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St. George's College, Mussoorie

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St. George's College, Mussoorie
St. George's College
Motto Virtus et Labor (Character and work)
Founded 1853
Location Barlowganj, Mussoorie, India
Principal Brother Tommy Varghese
Gender Boys
Ages 9 to 17
Students approximately 800
Houses 4
Alumni Body The Manorite Alumni Association
Campus 400 acres (1.6 km2)
Affiliation Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations

St. George's College (Mussoorie), is a premier boarding school in Mussoorie, in the state of Uttarakhand, India, affiliated to the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations board. The school, an all-boys residential and non-residential institution, spreading over 400 acres (1.6 km2) of land, was founded in 1853 by the Capuchin Fathers and entrusted to the Society of the Brothers of St. Patrick (Ireland) in 1894. It was opened in a cottage known as Manor House; the name by which the campus is still known. The students are known as Manorites.

The school has an alumni network spread across the globe. In 2005, the Indian Air Force gifted the school a trainer jet aircraft, TS-11 Iskra, as a tribute to the distinguished service of the school's alumni in the armed forces.[1]


St. George's College is spread over a 450-acre (1.8 km2) scenic estate in the Barlowganj village, a tiny hamlet situated 5 km from the hill town of Mussoorie, popularly referred to as the Queen of Hills. There are two schools, one is Nirmala Convent School for the poor people in mussoorie and one is St. George's College and both of them consisting of big free spaces and lush greenery around stand on 400 acre property. Standing majestically on a hill overlooking the Sivalik Hills, the school commands a view of Mussoorie and the Dehradun valley. And the school is very conveniently accessible by road from Dehradun Railway Station which is 28 km away and also from Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun which is 53 km away.


The school was founded in 1853 by the Capuchin Fathers who handed it over to the Society of the Reverend Brothers of St. Patrick (Ireland) in 1894 with Bro. Stapleton as its first principal.

While St. George's College was founded in 1853, another school, St. Fidelis High School, was started in the same location in 1863. Initially, the Capuchin Fathers ran both schools with Father James Doogan as principal of both schools from 1873 till they were handed over to the Patrician Brothers in 1894. In 1948, St. Fidelis High School was amalgamated with St. George's College. There still are old directional markings on the school campus pointing towards the old St. Fidelis. In the early 1900s, the then Principal, Bro. Haverty, levelled the top of the hill to create what is the Top Flat, the school's largest playing field.

The Science labs were constructed in 1925 adjacent to the top flat. Across the field, the clock tower came up in 1936. The school acquired the Whytebank Castle and Brooklands Estate in 1939, and an auditorium was constructed in 1942.[2]

The school is named after Saint George, the patron saint of England and a number of countries and cities around the world. The legend of Saint George slaying the dragon is known throughout the world, and forms the theme of the school's emblem.

The grand clock tower of the school was built in 1936 and was the first clock tower in Mussoorie. It was installed by JB Joyce & Company, who imported the clock from England. The chimes, ringing every 15 minutes, would also help keep away the wild animals from the surrounding woods.

Under the guidance of then principal, Bro. J.C. Carroll, the school witnessed an unprecedented construction boom in the decade of the 1990s. The school saw the construction of a new indoor gymnasium, a well-stocked library, a multi-functional auditorium, and indoor heated swimming pool and upgraded a number of its old dormitories and class rooms. The vast alumni network of the school contributed substantial funds and donated material towards the construction.

The St. George's College museum showcases the history of the school over the past 150 years. The museum also serves as an archive for preserving hundreds of old photographs, instruments, school records, yearbooks and furniture. The collection includes photographs from the 1870s, scientific instruments from the 1900s, and an old piano.[3]

School song[edit]


Home of our childhood, our boyhood, our youth,

Where there is courage and honour and truth,

Where we are taught how to seek for the right,

Struggle and conquer in life's great fight.

'Virtue and Labour', our motto we'll strive,

Ever to follow and keep alive,

Ideals and aims that teaches us here,

True to St. George, our patron dear.


God bless St. George's! Let this be our prayer,

That He always have our School in His care,

Ever our banner we'll keep flying high,

For God and the truth we'll live or we'll die.


Student life[edit]

A Manorite's week day begins at 6 AM. Students spend one hour from 7 AM in "morning studies." The study session is followed by breakfast. The entire school assembles in front of the classrooms for their morning assembly, where the principal addresses the students, announcements are made, awards are given out, and after prayers, classes begin at 9 :00 AM.

