Royal Primary School 1953 & Royal College '59 Group
Life as a Prefect at RC
By Firoz Nilam, 59' Group,
May 28, 2010
I was fortunate to join the small group of Prefects through my Table Tennis talents and not by my academic talents. There were others in our group who were the academics such as Senarath Yapa (Turnour Scholar) but most of us were in their for sports and presumably other talents which the Principal and teachers thought were important but was not officially disclosed. I suppose one way not to qualify was to be a trouble-maker and we had a few in school. There were also some very talented sportsmen when I was a Prefect which included S.J. De Silva (Jani, our cricket captain) and many others e.g. RP Liyanage, Thalaysingham, Rohan Wijetilake, etc but my memory is fading and I apologize to those who I cannot remember (I think some of the other Prefects included MN Jaimon, Brian Lieverz but I am not sure). Perhaps someone has a picture somewhere.
Basically life as a Prefect was to occasionally go to classes, play bridge and other card games in the Prefect's Room (also called Cop's Room), a very sacred place which was out of bounds 'outsiders'. The Prefects discussed everything under the sun such as sports, teachers, trouble makers, what was going on at the Majestic, Regal and Empire theatres, what was going on at our homes, our girlfriends, playing cards most of the day etc but my recollection is we never discussed studies/academics. The reason is simply because except for the few bright lads in our class most of us sportman just scraped through our exams mostly by luck rather than talent. We did however find time to go around classes, giving 'bad' students lines to write, get them to stand on a chair or at the corner of the room facing the wall, and any thing else we were officially allowed to do. I think many of these punishments were learnt from observing our teachers! There may have been other punishments which we gave out but unfortunately my memory at 62 plus is failing. I also remember hanging out near the cinemas to catch those 'bad' students who went for the 3.30pm matinee shows in the gallery section (50 cents) who should not have been there because college finished at 3.40 pm. If no one was there to 'catch/punish' then of course I watched the 3.30 show. Fortunately no teacher ever caught me and maybe thats because they do not cut classes. But the Prefect was allowed to hang aroung cinemas to catch those 'bad' students. It is also known that a few of the Prefects occasionally had a f'ag' in the Cops Room/Prefects Room but of course this was never divulged outside that room.
In conclusion life as a Prefect was great. We got a chance at Assemly to sit facing the students Iin very nice chairs) right below the stage where the teachers were, we got some respect from other students and maybe some teachers, became excellent card and carrom players, got prime seats at other school events, got a chance to punish some of those 'bad' students, keep up to date with all new movies and most importantly make some great friends among the Cop Group since we spent a lot of time together.