First day of school: St Mary’s to celebrate 125 years of education

Published: November 10, 2014
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St Mary’s has gone from a three-room bungalow with a few select students in 1889 to this new double-wing building with over 30 classrooms, more than 1,300 students and 75 teachers. PHOTO: EXPRESS

St Mary’s has gone from a three-room bungalow with a few select students in 1889 to this new double-wing building with over 30 classrooms, more than 1,300 students and 75 teachers. PHOTO: EXPRESS

SUKKUR: Towards the end of the late 19th century, a few Goan and European families, primarily railway employees, started moving to Sukkur.

Once they settled down, these families decided that it was time to ask the Bishop of Bombay to find them a priest and as they became more comfortable in the area, they decided that it was also time to set up a school for their children.

This is how, nearly 125 years ago, the St Mary’s High School was established.

Time to celebrate

In order to celebrate the school’s contribution to education and Sukkur’s society, St Mary’s governing body has decided to celebrate the school’s birthday in style. The principal has asked all former students to RSVP by November 30 to confirm that they will be attending an event the school plans to hold in December to celebrate everything Maryian.

Sister Rosey Yacoob, who took over as principal of the school back in 1992, said she looked forward to old and new students exchanging stories about the school and talking about their cherished memories.

“I am extremely happy that my school has completed 125 years of excellence and quality education,” said Sister Yacoob. “I wish it more success and joy.”

A history lesson

Back in 1889, according to Principal Rosey Yacoob, it started in a three-room bungalow which belonged to the railway authorities in Rohri.

While talking to The Express Tribune, the principal said that when it started St Mary’s was just a primary school and restricted to the children of the railway employees. “After a couple of years, however, the school shut down due to some problems and we had to leave the property,” she said. “It reopened a couple of months later on Stadium Road.” She added that in 1917, the school was open to the general public.

By 1940, according to Sister Yacoob, the school’s management was handed over to the Nuns of Franciscan Missionary of Christ the King Order (FMCK). The school’s first principal was Rev Sister Lucy, who held the post till 1951. In 1963, the primary school was upgraded and students enrolled at the school could complete their matriculation there.

Around 1972, the school was nationalised and then denationalised by 1991 with Sister Flavia holding the principal’s post. Sister Yacoob took over from Sister Flavia in 1992 and is still serving as the high school’s principal.

Around the block

The school’s new building was constructed in 1997 and another wing was added to it in 1998. From a three-room bungalow with a few select students, the school has come a long way. It now has more than 30 classrooms and more than 1,300 students and 75 teachers.

The school also has numerous facilities, including top notch computer and science laboratories, a standby generator which comes in use during long hours of load-shedding, a water filteration plant, a large playground, a library and an auditorium. For safety purposes, the school also has security guards round the clock and CCTV cameras to monitor the premises.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 11th, 2014.

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