History of St Mary High School Sukkur
First of all I would like to thank you sincerely for all your cooperation extended to Minority as well as St. Mary’s High School Sukkur.
Someone has rightly said, “ learning is the wealth of the poor, an honor to the rich, an aid to the young, and support and comfort to the age”.
This school has the history of 124 years. We are proud to tell everyone that today you will find well groomed St. Marians serving the country in all walks of life; it may medical profession, beaurucrates, Politics, teaching profession or any walks of life. St. Mary is proud of them. I am sure that they are also proud of their mother institute.
Yes, it was born in 1881. But like most new borne, it was not recognized till 1888. During the first 12 years of establishment, the number never increased to more than 30 students per year. English teaching school was started in 1917. In 1932, in the year when Sukkur Barrage (Lloyds Barrage) was completed, St. Mary’s started 7 th standard and science was introduced.
In 1940 the management was handed over to the Franciscan Missionaries Of Christ The King. And Rev. Sr. Lucy was then appointed as the Principal of the school. The school prepared the students for Cambridge and there were 109 students. In 1949, the number rose to 252 students and 12 teachers were on the staff.
Matric Level was introduced 1950. In 1960, the management handed to the OFM Priest (Order of Franciscan Missionaries). The Institution was returned to the sisters in 1970. Sr. Flavia took over as the Principal of the School. The
school was nationalized in her time in 1971. After 20 years, the government returned the school to its original owners in 1990. And Sr. Flavia was back in the driver’s seat. But the condition of the school was like that of a ship that had been looted and damaged by the pirates on the high seas. It was completely destroyed building wise and academically.
I took over as Principal 1992 with great reluctance. Now we have 1300 students. We are proud to announce that we have made a great stride in these past few years. . If you see the result board, that we have been able to maintain 100% result for the last years. It is all to the efforts of my dedicated staff and the commitment of the children. Our students have been going for Inter school competition and coming back with prizes.
Being a dreamer and believing that dreams always come true if you are sincere and hardworking, I dreamt of having a new building and by the grace of God and the support of the Catholic Diocese of Hyderabad and Catholic Board of Education, foundation stone of the New St. Mary High School building was laid in 1997 and opening ceremony was performed on October 1998. Work in the new building is in progress. My object was to provide congenial atmosphere, good education and healthy environment to my students who are the future builders of nations. . As I also believe that purpose of Education is to replace an empty mind with an open one. For this we are struggling day and night.
Gleaning into the history of St. Mary’s High School Sukkur.
In the rough and arid desert of Sindh, on the hill, stands the beautiful and strong white building of St. Mary’s High School, symbol of dignity, stability and fidelity down the ages.
For the last 120 years, St. Mary’s High School Sukkur is known as
one of the reputable institutions of the city. It is a matter of pride and honour to see many of our St. Maryian serving the country in different capacity, be it the Armed forces, Civil Services, Politics, Commerce, Medicine and Education etc.
St. Mary has come a long way, and has seen many ups and downs. A journey strenuous and exciting at the same time, many miles have been covered yet many more to be traversed.
In 1860, a few Europeans and Goans came to Sukkur as railway employees. It was their ardent desire that they should have a pastor to cater to their spiritual and educational needs. So they requested the Bishop of Bombay to assign a permanent priest. He agreed to give one on condition that there should be a parish house and school. So the first priest was Fr. Victor who was here for a little while. In 1883, Fr. Peter S.J. became a Parish priest. He was a far-sighted man. He felt that there should be a school where the children could get education. So the Bishop of Bombay requested the Railway authority, to start a school. So after their struggle they were able to get a priest.
A quick glance down memory lane shows us that St. Mary’s School started functioning run by the Jesuits from 1 st October 1888 to 1915 as a Primary School only for the children of Railway personnel, but in 1897, it was opened to the local people due to the transfer of railway employees to Rohri.
In 1902 there were only twelve students divided into five classes with one teacher. Due to the small number, grant in aid was cut off on 9 th May 1903. During the first 12 years, the number never increased beyond 30 students.
In January 1908, A Railway Bungalow was given for the use of the school and grant in Aid of Rs. 20/. Was approved. However the same was stopped in 1909. D.P.I. Poona Recognition was to be given after the inspection.
On 8 th of March 1911, Railway Authorities asked the school management, to vacate the Bungalow that was given for school use, as the railway department needed it for its own use. At that time there was no school in Rohri for the children of railway employees.
Realizing the need, The Parish provided a building to open a school on 23 rd May 1911, but was closed on 15 th May 1914. In 1915, local clergy took over the running of the parish. The school was reopened on 29 th April 1916 with Railway Aid and it became an English teaching school in 1917. Education department recognized it on 28 th July 1917. Total Numbers of students studying at that time was 77 for 7 classes. Even though the railway authorities started another Railway School, the strength of St. Mary’s remained unaffected.
