The Sinhalese Cultural Centre’s first social event organised to create community awareness and to gather social support was held on 11 March 2017, at the Roselea Community Centre, Carlingford. The event was from 6.30pm to 11.00pm in the form of a fundraising dinner enchanted with music and cultural performances. This event was named ‘Jana Sevana 2017’; a name giving the meaning of “roof for the community” implying a broader connotation of the proposed cultural centre.
The function hall was filled with over 360 distinguished guests who arrived bringing with them the spirit of resolution to see their own place in Sydney, the Sinhalese Cultural Centre. The crowd characterized all facets of the Sri Lankan Sinhalese community also representing many community organisations operating in Sydney, united under one roof with one common aim.
The chief guest was Mr. Lal Wickrematunge the Sri Lankan Consul General for New South Wales and Queensland. The event was inaugurated with the lighting of the traditional oil lamp. Making the keynote speech Mr. Wickramatunge emphasised the timely need for such a collective oasis for the Sinhalese people living in Sydney and wished this project would see its realisation in the most fashionable manner.
The Chairman of the Sinhalese Cultural Centre Mr. Nihal Fernando delivered the welcome speech explaining the current progress of the project, and the way forward, complimented by Mr. Mahie Mahanama, the President of the Sinhalese Cultural Forum, enlightening the crowd on the need of the Cultural Centre, and its wide ranging and long lasting benefits to all communities of the Australian society.
Mr. Asela Jayanath was the Master of Ceremony steering the whole event through his vivid skills. The stage was brought alive by beautiful Sri Lankan traditional dance and percussion sessions by the students of Sankha Ridma Dance Ensemble in Sydney directed by Mr. Dinesh Perera. Mrs. Samanalie Jayasuriya, Mr. Pasan Dayasena and Mr. Chaminda Kuruppu showcased their singing skills entertaining the guests with their live performances. Guests were made to feel even luckier with abundant rewards drawn through raffle, lucky door and lucky draw prizes.
The well-praised three course dinner was followed by the self-entertainment of the thrilled gathering, in dancing to the fast rhythm Sri Lankan music by DJ Neil. In the blissful atmosphere, the time crawled faster than anyone expected, leaving everyone with gorgeous memories and a wish to get together again in a similar splendid night sooner.
The Sinhalese Cultural Centre is whole-heartedly grateful to many volunteers, artists, sponsors and the well-wishers along with the participants who contributed to the over-whelming success of this event. Without them this would not have been come alive the way it transpired.
Photo memories of the event can be revealed here.