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St Britto High School
St Britto High School has a somewhat mixed pedigree; it is the progeny of two private schools; Sacred Heart and St Mary’s, originally owned by two gentlemen.
In 1931, a brother of Mr. Ligorio D’Souza, Manager of Sacred Heart High School, Parra, opened a branch of that school in Duler and called it ‘Escola do Sagrado Coracao de Jesus’. It was the only English educational institution in Mapusa at that time. Some time later, however, a certain Mr. Santana Pascoal de Souza opened a ‘Colegio Anglo-Concanim’ which he directed until it was acquired on July 15, 1942 by Dom Caetano Menezes and renamed ‘St. Mary’s School’.
Not much is known of the history of St. Mary’s during this time. The Sacred Heart, however, which now had 146 boys and 76 girls divided into eight classes, was acquired from the family of Alphonsus Liguori de Souza in 1943 by two local businessmen, Mr. Valentino Pinto and Mr M Cruz. An application was made to Bombay University for its affiliation which was granted on March 29, 1944.
The managers as well as the Headmaster, Mr N R Mahatme, tried to do a creditable job, in spite of the innumerable handicaps, at a time when the local government gave no financial help. Finding it difficult to run the school the managers approached the Archbishop for help, who in turn appealed to the Jesuits with a promise of financial assistance. Around the same time, Dom Caetano realizing his own inability to manage St Mary’s also offered it to the Jesuits, on the condition that he remained a paid member of the teaching staff. We were ready to accept the condition but not run two institutions and both co-educational.
On July 22, 1946, the management of Sacred Heart High School was transferred to the Jesuits and on the following day Fr J A de Miranda, the Mission Superior, took provisional charge of the school. On July 25, Fr. Sylvester D’Souza was installed as the first Jesuit Principal of the school.
With the beginning of the new academic year 1947-48, the Jesuits launched into work in earnest. There were four Jesuits in the community, 13 lay teachers and 373 students in the school. The name of the school was meanwhile creating confusion, as there was another Sacred Heart School in Parra. The University required a change and so on May18, 1948, the school was christened ‘St Britto High School’ in honour of the holy Jesuit who lived in Goa for 7 months to complete his theological studies at St Paul’s College in Old Goa.
In 1955, after an intensive search and many negotiations, a plot was purchased with the help of a loan received from the Patriarch. On July 20 of the same year, the government approved of the construction plans and on October 11, the Patriarch laid the foundation stone in the presence of the Delegate of the Provincial, Fr Bernardo Gonsalves. Even though the building was not complete, classes began to be held there from June 1958, and the community moved in around 1962. The building as initially planned was competed in 1964. In 1967-68, a third floor was added to the front wing, followed by an entrance block.
Today St Britto’s, after years of uncertainty, has developed into a well-established school. The school is well known for its excellence in studies and the various competitions held at the inter-school level. It provides a lot of opportunities to the boys to develop their talents through various activities. Hopefully, St Britto’s will continue to guide many young boys to become worthy citizens of India and the world.