Gajaba Regiment (GR) Headquarters at Saliyapura adorned festive garbs Thursday (23) morning to mark the opening of a string of new additions to the premises with the presence of Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary Defence and Urban Development as the Chief Guest.
As the first item on the day’s agenda, Mr Rajapaksa was invited to lay the first cornerstone for construction of a new welfare shop complex, in one corner of the perimeter of the compound at GR Headquarters. Amidst Pirith chanting, Mr Rajapaksa laid the stone as the auspicious minute struck. Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, Commander of the Army, together with the Colonel of the Regiment, Major General A.K.S Perera was in attendance.
Opening of the newly-built mini hospital, two storied new accommodation building for Warrant Officers with its mess facilities and the state-of-the-art utility complex that houses a cafeteria, saloon, tailor shop, shoe-mending centre plus a well-equipped library, added symbolic value to the GR Headquarters where a few thousands of all ranks are frequenting on a daily basis, owing to service requirements of all GR units, deployed across the island.
The two-storied Warrant Officers’ building, opened by the visiting Mr Rajapaksa, who himself was an officer of the prestigious GR while in service, began its construction late last year after the Commander of the Army ceremonially laid the first cornerstone at the invitation of the Colonel of the Regiment and the Commandant.
The new utility complex, built within a span of few months, remained a long-felt need since many day today requirements had to be either brought from outside or bought from the nearest town bazaar. Of them, opening of a new library plus its reading room marked another milestone in the GR history since the GR Headquarters was without a reading place proper before Thursday’s (23) establishment.
Secretary Defence and Urban Development, recalling cherished yesteryear memories during his days as a GR officer went round the new premises and saw for himself how fast the new additions and renovations have taken place.
Commandant, GR Headquarters, Senior Officers and a large gathering of other rankers witnessed the day’s ceremonial openings.