CEYLON SIGNALS CORPS
The Ceylon Signals Corps, a Support Arm that is responsible for providing Signals Communication to the Army was inaugurated on 19th October 1943 during the World War II. True to its Motto “CERTA CEITO” (Swift & Sure), Signals personnel performed their duties with utmost efficiency and loyalty during the war operations.
With the cessation of hostilities at the end of the World War II, the personnel of the Signals Corps were demobilized in August 1946. A good number of these persons were able to find suitable employment in various civil departments and companies.
Early 1947 saw the reorganization of the Ceylon Defence Force (CDF) on post war footing primarily to carryout internal security duties in the country. The demobilized Ceylon Signals Corps was reorganized as a Signals volunteer unit and established to handle communications duties in CDF. Most of those who got demobilized after World War II were re-employed.
When the Ceylon Army was raised on 10 October 1949 after gaining Independence on 4 Feb 1948, the Army was authorized to have a Troop of Signalers initially. On 1st October 1951 the establishment of the Troop was raised to a Squadron level. Again in 1958, 1st Signal Regiment was established appointing Lt Col D.V. Brohier, a World War veteran, as the first Commanding Officer of the Regiment.
FORMATION OF SIGNALS ASSOCIATION
At the beginning of 1950s, an idea put forward by a few of retired Signals personnel to form an Association for themselves was welcome. This was encouraged by Col. C. R. de Silva ED and supported by Lt Col. W. E. M. Fernando ED and Lt. Col. V. C. Kelaart OBE, ED of the Signals corps at that time.
The Association named “Ceylon Signals Corps Ex-Servicemen’s Association” was inaugurated on 15th December 1955. At the beginning the membership was confined to Ex-signals personnel who had served in the Signals coys or in Ceylon Engineers or in the Ceylon Signals Corps at any time during the period 3rd September 1939 to 31st August 1946. The 1st Chairman of the Association was the late Lt. Col. V. C. Kelaart OBE, ED and its 1st Hony. Secretary was late Major V. D. Brohier ED.
The newly formed Association was able to have its retired members employed in Civil Departments such as Civil Aviation, Police Dept. Telecom Dept etc. and reckoned their services for the purposes of salary increments and promotions.
In 1957, Rules of the Association were amended enabling the retired members of Ceylon Signals Corps (both regulars and volunteers) to become members of the association. The name also was changed to ‘Signals Association of Ceylon”. The word "Ceylon" was later changed to “Sri Lanka” in keeping with the change of the name of the country in 1972.
The Association played an important role when the Ceylon Signals Corps (CSC) was celebrating its silver Jubilee in 1968. To mark this occasion, the 1st signal Regiment of CSC, held a parade which was commanded by Major A.M. M. Fareed(2 i/c of the Regt) and the “Salute” at the parade was taken by late Colonel W. E. M. Fernando ED, then Chairman of the Signals Association.
The Silver Jubilee celebration of the Signals Association was conducted in December 1980. The late Major M. J. F. R. Perera who was the energetic Chairman of the Association at that time took a very keen interest and organized the event with the support of his committee members.
CEYLON SIGNALS CORPS
October 19th in 1993 was another historic day for the Association. Golden Jubilee of the Signals Corps was celebrated in a grand scale with the participation of both serving and retired members of the Signals Corps. The most significant feature of the celebration was the participation of the late Col. D. V. Brohier ED, the 1st commanding officer of the Signal Regiment (1958-1962) and the 1st Secretary of the Signals Association (1955-57). Domiciled in Australia he made a special visit to Sri Lanka to take part in this memorable event on an invitation from the Signals Corps. Col Brohier was afforded a guard of honour and a salute at the Regimental Parade at Panagoda and thereafter he was invited by the then Signals Brigade Commander Brigadier K. A. Gnanaweera to open the special plaque mounted inside at the entrance to the Brigade HQ to mark the occasion.
The Golden Jubilee of the Association was held in the next year on 30th July 2006 with the participation of both serving and retired members of the Signals Corps at the Signals unit lines in Panagoda. The event was well organized and handled by its organizing committee consisting of both retired and serving members under the guidance of the then Chairman of the Association Major General C. J. Abayaratna VSV USP.
Soon after the Tsunami tragedy that took place on 26th December 2004, the members of the Association came forward to help few of those serving members of the Corps of Signals who got affected severely due to tsunami. At a hurriedly convened Special General Meeting (SGM) of the Association, then Brigade commander Brigadier Piyal Abeyesekara made a well compiled presentation on the damage caused to our serving members. Those present at the SGM rose to the occasion and contributed lavishly towards the funds set up for this purpose. Mr. C. D. L. C. Weerasinghe one of our members from USA, who was on a holiday during the same period, made a huge contribution towards the fund.
