St. Pauls School, Darjeeling, I spent seven good years of my life here. It was a great experience, Here’s some interesting facts about my school from the wikipedia entry…most of the rest is quoted with my comments, such as they are! I should edit that wikipedia entry with some reality as I knew it back then…

It is claimed to be the highest public school in the world, located at 7500 feet above sea level. The famous Kanchenjunga mountain range forms the scenic backdrop to the school. The school is physically separated from Darjeeling by its location on a high hill that is a few kilometres above the main town. I always assumed 7600 feet but perhaps that was Jalapahar, the army camp above us, kinda makes sense.

Vivien Leigh (Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind) is said to have been born in the school campus — at a place now known as Pelly’s. Today, Pelly’s houses staff members teaching at the school. I always knew this area as Dawkins (1979-1986, while I was there), a teacher’s house adjoining our basketball court, and the way I heard it, she was a teacher’s daughter, but we knew she was born there…

The wikipedia entry on her seems to be unclear on this claiming Leigh was born Vivian Mary Hartley in Darjeeling, British India to Ernest Hartley, an officer in the Indian Cavalry who was of English parentage, and Gertrude Robinson Yackje, whose heritage is in question. She claimed to be of Irish descent, but it is likely that she also had Armenian or Parsee Indian ancestry.[1]

I was lucky that through my years at the school we had in my opinion, the best Rector ever, Hari Dang, (1962: Second Indian Expedition with Major John Dias as leader. Returning to the SE Ridge route, climbers Sonam Gyatso, Hari Dang, and Mohan Kohli are forced to retreat from a high point of 28,600 feet (8720 meters) because of bad weather.) As I heard it he lost his toes on this climb, and that just made him so much more impressive to me!

Blackies is the school tuck shop which got its name from the fact that it was run by Indians when the student population was primarily non-Indian. There is no historical certainty about this and the name has been used for very many decades with great affection for the facility.


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  1. J Roy
    J Roy says:

    Hi All,

    We relocated back to India last year after 20years and currently staying in Calcutta. My son is studying in an international school in Calcutta in standard 4. Was thinking of putting him a good boarding school in the hills. Since the last post I could see is of 2015, could anyone please update about the current situation?

  2. Hari Dang Padma Shri
    Hari Dang Padma Shri says:

    Dear All : I had the privilege of re-visiting after 31 Years and stayed at The Rectory with Revd Joy Halder and his Family and The School from 10-11 June, till 16 June, 2015……Chapel Matin and Services et al and met OB’s, and Harish Mukhia and …..Retired Rector Revd David Howard has improved SPS, and also built the new Howard Block in his 20 years…….Glorious……..and the HMI and Glenburn……and Darjeeling………..and Sanjay Bansal of Ambootia has done so much for Darjeeling an Tea……….much gratitude to all, Hari Dang [haringdang5@gmail.com; 9810743433; 9871734504; 8901236291; 0124-232290; 1024-4015433] New Delhi, Landour Cantt. above Woodstock, and Gurgaon, Haryana.

  3. Tony Davies
    Tony Davies says:

    Reading the comments since my last post it seems not much, apart from the date, has changed at my old Alma Mater. I’ve been back to SPS a couple of times in the past few years (2003 and 2005) and was pleasantly surprised to see the school looking as I remember it. The new building housing the computer room has blended nicely into it’s surroundings and the water gathering project can only benefit the long term needs of the school.

    On a different note, nice obituary Stuart. Beautifully written.

  4. Stuart D'Costa
    Stuart D'Costa says:

    Stuart D’Costa
    Today at 12:58pm

    Today, September 15, 2014, at daybreak in California, my dearest friend HARINDER SINGH, passed away. My daughter Erica and I spent some memorable days with him and his family in his beautiful Sacramento home. He treated us to a road trip to the scenic Lake Tahoe, and Reno, Nevada; it was his Birthday! “Thank you Sir, for taking me under your wings and mentoring me from our good old days at St. Paul’s School, Darjeeling, and for all the times we shared together. I thank God for the honor and privilege of knowing you.”

