Dr. Graham's Homes

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Dr. Graham's Homes
Kalimpong, West Bengal
Type Educational institute
Motto Thorough
Patron saint(s) R. H Mody
Established 1900
Founder Reverend Dr. John Anderson Graham
Chairman Lt. Gen. J R Mukherjee (retired)
Color(s) Blue and white

Dr. Graham's Homes formerly called the St. Andrew's Colonial Homes was founded in 1900 by Reverend Dr. John Anderson Graham a missionary of the Church of Scotland, who settled in Kalimpong and worked with the local community for several years during the turn of the 20th century. Whilst working in Edinburgh as a clerk in the Civil Service, Graham was influenced and encouraged by the Minister of his Church, the Reverend John McMurtrie, to be ordained in the Ministry of God.

On 24 September 1900, Reverend Graham founded St. Andrew’s Colonial Homes. The beginnings were in a rented building (Kiernander Cottage). There were six children – two first generation Eurasians, and four European children whose recently widowed mother became the first ever Housemother of the homes.


The family of Homes raises children from adolescence through their teenage years, into their adulthood by the process of taking them along the channel of a nursery Lucia king, kindergarten Queen Elizabeth Kindergarten School, Junior Section, Senior Section and, if required, employment. OGBs (an acronym popularly used for alumni of Dr Graham’s Homes), who continue or return to serve the Homes are called Grahamites and the rest as OGBs. The school encompasses an area of 400 acres (1.61 km²). The campus is noted as a "miniature town" and is self-sufficient enough to produce and provide its own food, clothing and lodging.



  • Main Office
  • Senior School Office- Strachen Cottage
  • Junior School Office


  • Central Bank Of India


  • Homes Museum


  • Katherine Graham Memorial Chapel
  • Jarvie Hall
  • Farm
  • Green House
  • Workshop
  • James Patterson Memorial Workshop
  • Clothing Department
  • Stationary Department
  • Hospital
  • The Steel Memorial Centre
  • Brenchley Memorial Dispensary
  • Central Kitchen
  • RJG Ballentyne Memorial


  • Fyfe Bakery


  • Sir John Anderson Dairy
  • Canteen
  • Stores
  • Carmichael Farm Steading


  • Ronaldshay Park
  • Lower Field
  • Upper Field
  • School Garden
  • Tear Drop Garden

Hang out zone Honeymoon Hill


  • Football Field
  • Swimming Pool
  • CC Macleod Swimming Baths

Basketball court

  • Betty Sheriff Memorial Court


  • Mountbatten's Children Library
  • Computer Centre
  • Technical Room
  • Hornell Domestic Science Block
  • Biology Laboratory
  • Physics Laboratory
  • Chemistry Laboratory
  • Art Gallery
  • Pickford Scout Den

Music room

  • Margaret Lloyd Memorial Hut


  • Pugh Gymnasium
  • Holiday Home Guest House
  • Ahava Guest House
  • Administration Cottages


  • Principal - Jublee House,
  • Head Master - Graham House,
  • Bursar - Wolsely House,
  • Junior Head Master - Yule House

Staff quarters

  • Sir Charles Bell Bungalow
  • Edinburgh Flats/New Flats, Isolation Flats,
  • Cargil House, Mount House, Ben Creak House,
  • Shallay Cottage, Deolo Cottage/Gordon Cottage,
  • Student's cottages


Cottages Motto Emblem
Lucia King Affectionate Lamb
Wales Lodge Willing Rabbit

Boy's cottages[edit]

Cottages Motto Colour and ties Emblem
Assam Assiduous Yellow Rhino
Calcutta Cautious Red Rooster
Hart Friendly Light Blue Stag
Heathland Helpful Royal Blue Horse
Laidlaw Law-Abiding Brown Lion
Murray United Maroon Panda
Scottish Canadian Fearless Maroon Bear
Grant Enduring Mauve Eagle
Wiston Daring Dark Green Boar
Centenary Challenger Red & Black Snow Lion

Girl's cottages[edit]

Cottages Motto Colour and ties Emblem
Bene Sincere Pink Lotus
Birissa Benign Maroon Butterfly
Elliot Enterprising Blue Eel
Macgregor Peace Loving Royal Blue Dove
Mansfield Grace Yellow Swan
Thorburn Truthful Dark-Green Lamp
Woodburn Winsome Turquoise Woodpecker


Hostel Motto Colour Emblem
Frazer Fortitude Rasta Elephant
Willingdon Will-Power Berets Tiger


  • Garden of Remembrance


  • School bus - Presented by the OGBs of Bhutan.

On the other side, the school overlooks the Rangeet River and its carved valleys.


The school conducts classes in English medium and follows the ICSE, which is equivalent to the GCSE in the United Kingdom and the ISC, which is equivalent to A Levels in the United Kingdom syllabus.


Dr. Graham's Homes

The academic year begins around late February and ends in early December, thus having a long holiday of almost three months, owing to the cold weather in the winter. The school attracts students from Kalimpong, and from places as far as Sikkim, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Siliguri, Bihar, Calcutta, Assam and the North East States. Internationally from Korea, Australia, Canada and United Kingdom.

