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21 Sep 2019, Edition - 1530, Saturday

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Coimbatore

President to grace founder’s day of The Lawrence School

D.Radhakrishnan

Udhagamandalam: Proliferating problems particularly due to the growing difficulties in balancing development and conservation notwithstanding the Blue Mountains continue to be famed for many things. Inter alia they are renowned all over the country and abroad for their contribution to school education.An institution which has played a prominent role in facilitating such a reputation is the Lawrence School in Lovedale which is all set to celebrate its 159th Founder’s Day.The celebrations which will be set in motion on Sunday will conclude on Tuesday with the President of India Pranab Mukherjee participating as the Chief Guest.

The school, which ranks as one of the leading public schools in this part of the world came into being in 1858. Situated amidst sylvan surroundings, the school which sprawls well over 700 acres has had a chequered history.

A legacy of the British it was started as an asylum thanks to the efforts of a soldier-cum-civil administrator Sir Henry Lawrence.He had conceived the idea of starting a school in a hill station for the soldiers of the British Army in 1856.The beauty and the fine climate of Ooty impressed Sir Lawrence who decided to locate the school here.

However, the tragedy was that Sir Henry did not live to see his work come to fruition, having died on July 4, 1857 in the Lucknow Mutiny.

It was started in a small building on Stone House hill where John Sullivan (the first British settler in the Nilgiris) had built his residence.

Later it was converted into a military school and made a public school after Independence

Before being christened The Lawrence School, it has over the years been referred to as the Ootacamund Lawrence Asylum, the Lawrence Memorial School and the Lawrence Memorial Royal Military School.

According to Headmistress Sangita Chima,the first woman to head the institution,the Lawrence School stands for all the goodness,a public school is capable of bestowing combining education and character building.Extra- curricular activities are pursued with special emphasis on horse riding. Children who belong to various religious faiths are made to feel at home.The aim of the institution was holistic development.

Elaborate arrangements have been made to commemorate the 159th Founder’s Day in a fitting manner.

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