Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Celebrating 50 Golden Years of service to the Nation

St. Xavier’s Senior Secondary School, Delhi

Celebrating 50 Golden Years of service to the Nation

“There are two types of education- one which teaches you how to make a living and the other which teaches you how to live”.
From 4th Jan. 1960 St. Xavier’s school, the Eton of Delhi, has traveled a lot- from its infancy to its teen age years, and attaining
maturity; and now being an institution of excellence guiding hundreds, even thousands, of youngsters to discover their destiny and
realize their dreams year after year. Like King David advised his son, St. Xavier’s advises all its students to ‘BE A MAN’ (“ESTO
VIR”). Rather than imparting just knowledge, St Xavier’s teaches its students how to live their life.
On the eve of the celebration of the 50th year of its inception we take a journey down the memory lane…….
The story of its birth is as follows…..
In 1958 Fr. Frank Loesch, S.J., an engineer, planner and builder of many institutions and Fr. Charles Saldhana, S. J. a great
educationist were appointed by the Provincial of the Patna Mission (then a part of the American Mission of the society of Jesus)
to establish St Xavier’s school at 4, Raj Niwas Marg, Delhi-54. The Provincial knew
that Fr. Loesch was eminently qualified to perform this Herculean task, as he
had vast architectural competence and lot of administrative expertise. (In Patna
he was popularly known as ‘the contractor’ because he was greatly involved in
building activity!!) Rich in such experience it was no wonder that St. Xavier’s
deserved such a man to build those impressive edifices. Fr. Charles Saldhana too
was a man with a wealth of experience and expertise. He had already served for
two years as the Principal of Nirmala College (the present Kirori Mal College),
Delhi University. He was scholarly and erudite and had a friendly persuasion and a
warm human touch as the hallmarks of his personality.
In 1958 they purchased the eminent Hotel Cecil owned by an American duo of
brother and sister Mr. Hotz and Ms. White. (Hotel Cecil in those days was known
as the ‘Country Club’. It was a posh hotel with over a hundred rooms offering all the
accompanying five star amenities including lush green lawns and a swimming
pool) Later they bought a substantial portion of the land adjacent to the present
Gujrati Samaj.
After the property was purchased the premises remained untouched for some time.
There were hosts of beautiful flowers all over. The lawns were well manicured and the neem trees looked absolutely majestic.
There were numerous shady trees and a variety of flowers in the campus. The planners knew that it could not remain in the same
condition; instead it had to be converted into a school campus. In May 1959 Fr. Loesch with Fr. Richard Pereira, S.J. visited Mr.
Nayak, who was the then commissioner of Delhi for getting permission to change the Cecil Hotel into a school.
And then the constructive destruction followed………. Gardens and trees, grounds and space, the buildings and dwellings were
all chiseled or remodelled to cater to the requirements of the new school. The premises underwent innumerable of changes,
which gave the shape of a new St. Xavier’s, a place where the destiny of many Indians were to be decided in the years to come.
(Mrs. White, the erstwhile owner of the Cecil Hotel, returned to the campus after a gap of a few years and was flabbergasted to
Fr. Frank Loesh, S.J. (Founder)
21st April,1960- 11th December,1965
St. Xavier’s Sr. Sec. School, Delhi
St. Xavier’s Senior Secondary School, Delhi
see that all her rose plants and dahlia flowers had vanished from the campus. When she expressed her dismay to the then Principal
Fr. Thomas Athazhapadam, he, pointing to the smart little kids playing around asked her: “Mrs. White, aren’t these cute little ones
far more beautiful and promising than your roses and dahlias?”)
Six months prior to the inauguration, while Fr. Loesch was busy in modifying the buildings, Fr. Saldhana had started the preparatory
works with meticulous plans with the help of a dedicated team of volunteers. He organised the new teaching staff, arranged the
curriculum, and conducted the entrance examinations for the new school. Thus by January 1960 they were able to transform
a traditional, western-style hotel into a modern public school. But unfortunately Fr. Saldhana (who considered the school his
“Benjamin”- the child of his old age) fell ill on the day of inauguration and it was Fr. Thomas Athazhapadam, S.J. who addressed the
assembly on the reopening day from the balcony of the present Prep Department. Archbishop James Knox, the then representative
of Vatican in India, inaugurated the school on January 4, 1960.
It was very fascinating to see how quickly the fledgling Xavier’s took to its wings and started soaring up in the sky. As soon as
Xavier’s was born about 500 students took admission during the very first week itself. Initially classes were held in many hotel
rooms. Bombay House, another area, now where Vidya Jyoti stands, was utilized partially for staff and teachers’ residence and the
main building was used as the Prep Department. In March another piece of land in front of the gate was acquired and here the first
set of the school block was built later on.
