we greet thee
Thy daughters and sons from afar,
As oft as we pause in our toiling
To hail thee, whose children we are.”
Each time these words ring in my ears, my mind penetrates the cloudy past. Memories of the past nine years come back to me. As I now look back on the years, I see how Mount Hermon has changed during my days.
It was 1946 I first came to Mount Hermon, Never before had I been to the hills or to a boarding school. I vaguely remember my first impressions of the school;. As the bus rolled into the school quadrangle, I was shocked at the size of the school building. Then again the number of students surprised me. Gradually I made friends and I was happy in school.
The latter half of 1946 and the year of 1947 are very vague in my mind. I remember that often I used to wonder, if I would ever reach the Senior Cambridge class - it seemed so far away that it seemed almost impossible. There I was in the second standard, my mind full of doubts! During the year 1946 our Principal had changed. Mr. Dewey had been replaced by Mrs. Forsgren. Thus 1947 passed with a new principal. One thing I remember is that in this year the number of Nepalese students increased to a great extent.
It is the year 1948 that stands out in my memories. For us it was a year of fun and frolic, after which there followed a few years of depression. As happily as 1948 ended, with all its success, so did 1949 begin with all its failures. Mount Hermon was slowly but surely losing her high prestige. The effect was seen in the following year. The number of students decreased considerably. Luck seemed to have turned against the old school, for with the monsoon of 1950 came to the Estate the colossal landslide disaster - which was a tremendous blow from the financial aspect. Mount Hermon did not quite recover from her loss till 1952. Yet the end of 1950 marked the beginning of the new hostel, which was finished by the following year.
Then followed a dull year. school life did not seem so good as it had been. The student body had decreased considerably. The number of boys had decreased while the girls had increased slightly. Though in the eyes of the public we were somewhat looked down upon, yet there was within the school happiness and contentment. Late that year Mr & Mrs Forsgren left, leaving Mr Rockey as substitute. Still later in the year Mr Dewey returned to take over the reins of the school - His return filled us with high hopes for the future of the school - yes, and that was the turning point.
The following year - 1952 - went without much change except that there was a general improvement in the school and once again Mount Hermon was climbing the ladder of prestige and honour. But at this crucial moment there came a tremendous blow. The results of the previous Senior Cambridge Examinations were very distressing - all three candidates had failed. That year, however, we obtained fairly good results. There was a general improvement in the standard of games and activities in the school. The number of boys had increased tremendously as compared to previous year.
1953 came in with a new Principal - Mr Workman - and the year seemed to have sailed away quickly. Nothing much seemed to have happened. And now here we are in 1954 - which brings me to my final year of school life. This is a year which brought a new principal – Mr. D .G. Stewart. Here among the hills of Darjeeling stand Mt. Hermon, to which people again look up and recognise the school as it should be. A school that teaches its students “Non scholae sed vitae discimus” – Not for school but for life we learn” No longer is Mount Hermon “just another” school in the foot hills of the vast Himalayas, but a school that has a bright future ahead – and a school that will produce men and women who will be good citizens.
“Oh may thy fair
name live for ever
Be deeply impressed on each heart
That we in our trials and triumphs
May ne’er from thy guidance depart.”
A. M. Rauff.
S.C. Class 1954.
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