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A Glimpse into the history of the Sacred Heart School


            The beginnings of the school can be said to be closely linked to the Great Famine which plagued our country at the end of the 19th Century.   It was this famine that was instrumental in bringing the Sisters to the sub-continent in the year 1897.   They answered the call from the Roman Catholic Hierarchy to leave their home, kith and kin to care for the many children who had become orphaned and abandoned.    However, by the end of 1906 the Great Famine had become history and the flow of orphaned children slowed down to just 70.  By 1908 the number had further decreased and only some 50 children remained to be cared for by the Sisters   This meant that some of the rooms which constituted the orphanage were no longer required.   At the same time, financial support from abroad was withdrawn and it became very difficult to make ends meet.   All possibilities of an additional work of charity to bring in some financial aid for the remaining children were explored but all proved futile.  It is well known that in time of great adversity that God enters more into our lives and a misfortune can bring about another ‘good’.  It was thus that the Sacred Heart School came into being.
            After having given a ‘new look’ to the orphanage and to its unoccupied rooms, Sister Marie de la Trinite Lootens inserted a notice in the newspapers to announce the opening of a school for girl boarders and day scholars of well-to-do families.   The creed was to be no barrier and so before long the school was a big happy family comprising not only of Hindu children but also those from the Muslim, Parsee and Christian faiths.
            Classes started on the 3rd June, 1908 with one boarder and three day scholars.   Under the guidance of Sr. Mary de la Trinite (she was to be recalled to her heavenly reward within the first year of the school’s existence) the Sisters were full of hope and determination.  By the end of October the number of pupils had risen to 17 and by the end of 1909, Hindi and Urdu as well as English were being taught throughout the school.   The pupils were prepared for the Senior Oxford Examination.
            Before World War I the number of pupils had risen to 120 and a few college students had been accepted for their F.A. and B.A. studies.   From then up to the time of Partition the number of pupils rose steadily to over 600.
            The standard of education received was recognized by all and it is with just pride that we can say that the same recognition is received by the school even to this day. This is borne out by the fact that the girls do well in both the Matric and O Level examinations.   In the whole history of the school not one pupil has ever failed a public examination. The school can also modestly boast of the fact that in general its pupils have done extremely well in their future choice of studies and professions.   Not only did the students acquire knowledge of their various subjects but sound moral values were inculcated into the hearts of the children to prepare them as is still being  done up today to assume their role in society at large.   The prejudices which had at first sprung up completely vanished.   Parents no longer hesitated to entrust their children to a Christian institution thus sincere and cordial relationships were established and these have happily been the support of the Sisters throughout the all but one hundred years of the school’s existence.
            By the 1920’s the school had so expanded that more accommodation was needed, this necessitated in the construction of a whole new block which was ready by December 1926.   In 2003 we again had to build because of expansion and so the Junior School was designed.   This is a completely purpose built section and we are indebted to Dr. Pervaiz Vandal and Associates  of whom, our former pupil, Sajida Vandal nee Waheed and the former Principal of the National College of Arts, is an associate,  for its striking design.
            Throughout the history of the school the pupils have always had every opportunity of developing their personal talents and to become the perfect young ladies of which any society would be justly proud.   Therefore much emphasis was placed on character building.  Another forte of the school in its earlier days was the stress placed upon music.  The girls were prepared for the Trinity College examinations.   The pupils of today are also privileged in being able to take music.  Under the guidance of our talented music teacher, Mme Roshani two very successful Piano Recitals have been presented.   Unfortunately Trinity College, London is presently not offering to conduct examinations here in our country.   Painting also figured in the syllabus as well as needlework.   The latter discipline is still being offered to day and the same high standard of work is being well maintained.  In 1986 Computer Science was added to the curriculum and we have today two state of the art computer labs and in all some forty odd computers.
            Two big changes of consequence were to take place: in 1972 when it was decided to close down our boarding facility.   This decision was taken as  it was getting increasingly difficult for the Sisters to be able to give “the round the clock” dedication and commitment that the running of the boarding section placed upon them.    The second  big decision took place in the year 2001 when with a heavy heart we closed down the boys’ section and thus became an all-girls’ school.
            Thanks to its dedicated Staff the school has gone through its long history from strength to strength and we are grateful to God for his constant blessings



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