Harrow School has a long-standing connection with Sri Lanka, perhaps most strongly felt in relation to the Boxing Day tsunamis of 2004, when the Harrow cricket team was visiting the country. Extensive fundraising to support the relief effort followed.
On Easter Sunday 2019, Sri Lanka experienced severe terrorist bombings, which targeted churches and luxury hotels. As a sign of respect, there was a minute’s silence at the start of the first Speech Room (assembly) in the summer term, and the Head Master sent a letter of condolence to the Sri Lankan High Commission in London.
Lower Sixth pupil Arvind Hirdaramani (The Park) also returned from the holidays with a determination to raise funds for the families of victims and for restoration of the churches. He wrote then, “It is a solemn time in the country, but what has been heartening is the overall global response that has truly been a pillar of strength for the Sri Lankan people.”
On Speech Day in May 2019, Arvind and his fellow Harrovian fundraisers collected nearly £2,000. Combined with £2,500 remaining in the Boxing Day tsunami fund and a gift of £500 from St Mary’s Church’s planned giving fund, the fundraising total looks to reach around £5,000, which will be transferred to the Sri Lankan relief efforts via the Red Cross.