The Rotary  Club  of  Colombo  South was  chartered  on October  07,  1978.  The  Club  was  sponsored  by  Rotary Club of Mount  Lavinia. The Charter President and Charter Secretary were Rtn.S  Sivajidorai,  a  prominent    businessman  in  Colombo  and Rtn.  S.  Yogendranathan,  a  banker,    respectively.  Rtn.  S.  Sivaji  Dorai  continued  as  the  President  during  1979  –  80  as  well.   There were  only  13  Rotary Clubs  in  Sri  Lanka  at  the  time  of chartering of our Club.  At that time, the Club came under RI District 321, which comprised Sri Lanka, southern parts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.  Clubs  such  as  Thiruvananthapuram  (formerly  Trivandrum)  and Alleppey  from Kerala and Thiruchirapalli, Madurai, Nagar Kovil  and  Tirunelveli  from  Tamil Nadu were  part  of  RI District  321. 

With the increase of the number of Rotary Clubs in the District, the clubs were  re-grouped and we came under RI District 322.  In 1991, Sri Lanka became a separate District under the title  ‘RI District 3220’. Rtn RI Director/Treasurer K R Ravindran was the first District Governor of the new District.  Several  worthwhile projects were carried out by the successive presidents and their boards of directors.  The Club was an active club and there was camaraderie among fellow Rotarians.  The Club had its weekly meetings at  Brighton Hotel, Ramakrishna  Road, Wellawatte  and  the  venue  was  later  shifted  to Colombo Marriott Hotel (now known as Galadari Hotel). Read more….( The  ethnic  riots made most  of members  internally  displaced.    Their homes,  properties  and business  establishments  were  damaged  or destroyed.   They  lost most of their belongings and some of them left Colombo.  Fortunately the Club did not die. Charter members like the  late Rtn. M. Somasundaram had the Club alive.  Though there were no formal weekly meetings on a regular basis, some members who were in Colombo met occasionally. The  Club  was  resurrected  in  1990  when  Rtn.  PP. MPHF.  V. Ariyaratnam  became  President.    He  held  this  office  for  two consecutive  years  –  1990-91  and  1991-92.    He  was  the  President when  the  District  was  un-bifurcated  (RI  District  322,  under  D.G. Rtn.D.M.  Swaminathan)  and  later  in RI District  3220  (under DG Rtn. K.R. Ravindran).  His period was the turning point in the history of the Colombo  South.    Hon. M.H. Mohamed,  Speaker  of  the  Parliament, was   the Chief Guest at his installation in 1991.  Many useful projects were implemented during this period.

The Club also has four Rotarians, who were past presidents  in other clubs, as members.  They are Rtn. PDG. Major Donor N. Pathmanathan (Trincomalee 1978-79 & 1979-80), Rtn. PP. MPHF. V. Ratnasothy (Trincomalee (1990-1991), Rtn. PP. PHF. S. E. Mariathas (Jaffna 1996-1997) and Rtn PP PHF N Saravanabavan(Jaffna 2006 &2007)

The Club had faced several trials and tribulations during the thirty one years of  existence – especially during the mid 1980s.  However, it has notched many successes.   Most of the presidents had risen to the occasions and kept the  flag of the club  flying higher  and  higher.    Even  at  times     when  presidents  falter  the membership  rallied round  them and made  the club move  forward.   Our members are real assets  to  the club.  Every member considers himself as the president of the year and works hard to make the year a success and memorable.

During  the  Rotary  year  1990-91  and  1991-92,  Rtn.PP.MPHF.  V.  Ariyaratnam  made  strenuous  efforts  to  increase  the  membership  as  he  felt  that  a  sound membership    base was    sine  qua  non  for  an  effective  club.  The  Clubs membership increased from six (06) to twenty (20).    He   made the weekly meetings attractive and enhanced  the  fellowship  activities.  A  donation  of  Rupees  Eight  Hundred  Thousand (Rs.800,000/-) was made to a poor girl who suffered from a hole  in the heart.     These activities helped the Club immensely in turning it around. 

 During  1993-94,  the  Club  adopted  ten  (10)  deserving  school  children  from Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim Communities and looked after their educational needs.  The Interact Club of Presbyterian Girls’ School, Dehiwala, was chartered during this year.  During the Rotary year 1995-96, the Club’s membership increased by 25%. The Club constructed thirteen houses  for poor  families at Arachchikatuwa, Chilaw as part of  the Village Adoption Project.   The Club donated milk  food, dry  rations and  textile items valued at Rs.100,000/  to  the Hindu Council  for distribution among  refugees  in the North.  A health camp was held at Tadella, Matara.  Another health camp was also sponsored by  the  club  at  the Rama Krishna Mission, Wellawatte.   The Club donated furniture  to  the  newly  opened  ward  at  the  Cancer  Institute, Maharagama  and  dry rations were provided at the Suhada Home for Children at Kotte for a period of six (06) months.

In 1996-97 the Club under the leadership of Rtn. PHF. N. Annalingam, obtained six  awards  and citations, which  included  the Best Bulletin Award  and Award  for  the Children’s  Playground  at  Tadella  Maha  Vidyala,  Matara.    The  monthly  bulletin ‘Southern Breeze’ began its appearance in July 1996 and thirteen issues were released during  that  year  regularly  on  a monthly  basis. We were  actively  involved  in  all  the National Immunization Days continuously for several years.

