GFS Hall

As the organization expanded, there arose a need for a permanent building for meetings and training programmes. In 1911, Mr. Charles Peiris offered to provide a building in memory of his daughter Elsie, a GFS member who died at the age of 15. The GFS would have to find the land.

By 1918, the GFS was able to raise sufficient funds to purchase an acre of land at Green Path, Colombo 3,  a central and prestigious location. Mr Peiris fulfilled his promise and built the GFS headquarters comprising meeting rooms and a Hall.
The GFS Hall was opened on June 23, 1923 by Bishop Copleston who described it as "magnificient". Over the years, this building has been used by generations of women for training, worship, recreation and a variety of activities including country dancing and public performances as well.
With its imposing façade, stage and beautiful boarded floor, the Hall was a popular venue for weddings and parties.
In September 2010, the Hall was completely refurbished and restored to its original magnificence. It was re-opened by chief guest HE Madam Patricia Butanis, the American Ambassador to Sri Lanka and re-dedicated by the Archdeacon of Colombo, Ven.  Chrisantha Mendis, amidst a large gathering of GFS members and well wishers.  Ms. ……………………….., the Deputy British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka was the guest of honour.

GFS Hostel

The Society in its effort to meet the needs of women, sought to provide safe accommodation to help young girls coming from the rural areas of the country to the city in search of employment. Records indicate that the first "lodge" was started in Conway House in Rosmead Place, Colombo 7.  In 1917, the lodge was moved to Leyland House and two years later to Raemoir, Turret Road, Colombo 3.

Many years later, the Society was able to build a permanent lodge or hostel on the land behind the Hall.  In 1957 it was blessed by Rt. Rev. Archibald Graham Campbell, then Bishop of Colombo and opened by Mrs Evelyn de Silva, GFS National President.
Today, the Hostel continues to provide basic accommodation to young women of all races and religions from the outstations.

The Society celebrated its centenary in 2004 with a Thanksgiving service on September 18 at the Church of St. Michael and All Angles, Polwatte, Colombo 3, at which the Celebrant was Rt. Rev. Duleep de Chickera, then Bishop of Colombo.  The Preacher was Ven. Godwin Weerasuriya, former Archdeacon of Colombo. This was followed by a grand social at the GFS Hall with music, entertainment and refreshments.

Our gratitude

We are grateful to the late Mrs Angela Weir,  a past National President, for her generous gift to the Society several years ago.
We also thank the GFS of USA, the GFS of Australia (Perth, Melbourne & Brisbane branches), the GFS of South Korea and friends of GFS, England for rallying around to help us out of a tight situation. We could not have completed the renovation of the GFS Hall in 2010 without their assistance.
Thank you to all our GFS sisters around the world for their love and prayers which sustain us and for their warm friendship which inspires us.  A special thank you to the present GFS World President and all past World Presidents for their kindness and regard for GFS Sri Lanka and its members.

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