A Whole Lot of History

A Whole Lot of History

Looking back, I think I Joined Rotaract even before selecting my subjects at university. Not that I had a clear idea about the movement, I just wanted to have some fun. People used to tell me a lot of interesting things about Rotaract including the fact that it is the only club in the world where people argue about the best way to save the world over pizza; I was intrigued to join.  Two years later, as sentimental as this may sound, I can say that joining Rotaract was one of the best decisions I took as a university fresher. We had a lot of fun (too much fun sometimes), but if we keep the fun aside for a moment, the value that I believe Rotaract added to my university life is remarkable.  

During my second year, I got the opportunity to serve as Co-Vice President of the Rotaract Club. I still remember Gethmi calling me suddenly and asking whether I would like to take the role. I knew it was going to be quite a lot on my plate, but how often do you get to work alongside your childhood friend who will be leading a major university club. Before even officially starting my tenure, I knew that this was going to be a place where I will get the chance to meet amazing people from all walks of life, and boy was I right. Out of all the people I met and interacted with, I cannot simply forget Yohan, my fellow Co-Vice President. Yohan is my polar opposite in many aspects which did lead to some disagreements. However, we always tried our best to fulfill our responsibilities together and created tons of memories along the way. Being a Vice President is no easy task not to say that it is rocket science. A vice president is the bridge between the top executives, other executives, and members of the club. Thus, by default, there’s a lot of mediation and problem solving that you have to do. If the club is a company, while the president and secretary are the CEOs, the VPs play the role of strategic managers. Well, I don’t know to what extent we were successful with our strategic decision making, (that is up for you to decide), but we did put out a few fires together. From the “Club Picnic” to “Mind First”, our very first to very last project, we did it all.

Here comes the emotional part, oops. It is a bittersweet feeling as I bid farewell to this remarkable club. I am filled with gratitude for the opportunities, experiences, and growth that this role has offered me. First and foremost, I would like to express my deepest appreciation to my fellow exco and board members. I am truly fortunate to have been a part of this team. Gethmi, thank you for trusting me with the role, hope I made your life at least a tiny bit easier. I know we still have some work left, let’s finish it off in style. To Dinithi, Oshini, and Yohan, I don’t think I will ever forget all the fun times we had last year, especially during the planning of the installation ceremony and the club trip. Nothing will ever replace that. To all the other directors and executive committee members, you guys were amazing. From the projects that were planned to the articles that were written, you guys were the heart and soul of the club for the past year. Together, we have navigated through challenges, embraced change, and achieved great milestones. I am proud of us for living up to our tagline to promote inclusivity and diversity by various means, including trilingual publication of articles and every other PR initiative for the first time in the history of RotaractArts. Moreover, how can one forget the time when we decided to spend some extra bucks on an expensive chocolate fountain for the installation ceremony simply because we wanted everyone to have an unforgettable experience despite the treasurer having her usual treasurer panic attacks. We had a lot of firsts indeed. What can I say, it was about going hard or going home (wink). To the Rotaractors from the district and other clubs. Thank you for the support rendered to Gethmi and the rest of us, we are grateful for it all. Last but not least, my dear juniors. Getting to know you guys was just amazing. Although the word count I have is limited to mention the names of everyone, I am proud of every single one of you. Give yourselves a pat on the back for all the hard work you guys did for the club and ultimately the community. Some of you put in your blood sweat and tears into our projects, and keep in mind, none of it goes unnoticed. Although you guys are quite annoying and always trying to attack my wallet, I will miss working with you all (you guys better invite us for all the future projects). I see a lot of potential in some of you to become great leaders and change makers one day. Always remember to be true to yourselves, uphold your core values and treat everyone equally because at the end of the day, this isn’t a ride to be taken alone. To the newly appointed president and secretary, congratulations and all the best in everything you do. I hope you guys will make us proud. Induwara and Hiruni, as future Vice presidents, just take it slow and easy. Every day will be a day of learning and new experiences for you to embrace. To my beloved first years who just joined the University. Things might be a bit overwhelming right now. It’s okay. Take a deep breath and take one step at a time. Adulting is hard, but projects make it fun. Being a Rotaractor is like being an Avenger without the cape, there will be a lot of learning, service, and fun, after which you can peacefully enjoy a shawarma at the end of the day once you’re done with the projects.. Time will pass by in the blink of an eye, so make sure there won’t be any regrets the day you step out of this beautiful place.

