In 1875, Dr. Fennelly, Archbishop of Madras, invited the ‘Brothers of St. Patrick’ to his diocese for taking over the management of a home for the poor boys, which had been founded by Archbishop Carew in 1850. Responding to this invitation, Bro. Ignatius Price, Bro. Paul Hughes and Bro. Fintan Parkinson set out for Madras from Mountrath (Ireland).On arrival, they took over the home,transformed it home-cum-school for the poor boys . They were the pioneers of the Patrician Brothers’ mission in India. The school and home was in Armenian street, the heart of the city at that time. In fact, the Brothers also taught and managed the present St. Mary’s School for 10 years.
Elphinstone Park, Adyar, a property of about 158 acres with a large building was bought by the Brothers on the 1st July 1885, and the home and the school for the boys were transferred there. It was during the incumbency of Bro. Aloysius Hogan in 1889, that the school made much progress. The school band greatly helped the inmates in getting into the military bands of regiments scattered all over India and Burma. Even the famous Governor’s Band consisted mainly of St. Patrick’s boys. During World War II, the institution was shifted to Coimbatore Government Arts College and it functioned there till June 1946.
1st July 1910, was the 25th anniversary of the institution, after shifting from Armenian Street to Elphinstone Park, Adyar. At this juncture, funds were raised to build dormitories and more classrooms . The construction was started on March 17th 1913, St. Patrick’s Feast Day, and was completed in 1915 at a total cost of Rs.73,700/- . In due course, more and more boys were admitted to St. Patrick’s. Many past pupils of the school held positions of responsibility and trust in government offices and in private business firms. Many Patrician boys had brought credit to their school by deeds of bravery in both the World Wars. Some entered seminaries and novitiates of various religious orders. The physical training given in the school bore fruit when two of our past pupils were in the hockey team that represented India in the Olympic Games in Amsterdam in 1928.
Most distinguished of all the old boys was Cyril Francis Martin who lost his life on August 11th, 1930 while attempting to save a child who had fallen overboard from the ship ‘S.S. Vita’ between Bombay and Basra. Martin was the purser of the ship. In January 1931, Mr. Bambridge, Director of M/s. Binny & Company, Madras, presented the ‘ROYAL HUMANE SOCIETY’S MEDAL’ to the school and a certificate of bravery was awarded posthumously to Mr. Martin. His photograph still stands proud on the wall of St. Patrick’s. Rev. Bro. Alphonsus Carr was the first past pupil to join the ‘Brothers of St. Patrick.’
In the early 50’s a vast portion of the school land was sold to Gandhinagar Housing Society and the present Gandhinagar Colony came up. The number of boarders reduced substantially post Independence due to emigration to Australia and Great Britain. In 1959 a chapel was built and dedicated to St. Patrick. Gradually day-scholars were admitted to the school.
The last Irish principal of St. Patrick’s was, Rev. Bro. O’Brien and the first Indian Brother to succeed him was Rev. Bro. Bernard, in 1970.
In 1975, the school celebrated its centenary. The celebration was a fitting tribute to the Patrician Brothers for their hundred years of dedicated service to the cause of education in Chennai. To commemorate the centenary a Plus Two Block was built and it was inaugurated by the then Chief Minister, Dr. M. Karunanidhi. In 1978, the school was upgraded to the Higher Secondary Level.
In the early 80’s a new dining room and a kitchen were built for the boarders with contribution from our Australian Province. In 1987 another storey was added to the boarders’ dormitory. The year 1991 saw the completion of a three year massive renovation of the oldest building and it was dedicated to all the old students of St. Patrick’s, on 17th March 1991.
Co-education was introduced in 1995. In the same year a multipurpose building was constructed comprising a hospital, a boxroom, an audio-visual room and a table tennis room. In March 1999, a new school building exclusively for the primary section was built.
In the year 2000 our first girl’s batch of class X passed out with flying colours. As part of the quasquicentennial celebration,32 students received their First Holy Communion during the High Mass, celebrated by His Grace, Rt. Rev. Dr. Arul Das James, Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore. A cultural programme and dinner for the staff of St. Patrick’s School and St. Michael’s Academy and special invities maked the occasion. The present stately school building was built in 2007 and it houses all the classes from I to XII.
Today we have grown into a mighty oak with the state-of-the-art facilities, providing quality education to the children from every stratum of the society, irrespective of caste, creed, religion and linguistic differences. Keeping in view the all-round development of our students, the school gives importance to academics and extra-curricular activities in equal measure .The students of St.Patrick’s have been bringing laurels to school in the sports arena over the years. The school consistently records cent percent success results in the Tamil Nadu State Board Exams, and continues to be the epicenter of education in the city of Chennai for more than a century and a quarter.
|BRO.BONA VENTURE LOGUE|
|BRO.AMBROSE JOHN FITZ PATRICK|