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St. Paul's Milagiriya, Bambalapitiya

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The Portuguese, during their reign of Ceylon from 1505 to 1640, built a church to Nossa Senhora Dos Milagros – “Our Lady of Miracles” – on the landside bordering Galle Road in Bambalapitiya.

The Dutch, during their subsequent rule, tore it down and raised a “Reformed” church on the same location. When the British overruled the Dutch and took possession of Ceylon, in 1815, they converted the church to a Presbyter of some sorts and giving it the name of St. Pauls.

Eventually a girls school sprouted up within the church premises and to this day is called, St. Pauls Milagiriya. Since then, even the locality around the church is referred to as Milagiriya and an electoral Ward named Milagiriya also exists to date. St. Pauls Milagiriya Girls’ School is located right at the top of Dickman’s Road and stretches all the way along Galle Road to de Kretser Place. It also borders Dickmans Road all the way down to the first cross road on the right which meets de Kretser place at right angles.

The school was founded on the 14th of January 1887 as a Parish school attached to the St. Paul's Church of Milagiriya with just 24 students and 4 teachers. It is worthy of special mention that it now has a student population of approximately 4000+ students, a tutorial staff of 140+ members and a non-academic staff of 25+ members.

The Rev Canon Ivan Corea, Vicar of St. Pauls Milagiriya Church, also lived at Milagiriya. He fathered the late Vernon Corea, broadcaster, and Ernest Corea, former editor Ceylon Daily News and also Ambassador to the US. Ivan Corea is the grandson who now resides in the UK.

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