Rt. Rev. Thomos Cooray OMI then the Archbishop of Colombo
realize that Panadura A Buddhist stronghold is in need of a
Catholic School. Rev. fr. Alex Ranasingha then the parish
priest of Panadura, with the help of Good Shepherd Sister
started a primary School on February 2nd 1953 in a temporary
house donated by Buddhist native doctor, in Gunananda
Mawatha . This was the first School conducted by Sister Mary
Ailbie, Sister Philomina and three other teachers.
Later on 2nd July 1953 a new building was constructed at the
present school premises and conducted classes for 33
students. Due to lack of space and increasing number of
students, then sister superior Mary Cuthbert Maconeli
purchased the adjoining land in order to expanded the
school. The school was registered as a Catholic School in
In the early years the school was mixed. In the year 1964 it
became a girls’ school. The most important thing happened in
1968 was the composing of the school song. In that
particular year grade 6,7 and 8 classes were started and the
school Western and Eastern Band were formed.
In 1972 the school was entitled to the new education system
and them in 1976 for the first time student were forwarded
for G.C.E. (O/L) Examination and in 1997 student sat for
G.C.E. (A/L) Examination in the streams of Art and Commerce
.Since then the Shepherdians were able to come out with
flying colors at their various examinations bringing honour
to their ALMA MATER.
At present the school has about 1000 students on enroll and
a tutorial staff of 40 teachers. It has progressed through
all these years due to the strong commitment and dedication
of the Principals and the teachers, past and present and the
assistance of parents and past pupils.
Rev.Sister Mary Ernestine
Rev.Sister Mary Anthony
Rev.Sister Mary Xavior
Rev.Sister Mary Benjamin
Rev.Sister Mary Dhammika
Sr. Muriel Wickramarathne (1999-2006)
Sr. Mary Francine Muthugala (2006-2007)
Tribute to Sr. Mary Dhammika Gunawardana
Rev. Sr. Dhammika did her best to improve the
school, the convent and the parish up to the time of her demise.
Prior to this period she had served ten years at Good Shepherd
Convent, Panadura. At the time of her demise she was 54 years, quite
hail and hearty.
As a religious personality, Sr.Dhammika was devoted to her service.
To educate students in a religious atmosphere inculcating the
spiritual values to enable them to become worthy daughters of Mother
Lanka had been her greatest desire. Sister was keen not only in the
education of her charges but also in extracurricular activities to
maintain their physical and mental stability. She encouraged
students to participate in sports, dramas, debates and language
competitions. She took the initiative to provide the school band
with wind instruments.
Sr.Dhammika wanted to improve the quality of education by imparting
knowledge using modern techniques. She started G.C.E. A/L classes
from January 1995.
She planned to setup a four-storeyed building for the school. Funds
were collected by implementing various fund raising projects. The
foundation stone was laid on December 5,1998 with a religious
Ceremony and a “Trade fair” as a fund raising project. She wished to
go from door to door appealing for building materials to fulfill her
target, but her dream was shattered by her death. Her extra ordinary
simplicity drew her staff and students to her, blended to work in
unity and harmony as a team.