Big Match Celebrations and 321st Gavel Meeting

By Kasun Ranasinghe 


Give me a G… A… V… E… L… what’s it spell? GAVEL!!!!!!!

It was a brisk afternoon at the Moratuwa tennis court as the crowds poured in to see the match. The pitch looked spectacular with a fair cover of grass and humidity at a comfortable 56%. Truly a perfect pitch for a magnificent day of cricket, speeches and well played deliveries.

Design Credits – Kasun Withana

It was 5.31 pm as the President, Piyumi Bandaranayaka, walked on to the field with a determined glow in her eyes and took us all down the memory lane to the first big match meeting. She talked about the dream she had that one day an all-girls big match would take place and how that dream became a reality with Visakha Vs Museaus.

Next up to bat was a person who had a crush on a certain designer in his department, the Toastmaster for the day, Sahan Lakshan. His voice rang out through the giggles “Give me a G…” the spell called out to the very souls of the Gavel family as everyone cheered in unison. GAVEL!!!

The role players for the day were introduced swiftly with the word of the day being ‘Presumptuous’. After the introductions it was on to the power play, better known as the Round Robin session where speeches were delivered quickly and fast, entertaining the crowd. But this time, the Toastmaster had a little surprise for us all. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a rubber ball and directed our attention towards a basket standing next to him. “How good is your aim?” sparks of excitement and intrigue flashed through the crowd with a few nervous looks mixed in.

The rules were simple. Get the ball in and you get to speak about the best big match moment but fail and you have to speak about the most embarrassing moment. The first ball was balled and… It was missed… we were in for a fun session

Scuffles with police to big match graffiti and drunk boys with too much time in their hands. The humour kept pace as the stories got ever more exciting and then finally there was one ball that hit its target, and that story was a sweet tale about the tent and the fun the big match entailed. Next to the pitch was someone prepared to play a long innings. The prepared speech evaluator Merl Chandana came to the pitch and introduced us to a new rising star trying to find herself among the sparkles of the night sky.

Until I find her…Big Match 2017

We found ourselves standing witness at a hospital room. The first moments of this person’s life. From that moment on we watched this person grow from a young smart school girl to an undergraduate of the TLM department. We went through the moments of joy and tumbled through her toils and troubles and who might this person be? It was non-other than Harshani Edirisinghe giving us her first prepared speech… the ice breaker.

Her evaluation was given shortly after and she received a standing ovation

It was time to rotate the strike and the Toastmaster gave the crease to the table topics master of the day, Kasun Withana. He read out the topics for all to hear and invited the other player to come and bat.

The opener for the table topics session was none other than the ever humorous Praveen.

“There is good… there is bad… white and black” He opened swaying across the crease and then took us back to a big match tent that stood so many years ago. He remembered the friends, the fun and the food but the match… wait was there even a match being played? He reminded us that sometimes we don’t even see a single ball but enjoy the moment and that was what is important. The moment and how you enjoy it

After that sixer of a speech it was time for the second opener, a veteran of the craft, Sandaru to walk onto the field. He was a person from a country of generalizations and hypocrisy. He spoke about how as Sri Lankans, we generalize things and ban everything even though only a few things go wrong. He didn’t fail to mention the controversy of SAITM as well. Finally, he left the audience with the words “Think for a moment”

The first representative of the ladies team was Lihini as she walked on to the field. “If life was a cricket match then I would be the South African team” She spoke on how she got so close to her dream job interview only to have the doors shut her out. But did she give up? No she persevered and fought for her dreams. Her parting words were “If you miss one opportunity, fight until others are chasing you”

Insaf was next up to bat and suddenly BAM!!!! A car crash!! But don’t worry, it was only a scene from his experience as a robot fighter. He spoke about his encounter in the battle bots and how he prepared for the final show down only to find his batteries were drained. He reminded us that things could always go wrong and always have spare batteries.

The president was next up in the batting order. She revealed her childhood obsession towards Disney princesses and how she would dream of a handsome prince to come sweep her off her feet. But as time moved on her perception towards life and boys changed and so did the movies. Now we have princesses who take life into their own hands. “You don’t need a man to change the world you can do it yourself”

A giggle spread through the crowd as our next batsman strode onto the field Chathuranga the ruggerite He spoke on behalf of all masculinity on how the genders were not always equal. Bring up the common tropes of all femininity like the ever famous water works and the claim that they can do whatever boys can do. But truly can they? The answer was left up to the audience.

Next was the Gavelier with the fancy hair, Kavindu who spoke about a certain person he met on a certain day in summer. This person was with his son and Kavindu asked him for an autograph. The person stated that he had to go drop off his son but would return Kavindu found himself waiting and thought he had been stood up. But to his surprise, the person returned and can you guess who that person was Kumar Sangakkara. Truly being humble was a mark of a great person.

It was now the middle order and up next was a true ladies’ man, Asitha. He walked onto the field wearing a copy-cat big match shirt and took us back to his school days that were filled with peer pressure and mischief. The nerdy Asitha jumping over the school wall to play hooky. Unbelievable. But what more unfortunate, that same day his athletic principal was on patrol and you can imagine how things turned out. But even from the beating he had jumped over a boundary that was worth jumping over and he didn’t fail to woo the ladies by letting them know that they were strong and should jump the barriers that hold them back.

Next up was the old captain of the team, Merl Chandana. Kumar Sangakkara, Justin Trudeau and David Beckham. What do they all have in common? An obsession for perfection, just like himself. “Even if you hit 70 balls what happens if you miss ball 71?” He asked us to focus on the minute details because when you add up all the small pieces you end up with a big improvement.

Mavin took the field after Merl. Woman, cars and sports just what a guy wants. He spoke about his big match experience, the girls, cars and sports and gave the audience the message to always be victorious in day to day life.

Next was Rushan, the one who had to witness his school being defeated at the Battle of the Maroons. But did they care? No, they walked out like winners. What was important was the fun that they had on the way to the match in the train and the beauty of the game “Win or lose, enjoy the game and life” was the message he left with the audience as he walked off the field.

The final batsman in the session was the Timer, Chandimal. “My father, uncle and everyone else in my family were Devans, I was the ugly duck” He talked about his school’s shattered cup and how over excitement and fighting could ruin a good game and how life will strike you down when you are at your weakest.

The Timer’s report and Ah Counter’s reports were given and finally the evaluations were delivered.

The Table Topics Master left the field triumphant and it was again the Toastmaster’s time to strike. He invited the grammarian who pointed out the good uses of grammar and how we can improve on it. And finally it was up to the General Evaluator to give a concise and accurate assessment of the day’s proceedings.

As the sun hid away behind the buildings the President again walked onto the field and concluded the match at 7.30 pm bidding everyone a safe journey home.


Role players for the day.

Project Chairs – Sahan Lakshan, Kasun Withana

Toastmaster –Sahan Lakshan

Table Topics Master – Kasun Withana

Timer – Chandimal Adikari

Ah Counter – Kavindu Chamiran

Grammarian – Asitha Rathnayake

TT evaluators –Piyumi Bandaranayaka, Rochelle Silva, Praveen Kumarasinghe

General Evaluator- Shenali Weilikala

Word of the day

“Presumptuous” – failing to observe the limits of what is permitted or appropriate.

Table Topics

  1. They should be banned
  2. The first time I jumped into a girl’s/boy’s school
  3. Big matches for girls?
  4. We lost…
  5. We won
  6. You look gorgeous in that face paint
  7. Give me back my flag!!
  8. Of parades and motorbikes
  9. The school train
  10. How dare you cross the border!!
  11. Sports make you complete