The school was such a big success that the Delhi Directorate of Education recognized it in a month’s time. Fr. Francis Loesch, S.J.
was the first Rector and Fr. Charles Saldhana, S.J. was the first principal. Fr. Francis C. Rodriguez, S.J. was the first Administrator,
Fr. Thomas Athazhapadam, S.J. the first vice-principal (later he was appointed the principal) and Fr. Austin Reinboth, S.J. the first
Hostel Superintendent. These stalwarts, with a vision and a mission, contributed greatly towards putting the infant Xavier’s on a
strong footing.
Fr. Loesch and Fr. Saldhana wanted to spend their remaining life in Xavier’s; so did it happen. They both died in Xavier’s at their ripe
age working till their last breath in union with the Lord. (Fr. Loesch died of a massive heart attack on 26th Jan 1972)
Until the junior school and the senior school blocks were built classes were held in the block near the swimming pool. The Prep
Department was shifted to Bombay House, the present Vidya Jyoti, under the care of Fr. Saldhana. Later on it was moved to the
junior school building and finally to the present Prep Department. The first building that came up was the Junior School by 1965.
Initially for over two decades a large number of the staff lived on the campus and it felt like being part of an extended family and all
of them actively participated in all the school functions even after school hours.
At the start the school followed the ICSE syllabus. The first batch of students passed the Indian School Certificate Examination in
1966 but later we switched over to the CBSE pattern.
Since the beginning St. Xavier’s has been a hub of various activities- Music Fest, various club activities- both school and inter-school,
one act play fest, dance festivals, Xavier Fair etc. All the major festivals are being celebrated in Xavier’s even today. These were not
heard of in the life of schools elsewhere in Delhi in the 1960’s and the 1970’s. The senior alumni remember that there were fun
filled candle light dinners at the pool side or between the father’s residence and dining room and the buildings would be illuminated.
Movies were shown on Saturday evenings. Some of the best movies were screened and once a year there would be a week long film
festival. The campus was the nerve centre of activity and excitement. There was also the Annual Breakup parties, staff picnics, class
picnics, excursions, social service camps, boxing, etc. Xavier’s did wonderfully well in putting up ‘Oliver’, ‘Mikado’, ‘Jesus Christ
Superstar’, ‘Kids Stuff’ and in the recent past ‘The Fourth Wiseman’.
Of all these the Xavier Fair has been the most famous activity. It was the brain child of Fr. Reinboth, S.J. The first Xavier Fair was
held in 1963 for two days- Saturday and Sunday. Since 1967 the fair was held only for one day. The fair enabled the school to raise
funds for the education of the underprivileged students in Xavier’s. It also provided the Xaverians an opportunity to shape up their
entrepreneurial qualities.
Xavier’s has had the distinction of setting a benchmark in progressive, innovative changes. It has always believed that change is a
part of growth and should always be for the better. We shifted from ICSE to CBSE. We were the first to adopt the grade system for
assessment of students, which was later adopted by the CBSE. Our school was the first to adopt the central government pay scales
which compelled many other private institutions in Delhi to accept the same. Xavier’s was the first to stage musicals and conduct
drama workshops, after which several schools followed the suit. These plays, debates quizzes – all contributed to the growth of the
students, giving them confidence and the courage to innovate.
St. Xavier’s never lacked eminent administrators who could inspire people to work; God always blessed our institution with an
uninterrupted line of energetic, capable and committed principals who with their bold and innovative ideas guided the institution
along the path of steady progress. Each of them has left his own unique imprint in the history of this institution striving for being
better than the best and greater than the greatest which is the quintessence of the motto of the “Magis” of Jesuits, the followers of
Ignatius of Loyola.
Fr. Thomas Kunnunkal, S.J. joined Xavier’s in 1962 as the principal. Fr. Edward Mann, S.J. was the Rector from 1965 to 1968. Fr.
Gerald Grace, S.J. joined Xavier’s as Rector in 1968 and remained in the same post until 1972.
Fr. T. Kunnunkal was much responsible for the educational polices adopted in later years in Xavier’s. With his keen administrative
ability, foresight and self-confidence, the school reached the status of being one of the most prestigious institutions in Delhi. He
Celebrating 50 Golden Years in serving the Delhiites
made the school a model school for Delhi. He was the principal till 1974 and then again from 1977 to 1979. Xavier’s is indebted
to Fr. Kunnunkal for making it one of the much sought after schools in Delhi. By 1966 St Xavier’s was among the topmost schools
on the map of Delhi with the encouragement of Fr. Kunnunkal whose motto was “Every Boy a winner”- be it in academics, games
or extra curricular activities.
