A Personal Recollection By Dr. K.Thirugnanasunderalingam
The Victoria Branch of the Hartley College Past Pupils Association was inaugurated on 29 June 1991. Many members may not know the events that led to the formation of the Association and for that reason it may be of interest to recall them when we are celebrating our 10th anniversary. It all started with a letter I received from Dr B. Muhunthan, who studied with me at Hartley and the University of Peradeniya. Muhunthan was then a postgraduate student in the USA.
Prof. A. Thurairajah who was on a visit to the USA had met Muhunthan and talked about the urgent need for financial assistance to Hartley. Muhunthan attached a letter from Prof. Thurairajah and requested me to explore the possibility of raising funds to help Hartley.
I showed the letter to Mr. Maheswaran whom I used to see frequently because of our common involvement with the Hindu Society of Victoria. Mr Maheswaran was very interested in the proposal and encouraged me to work seriously in founding a branch for the Hartleyites residing in and around Melbourne. I was fortunate to find an energetic youngster in Radhan Markandu Subramaniam who had just arrived at the University of Melbourne on a merit scholarship to do medicine. He was himself keen on forming an Association that could bring the past pupils closer.
I asked Radhan to attend the Annual Vegetarian Dinner organized by the Hindu Society of Victoria so that we could meet few Hartleyites and take the matter further. At the dinner held on 23 March 1991, I introduced Radhan to Maheswaran and other Hartleyites present at the function. I remember Mr. Kathirgamanathan and Dr. Senathirajah were among them. After some discussions among Hatleyites present, Mr. Maheswaran agreed to send a draft letter to me to word process and make copies for circulation.
After that we worked hard to organise a formal meeting among Hartleyites residing in Victoria State with the help of Mr Kathirgamanathan and Prof. C. J. Eliezer. Contact details of as many Hartleyites as possible were collected and invitation letters were sent to about 50 past pupils in Melbourne. At the inauguration meeting held at the Monash University, about 30 old boys attended. Mr Maheswaran and I were elected the pro-temp Chairman and Secretary respectively.
The draft constitution prepared by Mr Maheswaran was discussed, amended and adopted unanimously. This was followed by the election of the first management committee.
Professor. C. J. Eliezer
Mr. C. Kathirgamanathan
Our founder President, Professor Eliezer and Secretary/Treasurer, Mr Maheswaran are no more with us but their contribution to the Association will be remembered forever.
[The above is an extract from the personal recollections, corroborated by diary entries, of Dr Thirugnanasundarlingam. These were written down in haste for inclusion in the Tenth Anniversary Souvenir at the request of the Committee of HCPPA-Victoria.]
Last Update: August 2001.