History Of Hindu High School
Nuclei of the present school :
Triplicane has long been a centre of culture and learning and pioneer in cooperation and social work. It is no wonder, therefore,that the residents of the locality in the forties and fifties of the last century took to starting two small school, one for Tamil boys and the other for Telugu boys, the former being called "the Dravida Patasala" and the latter " The Hindu Andhra Balura Patasala". From the records available it is found that both these schools were in existence in 1852 under separate managements. The Tamil school had a strength of 18 boys at the start and the subjects taught were Kural, naidatham, Nanool Kandigai and Nigandoo; History, Geography and Arithmetic were also taught. English also was taught to those who desired it. The boys were promoted on the basis of annual examination conducted by examiners, who were outsiders appointed by the Committee. Every year the examiners reported that they were satisfied with the progress made by the lads. The then committee recorded that the teachers worked hard and faithfully. They regretted that they could not pay the teachers adequately because for poor income.

How the schools were run:
It would interest one to know how the two schools were run. Each school was under a separate Committee of Management. Those who subscribed every month became members of the Committee. The defaulting members were first gently reminded of their dues, and if they continued to be in arrears, they were removed from the Committee of management. The Committee of the Tamil School met regularly every month and recorded its proceedings in Tamil, but always addressed the Government in English. Another noteworthy feature of this Committee was that to inspire confidence in the public it opened an account in the Post Office Savings Bank. Before appointing teachers, the Committee made thorough enquiries about them and selected the best out of the applicants. In the early years the Tamil School was getting financial help from the Government as grant-in-aid and also from the pachiappa's charities.

Amalgamation of the two schools:
Both the Telugu and the Tamil schools were working well for some years. But soon the local people who were interested in both the schools found it hard to give donations to both. Evidently, at the suggestion of some of these people, a move was made by the Committee of the Tamil School to get the two schools amalgamated. On 21st November, 1858 the Committee of the Tamil School passed the following resolution: "Resolved to write to the Secretary of the Andhra Patasala." Correspondence continued till July 1859. On 1st February, 1860 a combined meeting of the Managements of the two Patasala's was held. That meeting resolved that the two schools be amalgamated and the amalgamated school be designated "The Triplicane Andhra Dravida Balura Patasala". That meeting also appointed a managing committee for the conduct of the school. Mr.P.T.Ramanujam Naidu and Mr. Devanayaga Mudaliar were chosen President and Secretary respectively. Under the same Management a Girls' School known as the "Balika Patasala" was opened in June 1864.

Salaries of teachers:
Another interesting feature of those days was the scale of salaries paid to teachers. The Headmaster, one Mr. Velliambala Upadyayar, received a salary of Rs.10 a month. The English assistant Mr.T.ponuswami as paid Rs.:1-8-0 a month. The other two assistants got Rs. 3 a month. As the boys, School grew in strength and popularity, year by year, Mr. Newton, an Anglo Indian, was appointed Headmaster in 1868; he was paid a monthly salary of Rs. 40 but he was succeeded two months later by mr.Babu Mudaliar on a salary of Rs.25. The pay of the staff in those days appears to us to have been incredibly low, but a perusal of the Grant-in-Aid Code then in force shows that it was in accordance with rates fixed by the Government. Evidently the purchasing power of the rupee in those days was much more than it is now.

M.A.Singarachariar takes up the reins:
Towards the end of 1868 all was not well with the schools--- the Boys' School and Girls School. The strength of the Boys' School fell to 48 and the schools were on the decline. It was then that the Committee not only co-opted Mr. M.A.Singarachariar but requested him to take the Secretaryship and Treasurership of Both the schools. A new Committee with Sri M.A.Singarachariar, Sri S.Kesavalu Naidu, Sri Parthasarathy Iyengar and Sri W.Seshachala Naidu was constituted. The Boys' School then came to be called "Triplicane Balura Patasala". The late hon'ble V.Rama Iyengar was elected Patron of the schools. Besides the fall in strength in the Boys' School, its finance showed a deficit of Rs.80, The pay of the teachers fell into arrears and Mr.Singarachariar discharged all the liabilities of the school out of his own pocket and reimbursed himself subsequently as funds permitted and kept the school going. The report of 1898 published elsewhere gives in full stability of the school and its conditions a first class High School are in no small measure due to the unwearied efforts of Mr.Singarachariar as Secretary, Member and President of the Committee of Management for over 38 years.

Opening of Matriculation classes:
The first efforts of Mr.Singarachariar were directed towards improving instruction in English. This was in keeping with the requirements of the time. Classes were opened up to the Matriculation standard and in 1870 the first batch of students was sent up for the public examination. This important event happened in the second year of his secretaryship.

Change in the name of the school:
In 1873, since English held a prominent place in the curriculum, at the suggestion of the then Director of Public Instruction the name of the schools was changed to "Triplicane Anglo-Vernacular High School". Gentleman who were born in the last three decades of the nineteenth century and those who had the privilege of studying in the school then, know it by that name only. Even today they fondly refer to the school as the "Triplicane Anglo-Vernacular High School".