Fr. Kunnunkal as an educationist didn’t believe in catering to the needs of a select few from the elite class; but he gave the school a
popular and a humane face. The school that was started as a predominantly boarding school in the old British hotel building, closed
down its boarding facilities in 1969 in order to provide educational facilities to a larger number of students from this city. From
1972 the hostel buildings were utilized to accommodate the Theologate Vidya Jyoti. That changed the entire tone of the school. In
fact exodus began in the mid 60’s with several of the original staff immigrating to Australia, Canada and America.
By 1973 the school had grown very remarkably. The senior and junior school buildings had come up- (all praise goes to Fr. Loesch.
He literally died in harness). A large playing field came into being by leveling the ground occupied by a road that had cut across the
present playing field. This was also the time when many of the buildings that stood between the senior and junior school buildings
were demolished and the ground developed. Those buildings were employee’s quarters during the days of the Cecil Hotel. The large
kitchen of the hotel was also demolished and open spaces were provided to the students.
(Fr. Kunnunkal was awarded the Padma Shree in 1974 for his achievements in the filed of education. He was also the President and
Executive Secretary of the Jesuit Educational Association from 1975 to 1977. He served the Central Board of Education from 1981
to 87, first as Vice-Chairman and later as its Chairman. He was also the founder of the National Open School. He served it first as
its consultant and later as it Chairman (1989-92). In 1992 he took office as the Superior of the Delhi Jesuit region).
Fr. Thomas Athazhapadam, S.J. returned to Xavier’s as Rector in 1972 and remained in the post until 1978. Fr. Abraham Puthumana,
S.J. was the principal from August 1974 to August 1977. He received the full support and cooperation of all the staff- both teaching
and non-teaching. He introduced many co-curricular activities to promote the all round development of the students. He would
urge every student to compete with himself. It was during his time that the school abolished the competitive ranking and recognition
in academics. Instead anyone who made noticeable progress was given recognition. During this period Xavier’s took initiative in
forming the Educational Planning Group the initiative for which came from Fr. Thomas Kunnunkal. He had the whole hearted
support of Mr. Jose Paul. For many years EPG did yeomen service to education and had been instrumental in both updating of
teaching skills and in the production of excellent text books for class room use all over Delhi and elsewhere.
Fr. Joseph Paschal, S.J. became the Rector in 1978 and Mr. J.A. Martins was appointed principal for one year- April 1979 to March
1980. He was the first lay member to join the management of Xavier’s. Mr. Martins had joined in Xavier’s in 1967 as a senior English
teacher and later became the Head of the Department. He was the vice-principal from 1978 to 1983. In the meantime he was
appointed principal for one year 1979-1980. He carried a very charismatic zeal which influenced many Xaverians. He took great
interest in all co-curricular activities. One of his greatest contributions was the Directory of the XOBAD (now DOXA). He took
pioneering efforts in bringing out this directory for the alumni to keep in touch with each other.
On 1st April 1980 Fr. Joseph Parakatt, S.J. (an M.Ed. in Secondary School Administration from Xavier University, Cincinnati, US)
took over the reins of rule and continued up to March 1985- the Silver Jubilee Year. (He had joined Xavier’s in 1968 as a Physics
teacher and hostel Prefect. Later he became the Assistant Headmaster, Vice-Principal and finally the Principal.) It was a transition
period for Xavier’s.
Until 1980 Xavier’s maintained its old elitist image. The Jesuit educational policy underwent lot of changes after 1980 which was
much responsible for what Xavier’s is today- socially committed, serving neighbours and making the school coed. As the new
principal it was his policy to see that every Xaverian when he leaves the school should have the feeling of having developed his
potentialities to the maximum. He realized that education means all round development, not stuffing the head with knowledge and
information alone.
During Fr. Parakatt’s time Hindi was introduced as the medium of instruction at the primary level, giving due importance to
English. Though many parents and teachers were equally concerned about the repercussions of this change what the school did was
not anything unusual. It is indeed an international practice where the primary education is imparted in one’s mother tongue for
better understanding of basic concepts. (How many of the Japanese or the Chinese or Germans or the French begin to learn English
before they master their own language?) The educational planners at Xavier’s knew that a child learns best in his own language. Today
many schools in Delhi have realized the importance of imparting primary education in the mother tongue. However, we gave due
credit to English as a medium of instruction.