The  Rotary  year  1997/98 was  a  great  year  to  our  Club  under  the  energetic  leadership  of  Rtn. MPHF.S. Rajanathan.    The  Club  was  adjudged  the  Excellent  Club.  President was selected as one of the Excellent Presidents.  The Club received thirteen (13)awards  including  Excellent  Secretary  Award,  District  Citation  for  Balanced  Activities,  Best  Bulletin,  Contribution  to  The  Rotary  Foundation(TRF)  and  Best Attendance.

District  Citation  for  Exceptional  Rotarian  was  awarded  to  Rtn.  N Pathmanathan. We contributed USD 4,600.00 to the Rotary Foundation, which was the highest contribution made by the Club till 2002-03.   The  Club  also  implemented  the  first  ever Matching Grant  Project with RC/ Calcutta,  India.   The project helped eighty under-privileged pre-schools  with educational toys.   

The  Club  sponsored  a  new  Rotaract  Club  with  32  charter members.    The  Club  also  contributed  Rs.42,000/-  towards  the  Rotary Centre Project.  During  this  year  (1997-98)  the  Club’s  membership  increased from  27  to  35-  nearly  30%  increase.    The  Club  sponsored  the participation  of  ten  school  –  leavers  from  Hindu  Ladies  College,  Wellawatte and Presbyterian Girls’ School, Dehiwala at  the  ‘English  for Employment  Course’  conducted  by  the  Bankers’  Training  Institute,  Sri Lanka.  The Club conducted a Career Guidance Seminar at Hindu Ladies’  College,  Wellawatte.    The  club  distributed  7,500  school  time  tables giving publicity to the Four – Way Test to children in four schools. The Club had  two health  camps at Dumbagoda and Wadduwa.  We also presented linen to the Accident Service Ward, National Hospital, Colombo.    Several  service  projects  were  carried  out  at  Kukulegama, which included a peace forum, assistance to the pre school, a sanitation project, presentation of  library books and exercise books  to  the village school and a poverty and hunger project.   The Club’s nominee Rtn. PP. Uvais Ahamed – was selected as the team  leader of the GSE Team that visited RI District 1200 UK and the Club hosted the in-bound team from the same District to lunch.  The Club also had a youth forum to mark the New  Generations Month.    The  Rotaract  Club  which  was  inactive  was reactivated. 

The  Rotary  year  1999-2000  saw  an  increase  of membership  by  18.75%  with  the  induction  of  six  (06)  new members. Career guidance seminars were held in three (03) schools.   Five  thousand  school  time  tables  giving  publicity  to  the  Four Way Test  were distributed among three schools. The  Club also adopted the  paediatric neuro  –  surgical  ward  at  the  National  Hospital.    One hundred books  in all three languages were gifted to the Mahara Prison.  A health camp was held at Agalawatte.  One thousand five hundred tree saplings were plated  in various parts of the  island.   Seven hundred and fifty safe bottle lamps were distributed in the Polonnaruwa District and at Hattton – Dickoya.

The  Rotary  year  2002-03  was  a  spectacular  year  under  the  dynamic leadership of Rtn. PP. Major Donor P. Thayaparan.   The Club was declared the Best Club  in  the District.   The Club  received awards  for almost all Avenues of Service and for every key positions in the Board.  President Thaya received the Excellent  President  Award,  Secretary  Ratnasothy  received  the  Excellent Secretary Award etc., President Thayaparan became a Major Donor and PDG. Pathmanathan   (the then DG) became a Major Donor (Level 2) and Benefactor.  Every member was made  Paul  Harris  Fellow  or  a Multiple  Paul  Harris  Fellow  and  the  Club became the second All Paul Harris Fellow Club in the District.  The contribution of  over  US$47,000  made  to  The  Rotary  Foundation  is  still  the  highest contribution made by any Rotary club in our District.

Most  of  our  Presidents  have  led  from  the  front.    Past  President  Rtn. PHF.P. Kulendra’s year  (2008-09) was another success story. The Club came to the top again during this year under  his leadership.  The Club bagged the Most  Outstanding Club (Runner-up) Award and a minimum of sixteen other citations/  awards.    They  included District Citation, Presidential Citation, High Achiever Club Presidents Award, Top Ten Clubs in Membership Growth,  Top Ten Clubs in TRF  /  AP  Contributions,  and  the  Best  Assistant  Governor  Award  (for  Rtn  AG PHF.V. Ratnasothy).

Our 31st President Rtn. PHF. M Rajenderam took office on July 05, 2009.  The Club celebrated its 31st

 Charter Anniversary on October 07, 2009.  We have reactivated the Rotaract Club.    We made a visit to the Menik Farm IDP camp at Cheddikulam  Vavuniya and donated relief items to 750 IDP  families,  with  the  funding  assistance  of  Caring  Hands  Centre,  UK  and Medical  Institute  of  Tamils,  U.K.  A  Cultural  Ambassadorial  Scholarships Programme on English Teaching Training to the U.K. was implemented with the support of RI District 1040, U.K. for two teachers from the Batticaloa District.

During the Rotary year 2010-2011 we became the first Rotary club  in  the  District(may  be  the  first  in  a  world!)  to  submit  the  Three-  Year Strategic Plan on the  first day of the Rotary Year. The Club was complimented by  the  District  Governor  and  the  Zonal  Rotary  Co-ordinator .  We took part in the Dengue eradication campaign at Wanathamulla. The Club distributed one hundred (i00) water pumps – 80 electric water pumps, 20 kerosene water pumps-to the tsunami -affected vegetable cultivators in the Batticaloa District. The Club also donated books to Dehiwela Tamil Vidiyalayam to mark the International Literacy Day on Sept 27, 2010.)