A good thing about Kingswood is that their “school! school! None for himself but all for the school” theory is not necessarily always limited to the school song. In fact, in the welfare work Kingswood does on behalf of the college, the work done does not cry out to be recognized for its individual spirit. For example, say, if Batch 1996 did a shramadana campaign around the swimming pool and ground (unless I’m mistaken) I do not see the said shramadana-campaigners go and put up a board there saying “Work of Batch 1996”. Rather, they would have the credit of the shramadana (or whatever it is) be a part of the entire school, as a whole.
I say this because, recently, a prominent girls’ school a Rs 9.00 distance from Kingswood had a repair done to its retaining wall. However, with the wall done, they had gone the extra mile to put up signs along the repair work: “Done by the Old Girl’s Union”. I mean, to me, this is clearly unnecessary. Why should one tell the world as to who did what? If the motive was to re-do the fence of the school, so be it — what matters is not exhibitionism but as to whether the school benefited from your act.
Another school along the Kandy-Ampitiya Road has in the board which bears the school’s name an inscription: “A donation by the prefects’ Guild, 1999”. So, fat deal. That form of promotion of the self / group, in fact, pulls down the applaudability of the good deed. A Moratuwa school’s bus went past me today. On its body was the proud subscript: “A donation of the Old Boys’ Union”.
I see that this is more the normative practice nowadays — where, even within the school community — one is seeking group glory and personal mileage. How hypocritical our reactions are to even the school that saw us groom up? Very recently, my friend Ishan noted how many “batch T-shirts” there are at the “Big Match”. He noted how, several years ago, the “printing” of a shirt was a “big deal”. Now we have Kingswood 2007, 2008, 2009, Rhythm of Randles, Kingswood Rugby, Kingswood Cricket, Kingswood Unspecified #1, Unspecified #2……and so on.
But, so far, Kingswood seems to hold on to some of the more decent ways of doing things — as highlighted above. Not that Kingswood is always known to do things right and modest. There are so many times where our guys have done shit. But, when I saw the retaining wall of the said girls’ school and the bus of the Moratuwa school — and, indeed, when I chanced to reflect on this discourse of “group promotion” at large — I realized that Kingswood, in the same departments, is a bit better, really. And doing good.