Know Our History
Arrival of Marist Brothers
The beginning of Maris Stella College was as a result of the arrival of Marist brothers on 1911 on March 3rd who set sailed from a Spanish vessel from Genoa. By March 24th they were warmly welcomed and came to Novitiate house in Mutuwal. Then they set off to Bandarawela and from there to Batticaloa by the mail coach drawn by horses. By then due to world war 1, 2 brothers went for active service and Rev. Bro. Lewis, Rev. Bro. Anthony and Rev Bro. Richard remained for teaching at St. Michael's school. Mathematics were particularly excellent at the annual inspections. By 1916 Brothers were notified to discontinue their service at Batticaloa,
Service at Negombo , St. Mary's college
His Grace Rev. Fr. J. Milliner OMI Parish Priest in Negombo invited Rev. Bro. Director to visit Negombo. As a result Brothers took over the control of St. Mary's college , Negombo . By then Rev. Fr. Theodore was the principal and most elementary notions of Physics and Chemistry was done by him and later replaced by Rev. Bro. Anthony. By 1919 Rev. Bro. Lewis was offered the direction and the administration of the school. Due to the increment of pupils a strip of land was purchased and 6 class rooms were approved to be built. By 1920 , the Cambridge Examination was very well done, Mr. G. De Soyza obtaining first class honours with distinction and obtaining exception from the London Matriculation. Due to the steady increase of the students even the inspectors insisted the expansion or shifting to to more extensive grounds.
Shifting to the current location
Bro. Provincial realized the situation and took steps to find a suitable new land. With the help of good friends of the college and Rev. Brothers like His Grace the Archbishop Mgr. Coudert and Rev. Fr. Mazoyer OMI , Parish Priest of Bolawalana and two charitable ladies Miss. Rosa Isabella de Croos and her sister Mary Christina de Croos donated one of their estates situated at Copra junction. Rev. Brothers acquired 2 other plots of lands. By September 7th of 1921 , Rev. Bro. Lewis and Rev. Bro. Paul Felix took up the new residence and therefore there were 2 schools with same name "St. Mary's " , one in the old building and one in the new building. While the college colours of St. Mary's were white and red, Rev. Bro. Director proposed to adopt for new colours "blue and cerise" .
Changing the School Name
By 1923 Rev. Bro. Lewis had completed 6 years of Directorship and Rev. Bro. Mary Julian succeed him starting from January 29th. Rev. Bro. Julian started the work of the playground . Cart loads of coconut fiber were dumped over weeks into the swampy land and pond until it reached to a level of adjoining land. Rev. Bro. Lewis was the first prefect of the borders. 8 classes with cadjan roofs were put up by 1923 and primary classes from St. Mary's were joined to the new location . By 1924 the school was named as "Maris Stella College" and the motto to be "Iter Para Tutum. In 1924 this was raised as a secondary school since it was registered as an Elementary School with a secondary Department. The teachers guild was founded the same year with the aim of fostering the social spiritual and intellectual well being of the members of the tutorial staff and to assist various activities of the college.
Old Boys Assoc. , New library , and more buildings .......
The school broadcasting service was introduced by 1925 by Rev. Bro. Joseph who was a great scientist and a philosopher. The first Corpus Christi procession was also taken place by the same year . By 1928 college had several teachers who were very skillful , qualified and successful in teaching different subjects. By 1929 "Old Boy's Association" formed and the inaugural meeting was held on 28th September with 35 members. By 1930 a prize distribution was held with the presence of Archbishop Rev. Dr. P. Marque. Prizes had been awarded to regular attendance, Elocution , Penmanship , and Sunday school. By 1930 15th of June was a red letter day for Maristonians as the first general rally of Maristonians was held on that day. On August 5th Blessing of the main block was done by Archbishop of Colombo. Mr. Mesdamus Austin and Mr. Victor Croos Dabarera , the donors of the land were called open to cut the ribbon of Cerise and Blue. College comprised of four large blocks . In the same year the reading room and the library was opened.
World war and Free Education
By 1939 the world war started and parts of the buildings were requisitioned by the Army and the Primary section had to quit and went to the shades of Philip Neri Church at Thammita . We seek the protection of our lady and made a pledge and made a thanks giving by a votive pilgrimage to our lady of Lourdes. By 1943 we acquired 2 small blocks of lands and Primary Dept could have been taken back. With "Free Education" in 1945 we had to face different problems. Rev. Brothers decided keeping up our college is very much necessary . Except very few amount of schools all other schools entered into this education scheme . Therefore the service of the school was further extended.
At this time the principal was Rev. Bro. Peter Berkman and he had to take the decision whether we continue as a government school or a private school. If so how the expenditure would be covered was a very big issue. He emphasized how valuable if the education is based on catholic values for the Catholic students. education. He got this brave decision that we continue as a Catholic private school and the staff as well as the welfare society helped on this.
Agriculture and Commerce Section and further improvements
The next principal Rev. Bro. Gregory Alloysius wanted to reduce the gap between number of students who admit and the number students who disqualify for the higher education. Therefore Agriculture and the Commerce sections started. By 1979 Rev. Bro. Clinton was the captain to sail the ship. He wanted the playground to bring upto a standard quality. Hence it was the best playground in Negombo which many schools conducted their sports days.