St Edmund’s School: An Edifice of Learning since 1916

Episode XVII:

True to its motto — “Facta Non-Verba” – which means “Deeds, not Words”, St Edmund’s School has come a long way in shaping and moulding the future of education in Shillong.
Founded by Edmund Rice, St. Edmund’s School is a century-old establishment run by the Congregation of Irish Christian Brothers. Established in 1916, the school is located in Dhankheti and is one of the finest schools in Meghalaya and the Northeast.
This massive property expands over 30 acres, with major portions of the school and its campus located far away from the busy Shillong-Jowai road with the view of the main building covered by tall pine trees in the foreground.
The history of the school dates to the early 1890s when the Prefect Apostolic of Assam, Messenger (Mgr) Edmund Becker felt the need to set up a boarding school for the boys in Shillong.
When noted educationist Sir Archdale Earle was appointed as the Chief Commissioner of Assam in 1912, Mgr Becker floated this idea, to which Sir Earle gave his endorsement. Mgr Becker wanted the finest educationists to build his dream, so he convinced the Christian Brothers to say yes to the project.
The year 1913 marked the arrival of Br. Stanislaus O’Brien to Shillong to oversee plans for the school and in 1914, the government agreed to hand over a huge plot of land – which was a dense pine forest, back then, to the Christian Brothers. In 1915, four Brothers arrived in Shillong to run the institution.
Within a year and a half, the building was completed and on 6th October 1916, St. Edmund’s School was officially opened by Sir Archdale Earle with Br. Andrew Luke Aherne as its first Principal. It started with 31 boarders and 11 day scholars and in no time, it was recognised by Cambridge University right up to the Higher School Certificate level. Subsequently, St Edmund’s College came into existence in 1923.
In 1942, peaceful school life was disrupted because of the ongoing Second World War. When news of the Japanese invasion of Burma reached the allied forces, more troops were sent to Northeast India including Shillong. St Edmund’s boarders had to vacate their building and move to the college buildings in favour of the Red Cross Society. The school was requisitioned by the military authorities in Shillong and was converted into a base hospital.
Ever since its establishment in 1916, St Edmund’s School has played a major role in shaping the future of many students, both from Meghalaya and beyond. Its contribution to society is etched not only on yearbooks and plaques but in the minds and hearts of every Edmundian.
Watch the full version of the story only on our YouTube channel @TheShillongTimes

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