Slowly and gradually, growth in the enrollment was observed. In 1929 it was 91 and rose to 99 in 1930. The staff members were Rev. P Fernandez, Miss O Gillpse , B Paine and L. Rodriguez. Twelve more students joined in 1931 and the total number rose to 111 students with the same staff members. The year 1932 brought about the completion of Sukkur Barrage (Lhoyds Barrage) it was one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
7th Standard was started in the school and science was introduced in the teaching curriculum. In 1934, electric fans were installed offering some relief in the summers. In this year Sindh Mission was separated from Bombay Diocese. 1935 was the golden jubilee year. The number of students was 126 and a bus conveyance was sanctioned. Twenty more pupils were enrolled in 1936 that brought the total number 142 including 60 children of railway employees. In 1937 numbers of students were 139. In 1938, the Diocesan priests gave took over the charges.
In June 1938, the management of the school fell into the hands of the Dutch Friars from Holland . In 1939 the total strength of student was 152. Change took place 0n 20 th January in 1942 with the handing over of the management of the school to F.M.C.K. A boarding for girls was established. Now the total number of students was 109. The school prepared children for Cambridge exams and Rev. Sr. Lucy was appointed Principal followed by Rev. Sr. Clare in 1945. The same year 7 th standard was discontinued. 214 pupils were studying in 1946 but in 1947 because of partition, the numbers of student came down to 143. Year 1948 was a turning point and now there were 211 pupils and 12 staff members. In 1949 there were 252 pupils on roll. 8 th standard was introduced. The 1950 saw an increase of 50 students thus raising the number to 302 students and 3 more teachers joined that staff of 12 bringing it to 15. Sr. Lucy took charge again as Principal. Fr. Christopher saw the need of having a primary Urdu school for the poor children and in 13 th October 1953 it came into existence. And a boarding was started for the boys from the nearby villages. Matric level was introduced in 1951 and by 1955 no of students had risen to 413 which further rose to 451 in 1956.
Rev. Fr. Joshua, A Dutch, who flew in from his native country Holland
The new Principal could not bear the extreme heat of Sukkur and had to return. Next came Fr. Innocent a soft-spoken person, kind in nature with a large heart filled with generosity, but on the other side he was a far-sighted man and firm decision maker. He resolved to have cent per cent result in Matric exams to be held in 1961 and he got it. His students did not disappoint him. This was the last batch that passed Matric exams held by University of Sindh. A student had to study for eleven years for Matric Examination by the reduction of one year was declared. From 1961-1962 on wards exams was to be conducted under the Boards of Education at Hyderabad. Return of Rev. Fr. Joshua, with a new goal and enthusiasm to face the challenges both in the field of climate as well as education.
In the early 60es Rev. Fr. J.B. Todd took over as the Principal, who won the hearts of the people of Sukkur. He earned a name for himself as the strictest principal in the history of the institution. In 1963 a science Lab was built. Discipline was his priority. In 1970 Fr. John Baars handed over the charge to Sr. Flavia FMCK.
1972 History took another turn when Mr. Zulafqar Ali Bhutto the Prime Minister of Pakistan nationalized all the educational institutions and St. Mary was one of them. It was the dream of then Prime Minister to make education free for everyone but the policy failed miserably. Nationalization of the School shattered the dreams of the management, yet hope was not lost.
1991 the school was denationalized and Sr. Flavia was back in the driver’s seat. 1992, charge was handed over to Rev. Sr. Rosey Yacoob.
The school when denationalized was handed back in a deteriorating condition to its previous management. Education suffered, the building was destroyed completely and all most turned into ruins. It gave a look of a haunted house. It has been the object of the management to provide congenial atmosphere, good education and a healthy environment to those who are the pioneers of tomorrow. It was difficult as to where to begin from as nothing remained, but hope prevailed and almost everything was started anew. So from that time onwards there has always been a step taken forward. In 1997 the foundation stone for the new school building was laid opening ceremony held on 26 th October 1998. The newly constructed classrooms proved to be insuffient due to the increase in the number of students. Realizing the need for more classrooms the foundation stone for the new wing was laid in 2000. on the first floor there are 5 classrooms and a Conference room. An auditorium on the second floor has still to get its finishing touches due to the lack of funds. It is the matter of pride for us to mention that the students have been proving their mettle not in the studies but also in co curricular activities In the Board Examinations the result has been almost for cent per cent since the past few years.
The students have been participating in Inter-School Competitions, such as Debates, Sports and co- curricular related activities and have been bringing back quite a number of prizes. its 120 years of establishment and after almost a lapse of 30 years a School Magazine will be brought to life in January 2008 and a news letter , news letter by the name “ Maryian’s World”is waiting to be launched .
The need was felt to have a proper playground for the children . I had requested the railway authority to lease the a small vacant place for the play ground. The school had collected some money to pay for the land It is small piece and not enough for 1200 students. There is another piece of land which the is available at the commercial price. It will cost us Rs. 3300000/. About 39286. US $. You came as hope for the hopeless. I will be very grateful if you could help us to have a better playground.
We pray that God will continue to help you in everyday.