Classes run from 9 AM till 11 AM, where there is a short break of 20 min. Lunch is at 12:30 PM. Classes run till 3:30 PM followed by tea. After classes, there is a mandatory run for every student around the surrounding hill, called the "Fox Hill runs". The runs are followed by sports.

Dinner is at 6:30 PM. Dinner is followed by "night studies", which are two hours of compulsory self-study sessions in the classrooms. The night studies are followed by half an hour of television when the students can catch the latest news headlines or sports updates. Lights go out at 10 PM.

Every month, students get one Sunday as the "Outing" day, when they are permitted to visit Mussoorie for the day. Each student is given some pocket money for the day, most of which students usually spend on food, video games, stationery and the occasional movie.

St. George's College house system encompasses sports, athletics, debates, dramatics, cultural events, declamations and other extra-curricular activities. The four houses are Tapsells (blue), Marthins (yellow), Gateleys (red) and Cullens (green), all named after four former Olympians from the school.

Each event is assigned points and the house with the largest amount of accumulated points at the end of Sports Day in October wins the annual House Shield.

In August, St. George's hosts the Brother Masterson and Brother Bergin Inter-school English Debates in the junior and senior categories respectively. In July/August, the school hosts the Annual Jackie Memorial Football tournament, a regional competition.

A majority of the students are Indians, but the school has a sizeable percentage of NRI's and students from Nepal, Thailand and others. The proximity to Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun which is just 53 km away has led to an increase in the Non Resident Indian students.

School culture[edit]

During the spring and summer months, when the hills of Mussoorie are blooming with the yellow Mansur flower (after which the town gets its name) and wild berries, students gathering berries in the evenings and on weekends.

Students tell the story of the headless horseman who has been known to trot around the school on full moon nights. The old graveyard at one corner of the campus, where some graves are over 150 years old, has been an object of intrigue as well, and stories abound of how students have seen apparitions there. It was also featured in movies like 'Rehna hai tere dil mein' and 'Krishna Cottage'. Recently, the school was asked for the permission to shoot 'Student Of The Year' by Dharma productions, which they rejected.


There are inter-house and inter-class tournaments throughout the year. There are four major fields in the school, the Top Flat, Middle Flat, Green Flat and Down Flat. There is a synthetic open-air tennis court, and an indoor heated swimming pool.

Hockey and cricket are played during the summer months, and the monsoons represent the football season. Indoor sports are played throughout the year. The House Shield, given to the house with the maximum number of cumulative points, is given out at the end of the Sports Day in October.

The Annual Sports Day is a very important day of the school calendar, with important guests, alumni and parents visiting the school. The sports day includes track events among the four houses, and culminates with a march past by all classes in front of the guests. All classes compete in the banner competition. The day culminates with the awarding of individual shields and the House Shield to the house with the most accumulated points.

The school has produced sportsmen who have achieved laurels for the school at the inter-school, district, state and national level competitions. The school's senior and junior football teams have achieved success at tournaments held in Dehradun, New Delhi and other parts of the country. St. George's has produced athletes who have gone on to represent their state at the national level in football, cricket and athletics.

Sports tournaments[edit]

Jackie Memorial Football Tournament is one of the biggest open football tournaments in the district. The tournament is open to all schools and amateur local clubs in the district, and is played on the Top Flat, the school's largest field overlooking the clock tower. The school's sister schools in Delhi, Coonoor, Meerut and other places have participated.

Named after a former student of the school, the tournament was started in 1972 and draws attention from the local media. It is held in July/August every year.

The Jarvis Cup: The Jarvis Cup is an annual inter-class hockey tournament that is played at the junior and senior levels. The senior level tournament consists of classes IX, X, XI and XII. The Junior level tournament is played by classes VI, VII and VIII.

The Apollo Cup: The inter-class football tournament was started in 1969 to commemorate the first landing of humankind on the moon. The tournament is again divided into the junior and senior categories.

Manorite Table Tennis Tournament

Brar Memorial Interschool Swimming Carnival

Inter-school relations[edit]

The school's rival in football is Wynberg Allen School, located at Kulri, Mussoorie, though the frequency of their games have gone down in recent years. In hockey and cricket, the school's rival is Oak Grove School, located down the road from Barlowganj at Jharipani, Mussoorie.

The old residential schools of Mussoorie - St. George's College, Wynberg Allen School, Oak Grove School and Woodstock School - compete with each other in the Annual Mussoorie Interschool Athletic Meet.

St. George's also hosts, and visits, residential schools from Dehradun such as the Doon School and RIMC, throughout the year for friendlies in football, hockey, basketball and cricket as well as extracurricular activities. Most of the regional residential schools are regular features in the Jackie Memorial Football Tournament. In addition, St. George's participates in the district sports meet held by the Dehradun District Sports Association. The school's proximity to Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun has led to an increase in visitors as well as participation from other schools.