Secondly, the Society of Jesus has always been concerned about the plight of the poor and the marginalized. With their General
Chapter of 1974, the Jesuits developed more sharp awareness of the structural dimensions of injustice in human society and
committed themselves to do what they could to create a just and humane society. It became the policy of the school to create an
egalitarian society by providing quality education to all strata of society. Thus the school management decided to admit children
from the socio-economically weaker sections of the society. 25% of admission was reserved for the children of economically weaker
section of the neighbourhood. It was a great service rendered to hundreds of children over the past many years, who otherwise
would not have had the opportunity to avail of such quality education. Due to the active cooperation of the staff, students, parents
and all other well wishers we have been able to set up a scholarship fund to help education of the economically weaker students in
our school.

St. Xavier’s Senior Secondary School, Delhi

Again in the education of a child in today’s world an active cooperation of parents too is required. If the child lives far away from
school this frequent parent-teacher interaction is not possible. Also the students will not able to use all the facilities provided by the
school- like the playgrounds and the swimming pool etc if they live far away from the school. Hence Xavier’s decided to give up its
‘All Delhi’ image and admission was restricted to the students in the immediate neighborhood. It is heartening to see that Delhi
government is now trying to follow these rules in all schools in Delhi.
When a little child enters the portals of an educational institution for the first time, it is very important that it survives the shock
of separation from home. It has to find its new home as a warm place. With this view it was decided to have a separate block for
the children of the Prep class and the 1st standard. The PREP DEPARTMENT was thus inaugurated in 1985. It was well planned
and directed by Fr. Richard Pereria, S.J. He was a seasoned educationist and the ex-principal of several Jesuit High Schools. It was
his view that a child has to be taught how to think creatively. He envisaged that at this level children should not be subjected to
examinations and homework. Thus there was a sense of joy pervading in the new Prep-Department. He was very sensitive, helpful,
gentle and loving. He left Xavier’s on 22nd November 1998.
For a mature and healthy emotional and psychological growth it is necessary that boys and girls should grow up together in the same
institution. Hence in 1985 the boys’ only school also turned into a co-educational institution, giving the fair sex an opportunity to
walk into its precincts and thus help children to grow up with better understanding of the opposite sex.
Fr. Parakatt was a campus pillar and a loving friend for all the students and the staff. He passed away on 5th September 2003 on
the day when the nation was celebrating Teacher’s Day. He was succeeded by Bro. Ittoop Pallipadan (who had joined Xavier’s as the
vice-principal in April 1983) in April 1985. He remained as the principal till Dec. 1992. As his contemporary Fr. K.T. Thomas S.J.
joined as the Rector in 1984 and remained in the post until 1991.
Fr. K. T. Thomas was a very lively figure in the Xavier’s campus and was responsible for the various new changes initiated in the
school including the change of medium as well as the co-education. He was formerly a member of the Bihar Board of Secondary
Bro. Ittoop served Xavier’s as principal till December 1992. For 10 long years he was an essential part of life at Xavier’s. He was
universally loved by all. (On his retirement day students told him with great affection: “We’d do anything for you, Brother- EVEN
STUDY!!”) He was an eminent Jesuit with qualities both of head and heart. He was deeply concerned about the development of
each individual in Xavier’s. He handled all the problems in a humane manner and was appreciated by all for his good humour and
warm rapport with everyone. The greatest quality he ever had was the command he had on all- he commanded all with love and with
authority. He received ‘Raja Ram Mohan Roy Award for Teachers’ in 1991. He initiated the process for the computer education
is Xavier’s. He also served on many different educational committees. He was a member of the NCERT team that was set up to
monitor and evaluate Delhi Administration schools.
In March 1989 Mrs. Anjali P. Dere was appointed as the vice-principal when Fr. John Ari went abroad for higher studies. She was
the first lady and the second non-Jesuit to join the administration in Xavier’s. Hers was a very popular choice. She was ‘well versed
in Xavier traditions as well as the Jesuit approach to education’. In May 1994 she took an early retirement from school after having
put in 22 years of dedicated service. She was being described as a ‘prized possession” of Xavier’s.
Fr. John Ari S.J. succeeded Bro. Ittoop in December 1992. As his contemporary we had Fr. Mathew Padayatty S.J. as the Rector as
well as the Director of the Prep Department from 1991 to 1997. Fr. Mathew was a suave, gentle and patient man of God. He had
joined the senior school as the Economics teacher in 1975 and continued in the same post till 1983. He was also the co-moderator
of XOBAD (DOXA) along with Mr. Martins. Before being appointed Rector he was also the Headmaster of Junior School from
1988 to 1991.
Fr. John Ari had reached Xavier’s in 1985 as the vice principal. In 1989 he went abroad for doing his Masters in Educational
Administration Marquette at University in the U.S. and returned to Xavier’s in 1991 as the Headmaster of the Junior School. Fr.
