The privilege of a good education is one of the greatest gifts of God made available through dedicated people. Without educators, who are visionaries, it is
impossible to build a great institution. In 1886 Bishop Coadou through the persistent efforts of Fr. Jansoone authorized St. Joseph of Tarbes to
take over the St. Francis Xavier Primary school.
Sisters Anna Marie, Julie Marie, Marie Henrietta, Marie Dolores and Marie Beatrice after qualifying for their teaching apostolate in England, took charge of St. Francis Xavier’s parish school on 3rd June, 1889 and so the seed was planted in a tiny house on St. John's Hill.
The sisters met with tremendous
difficulties which they faced with faith and sacrifice. To start with they admitted only European and Eurasian girls. The beginnings were marked by the
seal of suffering. There were many restrictions imposed on the sisters. The school would remain lower secondary school. No music lessons were to be given
and no boarders were to be taken. Sr. Julie Marie was appointed Head Mistress on 9th Sept 1890. The original site soon proved too small for the rapidly
growing school. Rev. Mother Anselm and Bishop Kleiner of Mysore with Fr. Jasoone Parish Priest of St. Francis Xavier church looked for a more suitable
place. A large plot opposite to St. Johns church was purchased in 1891 and the foundation for the new school was laid on 24th Feb 1892. Fr. Bareille
supervised the construction of the building until its completion. The cost of the two storey building was Rs. 12190/-. All the wood needed for the
building was obtained from the government by Mr. Thamboo Chetty. The building was completed by the end of 1893. The number of pupils were 47. There
were three teachers, Head Mistress, Mary Powell, teachers Elizabeth Buckley and Harriet Buckley. On 9th September 1890 Sr. Julie Marie was Head mistress
of SFX School. She asked for the grant in aid received from 1882, be raised from Rs. 23 to Rs.100 per month. The grant of Rs.50/- was sanctioned with
effect from 1st April 1893. There were 124 pupils on roll. Twelve of them were in the middle school. There were a staff of 5 European teachers and two
This gives an insight into the gradual growth of the school. A school that was started on 3rd June 1889 with 60 pupils soon grew in numbers and in 1916 it was raised to a High school affiliated to the Board of Education following the ICSE system on 5th Oct, 1917. The number of students was 1050. Permission to open the SFX boarding was given on 21st August, 1923. This was a school mainly intended to provide education for the European and Anglo Indian children of the Cantonment area. A free primary school built by the Govt. was later attached to SFX where the Anglo Indian children who could not pay fees were educated. They were later admitted to the High school. Towards 1947 the European character of the school gradually faded giving way to predominantly Indian students. Yet the policy of the sisters of SJT was to take special care of Anglo Indian children whose mother tongue was English. We still have children from this community.
From 1923 till date the school has been growing from strength to strength. We have also added new building blocks to accommodate more students. We have qualified staff for Preparatory Section to the High School. We admit children from all sections irrespective of class, caste or religion. The total number of students at present is 2000. The Tree has grown indeed.
The congregation of Sisters of St Joseph Of Tarbes was founded in the year of 1843 in France, by six young girls who had a special experience of God, urging them to live together a life of contemplation. Thus living in communion, they became sensitive to the needs of the people around, and responded enthusiastically to their call to educate children, care for the sick, and to undertake many other forms of service according to the needs of the people around them. Their main aim in education was to ensure the Christian formation of youth and to instruct the poor.
Through the ages, the sisters persevered in their mission with faith in God heroic courage and optimism, even in moments of great difficulties, opposition and challenges.