2014- 3rd Academic Sessions and Reunion
The 7th of September 2014 heralded the 3rd annual reunion and academic sessions of the Colombo Medical School Alumni Association (CoMSAA). It was a much awaited event that reawakened the sweet memories of faculty life.
Many alumni members and their families had already checked in at the Hotel Blue Water in Wadduwa on the evening of 6th September. They gathered at the Hotel Lobby around the legendary “Sam the man” who set the tone for a glorious night of socializing replete with singing and dancing.
Early morning the next day, over 200 attendees gathered at the main ballroom of the hotel for the opening ceremony of the academic sessions with Prof PriyaniSoysa gracing the occasion as the chief guest. After a warm welcome by the President and the address by the chief guest it was time to launch the book “GLIMPSES OF TIME”, which was the brainchild of the President of CoMSAA, Prof. LalithaMendis.
The President-Elect Dr. B.J.C. Perera introduced the book and maiden copies of this masterpiece were handed over to the chief guest, and the senior most alumni present that day. All the contributing authors and members of the executive committee also received a free copy. Dr. SameeraGunawardena, Secretary of CoMSAA brought the opening ceremony to a close by thanking all those who contributed to the event.
Afterwards the attendees were treated to a diversity of academic presentations starting off with sexuality in the elderly by Dr. LasanthaMalavige, the doctor’s role as a teacher by Prof. Joachim Perera, how to fight aging by Dr. ChamilaDalpadatu, medical tourism and ethics of organ donation by Dr.ChulaHerath, and the spectrum of Lichen Planus by Dr. LakshmanRanasinghe. It was a wide variety of topics which attracted all and gave everyone much to reflect on.
Then came the second highlight of the day. A hot topic was brought to an open forum for a war of words between two teams, to argue out if “Private medical schools were harmful to the state medical schools providing free education”.
It was truly an exhilarating display of verbal and nonverbal retaliations between the teams. The proposition comprised of the witty and creative Prof. Saroj Jayasinghe and the eloquent and erudite Dr. AshwiniAbrew, whereas the opponent camp was led by the formidable and veracious Prof. NaradaWarnasuriya who teamed up with the constructive and calculated debater Prof. AnandaSamarasekara. Prof Carlo Fonseka brought a fitting end to the academic sessions by providing a colourful review of the debate and paid the ultimate compliment to the speakers by appreciating that “there was a younger generation in the medical profession much more brilliant than those that were!”
With these words resonating in the minds of the alumni the rhythm of the musical bands and the exquisite array of food and beverages slowly took over the proceedings.
Gradually the attendees moved on to the lighter side of life as the social programme provided an assortment of games and dancing competitions along with of course, many prizes! For many alumni it was the ideal opportunity to showcase their talents… some long forgotten…some perhaps newly found…ranging from singing to stand-up comedy to baila dancing; all blending beautifully between the older and younger generations.
All in all, it was a most enjoyable day and one that ended too soon for many with the eventual realization that all good things must come to an end. As the merry crowd slowly dispersed with hugs and goodbyes all around, one fact was all too obvious…everyone had silently vowed to themselves that they would return again next year!