Jamshedpur, Jan 15: The school that started in 1947 with only 34 boys is celebrating its Platinum Jubilee this year. The celebrations started at the school campus on Friday. In the inaugural ceremony, fathers, teachers and members of the Alumni gathered together to have a small celebration.
Due to the Covid restrictions and social distancing norms, a grand ceremony could not be organised. However this did not dampen the spirit of the Loyoleans as they assembled to commemorate the historic occasion.
Fr Jerome Cutinha, the provincial of the Jamshedpur Jesuit Society declared the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations open. Balloons and pigeons were released on the occasion.
The former students of the school had a golden walk down memory lane as they reminisced about their growing years in the portals of the institution.
“The school has ambitious plans for celebrating this year in a very special way. The celebrations will culminate in the grand closing ceremony to be held in December with the get together of the alumni members. All are hopeful that the situation will become normal soon so that the celebrations may take place as planned,” said Pius Fernandes, principal, Loyola School.
The school was founded in January 1947, by two Jesuits from Kolkata, Fr. Cecil Leeming and Fr. Robert Drugman. Loyola was given 3.5 acres of land which once housed the ChotaNagpur Regiment Club (CNR). Hindi classes were held in a small school bus while the CNR Club hall housed several classes at the same time.
The Tatas had requested the Jesuit Fathers from Maryland, U.S.A., to come to Jamshedpur to manage Loyola. Five American fathers come from the United States under the Rector Superior Father Caroll I. Fasy. The fathers are given the Chotanagpur Regiment Club (CNR Club) and the land around it to ‘build’ the school on. The boundary walls of the school are the same from the time when the CNR club existed.
The Fathers lived in 43, Circuit House Area. Each year, one class was added on each side. So, originally, Loyola had 4th and 5th only. The next year, 1948, it had 3rd and 6th. To provide for extra classes, new classrooms were built. But this too, was not sufficient. So a new building came up. It was raised on the ‘once upon a time’ tennis courts of the CNR club. It is the present Loyola building.