St. Xavier’s School, Durgapur
"Like Gold In A Furnace"
Phone No: 0343-2502181; 0343-2504152
Address: Bidhannagar, P.O: ABL Township,
Durgapur, Pincode: 713206
Web: www.stxaviersdgp.com
Email: stxaviersdgp@yahoo.net.in
  • St. Francis Xavier
  • St. Francis Xavier
The School

A SAGA OF FIFTY YEARS In 1960, Mr. Bell, the then general manager of Hindustan Steel Ltd (or HSL, now known as Durgapur Steel Plant), requested the Jesuit provincial Fr. R. Antoine SJ, to establish a school in Durgapur. He offered a small plot of land at the crossing of and , for the purpose. However, finding it inadequate, the provincial declined the offer. But the real efforts to start a Jesuit-school in Durgapur, began in 1961. The fathers of the Society of Jesus and the Sisters of the Apostolic Carmel, decided to start separate schools for boys and girls simultaneously in the HSL-township. Fr. Antoine SJ was to come to Durgapur, to finalize the acquisition of land, in January, 1962. Things got delayed by the exchange of letters during this process. An impatient Fr. Antoine decided to drop the idea if he did not get a definite answer by August, 1962.

In any case, simultaneously the search was on to find an alternative site for the school. Mr. Lahiri, the general manager of Heavy Engineering Corporation (or HEC, later to be re-named as Mining and Allied Machineries Corporation or MAMC), was eager to provide space for the school in his township.  Fr. Antoine SJ was invited to come and inspect the new site in November, 1962. Mr. Lahiri proposed Block-3 of Ophthalmic Glass Project (later to be called Bharat Ophthalmic Glass Limited, controlled by MAMC) as a temporary location and later on, a permanent place “as and when” necessary. But the Jesuit provincial was determined not to put a final seal on it unless he was given a guaranty on two points:- a) that it will be a school of the Jesuits with full authority and not a government school run by them and b) the school may be started at the present site but a permanent place must be given for it to develop. Mr. Lahiri readily agreed to both these points.

The school was to start from January, 1963. But the “Chinese War” and the subsequent emergency conditions delayed the start. Fr. Antoine SJ visited the site on 12.02.1963 and was satisfied with the arrangements there. He appointed Fr. Dubois SJ as the Headmaster, to oversee furnishing, appointment of teaching and non-teaching staff and so on. Mr. Lahiri made available the formal documents of the transfer of space for the school in Block-3 and the permission to use some of the A-type quarters of MAMC for the staff. It was decided that the school will be English-medium, affiliated to Senior Cambridge Board, with boys and girls upto class-IV and from class-V onwards, for boys only. Thus began the journey of St. Xavier’s School, Durgapur, from a shed in Ophthalmic Glass Project, on the First day of May, 1963-“the workers’ day”. It soon overcame the ignominy of its origin in a factory shed. The school was transferred to a permanent primary school building in MAMC on 14.09.1963. Fr. Dubois SJ, along with Sch. A.Crasta SJ, began the stabilizing process, living in a block just across the road.

This was followed by a frustrating period of looking for an appropriate plot of land where the school could grow unhampered. It was so frustrating that at one point the Jesuit provincial declared, the fathers would pull out of , if no land was made available to them. But, in mid 1964, Mr. L. Donnelly, the deputy managing director of ACC, Vickers, Babcock Ltd, (or AVB, later to be changed to ABL Ltd and to Alstom, these days), contacted the then Jesuit provincial, Fr. A. Wautier SJ to inform him that, if the Jesuits agreed, he could request the government of West Bengal, to hand over ten acres of land for a school, run by them. Accordingly, AVB Ltd. surrendered the land, to be re-leased to the Jesuits for 997 years. On 18.02.1966, the foundation stone of the present building was laid by Dr. Dharamsey M. Khatau, Chairman, AVB Ltd., on a plot of land, adjacent to its residential township.

In January, 1967, the school was transferred from the primary school building of MAMC to its new and permanent abode.
A parallel section (for the primary students only) started with the main section (to be overseen by a prefect but under the same headmaster), for the children from DSP-township. It started in 1964, in “Tagore House” and after a few months, was shifted to a primary school building at . In 1971, the school was transferred to its own building at . However, on the expiry of a thirty-year lease in 2001, the Jesuit fathers decided to move out of the DSP-township after another five years of “grace” period. Fr. K. K. Devasy SJ, the then headmaster, tried his best to acquire some land close to the present building, for re-location of the Mirabai-section and eventually a ten-plus-two section, without success. So the construction of a new building began in June, 2004, in the main campus itself and in 2006, the primary section at Mirabai Road was shifted to this new building.

The school celebrated its Silver Jubilee in 1988 in grand style, under the supervision of the then headmaster, Fr. A. Wavreil SJ. It culminated in a colourful three-day cultural programme on the last three days of December, 1988. The milestone was graced by the blessings of all the available headmasters of the yesteryears.   

As the Golden Jubilee of the school draws near, it wears a “brand- new” look. The face-lift consists of an almost entire paved walk, an impressive gateway, purified drinking water system installed at  appropriate places, fire-extinguishers, a new basketball court, a multi-gym, an indoor room for meditation and floor gymnastics, a separate library for the primary section and so on. An extension of the present auditorium with galleries and a fully equipped audio-visual room, are also on cards. Fr. M. S. Arockiasamy SJ, is leaving no stones unturned to commemorate this milestone with programmes throughout the year, beginning on 01.05.2012 and ending on 01.05.2013.

The school has classes from a preparatory KG-class upto Standard-10 with an upcoming plus-two section and a nursery, about to take off in 1913. Except for Class-10, each class has four sections. It is affiliated to the Council for Indian Certificate of Secondary Examination (ICSE), . The academic session is from April to March. The admission to KG is in December every year. The entire student populace is divided into four houses:- Loyola, Gonzaga, Berchmans and Britto, as a tribute to the quartet of Jesuit saints, Ignatius Loyola, Aloysius Gonzaga, John Berchmans and John de Britto. The campus covers over 160000 square meters of land with one-third of it full of dense greenery. There is a large football ground, an auditorium, a basketball court and two volleyball courts with yet a lot of un-built space

The subjects offered by the school are English, Languages, Science, Mathematics, History, Geography and Computer Applications following ICSE syllabus.

AND THUS CONTINUES
THE DREAM SHINES

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