In popular culture[edit]

St. George's was chosen as the location for the shooting of television drama based on the life of the noted writer from Mussoorie, Ruskin Bond. The show, "Ek Tha Rusty", named after the author's nickname, was aired on Doordarshan.[4]

In 2012, Rocky and Mayur, hosts of "Highway on My Plate", a weekly travel and food show on NDTV channel, visited the school and ate a meal at the cafeteria with the students.[5]

The school campus is featured in two television commercials: one for Hyundai Accent sedan in which the school's library, junior dormitories and the clock tower can be seen, and the second being for Cadbury Bournvita in which the schools's green flat, indoor swimming pool and the parish church can be seen.[6][7] The school campus was also featured in the promotional ad for the 6th season of Kaun Banega Crorepati.

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Willie G. Cullen, Ernie .J. Cullen, Michael Gateley, George Eric Marthins, Lionel Emmett, Carlyle Carroll Tapsell - Gold medal winners for India in field hockey - 1928 Amsterdam Olympic Games, 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games, 1936 Berlin Olympic Games
  • Dr. M.S Gill (Class of 1952), Chief Election Commissioner of India (1996–2001), Member, Rajya Sabha (2004–2005), former Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India
  • Air Chief Marshal Denis La Fontaine, (Class of 1946), Chief of Air Staff, 1985–1988
  • Major Haripal Singh Ahluwalia (Class of 1954), Padma Bhushan, Padma Shree, Arjuna Award; first Indian to scale Mount Everest on 29 May 1965
  • General Shankar Roychowdhury, PVSM (Class of 1953), Chief of Army Staff, 1994–1997; Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha
  • Saeed Jaffrey (Class of 1940), cultural ambassador and actor; first Indian actor featuring on Broadway; performances in British and Indian film and television
  • Air Marshal Denzil Keelor, Vir Chakra, Kirti Chakra, (Class of 1940),[8] hero of the 1965 Indo-Pak War
  • Wing Commander Trevor Keelor, Vir Chakra, Vayu Sena Medal; hero of the 1965 Indo-Pak War
  • Lucky Ali, singer and actor
  • Kanwaljit Singh (Class of 1966), film and television actor
  • Rev. Father Patrick Nair (Class of 1951), Bishop of the Diocese of Meerut, April 1974 - December 2008
  • Justice Gopal Das Khosla (Class of 1918), Chief Justice - Punjab High Court, 1959–1961; Chairman - Film Censorship Board, Government of India; Biographer of Indira Gandhi[9]
  • Melville De Mello (Class of 1932),[10] Padma Shri, broadcaster and author;
  • Leslie James Johnson, Indian Civil Services; Custodian General, Government of India; Chairman, Oil and Natural Gas Commission, 1966–1970; Vice-Chairman, Irrigation Commission, Government of India
  • R. P. Joshi (Class of 1949), IPS Officer (1955); Director General of Police, Uttar Pradesh; Director of Intelligence Bureau (1990); Awards: Police Medal for meritorious services, President's Police Medal for distinguished services
  • Dr. Harsh K. Gupta (Class of 1957), Padma Shri, earth scientist, Leader of the 3rd Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica which established India's first permanent Antarctic base, Dakshin Gangotri(1983–84);[11] Former Vice-Chancellor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Former Director, National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad
  • Lalit Suri, Founder, Bharat Hotels; former Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha
  • Satpal Maharaj, Member of Parliament, 15th Lok Sabha, from Garhwal Lok Sabha Constituency
  • Lieutenant General RK Jasbir Singh, PVSM, Commandant, National Defence Academy (1977–79),[12]
  • Major General Kuldip Sindhu, VSM, Director General - Resettlements, Ministry of Defence, Government of India (2004–06)[13]
  • Wing Commander Neil Nugent – Bronze Medal in Helsinki Olympic Games 1952 in Hockey while representing England.
  • Major Haripal Singh Ahluwalia (Class of 1954), Padma Bhushan, Padma Shree, Arjuna Award; first Indian to scale Mount Everest on 29 May 1965.Injured in 1965 war. President- Rehabilation Council of India, Organised and led motor expeditions over the Himalayas and Tibet to the Silk Route. Author of several books.
