Irish Christian Brothers to exit Our Lady of Salvation High School at Dadar

Updated: Feb 07, 2019, 11:29 IST | Hemal Ashar

Irish Christian Brothers Order to exit Our Lady of Salvation High School at Dadar, after half a century of shining, selfless service

Irish Christian Brothers to exit Our Lady of Salvation High School at Dadar
The teaching order took over this school in 1968

A Little bit of Dublin is going out of Dadar this month. The Irish Christian Brothers (CFC), the acronym comes from the 'Congregatio Fratrum Christianorum' (Latin) are leaving Our Lady of Salvation High School in Dadar. The teaching order, started by founder Edmund Ignatius Rice, took over the reins of this boy's only SSC board school in 1968. The CFC is primarily a worldwide religious community within the Catholic Church. Their first school was opened in Waterford, Ireland, in 1802.

In Mumbai, the Christian Brothers, teachers at the Salvation School, will say farewell to the school and to Dadar, the community they have impacted in many significant ways. Service to the poor is the edifice of this order. Dwindling numbers means that the Brothers are moving out of the schools they didn't own, but managed, and are re-organising themselves to do maximum work in other places, with the human resources they have. This school will go back to Salvation Church after the Brothers leave the institution.

Waadi's angels
The school's alumni association has organised a felicitation, a final doff of the hat to the Christian Brothers who taught at and managed the school. Dadar local and ex-student Alfred Nogueira, who is coordinator of the organising committee of this February 17 function, said, "What I remember most is the Brothers, who taught us, visiting 'waadis' around Dadar to check on students not coming to school. They visited the homes of the poorest of the poor."

Former students are unanimous in stating that they were too young to process it, but now realise how this selfless service imbued their life with empathy for the less fortunate. Today, when education has become a business of big bucks with snob status schools owned by biz billionaires, the work of these Brothers is inspiring.

Cane pain
Ex-student Dominic Costabir said he gets emotional when he recalls his school days. He said, "It was all about giving to the poor in handfuls. The boys who could not bring lunch to the school were given a free vada pav or mince bun and Energee (milk drink) every single day. No boy could remain hungry." Dominic, who said that it was the values and discipline, "those whacks on the butt with the cane did sting!' he laughed, "that made me put my son, Storm in the same school." The hospitality professional added, "They instilled in us the value that discipline is non-negotiable."

Real men
Former students remember the 'Salvation Opera' comprising theatre and music, "that was a looked forward to annual event on the Dadar calendar. Proceeds from this 'opera' were ploughed into services for poor boys – like free food," they recalled.

Former student Melwyn Sequeira added, "I looked up to them with so much reverence, they are the 'real' men, that I wanted to join the order but family responsibilities forced me to take another path." For Mahim's Savio Iyer, from the batch of 1996, "The school's extra curricular activities shaped my life. The passion and professionalism for theatre in the school, gave me my future calling. I run a media production house." Iyer echoed widespread sentiment when he said, "The Christian Brothers are leaving my school and Dadar behind. I don't see it as the end of a journey though, simply a new beginning for somebody else." Expect this farewell to be extremely emotional, tears of both joy and sadness, for the Brothers like few others.

The felicitation
The alumni association is organising a felicitation and farewell on Sunday, February 17, at 6 pm at Our Lady of Salvation School undercroft. All are welcome. For passes or to make a love offering, contact: mail: olsgoldenyears@gmail.com or SMS OLSGY <msg> to 8369915705

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