Past Principals

The event that prompted four young men from Massachussets way back in 1816 to sail across the oceans half way round the world is indeed a divine call. When they arrived in Ceylon, the then British Governor, Sir Robert Brownrigg with typical diplomacy dispatched them to the arid north. This turned out to be the blessing to the people of the North. The American missionaries who arrived in Jaffna founded the Batticotta seminary in 1823, and the first principal was Rev. Dr. Daniel Poor. He was followed by Hoisington, Hastings and Howland. These men were responsible for laying the proper foundation and consolidation. They were followed by the ‘B’s Brown, Bicknell and Bunker. Rev. Brown gave the meaning of Jaffna College Colours Crimson and the Gold. Crimson depicts the colour of blood symbolizing hard work, sacrifice and service, Gold symbolizes solid, sterling qualities of character. Rev. Bicknell’s era from 1911 – 36 saw rapid expansion of the College where he started constructing bigger buildings, implementing better systems and broader education. He built new class rooms, houses for teachers, dormitories and sanitary blocks. The electricity was provided with the installation of a powerful generator. Rev. Bunker who followed Rev. Bicknell was an amiable personality who promoted local participation in the management of the college. Rev. Bunker was also responsible for staring the Under Graduate section of Jaffna College.  When Rev. Bunker took over the undergraduate section Mr. Selliah was appointed as the principal of the College. His period was a Golden period where he steered the affairs of the college diligently. He was followed by Mr. S.V Balasingam who was regarded and respected. Mr. Rajan Kadirgamar took over as the principal from him. Rajan Kadirgamar was an efficient organizer and a good speaker. When he retired the mantle of principal-ship fell on Rev. Jabanesan. He was followed by Mr. Rajanayagam, Dr. Noel Vimalendran and Rev. Dr. Solomon.

( Excerpts from the articles of Mr. C.D. Chinnakone  appeared in the Souvenir published by the Jaffna College Alumni – Colombo to mark the 175thanniversary of Jaffna College.)

Name of Principiles

Years of Service

Rev. Dr. Daniel Poor

1823 – 1836

Rev. Dr. H.R. Hoisington

1836 – 1849

Rev. Dr. E.P. Hastings

1849 – 1889

Rev. Dr. S.W. Howland

1889 –1899

Rev. Dr. R.C Hastings

1899 – 1908

Rev. Dr. G.G. Brown 

1908 – 1916

Rev. Dr. John Bicknell

1916 – 1937

Rev. Dr. S.K. Bunker

1937 – 1947

Mr. K.A Selliah 

1947 – 1965

Mr. S.V Balasingam

1965 – 1968

Mr. Rajan Kadirgamar

1966 – 1988

Rt.Rev. Dr. S. Jabanesan

1988 – 1993

Mr. G. Rajanayagam

1993 – 2000

Rev. Anthony A. Paul

2000 – 2003

Dr. Noel A. Vimalendran

2003 – 2013

Rev. Dr. D.S Solomon

2014 –