By Ama Kalpani


Cristiano Ronaldo is a world famous football player in the grounds. Michael Phelps is one of the best swimmers when he is in the pool and Mohammed Ali is a colors winning boxing player when he is in the ring!

With a small reminder about preserving our individuality no matter what we pursue in life, the President, Merl Chandana, called the 280th Gavel Meeting to order. After the national anthem led by Praveen Kumarasinghe, the President introduced the Toastmaster for the day, Nipun Vitharana, a dedicated member of the club.

Photo credits: Niluxsi Puvanenthiran

Since the whole world reveled in the fantastic sixes of the T20 World Cup, the Toastmaster had chosen a timely topic for the Round Robin session.

“Why do you like cricket and what motivates you to watch cricket?”

Because of…

All those handsome cricket players like Kumar Sangakkara and James Anderson…

The thrill you get by seeing the ball flying up in sky…

All those nail biting moments you face at the last over…

Cricket being a gentlemen’s game and the only game in which Sri Lanka has reached the international level…

With many more reasons to justify the love towards cricket, the 280th meeting proved that the Gavel Club comprises of tons of cricket fans.

The Table Topics Master for the day was a shining character in the Gavel Club. She was none other than Sandaru Seneviratne.

Breaking the ice, Kanchana Ranasinghe made a speech on “rice or fries”. “What really gives you more nutrients? Is it rice? Or fries? Is it the sweat of locals? Or is it the class of imports?”  He grabbed the attention of the audience by leaving the message “The place where you put much effort is the best.”

“Why am I single? ” This question has been nagging Kasun for a long time. Finally, he found it was just the way he was and that he will never ever have a girlfriend.

Next was Chamode Wijesekara who spoke about the tennis tournament where he learnt that “Winning does not teach us as much as  losing does. We have a lot to learn from losing.”

Can any of the senior Gaveliers remember our own Gavelier Yasir’s mark of training? Well, Shehan Jayasinghe could. He made a descriptive speech on how effort, rather than perfection, makes you an engineer..

For Chathuranga Amunugama, friends are the family that God forgot to give us. As usual, he made a dramatic speech about the fun he had at a rugby tournament, recalling how he enjoyed plenty of 7 Up and his father’s advice: “Son, do not get caught!”

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” It was obviously not Micheal Jordan who said this at the 280th Gavel meeting; it was Sandaru Suranjaya. He delivered a wonderful speech leaving an interesting message to all the single girls out there. “Why am I single? I’ll be waiting for you because it’s better late than never.”

Each one of us had dreams when we were kids. This girl too had a dream to be a television broadcaster, talking and looking nice with all the make-up and elegant dresses. “You don’t have to be perfect, give it a try. You may fail, you may get down but it’s all worth giving it a try.” Those were Lihini Dinushika’s wonderful words.

Next was Pragatheeswaran who spoke about “Why am I still single?”, For him, it was all for a better future. Merl Chandana, our very own President, delivered an informative speech on how Sri Lankan cricket has to smoothen the transition of skill, knowledge and experience from one generation to another. It was for all the die-hard cricket fans in the club.

Jersey No.11! Hashan Rahubaddha was searching for this Jersey in each and every cricket match. It was a speech on “after every hurricane there comes a rainbow”, elaborating how the young players bloom into great players, based on the story of Jersey No.11, Kumar Sangakkara.

Can anyone of you relate asking out a girl with cricket? Well, Praveen Kumarasinghe was a master of that. He had done a mistake when asking out a girl, but he did not give up. He tried the second time and the third time as well. And he succeeded! Just like that, in cricket as well, players do mistakes. But it’s all worth to put some effort and correct those mistakes.

Samavath Mallawarachchi elaborated “It’s not about perfection, it’s all about effort” through his four year journey in the Gavel club. Then it was Nipun Vitharana who grabbed the stage. What is life? Is it a tornado? Or a hurricane? Or a rainbow? Well, according to him, life is a combination of all these three. Isn’t it true?

“Go past all the defeats, learn from them and face the future because after every hurricane there comes a rainbow”; those were the words of Kithmin.

Do you have a mission in your life? Sachini Kumarasinghe  once did. It was not to pass the exams and get good grades. Her ultimate mission was to lose weight. It was an interesting speech on “rice or fries”, inviting the audience to change their attitudes; because at the end of the day, it’s not about the nutrition but about the attitude.

Back in 2012, Timal Mohan had a question whether to work hard and enter the university or to enjoy life because the world was going to end in 2012. And he chose the hard way to study and enter the university. Life is full of hurricanes. “What if we did nothing during the hurricanes? We could have not seen the rainbows. All of us will have to survive during the hurricanes to see the rainbow”

All in all it was a mind blowing Table Topics session with 16 speeches.

After the evaluations given by Merl Chandana and Sandaru Suranjaya, the President Merl Chandana adjourned the 280th meeting wishing everyone a safe journey  home.

Role players of the day

Toastmaster : Nipun Vitharana

Table Topics Master : Sandaru Seneviratne

Timer : Chamode Wijesekara

Ah Counter : Kithmin Wickramasinghe

Grammarian : Wimali Galgamuwage

General Evaluator : Hashan Rahubaddha

Speech Evaluators : Merl Chandana and Sandaru Suranjaya

Table Topics

  1. We learn little from victory, much from defeat
  2. I’ll be right here waiting for you
  3. Is Sri Lankan cricket going down the drain?
  4. After a hurricane there comes a rainbow
  5. Why am I still single?
  6. Friends are the family that God forgot to give us
  7. Rice or fries?
  8. It’s not about perfection, it’s about the effort
  9. Better late than never

Word of the Day

Felicity : Great happiness


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