By Kanchana Ranasinghe

Kanchana

Goodbyes and congratulations and of course fancy food: it’s the Gavel Handover once again! With all the boys suited up and all the girls dressed up in dazzling dresses, that lively air of excitement and a bit of nostalgia filled the place. The alumni present rekindled many a memorable times in everyone’s mind.

The evening took off with our dashing President, Piyumi Bandaranayake, sprinkling bits of laughter all around as she welcomed everyone and introducing our VP Education, Rochelle Silva. It was time for the much awaited “President Bashing” in the form of the familiar Round-Robin session. It started with a bit of emotion though, as Rochelle spoke of how contrastingly different Piyumi was compared to her, and how they had pulled through 4 years together ending up as best friends. One must concede that Piyumi managed to get a much humane bashing owing to her sweetness as a person.

Dinuka Salwatura’s story of how Piyumi enslaved him to get her FYP done, Hashan Rahubadhdha’s resentment over how she tortured his girlfriend, his work-buddy and his boarding-mate, and of course Merl Chandana’s hilarious account of how Piyumi forgot what to talk about at a meeting and spent a good half an hour thinking what it was and still failed, erupted much laughter all around the room.

Next up was the Table Topics Session. Our Vice-President Duo, Dinuka Salwatura and Shehan Avindra, the Table Topics masters for the day were up in front. They presented a range of sentimental topics. Kanchana Ranasinghe started off with his account of sewing pillows for “Kotta Pora” in a never-ending race for perfection. Next up was Praveen Kumarasinghe “wishing it didn’t” with some humorous accounts of misdemeanours at Gavel. Chathuranga Amunugama followed bringing a lot of laughter to everyone and turning “someone’s face beyond red with his tale about their adventure in Meemure where “someone” drowned in a 2-feet deep river. Hasala Dharmawardhana came up bringing to the table some tales from the old times and memories with the other alumni. Ending the session was our immediate past President Merl, relating to us his midnight ENTC roof-top adventure with our immediate past VP Education, Timal Mohan.

Now comes the exciting and tormenting part. The food is ready and staring at us, waiting to be eaten. However, there’s more to happen for the evening. The highlight of any Installation, which is of course the Installation of the new board, was up next. Piyumi made her last official speech as the President, almost bringing many of us to tears and immense joy at the same time. With the appointment of the incoming President, Chathuranga, and his board, there was a lot of excitement to see the old faces in new positions. Chathuranga set off with his first address as the President, making some hilarious comments about each board member, while of course saying a nice thing or two as well. Lihini Dinushika took to stage first dressed in one of her usual stunning outfits, followed by Praveen with his typical merry smile and Yasoda Gamage with her fancy hair-style. The rest of the board soon followed.

A special moment in every Installation is the awarding of the Best Gavelier. Harsha Chamara from the ’15 batch, the designer and handsome model of the club, took to stage. He shared some memories about his story at Gavel over the years, proving how hard work conquers anything.

And YES! It was time for the food. The boring ones continued socializing, while the rest of us rushed to the buffet. It was great to meet some of the older alumni members, and catch up with them over dinner.

It wasn’t over yet though. Kasun Withana with his guitar, Navodini Wijethilake with her sweet voice, and the drum passing all around, it marked the start of a fun session of singing some old-time favourites. More of us soon gathered around, with Rochelle dragging some girls to dance and everyone joining in to sing. Thus, this fun-filled exciting evening marked the end of the 2018 Handover Ceremony of the Gavel Club of University of Moratuwa.

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