Opposite Athkanda Viharaya on Kandy Road,Kurunegala there stood a building about 150 x 30 consisting of a single hall with short walls.In it was a school having about 150 boys. The staff consisted of seven teachers of whom not one was a graduate. There were classes from the second standard to the J.S.C. No Science subjects were taught at all and of the languages only English and Sinhalese were taught. Volley Ball was the only sport and Scouting the only extra curricular activity.. The school a private (government assisted ) one under the management of the late Mr A.M.Abeygunarathne, Notary Public who spent a great deal of his time and money in maintaining and improving it. This was the picture of Maliyadeva College in the year 1930.
In the year 1934 the late Hon G.E. MADAWALA, the then Member of the State Council for Narammala seat who was the owner of the land on which the the present Maliyadeva buildings stand died leaving the Last Will whereby he constituted a trust of the said land and the house he resided (Madawala Walawwa) from the establishment of a Secondary School and appointed a Board of Trusties who were to give effect to his laudable intention. Thus dawned Maliyadeva’s day.
The Young Men’s Buddhist Association (Y M B A ) which was established in the year 1921 was at this time dormant, the society not having met for 5 years. On a requisition signed by several members a special meeting was convened on 21st October 1934 nd the society resolved to obtain the said land and premises from the Trusties and establish a Buddhist Secondary School. Within a matter of months they obtained a part of the land and commenced construction of buildings. With public donations the Y M B A put up two buildings, the Jubilee Hall and the Madawala Hall. Mr Abeygunarathne who was the Manager of the school at this time agreed to the shifting of Maliyadeva College from Kandy Road to the new buildings on Negombo Road and the transfer took place in the middle of 1935. At the beginning of 1936 Mr Abeygunarathne relinquished the manager ship of the school in favor of Y M B A which selected late Dr H.K.T De Silva as its first manager. It was thus that Maliyadeva came under the care of Y M B A to commence new and a vigorous journey.
During the next 25 years the school was managed by the Y M B A through several managers and a special committee for educational matters.The Y M B A from time to time acquired more land and erected more buildings to accommodate the increasing numbers. Except for the two storied building ( present main hall which was built at the sole expense of Rt Hon. Sir John Kotalawala) all other buildings were put up with public funds and savings from the College Hostel.
With the Government decision to take over all assisted schools in 1960 the Y M B A that Mliyadeva become a director managed school and her long association with the Y M B A ended in December 1960. At this point Maliyadeva College was the premier educational institute in the North Western Province.There were about one thousand two hundred students on roll. The staff consisted of forty eight teachers of whom eighteen were graduates.
The next 25 years the school progressed by vast strides from year to year under the leadership and management of able educationists. In 1985 there was a significant change in the management and the college on her vigorous journey started developing at a rapid pace under new leadership. In the new millennium the progress made was remarkable and today name Maliyadeva stands as a giant among the top most national schools in the country. Maliyadeva College has the proud history of over 130 years. Over these years she has dedicated large number of professionals to the society. With over 130 years of academic excellence the the school has been maintaining her name which she established in 1960 as the premier educational institute in the the North Western Province and continuing as one of the top most national schools in Sri Lanka. We also with much gratitude remember all those who made many sacrifices to develop the school and kept the flag flying in the sphere of academics and co curricular and extra curricular activities of the school during the past 130 years.
The Old Boys of the school had been the greatest strength in her journey of over 130 years. Year 1936 was a significant year for the Old Boys of Maliyadeve college. 13th July 1936 goes on record as the day the first Old Boys Meeting was held at the Jubillee Hall under the patronage of Rev Nekeththe Ananda thero , one of the respected pioneers of Maliyadeva College. Rev Ananda thero in 1936 could muster few students to participate at this meeting. From the humble beginning in 1936 the Old Boys’ Association has been strengthening itself during the last 82 years to be the most efficient organization to support the school in every way to maintain the prestigious image of the school. With a membership of over ……………….. and managed by a group of highly capable personalities the Old Boys Association has become the greatest asset of the school. During the past 82 years various old boys in different capacities has made immense contributions to the association to be where it is today. We fondly remember those great personalities and pay our tribute to them.
The Association supported by its strong membership, professional approach is striving hard to carry the Alma Mater to be the supreme educational institute in Sri Lanka which will dedicate disciplined, capable balanced and efficient members to the society which has to to face daunting tasks ahead .
Last but not least, it is of a great importance to note some of the key services driven by Maliyadeva Old Boys Association, for the betterment of the current students of the school.
- The cricket tournament of Current Students vs. Past Students
- The rugby tournament of Current Students vs. Past Students
- Organizing 1988 century celebration program and launching of special stamp.
- Holding the colours night.
- Complete sponsorship for the annual sports-meet
- Organizing and sponsoring of annual big match Maliyadeva College vs. st. Annes College
- To support, contribute to and work in all possible ways, for the betterment of the religious, academic, sport related and social aspects of the college.
- To support for the qualitative and quantitative upliftment of the college.
- To increase and strengthen the bond between the Past students and the College.
- To facilitate welfare of the members.
- All approved branches, affiliated groups and sub groups must possess the membership of the Old Boys Association of Maliyadeva College.
- All activities of the Maliyadeva Old Boys Association must be carried out under the sub committees as mentioned below.
- Financial sub committee
- Sports and extra-curricular sub committee
- Membership sub committee
- Social Affairs sub committee
- Academic Affairs sub committee
- Welfare and infrastructure development sub committee