ST. JOSEPH’S CONVENT
CRADLED IN THE LAP OF MOTHER NATURE
St. Joseph’s Convent saw its humble beginning in the year 1900 to resolve the problem faced by the European Planters with regard to the education of their children. The school which was started by the missionary sisters of St. Joseph of Tarbes with 15 students on the roll, continued to grow steadily. Within a span of two decades the Institution made significant strides in every field. Today S.J.C. has a strength of 1500 students and enjoys a reputation for excellence. It is one of the premier schools for girls in the Nilgiris and is partially aided by the State Government.
The school caters to all categories of students irrespective of caste and creed. The school aims at making quality education available for all especially to the marginalized sections of the society, thus making every young girl intellectually enlightened, spiritually inspired, socially committed and emotionally balanced to serve the society. The school has produced many great women to serve the nation internally and externally as women parliamentarians, foreign secretaries and ambassadors, administrators and entrepreneurs, doctors and other professionals. The school focuses on all round development of the students and they are the best of the best wherever they go and in whatever they do. The grandeur of this Institution lies in its simplicity and dedicated service. It aims at making good human beings and worthy citizens for the country.
THE MAKING OF A JOSEPHITE
A Josephite is set apart by her charism of communion and competency that goes in making oneself confident and effective in changing the tomorrows of society. St. Joseph’s Convent has produced the best of the best through the years and the long, tireless efforts of the Sisters and Staff don’t go unrewarded , for we have our ex- students retracing their steps to the portals of this Institution to gloat over their achievementsand success that this Institution has helped them achieve.
In keeping with the Educational theory of Mahatma Gandhi `Education is the drawing out of the best in man and child’; this Institution has done full justice to the theory. Through the providence of the Almighty, this School has flourished over the years and it is THE SCHOOL most sought after in Coonoor.
The spirit of God which blew over Cantous, a little hamlet in the south of France played a definite role in the birth and growth of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Tarbes. The first mission call came from India in 1882 to take charge of a hospital in Bangalore.
Today this Roman Catholic Religious Congregation has a network of educational, social, medical institutions, counselling and rehabilitation centres serving hundreds of thousands of people across India belonging to all faiths and categories of the society.
By 1910, the ever-growing school witnessed the opening of St. Gabriel’s Boarding. The strength of the school gradually increased as admission both of boarders and day scholars began to pour in. It was found necessary to erect a double storey building to house the increasing number of students-that stands firm and tall till date. In the year 1936, a spacious Chapel was built above the school hall. Within a span of two decades, the Institution made significant strides in every field. The Senior Cambridge Syllabus was Streamlines into the Anglo-Indian Board of Education.
LAYING THE FOUNDATION STONE
In the year 1899, the then Bishop of Coimbatore, Msgr. Louis Bardou and the Parish Priest of Coonoor, Fr. Dennis Peyramale approached Mother Marie Flavie in Bangalore to resolve a major problem faced by the European Planters in Coonoor, with regard to the education of their children. They requested the Congregation to open a Convent and an English Medium School. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Mother Marie Flavie graciously accepted the offer.
Riding through the narrow, hilly mountain roads in a jutka, she arrived in Coonoor , accompanied by Sr. Margaret Mary. On the 9th of February 1900, the sisters took possession of Dublin Castle donated by Sir Lawrence O’Reilley to the Coimbatore Mission.
Due to the tireless effort and the ever- growing interest of our teaching faculty, the challenging and competitive spirit nurtured in our students enhances the reputation of the school clearly marked by the State Ranks and District Ranks that keep pouring in every year making us proud of our Josephites.
The numerous trophies won by Josephites in all co-curricular and extra- curricular activities every year speak volumes of the capacity of our students. We, Josephites, stand on the top in Sports as well- be it Track events, Field events, Volleyball, Football, Chess, Snooker, Table tennis or Lawn tennis. We have impressive records in fine arts and music too.
This Institution founded and managed by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Tarbes, aims to promote ‘Harmony with God, leading to Harmony with All.
By 1910, the ever-growing school witnessed the opening of St. Gabriels boarding. The strength of the school gradually increased as admissions both for boarders and day scholars began to pour in. It was found necessary to erect a double storey building to house the increasing number of students- that stands firm and tall till date. In the year 1936, a spacious Chapel was built above the school hall. Within a span of two decades, the Institution made significant strides in every field. The Senior Cambridge Syllabus was streamlined into the Anglo- Indian Board of Education.
In 1979, the Tamil Nadu Government introduced the Plus Two at the school level. St. Joseph’s Convent was chosen as one of the first few schools to receive recognition, and our students did exceptionally well to bring credit to the Institution. Due to financial constraints, the Plus Two was discontinued in 1987 but owing to constant requests from the district administration and the parents, the Management decided to re-introduce the Plus Two in the Centenary year- 2000.
15th Feb, 2000 was a red -letter day in the history of the school. The Centenary Year Celebrations marked the beginning of the next 100 years of service, of kindling the light of knowledge and learning in young minds. If St. Joseph’s Convent has stood the test of time, it was only because of His goodness and mercy. Rightly, the school decided on an apt theme for the Centenary programme “To God be the Glory”. The three- day celebration began with a concelebration of the Holy Eucharist with Rt. Rev. Dr. Anthony Anandarayar D.D., Bishop of Ootacamund as the Chief Celebrant, with many priests too. The service was attended by many sisters of our Congregration and the religious of the Congregrations in and around Nilgiris, besides parents, friends, well-wishers, past students, and our own students. The beautifully trained school choir did indeed help to lift our hearts heavenwards. Thus began a pattern of prayer and outreach to all.
The specially planned events that soon followed were an Exhibition of the School down the hundred years, a colourful Cultural Programme, a captivating Magic Show, a Recollection Programme by Rev. Fr. Augustine Vallooran, V.C. of the Divine Retreat Centre, Chalakudy, an Inter -School Cultural Festival and one day seminar for the teachers of English speaking schools, Nilgiris by Rev. Fr. Dr. Joe Mannath, an internationally reputed psychologist and counselor, and writer. The First Holy Communion and Parents Day Celebrations marked the closing of the Centenary Year. A souvenir was being published to mark this momentous event.