In the history of Vembadi, the end of 1924 saw the introduction of the school motto “Dare to do Right”, chosen because it was felt that what people in Jaffna needed was the courage of their convictions and it was necessary that the girls should develop some of that courage so that they might not be tossed about by every breath of public opinion and be held in the grip of “fear of what people will say”.
The crest of Vembadi was first introduced in 1927 by Rev. P.E. Thorne, because the Principal of Vembadi, Miss Pickard felt that the girls studied at the school then needed not only a motto, but also guidance to lead them into a new way of freedom, which they could gain through their education. She meant greater freedom of body, mind and spirit, which lead the students into a brighter and more enlightened future.
The need for the development of a crest required design, purpose and a motto attached to it, to symbolize the girls from Jaffna penninsula and what they needed to accomplish in their future. Therefore, palmyrah tree (a kind of palm) was chosen as a part of the design. There are five palmyrah trees depicted on the crest illustrating the characteristics of this tree. The first and foremost are its strength and straightness, regardless of how high it grows to. Every student of Vembadi was expected to aspire to be a palmyrah tree, strong and straight in their body (posture), mind and spirit. Secondly, whether there was a drought or flood, the palmyrah tree kept on growing, giving of its best and supplying versatile needs of the Jaffna people. Right from its root to the tip of its leaves, every part of it was useful for various purposes, building homes, thatching roofs, lighting fire as fuel and to feed. Household items, such as furniture, baskets, mats, boxes and kitchens aids were made from various parts of the tree. In addition, parts from seed to fruit and root were used to produce healthy and nourished food, nongu (fresh soft drink), seekai (natural jello), boiled/barbecued panan kilangu (similar to yam or corn), oddiyal kool (seafood chowder or stew), pulukkoddial (similar to nuts, cracking it was healthy for gums), pinaattu (fruit roll up) and many other for Jaffna people. Today soap, shampoo and tooth paste are also made out of the fruit of this tree.
The palmyrah tree gave of its best irrespective of the person to whom it was given to and for what purpose they used it. For above all, the tree gave everything without expecting anything in return for it, not even water. That must be the aim of every Vembadi girl who passed through the portals of the institution even if they studied there for a short period.
Then the chrysalis with an emerging butterfly, which is one of the most beautiful creations of god, was chosen so that the students would be freed independently and actively, as beautiful as butterflies in thought, word and deed, and graceful and good to look upon.
At the completion, with a scroll at the foot of the crest bearing the motto “Dare to do Right”, the developed crest was unveiled and presented to Vembadi