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. Sunando Sen
    Sunando Sen says:

    My dear Old Paulites,
    I stumbled on to this site and was quite pleased that I did so.

    My name is Sunando Sen (Lw’73) and would like to convey my greetings to those reading here.

    This message to you has a reason.

    Some of you may recall a colourful character Amarnath Tiwary of the ’72 Clive batch ? Amarnath
    was diagnosed with blood cancer (Multiple Myeloma a form of Leukaemia) about two
    years ago.He has been bravely fighting it and has been on chemotherapy etc..Unfortunately
    chemotherapy induces temporary remission – which did happen for Amarnath,but after a while
    the body cannot take this treatment anylonger and the next level is a Bone Marrow stem cell
    transplant.In the absence of a fitting donor the procedure would have to be an ‘autologous
    stem-cell transplant”- this is the only procedure which can save the patient and allow him to
    live disease free.

    Presently Amarnath’s chemo continues however, the need for a transplant has become inevitable.
    The cost of this transplant will be in the region of 35 to 50 Lakhs including providing for post
    transplant complications.

    Amarnath is a career politician from the Congress party from Purnea (Bihar) and was an elected
    legislative member for 10 years.Unfortunately he did not make any illicit gains and has been very
    active in social causes,like the Kosi floods where he informatively not only raised funds but used
    his own money too.For the past 2+ years he has not been able to focus on his business and has
    been funding his treatment and other expenses by selling land etc..He is not going to be able to
    go through the transplant unless he gets finacial support.

    The OPA from Calcutta – basically the batches between ’69 and ’74 have been outstanding in
    efforts to rise to the cause.We have been able to raise and got firm commitments for almost 29L
    and are yet to build up the level to 50L to ensure a safety net in terms of funds.The date fixed for the
    procedure is 10th Jan’11 in Delhi.

    The fund collecting campaign is being co ordinated by Sumant Dalmiya (Cl’71).The funds will be
    channeled through the OPA trust so that Amarnath does not come under any Tax issues.The details of
    this will be available from Sumant.(suma_585919@bsnl.in)

    May I request you all and thos who can afford to, to please also rise to the occasion and contribute to
    the cause.

  2. gaurav laha
    gaurav laha says:

    It seems it was just yesterday that I was there,blue 3 piece suit,with the trademark umbrella in my hand,circling it round and round,going for my Town Leave…..!!
    diwali…lower field alight with crackers!

  3. gaurav laha
    gaurav laha says:

    HUNT-2002-2003
    CABLE-2003-2004
    SPS is really the one place I really miss now.The Wai-wai or the Scrambled egg(primary wing),or the Baths tht I took in PW,or Mr.J.Singh coming with a mug of water to throw to late-risers in the morn in rectory before the drills…i will never forget that..!
    Times Change and every small incident is now a memory….even the day when it was raining heavily probably a storm,the entire Rectory students gone for their Excursion except me,the door being locked and I running up the dangerous hill to the Basti to get the keys…!!!all alone in rectory..well,SPS moves on..and I shall also have to,albeit my hart being a Bit heavier
    an Old Paulite
    Gaurav Laha

  4. aman baweja
    aman baweja says:

    nowadays is it worth sending boys to hostels (st pauls) with the changing scenario (smoking bunking) in practise what about the academic part ? as am planning to send my son to sps will it be a wise decision? please do guide . as myself never been to a hostel thanks in advance

  5. samir ahmed
    samir ahmed says:

    sp was great…..11 years and now im into the haed world in england thank you st pauls for what i am

  6. Tina Singh
    Tina Singh says:

    I feel more a part of St Pauls School than any Paulite… Not only did I study there(primary wing- 1981 to 1985…class 1to 5) but it was the only home I knew….

  7. Tina Singh
    Tina Singh says:

    The name Dawkins brings so many memories back…. not because Vivien Leigh was born in that house but because I spent my childhood in that house. My father Mr Hardip Singh worked at St Pauls Schools for 20 years and he lived at Dawkins…… I was born at Dawkins and I have beautiful memories that still linger or should I say haunt me to return to the place once more. I lived at Dawkins for 14 years and they were the best days of my life… I remember every flower, every unturned stone every tree.. I remember my neighbours ( Mr Kabir Mustafi, Mr Daljit Singh) and the pranks we played on them… I remember my kitchen window overlooking the basketball court and all my holidays that I spent playing basketball by my self….. I remember the hill covered with a million lilies (bet Wordsworth would have not seen as many daffodils) I miss the sound of the stream that would ring in my ears on a quiet afternoon…. I miss the light I saw on the opposite hill on a lonely dark night……..

