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St Anthony’s College celebrates 75th anniversary
Correspondent SHILLONG, JUL 14:
Published on 15 Jul. 2009 12:19 AM IST
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Normally the path is supposed to lead from the log cabin to the White House. But for St Anthony’s College, Shillong, whose year-long platinum jubilee celebrations was inaugurated on Tuesday by Meghalaya Governor RS Mooshahary, who is himself an alumnus of the college, the path was from log cabin to a temple of learning which continues to draw students to its portals from all over north east India. It was 75 years ago that St Anthony’s College traces its humble beginnings. It was in 1934, that the Salestian congregation of Don Bosco, established the college which came as a boon to the common folk of not only the Khasi and Jaintia Hills of Meghalaya, but also of the north eastern region. Up to 1934 those from among the Khasi and Jaintia tribes who wanted to get a college education had to go either to Cotton College in Assam or to Calcutta as the only college which Shillong had at that time, St Edmunds College, was exclusively for Europeans and Anglo Indian. With the coming up of St Anthony’s College, despite the many difficulties and challenges, college education for the first time was made available to the common folk from among the Khasis, Jaintias and many other tribes and communities of the erstwhile composite state of Assam and of the north east region. Responding to the nee, and encouraged and sponsored by the then Salestian Provincial, Fr Louis Mathias, who subsequently became the Archbishop of Madras, today known as Chennai, Fr Joseph Bacchiarello, the then headmaster of St Anthony’s High School, embarked on the venture in 1933. In 1934, with the help and encouragement of the then Director of Public Instruction of the Government of Assam, G A Small, Fr Bacchiarello was able to start the first year Intermediate classes housed in one small Assam type building with the assistance of the late Theodore Cajee, the then Assistant Headmaster of St Anthony’s High School. Speaking on the occasion, Meghalaya Governor, R S Mooshahary, who is himself an alumnus of the college, recalled his years of study in the college in the 1960s. He also recalled the yeoman service rendered by the past principals of the college particularly of Rev Fr Igino Ricaldone, Fr Douglas J Wallaston, Fr Joseph Arokiaswamy and Fr Stephen Mavely who he said contributed a great deal for making St Anthonys College what it is today. Mooshahary spoke of the short comings which places of higher education in the country encounter as they had not been able to convert and transform the youth into human beings deeply grounded in ethics and morals. He was happy that St Anthony’s College was catering not only to the educational needs of the youth, but to their spiritual needs as well. He likened the human person to soil which will return to you whatever you plant.

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