John Ari believed that education is an experience, and not merely passing exams. He was very much reluctant to retain students
due to poor academic performance. He also initiated the process of modernizing Xavier’s by expanding the computer lab for the
students. He also started computerizing the office work in school. He wanted the overall development of all the students. It was
Fr. John Ari who suggested the idea of class assemblies as an important platform for personality development. He bade farewell to
Xavier’s in July 1997. (He also has the distinction of being the first Provincial of Delhi Jesuit Province.)
On 2nd August 1994 Mr. B. Miranda succeeded Mrs. A. Dere in the vice-principal’s office. He had joined Xavier’s as a biology
teacher in 1965. There was a post that he held from the beginning until he finally retired, i.e. the great music teacher of Xavier’s.
He was man for all seasons- be it Music Fest, Play Festival, Club Activities or any other school functions his help and support was
inevitable. No stage setting would be perfect with out his Midas’s touch. In 2001 he retired from the post of vice-principal and was
appointed as the Maintenance Supervisor. Accompanied by his accordion he filled the heart of every Xaverian with music for 44 long
years before he finally singed off from Xavier’s campus in March 2009.
Fr. P.T. Augustine S.J., an M. Phil from JNU, New Delhi, in International Affairs, took the baton of principalship of Xavier’s from
Fr. John Ari in July 1997. He is an educationist par excellence who had with over 30 years of experience both in schools as well
as in colleges both as a teacher/lecturer and as an able administrator before he joined our school as principal. A recipient of “Dr.
Radhakrishnan Award” for outstanding teachers, he reached Xavier’s during his ‘middle ages’ and stood as tall as an impeccable
oak tree. A perfectionist himself, with his quest for EXCELLENCE through creative and imaginative changes, innovation and
modernization, he breathed in a new enthusiasm in the minds of all teachers and students. He brought administrative, academic
Celebrating 50 Golden Years in serving the Delhiites

and infrastructural changes in all the institutions he served and Xavier’s was no exception. For the first time in many years Xavier’s
campus began showing changes. For Xavier’s he was the Fr. Loesch of the New Millennium. In 2000 Fr. Augustine built the ‘The
Millennium Complex’ with modern facilities like two computer labs, a multimedia room, two English language labs, a creativity
room and a large auditorium called ‘the Millennium Hall’ with a capacity to seat 1250 students. Life in Xavier’s changed after the
inauguration of this hall. Students began spending most part of their life here training and gaining confidence.
He spruced up the campus and face lifted many of its parts. (If anyone would find Fr. Augustine looking at a place in the campus
lost in contemplation, it was sure the place would change soon!!) The garden in front of the Millennium Hall and the Junior School,
the rock garden at the back of the senior school assembly ground- all originated from the imaginative mind of Fr. Augustine. He
beautified the campus. (One day in the assembly, quoting W.B. Yeats, he told the students “I’ve spread my dreams under your feet;
Fr. Thomas Kunnunkal, S.J.
18th Dec, 1961-31st May, 1974
1st Sep, 1977-31st March, 1979
Fr. Abraham Puthumana, S.J.
1st August, 1974-31st August,1977
Mr. Augustus Martins
1st April, 1979-31st March, 1980
Fr. Joseph Parakatt, S.J.
1st April, 1980-31st March, 1985
Br. Ittoop Pallipadan, S.J.
1st April, 1985-11th December, 1992
Fr. John Ariapilly, S.J.
2nd December, 1992-9th July, 1997
Fr. P.T. Augustine, S.J.
10th July, 1997-April 2001
Fr. Charles Saldhana, S.J.
1st Jan - July 1960
Fr. Xavier Ignatius S.J.
April, 2001- April, 2005
Fr. Jose Philip, S.J.
April- 2005 Onwards
Fr. Thomas Athazaphadam, S.J.
1st July, 1960-17th December, 1961
The Principals
tread softly, for you tread on my dreams”.) Yes, he gave his best to St. Xavier’s, Delhi. To live, to love and to be loved, and to leave a
legacy behind was basically the goal of his life. He enjoyed every moment of his life with the students, watching their struggle, their
success as well as their failures. Since Xavier’s then appeared to be the penultimate lap of his long administrative career, it is true
St. Xavier’s Senior Secondary School, Delhi

he had left his heart behind here before he left for Kadmandu in March 2001. He was, however, destined to come back to Xavier’s, Delhi, as Rector in July 2009.
Fr. Thomas Kuriakose, S.J. an ex-Xaverian of 1970-71 batch, joined Xavier’s as Rector in 1997 as Fr. P.T. Augustine’s contemporary. He remained in the post till he left Xavier’s on 5th March 2003, leaving behind his infectious smile for everyone to remember him by.