  8. DEBASISH MONDAL
    DEBASISH MONDAL says:

    I am a Commerce background M.Com , LLB. I will be pleased if i can share my knowledge with my juniors at this school. It’s a nobel place, so we shall try to maintain it’s nobelness.

  9. Blackie's
    Blackie's says:

    No offence to the Paulites of the nineties and the present.. But distinct degeneration is evident from the eighties.. Flashpoint : Gorkhaland agitation, when the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the school took a dive, discipline went out of the window and the standards definitely hit a nadir.. The reason is the political scenario which has prevailed over the last 2 decades. I have been to the school a number of times during this decade and also seen the boys in town during town leave on Sundays. It was quite horrifying to see sixth formers ( I assume they were sixth formers, judging from their mature looks) with loosened ties, brown shoes and blazers slung casually over their shoulders.. Made me wince.. SPS is my home, where I was shaped, moulded, found brothers in strangers, laughed, cried, and revere it totally. But I am saddened by what it is today… Forgive me if I have hurt anybody’s sensibilities..

  10. rifaz
    rifaz says:

    im just a normal american kid and my dad is gonna send me to this school. is it a good place? because i spent a lot of hard work to go into a school called Middle School 51 in New York and i was surprised my dad was going to send me to india.well wish me good luck

  11. rahulhaque
    rahulhaque says:

    hi guys , i rahul haque who had left the school and now who is very alone sorry to say but my friends i had studied for few years and i will never forget the love the respect and every thing which i had got from my school thanks to every teachers and my friends . s.t.pauls rocks . upward the old school calls st pauls st pauls st pauls ST.PAULS’.

  12. Rubel Hossain.
    Rubel Hossain. says:

    i have studied at saint paul’s for 5 yrs.
    it is the best thing that has happnd in my life..
    din wnt to leve the school but thats the way it had to happen….
    Jst lyk Mr. J. Singh says, ”In our times…”
    i would only say, ”those were the days”
    It is indeed the best school in the world…..

  13. shatrughan roy s/o sh.lakhan roy
    shatrughan roy s/o sh.lakhan roy says:

    Respected Sir,
    I am shatrughan roy from delhi can you provide me a contact no of Sir SUBIR ROY AND SIKHA ROY.
    I will be very thankful to you if do the same

    THANKS & REGARDS
    SHATRUGHAN ROY

    (SH. LAKHAN ROY)

  14. kamrul hassan
    kamrul hassan says:

    Dtd : Oct 17, 2009

    Dear sir/Madam,

    Found your e-mail id from web site. Anyway, my son & my daughter wants to take admission in class two/eight respectively in your reputed academy.
    So could you pls infm me detail info regarding admissions.

    Fyi !! we are living in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

    Awating for your kind response by rtn mail.

    Thanks & best regards

    Kamrul Hassan.

  15. Syed Emad Uddin
    Syed Emad Uddin says:

    Dear Sir or Madam,

    I need the E-mail and Contact address of St. Pauls School in Darjeeling for admission of my son. I need more E-mail and contact detail for other schools in Darjeeling too.

    Thanks and regards.

    Syed

    E-mail: syed.bd@gmail.com

  16. Chopi
    Chopi says:

    @Tony, just figured that that’s Zubin’s old site that you have ported across. Did you guys move all the existing accounts as well or does one have to re-sign up even if one was registered while it was on Zubin’s site?

    There’s also a fairly active facebook group for those OP’s who may be interested here; http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2257643760

  17. Tony Davies
    Tony Davies says:

    Guys, if you’re missing school why don’t you join us at http://www.oldpaulites.in We currently have 300 members, so I’m sure you’ll find some old friends there! Registration is required but it’s a simple enough process. Look forward to seeing you there!

