St. Xavier's School, Delhi

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The majestic crest of arms of St. Xavier`s, Delhi.

St. Xavier's School, Delhi, India, is a Catholic, co-educational institution founded in 1960 and run since by the Jesuits. Offering Christian education from prep to grade 12 the school is located on Raj Niwas Marg in the Civil lines area of North Delhi (India). The school has another branch in Rohini, on the outskirts of Delhi.

The school works under the management of the Society of Jesus, an International Christian Religious order founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola in 1540. The school is recognised by the Directorate of Education, Delhi Administration and is affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education for the All India Secondary School Examination and All India Senior School Certificate Examination.

History[edit]

At the beginning (1960) the school used the grounds and the buildings of the 'Hotel Cecil', a well known institution of the British Raj era, that had been bought for the purpose. Situated on Rajniwas Marg in the Civil Lines area of Delhi.[1] in an 11-acre (45,000 m2) park it was an upmarket hotel with over hundred rooms, green lawns and a swimming pool.

The Patna Province of the Society of Jesus bought it (including the premises and the services of the hotel employees) from the siblings Mr. Edwin Hotz and Mrs. Pauline White, who were of Swiss/English extraction, and was granted permission by the Commissioner of Delhi to convert it into a residential school for boys.

St. Xavier's School was inaugurated on the 6th of January, 1960 by the Archbishop His Excellency James Knox, the representative of the Vatican in India under the stewardship of Fr. Frank Loesch, the first Rector. Loesh went on to buy property around the area (the adjacent land from the Gujarati Samaj and the Bombay House a little distance away) keeping in mind the expansion in the years to come.

In the following week admissions for new classes began, starting with Std. V and reaching down to Prep. At the end of the week there were over 700 boys on its rolls, a record for any school in its first year of admittance. Within a month of its inception the school was granted recognition by the Directorate of Education.

While the Prep classes functioned from the Bombay House, the school used the five buildings of the hotel. The rooms were converted into classrooms and dorms with four to five boys in a room which had the unusual facility of a dressing area and attached toilets. Some parts of the residential quarters were renovated to accommodate the staff.

At the same time work was started on the five-storied school buildings. Many of the old buildings were destroyed but some were retained and are still in use like the Fathers' Residence, the Chapel, the Hall, the Snob's Row and the swimming pool. Modern classrooms, teacher's tutorial rooms, science laboratories, a library and a host of other facilities were constructed and a large playing field was created by leveling the ground occupied by a road that had cut across the area.

By 1965, the Junior and the Senior school buildings were ready and were occupied, and the reins of administration came into the hands of Fr. Thomas Kunnunkal who took over from Fr. Thomas Athazhapadam, the first principal. Fr. Kunnunkal - who was later awarded Padam Shri- was responsible for much of the pattern the school adopted in later years.

Hostel and boarding facilities were discontinued in December 1971 and the hostel building was converted into a Jesuit training facility

In the 1980s St. Xavier's switched from English to local language Hindi as the medium of instruction in junior classes. This measure (along with decision to set apart 25% of seats for the poor - with subsidized uniform/books/tuition) was part of changing the image of school from one of "school for affluents" to one of "school for local needs".

A large number of parents pulled their children out of school and many teachers left. Nevertheless, the school continued its policy of teaching in Hindi as it believes that younger children learn best in their mother tongue.

In 1985, school admitted girls starting from prep grade and each year moving one grade up and is now fully co-educational.

In 2007, St Xavier's again switched from Hindi to English as the medium of instruction in junior classes.

The school emblem[edit]

The two lions (similar to the four atop the Ashoka Pillar holding the Dharma Chakra, the Wheel Of Order) hold the Xavier crest aloft, proclaiming the ideals of the Republic of India and its heritage symbolised by the Lotus, the flower of India.

The IHS (the first three letters in Greek of the name Jesus) symbolise the Society of Jesus; the moonlike chequered and inverted crescent is taken from the Coat-of-Arms of the House of Xavier symbolizing the one after whom the school is named.

