One hundred years of fortitude, Montfort – Yercaud (India)

One hundred years of fortitude, Montfort – Yercaud (India)

The year was 1917. The world was at war — there was destruction, devastation and loss of life and property. In the remote hill station of Yercaud, amidst the verdant surroundings of the Shevaroy Hills, were sown the seeds of an institution, with a view to instilling values in young, innocent minds, away from war, in a haven of peace and quietude.

Reverend Brother Denis, among the first of the Montfort Brothers to come to India, found the salubrious climate and pristine locale a perfect setting and established the Montfort Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School on June 1, 1917, with seven students on its rolls — George Spitteler being the first in the register.

Over the years, the school progressed from strength to strength, increasing the number of boarders and acquiring new land and buildings. Bro Eugene Mary, its first Principal, however, could rightly be called the true founder of Montfort, having spent close to three decades there, nurturing it from infancy to adolescence.

Primarily begun as a residential school for the Anglo Indian community, which formed a predominant part of the populace of Yercaud, the school gradually began taking in Indians, first as parlour students and, later, as boarders. It remained a male bastion until the new millennium — in 2002, it admitted girl students into Classes XI and XII. Today, girl boarders are accommodated in the Marie Louise Trichet block, or MLT as it is commonly called — a bungalow bought from an old teacher Mrs. Macedo and remodelled and converted into a modern dormitory.

While academics is given due importance, sports is an important activity at Montfort. It is compulsory every day, and the school has 14 tennis courts, several basketball courts, a cricket ground with an accredited coach, and hockey and football stadia about the large swimming pool. The school also offers fencing and horse riding — the latter made possible by an excellent stable.

Literary and cultural activities, music and the fine arts are a weekly affair, and there are established clubs and societies for each of them. The ‘Montfort Alumni Association’ is one of the most active in the country, and the annual meets attract alumni from all over the world.

Source: THE HINDU NEWSPAPER.

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