    Tony

  18. prayan pradhan
    prayan pradhan says:

    u knoe u’re a PAULITE wen:

    – You preferred to eat out at Jordans and Corner’s instead of the school canteen.
    – You knew that the school basketball team is always moreover like a hostel team.
    – You joined the School Teams just to visit various places.
    – You know the complete lyrics of the song “Showers of Blessing”.
    – You didn’t participate in the sports day but still hoped to get a medal from friends.
    – You thought ‘Tinkle’ was the best comic available in the world.
    – You have been a victim of Mr. Pande’s punches.
    – You can communicate in the Shakespearian Language, i.e thou,thy,etc
    – You have watched the movie MAIN HOON NA which was shot at our school.
    – You dont know Mr.D.Pradhan’s personal theory of length and depth.
    – You knew the school ended at 1:40 pm.
    – You have visited the school Chapel before the exams just for the sake of passing.
    – You kept complaining about the Hostel but still got admitted every following year.
    – You have bunked march past practices at least once.
    – You are familiar with four names, i.e ;LAWRENCE,HASTINGS,HAVELOCK,CLIVE.
    – You favourite class was Maths
    – Your love story started in the borders of the MH fence and ended in the same fence.
    – You being a Nepali could’nt still read and write porperly in Nepali.
    – Your excuse for leave was always Diarrahoea or Headache.
    – You know the secrets of minimizing the pain from the caning in the ass and hands.
    – You scribbled the word ur gal’s on your book,desk,etc .
    – You cursed yourself for having not studied only after you came out of the examination hall.
    – You scribbled about your existence on every desk you placed your ass on.
    – You had at least one nickname.
    – You wore loose fitting clothes and party shoes because that meant being cool.
    – You knew tomorrow would be a school holiday, if somebody from the school died today.
    – You are still scared of dat hauntin experience u had in da cotton hall toilet.
    – You have your contributions to one of the scribblings and drawings in school walls.
    – Lastly,though you hated your stay in SPS,today you die to go back there………..

    ONCE A PAULITE…..ALWAIZ A PAULITE

  19. yash agarwal
    yash agarwal says:

    i dont know but i still miss st pauls. i was in everest and westcott house and now i am studying in the doon school’ dehradun. i specially remember marathon and bunking.
    moniti meliora sequamor!

  20. Yonten "Banduk" Gurung
    Yonten "Banduk" Gurung says:

    Only two years in SPS…but the best two years of my life…..bonded with the best of friends…met the best of teachers and made a lifetime of memories !!….

    how i CRAVE to go back there…it’s just like my friend Dorje “Anda” Gurung once said….

    “It’s funny how when we we were back in school,we longed for sunshine holidays and now that it’s all over,we wanna go back.”

    it was all good back then….late risings…bunking down to Jordan’s and Corner’s….all the sports seasons…marathon…rooting for our team when rival schools competed against us…..annual pillow fight….GHD….House Concerts….Late Night Alu Parathas…..Man,the list goes on……

    to put it short,all i wanna say is that…..I Love St.Paul’s and i owe everything i have ever become,to this glorious institution of learning…may the Paulites shine this day and for evermore……

    -Yonten Gurung
    Clive House
    2007/09

  21. prayan pradhan
    prayan pradhan says:

    02-03 tenzing
    04-06 cable
    07-08 hasting
    icse batch of ’09

    sps…what an incredible 7 years..its been mere months since i left sps to shift to england and i’ve alrady started missing the place. the way we got freaked out in the cotton hall bogs or in johnson wall..the way our hearts beat while bunking down to geroges and corners..the way we got conked out running down the chapel slpoes during PD..the way you suddenly feel energetic (even tho you were tired) when you heard the long bell for sunshine holiday..the list goes on and on..

    just want everyone to know that theres no better place than sps..school-life in uk is just not the same.

    cheers

    MONITI MELIORA SEQUAMUR.

  22. Obaid Malik
    Obaid Malik says:

    Hey.. somebody plz say something about Alu Bari and PonyStand too… 🙂 and the Long Bell… 🙂 and about the PDs… yeah! it was THE YEARS.. i left St.Paul’s in 97. Clive house, Lions and Cottonfield dorm.

  23. Chopi
    Chopi says:

    @Andrew, that’s funny…her connection to the school always interested me, I grew up watching her movies.

    @Josh, that’s sad to hear.

  24. Andrew Tobin
    Andrew Tobin says:

    Further to the Vivien Leigh story. I was there from 1957-65 and my English teacher was a James Clarke who showed us a picture of himself as a young university student in Cambridge and a young Vivien Leigh. Apparently James was at a student party and woke the next morning besides Vivien. It was, he said, his first experience with a woman. Might well have been his last, to boot. I never knew she was born in Darjeeling.

