Celebrating its Glorious 75 years
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The humble beginnings of the above educational institute by Franciscan Hospitallers Sisters go back to 56 AD when Saint Thomas one of the disciples of Jesus came to India and landed on the Coromandal Coast of South India and Later met by a martyr’s death.

14th Century, 1321 marks the arrival of four Franciscan fathers – father Jordan of France accompanied by three Italians fathers – Thomas of Tolentino, James of Paddua, and Peter of Vienna, and a lay person from Georgia (Russia) at Thane in Mumbai. They were invited to Bharuch Gujarat, (the only sea port known as Bary – gaza to Europeans ) all of them later became martyrs.

Arrival of Vasco – de – Gama on May 20, 1498 brought Portuguese influence on Gujarat coast especially Daman and Diu. In 1542 Dominican and Franciscan missionaries began work in “Bombay Province.” It was Father Xavier who began the educational work in May 1542 and later Canonized in 1622 as Saint Francis Xavier after his death in 1552.

Bandra, Mumbai became the main station for Franciscans and the railway system operated by steam engines then, played an important role for Valsad. Surrounded by two rivers Auranga to North and Wanki to the South made Valsad the main watering station with a locomotive workshop. This brought families of Anglo Indians and Zoroastrian locomotives drivers, technicians, foremens and others who needed quality education in English though there were schools in Valsad teaching in local languages.

In 1936 the Franciscan Sisters began a small Convent School in the Old Telephone Exchange building under the spiritual leadership of Mother Superior Chagas and Principal Sister Maria da Graca (1936) assisted by Sister Innocence and Sister Claudia. Sr. Fatima ( 1936 – 1948 ) , Mother Bemvinda ( 1948 – 51 ) , Mother Benigna ( 1951 – 53 ) , Sr. Alice ( 1955 – 56 ) , Mother Amata D’cruz ( 1956 – 68 ) saw to the academic side as Principals at the old building.

During 1956 – 68 a visionary Principal, Mother Amata envisioned an English Teaching High School for the whole of Valsad. A small home was rented behind the present Police Station and qualified staff was hired from all faiths.

The First SSC batch was presented in 1958 and the result was 100%. The High School took part in several community activities and sports. Students came from Atul, Pardi, Udwada, Vapi, Bilimora and Navsari by trains/buses and several others from Surat, Ankleshwar, etc. and resided in the Convent Hostel.

Mother Amata and the staff had no way to keep up with the enrolment but to build a new building. With faith in God, hard work and whole-hearted dedication Mother Amata and staff, raised funds penny by penny. The land was purchased in 1956 and within two years the new building was constructed.

Present Scenario

From a single class and room the institution today has grown. The campus boasts of two spacious buildings accommodating about 2900 students with 64 teachers, from all faiths and classes ranging from Kindergarten to Std XII Science and XII General Stream.

Each class room is spacious, well furnished and properly ventilated. Every class is equipped with Multimedia Equipment. The school has fully equipped spacious Physics, Chemistry and Biology laboratories. It has a well ventilated spacious library with about 5240 books covering various subjects.

The School has
     • Canteen
     • Playground
     • Auditorium
     • Separate Staff Room for Primary & Secondary Section
     • Computerized Offices

School has two Computer Laboratories and Tackenondo Coaching for Students. The school has organized various relief activities for flood, earthquake, riot affected people on a large scale. It has conducted exhibitions on different subjects, environment, great personalities like Mahatma Gandhi etc… Tours, trips and visits, educational and regular, are also arranged from time to time for the teachers and students.

Our students in the past and present have represented the state at National levels in swimming, badminton, athletics etc… School runs N.S.S, Interact Club, to undertake social activities aiding blinds, orphans, destitudes, hospitals and school children, working in co-ordination with NGO’s for Aids, Women Empowerment, rallies against drugs, Terrorism, Peace etc….

The school teachers strive to influence students to achieve an all round development besides academic excellence. Many ventures initiated in recent times have been whole heartedly accepted by the community and continue till today. India is faced with a critical need to educate the masses and we at St. Joseph’s Convent, join the national mainstream in this effort. At St. Joseph’s, we want to ensure that we not only educate but also enlighten our young minds of all faiths and economic backgrounds, to contribute and transform India into a developed nation where no one goes hungry, because of lack of education and literacy.

Here we are (from 1936 – 2011) joyfully marching to celebrate its 75th year, the Diamond Jubilee. More than 5000 students have passed through this school and many more will benefit in future by acquiring quality education to build our nation and contribute to heal this world and make it a peaceful world.

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