History

HISTORY: A PEEK INTO THE PAST HISTORY OF FATIMA

Six decades ago when Ambarnath, a small hamlet was seething in muck and marsh, renowned for the basest social evils and where even the environment was harsh and unfavourable, yet ambushed Ambarnath was chosen for missionary work by the Pilar Fathers. Nothing, no nothing could dampen the missionary zeal of the Society of St.Francis Xavier, Pilar, Goa to establish an educational facilities to the people of Ambarnath.

Late Rev.Fr.Joseph Albuquerque accompanied by Fr.Cyril Noronha alighted at Ambarnath station in 1951. A small plot of land was purchased and in Feb 1952 the stone was laid and the lamp of education was lit. With just 39 students on roll, two class-rooms and two young ladies, Mrs.Jane Rozario and Mrs.Philomena D’cruz who joined the band as teachers. Fatima was born.

Funds were at the lowest ebb. But the spirit of the pioneers was soaring high. Fund raising drives were organised and help trickled in from Ambarnath and Mumbai, and the school building inched its way up. In Nov 1953 the school building was inaugurated by the first Indian Cardinal, His Eminence Valerian Gracias. In 1957 standards V to VII was given recognition by Education Department. Late Rev.Fr.I.Dourado contributed immensely to the completion and extension of the school building. The setting up of an industrial belt in Ambarnath led to an increase in the population which ultimately led to an influx in admission. Rev. Fr. T.Moniz, Rev. Fr. C.X. Ferrao, Fr. Mascarenhas, Fr. A. Noronha, Fr. Gomes, Fr. O. Rodrigues, Fr. A. P. Vas undertook the herculean task of accommodating the vast number of students by extending the school building. Two additional wings were constructed. The selfless and humble service rendered by the Pilar Fathers along with the never failing support of well-wishers and benefactors have gone a long way in completing the unfinished task to them.

The last two decades was one of rapid developments. Rev. Fr. Basil Fernandes, Rev. Fr. Ubaldo Fernandes, Rev. Fr. Thomas Gonsalves, Rev. Fr. Kyriel D’souza, Rev. Fr. Lawrence Fernandes and Rev. Fr. Nolasco Dais through sheer hard and dedication furnished and equipped the building and completed the third storey of the new wing consisting of an Audio-Visual Auditorium, a Dance and Music Academy, an Art and Craft Workroom, and a Computer Centre. These have been some of the major development schemes which have helped make education more meaningful and beneficial. The enclosing of the School Playground is also a remarkable achievement. Another landmark in the history of the Pilar Fathers is the establishment of a full-fledged High School in Badlapur which is a fine example of the missionary zeal of the Pilar Fathers in the spread of education.

Fatima from a tiny mustard seed has grown and flourished into a full-fledged institution providing ample opportunities and facilities for her students to bloom, grow and shine in various fields of life. Today Fatima stands as anyone can see it – an elegant lofty edifice. The sweat and toil of the Pilar Fathers have not been in vain. Every Pilar Father associated with the growth and glory of Fatima will be remembered in GOLD for the sacrifices they made and the services rendered by them.

 

3rd batch of Fatima High School March 1962

Top Line (Left to Right): Sir M.N Rajput, Ram, Chandru Demla, Vijay Bhooshan, Joseph Domen, Melvyn D'Cunha, Rev Fr J Almeida
Center Line (Left to Right): Sreedevi Nair, Angelica Fernandes, Sunanda Barve, Chanda Sinha
Below (Left to Right): (RIP)Vinola Janet, Hema Malini Iyengar, Ada Lawrence, (RIP) Sharda Iyer, Philomena Michael