By Ama Kalpani


274th meeting was special, very special.

Everything around was red in colour,
Sparkling decorations were hanging everywhere,
Red and white balloons were roaming here and there,
Love was sprinkled in the air….

Design Credits: Yasoda Gamage
Design Credits: Yasoda Gamage

It was the Valentine’s meeting of the Gavel club of University of Moratuwa where all the Gaveliers got together to celebrate “LOVE”

Was it the only reason why I said that this meeting was special? No.

274th meeting was the last meeting of the current board who took immense steps to raise the club from where it was. It was a sentimental meeting for all of us.

This again was special, because of the presence of many alumni members. Toastmaster Thilini Weerasuriya, Aravinda Perera, Hasala Dharmawardena, Channa Gunasekera, Dinesh Kenady, Pasan Pethiyagode, Sandareka Wickramanayake and Charith Akalanka were there with us to celebrate “love”.

The President, Vibhanu Arachchige, commenced the 274th meeting at ENTC1. Although the meeting was scheduled to be held at PG seminar room, love wanted us to shift the meeting to a more spacious place, because, Gavel is the place where fear becomes passion and passion becomes love.

The proceedings of the meeting were started after singing the national anthem and then the President introduced the Toastmaster for the day. He was the perfect person to be the Toastmaster of this special meeting, because he too found his better half within the club. He is none other than Hashan Rahubaddha. After introducing the role players of the day, the Toastmaster started the round robin session.

Before the commencement of the meeting all the Gaveliers were given a piece of paper and were asked to write down their own name. For a moment I was confused, because this kind of thing had never happened before. It was at the round robin session we realized what it was.

It was a fantastic round robin session where all the Gaveliers got the chance to propose to someone and to accept or reject another. It was that day we got to know that Gavel comprises of so many poets, actors and most of all true lovers.

“Will you be my Valentine?”… “Why not!”
Love makes it all. Gavel makes it perfect!

The Table Topics Master was another special person, the better half of the Toastmaster. She was none other than Yasoda Gamage, a dedicated member of the club. The set of table topics too were wrapped with love.

It took only a couple of seconds for Kithmin to stand up and fill the air with love. “It does not have to be destined. It is the small things that matter the most. Find what it means to be in love…” because Kithmin has already found what it means to be in love.

The second speaker Samawath Mallawarachchi who elaborated how fear becomes passion and passion becomes love.

“Love is of many forms. From the day we were born, until the day we die, we come across love. Love is what keeps your life alive.” Those were the lovely words of Chamanthi Jayaweera.

Aravinda Perera, one of the alumni members of the club recalled the memories of his teenage about the crushes he had at funeral houses, giving the youngsters the message, “Love is not rosy. You all will have to sacrifice a lot. But where there is life, there is always love.”

For Kasun, getting married is literally like being in jail. He brought up a complete different view about love, pointing out the facts as to why he does not want to be in love.

“When you get a “NO” from 1 out of 7 girls, love is not wonderful as it seems. But don’t forget that every “No” is a “Yes” to something better.” It was Sandaru Suranjaya who raised this idea through one of his personal experiences.

Charith Akalanka explained “Wise people are not wise at everything. You, yourself have to be the wisest.” It was a pleasure to listen to a speech of our own immediate past President.

Thilina Madumal spoke about how two people get together through their understanding.

“No girls. Play games. Enjoy life.” Chinthaka highlighted the point that “Every “No” is a “Yes” to something better”

When it comes to the topic love, there is a special person in the club that we cannot forget. He used to give tons of relationship advice for fellow Gaveliers although he was not in a relationship. With the march of time, he too found his angel and we missed his advice. But in this meeting we were fortunate to listen to his advice once again. Our very own President Vibhanu Arachchige gave two advices for both who are single and in a relationship. “It’s not just about the number of text messages or calls. Take your time. Make the other your priority. Prove your love through your actions.”

Next was Yasiru Malshan who raised his voice about love through his personal experience.

When you were small, have you ever had a crush on a girl who was in grade 4 with a bob cut hair? Well…. Hasindu Siyambalape had. In his speech he recalled his memories about this girl and how he got hit by her for one of his compliments “You look like a candle.”

All good things come to an end. So did the table topics session.

After the reports of the Timer and the Ah Counter, the speeches were evaluated by two of the most experienced personalities, Toastmaster Thilini Weerasuriya and Channa Gunasekara. Their words were indeed valuable for all of us.

Next was the ice breaker of Chamode Wijayasekara, a fresher who joined the Gavel family very recently.

It was Aravinda Perera who evaluated Chamode’s prepared speech wishing him good luck to raise the cup of one of the competitions to come.

Then the proceedings of the meeting were handed over to the Toastmaster and the reports of the Grammarian and the General Evaluator were read out.

As I said, 274th meeting is the last meeting of the current board. So the Toastmaster, Rahu, did not forget to give a standing applause to the board and to all the level 4’s, although just a standing applause was not enough to praise their immeasurable service.

The President adjourned the 274th meeting – Valentine’s meeting, wishing all the Gaveliers a safe journey.

Table topics

1. Liking or loving
2. Where there is love, there is life.
3. Crushes don’t break your heart.
4. Wise men say, only fools rush in.
5. It was all destined.
6. Why I don’t want to be in love.
7. Love at Gavel.
8. Every no is a yes to something better.

Role players

Toastmaster : Hashan Rahubaddha
Table Topics Master : Yasoda Gamage
Timer : Bathiya Wickramage
Ah Counter : Kithmin Wickramasinghe
Grammarian : Praveen Kumarasinghe
General Evaluator : Hasala Dharmawardena
Table Topics Evaluators : Toastmaster Thilini Weerasuriya / Channa Gunasekara
Prepared Speech Evaluator : Aravinda Perera


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