Fr. Augustine was succeeded by Fr. Xavier J. Ignatius, S.J. in March 2001. He served Xavier’s for six years (2 years as the Headmaster of the junior school followed by four years as the Principal). He was very dynamic, young and energetic, and a great disciplinarian who led by example. He brought in more participation among the staff by inducting three senior teachers as coordinators for discipline, activities and academics. Accordingly Mr. Santosh Joseph was appointed as the Coordinator of Discipline, Mrs. Neera Verma was appointed as the Coordinator of Activities, and Mr. A.K. Das as the Coordinator of Academics. After Mrs. Nerma Verma retired Mrs. Marina Thomas became the Coordinator of Activities and after Mr. Santosh Joseph retired and Mrs. M. Thomas resigned and left for Mumbai, now Fr. Paul Wenish, S.J. looks after both the portfolios.
On 6th April 2005 Fr. Xavier handed over the baton in the office of principal to the new incumbent Fr. Jose Philip S.J. Meanwhile Fr. Sebastian Assarikudy, S.J. was appointed Rector in 2003. With his unassuming personality Fr. Sebastian was able to win the hearts of every student and teacher in Xavier’s. His love for children was very much evident when he would stand in front of the Father’s Residence almost all little ones would come and shake hands with him before proceeding to the school bus in the afternoon. He was transferred to Loyola Institute, Shahbad, Badli in July 2009.
Fr. Jose Philip is not new to Xavier’s campus. He was appointed Assistant Headmaster of the Junior school in April 1990. He served Xavier’s as the Headmaster from December 1992 to March 1995. He then left for Jaipur St. Xavier’s as Vice-Principal and the Principal later on. He returned to Xavier’s, Delhi in 2005 after a gap of ten years.
Fr. Jose Philip has a passion for excellence and he wants every Xaverian to be worthy of being a true Xaverian before he/she leaves the portals of the school. He is a great father figure for all the Xaverians. He has introduced a new system whereby each student is continually assessed not only for excellence in academics but being excellent in the over all development of the personality. The ‘Xaverian Excellence Award’ has been instituted by him according to which each student is assessed based on his/her performance in academics, activities, sports and imbibing values. For him school education is not meant for creating doctors, engineers or technocrats but for creating good human beings, because he believes that all other positions without being humane is null and void and harmful to society in the long run. Other than developing the intelligence quotient of students what he is more concerned about is to develop emotional and spiritual quotients of every Xaverian.
Xavier’s also benefited from the services many other noteworthy Jesuit stalwarts. Fr. Francis Rodrigues, S.J. was one among them. He managed the finances of the institution. He wanted to develop and improve the community services and finally he too greatly desired to spend his last days in the lap of Xavier’s and so it was. He passed away due to cancer on May 20, 1986. Fr. Richard Extross, S.J. was an eminent educationist. He taught English at St. Xavier’s, Delhi for many years. During his tenure he started the school magazine ‘The Xavier Times’ in 1965. He also founded XOBAD (Xavier’s Old Boys’ Association of Delhi) and was its first moderator. We very specially remember him during this Golden Jubilee year. Fr. Richard Curry, S. J. was the HOD of Chemistry Department. He was a scientist and musician. He was responsible for raising the scientific temper of the school and developed musical talents of a number of students. Fr. Robert J. Mayer, S.J. (jokingly refereed to as the Mayer of Delhi!!!) was another remarkable individual gifted with extraordinary musical talent. He came from America to India in 1951. He served in India and Nepal and then volunteered for service in East Africa. He reached St. Xavier’s school in 1972 and he remained here for eleven years. Fr. Mayer composed the ‘Xavier Cheer Song’ which every xaverian proudly sings. On certain days he would come down to the assembly grounds with the choir and would walk down the rows of boys and coax each unwilling throat into joyous singing. He died on 28th Jan. 2000 in the US. Fr. Edward Niesen, S.J. was the Headmaster of the junior school. Junior school teachers remember him as a wonderful person to work with. He was a fountain of ideas and most innovative. Fr. Joseph Matheikal, S.J. (vice principal from 1966 to 1969 and later as the H.O.D. of the Chemistry Department from 1973 to 1983) organised social awareness camps to make staff and students more socially aware. Fr. N.V. Mani S.J. was the Headmaster of the Junior School from 1985 to 1988. Fr. Jose T. J., S.J. proved himself to be a very effective Headmaster of the junior school from 2002 to 2004. Fr. Glenn Menezes S.J. was the modern media face of the school. His contributions as the Director of Media in Xavier’s have been immense. During his time the institution underwent drastic changes in getting its media facilities modernized.