Our Rotaract year was indeed a bumpy ride. However, if we look back, the ride didn’t break our spines (except when we all rode in Gethmi’s car packed like a sardine can), it only made our bones stronger. All good things must come to an end. As we have reached our curtain call, now it’s our time to go. I hope we stole the show (which is for you to decide). I am Rtr. Kavindi Gunawardena, signing off as Co-Vice President.

Bear in mind, if you aren’t having fun, you aren’t doing it right! (wink)

Rtr. Kavindi Gunawardena

Co-Vice President


“You and me got a whole lot of history, we could be the greatest team”

As the saying goes on “every beginning has an end”, and so does our memorable year as the executives of the Rotaract Club, University of Colombo, Faculty of Arts. I really don’t know how to start revisiting my journey as the Co-Vice president at the club, but I must begin with the first day we finally met after the pandemic season. It was the 9th of February 2022 at the 12th Installation of the Club. I can still remember, Sarasi, Gethmi, Kavindi, Tharushika, Udani, and Dinithi were there. Several months late, SLAMM 2022 was the first physical event we handled, and it was indeed one of the most fun days ever. From organizing, participating, helping events such as the Club picnic, Installation, “O’Spooky”, “O’Santa”, “Writing Clinic”, the Club trip, “Ambalame Thala”, “Baila Night,” and many more, I seriously have no words to explain what I feel as the outgoing Co-Vice President. I would simply say that it was indeed a great journey with my fellow Rotaractors.

Let’s talk about avenues and my fellow Rotaractors now. As we assigned one exco to look after and help one respective avenue from the club, I was in charge to help Professional Development Avenue. My good friend and avenue director Rtr. Sarasi Adikari completed every single task (all on her own without much help from me) and my applause to her for the massive effort. The Club Picnic was the project I enjoyed with her very much and I also must thank her for organizing that amazing journey to Kandy for “Writing Clinic 3.0”. From all the avenues, the Community Service Avenue will forever be my favorite avenue since we did a lot for the community. Hats off to the director of the avenue Rtr. Buddhimali Parindya, she is my favorite Avenue director. The newly formed Membership Development Avenue under Anuruddhika and Yasal showed great progress and we all are impressed. I must thank Jayani, the Director of the International Service Avenue for all her efforts towards the avenue and the club. Ranmali our Sergeant-at-Arms, thank you for all the support. The Junior Treasurer Dinithi, I thank you a lot for handling the financial stress and massive effort. Tharini and Shihara, our two Co-editors, I really appreciate your work and thanks for continuing the legacy of Vibhath aiya and Janidu aiya. Our secretary and my music partner Tharushika, I must thank you for your hard work and I enjoyed a lot playing the guitar alongside you. To the two Co-Assistants Secretaries, Udani and Heshani, thank you for everything you helped us with. Kavindi, my funny Co-Vice President, I hope you enjoy the run, and it is my pleasure to have worked with you. The boss girl Gethmi, the most hardworking girl in the faculty (as my observation), I thank you for your leadership, I enjoyed every single minute we spent, creating so many memories. Let’s see whom I forget. Oh! I just saved space for the Director of the Club Service Avenue Oshini, the best friend I met from the Rotaract. It was so sad to see you leave us in the middle of your tenure for educational purposes, but the six months we had with you were simply unforgettable.

At last, I must thank every person, especially our juniors who were there with us during our time as the executives for their massive support and I wish all the very best to all newly appointed board members. The ship is up to you now and I hope you guys will never let it sink. Finally, my dear EXCO and Board of Directors, you guys made my days as the Co-Vice President unforgettable. Thank you again and it was you guys who made every single moment valuable and memorable.  I hope the bond we created through the Club will live with us forever during our life journey and I wish what happened to One Direction won’t happen to us. My final words to you are, “I really wish I could go back in time and restart our journey”.

Thank you! Rtr Yohan Soyza, signing off as the Co-Vice president for the Rotaract year 2022/23.

Rtr. Yohan Soyza

Co-Vice President

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