St. Paul's School, Darjeeling

St. Paul's School is an independent boarding school for boys in the town of Darjeeling, West Bengal, India. It is known as "Eton of the East"[1] because it is thought to follow the similar cultural and traditional values of Eton College. St. Paul's is one of the oldest public schools in Asia. Entrance tests for admission are held every September. The school follows the ICSE curriculum until class 10 and the ISC curriculum for classes 11 and 12.

St. Paul's School
Location
,
India
Coordinates27°01′57″N 88°15′48″E / 27.0325065°N 88.2633448°E / 27.0325065; 88.2633448Coordinates: 27°01′57″N 88°15′48″E / 27.0325065°N 88.2633448°E / 27.0325065; 88.2633448
Information
TypeIndependent school
Religious affiliation(s)Church of North India
EstablishedMay 1, 1823; 199 years ago (1823-05-01)
FounderArchdeacon Corrie
RectorJoy Halder
GenderBoys
Age6 to 18
Enrollment600
Houses12
Colour(s)Maroon & Dark blue    
PublicationThe Chronicle
The Paulite
School feesApprox. 4–5 lakh per annum
AffiliationsIndian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE)
Former pupilsOld Paulites
Websitestpaulsdarjeeling.com

HistoryEdit

 
Darjeeling from above St. Paul's School in 1905

St. Paul's School was founded on 1 May 1823 in Calcutta by Archdeacon Corrie[2] at the instigation of John William Ricketts, a local Anglo-Indian leader. The first principal of the institution was Dr George Smith. Originally located at 11 Park Street, between the Archbishop House and the then Sans Souci Theatre, in 1830 it moved to Jawaharlal Nehru Road to the area now occupied by the Indian Museum.[3] In 1847, it was renamed St. Paul's School by Bishop Wilson, who had associated the school with St. Paul's Cathedral in Calcutta.It moved to its present Jalapahar estate in Darjeeling in 1864 with 31 boarders and a few day scholars. The estate was purchased from Brian Hodgson for Rs.45,000. At that time, at approximately 7,600 feet above sea level, it was the highest school in the world.[4][5]

A number of its students fought in World War I and World War II.[6]

The school's original purpose was "to supply a good education at a moderate cost to the sons of Europeans and East Indians".[5][7] After Indian Independence in 1947 it became a school for wealthy Indians and attracted wealthy students from other Asian countries.[5]: 66

 
Bishop Foss Westcott

Bishop Foss Westcott, metropolitan of Bengal, Burma and Ceylon, played an important role in the growth of the school. The Maharajah of Burdwan also made important donations.[4] Over the years a number of estates were purchased and merged with the existing school estate. The Mount Vernon Estate, known as Dawkins, was purchased in the early 1900s, and the Terpsithea Estate in 1955.

L.J. Goddard was the longest serving and perhaps the most important rector, leading the school between 1934 and 1964, including the transition from British-ruled to independent India. His successors were David Gibbs (1964–72) and Hari Dang (1977-84). Dang was awarded the Padma Shri in 1976 for his services in education.[8] Goddard and Gibbs received the OBE for their work at St. Paul's.[9]

School systemEdit

The school is divided into Primary, Junior, and Senior wings. The three wings are run independently with the Primary Wing having its own campus and a slight difference in uniform. The Senior and Junior Wings share many facilities.[10]

The Rector is the head of the school, assisted by the Senior Master, Head Junior Wing, Head Primary Wing and House masters.

CultureEdit

The school currently presents itself as an residential school for boys, predominantly Indian with an "international, multiracial and cross-regional cosmopolitan character",[11] having students from many countries including the US,[12] the UK,[12] France,[13] Thailand,[14] Bhutan,[12] Japan,[15] Bangladesh,[12] Nepal,[12] United Arab Emirates,[15] and Hong Kong.[15]

Current students are referred to as Paulites and the alumni as Old Paulites. The school lays a great emphasis on uniforms. On off-campus trips students must dress in prescribed suits and carry umbrellas.

The school motto is derived from the passage 'Cedamus Phoebo, et moniti meliora sequamur' in the Latin epic the Aeneid by Virgil. 'Moniti meliora sequamur' means "Having Been Advised, We Follow Better (Higher) Things".

The student government is headed by a school captain, assisted by House Captains and Prefects, drawn from the sixth form. The Junior and Primary Wings have their own system of monitors. The sixth form is privileged and enjoys an advantage over the rest. The chapel holds a central place in the life of the school where it meets as a community. There are clubs which develop artistic and technical skills. Each house presents a concert from time to time, apart from the major school production in October.

