The Beginning and the Growth
Campion Anglo – Indian Higher Secondary School, Tiruchirapalli, was founded in the year 1934. It is the successor school to St. Joseph’s European Middle School, which was located at another site (on convent road)inTiruchirapalli. The school owes its existence to the philanthropy of a great priest, Mgr. Joseph de Rosario, an Anglo-Indian, who was once a District Sessions Judge. It was originally intended primarily for Anglo-Indians, but in the course of years members of other communities have been admitted.
The first Headmaster was Fr.V.G.Lambert, a Jesuit. He was ably assisted by a team of priests and lay teachers. The school started from very humble beginnings, as it had originally only a small two-storied bungalow, supplemented later by thatched huts, located on a four-acre plot of land. Its initial strength was 109 students, the majority of whom were day-scholars. The rest were paying boarders and orphans.
In 1940, the area of the school compound was substantially increased by the purchase of a three and a half acre piece of land adjacent to the school. Shortly afterwards, namely, in 1943, the first major building was constructed. This was followed in 1957, by another building, constructed on the pattern of the existing building.
Meanwhile, the school continued to grow in popularity and strength. In 1962, the Inspector of Anglo-Indian schools had the following report on Campion.
“The pupils are receiving excellent training on all possible lines. The Institution deserves all praise for its work and service”.
In academic studies,the school secured 100 percent passes in the High school Examination for several years, while, in sports, Campion rose to be the topmost school in the entire District of Tiruchirapalli. To mark the 25th Anniversary of its foundation, the school constructed, in 1960, a beautiful chapel, dedicated to “Regina Mundi”, the “Queen of the World”.
In 1970, the School had the unique honor of celebrating the canonization, on October 25, 1970,of Edmund Campion, the Patron of the school.
At the close of the year 1972, the Jesuits handed over the management of the School to the owners, the Diocese of Thiruchirapalli. From the commencement of the year 1975, the Management of the School, was taken over from the Diocese by the Montfort Brothers of St. Gabriel, members of a Religious Congregation, internationally renowned for their service in the field of education. With the coming of the Montfort Brothers, the School witnessed changes and developments of a far-reaching nature. One important development was the upgrading of the school to the Higher Secondary level. For this purpose, a new building on the pattern of the existing two buildings, was constructed. The Higher Secondary Section started functioning from June 1979.
To mark the 50th Anniversary of its foundation, the School constructed, in 1984,a beautiful building connecting two of the existing buildings. Shortly afterwards, in 1990-91,a new building, dedicated to St. Montfort, founder of the Montfort Brothers of St. Gabriel, was constructed to house the Primary Section. It was followed by the construction of ‘Mariagam’, a residence for the brothers in 1992-93. The original, small two-storeyed bungalow, which had become unsafe, was then demolished. A swimming pool and two concrete basketball courts were added to the infrastructure of the school as Diamond Jubilee Memorials in 1994-95.
The school has reached great heights in every sphere of its activities. In academic studies, the results of the Higher Secondary and High School Examinations have been mostly flattering. In sports and games, Campion students now rank with the best in Tamilnadu. In other co-curricular activities, Campion students have acquitted themselves creditably. The School is now regarded as one of the finest in the whole of India. As an indication of its popularity, the strength of the School which stood at 1020 in 1973, when the Jesuits left, is now more than (April 2015 -2016)2800.
Since its founding in 1934,Campion has had an array of stalwarts in the person Rev. Fr.V.G.Lambert, Rev.Fr.T.A.Fleming, Rev.Fr.J.Hession, Rev.Fr.Koilparambil, Rev.Fr.A.J.Tamby, Rev.Fr.T.M.Mathai, Rev.Fr.R.W.Macedo, Rev.Bro.John of the Cross, Rev.Bro.Antony of Padua, Rev.Bro. Anselm, Rev.Bro. Sebastian Joseph, Rev.Bro. John Berchmans, Rev.Bro. Selvanathan, Rev.Bro. Michael, Rev. Bro. Soosairaj, Rev.Bro. Jesuraj and Rev.Bro. Arul M. Today after 82 years, with Rev.Bro.Soosairaj as the mainspring of all its activities, Campion continues to strive towards greater heights. If the destiny of India is shaped in its classroom, Campion can legitimately claim its contribution to this sacred duty.
With the completion of eighty-two years of its existence, Campion now stands poised for its onward march. It looks back, with satisfaction and pride, at its remarkable achievements. It cannot forget what it owes to its great men and women of the past who, with tireless energy, had dedicated their lives to achieve the ideals of Campion. It also remembers those who are with us today, working silently, steadfastly and with devotion, in the service of the school. With thoughts such as these to inspire and placing its trust in God, Campion can look forward to the future with hope and confidence.