    My prayers and condolences are with the family as they navigate this period of grief. Harinder will live on in our hearts, forever.

    He was a pillar of strength at St. Paul’s School, Darjeeling for many years, and will be missed, and remembered, by the many Paulites he inspired. A loving, caring, and humble colleague, he truly was: and I respectfully, always called him, “Sir”, just as every student did. I am remembering my days as a teacher at St. Paul’s with Harinder; the Early Morning Runs, the PT Exercises and Routines, Marathon runs, Sports Day, Boxing Spars and the Finals in the ring with him in his Navy Blazer. They were all his specialties, but Boxing was the Hallmark that set him apart, and made him this unique person with such a strong character. If I am not mistaken, I believe he represented India overseas in Boxing, during his service years in the Indian Navy, before joining St. Paul’s. Here was a man of integrity and humility, and I am certain, all of us who knew him, students and colleagues alike, would testify to his stature.

    A bright light has diminished here on earth, only to take its rightful place in the heavenly night sky. Moniti Meliora Sequamur. WE LOVE YOU SIR. RIP.

  5. Dr Rana Singh
    Dr Rana Singh says:

    Once a Paulite always a Paulite …!! I have spent my early 5 yrs of my Childhood at SPS 1999 to 2003 … SPS a school better than Hogwarts i guess … Well every moment Spent here is Precious and Preserved … Memories down Up the lane of SPS is still so clear on the Theater Screen of my Forehead when I close my eyes … Emotions rush through my Veins when I remember my days spent at SPS … The Tall pine trees, The Misty fog swimming across your face, The rain and sweat of a Marrathon Race crossing Goom, The Sports day Excitement, The Town leaves in the Blue 3 piece suit, Hiding Tuck stuffs in socks to escape the tuck monitors, The Chicken on Wednesday and Saturday, The Silence of Chapel, Mr Pandeys Brahma palm, The pinching of Mrs Lawrence, The Dettol spray of Mr Lawrence for late risers in Jonson Hall Dorm, Mr J Singhs Coaching. Miss Rozarios Cane . Mr Lepchas violin Mrs Rai and her Biological stuffs . The fight to sit first on the Dining table to chose the more quantified food plate, The Concerts, The GHD … I MEAN A FILM OR A BOOK IS NEVER SUFFICIENT TO POTRAY THE BEAUTY OF OUR PROUD SCHOOL St Paul’s School Darjeeling ….. Feels so Great to be a part of this WORLD WIDE FAMILY …… # Dr Rana Singh …

  6. Ankit Shrivastava
    Ankit Shrivastava says:

    I was in SPS from 2005-2010… I was in Hunt… The five years that I spent in the school were the best of my life.. I have still not forgotten a single thing..the bunks, the fever and stomachache excuses, the late night dramas, saturday movie, pillow fighting, project exhibition, comic book fanaticism, digging holes in the Carter’s field, getting a nickname from Mr. Alva, visits to other schools, athletics, cheering for our house, bullying(in a good way), the dining hall, GHD feast, town outings, INOX movies, Glennery’s, birthday bumps, Hasty Tasty, the morning being woken up with a stick on my ass by Jaggu, the wed and sat baths, teasing the graves on our way to senior wing, diwali, Christmas gifts, Sports Day, YO-YOs, respect from relatives and many more countless good memories..This school gave me friends for a lifetime..teachers to make me what I am today.. I won 6 medals in my stay at SPS…… As one guy earlier said, we counted the days for our GHD but now I crave to go back to SPS..I really crave…

  7. Tony Davies
    Tony Davies says:

    Sujoy, my apologies for the late reply to your post. I no longer have any connection with the website you mention so could not comment regarding any who have registered there. The site is now rarely visited by the owner so it all seems something of a free-for-all regarding membership and content. Emails from me to the owner also go unanswered.
    I only spent three years at SPS, but for me they were defining years. My regret is that I couldn’t finish my education there, and no other educational facility afterwards came close to the high standards I had been used to at SPS.