    Cheers

  25. Josh
    Josh says:

    This school is not the Saint Paul’s School of before. Visit it today and you realise it’s become Saint Paul’s Nepali High School..

  26. NAVRAj TIWARi
    NAVRAj TIWARi says:

    Like I tOuT iD B bAcK So im heAr bT Im BaCk lIKe Im rUNnin dA SP TRaCk a pAuLItE In FoRm gREEtInG tO All My pAulItE bRoTHerS sTRAiGHt frOm My HEARt………….

  27. Lalu
    Lalu says:

    hi, im planning to go to this school next year, can someone help me with the details, such as fees and stuff,
    as i cannot find this on the official website

    does it offer IB or AP?

  28. sagar thapa
    sagar thapa says:

    umm what to say just gave my ISC ,last paper was on 18 n afta that i came back to my home sweet home where there is a lot of loadshedding anyway it was good studying in SP n hope to meet some OP’s since i am now officialy an OP too…

  29. promod
    promod says:

    Hi , my best years till now was spent in sps. bunking to jords,the p.d,blackies,boxie and the list will carry on. i studied there from 1 till 6th form i was in Lw and did ISC in the year 1993.

  30. Chopi
    Chopi says:

    Hi Satish, this is not the official St. Pauls School website, here is the link to the official school website: http://www.spsdarjeeling.com/

    Admission details etc. can be found on there. It’s an all boys school only though, best of luck, it’s a great school for your boy!

  31. satish
    satish says:

    Hai,g,morning.

    I have two child one is girl n 2nd one is boy.i want to admit in ur school in 5th n 3rd std.Uhave hostal facilities there.When the admission will be going on.I want to know the details about school n admission.What is the per anum fee structure for the two kids.

    Awaiting for a favourable reply.

    Thanks,
    Satish

  32. Namgyel Pala Rangdol
    Namgyel Pala Rangdol says:

    Hi …. i was in Saint Paul’s School from 1995 – 2002 …. 8 wonderful years …. amazing ….. used to bunk to Jordans a lot. I miss the dance days ….

  33. Birat Krishna Thapa
    Birat Krishna Thapa says:

    Hello everyone, was in St.Pauls for a while, 94-05, Everest, Cable, and Hastings. It was a bit of an experience..

  34. Laffing Sun
    Laffing Sun says:

    Dear Ms. Shampa Mukhopadhyay,
    How does one go about learning the Japanese language at Kolkata? I am intrigued by the place, the people and their strange culture. have visited the country twice, each time for a fortnight and have a plethora of anecdotes to narrate.
    laffing_sun@yahoo.com

  35. JAVED KHADIM
    JAVED KHADIM says:

    Hi I am javed khadim. spent 10 wonderful years at SPS.Imiss that part of my life. Iwould love to be in touch with any OP..

  36. wangchuk
    wangchuk says:

    no doubt the best school…..waking up at 3 in the morning to decorate the field for sports day ……wishing frens at 12 at night when the whole world is fast asleep….bunking to george ….everythin and anything is gr8 fun …this is what u call life

  37. Chopi
    Chopi says:

    Have a great trip in October, Chris!

    I have not been back for a visit since I left in 1986, and eagerly look forward to going back up there at some point. Would love to take my family there to show them the school.

    I want to do the trek to Sandakphu again at some point as well. Rhododendron Wine at 10000ft, pure heaven!

  38. Shampa Mukhopadhyay
    Shampa Mukhopadhyay says:

    Dear guys,
    I am no one to your school yet I always keep watching this site.I am an English teacher working at Kolkata.I had always longed to be one of your St.Pauls family member.I have a knowledge in Japanese too (having passed two levels in J.L.P.T.),so if any time I am required pl. let me know.I have nurtured my love for St.Pauls from my very childhood.

  39. Chris Tobin
    Chris Tobin says:

    I left SPS in December 1963 and India in January 1966. I am really looking to returning for a visit in october 2008. Each year in School we counted the days to GHD, now I am counting the days to SPS.

    Chris Tobin
    Betten 56/57
    Hastings 58/63

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  1. […] of Mount Kanchenjunga, which is very close to Darjeeling, where I went to school for seven years. See related, we had a lovely view of Kanchenjunga from the school, I’m very fond of this mountain and that […]

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