St. Mary’s Cambridge School in the Eye of History

According to Wikipedia, “Saint Mary’s Cambridge High School is one of the oldest schools of Rawalpindi. It is housed in an old building which was previously used as hospital, named Holy Family Hospital. The hospital moved to its present building in Satellite Town during the early 1950s and the building was handed over to the school. The school is owned and managed by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Islamabad-Rawalpindi. It provides religious education in Islam as per the curriculum decided by the local education board.”

True, the school’s history begins right after the foundation of Pakistan. St. Mary’s Cambridge School was established by the Mill Hill London Catholic Fathers in March 1949 as a missionary school for the Catholic diocese of Islamabad-Rawalpindi. In its earlier phase the school was housed in the Holy Family Hospital building, Saidpur Road, for a short period of time. Later on, the Sisters of the old Holy Family Hospital were shifted to the new hospital building and the old hospital building was given to the Diocesan Board of Education to operate St. Mary’s Cambridge School.  The new facility was  far more appropriate for the growing number of students as more and more people from all walks of life wanted to educate their children in the school.

The person behind this great vision was Rev. Father H.P.M.Thyson, who became the founding principal and the school commenced under his dynamic leadership. He was a great educationist and a dedicated missionary. He worked day and night for the welfare of the nation and made tireless efforts to fulfill the educational needs of the nation. He worked as the Principal form 9th April 1949 to 28th Feb. 1954 besides his religious duties. He made constructive changes in the old building of the school and brought it to its present form. After him, Rev.Fr.P.Byrne took over the charge of the school. He, too, was a great visionary who introduced many positive changes to the school system. He served the school till 31st October 1959 except for a short duration when Rev.G.Mallett served as the principal in his absence. During the tenure of Fr.Byrne, in January 1956, St. Mary’s School, Chaklala was established that educated a number of boys until 1964 when it was handed over to the P.A.F.school.

In November, 1959,Rev.S.De.Jong served the headship of the school till 3rd Nov.1962. With the increasing demand for enrollments and the need for a boys school in the Cantonment area St. Mary’s Academy was established

at Lalazar in 1962 with a senior section accommodating classes from Class Six to Matriculation and Senior Cambridge. The founding Principal at Lalazar was Rev. Fr. Patrick Byrne whose dream it was to eventually provide a comprehensive educational system from Nursery to A Levels and graduation. On 4th Nov.1962, the charge of the St. Mary’s Cambridge School was handed over to Rev.B.Clarke, who worked in this capacity till 1963.Afterwards, a few principals served for different durations, the details of which are:

  • J.V.Schagen                      01-1-1964        to   31-12-1965
  • M. Grant                             01-1-1966        to   31-5-1969
  • J.Copray                            01-6-1969        to   31-8-1970
  • J.Nevin                               01-9-1970        to   21-12-1970
  • P.H.Grimbergen                 22-12-1970      to   31-8-1975
  • M.Geijbels                          01-9-1975        to   31-12-1976
  • J.A.Copray                         04-1-1977        to   09-4-1980
  • Rev P.H.Grimbergen         10-4-1980        to   31-3-1981
  • John Mumtaz                     01-4-1981        to   09-7-1987
  • B.P.Gill                               12-9 1987         to   31-3-2004
  • Faheem Anwar                  01-4-4004        to   30-8-2004
  • Margret Simon                  31-8-2004        to   30-11-2004
  • Victor Shad                       01-12-2004      to   31-7-2011
  • Roger Francis                   01-8-2011        to   24-5-2013
  • Asif Nawab Gill                 25-5-2013       to date

 

During late seventies, Father John Tool in consultation with Father Copray started an evening school for the poor and needy students which operated under the headship of the morning school principal. There was a subordinate principal also appointed for the evening school.

Mrs.I.V.Rose, Mrs.Teresa Dominic and Mrs. Margret Simon served the evening school for a long period of time. Mrs. Margret Simon was appointed as the evening principal. The evening school was finally closed at the denationalization of St.Patrick’s High School, Murree Road, Rawalpindi when the students of the evening shift were shifted to St. Patrick’s.

