Amutha Kannan

The Department of Posts brings out First Day Cover; Founder's Day celebrated

COIMBATORE: In 1862 a man of 21 years came all the way from London to Coimbatore and founded a school. The school that started with four children and two teachers has grown to a strength of 3,000 students and 136 staff members.

The man was Sir Robert Stanes and the school Stanes Higher Secondary School. The Department of Posts recently brought out a First Day Cover in honour of its founder.

November 11 saw the school bring back the alumni into its fold for the Founder's Day. The day started off with a service conducted by Rev. B. Jerome, Presbyter of St. Stephens' Church, Ooty. He led the congregation in thanksgiving and gratitude for the many blessings the school had received over many years. Chief guest, Thomas George, principal in-charge of Hebron School, addressed the gathering.

The thanksgiving service was followed by the release of the First Day Cover. Radhika Doraiswamy, Chief Postmaster General, Tamil Nadu, released the cover that was received by K.S. Hegde, Managing Director of T. Stanes and Company Limited.

K.V. Sundar Rajan, Postmaster General, Western Region, Tamil Nadu, reminiscing his school days, said: "When we enter our respective schools, we are flooded with nostalgic memories. The school that would have been an unwelcome place when we were studying, becomes a welcome place when we grow up, when we realise all that we had learnt there".

He urged the school management to bring out a stamp in honour of the founder.

Correspondent of the school Mercy Oomen said: "this release of the First Day Cover is an offshoot of the unveiling of the statute of Sir Robert Stanes on the school premises. The statute was unveiled in July by the Director General of the British Council, Martin Dowle and sponsored by Mr. K.S. Hegde."

The initial school was started in a small house. Later, it shifted to a bigger premises, that was situated close to the railway station. The school continued to function from that place for some 50 years.

It was in 1927 that the present location was identified and a new building was established with a sprawling campus. The school started as a European and Eurasian school; but under the concept of liberal education the portals of the school had been thrown open to all irrespective of their creed, community and status.

Sir Robert Stanes was not only an educationist, but also an entrepreneur, businessman and an able administrator. In 1864, when Coimbatore first got the status of a municipality, he had the honour of becoming its Chairman.

The British Empire conferred on him the Kaiser-I-Hind medal for his meritorious services.