The school offers eight Second Languages: Hindi, Nepali, Bengali, Dzongkha, Tibetan, Khasi, Lushai and Thai.

Membership is offered in the National Cadet Corps/(NCC), Socially Useful Productive Work/(SUPW), Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme/(DEAS), Scouts and Guides, Interact Club in association with the Rotary Club of Kalimpong.

Homes provides training and competition inh basketball, volleyball, athletics, swimming, football, throw ball, badminton, table tennis, and cricket.

Extra-curricular activities include gardening, elocution, quizzing, dramatics, choir, music, pPhotography, and wild life preservation,


May Fair[edit]

The May Fair is a traditional carnival day in the month of May during the spring. Stalls are put up where students can display their skills and dedication at the request stall by sending love messages, secret admirers, friendship funnily lost and found children and belongings. Other skills in arts and crafts, cookery, candle-making, stitching, technical drawing, dancing, dramatics, choir and school band performances. It includes events like Maypole dance, Snow Lion dance and the Yak dance in association with the Indo-Tibetan Buddhist cultural Institute of Kalimpong. The fair also sees the crowning of the May Queen by the Chief Guest who is always an important dignitary. In the same month there is the annual Inter-Cottage Garden Competition, when boys and girls, and staff, vie with one another to create the most striking floral garden displays.

Birthday celebrations[edit]

A birthday celebration marks the founding of the school in 1900. Held in September, the celebration is spread over a couple of days and includes the annual Flower Service at the Katherine Graham Memorial Chapel and the Graham Re-dedication Service. The event also includes the Birthday Ball, a dinner party, picnic by the river side, the school play, the swimming Gala, the singing competition, the drill display, and the traditional buns and jalabies with smoked tea. Apart from current students, parents and local supporters, the Birthday Celebration draws former students, friends and well-wishers from across the world. It is celebrated worldwide by the OGBs (Old Girls and Boys) in many parts of the world, who have finished schooling at the institution.

Carol service[edit]

The carol service takes place in November just before the end of the academic year.

Fundraising events[edit]

These include Walkathon, Seminars, Webinars, Bike Bengal, Jars for Change, sponsorship, annual subscriptions, trust funds, raffles, and dinner dances, save environment, walk away from drugs,

Sporting events[edit]

Throughout the year, Dr Graham's Homes takes part in sporting events jointly organised by local schools e.g., competing every September in the Burns Shield and the Minto Cup, which are two swimming events competing against other schools in West Bengal and Darjeeling. In previous years volunteers have resided at the school and trained the swimming team for these national swimming events.




  • 'Daddy Graham’s Homes'

The book is a tribute to Dr. Graham’s Homes School. It has 150 photos of the school, in events dating as far back as the 1900s. The book portrays the history of the school from 24 September 1900 when it was established till 24 September 2000 when it celebrated its centenary. It is compiled, composed and sponsored by the ex-students of Dr. Graham’s Homes.

  • 'Dr. Graham of Kalimpong'

The book is the story of the life and achievements of one of the missionary giants. In Kalimpong – a beautiful part of northern India – the name of Dr. Graham lives on through the work of the homes he founded.

  • 'A Century of Children'

The story of the first hundred years of Dr. Graham's Homes tells of the enfolding of a vision for children as it has passed on from the founder, Dr John Anderson Graham, to the present day.


  • A School Called Home

Documentary on the centennial year of Dr Graham's Homes.

  • We Homes Chaps

Everybody who went to the Homes has a profound, if baffling love for the school. Film maker and alumni Kesang Tseten set out to explore this difficult love when former Anglo-Indian and Tibetan school friends return for the school centennial celebration. Gradually the pabulum of reunion sentiment gives way to an unfolding of a real childhoods of separation and abandonment and of alienation and cultural displacement.


  • A Century of Caring for Children
  • Thorough Magazines
  • Yearly School Diary
  • C'mon the Homes Bi-Annual News Bulletin of OGBs Association
  • C'mon the Homes Sept. 2015 [1]

Notable alumni[edit]

School Song[edit]

Forward O'Youth forever advancing
  Look to horizons far
Eyes do not grope in depth of the night
  That look on a shining star
Nations fearful in apartness
  Need your sight to light their darkness
Look up o'youth forever advancing
  Look to horizons far.........

Waken this hour is no time for sleeping
  Welcome the rising sun
Nations are stirring out of their slumbers
  Great is the work undone
Waken sisters, waken brothers
  Rise up now and waken others
Welcome the morn' a new day is born
  When people shall live as one

Go on with singing over the land
  Wherever the road ways lie
Freedom shall be the theme of your song
  The watchword of peace your cry
Equal rights for every brother
  Lands at peace with one another
Loyal to truth the singing of youth
  Shall echo from hill to sky

See also[edit]


  • Yearly School Diary
  • Thorough Magazines (1901–2010)
  • A Century of Caring of Children