St. Peter's Boys School

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St. Peter's Boys School
Panchgani, Satara District

Pin - 412 805. Maharashtra State

Coordinates17°55′16″N 73°47′35″E / 17.92111°N 73.79306°E / 17.92111; 73.79306Coordinates: 17°55′16″N 73°47′35″E / 17.92111°N 73.79306°E / 17.92111; 73.79306
TypePrivate, all boys, boarding
MottoUt Prosim ("That I may serve")
Established1904; 115 years ago (1904)
PrincipalWilfred Noronha
Enrolmentapprox. 400
HousesBoarding Houses: 4
Color(s)Maroon and gold         

St. Peter’s School, Panchgani (formerly known as the European Boys’ School) is an all-boys boarding school located in the town of Panchgani in Maharashtra in Western India. The school was founded in 1904. The school campus covers an area of approximately 58 acres (23 ha). It is essentially a boarding school, but a few day scholars are also admitted. The school runs on public school lines.



St. Peter’s School, Panchgani (formerly known as the European Boys’ School) was founded in 1902. The school was located at Kimmins School in its early stages. After receiving a generous donation from Miss Mary Ashlin, the school was finally established in 1904 and moved to its own building (the current Main School Building) in 1904.

One landmark in the history of the school was the appointment of Mr. Oswal D Bason as Principal in 1947. He filled this position until his retirement in 1974. Another important change came about in 1967 when the management of the school passed into the hands of the Society of St. Peter’s School, Panchgani.

The school runs on public school lines. The school campus covers an area of approximately 58 acres (23 ha).

The Crest[edit]

The crest of the school has the mythical bird, the Phoenix, which rises out of fire below and holds the olive branch of peace.

The outstretched wings, in the crest of St. Peter's, is to help us understand the goals and spirit of the Phoenix rising. The Phoenix is the symbol of hope and rebirth and because of this, the gods vowed that as long as the Phoenix lives, there is hope for mankind. In the St. Peter's Crest, the Phoenix is seen to hold an olive branch in its beak to signify that each student of St. Peter's School is a peace-maker and cherishes peace.

School motto[edit]

The school motto is Ut Prosim, which means "That I may serve" or "That I may be useful".


  • 1861 The earliest European settlers in Panchgani, under Mr. J. Chesson, opened negotiations with the Government for the purchase of land for a church and school.
  • 1876 Mr. Samuel Brierly, late Headmaster of Bishop's School, Poona, opened a Boarding and Day School at "Elstow", Panchgani.
  • 1891 The Diocesan Board of Education, Bombay, became interested and appointed the Rev. Burgess, Chaplain/Headmaster. School opened at "Preston", but closed soon after due to a lawsuit over the property.
  • 1895 The Rev. R. Evans, DD, was appointed by the Diocese to receive the School in "The Ark".
  • 1898 Kimmins Girls' School founded by Miss A. Emilie Kimmins. Boys and girls studied together.
  • 1901 Miss Mary Ashlin donated a legacy to the Colonial and Continental Church Society, London. The Society interested itself in the School at Panchgani and decided to govern the School with a Committee of Management at Bombay. Classes held in the nave of St. Peter's Church under the Rev. J. Redman. Boys housed at "Enfield" and "Albert House".
  • 1904 Boys' School separates from Kimmins School. Present school buildings opened by Richard Stanley Heywood, Bishop of Mombasa.
  • 1911 Assembly hall erected. Opened by Sir George Clark, Governor of Bombay.
  • 1914 Middle Dormitory built.
  • 1921 Rhodesia House and grounds purchased by the School. Death of Miss A. E. Kimmins, Founder of Kimmins Girls' School.
  • 1934 Reference library constructed.
  • 1937 Swimming bath constructed.
  • 1940 Junior class-rooms constructed.
  • 1947 India granted Independence.
  • 1947 Principal - Mr. O. D. Bason.
  • 1950 "Maycroft" equipped for use as a school hospital.
  • 1953 New kitchen built with financial assistance from the Sassoon David Trust.
  • 1954 The school celebrated its Golden Jubilee (1904–1954). The dining hall was opened by the Rt. Rev. W. Q. Lash, Bishop of Bombay and Chairman of the Board of Governors.
  • 1958 The "Albert House" estate was purchased at a cost of Rs. 75,000.
  • 1959 "Maycroft" was purchased at a cost of Rs. 25,000.
  • 1960 The School ceased to accept Government grants. "Flora House" was converted into a hostel. Gas was installed in the School kitchen.
  • 1961 Modern sanitation was installed in School House. The School passed from the management of the Commonwealth & Continental Church Society to that of the Bombay Diocesan Society. A tablet commemorating the change was erected in the Assembly Hall. Maycroft Cottage was demolished and rebuilt at a cost of Rs. 10,000.
  • 1962 Mr. J. L. Davis completed 25 years service at the School and was presented with a gold medal in appreciation of his services.
  • 1963 An appeal for funds towards the cost of a new building to celebrate the School's Diamond Jubilee was launched. Fire in Principal's house.
  • 1964 Work commenced on the new building. Estimated cost: Rs. 325,000. The School celebrated its Diamond Jubilee (1904–1964). The Rt. Rev. Christopher Robinson, Bishop of Bombay, unveiled a tablet to commemorate the occasion.
  • 1966 Jubilee Hall completed.
  • 1967 The Bombay Diocesan Trust Association hands over the management of St. Peter's School to the Society of St. Peter's School, Panchgani.
  • 1967 Earthquake rocks Panchgani. Maycroft, Hill View and part of the kitchen are razed to the ground.
  • 1969 Maycroft and Hill View cottages reconstructed while the kitchen is repaired.
  • 1974 Mr. O. D. Bason retires as principal after an innings of 27 years.
  • 1974 Bason Hall dormitory and staff quarters constructed.
  • 1975 Mr. Jack Timmins assumes the office of principal.
  • 1975 The St. Peter's School, Panchgani, Old Boys' Association is formed.
  • 1980 Rhodesia renamed to Junior House on the Independence of Rhodesia.
  • 1980-1981 Lower Field Stadium embankment is constructed - work incomplete.
  • 1981 Mr. Timmins migrates to Australia and Mr. Morris W. Innis takes over as principal.
  • 1981 Last meeting of the Old Boys' Association.
  • 1986 Mr. O. D. Bason dies in Panchgani.
  • 1987 Computer studies introduced in the school.
  • 1989 Lawrence Villa purchased for Rs. 15 lakhs.
  • 1993 Ground floor of Junior School block constructed.
  • 1994 Latur earthquake rocks St. Peter's. Flora House and Albert House are badly damaged.
  • 2000 Mr. Innis retires as principal. Mr. K. A. Garman takes his place.
  • 2001 Mr. K. A. Garman resigns and Mr. R. Robinson takes his place.
  • 2002 Mr. R. Robinson resigns and Miss Gilbert is appointed honorary principal. Assembly Hall burns to the ground.
  • 2003 Mr. Eugene Roscoe, vice principal (April–September). Miss Gilbert (acting principal) is succeeded by Mr. Gene Oscar Lee (junior school headmaster). The school could not appoint a principal from 2001 to 2004 as Mr. K. A. Garman had taken the school to court over his unfair dismissal. In August 2003 Mr. Eugene Roscoe filed a case against the board of directors over his unfair dismissal and was awarded a massive sum of money in an out-of-court settlement.
  • 2004 Centenary celebrations.
  • 2005 New Assembly Hall dedicated.
  • 2006 January Vice-Pricicipal Joe L. Davis (1968) dies at the age of 88.
  • 2007 Mr. G.O. Lee resigns as a principal after 4 years
  • 2007 Mr. D. D'monte assumes the office of headmaster and asks for the resignation in 2008 October
  • 2009 Mr. Niteen Salvi takes over as acting headmaster (offg. headmaster)
  • 2010 Dr. Thomas Charles Williams takes over as the new principal. Dr Thomas Charles Williams thrown out.
  • 2010 Mrs. Sangita James takes over as the new principal.
  • 2015 Mrs. Sangita James resigns as principal after 5 years. Mr. Brian Robbins takes over as the principal.
  • 2016 Mr. Wilfred Noronha takes over as the new principal.[1]

