November 30th was a long awaited day for the 136th Centenary Sea Scout ship Negombo and for the Negombo district as a whole! On this day, for the first time in Negombo district, the Sea Rovers of the 136th Centenary Sea Scout Ship had organized an adventure boat trip along the Hamilton canal Negombo.
Even before the sun showed up, the scout and scout leaders were gathered at the Munnakkaraya newly built fishing pier. Sea Scouts from Gateway College Katunayaka, Rovers from St. Peters College Negombo, Past President’s Scouts from Maris Stella College Negombo and Rovers from Kotugoda Sri Rahula Open Troop also joined hands with the 136th Centenary Sea Scout Ship to accomplish the mission. A brief religious meditation was conducted by Rev. Fr. Thilina Soyza, Bolawalana Parish. The national flag was hoisted on the pier followed by a brief inauguration ceremony. Mr. Lal Alwis was the chief guest for this great occasion and Dr. Thilak Siyambalapitiya also grace this occasion. After that, all of the participants were made aware of the safety precautions of this journey, as a single mistake could lead to a disaster.Then the voyage took off from the fishing pier. Simultaneously, couples of white doves were released to the sky symbolizing the journey under the theme ‘Peace to the Nation’ in commemoration of the Messengers of Peace program (MOP). Minutes after the start, eight Navy boats could be seen speeding triumphantly towards the horizon in the Negombo lagoon.
There were eight Navy boats powered by 40 hp engines each, each boat was accompanied by two navy officers. Scouts sailed on until everybody stopped to get breakfast. Post breakfast the Scouts started the voyage again. They enjoyed the view of the surrounding suburbs, overhead bridges and roads from inside the wobbling boats. The Canal opened into the Kelani river & Scouts and Rovers sailed along the Kelani river and finally arrived to the Kelani Raja MahaViharaya,our ultimate destination. Under the guidance and blessings of the Chief Incumbent Ven. Kollupitiye Mahinda Sangarakkita thero, Rovers and Scouts visited and worshiped the Viharaya. There, Rovers and Scouts offered flowers too. The unity among the multi religious Rovers and Scouts were highlighted and strengthened during the event.Then Rovers and Scouts had their lunch and returned safely to Negombo again. Every Rover and Scout was seen with a cheerful and delightful smile appealing for another boat trip someday sooner!
In this event, the support and guidance of Sri Lanka Navy was a great reason which made the event a success. 136th Centenary Sea Scout Ship would like to offer their heartiest gratitude and appreciation to Rear Admiral Rohan Amarasingha, Captain Suresh De Silva and all the Navy officials for providing boats and staff free of charge for our journey. We would also thank Mr. Elmo Rowel, the District Commissioner of Negombo district, Mr. Lakshan Perera, Assistant District Commissioner of Sea Scouting & IT / Member of MOP for coordinating and organizing the event, Mr. P. Meththananda, Assistant District Commissioner of Rovers , Mr. Aruna Fernando, Assistant District Commissioner of Development, Mr. Roy Fernando and Mr. Imbulgoda for their constant support & all the Sea Rovers, Sea Scouts and all the District Rovers who participated in the boat trip.