Fr. Tony Andrade, S.J. joined Xavier’s in 1995 as the Headmaster and remained there till 1999. He was also the Student Counselor for the senior school from 2001 to July 2004. He was very successful as a mentor, a guide and friend to all. Fr. K.P. George S.J. was a very successful Headmaster of the junior school from July 2005 to 2008 until the present incumbent Fr. Shaju Varghese S.J. took charge as the Headmaster. Mr. T. Mannila and Mrs. B. Kang too played a larger role in bringing about discipline in the Junior School as being the Coordinators of Discipline.
The Prep Department too saw some very eminent personalities after Fr. Richard Pereira. Ms. Martina Pereira, Sr. Vimla S.M.I, Sr. Kiran, Sr. Alphina – all played a very vital role in imparting primary education to the tiny tots.
Many Jesuit priests and teachers and members of the non-teaching staff spent their life-time in the service of St. Xavier’s and worked hard for the betterment of the institution. We pay tribute to all those teachers who worked here until their superannuation and those who left in between due to various reasons as well as all the other staff members who helped to build this institution through a life time of service. One can write volumes praising their wonderful contribution but for the space.
Celebrating 50 Golden Years in serving the Delhiites
Financial support is as important as the development of academics in a school. The history of Xavier’s will be incomplete without remembering the stalwarts like Mr. P.K. Joseph, Mr. Peter Fernandez and Mr. P.M. Thomas -all devoted a life time of service to the institution. How can we ever forget Mrs. Philomena Nazareth who seemed to be ever present in the school, assisting in the principal’s office and meeting any eventuality with her first aid box?
Mr. D’ Mello, Mrs. P. Martins, Mrs. & Mr. Abraham, Mrs. & Mr. Bhargava, Mr. S.K. Malhotra, Mr. J. Chhauda, Mrs. L. Abraham, Mrs. L. Jacob, Ms. J. Murphy, Mrs. U. Nanda, Mrs. V. Nagpal, Mr. S. Pal, Mrs. K. Tandon, Mrs. Agatha Joseph, Mr. Bhasker…are just a few among those stalwarts who inspired generations of Xaverians. A far longer list of men and women who dedicated their committed service at the altar of Xavier’s could be engraved here, but for the space and time to do so. Today many of those stalwarts are not in our midst physically but they are alive in the hearts and minds of thousands of students whose life they touched in one way or other. These people laid a strong foundation and gave a strong footing to the school which has grown from strength to strength, like an oak tree, to be seen and admired by thousands in the city. The remarkable thing of Xavier’s is the unity and cooperation, willingness and hard work, dedication among the staff and the management that go hand in hand to give a new shape to the school every year.
Xavier’s very successfully enabled to create a family feeling among the staff and students. For everyone it is not just a work place but a second home. As soon as they enter the campus they forget all their worries and anxieties and get involved in a very positive manner in the lives of the young Xaverians. This even helps the staff to heal the wounds from their personal life.
And remember the list of those thousands of students who passed through corridors of Xavier’s for whom it has not been an institution made of cement and mortar, but of bond of love and affection! They have built their nest around the globe and during this jubilee year we remember and pray for them in a special way. We wish the very best in their lives.
Today, St. Xavier’s has a staff strength of 130 in all the three departments (Senior, Junior and the Prep) including teaching and non-teaching. There are a total of 3160 students studying in the school for the current academic year. Of this about 374 students are given fees concession. We spent Rs. 35 lakhs last year educating economically underprivileged. We meet this expense through Xavier Fair as well as contributions by various people to the scholarship fund. Now some of the batches who passed out from Xavier’s have come together in paying back to school by helping in the education of the underprivileged.
One of the most important aspects of the clientele of Xavier’s is the cosmopolitan quality of them. There are Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Jains studying together; there are students whose parents hail from different parts of the country like, North India, East and North East, South India and so on; there are the sons and daughters of politicians, leading bureaucrats, successful businessmen, clerks, peons, sweepers- all studying together in the same class room without feeling any class distinction or religious differences. They learn, play, run around the campus without knowing the differences that exist among them. The single unifying factor is that they are all Xaverians and they are proud to acknowledge this fact. Isn’t this more important than the number of doctors or engineers or technocrats or politicians we have produced during the last 50 years?