During the tenure of Mr. B.P.Gill, new Senior Block was constructed with an auditorium, which expanded the facility and senior classes were shifted to the new block.

Mr.Asif Nawab Gill took over the Charge of the school in May 2013 and worked hard to raise the academic standard of the school. He introduced weekly test system along with terminal examinations. He set goals for the students and teachers for achieving high targets and also introduced incentives for higher achievers. On account of his successful strategies and management, DBE promoted him as the Principal of St.Patrick’s High School as well.

Mr.Asif Nawab Gill always wanted to upgrade the School to the Higher Secondary level which dream was realized in 2017 when the school was up graded to the Higher Secondary level. The school is now renamed as “St. Mary’s Cambridge Higher Secondary School.” The school is offering classes for Pre-Engineering, Pre-Medical and ICS.

The Higher School session is making good progress and the number of students is increasing day by day. It is hoped that soon the college section will become one of the best in the city.

In the new administration of Mr.Asif Nawab Gill, the matriculation classes are also making good progress and the result is becoming better every year. Last year the highest marks achieved were 1019/1100 by Muhammad Usman Khalil.             

St. Marians have taken their place as honorable and leading Pakistanis and world citizens. St. Marians have excelled in academic and sporting fields and played an important role in the Government, different professions, business and in the Defense Forces. Some of the alumni of  St. Mary’s Cambridge School have been Officer Pilot Rashid Minhas (Neshan-e-Haider), Major Shabbir Sharif (Neshan-e-Haider), Gohar Ayub (Former Speaker National Assembly), Waseem Sajjad (Chairman Senate and care-taker President of Pakistan), Javed Barki (Captain Pakistan Hockey Team), General Karamat Naizi (former Chief-in-Cammander ), Justice Ali Nawaz Chohan  and General Asif Nawaz Ganjua to name a few.   

The school is under the management of the Diocesan Board of Education of the Catholic Diocese of Islamabad-Rawalpindi. This board conducts a number of schools and other educational institution in the northern Punjab and NWFP based on a vision of working cooperatively in supporting and encouraging educational initiatives in Pakistan which help young people know and realize their own power to develop and transform themselves and society into a progressive realization of the Kingdom of God, focuses on education for life, the development of the whole person, the integration of faith and culture in the changing world, acceptance of a social responsibility, the encouragement of critical thinking, the nurturing of the intellectual capacity to commit oneself to carry our responsibilities  and meaningful tasks, Inculcate values such as self respect, personal worth, open mindedness, tolerance, honesty, social responsibility and justice Reach out to all especially the marginalized, promote trust and co-operation between educators and the community they serve.

St. Marians are persons who
• Have a strong values system that guides their decisions and behavior
• Are articulate and thinking
• Are well educated
• Are committed to making a contribution to the betterment of their country and the wider community

The school is under the management of the Diocesan Board of Education of the Catholic Diocese of Islamabad-Rawalpindi. This board conducts a number of schools and other educational institution in the northern Punjab and NWFP based on a vision of working cooperatively in supporting and encouraging educational initiatives in Pakistan which help young people know and realize their own power to develop and transform themselves and society into a progressive realization of the Kingdom of God, focuses on education for life, the development of the whole person, the integration of faith and culture in the changing world, acceptance of a social responsibility, the encouragement of critical thinking, the nurturing of the intellectual capacity to commit oneself to carry our responsibilities  and meaningful tasks, Inculcate values such as self respect, personal worth, open mindedness, tolerance, honesty, social responsibility and justice Reach out to all especially the marginalized, promote trust and co-operation between educators and the community they serve.

St. Marians are persons who
• Have a strong values system that guides their decisions and behavior
• Are articulate and thinking
• Are well educated
• Are committed to making a contribution to the betterment of their country and the wider community

One Thought to “History”

  1. […] He also told us to spend wisely and to save for a rainy day. Once I was very young and studying in St. Mary’s High School, I became friends with the son of a very rich family, the Saigols, who owned a lot of industries […]

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