CHSGA ‘Avurudu Hamuwa 2018’

The Ceylon Hotel School Graduates Association celebrated the traditional Sinhala and Tamil New Year by organising the “Avurudu Hamuwa” on Saturday, 21st April 2018 at the Pegasus Reef Hotel. A large cross section of members came down to Colombo with their families to participate in the “Avurudu Hamuwa” revelry.
The day kicked off with members meeting at Green Path for the start of the “Car Rally” – which had an exciting mix of directions and questions and had to be performed within a certain time – of which the exact time was not revealed. The Rally took participants around Colombo, through Rajagiriya, Kotikawatte, Ambatale and Kelaniya en-route to Wattala, and saw them keeping their eyes peeled to discover the answers to the questions along the way. A ‘Check Point’ had to be reached; an item below Rs. 25 purchased from a Supermarket, and based on the clues given, various interesting landmarks and slogans had to be identified.
On arriving at Pegasus Reef, a refreshing welcome drink was offered, and following registration – with a gift pack given to all members, everyone headed downstairs to the large garden area where a delectable array of traditional foods, drinks and sweetmeats were served, buffet-style from traditional “thatched” huts. Of course, there was the customary bar as well! All stood to attention while the National Anthem was played and the flags of Sri Lanka, CHSGA and the hotel and raised. Following this, the lighting of the oil lamp was performed by The President of CHSGA Mr Samantha Gunarathne and members of the Exco Committee including Past Presidents who were present.
In his brief welcome speech, the President thanked the Committee and all those who organised the event including the generosity of the various sponsors, the management and staff of the hotel, and, last, but not least, the many members for their participation. He took the opportunity to also remind everyone present of numerous up-coming events, including the Annual General Meeting which will be held in Nuwara Eliya this year.
The weather was sunny and warm, and the children were kept entertained by several games, including the Bun-eating competition, Lime and Spoon race, Draw the Eye on the Elephant and Balloon race. Adults were not forgotten either – with contests such as ‘bursting the balloon’, ‘coconut scrapping’, etc. for ladies, gents and teams. Indeed, after a few rounds of drinks and some ‘Dutch Courage’ the men readily participated. Four acrobatic Stilt Walkers danced to the well-known tunes played by the Papare band, and a quartet of ladies playing the traditional rabana, providing entertainment for those who wanted to sit back and watch the merriment whilst helping themselves to delicious Avurudu treats (including pani walalu, Konda Kavum different types of achchaaru, to name but a few of the huge spread available) , or having a chat with their fellow and family members.
A well laid out Buffet lunch was taken in the special section at the main restaurant of the hotel. It was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.
A special feature this year was the introduction of a “Overnight’ package which included accommodation, Buffet Dinner and Breakfast the following day. Fifteen (15) families took advantage of this attractively priced package, arranged for the first time, courtesy of the Avurudu Hamuwa Organising committee. The Evening Fellowship and Dinner on the Beach at the Pegasus Reef Hotel was indeed a truly fun filled family affair, where members’ wives too had an opportunity to entertain all those present with a ‘Sing along’ session.
All in all, ‘Avurudu Hamuwa 2018’ proved to be a resoundingly enjoyable event that keeps getting better every year.