  8. sujoy kumar dey
    sujoy kumar dey says:

    dear brothers(old paulites)
    at school from1977 to 84(llawrence)
    well mr tony all very nice about your official site which you havementioned in this site

    lLOGGING and Registering were like those selective chaps you could officially feed freinds on HOME a/c paid birthday (guess five guys)

    well dont know whether you relished bunking and making a underground bed to dodge the dammn di dead duck(HARDEEP SINGH)

    he is known thru a large number of years by the boys at school.

    there are some boys who are as much as ‘old paulites’ who, due to some unforseen reason ,never had the good luck to see the cubes and the great life when in the sixth form.

    you know a funny thing that chaps have joined in 5th form and PASSED OUT in a year have been active members of your “registered site”
    i have a nephew you joined as a toddler under mrs dang in the old st andrews which became a infirmary ,and when our mr dang built the current great primary wing.now,CURRENTLY, i beleive that the old st andrews have been taken over by SQUATTERS
    due to local problems in and after mr dang left the number of students came to to quater of its strenght in a Class.
    your forum cannot take take in those boys becoz ther were BUNKERS at school.

    as recalled, those who got thru the final exam in school(sr cambridge/isc)were charged to home a/c and given tokens to celebrate that you finally became an old paulite or MEMBER OF OPA(parent body)

    this who ever has put up gives an oppurtunity to share their bond with school ,who inspite of being at darj for so long but never got to sixth form(class 12).

    yours for the leftover during special dinner(plastic packet)

  9. Bryan Holder
    Bryan Holder says:

    Good day, I am researching my wife’s fathers background and believe that he was chaplain at St Pauls in the late 1940’s. His name was THOMAS GEORGE CECIL deVALL. If anyone has any information I would be most grateful to hear from you.

    Regards

  10. Jim Eric
    Jim Eric says:

    My dear Old Paulites,
    I want to send my Son to St. Paul in Std. 11 in 2013-14 session. Can anyone advice me about schools present status i.e. Discipline, Academic, hostel life for gentle teenagers and the general atmosphere, etc. so that it can help me in making the right decision. Thanks In Advance.

  11. Shantanu Chakraborty
    Shantanu Chakraborty says:

    Just came across this sight. Undoubtedly the best time of my life was spent in St. Paul’s (Westcott – 1979-1982, Hastings – 1982 – 1986). So many memories. As I browse through, was particularly touched by Ms. Tina Singh’s comments. Indeed, those days in St. Pauls are worth romanticizing about. The world has changed so much since then!! Let us hope the school regains/retains its glory in the years to come. It offered so much to all of us!

    Best regards to all

  12. Niraj Khetan
    Niraj Khetan says:

    Hi,

    It was a surprise to come across this site. Wow! this is an awesome community and for sure it feels proud to be a part of it. I was in School from 1988 to 1998 and loved all of it.

    I would like to use this platform to share a quick information. There is a grand plan of a ALL Batch reunion at St. Paul’s being drafted for sometime in 2014. (Yes, it is the 1st time ever in our history of almost 190 years, a reunion at SCHOOL!).

    We have a blog & an FB page on it with details. Earnest request to all to pls have a look at it if you are interested.

    BLOG : http://pauliteforever.blogspot.in/
    FB : PAULITE FOREVER

    Further, for any details do write in at niraj_khetan@hotmail.com

    It would be a pleasure to help.

    Cheers!

  13. Tony Davies
    Tony Davies says:

    Andrew,
    I’ve tried to send a picture to you on a couple of occasions but my mail just gets returned as unable to deliver. You can contact me if you wish at tonydav65AThotmail.com (just substitute AT for @ and your mail should reach me)

  14. Stuart D'Costa
    Stuart D'Costa says:

    Hi guys, It’s Mr. Stuart D’Costa, 1982 – 1990, mostly Primary Wing teacher, (briefly Junior Wing) . I just stumbled upon this site and it’s like a time machine. Wow! Thanks to everyone for sharing all your memories of SPS.

