15th December 2017 12:50:35 Hours
As seasonal compliments, set in with the forthcoming phenomenal Christmas and dawn of the New Year - 2018, the Army contributing its share, held its annual Army Christmas Carols jointly organized by the Army Christian Fellowship and the Adjutant General’s Branch at the Army Headquarters Thursday (14) evening at Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa theatre amidst a gathering of distinguished invitees.
The day’s Guest of Honour His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, the Archbishop of Colombo and the Chief Guest, Secretary Defence, Mr Kapila Waidyarathne PC attended the special occasion at the invitation of the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake.
Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, Commander of the Army accompanied by Major General Harin Perera representative of the Chairman, Army Christian Fellowship welcomed the Guest of Honour and the Chief Guest at the entrance to the Nelum Pokuna.
The congregation began soon after the Guest of Honour His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, the Archbishop of Colombo and the Chief Guest, Secretary Defence arrived at the venue, amidst fanfare melodies of the Army band.
Rev. Fr. Prasanna Rohan, Parish Priest, St. Anne’s Church, Miriswatte delivered the introductory speech. Several choirs including the Army one afterwards conducted Carols, adding festive atmosphere to the occasion.
Rev. Fr. Benedict Joseph, Sri Lanka Army Chaplain conducted the opening prayer session.
His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, the Archbishop of Colombo read out the Gospel Reading and Christmas message reminding the gathering of the true meaning of Christmas as the Guest of Honour.
The event, arranged by Major General Dampath Fernando, Chairman, Army Christian Fellowship, together with Brigadier Manjula Karunarathne, Secretary Army Christian Fellowship and Committee members of the Army Christian Fellowship organized Carols, adding festive atmosphere to the occasion in Sinhala, Tamil and English. The Choirs sang odes and hymns jointly to the Prince of the Peace, Jesus Christ and heralded his Birth while praying for world peace, goodwill and prosperity.
Voices rent to the event by veteran artistes, backed by the Army Choir with the most celebrated melodies, came in for praise and appreciation. Choir of Good Shepherd’s Convent, Choir of De Mazenod College, Choir of St. Benedict’s College and Choir of St. Bridget’s Convent contribution of Army personnel and combined choirs, added colour and rhythmic variety to the occasion.
Several popular vocalists, Ms Michelle Christine, Ms Dinesha Chandrasiri, Mr Eshantha De Andrado, Mr Dayan DL Fernando, Mrs Corin Almeda, Mr Anil Bharathi, Mr Ronnie Leitch, Ms Mariazella Goonethilake, Rev Fr Prasanna Rohan, Lieutenant Colonel Laxman Fernando, Captain Damien Mc Leod, a few other leading Ranaviru Real Star singers, together with children of Army families backed by veterans in the Army Choir, added melody and rhythm to the occasion as those soloists appeared before the gathering.
Mrs Shalini Waidyaratne, Chairperson, Ministry of Defence - Seva Vanitha Unit (MoD-SVU), together with Mrs Chandrika Senanayake, President, Army Seva Vanitha Unit were also among the invitees.
Past Commanders, Retired Senior Army Officers, Chief of Staff, Commandant, Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force (SLAVF), Principal Staff Officers, Security Forces Commanders, Colonel Commandants and Colonel of the Regiments, Director Generals and Directors at the Army Headquarters, Senior Army Officers, Officers, differently-able War Heroes, tri-forces and Police Christian Fellowship members and Other Ranks with their spouses and Children, attended the Christmas Carols - 2017.