  • Lieutenant General SL Menzes, Deputy Chief of Army Staff, Author of Several books
  • Lieutenant General Amarjit Singh Sandhu, Commandant, Indian Military Academy, Dehradun
  • Lieutenant General Neville Foley, Member of Parliament
  • Major General Himmat Singh Gill, Defence Analyst, Author and Columnist
  • Lieutenant General Daljit Singh, GOC in C Western Command
  • Lieutenant General Amar Nath Aul, Chief of Staff Western Command Decorated in Kargil Operation 1999
  • Lieutenant General Dalbir Singh Sidhu
  • Lieutenant General P.O.Dann, 1965 War Hero
  • Lieutenant General Robert G Williams, Member of Parliament
  • Brigadier Michael Skinner, descendent of the legendary James Skinner, Commandant Skinner Horse
  • Commander George Y A Duke(Indian Navy) As a young Lt he and Pinaki Chatterjee rowed 850 miles from Calcutta to the Andaman Islands.
  • Kanwarjit Singh Sidhu(Class of 1967) International Shooter. Represented India in the Asian Skeet Shooting Competition.
  • Rajdeep S Gill(Class of 1966)- Indian Police Service 1973-2010. Director General of Police, Punjab 2007 & 2009. President's Police Medal for Distinguished Service 2002. President of the Basketball Federation of India 2003 to present. Author of two books
  • Bhupinder Singh- Film and TV Actor
  • Michael Casey, born 1841, Suprintendent of Police, Dacca. Later, Senior Judge, Ottawa, Canada
  • Raja Fateh Singh Nabha, born 1935, som of HH Maharaja Ripudaman Singh of Nabha. Eminent Professor –Author of book-"Time and Space is fiction-only distance is a reality"
  • Yashwant Dwaj Singh, grandson of Dr K I Singh(Ex Prime Minister of Nepal). Leading educational consultant, journalist and photographer of Nepal
  • Hugh Gantzer – One of India's best internationally known Travel journalist and writer. Co-writer with his wife Colleen, of several books, including "The Black beast of Mussoorie and Other Stories" and "The Scarlet Tiger and Other Stories". Earlier he served in the Indian Navy, from where he retired as a Commander.
  • Lt General Daulat Singh, KCIO, GOC in C Western Command, Indian Army. Born 4 Jan 1911 died in a helicopter crash at Punch(J&K) on 22 November 1963. Hero in Indo-China War 1962
  • Lt General Maya Das, PVSM, AVSM
  • Lt General M Sodhi, PVSM Richard Joseph Henry Fitzpatrick, MBE, Inspector General of Police, Tonk State, Rajputana, Decorated with Member of the Order of the British Empire(MBE) on 2 Jan 1933
  • 2nd Lt Sardar Mohd Afzal Khan(IEC 501), 2nd Punjab Regt., Indian Army. Awarded The Military Cross on 24 September 1942 for bravery in Egypt-Libya theatre(II World War).
  • Lieutenant Patrick Maurice William Doyle. 5th Maratha Light Infantry, Indian Army. Awarded The Military Cross on 18 July 1941 for bravery(II World War)
  • Lieutenant Terence Owen Wate, Punjab Regt., Indian Army. Awarded The Military Cross in 1939 for bravery (II World War)
  • Ashlyn Maurice Saxby, (Class of 1941), St Fedelis' School, Mussoorie. Represented India in Soccer (1955), and Bombay State and Western Railways in hockey, soccer and athletics in national Championship meets (1942 to 1956)
  • Paramdeep Singh Gill(Class of 1967)-Indian Police Service 1974-2011, Director General of Police, Punjab 2009-2011. President Police Medal for Distinguished Service.
  • Vice Admiral(Retd) Vijay Swaru
  • Ravi Baswani- Actor, most remembered for his role in "Chashme Buddoor "(1981) and "Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro" (1983), winning the Filmfare Best Comedian Award in 1984
  • Brigadier Mervyn Cardoza, Tamgha-e-Khidmat, Pakistan Army
  • Captain Sameer Singh, (Class of 1989)- One of the youngest Merchant Navy Captains in the world; captained the first LNG shipment into India
  • Col Harjeet Singh Lamba (Class of 1954-1956) - Descendent of General Sardar Gurmukh Singh Lamba, Izazi-i-Sardari, NirmalBud, Ujjal Didar, eminent General of Maharaja Ranjit Singh
  • Paramdeep Singh Gill (Class of 1967) – Indian Police Service 1974-2011, Director General of Police, Punjab 2009-2011. President Police Medal for Distinguished Service
  • Rohan Mehra- Film and TV Actor
  • Brigadier GS Kular(1971-1982), Indian Army, Special Forces
  • Mumtaz Bhutto- Pakistani Politician


External links[edit]