    Thought I’d share with you all that Mr. Desmond Vida passed away in Australia late last year. He visited me briefly before his untimely death in a car accident. Mr. Desmond Vida, Mr. Colin Watson, Mr. Rocky Miller and myself share fond memories of our days in the Primary Wing while we were teachers there.

    I remember so many of you guys that have written in; and now that I’ve found this site, I’ll keep checking in here. Again, thank you for the memories. My email contact is sdcost@yahoo.com

  15. Tony Davies
    Tony Davies says:

    Anoopam Sinha,
    That’s quite a sweeping statement to make. Perhaps you would care to expand on what these “violations” were? As an Old Paulite myself I can’t recall my human rights being violated.

  16. Anoopam Sinha
    Anoopam Sinha says:

    Why do people talk so highly of St Paul’s? This school’s history is full of violation of human rights. I am ashamed to have ever been part of it.

  17. Andrew Tobin
    Andrew Tobin says:

    Hello, could somebody out there please send me (via email) a digital image of St Paul’s with Kanchenjunga in the background. I have the famous Das Studio study taken in 1956, but I want (need) a colour picture. My email address is tribalmarketing@gmail.com.au

    Cheers

    Andrew Tobin

    Betten and Hastings 1957-1965

  18. Mohd Ashique Ali
    Mohd Ashique Ali says:

    Hi ! I am Ashique Ali known as the marathone man (school days), I would love to get in touch with the batch passing out in 1986, I realy miss St. Paul’s life, wish I get back to SPS once again.

  19. Ameeta Singh
    Ameeta Singh says:

    Hello Dipankar,

    I am trying to find some family friends who were affiliated with your school…A Mr. Lahiri who I understand was a( The) Physical Director..two kids…Sonali and Jaydeep.
    The other person I am trying to locate is Paul Jones ( whose father was the Rev. W. W. Jones at Methodist High School, Kanpur).
    If there is someway you are able to help me locate these individuals, I would really appreciate it.
    Many thanks

    my email contact, ameetasinghATaolDOTcom

  20. faizan
    faizan says:

    hello,MY NAME IS Muhammad faizan .i would like to tell you that my father (name Muhammad ashique) had also study in st.Paul school..he was also an old polite..he tell me about the cultural activities and he told me about the very interesting sir MR.DAVID HOWARD..he also told me that the person who studied in st.Paul school are called as OLD POLITE….

  21. Ayon Chakraborty
    Ayon Chakraborty says:

    Hi, my name is Ayon Chakraborty and i have spent 12 great years(1993-2005) of my life in St. Paul’s. I was a bit apprehensive when my father Mr.A.K.Chakraborty(Senior Catering Manager) was offered a job there. I remember the first time i was going up in the car from the Eden Falls way and i was wondering if the road lead to Heaven. Yes, it did. and Lo and Behold, Heaven it seemed as i first lay my eyes on our School. I remember having to bunk down for all the Sixth Forms as i was told “No one will tell you anything, you’re a Day scholar”. Bunking down to Georges during prep. Our first house(home) there was Lefroy’s and then Newton(opposite the Glass House-above the Kitchen) and then the last home was Bensons. I just want to share an incident that tells me how important SPS is in the life of an Old Paulite/Paulite (though this website is replete with enough examples): I was in Bangladesh with my family for a visit and happened to meet some friends,one of whom took me to his GrandMa’s House in the village. On reaching there what he told me is what i would like to share: He told me that he loved to visit his GrandMa’s place during the rains as she had tinned roofs and the sound indoors was queerly similar to that of the rains being heard from his dormitory. That is how much of an effect SPS has on the life of a student. Whatever i am today, i am because of SP. I owe everything to my Alma Mater. Guys who have passed out lately would be aware of the few anomalies we laugh about today, Weekly Test(twice or sometimes thrice a week), Morning Run(after Lunch) etc. Blackies menu innovations like the Chip Chop Bun and the Boxie’s Keema Bun are still ordered when i visit my parent who are still working there. Moniti Meliora Sequamur.

