About SMS

The SMS motto: Promite Vires — Put Forth Thy Strength!
Translation courtesy of Patrick O'Meara (1946)
The crest in PDF ... make your own SMS T-shirt

For a period around 1939-1942, the motto was Semper Fidelis — Forever Faithful
and the colours were light and dark blue.
History courtesy of Jimmy Winrow-Campbell (1946)


The structure of Mount Abu Railway School (MARS) is designed by Mr Blood, Engineer in Chief of the Bombay-Baroda and Central India (BB&CI) Railway. The school is meant primarily for children of European and Anglo-Indian railway staff. Construction is directed by Mr Thomas Kerr, District Engineer, Abu Road. On July 2, 1887, the school is officially opened by Col Walter, Agent for the Governor General for the Rajputana States (story in the Times of India, July 6, 1887). The first Headmaster is Rev A J Clarkson. 
The school changes hands to a private institution, no longer under the Railway.  It's now known as the Abu High School.
The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts takes over. The school is plagued by problems. Enrolment drops to 30. The Government of India closes it, then offers it to the Bishop of Ajmer.

The Irish Christian Brothers take over. Brs G A Cooney (Principal), J S Joakim and P C Hart begin classes on March 4 with 19 boarders and 3 day scholars.
Just two years after the Brothers' take-over, enrolment of boarders hits 100. Br M M Crowley takes over as Principal.
May 18: Two boys, Earnest Loveday and Frank Collie, are fatally shot by a classmate.

Br J L Murphy takes over as Principal.

Br J C Roe takes over as Principal.
Mr Sherman drowns in Trevor Tal on class picnic in September.  Mr L R Goyal (“Hindi Munshi,” “Hindi Pop”) joins the staff on October 1.
Br E O O'Keeffe takes over as Principal.
Br Stan Joakim dies in Abu
Br K P Barry takes over as Principal.
Br J A Keane takes over as Principal.
Enrolment now stands at about 350, of which nearly 300 are boarders. 

Construction starts on the Br Rice Wing, adjacent to the then science lab at the western end of the main field.  It's designed as a 2-storey structure topped by a terrace. On completion (1968) it houses a new refectory and eight new classrooms.  The lab moves to the upper floor of the 1887 building; the kitchen takes its place.  Meanwhile the junior dorm is expanded to occupy the old refectories.
Mr H J Ludwig establishes yet another school orchestra. Work begins on the Lower Kodra Project, a dam across the valley west of the school, which eventually covers Big Pitch and the D, E and F fields. New replacement fields are levelled above the tennis courts and west of Paddy's Bridge many years later.
Br J B Judge takes over as Principal.
The Keane Hall and library are added as a third storey to the Br Rice Wing.  The gym, previously the site of annual concerts, becomes, well, a gym.
Br J B Mulligan takes over as Principal.

Construction is completed on a spectacular, spacious new chapel, designed by Br F L Kelly, on the road to hospi.  Fr Bonaventure celebrates the first mass.  The former chapel becomes an extension to the senior dorm.  The lower storey of the chapel houses new teachers' quarters.  Some things stay the same though — the chapel clock continues to tick out SMS Standard Time.
Br J A Keane begins his second term as Principal.

The 11-year Indian School Certificate (ISC) is replaced by the 10-year Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE). 

The Central government recognizes the value of Guru Shikar as a potential defence installation; a road is constructed to the peak, and unspecified structures built.  Mt. Abu's strategic significance is increased.  There is a move to turn Tiger Path into the official access from Abu Road.  It doesn't go very far, but Tiger Path is strewn with boulders.  The population of the town increases substantially.  A number of private hostels spring up — as nearby as Toll Bar — to house out-station kids, and the ratio of day scholars to boarders rises to about 50-50.
Br P C Christopher takes over as Principal
The Br Rice Wing is extended northwards, down the slope towards the gym
Br Melroy D'Cruz takes over as Principal
Br Sarto D'Souza takes over as Principal

Mr L R Goyal, “Hindi Pop,” retires after 38 years of service to SMS
Br Steinmayer takes over as Principal.
Br Noel D'Sa (Class of 1979) takes over as Principal.
A 3-storey hi-tech building replaces the single-storey structure between the small dorm bathing room and the bakery.  It houses computer classrooms, and movies now run off CDs.

The Abu Alumni Oriole is launched.
Construction begins on the swimming pool.  About 10% of the cost is met by alumni in perhaps the first large-scale alumni donation initiative.
Br Anish John takes over as Principal

Construction of the new IT Centre begins.

SMS celebrates 75 years under the Brothers.

Mr Christanand Vase takes the helm as the first lay Principal

Ms Mary Joseph takes over as the first lady Principal

Photo credits: Victor Nazareth [pool], Ulysses Menezes [all the others].  Larger pics in Photo Album and Ashley D'Souza's Online Orioles