From the beginning the Tamil School was located in the Big Street in a rented building. Even after amalgamation the school continued to be there. From the time the school began to grow in strength, it had to struggle for accommodation. That problem still persists, while many other problems have been solved.

In 1876 there was not sufficient accommodation for the boys and in consequence the Primary Department was removed to another building.

Hard times for the school:
If one problem was solved, there were two other problems requiring immediate attention. The School had to compete at a great disadvantage with the High School Department of the Presidency College and desperate efforts had to be made to make both ends meet. The Matriculation class had actually to be closed at one time and the idea was seriously entertained of confining the school to the Primary Department only. The School turned the corner when the High School Department of the Presidency College was abolished. It has been growing steadily ever since.

Accommodation a great problem:
In 1885 the trouble of finding adequate accommodation grew very acute. The Government's grant-in-aid was stopped on the ground that the accommodation was defective. In 1889 and in 1890, the permanent recognition of the school was withheld in addition to the stoppage of the grant-in-aid, although the school was recognised temporarily from year to year. One can very well imagine the plight of the Committee then, oppressed as it was with two drastic steps taken by the Department of Education. There was one important encouraging factor which was that school enjoyed immense popularity. For the results at the Matriculation examination were uniformly good. The following extract from the Presidencian (Vol.1 No.1) will give an idea of the esteem in which the school was held as early as 1892.

"The year 1892 happened to be the last year of Dr. David Duncan, who had by then been the Principal of the College for nearly eight years and was running the ninth year. In those days and for long after, Presidency College had one well-known feeder to it. It was the Triplicane Anglo-Vernacular High School, now known as the Hindu High School, Triplicane. It had been founded and managed by a few generous and public-spirited Hindu gentlemen among whom some well-known Mandayam Iyengars of Mysore figured most prominently. Its strong points were discipline and splendid teaching. Dr.Duncan owned publicly to a great predilection for the admission into his College of boys from this institution.

'I like to have boys of the Triplicane Anglo-Vernacular High School. They are the purest gems of which this College has always been proud!' This was no exaggeration whatever, for Presidency College had owned by them many distinguished ex- pupils of the Triplicane A.V.School."

Opening of the Main block:
Unsaunted by the extreme steps taken by the department of Education for insufficient accommodation, the committee made intense efforts which resulted in the buying of adjoining sites and constructing the main building on their combined sites at an estimated cost of Rs. 57,627. The Government grant was only Rs. 19,209 towards the building and the Committee had in hand only Rs. 16,000, the amount accumulated by dint of hard saving during many years. The late T.Namberumal Chetty, Contractor, who carried out the construction of the building more as a matter of love than as an item of profit-making business, has rightly earned the grateful thanks of the Committee. This main building was opened in March 1897 by them Governor of Madras, Sir Arthur Havelock. (Proceedings of this function are published elsewhere.) The name of the school also was changed to "The Hindu High School". In 1906, again another twelve rooms were added by erecting two floors on what is now known as the northern block.

A great loss:
In 1908, at a time when the guidance of Mr. M.A.Singarachariar was further required, he passed away. Soon after his demise the Committee thought of erecting a clock tower on the northern side of the school as a fitting memorial to him but the idea was given up. Then the hall which was on the first floor till 1942 was named after him at a function presided over by Sir John Wallis, Chief Justice of Madras. No earthly memorial can adequately express the indebtedness of the public to him. The very school is a fitting memorial proclaiming silently but constantly the services of Mr. M.A.Singarachariar, who led the way for those interested in education.

Steady growth of the school and further accommodation:
The good work done by great men continues to flourish even under adverse circumstances. The school grew from strength to strength and the public appreciated the benefit of education which the school was giving. The Committee as and when additional accommodation was needed, secured it by renting or buying. In 1920 it reconstructed No.76,Big Street, securing thereby eight class rooms. In 1927 it purchased the opposite building No.40, Big Street at a cost of Rs.15,100 and in 1938 house No. 41 was got y acquisition at a cost of Rs. 5,736. Again in 1941, it gained twelve rooms in the main building by adding a second floor to the northern and southern blocks of the main building.

The original Singarachariar Hall in the first floor was is named after him. This further accommodation which the school got in the space of 6 months was entirely due to the ceaseless efforts of Sri S.G.Srinivasachariar, who was the Secretary then. As even this further accommodation was not sufficient, he had a plan prepared in 1942 for the construction of about 20 rooms on the site of the houses (No.40 and 41) opposite to the main building. The Government on account of people after evacuation the strength of the school again increased and the adequate accommodation. It was at this time that the Government stopped building grants to Boys' Schools. This unjust discrimination existed till1948. Many schools which submitted building schemes as early as 1942 had to suffer for want of adequate accommodation and our school in particular was hard hit. The population of Triplicane has been vastly increasing of late and the rush for admission has consequently become greater.

