On 10th October 1846, Sisters of the Irish Branch of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, commonly known as the Loreto nuns arrived in Darjeeling from Kolkata. Within a few weeks of their arrival the Sisters opened a school with provisions for residential and day-pupils. The school celebrated one hundred and fifty years of dedicated service to education in Darjeeling in October 1996. Famous past-pupils include Shri Aurobindo Ghose, who was admitted as small boy, the actress Vivien Leigh, the princess of Bhutan and the King of Nepal. For many years, the novitiate of the Indian Branch of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary was situated in Darjeeling and Mother Teresa made her novice ship here from 1921 to 1931.
St. Joseph's College
St. Joseph's College is a minority Catholic educational institution owned and managed by the Darjeeling Jesuits of North Bengal. The College was first opened on February 13, 1888 at a place locally known as Sunny Bank in Darjeeling town. There were eighteen boarders and seven day scholars on the rolls. Numbers soon increased and the need was felt for more ample grounds. Extensive property was procured by Fr. Henry Depelchin SJ, the founder, on the town limits at North Point. In 1899 the student body consisted of 193 boys. In 1947, the year of Independence, the number reached 422, including ninety-three university students. Changes in the school department were dramatic. There was a steady increase in the numbers of day scholars. More striking was the growing international character of the school. There had always been a scattering of French and German boys from Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal and Burma. In 1954 twenty-eight nationalities could be found in the college, including staff.
Dr. Graham's Homes
Nestling in the side of thickly wooded Deolo Hill at an elevation of 4,600 ft. and overlooking the town of Kalimpong to the south, is the picturesque estate of Dr.Graham's Homes originally named St.Andrew's Colonial Home. To the north, lie the majestic Himalayas dominated by the eternally snow-clad Kanchenjunga peak (8560 Mts.) a mere 60 km.distant, and the boarders of Sikkim, Bhutan and Tibet.
The Homes, as they stand today, cover an area of almost 500 acres and include a school, farm, workshop, stores and clothing department catering for the needs of over 650 children and 100 members of the staff. The founder, the Rev. Dr. John Anderson Graham felt the need for providing care and training for destitute Eurasian and Anglo-Indian children, who under the appalling circumstances prevailing at the time, appeared doomed to a most miserable existence, with no hope for the future. It was with this thought in mind and the vision and enthusiasm of a born pioneer that Graham of Kalimpong took into his care six small children. These were housed in a rented building some distance from the present site. It was from this humble beginning that Dr.Graham embarked on the project of constructing and developing the institution we now know as Dr.Graham's Homes.
St. Paul's dates back to 1823 when Jon William Ricketts, one of the prominent Anglo- Indians, sought to unify and put up a public school to meet the needs of the growing Anglo-Indian population in Kolkata. In 1862 Bishop Cotton, the founder of BCS, Shimla visited Darjeeling and secured Jalpahar for building a school. In 1863 St.Paul's School was again confronted with financial difficulties rendering it essential to either merge it with another school or close it. However, fond memories of Archdeacon Corrie and Bishop Wilson mover Bishop Cotton to transfer the same school, with its name to Darjeeling in year 1863. On this large Jalapahar estate St. Pauls opened sometime during 1864 with 31 boarders and a few day scholars withy the Rev.J.C. Enfield as Rector. The school now renovated-situated above at about 7600 feet above sea level- the highest school in the World then-began its new course of life. Subsequently a number of additions were made to the school- a chapel, tennis court, cricket field, Mound Green, Eton fire courts. The Lefroy Hospital was occupied in 1914 and the Lyon Hall in 1915. The ole school was demolished giving place to the present day lower field. In 1920 the Chapel was demolished to make room for Westcott Hall due to liberal donations by the Maharaja of Burdwan.
Victoria Boys' School
These two schools, established in 1879, are among the old schools in the country. But they are unique in many respects. They are the only schools under the Government of West Bengal, which are affiliated to ICSE.
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