity College was prominent as a Boarding School since its inception in 1873. Boarding life has an immense contribution towards grooming a fully-fledged Trinitian. The hostels are metaphorically referred to as the “Backbone of college”. It is a place which inculcates and preaches values which surpass beyond the boundaries of a classroom. A Trinitian is trained to be methodical, independent and selfless. It is a practical learning curve towards creating an excellent team player who could sustain all adverse circumstances in life.

Often, well to do parents from all around the island and universe send their children to Trinity boarding, expecting to offer them a new dimension in education. Royal families in Uganda, Ghana, Brunei and Maldives to respectable communities in China and the Middle East send their children to the hostels of Trinity since the days of old. From Colombo to Batticloa, Jaffna to Matara; dormitories consist of students who belong to numerous ethnicities, religions and castes.

Uniqueness and Structure

Napier House Building

Napier House Building

Over the years, boarding houses have expanded in size and numbers to an ultimate structuration of a systematic and an indigenous framework. This system sets a part in its uniqueness of tradition. For instance, a son is entitled to fall into the same house if his father had belonged to it in the past. In this way boarding houses attach a sense of family loyalty.

The grass root level of this hierarchical structure is represented by the matrons dormitory. The next level is the Junior Boarding which is formed by another three houses namely Hodges, Perry and Collins.(Named after three former Principals of the school). Then a hosteler enters the senior fraternity as a grade 8 student. He first makes himself home at Lower Squealery and from there on to the Upper Squealery.

Finally, a boarder climbs up the ladder to the top three Senior Boarding Houses; Alison, Napier and Ryde. Each of these houses possess a history which expands over a century. According to family tradition, a senior student is sorted into one of these dormitories. A first generation Trinitian is often offered a choice in this regard.

Currently due to socio-cultural transformations this system has been exposed to minor changes. Especially due to the comparatively increasing number of Day-Scholars. The Junior Houses (Hodges, Perry, Collins) go under the name of ‘Boarding House’ while Senior Houses (Alison, Napier, Ryde) are combined as the ‘Central Boarding House’ during Inter-House competitions.

Routine and Schedule

Trinity boarding life is built on the values of punctuality and discipline. At 5.30 am the first bell is rung to wake up. Sharp at 5.45 a second bell is rung to make sure that everyone is assembled at the quadrangle for the morning drill. Back in the dorm after morning tea, the boarders are on a race to get dressed up for inspection. A Dorm Cop representing the School Officers’ Guild, inspects the boys at 6.15 to see if they are in perfect condition and attire to attend school. Next bell is rung at 6.30 a.m. for Prep where the boarders rush to the Prep Hall for their studies.

7.15 is the time for breakfast at the UNESCO World Heritage Dining Hall beneath the Napier House. Upon breakfast, boarders attend classes and at 12.30 pm they assemble back in the dinning hall for lunch. Every meal is enjoyed after a grace. Soon after school at 2.30 p.m. the boarders are privileged to enjoy a cup of tea with a savory. Then they take the fields of Asgiriya and Pallekele for various sporting activities. It is a mandatory requirement for a hosteler to engage in a sport. The Chapel bell is rung at 6.00 pm and the “Roll-Call” is taken by a monitor; where he gives a detailed report about the absentees to his House Master. Everybody should appear in front of their beds to show their presence for the Roll-Call.

Evening Prep is at 6.30 pm and dinner is served in the dinning hall at 8. From 8.30 pm boarders are offered time for some relaxation either by watching TV, playing a game of Chess or even by reading a book in the Common Room. Lights are turned off at 9.45 pm. Same routine carry on throughout the week.

Facilities and Activities

The modern Trinity hostels are offering a wide range of opportunities while maintaining the traditional frame work. After the days of World War 2, the dinning halls decided on serving all three meals in Buffet style. This practice wasn’t undermined even throughout the era of riots in 70′s and 80′s where the whole country was under the captivity of negativity. Poultry and dairy products for the kitchen are supplied fresh by the College farm in Pallekele.

The Ryde House Common Room

The Ryde House Common Room

Since 2004, the Common Rooms are equipped with Satellite TV facilities, DVD and Blu Ray players, Digital stereo sound systems, mini gyms, modern lighting, couch sofas and LCD wide screens. The last night before the end of each term is celebrated as the “Boarders’ Night” where the students enjoy a star class buffet dinner in fine dining attire. Furthermore, a ‘BBQ All You Can Eat’ is organized in the first term. Apart from that, every house organizes a “Grand Finale” which is a feast with a wide range of cuisine, comical drama and live music.

Almost every weekend, committees of respective boarding houses organize inter-dormitory sports events. More popular ones are ‘Alison Cricket Sixes’, ‘Napier 5-a-side Basketball’ and ‘Ryde Rugby 7′s’. On Tuesdays, Thursday and Sundays the hostelers are allowed to use the swimming pool for “Club Swimming”. Annually, boarders go on a number of trips and picnics all sponsored by the school. Until the late 90′s the “Bicycle Trip” was one of the prominent excursions where the students camp for weeks in different setups of the island.

Above all, what stands out in the Trinity College Boarding is the respect for unity and brotherhood. Arrangements of the annual Prize Giving, Carol Service and the Pirith Ceremony are mostly carried out by the volunteering hands of boarders. During the 1983 Sinhala-Tamil riots, the boarders opened doors for both Tamils and Sinhalese people and sheltered them with care and comfort. The Trinity Boarding School will continue to groom and polish gentlemen towards upbringing the value of humanity.