Stamp issued to mark 150th anniversary of St. Joseph’s Convent School, Karachi

Published on March 21, 2012 at 6:54 am

Stamp issued to mark 150th anniversary of St. Joseph’s Convent School, Karachi

Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Stamp issued to mark 150th anniversary of St. Joseph’s Convent School, Karachi
Stamp issued to mark 150th anniversary of St. Joseph’s Convent School, Karachi

Pakistan Post has issued a commemorative postage stamp of Rs8 denomination to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of St. Joseph’s Convent School, Karachi.

St. Joseph’s School is run by the daughters of the Cross Pakistan, under the auspices of the Catholic Board of Education. The postage stamp was issued on Monday.The school is 150 years old. It was established in 1862 by Monsignor Steins, Vicar Apostolic of Bombay and the five sisters. On March 18, the school began with 10 pupils, and gradually the number of pupils increased. The first government grant-in-aid was received in June 1863, and Rs50 per month was fixed.

The old school is not only a proud possession of the Convent and its students, but also an extremely important landmark in the history of Karachi.A spokesman for Pakistan Post informed that the commemorative postage stamp along with a special mark and First Day cover on the issue would be available for public consumption and philatelists at all general post offices in the country.

St. Joseph’s Convent School is a Catholic high school for girls located in Saddar Town, Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan.

In the year 1861, Monsignor Steins, Vicar Apostolic of Bombay passing through Belgium, called Mother Marie Therese, Superior General and founder of the Daughter of the Cross, and asked for several of her sisters to work in the Indian mission field. Canon Habets, co-founder, advised the Sisters to offer themselves for the mission.

The school was founded in 1862 by the planning of Monsignor Steins, Vicar Apostolic of Bombay of that time and five Sisters of the Cross.

On January 27, 1862, the journey began. Five Sisters set off and arrived on 16 February in Bombay, where they received a hearty welcome from Bishop Steins. There the Sisters heard for the first time that they were to work in Karachi, and that he would travel along with them very shortly.

Thus on March 13, 1862, the five Daughters of the Cross first set foot on the sandy soil of Sindh, and immediately began their apostolate to the people of Karachi.

On March 18, school began with ten pupils; gradually the number of pupils increased. A new building was built, and inside the foundation stone was placed an elaborate inscription hoping that the building raised above it “might be the home whence good morals and sound learning may be diffused throughout this town and the Province of Sindh.”

In 1863 a new group of Sisters arrived. In 1869 an upper storey was added to the Convent, providing accommodation for the boarders and from January 1871 the institution was known as St. Joseph’s Covent. After many years in 1951 the college was built.

After the new St. Patrick’s Church was built, the Convent acquired the use of the old Church, which was rebuilt into the present fine Hall, with a built-in stage. 1901 saw the building of the present Convent Chapel with the classrooms below. The roof of this was torn off six months later in a violent cyclone that swept over Karachi.

In 1911, St. Patrick’s and St. Joseph’s held their golden jubilee with a combined P.T. display and the performance of a play, William Tell, in the G.P. Hall. That year five pupils, Ethel Raymond, Annie Rodrigues, Eugene Nunes, Mary Lastellino and Mary D’Souza, appeared for their Matriculation Examination, and all passed. Ethel Raymond passed 2nd in Sindh and won a scholarship.

In 1958 the swimming pool was closed and transformed into the Lourdes House, and in 1965 a part of the garden saw the raising of the present Primary Block. With the creation of Pakistan a new challenge was thrown to the Sisters. The people who migrated to Pakistan were looking for schools for their children and the Sisters responded generously, stretching their capacity to the limit. Today the school has more than 2000 pupils on its rolls. The School enjoys a good reputation and is much in demand among the citizens of Karachi.

It is now in the process of building a large library.

On July 18, 1989, the mayor of Faisalabad and Belgian ambassador to Pakistan renamed a public square “Belgium Square” to honor Belgian nuns who founded St. Joseph’s in Karachi 125 years ago.

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