St. Ann's High School is remembered as an alma mater for many

While Sonia Gandhi and her sister Nadia Maino studied at St Ann's, Turin, Rakesh Sharma, Shanta Sinha, Diana Hayden, Tejdeep Kaur and many others form the alumni of St Ann's Secunderabad In the balmy spring of March 1871 six sisters from St Ann's Convent Turin, Italy came to India, precisely Secunderabad. The mission on hand was to teach orphans of the war, accommodated here. Sister Enrichetta was the Superior General of the Sisters of St. Ann was elementary in sending the sisters from Italy when Bishop Barbero knocked at the convent one Friday requesting for help. Legend says it that the sisters thought him to be a burglar to be ringing the bell at that time of the day. April 1 1871, Secunderabad. St Ann's opened as the first convent school for girls in Andhra Pradesh, with 25 orphans and three boarders. Soon it came to be recognised as Middle School (1884) and European High School (May 1902) by resident Madras. In 1911, the Madras Matriculation was abandoned for Cambridge examination and the current Indian School Certificate Examination. Today with its ICSE and SSC options across three institutions in place- S.P.Road, Bolarum and Tarnaka, St. Ann's High School is a familiar name in this part of the world. "We have grandmothers in the city who have studied with us. We have a remarkable alumni list to boast about--Sonia Gandhi and her sister Nadia Maino are students of St. Ann's Turin, Rakesh Sharma (when there were boys till standard IV), Shanta Sinha, Diana Hayden, Tejdeep Kaur and many more," says Sr. Antonia, principal St. Ann's High School (ISC). But the laurels list does not stop there. With a motto Sicut Apis Operosa, translated 'busy as bees', the institution has been elementary in establishing health care centres, old age homes and orphanages not forgetting street childrens' welfare activities. From working with plague victims in 1912 to opening the Home for the Disabled in Bansilalpet in1933, it has been a long journey.And now as the institution celebrates its 135 years in progress, on the anvil is an international school. " We are planning to come up with an international school on the outskirts. The vision we have is of student exchange and a truly international school but with the same motto of offering quality education. We are scouting for a plot," adds Sr. Antonia. For now the institution shines bright adding to the celebrations in the twin cities.SYEDA FARIDA