The 500th Meeting




By Javin Manatunge

It wasn’t like any other Sunday for Gavel Mora. At 9.00 a.m. on Sunday, the 5th of February 2023, it was all smiles for the past and present gaveliers of the University of Moratuwa as they streamed into the ENTC-1 hall to celebrate a very special occasion; the 500th meeting of Gavel Mora. 

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We were surprised and excited to meet some of the past members of the club who had joined us to celebrate this special day. The hall was decorated with balloons and decorations for a birthday party and it truly brought us into the mood of celebrating the milestone Gavel Mora had reached.


Our beloved President, Gavelier Suthira started off the proceedings by warmly welcoming us all.


We were taken on a trip down the memory lane as he played a small introductory video of the previous milestone meetings of the club. Mihiran took up the role of the Timer for the day, while Savin was the Grammarian. 

The meeting began with the National Anthem and President Suthira Wijayawardena called the meeting to order and handed over the controls to the Toastmaster of the day, Chemini. With her usual charisma, Chemini began the meeting with a small introduction about this special meeting. 


The round-robin session was emotional, fun, and enjoyable. The toastmaster asked the gaveliers to share their memories and impressions of their first Gavel meeting. The majority of us recalled how the welcoming nature of the members is what made them join the club while a few others had ‘accidentally’ joined only to fall in love with Gavel Mora later on. Some shared their funny experiences with us and these experiences filled us with nostalgia.

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After that she invited everyone on to the stage to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ and proceeded to cut the cake.


Perhaps the most enjoyable event of the day was the table topics session. The controls were handed over to the talented Table topics master of the day, Pavan, who had something interesting for us, said ‘Unlike the usual Table topics sessions, I’ve got something different for you today. Here are six special pictures of different events of Gavel Mora’. It was time for us to relive those experiences and narrate the events and that experience to the audience. A feeling of excitement spread across the room. Eager hands were raised all around the room to get a table topic.

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First up was Namina, who was very excited to talk about one of those six photos: a picture of someone in a sarong falling in a rather awkward way. This photo had been captured by his camera during the Gavel Aurudu event. The message of his story was that the smallest things can create memories with a story to tell.


Gavelier Amithavarshani took the center stage as she spoke about the picture of the finalists in IGNITE 2022 who proudly represented Gavel Mora. She told us about that day, a day for all of us to be proud of as four of the eight finalists were from Gavel Mora.


Chathura was the next speaker. He chose the picture that was clicked during the Musical themed meeting. He talked about how it was a thrilling performance from all groups in what ended up as an entertaining musical show for everyone. 


The next two speakers were alumni of Gavel Mora. Gavelier Kasun spoke about a conversation which he has had with his friend that made him realize that his entire life was a chain of coincidences that led him to where he is now; more importantly those coincidences led him to Gavel Mora which he is grateful for. Ultimately, he realized that he was at the right place at the right time.


Next up was Alumnus Shehan Thilina who gave us four things he wished someone had told him. 

  1. Be consistent.
  2. Don’t speak about things that are too personal; know one’s boundaries.
  3. During a speech it is okay to use someone else’s story in a fitting way.
  4. The GPA is very important.

Furthermore, he did not forget to tell us some funny stories from the ‘ancient times’ when he was an active member of the club which sure did bring a smile to all of us in the room.


The picture of the Halloween themed meeting was chosen by Hesandu as the next table topic. He spoke about how everyone enjoyed that meeting and how much effort was put into making that meeting very memorable.


Next up was Gavelier Dinidu who chose the picture taken in November 2021 which was a picture of the preparation for the Speech Olympiad contest. He talked about how in a time of lockdown and turmoil, they worked towards making this event a success hoping to give people a sense of normalcy. Gavel Mora isn’t just about speaking but about helping each other out and Gavel Mora is what it is today because of the hard work that the club members put in.


Another of our Alumni, Gavelier Merl decided to share with us some of his own memories while he was in the club and shared some funny stories with us from back in the day. It was truly a joy to listen to him as we relieved those experiences with him.


As the final table topic of the day, Gavelier Shehan Paul also chose the picture that was taken at IGNITE, which is one of the most competitive speaking competitions. This picture was quite special as it included four of the eight finalists of that year’s competition. The specialty was that those four were from Gavel Mora which was a proud moment for us all and he spoke about how Gavel Mora will always be the best cheering squad in the room, always having our back.

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 It was a fitting speech to end the table-topics session.

After that Pavan handed the controls over to Chemini, who had one last video prepared for us. While the video was played, we were served cake and given a ‘500th Gavel Meeting ’key tag as a souvenir. 

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The meeting ended on a high note with everyone eagerly taking photos with the ‘500th Gavel Meeting’ photo frame.  

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“Everyone come to the Lagaan!, we’ve got a surprise for you,” said our President, Gavelier Suthira. Lunch had been brought for all of the gaveliers who had participated in the memorable meeting. 

With our bellies full, we sang along with Gavelier Namina and Gavelier Chathura, who had brought guitars, to our heart’s content as the day came to an end.

The curtains of this memorable event drew close with smiles of delight and bringing back memories that we cherish. It was indeed an event to ponder throughout the memory lane of the Gavel Club.

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