Rev Father Maurice Legoc O.M.I.

Founder of St. Paul’s B.M.V.

Waragoda – Kelaniya

Born in France a land of vigorous faith and solid piety, young Maurice early imbibed deep draughts of Christian training first in the bosom of a truly Christian family, then in the Christians School at Quimper and next in the picturesque halls of College Pont – Croix by the sea.

Maurice J Legoc was ordained priest of God in 1907 and 1908 was sent out for St. Edmunds House, Cambridge. Science was not sufficient to satisfy Fr. Legoc’s thirst for knowledge. When he left England in 1914 he had laurels in both Science and Arts. Class I prizes and awards were easily won by this talented young priest.

And now for the young Missionary sent to far away Ceylon. He took up work at St. Joseph’s College, Darley road, Colombo. He devoted himself chiefly to the teaching of Science. He initiated the study of Botany at the College.

A Minister of truth above anything else and a sower of good seed, the call of religion and charity had ever found in him a powerful champion. In his zeal he refused no invitation, hence his popular Catholic lectures, delivered in every part of the Island, have fortified the laymen. And all the while everyone needing his assistance, little or great, whether the Science inquirer after religious truth or the struggling student beset with difficulties has found him always “at home” ready with his cheering voice and sympathetic smile to help and encourage him as whole-heartedly as if he had nothing else to do in the world.

This extraordinary man of God is the Founder of St. Paul’s B.M.V. Waragoda. This is a St. Paul’s in Sri Lanka, just a mile or two outside the suburbs of Colombo. An unostentatious building, an insignificant achievement perhaps to the rest of the world, but not so insignificant to those of us who are acquainted with the history of its origins. One could not have wished for a better pioneer than Fr. Legoc to launch out an enterprise which has culminated in the Infant Institution of St. Paul’s English School in Kelaniya. Today, as St. Paul’s Balika Maha Vidyalaya celebrates its Golden Jubilee it stands as a fit tribute and monument to its Founder and pioneer, the late Father Maurice Legoc O.M.I.