. History
Intelligence plus character - that is the true goal of education
- Martin Luther King Jr.

The History of St. Paul''s Mission School
The history of St. Paul’s Mission School is a checkered one and dates back to a little more than 125 years. Initially it was owned, managed and controlled by The Diocese of Calcutta under CIPBC, the Church of India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon With the formation of The Church of North India (CNI) in 1970, the Diocese of Calcutta (CIPBC) merged with the Church of North India

The school thus began to be owned and managed by the Diocese of Calcutta, CNI and it still is to this day. This great institution had a very humble beginning when some ladies of the Women’s Fellowship for Christian Services (WFCS) of St. Paul’s Cathedral, Calcutta decided to open a Home for the less fortunate girls of Sealdah area. The Girls’ Home was started at 134 Beliaghata with as few as 5 girls, but the Ladies did not give up and under the leadership of H.E. Lady Carmichael they set about the task of making the Girls’ Home a true Home for these little children .The Home then shifted to Bowbazar in 1875, then to 26 Scott Lane in 1876, to 2 Huzuri Mall’s Lane in1882 and finally to the premises at 73, Serpentine Lane in 1884.

Under the patronage of the St.Paul’s Cathedral, the school was renamed ST. PAUL’S MISSION SCHOOL The untiring efforts of H. E. Lady Carmichael and her team of dedicated ladies had finally come to fruition, but they were still not completely satisfied. That there were still so many Christian children who were not getting the benefit of a good education further strengthened their resolve to do something for the emancipation of the poor and destitute of Sealdah. With grit & determination the ladies of The Society began to scout the lanes and bylanes of the area, picking up a child or two from among those families who valued education but couldn’t afford it. There were some parents who were opposed to the idea of sending their children to school; these families had to be convinced of the need to have their children have the very basic education. The ladies of the society were undeterred and they managed to get a number of children together to start regular classes at Serpentine Lane.

Lady Carmichael laid the foundation stone for the main building of the school at 5 Scott Lane, and thus began the story of St. Paul’s Mission School as we know it today. “Suffer Little Children to Come Unto Me” reads the marble plaque at the entrance of the building at Serpentine Lane. Inspired by these words of Christ, the founders of the school threw open its gates to any poor and needy child that was brought to them, irrespective of their religious denominations or monetary constraints. The Inspector of Schools of that time was so impressed with the school that he remarked “Yours is a true Mission serving the needy of the city. A Mission such as yours deserves every kind of support” Rev. Jackson, the first Rector/Principal, was a very able administrator and a man dedicated to making a success of St. Paul’s Mission School.

A succession of equally dedicated Principals followed who devoted their energies to bringing the school at par with the other established schools in the city. Among these special mention must be made of Rev. Robson, appointed by the vicar of St. Paul’s Cathedral, as Rector of the school. After him came Canon Catley, who performed the dual role of Vicar of St. Paul’s Cathedral and Rector of St. Paul’s Mission School. Rev. Cyril Manuel is another name to be remembered in the formation of the school. His love for children was so great that he literally went out searching for children to study in the school. These children not only got free education but were given free clothes, books and anything else they required in school.

He was succeeded by Mr. Wilbur Pratt a typical gentleman with typical English mannerisms. After him Canon Basil Manuel became Rector of St. Paul’s Mission in 1971. Though he did a commendable job at keeping the school running, the first signs of problems began to be noticed. It was at this time that the school started facing a financial crunch that almost shut it down permanently. Interestingly enough, it was at this point that the school achieved great success in the field of sports and extracurricular activities. Hawey Rieman has written his name in the annals of the school in athletics. Placed against established and renowned sportsmen like Milford Hennesey of La Martiniere, he surprised the spectators in a 100m sprint and 110m hurdle even setting an inter-school record in the hurdles. In boxing, G. Wilson and Jason Rephung were names to reckon with and instilled fear in their opponents. Many girl students also made a mark in athletics at inter-school events.

Mention must be made of Sarah Jordan who was adjudged champion girl athlete at the YMCA inter-school meet. The list of the many students who have brought laurels to the school and are pride to the name of St. Paul’s Mission School is endless. Unfortunately, as was the case with many boarding schools, an acute paucity of funds compelled the then Board of Governors to consider closing the hostels permanently.