The inscription at the bottom proclaims that St. Xavier's school was founded in 1960 and is located in Delhi. Esto Vir (Latin for "Be a man") is taken from the farewell instruction of King David to his son and royal successor, Solomon: “I am about to die. Be strong and show yourself a man (Esto Vir) and keep the charge of the Lord, your God walking in His ways and keeping His statutes and commandments so that you may prosper in all you do”. Later the meaning of Esto Vir was changed to "Be a human".

Rectors[edit]

  • Fr. Frank Loesh, S.J. (21 April 1960 – 11 December 1965)
  • Fr. Edward Mann, S.J. (12 December 1965 – 21 July 1968)
  • Fr. Gerald Grace, S.J. (22 July 1968 – 24 June 1972)
  • Fr. Thomas Athazaphadam, S.J. (25 June 1972 – 17 September 1978)
  • Fr. Joseph Paschal, S.J. (18 September 1978 – 21 April 1984 )
  • Fr. K.T. Thomas, S.J. (22 April 1984 – 20 March 1991 )
  • Fr. Mathew Padayatty, S.J. (21 March 1991 – 20 March 1997)
  • Fr. Thomas Kuriacose, S.J. (10 July 1997 – 2003)
  • Fr. Sebastian Assarikudy, S.J. (2003–2006)
  • Fr. P.T. Augustine, S.J. (2006–present)

Principals[edit]

  • Fr. Thomas Athazaphadam, S.J. (1 January 1960 – 17 December 1961)
  • Fr. Thomas Kunnunkal, S.J. (18 December 1961 – 31 May 1971), (1 September 1977 – 31 March 1979)
  • Fr. Abraham Puthumana, S.J. (1 August 1974 – 31 August 1977)
  • Mr. Augustus Martins (1 April 1979 – 31 March 1980)
  • Fr. Joseph Parakatt, S.J. (1 April 1980 – 31 March 1985)
  • Br. Ittoop Pallipadan, S.J. (1 April 1985 – 1 December 1992)
  • Fr. John Ariapilly, S.J. (2 December 1992 – 9 July 1997)
  • Fr. P.T. Augustine, S.J. (10 July 1997 – April 2001)
  • fr. Xavier J. Ignatius, S.J. (April 2001 – March 2005
  • Fr. Jose Philip, S.J. (April 2005 – May 2010)
  • Fr. Jose Jacob, S.J. (July, 2010–present)

Notable alumni[edit]

Delhi Old Xavierian's Association[edit]

The Delhi Old Xaverian's Association (DOXA) formerly Xaviers Old Boys Association Delhi, is the official alumni association of the school. The association has over 7,000 members, spanning across all batches that have passed out of the school since 1966.

Nearly two hundred students join DOXA's ranks each year. Membership makes it easier to keep in touch with school and school-time friends. It also entitles participation in the activities of DOXA including the Annual Dinner, Annual Ball, Annual General Body Meeting, seminars, and conferences in India and abroad.

Past Moderators[edit]

  • Fr. Extross S. J. (Founder Moderator)
  • Fr. John Beez S.J.
  • Fr. M. Padyatty S.J.
  • Mr. J. Martin
  • Mr. Basil Miranda
  • Fr. Thomas Kurikose S.J.
  • Fr. T.V. Kunnunkal S.J.
  • Fr. Glenn Menezes S.J.
  • Fr. Sebastian Assarikudy, S.J.

Current Moderator[edit]

  • Fr. P.T. Augustine, S.J.

Past presidents[edit]

  • Brij Bindal (Batch of 1971)
  • Arun Seth (Batch of 1971)
  • Manu Gupta (Batch of 1972)
  • Gurinder Singh Rance (Batch of 1974)
  • Vates Shourie (Batch of 1970)
  • Ravi Mathur (Batch of 1970)
  • Sunil Goel (Batch of 1977)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "‘Lodged’ in the heart of New Delhi". Hindustan Times. August 30, 2011. 
  2. ^ St. Xavier's School, Delhi Golden Jubilee Celebrations awardees.

External links[edit]