It is often said that ‘once a Xaverian always a Xaverian’. The Xaverian identity is indelible. It is hard to find anyone (both staff and students) leaving the school campus without shedding a few tears remembering their past association with the school. Everyone cherishes each golden moment they spent here. The alumni maintain their umbilical cord with their Alma Mater through their association called DOXA (XOBAD until 1998- rechristened as DOXA by Fr. P.T. Augustine when the young ladies started graduating from the school for the first time.) Delhi Old Xaverian Association is now gender inclusive and it is no longer ‘XOBAD’!!! Incidentally the Latin word ‘Doxa’ means ‘glory’- the alumni of Xavier’s, Delhi, is a glory not only of this institution, but of the whole nation. Today DOXA has a membership of well over 4500 members worldwide. DOXA has started taking active interest in paying back to their Alma Mater by joining in its efforts in educating the underprivileged. The 1984 batch came forward on the 25th Day of January 2009, its Silver Jubilee Year celebrations "Ab Tak 25", by generously committing a figure of Rs. 25 lakhs towards scholarships for the deserving students of St. Xavier Delhi.
This jubilee year also marks the establishment of the worldwide chapter of the DOXA called ‘Non-Resident Global DOXA’. Its first chairman is Mr. Yakub Mathew of 1982 batch, Managing Director, HSBC Bank USA.
A lot of water flowed down the Yamuna since birth of Xavier’s in 1960 and an almost uncountable number of feet fell on the sacred precincts of our school campus during the past 50 years, each one playing a role in shaping the school what it is today. As the school sets its foot in the next half century let us hope and pray that Xaverians round the world will keep alive the flame they received from our patron saints – St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. Francis Xavier.
On this occasion we wish the present masters at the helm of affairs of Xavier’s – Fr. P.T. Augustine, S.J. Rector, Fr. Jose Philip, S.J. principal, Fr. Paul Wenish, S. J. Coordinator of Activities/Discipline, Senior school, Mr. A.K. Das Coordinator of Academics, Senior School, Fr. Shaju Varghese, S.J. Headmaster, and Sister Serina SMI Director of Prep. Department and Mrs. B. Kang the Coordinator of Discipline, Junior school- all the best. We pray that God may shower upon them His choicest blessings so that they take the lead of Xavier’s to its Golden future.
Compiled by:
K.J. Devasia, Head
English Department
Mail your responses to xaviertimes@gmail.com

Friday, July 31, 2009


The Alumni of St. Xavier’s School,Delhi.
Dear Friends,Greetings!
I am Fr. P.T. Augustine, S.J., Moderator of the Alumni, Delhi Old Xavarians’ Association (DOXA) and Rector of the School. Till 2001 I had been Principal of the School.

My association with the alumni here in Delhi as well as in other Jesuit schools has been very cordial and memorable. St. Xavier’s, Delhi, had its opening school assembly on 4th January 1950. So, we have already entered the Golden Jubilee year. To celebrate the fifty golden years of our school, several programs have been planned by the School and the alumni. The formal inauguration of the commencement of the Jubilee was on a small scale on 30th July 2010 with Fr. Thomas Kunnunkal, S.J. as the Chief Guest. The grand finale will be on 30th and 31st January 2010. However, in the interim period we will have many celebrations, about which information will be communicated to you in due course.

We are also happy to inform you of the establishment of The Non Resident Global Doxa Chapter, with Mr. Yakub Mathew (1982) as its first Chairman. Whatever Jubilee celebrations and batch-wise reunions planned by the Non Resident alumni or others may be retained in the year 2010. Apart from celebrations and reunions, we have planned several projects of lasting nature in order to commemorate this major milestone of our institution.

They include the following:
1. Make-over of the school buildings, the Heritage building, and the residential buildings in the school campus, painting them with attractive but appropriate colours.
2. Make-over of the drive way of the campus where everyday 35 DTC buses bring in by 8.00 a.m. and take back by 2.00 p.m. 2100 students of our school.
3. An impressive School gate at the main entrance.
4. “Lifetime Achievement” Awards to exceptional achievers among the alumni over the last fifty year..

While these have top priority, we have another long list of a dozen or more other projects in the pipeline for the coming two years. In this Jubilee year of the School The Delhi Jesuit Society is planning to initiate the process of entering into the higher educational field in. Concretely the plan is first to establish a Xavier Institute of Management and Technology (XITM), possibly in Rohini, north west Delhi, where we do have adequate amount of land. XITM proposes to offer courses in Management and administration (MBA), as well as seven Bachelor’s degree programs in Engineering.
I earnestly solicit your generous contributions to enable us to celebrate and commemorate the Golden Jubilee celebrations of our School, Xavier’s, Delhi..
Fr. P.T. Augustine, S.J.St. Xavier’s School, 4 Raj Niwas Marg, Delhi – 110054 Mobile: 09910566627; Email: ptaugustine@hotmail.com .