The newly amended constitution of the Signals Association was unanimously approved by the members of the Association at its Annual General Meeting held in 2008. The name of the Association was changed to “Army Signals Association” (ASA). The objectives of the Association were well defined and a separate set of Rules incorporated to the new constitution.
Annually the Association conducts 2 main events; i.e. the Annual General Meeting and the Families Get Together of its members. All the retired members of the Association look forward to participate in these two important events to meet enjoy and reminisce of the past. The serving members of the Corps of Signals, Colonel Commandant downwards come forward to help their retired counterparts and show their gratitude reciprocally in organizing and participating in these events.
Promotion of welfare activities to its members is one of the main objects of the Association. The Association also is operating a Death Donation Fund to its members and their spouses. Being an affiliated Association of the Sri Lanka Ex-Servicemen’s Association which is the parent body of the tri services ex-servicemen, our members too are entitled to receive all the welfare measurers such as medical grants for major and minor surgeries, and other ailments, welfare grants, scholarship grants to the children of the members, vocational training to the members etc. provided by this main Body. The Veterans’ Home at Bolagala, Katana provides hostel facilities to those members who need it.
The Executive Committee of the Signals Association meets every month and attends to the general administration and look into the welfare requirements of the members. The Association now has an office building (opened in Oct. 2012) which is located in the Army Cantonment, Panagoda at a nice spot just inside the Signals area. This facility was made possible due to the untiring effort of Major General E P De Z. Abeysekera USP, Colonel Commandant of the Corps of Signals. All the members of the Association are very much grateful to him for his fullest cooperation and the support extended to the Association throughout.
PAST CHAIRMEN, VICE CHAIRMEN OF THE SIGNALS ASSOCIATION
|Col. V. C. Kelaart OBE ED||1955-1957|
|Col. C. R. De Silva ED.||1958-1966|
|Lt. Col. W. E. M. Fernando ED||1967-1976|
|Maj. M. J. F. R. Perera||1977-1982|
|Col. A. M. M. Fereed||1983-1988|
|Maj. M. R. A. T. Perera||1989-1993|
|Maj. Gen. C. J. Abayarathne VSV USP||1994- 2007|
|Brig. K. A. Gnanaweera USP||2008 to up todate|
|Col. C. R. De Silva ED||1955-1957|
|Col. V. C. Kelaart OBE ED.||1958|
|Col. D. V. Brohier ED||1959-1960|
|Col. B. R. Jesudason||1961-1963|
|Maj. M. J. F. R. Perera||1964-1966|
|Brig. L. J. I Fernando||1967-1972|
|Mr. B. K. Cooray||1973|
|Mr. Aelion H. Perera||1974-1975|
|Maj. M. J. F. AR. Perera||1976|
|Mr. B. K. Cooray||1977-1982|
|Lt. Col. A. E. Jeyasekera||1983|
|Lt. M. C. De S. A. Wijenayake||1984-1986|
|Lt. Col. A. E. Jayasekera||1987|
|Maj. M. R. A. T. Perera||1988|
|Lt. (QM) K. T. G. T. De Silva||1989-1993|
|Mr. J. N. Peiris||1994-2004|
|Col. A. E. T. Perera||2005 to up todate|
|Mr. Tony Wazair||2008 to up todate|
PAST SECRETARIES AND TREASURERS OF THE SIGNALS ASSOCIATION
|Col. D. V. Borhier ED||1955-1957|
|Mr. K. I. Ferdinando||1958-1963|
|Mr. A. Joseph||1964-1966|
|Capt. S. L. V. A. Perera||1967-1968|
|Capt. A. I. Martil||1969|
|Mr. S. A. J. Samuel||1970|
|Mr. J. Nicholas||1971-1978|
|Mr. N. H. J. Dharmasena||1979|
|Mr. W. G. Crusz||1980-1983|
|Mr. D. C. Perera||1984-1998|
|Mr. M. I. M. Fausi||1999 - 2011|
|Mr. PL..T Perera||2012- to up todate|
|Lt. Col. W. E. M. Fernando||1955-1957|
|Capt. J. E. Fernando||1958|
|Maj. (QM) T. K. Passela||1959-1968|
|Capt. J. E. Fernando||1969|
|Mr. B. S. J. Fernando||1970-1975|
|Mr. B. K. Cooray||1976|
|Mr. S. B. De Silva||1977|
|Mr. B. K. Cooray||1978|
|Mr. C. E. Perera||1979|
|Lt. (QM) K. T. G. T. De Silva||1980-1982|
|Maj. M. R. A. T. Perera||983-1987|
|Mr. Tony Wazir (JP)||1988-2006|
|Capt(QM) W.L.Perera||2007 to up todate|