Kingswood’s “The KM De Lanerolle Inter-school Debate Contest” is now happening at Randles’ Hills. This is the 6th edition of this contest, which was initiated in 2004; and is still run by the ‘Past Debaters’ of Kingswood as their contribution to Kandy’s debate discourse.
In its 6th year, the “Kingswood Debates” have by now become an attraction for a regular out-of-Kandy participation as well. Last year’s contest, in fact, saw Maliyadeva Kurunegala tussled in a gripping final with Kandy’s Trinity. This year, the contest is organized in a league format — a format that was first experimented in 2006. Maliyadeva Kurunegala, Holy Family Convent — also from Kurunegala –, St. Sylvesters’ College, Gateway College, Kandy Girls’ High School, Mahamaya College, Colombo International School, Kandy, and Kingswood have been drawn in this year’s fixtures.
Coming into the second week of debates, so far, Girls’ High School, Kingswood, Gateway and St. Sylvesters’ have taken an early initiative winning their opening debates. But, the league format will surely be a booster for Mahamaya, CIS and Maliyadeva when they come for their 2nd round debates — specially, since all three teams showed promise and a determination to score better the 2nd time.
Noticeable absentees this year include Pushpadana College — who have been traditional participants of the competition — and Trinity: last year’s finalist. Both teams have had a deep imprint in the history of the contest. Trinity, in fact, were the runner up in 2009: their best run in the contest todate. From the perspective of the contest it surely is a pity to have missed the likes of Trinity’s Forster — one of the best speakers in the Kandy debate circuit as of present.
The preliminary debates of the contest will be worked out at the Kingswood auditorium, on Wednesdays and Thursdays through October.
The competition was initiated in 2004 by the then immediate ‘Past Debaters’ of the school. The current edition is managed and co-ordinated by past debaters Inosha Alwis, Azman Branudeen, Sahan Fernando and company. The contest dishes out
1) The KM De Lanerolle Memorial Trophy and the Spencer Debate Shield for the winner
2) The PH Nonis Memorial Trophy for the runner up.
Kenneth Mervyn De Lanerolle was a reputed scholar and educationist, who was one time Principal of Kingswood College; one who saw the school through the transitional phase from the Missionary days to the hands of the State run Ministry. Lanerolle’s name is still honoured for his eminence as a scholar and for his strict sense of discipline.
PH Nonis was also Principal of the school — the first Sri Lankan national to hold this office, from 1942-1957.
Ernest Herbert Spencer was Kingswood’s first Head Master and the initiator of its first ‘debate class’ in 1896.
2004 – Winner:Kingswood
2005 – Winner:Kingswood
2006 – Winner:KGHS
2007 – Winner: Kingswood
2008 – [Competition not held]
2009 – Winner: Maliyadeva