319th Gavel Meeting and Women’s Day Celebrations

By Lihini Dinushika


A woman is an epitome of beauty, wisdom and care. She has climbed the mountains and dived into the ocean; she has matched the steps with every man in the world…

Celebrations for the women’s day began on 8th March with the 319th Gavel meeting. With Madam President Piyumi Bandaranayake at the helm, the women’s day meeting held special significance as it was the first meeting of the new board.

Project chairs Malindi Jayathunga and Wimali Galgamuwage took over the meeting as the Table Topics Master and the Toastmaster for the day respectively, paving the way for a memorable meeting for all the members.

Design Credits: Malindi Jayathunga

“What are the best words of wisdom you have received from a woman?”

Round Robin session began with a question from Wimali. Most Gaveliers took the opportunity to travel back on memory lane to recall the loving words of their mothers while some made it an opportunity to break out the laughter in the room with their memories of friends and girlfriends.

Starting off the Table Topics session, Malindi introduced her topics for the day. The creative and diverse topics of the day were centered on the women’s day theme. First speaker up was Harsha Chamara, who enlightened the day with the real meaning of women’s day, pointing out how people are good at celebrating special days but are not grasping the real meaning behind the day. His speech was very informative as he brought to light the number of child abuse cases rape cases and the level of domestic violence that occur every day.

A women’s day meeting would not be complete without several members reminiscing about their loving mothers. Janaka was the first one to bring up the topic. He spoke about the simple blessings of his mother and how her words lit up his day. Next, Madushan captivated the audience with a humorous beginning to his speech. He went on to say that women’s day was actually scheduled to be held on 6th of March but women took so long to get ready that they ended up celebrating it on the 8th. This earned him many glaring looks from the ladies in the audience. The first girl to make her way to the stage on the women’s day meeting was Indeewari. She managed to spin a beautiful tale about her sister who motivated her to speak up and let the world hear her voice.

Sometimes we do not realize the value of the woman standing beside us, not until they are gone. Himesh shed some light into the value of appreciating those women who silently play their part in our lives by recalling memories of his grandmother, his mother’s best side kick. Next came Lihini Dinushika who told a story about two women and how their love, though not expressed in so many words, touched her like a little fairy tale.

Madam President herself took the stage with her bouncy and radiating energy. “If you give a chance to those broken crayons, maybe they still have some magic for a beautiful painting” She spoke on how her mother always gave the chance to correct her mistakes and molded herself to become the girl she is today.

Every Gavelier looked up expectantly when a fresh member of the alumni board rose to speak. It was none other than Ushani Sureka, the girl who simply cannot let go of Gavel. She spoke on how the simple words “I’m proud of you” coming from a person you respect can change your life in ways you could never imagine. She spoke lovingly about her school teacher, who was the first to discover the designer and artist that was waiting for a chance to step in to the world.

The level of enthusiasm in the atmosphere was so high that the Gaveliers were almost fighting for a chance to speak. Kavindu won the fight for the next chance to speak. “Lies are told for two reasons; to cover up a mistake or for love”. Starting off his speech with the many lies his mother told out of love for him, he admitted that men may never understand the love and depth behind a lie that comes from a woman.

A girl from the back rows then rushed to the front with yet another sensational speech. “A woman should have a big heart, a heart like mother Mary, a heart that can bear everything”. It was Shenali Welikala who spoke about a teacher who insulted her and how she decided to rise above the anger she felt. She showed us how strong a woman can be by saying how she respected that teacher for bringing out the best in her even with her baseless accusations.

When Praveen Kumarasinghe stood up, everyone was expecting another crazy story about one of his many girlfriends. But he surprised the audience with his grave expressions as he delivered an inspiring story about the dedication of a mother. He warmed our hearts with memories of his childhood and of his mother who carried him, his baby sister and his school bag to the school determined to provide him with the best she could.

The Gaveliers got another chance to witness the wonder of a beautifully woven story as Hashan Rahubadda came up with the most unusual story for the day. He managed to create a whole fairytale with his first love, taking it as far as his dream marriage, honeymoon and babies. He ended up cracking up the audience with a perfect twist to the story declaring his first love to be “Chemistry”.

Next speaker was Sandaru Seneviratne, who shared with the house the unspoken stories behind a woman’s life. She spoke about her mother whom she resented for a long time for being a “working woman”. She said how her resentment ended the day she heard her mother’s story and her suffering.

There is a famous saying, “Men are from Mars and women are from Venus”. Insaf Ismath chose to speak on this controversial topic. He admitted that what he said might not be everyone’s cup of tea. But in the end he relayed a very good message to the audience saying that women and men are different, but that should not mean that they should give each other a hard time. Table Topics session came to an end with that illuminating thought.

The Evaluators Piyumi Bandaranayake, Rochelle Silva and Tharindu Senanayake gave some valuable tips for the speakers. Then it was time for the Grammarian’s and General Evaluator’s report which were delivered by Sandaru Seneviratne and Himesh Siriwardana. With that, the control was handed back to the newly elected President. She was barely able to conceal her delight over the success of the first meeting under her leadership. She did not forget to thank the project chairs who pulled together an amazing meeting in a very short period of time before winding up the proceedings for the day.

Role players

Toastmaster: Wimali Galgamuwage

Table Topics Master: Malindi Jayathunga

General evaluator: Himesh Siriwardana

Grammarian: Sandaru Seneviratne

Timer: Mavin Lakshitha

Ah counter: Yasas Wishwajith Bandara

Evaluators: Piyumi Bandaranayake, Rochelle Silva, Tharindu Senanayake