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Academic year 2007-08:
150 year celebration special:
Sister institution:
In 1898 - Inauguration of New Building

Opening of New Buildings of The Hindu High School


About the year 1880, Mr. Singarachariar handed over the Secretaryship to the late M.D. Gopalachariar, Manager of the High Court, continuing, however, as a Managing Member. Subsequently on the death of Ramanjoobo Naidu, the first President of the School, Raja T. Rama Row, Vakil of the High Court, succeeded him in the office of President. On the death of M.D. Gopalachariar in 1887, Mr. Singarachariar resumed the Secretaryship for a brief interval, after which Mr. M. 0. Parthasarathy Iyengar took up the office. In 1889, Mr. M. Viraraghavachariar, Proprietor of "The Hindu", was added on to the Committee, and in 1896, Mr. M. A. Tirunarayanachari, Vakil of the High Court, was nominated Assistant Secretary.

Last year, on the suggestion of the Director of' Public Instruction, the name of the school was again changed into the Hindu High School, Triplicane. The results produced by the schools year after year have been satisfactory both in the Matriculation and in the Lower Secondary examinations. Students from this school have often headed the list in both these examinations and have kept up their good name and that of the school in their collegiate as well as post-collegiate career. There are scattered throughout this Presidency persons in all walks of life who look back with gratitude to this Institution. In appointing the teachers, especially the Head-masters, the Managers have always realized the responsible nature of their duty and taken particular care in making the selections. The Managers are glad to say that the successive Headmasters have invariably been very capable men, the present Headmaster being a Master of Arts. The Managers may say that the rest of the teaching staff is also, on the whole, efficient In recent years, a library has been formed in connection with the school, which was reported upon by Mr. Marsden, Inspector of Schools, as "excellent and well used.

The Government grant-in-aid, which the school was getting for a long time, was stopped in the year 1885, for the reason that there was not proper building accommodation for the boys. In 1889 and 1890 the recognition of the school was also withheld for the same reason, although the school was recognised conditionally year to year. The Managers hastened to concert measures for the construction of a proper building, and the first fruits of their exertions were the purchase of the site of this building for Rs. 3,000 and of the adjacent building which was till then rented by them, for Rs. 5,250. The construction of the present building was next undertaken at an estimated cost of Rs. 57,627, and through the kind intervention of the Hon'ble Dr. Duncan, our Director of Public Instruction, whose almost paternal interest in the school and all that he has done for it, neither the Committee nor the public can sufficiently acknowledge, the enlightened and liberal Government of your Excellency sanctioned the munificent grant of Rs. 19,209 towards the cost of the building. The Committee had in hand only Rs. 16,000 accumulated by dint of hard saving during many years: yet, they ventured upon too great, and as it seemed then, foolhardy enterprise, trusting to the sympathy and generous help of the public. Mrs. and. the Hon'ble Dr. Duncan were good enough to lay the foundation stone of this building and the work was put into the hands of our well-known and highly-esteemed contractor, Mr. T. Namberumal Chettiar, who has reared a building which, the Managers feel it would not be too much to say, has exceeded the most sanguine expectations entertained of it. Of the grant sanctioned by Government, the Committee have drawn Rs. 9,000, and this sum, together with Rs. 21,968-12-0 from the School funds the Committee have paid to the contractor, making in all Rs. 30,968-12-0. The balance of the Government grant of Rs. 10,209 will shortly be drawn and paid over to the contractor. To liquidate the deficit, the Committee propose to appeal for subscriptions to the enlightened and generous public, and should there still be any deficiency, the Committee will meet it by issuing debenture loans secured on the building itself. These loans will be redeemed in course of time out of the fee receipts of the school, supplemented as it will be by the usual Government grant which, the Committee hope, will be renewed, now that the cause for its withholding has been removed.

In conclusion, the Managers beg to tender their heartiest thanks to your Excellency for your Excellency's kindness and condescension in coming here to open this building, as well as to your Excellency's Government for the munificent grant sanctioned by them, and assure your Excellency that your Excellency's kindness and the well-directed liberality of your Excellency's Government will be gratefully remembered in this part of Madras as long as this building endures. The Committee beg again to express their deep indebtedness to the Hon'ble Dr. Duncan for the keen interest he has taken in the welfare of this school and for all that he has done for it. And to Mr. Namberwial Chettiar also the Committee owe a debt of gratitude for his sympathising with their financial difficulties, as also for the obliging readiness with which he has complied with the numerous suggestions for alterations made by them from time to time during the progress of the building, and above all, for the excellent way in which he has executed the wok entrusted to him.
Mr. T. Namberumal Chettiar, B.A., in giving a description of the building, said: -
I feel highly honour ed that the task of giving a description of $ the buildings has devolved upon me in the absence of Mr. Irwin the Architect, and I discharge it with the greatest pleasure

The corner-stone of the Triplicane Hindu High School was laid by the Hon'ble Dr. Duncan and Mrs. Duncan on 13th August 1895, but the work was not commenced until the middle of the succeeding year. The plans, as originally designed, were found to provide insufficient accommodation, and some more land had to be acquired in 'the south-west corner. The buildings comprise two distinct blocks, the rear block is of three stories, and the front one is only of two stories, but capable of another story being added subsequently, if necessary. The rear block was first commenced, and when laying the foundations of the front blocks work had to be suspended on account of the severe monsoon of 1896. The main building in the lower story contains six large rooms, each measuring 24 feet X 20 feet X 16 feet in height, capable of accommodating a class of 40 pupils. The upper story contains a big hall 75 feet by 42 feet with Truss roof, the special feature being that very little timber is used. It has a verandah all round 6i feet wide, with the exception of the front one which is wider and contains two staircases at either end. The rear block in each story consists of two rooms, each measuring 24 feet X 20 feet X 13 feet in height and a large room 30 feet X 24 feet X 13 feet, intended for laboratory for the science students; there is a verandah on either side of these three rooms to afford shelter to students when changing classes.

The work has been carried out according to standard specifications, and in accordance with the regulations of the Grant-in-aid Code, and the building costs Rs. 45,000. On calculating the cubical contents of the building, I find a cubic foot costing only 2 annas which is below the proper average for buildings of this sort, notwithstanding the heavy percentage, viz., 24 1/2 per cent., paid to Government for bricks purchased from Government kilns.
In conclusion, I tender my humble thank to Dr. and Mrs. Duncan for the encouragement they gave me by their frequent visits while the building was in progress, the rapid completion of which was in no small measure due to their keen interest. My thanks are also due to the maistries who devoted their attention and energy in completing the work without loss of life or limb. In recognition of their services, I beg your Excellency will be graciously pleased to hand over these purses.


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