The Bunker Memorial Lecture brings to remembrance two American missionaries who made a significant contribution to the life and work of Jaffna College and its students. Reverend Dr. Sydney K. Bunker and his wife Ruth were missionaries with the American Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions (ABCFM) and continued with the United Church Board For World Ministries (UCBWM) from 1937 to 1966 at Jaffna College.
Rev. Bunker became Principal of Jaffna College on 1st. November 1937 at a time of great change for the college. History records him as an unassuming man who wanted to share duties with his colleagues. He was the first and last principal to occupy the Principal’s bungalow next to the Primary School. After many years of devoted service to Jaffna College focusing on administration and teaching, Reverend Bunker and his wife returned to the United States in 1966. He died in 1968. One of their two daughters, Grace, is still a member of the Jaffna College Trust in Boston. The Bunker Memorial Lecture was established in honour of his contribution to Jaffna College.
The 2016 Bunker Memorial Lecture took place on 27th June 2016 at 4:00pm at the Jaffna Public Library Auditorium. The lecture was conducted by Dr. R. W. Alexander Jesudasan, Principal of Madras Christian College, India. The event commenced with prayer led by Rev. Dr. S.C.Arnold. Then the Jaffna College Principal Rev. Dr. D.S.Solomon gave a brief introduction to the Bunker Memorial Lecture and introduced the 2016 special speaker.
Dr. R. W. Alexander Jesudasan spoke on the theme “Today’s Youth for Tomorrows Tasks”.Jaffna College and Uduvil Girls’ College students and staff, pastors and retired teachers were in attendance.
The event ended with the Principal’s benediction, followed by a fellowship tea for those attending.