It was in 1919, when Methodist College was a little over 50 years old, that the OGA was formed with Miss Choate, the Principal, as President. The decision was made and the first committee appointed, at an informal get-together of Old Girls on Tuesday, the 5th of August. The membership fee was the then princely sum of Rs.1/-. A formal meeting of the Association was to be held once a term-but of course, the membership was much smaller at that time and members had more opportunities of meeting informally than they have today. At this first meeting the establishment of the School Magazine was also discussed. From these humble beginnings, the OGA has grown to be an integral part of the life of Methodist College.
The first Old Girls' Picnic was held in 1924, but it was in 1926 that the Annual General Meeting was held in March, while a further Reunion in November begun in the following year. By 1929-1930 the Annual General Meeting had become an established part of the College weekend. This began with the Prize-Giving on Friday, included an Inter Form Sports Meet and Garden Party on Saturday, and terminated with the College Service on Sunday morning. Many of the Old Girls would find accommodation for the weekend in the Hostel. This pattern of events continued for many years, being disrupted only by unforeseen crises, as in recent times.
In 1927 the number of members was 95, and Life Membership too had been introduced. When the school reached its 70th Anniversary in 1935,the November reunion was held on the 8th, to coincide with Miss Choate's birthday-this is now considered the official School Birthday. Since the March reunion now takes the form of a picnic, it has in recent years been found to be more expedient to have the formal business or the Annual General Meeting at the November Reunion, leaving the earlier occasion for fun and fellowship.
But enjoyment is not by any means the sole aim of the OGA. Over the years its members have worked diligently to help the school and to help each other. The 25th Anniversary of the Association in 1944 saw the inauguration of a ”Friendly Fund" to help unobtrusively any Old Girl who might be in special need. Even today a helping hand is still given by the association not only to Old Girls but also to present students. From its early years, the needs of the school has been given the highest priority by the OGA. In 1930 the Hall Building Fund was started, at first with the modest aim of improving the Scott Hall. This project had to be shelved owing to the outbreak of World War II, but when it was later revived, the OGA played a prominent part in its very successful outcome. In June 1988 the dream finally became a reality when the new College Auditorium was formally opened by Rev.Harold Fernando, President of the Methodist Conference of Sri Lanka.
The maintenance of high standards in the school has always been a prime concern of the OGA. In 1946, when the Free Education Scheme was mooted, parents and Old Girls launched an Endowment Fund to ensure the financial stability of the school. In 1961, when the Government moved to take over the private schools, the Methodist Conference decided to keep Methodist College as a private non fee-levying school.
Fund-raising now became imperative, and for many years the energies of the OGA were directed towards assisting the Methodist College Education Society in providing the basic financial requirements of .the school. During this difficult period the Old Girls were mostly engaged in fund-raising projects, and many took an active part in the fairs organized by the Education Society. Today, although the financial situation has eased, and Methodist College now receives assistance from the Government, the OGA here and its Branch Associations in the UK, Victoria, Sydney and Toronto continue to support the school by providing funds for various school requirements.
The OGA is proud to record that students have gone forth from Methodist College to become pioneers in the sphere of women's achievement in Sri Lanka. Today many of our Old Girls hold eminent and responsible positions in various fields. But above all, the OGA and its Branch Associations have formed an enduring bond, based on their love for their Alma Mater, between women of different races, religions, languages and age groups, living in different countries of the world. This is indeed a valuable contribution in the stress and flux of today's society. May the OGA go from strength to strength in the years to come!