Pune: Back in April 1864, with just 15 students and one school master, the Bishop's School set shop in the Cantonment area. Today, 150 years later, it has grown leaps and bounds reaching a milestone that is touched by few institutions.
The school with boasts of an illustrious alumni with stalwart such as former chief of naval staff Sushil Kumar, Indo-American entrepreneur Sabir Bhatia, chairman of the Poonawala Group Dr Cyrus Poonawala, Satish Magar MD of the Magarpatta Township and many famous personalities from all walks of life. The school will kick-off its sesquicentennial year celebrations from April 26.
The celebration will continue for the next one year, with a flurry of events and programmes being scheduled. The school's past students from all over the world are expected to join the celebrations.
The school was started by the then reverent Fenton of Poona, with the blessing of the Bishop of Bombay with the explicit purpose of providing education to the the children of European, Anglo-Indian and Christian Communities as per the principles of Anglican Church.
At the time of its inception, the school found its shelter in the barracks under CPL Mansfield on April 19, 1864. It moved to its present location only in 1868.
"The school is now open to children from all communities. With three campuses in the city including Camp, Kalayaninagar and Undri we have currently more than 11,000 students and thousands of successful alumni," principal of the school, Frank Freese said.
Recollecting old memories, he said that the institution has been producing good human beings, who have made the school proud. Since the school started, there have been fourteen principals, and some of them spent almost 25 years of their lives at the Bishops.
Speaking about the future plans, Freese said that they are planning to open new branches in the city, so that more students can be a part of the institution.
"Since we can not give admissions to every student that comes to us, I really feel bad when to turn them down as we don't have the capacity," he added.
Alumni say school played pivotal role in their lives
Satish Magar, MD of Magarpatta Township
I was in the Bishop School from 1966 to 1974. During my school days, the most important thing I learnt was discipline, which is helping me till date. Calling myself a Bishopite gives me a sense of pride. The school not only has the tradition of giving successful individuals, but also make its students good human beings, which is important for nation building.
Sangram S Byce, Vice Admiral (Retd)I remember the corporal punishments when I was in the school. Whenever our principal used to hit us on the back with cane, we used to put books inside the shirts to save ourselves. Despite knowing this, our principal never said anything. When I joined NDA as cadet, our principal A E Lunn used to come to meet me and some of the other cadets from the school and used to ask for our well being and whenever he used to come, he used to offer us mangola, which was quite famous.
C.S. Patham, Rear Admiral (Retd)I am from the 1970 batch. During the school days, the emphasis was not only on academics, but all round development of students and we used to excel in every section be it sports, extra curriculum activities, cultural events and other physical training which helped me during my training at National Defence Academy. The disciple which was taught during the school days, helped me a lot at the time of rigorous training sessions in NDA.
Celebrations to last all year round
Celebrating its Sesquicentennial year in 2014, the Bishop's school has planned a host of activities throughout the year.
The school will host close to 34 activities including sports tournaments, inter-school competitions, music events, get-together of students and parents, get-together of ex-students, Everest Base Camp and an Environmental Cleaning Drive.
Scribble your memories on this coffee table book
A special coffee table book on the school will be released on the inaugural day, where students, staff members and alumni can pen down their memories. A book describing the school's history will also be published.
Mobile app to stay connected
For the convenience of alumni spread across the world, the school has developed an app for the Android mobile phone platform, which will provide information related to the year-long celebration.
Other prominent educational institutions in Pune
St Anne's School, 1860
Fergusson College, 1885
St Mary School, 1866
Hutchings High School, 1879
College of Engineering, Pune 1854