Humble Beginning

St. Raphael’s School presently enjoy­ing a prestigious position had a very hum­ble beginning. Way back in 1928, it was born in the parochial shed of the Red Church (the Catholic Church at Indore), with a total strength of just four children and a young girl as their teacher. The first stu­dent enrolled was Master S.C. Dube who became an IAS officer and was appointed as the Chairman of the City Improvement Trust, Indore.

The school is the dream child of the Franciscan priest Fr. Raphael, whose cherished desire was transformed into a reality only after him. The name ‘St. Raphael’s School gives reminiscences of Fr. Raphael OFM Cap; the parish priest of Indore from 1912 – 1927.

The credit of establishing a Catholic Primary School goes to Fr. D’Silva, the then parish priest of the Red Church, a scholarly priest with three PhD’s to his credit. He was a brilliant man with an exceptional organization capacity, very dynamic and sensitive to the needs of the people. He realized the need for a pri­mary school for the catholic children of the area. As soon as the funds were raised, Fr. D’Silva looked for a land for the proposed building. He followed the initial steps taken by Fr. Raphael, and received the permission from the Gov­ernor General of Central India to use the piece of land (eight acres, from the Brit­ish Military Authorities), where the present school building stands.

The building was ready within six months and finally, in the beginning of 1929, St. Raphael's Pri­mary School was set up on its own premises, with two teachers Miss. P. Ludiner an Italian and Miss. Annie Emmanuel an Indian. The two teachers worked diligently for the school in the ini­tial stages. The school welcomed the chil­dren from all sections of the society – re­gardless of status, caste or creed. Highly impressed by the school, Mr. Chatterji, the Inspector General of Schools granted an immediate state recognition to the in­stitution.

Sister Vincent SMA, an excellent teacher was appointed as the academic in-charge from 1931-1936. With her ef­forts the school was put on a firm foot­ing. The Government granted subsidies for the expansion of the school; and by 1932 the strength rose to 90.

In 1932, the administration of the school was handed over to the Divine Word Missionaries known as the SVD Society. Fr. George Proksch, a great admirer of Indian Culture and a staunch patron of Indian art and music was the first Princi­pal of the school. He constructed a hall for the Primary section with a view to con­duct ballets based on Biblical stories and events. One of the prominent dance teach­ers of that time was Miss Naju Godrej.

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