We had an especially impactful year in 2019/2020, with a record high in the number of projects in
Community Service, Club Service, and Professional Development.
The 50 th anniversary of the Rotaract Club of Colombo was commemorated in September 2019 at the
Havelock City Club House with Mr. Rusly Hussain, who initiated the Rotaract Movement in Sri Lanka, as
the Chief Guest. The installation also marked Rtr. Imran Akbarally officially taking up the role of
President for the year 2019/ 2020, along with his committee.
In September, we joined hands with the Rotaract Club of Colombo Mid-Town to organise a Club Service
project at Escape The Room Sri Lanka. It was an open event with fourteen teams, three of which
emerged winners. As a Professional Development project, ‘Do You Even Coffee?’ was organised at Café
Noir Blanc to educate participants on the history of coffee planting in Sri Lanka. A beach clean-up was
organised at the Dehiwala Beach as a Community Service initiative with the Rotaract Clubs of Colombo,
Colombo East and State Universities.
A Literary and Open Mic Event was held in October at the Kava Island Bar in collaboration with the
Oxford University Society of Sri Lanka. Along with the Rotary Club of Colombo Circle, we organised a
movie screening at Liberty Cinemas for the Joker (2019) premier. The same month, we attended
Octoberfest at Hilton Colombo and took part in the Polio Walk, which was a part of Rotary Global’s
initiative to eradicate Polio throughout the world.
For ‘The Charity Bus’, one of our signature projects, we visited the Attidiya Animal Rehabilitation Centre
to donate an air cooler. A mini-refrigerator was donated to Diri Daru Piyasa in Bandaragama and
medicine and essential supplies were donated to the Sujatha Elders’ Home in Panadura. We painted the
walls of Siri Seevali Maha Vidyalaya in Kalutara, and donated sixteen litres of paint along with paint
rollers. Later, stationery and essential items were donated to Baranasooriya Children’s Home in
Hikkaduwa followed by the planting of 100 saplings at the Kosgoda beach. The next day, we visited Brief
Garden by Bevis Bawa in Beruwala and Richmond Castle in Kalutara.
Partnering up with the Rotaract Club of Colombo West, we organised a contest at the ‘Lanka Comic Con’
in December. Participants voted for their favourite cosplayer, and the funds from ticket sales were
directed towards a reforestation project. We visited the Parakrama Boys’ Home for ‘Christmas with a
Difference’, an annual Community Service project, and donated exercise books and also played games.
A club hike was organised in early February to Galaha. We explored the Loolecondera Estate in Deltota,
which is the first tea estate in Sri Lanka. Later the same month, Cluster 5 organised a cook off at Beach
House Bistro in Dehiwala. We enjoyed ourselves by joining in on the games and events.
We organised ‘Yappy Hour’ with Hope for the Voiceless and distributed food to stray dogs and cats in
Rajagiriya and adjoining areas in this Community Service project. Furthermore, we are in a longstanding
partnership with Lanka Food Bank, where we help them with food donations and packing.
Unfortunately, the Coronavirus pandemic and consequent lockdown put a damper on our calendar, with
the cancellation of our signature project ‘Escape to Paradise’ which is unanimous with the Rotaract Club
of Colombo. However, the Board for the new year has tasked themselves with adapting to the new
normal and thriving as a club that champions connectivity and service despite all odds. Cheers to a
fruitful year ahead, as we carry on our legacy as the oldest Rotaract Club in Sri Lanka.