At this time help came from the most unexpected quarter, the Lady Principal of Pratt Memorial, Mrs. Phyllis Pearson, who always had a soft corner for St. Paul’s Mission. She offered to take the girls into her school and in 1971 the girl’s were sent to Pratt Memorial School and the girl’s hostel at Serpentine Lane was shut down. The boy’s hostel continued to run for some time with help from the Mother church and other benefactors, but things were getting more and more difficult and funds that much more scarce. It was now only a matter of time of finding suitable accommodation for the 100 or so boys who were almost permanent residents of the hostel. Then Mr. David Cameron, Principal of St. Thomas Boy’s School, Kidderpore, offered to take the boys in and in 1977 the boy’s hostel finally closed. In 1977,

Mr. David Raja was appointed by the Board of Governors with the idea of bringing St. Paul’s Mission back to its former glory. He did a commendable job and took St. Paul’s to new heights. His tenure in the school is often referred to as the golden years of the school. It was because of his bold initiative that the ISC (XII) Science stream was introduced and St. Paul’s Mission achieved another milestone in her glorious history. The Centenary Year, 1984, was celebrated with much aplomb. The celebrations were meticulously planned by the Principal, Mr. David Raja, It was made all the more meaningful when the then Bishop of Calcutta,

The Rt. Rev.. D.C. Gorai unveiled plaques at Serpentine Lane and Scott Lane to commemorate the occasion and reminded everyone present of the ideal of the Founders of the school, one of Caring and Sharing. There was much media coverage of the celebrations with The Statesman newspaper specially acknowledging St. Paul’s Mission School’s 100 years of dedicated love and service to the children of Calcutta. A weeklong of celebrations took place and many students, past and present contributed their time and efforts working along with the staff and management to make the celebrations meaningful.

After Mr. Raja’s departure to Australia, Mr. Richard Flynn took over the reins in 1986.With his many years of experience and much encouragement from The Board of Governors, Mr. Flynn took the school to greater heights and it was once again recognized among the better or elite schools of the city. In 1996, to meet the ever increasing demands for higher studies and to make it easier for St. Paul’s children seeking admission into the plus two, Mr. Flynn started the “Afternoon Session” for the Commerce and Humanities streams. Those children opting for Commerce or Humanities (ISC) did not have to run from pillar to post seeking admission. The move was an instant success and the classes were soon filled to capacity. Mr. Flynn left in 1998, after a long and eventful 13 years.

He was succeeded by Mr. Terrence Ireland who served for a brief 15 months. Mr. Terence Ireland, a noted academician and a keen sportsperson, was very actively involved in co-curricular activities. Under him, the school made excellent progress in different games, especially cricket. He was a successful disciplinarian who held that mental and physical discipline is the first step towards good academics. Different co-curricular activities were introduced in the school to showcase the existing talent among students.

After Mr. Ireland left Mrs. Barbara Ann Raha took charge of the school in the year 2000. She was the first Lady Principal and was instrumental in introducing the NCC in the school. The 39 Bengal Battalion NCC Foxtrot Company has performed extremely well in many fields even at the All India level. Many of the children have received Citations and Cash Scholarships. Mrs. Raha brought the Commerce and Humanities sections into the main stream, and they now follow the regular timings with the rest of the school. She also introduced the Annual School Magazine “Paularian” to give an opportunity to all students to showcase their literary potential. She retired in 2011.

The present Principal, Mrs. Sanchita Biswas has brought about a lot of infrastructural upgradation in the school. The century old buildings have been repaired and repainted – not only the fa?ade, but also the interiors. Heavy cumbersome wooden furniture in the classrooms have been replaced by sleek steel ones. Old blackboards have been changed; bulletin boards have been put up.

The staffrooms and school auditorium have been installed with air conditioners. Washrooms for students have been upgraded; cold filtered water has been made available. The library has become larger and well equipped to accommodate an entire class. Co-curricular programs are being organized regularly and St. Paul’s Mission School is a name to reckon with in the inter-school circuit. The school has also launched its website in 2014.

Today St. Paul’s Mission School is a large, bustling, modern co-educational day school, catering to children from all backgrounds. The course of studies prepares children for the ICSE and ISC (Science, Commerce) examinations conducted by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations. Teaching and learning is done in the school with all modern amenities and techniques with the medium of instruction being English. The students have full access to all the facilities of well equipped laboratories, a well stacked Library, state of the art Computer labs and many games facilities. Participation in all co-curricular activities is compulsory and the lack of playing fields is no deterrent to the indomitable spirit of the children. This has proved time and again at Inter-School Meets where they have shown their mettle and brought laurels to the school.

‘Nil Desperandum’ or ‘Never Despair’, is the school motto and with God’s blessings always on the school, it is certain that St. Paul’s Mission School will grow and prosper. It will shine like a beacon of light for those who walk through its corridors and look upon St. Paul’s Mission as their Alma Mater

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