PeMSAA-UK is a young but dynamic and cohesive association thriving on unity and close friendship founded in early 2017. The idea to form this association was conceived following the visit to the 40th PeMSAA Congress in January 2017 by four UK alumni, Drs Krish Radhakrishnan, Dharshini Radhakrishnan, Abey Abeyasekara & Jeyakumar Singanayagam. It was felt that it’s time to re-kindle the passion and share in the memories of our time at Peradeniya Medical School.
A mail was sent on 28th January 2017 to about 100 UK alumni as an introduction to the concept of rejuvenating the PeMSAA-UK and an opportunity to seek their thoughts and blessings.
The response received was exceptional and about 17 enthusiastic and passionate alumni representing different decades of the faculty years from all over UK gathered on 17th March at Loughton, Essex to form the nucleus of the association.
The ideas, concerns and expectations were discussed and debated, a plan emerged and the goals were set.
On that day we also formed an interim committee and time line to draft a constitution based on “fostering and promoting close relations between the School and its alumni and among the alumni members themselves” and to plan an AGM along with social event in May 2017.
From the outset there was unanimous support for this association to be a non-political organisation, promoting unity and equity among all the alumni.
The inaugural event of the PeMSAA-UK was held on 17th May under the auspicious presence and blessings of Professor and Mrs. T. Varagunam. The interim committee was ratified at the AGM that was followed by the first PeMSAA-UK Ball attended by alumni, their spouses and well-wishers. A total of 280 guests rolled in with spouses in tow for Canapés and Champaign welcome reception at Hilton Watford, Hertfordshire.
The support and encouragement received at this inaugural event motivated the Committee and the alumni to spearhead various activities and projects to assist alma mater and the alumni. Our objectives and goals were:
- To encourage, foster and promote close relations between the Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, here after named ‘School’ and its alumni residing in the UK and elsewhere.
- To assist and support, financially and otherwise, the School, staff, undergraduates, and post graduates studying in the UK and alumni as appropriate.
- To initiate, assist and support activities, which are of interest and benefit to the alumni.
- To promote companionship programs and events involving alumni in the affairs of the School ensuring bilateral benefit.
- To promote mentorships between alumni and students of the School along with student welfare support linked to the academic progress and behavior of the student.
- To provide mutual exchange of information, professional expertise, and collaboration beneficial to alumni, the School and students.
Since the inception PeMSAA-UK has established very close working relationship with the parent PeMSAA and the sister associations in USA and Australasia.
PeMSAA-UK supported and established worthy projects assisting the students and the faculty by setting up:
- PeMSAA-UK Studentships
- PeMSAA-UK & Professor Panabokke Stethoscope awards
- Fully subscribing for International Journal of Medicine & Surgery
- 2nd MBBS book donations for needy students and reference books for the Faculty Library
- PeMSAA-UK Academic awards to encourage Research Projects at grass root level
- Mentoring and Career guidance to those visiting UK for post MD Fellowships.
PeMSAA-UK decided on an extravagant celebration for year 2018; a weekend residential programme hosting an exceptional International Academic Conference, Professor Varagunam Memorial Lecture followed by the Annual Ball.
The choice of venue was most fitting, for a group of medics who enjoyed their heady undergraduate days in the most salubrious campus in Asia, the Peradeniya Campus. The drive into the calm, leafy roads of Center Parcs, brought back the nostalgia about the days we spent walking through the most beautiful roads and alleyways of the Peradeniya Campus.
The speakers, both alumni, current academic staff of Peradeniya Medical School and guest speakers were at the ‘top of their game’
Professor Varagunam Memorial Lecture delivered by Professor Sreeharan was poignant and truly acknowledged the forward thinking man’s legacy. The audience was mesmerized by the predictions for the healthcare environment for 2025 and beyond
The dramatic entertainment on Sunday had us all in stitches, it made us realise that the ‘Peradeniya Brand’ excels not only in high medical standards but also in the performing arts!
The biennial International Academic Conference and delivery of the prestigious Professor Varagunam Memorial Lecture are supposed to be held as regular events, however due to the COVID-19 Pandemic we couldn’t host an event since June 2018