The extracurricular activities in school are dramatics, elocution, debate, piano, guitar, drums, violin, marching band and sitar classes. There are various hobby clubs and societies. These are all run by the boys under the supervision of masters. In the senior wing, the hobbies are art and craft, Batik, Indian Western music, model-making, photography, wood and lathe work, cybernetics, textile design, and cooking. The school sends candidates for the music and speech examinations held by the Trinity College London and Royal Academy of Music. The boys are also sent on educational tours to NASA and other historical sites in India and neighbouring countries.

The sport curriculum is dominated by football, cricket, athletics, volleyball, basketball, squash, table tennis, tennis, Eton fives, gymnastics, rocking climbing.

Cotton and Milman Halls

Awards and recognitionEdit

St Paul's has been ranked first among boarding schools in West Bengal and fourth in India according to the 2019 Education-World rankings.[16] The school was featured in Forbes India magazine in the article "The great Indian Schools - 2018".[17] It was named among the top seven boarding schools in India in 2020 by India Today.[18]

GalleryEdit

Notable alumniEdit

 
Sharad Kumar, 2014 Para Asian Games

Films shot at St. Paul's SchoolEdit

 
Howard Block

The school has been featured in Hindi and Bengali language films including Hamraaz (1967) by B. R. Chopra, Mera Naam Joker (1970) by Raj Kapoor, Seemabaddha (1971) by Satyajit Ray, Do Anjaane (1976) by Dulal Guha, Bada Din (2000), Main Hoon Na (2004) by Farah Khan, Chowrasta Crossroads of Love (2009) by Anjan Dutta, Barfi! (2012) and Jagga Jasoos (2017) by Anurag Basu, Raja the Great (2017) by Anil Ravipudi[59] and Petta (2019) by Karthik Subbaraj[60]

Hollywood actress Vivien Leigh was born on the school campus in November 1913.[61]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "'Eton of the east' celebrates 150 years in Darjeeling". The Times of India. Retrieved 15 June 2020.
  2. ^ Eyre Chatterton, A History of the Church of England in India Since the Early Days of the East India Company, London: SPCK / New York: Macmillan, 1924, OCLC 1895674, "Chapter XXVII. The Mother Diocese of Calcutta, 1815".
  3. ^ "Full text of "St. Paul's School, Darjeeling, India collection"". archive.org. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  4. ^ a b Educational Institute, City of Darjeeling, retrieved 24 September 2013.
  5. ^ a b c Gordon Brook-Shepherd, Where the Lion Trod, London: Macmillan / New York: St. Martin's, 1960, OCLC 411159, pp. 65–72. Text online at archive.org.
  6. ^ "St Paul's School to mark 150th foundation day with 3-day celebrations". India Today. 30 October 2014. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  7. ^ Hunter, William Wilson (1898). "Darjiling". The Encyclopædia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and General Literature. Werner Company. p. 728.
  8. ^ "Remembering Hari Dang – A Legend". The Outdoor Journal. 10 August 2016. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  9. ^ "Supplement to the London Gazette, 2nd June 1973, page 6490" (PDF).
  10. ^ "St. Paul's School, Darjeeling". EducationWorld. 14 November 2018.
  11. ^ "About St. Paul's School Darjeeling". St. Paul's School. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  12. ^ a b c d e "St Paul's School to mark 150th foundation day with 3-day celebrations". India Today. Retrieved 15 June 2020.
  13. ^ "St. Paul's School, Darjeeling to celebrate 150 years". Press Trust of India. 28 October 2014. Retrieved 15 June 2020.
  14. ^ "News & Event : Official Visit of Consul-General of Kolkata and Thai officials to Darjeeling during 25-28 April 2013 - Royal Thai Consulate-General, Kolkata, India". Royal Thai Embassy. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  15. ^ a b c Chhetri, Vivek. "Coronavirus: Darjeeling parents in quandary". The Telegraph (India). Retrieved 2 July 2020.
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  18. ^ "Top 7 boarding schools in India that offer quality education and facilities". India Today. 16 September 2020. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  19. ^ Thomas, Prince Mathews (13 October 2014). "Mr. Hospitality: PRS 'Biki' Oberoi Has Made Guests' Comfort His Priority". Forbes India. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  20. ^ "Major-Gen Palit, the soldier who thought ahead". www.rediff.com. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  21. ^ Palit, Maj Gen DK (2004). Musings & Memories: Vol (I). Lancer Publishers. ISBN 978-81-7062-275-8.
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  58. ^ Vishnu Som [@vishnundtv] (9 May 2018). "As students in St.Paul's Darjeeling, we used to lobby for a 'sunshine holiday' after days of torrential rainfall. These days in Delhi, the Met dept gives folks a free storm holiday even when it barely rains !" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  59. ^ Agencies (12 April 2017). "Lights, camera, action! 'Raja The Great' starts shooting in Darjeeling". www.millenniumpost.in. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
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External linksEdit