St. Mary’s Anglo-Indian School was founded in 1839. It was the first school established by the catholic missionaries in the city of Madras. Since then, the school has been serving for the cause of education. This year (2019-20) the School has entered the 181th year of its founding.
The institution was supported by the Madras Catholic Mission by fees collected and by grant-in-aid from the Government and was initially under the management of fathers belonging to the society of St. Joseph’s Mill Hill, London. Rt. Rev. Joseph Carew, was the school’s founder. The purpose was to offer to the catholic youth of Madras, the opportunity of a liberal education. Known as St. Mary’s Seminary and Day School for the first 44 years, the school had Rev. Dr. William Kelly of Maynooth, Ireland., as its Principal.
In 1906, St. Mary’s was bifurcated into two separate sections: the European/Anglo-Indian section was named St. Mary’s European High School and the Indian Section, St. Gabriel’s High School, which was later shifted to Broadway. It continued to be under the management of St. Joseph’s Mill-Hill Fathers until 1928.
In 1928, the mission of North-Arcot including Madras, was entrusted to the salesians, and Fr. Eugene Mederlet, became the first salesian principal of St. Mary’s. In the same year, when he became the Bishop of Madras, Fr. Mora succeeded him as the principal, followed by Fr. Bora, Fr. Cornelius Cronin and Fr. Joseph Cockshoot – all wonderful salesian missionaries who served the youth with the heart of Don Bosco.
In 1945, Fr. George Patrick Whyte from Ireland assumed charge as principal and Correspondent of St. Mary’s School, ushering in a new era in the history of the school. Fr. Whyte’s service of 27 years for the school can rightly be called a saga of devotion and dedication to the service of youth.
The other salesian fathers who donned the mantle of Headmastership were Fr. John Peter Sathiaraj, Fr. Ittyachen, Fr. Bout, Fr. V.V. George, Fr. P.J. Sebastian, Fr. K.C.Francis, Fr. Raphael John, Fr. Joseph Berchmans Fernandez, Fr. K.J.Antony, Fr. Jayaprakash Reddy, Fr. Paulraj Maniam, Fr. Siby Mathew, Fr. Gregory Devarajan, Fr. Francis Sundararaj and a host of other eminent Salesians who toiled and moiled to make St. Mary’s what it is today.
Today, with Rev. Fr. Y.L. Irudayaraj a dynamic and an able educator as the Principal, and with the active support and patronage of Rev. Fr. Pappuraj Antony, the Rector and Correspondent and the guidance of Rev. Fr. Irudayam Thamathiruthuvam, the administrator, St. Mary’s has made great strides in the field of education. St. Mary’s stands out today among the city schools for having often secured centum results in the Board Exams.
Today St. Mary’s has a strength of 1770 students and 60 staff members. Together with the Management, they combine a complementary work-force with a vibrant work-culture in a healthy and growing family atmosphere.We hope that St. Mary’s will continue to forge ahead from strength to strength, following the motto ‘Viriliter Age’ – ‘Act like a Man’ and keeping the flag of St. Mary’s flying ever higher and higher.