281st Meeting: The big match meeting

By Theshani Nuradha


Rays of the sun washed over us as we gathered in a room with walls of wind

A perfect atmosphere for a Gavel meeting

A ball from a nearby cricket pitch landed perfectly in the hands of Mr. President


Wow, this is the perfect place for the Gavel “Big Match meeting”!

President Merl Chandana commenced the 281st meeting at the university tennis ground and the proceedings got underway after singing the national anthem. And in his introduction he took us on a journey to the very beginning of big matches in Sri Lanka

Photo Credits – Niluxsi Puvanenthiran

The Toastmaster of the day was an enthusiastic Gavelier, one of the project chairs of the” Big match Meeting”, Praveen Kumarasinghe.

He introduced the role players of the day.Then he gave us a chance to be the proud, winning captain of a Big Match and to deliver the winning speech upon receiving the trophy. Gaveliers, being aspiring leaders in whatever they do, had lots of interesting perspectives to share

The Table Topics Master was another enthusiastic Gavelier, the other project chair of this wonderful meeting, Chathuranga Amunugama. He had chosen a set of interesting topics which made everyone catch the Big Match Syndrome

“Win or lose, we shall booze” It was Kanchana who broke the silence emphasizing the happiness, friendship and hard work behind Big Matches. He ended the speech on a humorous note, exaggerating the relationship between alcohol and Big Matches.

Next Chamode got his turn to look back to his amazing Big Match experience describing how he ran to save his life during the season.

“It is a Big Match!” Kasun came up with a dramatic speech starting from his school shout out and describing about his first Big Match experience.

Next Niluxsi brought out her memories of the drill display at the Inter School Sports meet.She made us think that even though girls’ schools don’t have Big Matches, the sports meet season can be compared to a mini Big Match season.

Next was the President, Merl Chandana, who brought out the importance of enjoying the little things, recollecting one of his personal experiences during an athletic competition.

Then Himesh took the attention of the audience with the idea “Gold or Silver, See the Maroon”, emphasizing the importance of being together despite winning or losing.

Praveen recalled his Big Match memories describing the fact that it is a reunion of friends which makes a platform to recall the good old days.

Sandaru was not that happy about Big Matches and he explained about the incident which happened to stop the Big Matches in his school.

“Everyone wants to be a part of something”. Shehan, the upcoming philosopher of the Gavel Club, explained how people criticize the things which are dear to our hearts in order to be a part of those legacies.

That marked the end of another wonderful Table Topics session. After the Ah counter’s and Timer’s report, Merl Chandana and Sandaru Karunasiri provided insightful evaluations on the Table Topic speeches while sharing their knowledge and experience with the audience.

Was it the end of the Big match meeting?


We were waiting.

We all were waiting to listen to a prepared speech from one of our experienced Gaveliers, “The Gavelier of the year”, Rochelle Silva.

President Merl Chandana introduced the speaker who was about to deliver her 4th speech on the Competent Communicator manual with the title “So Close yet so far”. She brought out the importance of learning through failures and using them as a tool to move forward. She was given a standing ovation after the evaluation given by the President.

After the reports of the Grammarian and the General Evaluator, the President brought another beautiful evening with the Gavel family, to an end, with the message “Do not give up until the last moment, you will somehow find a way.”

Role Players

Project Chairs: Praveen Kumarasinghe, Chathuranga Amunugama

Toastmaster: Praveen Kumarasinghe

Table Topics Master: Chathuranga Amunugama

General Evaluator: Shehan Avindra

Ah counter: Kanchana Ranasinghe

Timer: Kasun Ranasinghe

Grammarian: Ama Kalpani

Table Topics Evaluators: Merl Chandana / Sandaru Karunasiri

Prepared Speech Evaluator: Merl Chandana

Table Topics

1. It’s not about winning. It’s about doing things with great respect
2. Unforgettable Big Match memory
3. Are we better off without ‘Big Matches’?
4. When it comes for Big Match I go RAPA PAA PAAA
5. Somethings are better left unsaid
6. As I see Big Match is…
7. They were great days and jolly days
8. Big match! Oh I thought a Papare and a bunch of good friends!

Design Credits: Kithmin Wickramasinghe