  22. Dipankar Banerjee
    Dipankar Banerjee says:

    Two generations of my family members have passed out from St.Paul’s, i happen to be one of them from 1969 to 1979. My son was there from 1996 to 2006. My brother, his son,my cousin and my nephew are all old paulites. To us the school remains to be the most precious place in our lives.

  23. Ehsanul Haque
    Ehsanul Haque says:

    The eight heavenly-years that I spent in SPS still linger in my memories. The value of the School is only realized once the boy passes out of it. St. Paul’s has only given to me. He has never taken anything much from me. I only wish I could do more to serve the School. I will never forget the times spent in the Chapel – the echoing prayers of the boys & the Choristers pouring out divinity from their crisp, finely-tuned voices! The Chapel played a big role in my upbringing. I may not have got the best results in my board examinations, but I did learn at SPS certain aspects of life – morality, humility, patience, adherence, amongst many others – and how to build up oneself in order to face the fast-changing world after stepping out of the School gates. St. Paul’s successfully makes a person independent, liberal, disciplined, well-mannered & most of all, a gentleman! May SPS live on to produce humanity for the world eternally. For me, the eighth wonder is St. Paul’s School, Darjeeling.

  24. Sattu sr.
    Sattu sr. says:

    If I had a time machine ,I would go back to 1983 and just make it stop there and not let time move – Love you sps.

    Anil.S.Sinha (Lw/1991)

  25. S.Podder
    S.Podder says:

    Tina Singh from St.Paul’s (dawkins),daughter of Mr.Hardeep Singh

    Good to hear from you. How is Mr.Singh? Give him my regards. We used to live next door to yours alongwith Mr.Mustafi and Mr.Dwivedi. Mr.Singh often told me the bengalis spend too much on fish and meat and still they are nowhere as strong as the Sikhs. And I agreed.

    Since 2001, we are living in London.

  26. Bipul Adh
    Bipul Adh says:

    Hi, I am Bipul and am from Nepal,ktm i am in class 10 and i want to join St.Paul’s but i want to do A level and i want to know is there ‘A’ level ? Also i would like to know more about the sports i mean i play football and i want to know that are there any football grounds?

  27. Pushpal Saha
    Pushpal Saha says:

    The eight years at SP were the best part of my teenage life.Was in Everest,Anderson and Hastings.Really miss every part of it.I owe a lot to SP.

  28. varsha daga
    varsha daga says:

    i have 2sons.i want them 2 study in st.pauls darjeeling.one in class7 snd other in class 4.pls guide me about d procedure of admission in respective classes for d yr 2012-13.

  29. wangchuk
    wangchuk says:

    hi ,dis is wangchuk ..its been only about three months now since i’ve passed my class 12 board exams n left sp .buh i still miss sp immensely .d past seven years dat i spent der will always b cherished for d fun dat i’ve had der or for d invaluable lessons learnt der. sp is undoubtly one of d best places to learn n grow . Thank you sp .

  30. jollt
    jollt says:

    hey i m jolly from Bangladesh. i want to got my son admitted in 2012 session in std. 3. is this posiible as he will complete his std 2 by 2012? all i want to know is does they admit any class accept 1 & 2?? or my son has to study again in std 2 for admission there?

  31. gaurav
    gaurav says:

    The best..though,good to take a trip and see the facilities urself..parents might want to c it..meet faculty etc..and..the child will become completely independent and well-disciplined no doubt

  32. Navin Kumar
    Navin Kumar says:

    I want to send my Son (5Yeras 4months) in St. Paul in Std. 1 in 2011-12 session. Can anyone advice me about school’s present status i.e. Decipline, Academic, hostel life for small kids, etc. so that it can help me in making right decision. Thanks In Advance.

  33. Atiqul Huda
    Atiqul Huda says:

    I have read all the comments & I am very much interested to enroll my daughter in SPS. Presently she is in 8th grade in Southbridge school in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

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