School houses[edit]

  • Ashlin House, named after Miss Mary Ashlin, color: Green, motto: "Labore et virtue", which means "Work is Worship".
  • Cornwill House, named after the former Principal Rev. Cornelius Williams, color: Red, motto: "Nil Desperandum" which means "Never despair".
  • Drury House, named after the former Principal Rev. J. Drury, color: Blue, motto: "Facta Non Verba" which means "Action not Words".
  • Rowan House, named after the former Principal Rev. T. Rowan, color: White and black, motto: "Uno Animo" which means "United we Stand".

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Akbar Al Baker - group chief executive officer, Qatar Airways - Al Baker calls the Indian subcontinent his "favorite region." As a child, he studied at St. Peter’s all-boys boarding school, perched in the Panchgani hills in Maharashtra, India. The region is known for its cluster of elite boarding schools and strawberry fields, with the closest city, Pune, located 63 miles away. Later, Al Baker moved to Mumbai to attend the Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics. And according to Forbes India, he still keeps an apartment his parents bought him during that time, in the posh Cuffe Parade neighborhood. [2]
  • Freddie Mercury - lead singer of British rock band Queen.
  • Lt. General Victory Rana (Retd.)- Nepal Army [3] [4] Saint Peter's School captain 1963, appointed Force Commander of the UN Peace keeping Force in Cyprus in 1999
  • Chatrapati Udayanraje Bhonsle - 13th direct descendant of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, MP, Nationalist Congress Party, Loksabha 2009-
  • Zul Vellani - (1930-2010) Drury House. Scriptwriter and commentator for over 700 Films Division of India's documentaries. Known as 'The Voice', he was the chosen narrator on All India Radio for Indira Gandhi's funeral procession. Also a film and theatre director, actor and playwright. His documentary film 'All Under Heaven By Force' won a National Award, while his film adaptation of Rabindranath Tagore's play 'Dak Ghar' won the Golden Plaque Award at the 2nd Tehran International Festival for Children and Young People. Wrote scripts for established film directors such as Mehboob and Shantaram as well as for K. Vasudev’s ‘At Five Past Five’. Acted in many short as well as feature films, notable among them being Conrad Rook’s ‘Siddhartha’. Author of 'The Burning Spear', a play on the Kenyan Mau-Mau independence movement commissioned by Mzee Jomo Kenyatta. Uncle, once removed, to Sir Ben Kingsley. [5].
  • Anmol Vellani - Founder-Director of India Foundation for the Arts. Theatre director [6] and writer [7], deeply entrenched in the Arts. Tony Blair credited him for his approach in politics [8]. Rowan house.


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