St Augustine’s dons the diamond cap

Statesman News Service
KALIMPONG, Aug. 27. — One of the stalwarts of education in the region, St. Augustine’s School, today completed its 60 years. The institution marked the occasion with a grand diamond jubilee celebration.
The day began with the traditional prayer session at the St Teresa’s church while the equally traditional swimming gala and cultural programme rounded off the day.
The principal, Fr Lawrence Monteiro, called it a special year for all those attached with the school. “ This is a landmark year for everyone. Many of our ex-students from neighbouring nations like Bhutan and Nepal have attended the functions, besides others from Sikkim, Darjeeling and Siliguri.
The day’s celebrations also mark the end of special events such as trekking and various inter-school activities within the district, organized for the students,” Fr Monteiro said. He has been previously associated with the institution as a vice principal from 1989-1993.
As a part of the three-day celebration, the ICSE batch of 1980 was also felicitated. “From now onwards all the ex-students will be felicitated batch wise annually,” the principal said. Later in the day, the students organized a variety of entertainment activities like plays, group songs and cultural shows.
The chief guest and former principal (1978-1984), Rev. Fr. Thomas D’Souza who is now the Bishop of Bagdogra Diocese called the gathering of all ex-students as a unique occasion.
“Its not just a school, its more of a family. Infrastructure and education wise its a super power. It was once a philanthropic effort by the Swiss fathers, but the non-Swiss fathers too have had a huge hand in nursing this centre.
I just saw the photograph of my English teacher and I said to myself: Man if you hadn’t been there then my English wouldn’t have been like this,” Mr Anmole Prasad from the batch of 1972 said.
Recalling his school days, Mr Bimal Bushal who passed in 1982 expressed, “One doesn’t immediately realize the importance of school days but surely we are having a great time”.
Once an initiative of the Swiss Fathers, the school aiming for social upliftment began with a mere 27 entries in 1945.
More than 1300 students are registered in its roll now.
As a part of the remembrance of the celebrations, the school is also building the mega Diamond Jubilee Memorial hall at an estimated cost of 94 lakhs.

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