The Corporation of Madras began to impose many restrictions on the construction of buildings adjoining the streets. It was found that a building scheme on the site of the opposite houses as originally planned was impossible on account of the said restrictions. On the advice of architects and engineers, attempts were made to purchase the rented building west of the northern quadrangle. As private negotiations failed, an application in 1946 was made to the Department of Education for the acquisition of that site. A similar application was made at the same time for the acquisition of two houses west of the southern quadrangle for the extension of the playground. These two acquisition were made by the Government for the school in 1950 and in 1949 and the Committee had to pay Rs.85,230 for the former and Rs.13.470 for the latter. The Government were kind enough to give a grant of Rs.35,000 for the firmer and Rs. 6,526 for the latter. In 1948, the Committee had to adopt the shift system of working as a temporary expediency. Since then it has been making strenuous efforts to find further accommodation. It was thought by the Centenary Celebrations Committee that nothing could be more fitting to commemorate the great occasion than the raising of a three-storeyed building comprising 24 rooms. Immediate steps were taken and the ground floor comprising eight rooms, the construction of which began in June 1951, was completed by December 1951. Earnest attempts are being made to construct the first and the second floors before july 1952 so that the shift system may be given up at the beginning of the next academic year. Money is required to achieve this object and it is hoped that the alumni and the generous public would respond to the appeal of the Centenary Celebrations Committee.

Board of Management:
For an aided institution to be efficient, it should have a capable and understanding Board of Management and a band of efficient and loyal teachers. The Hindu High School has been blessed with of able men on the board of management as well as on the staff. After Mr. M.Rangachariar became the Secretary. He was succeeded by the late Dewan Bahadur M.O Parthasarathy Iyengar. Sri V.S.Srinivasa Sastri (later Rt.Hon'ble) succeeded him. When he could not continue, once again the late Sri M.O.Parthasarathy Iyengar became the Secretary. In 1921 Sri G.Venkataranga Rao assumed the Secretaryship, which office held till his death in 1930. Sri N.V.Raghavan, Sri R.Kuppurama Sastri, Sri C. Srinivasa Rao , Sri .Subba Rao and Sri S.G.Srinivasachariar were the successive Secretaries till 1942, when Sri T.V.Subba Rao took charge of the office of the Secretary. There were distinguished men as President-Sri M.A.Singarachariar, Dewan Bahadur K.Krishnaswami Rao, Sri M.Ct.Muthiah Chettiar, Sri D.R.Balaji Rao, Rt. Hon'ble V.S.Srinivasa Sastriar and Sri Arni Subba Rao. Since 1949 Dr M.O.Parthasarathy Iyengar has been the President. For nearly 30 years the late M.Veeraraghavachariar of The Hindu served on the committee as a member along with the late M.A.Singarachariar. The late M.A.Thirunarayanachariar was Assistant Secretary of the Committee for over 15 years.

From the records it is found that before 1900 with the exception of a few teachers like the late K.B.Ramanatha Iyer, others did not adhere to the profession, but only used it as a stepping stone to some other job. But this much has to be said of them. While they were in the school, they did their best during the short periods they held the office. The school is proud of having had a long succession of able Headmasters. Rt.Hon'ble V.S.Sastri, within the short period of seven years, gave the school the definite stamp that it bears today and built up its high traditions. His pupils reverently recall to their memory his English classes. He was succeeded by the late Mr.T.A.Swaminatha Iyer who was noted for his discipline and uprightness. In 1916 Sri P.A.Subramania Iyer became the Headmaster and continued in that post till his retirement in 1938. During his time the activities of the school widened and he maintained very able the high traditions of the school. As a teacher, very few could rival him.

During the last six years, the school has still further widened its activities-both intra and extra curricular. Engineering, as one of the bifurcated courses, was introduced in 1948. Elsewhere are given in brief the activities of the various sections-sports, scouting, excursion, exhibition, hobbies and crafts, fine arts sections, magazine, students' co-operative stores, literacy society, audio-visual education, National Cadet Corps, Old Boys' Association, Parents' Association and Masters' Association.

The school has just completed one hundred years of useful service. On this day when the Centenary is celebrated, the un-wearied labours of the members of the Committee of Management and the long line of teachers deserve to be gratefully remembered and acknowledged. The loyal and devoted services of the masters contributed not a little to the progressive expansion, greatness and prestige of the school. "Service to humanity" has been the motto of this institutions. It has so far followed with a religious zeal that high deal and in the coming century it will be its beacon light. Every struggle it overcame has made it more determined to pursue the ideal it has set forth. Useful service can be rendered only by men of character. We are ever conscious that our strength lies less in numbers than in the proper training that the pupils imbibe more from the teachers' own example than from books. The alumni have given good account of themselves in the various walks of life chosen by them by rendering service to the country, both by being leaders and followers as occasion demanded. With the blessings of the Almighty the institutions re-dedicates itself to serve the community and thereby the country by providing greater opportunities for the acquisition of knowledge and formation of character.

© thhssalumni.com