De Nobili School, Dhanbad
By 1955, the area bout Digwadih was fast becoming the leading industrial area of North India. In Dhanbad there was a large railroad center and the Institute of Mines. In Sindri there was Asia’s largest fertilizer plant. On October 19th 1955, Fr Fasy wrote to Fr Provincial William Maloney, quoting words of Fr General : “A School in the area would be the effective way of getting into a sphere where the Church’s social doctrine and practice is desperately needed.”
In September 1955, Fr Francis McFarland arrived at the Fuel Research Institute, Digwadih. He took temporary quarters in a garage before the opening of De Nobili School; later on he moved to one of the FRI bungalows. February 2nd 1957 was the formal opening of De Nobili School. It began with 42 students in 3rd, 4th and 5th standards. The syllabus was that of the Cambridge Schools. Fr McFarland, besides managing the school, was parish priest of Sindri and Gomoh, which at that time were separated from Dhanbad parish.
In 1956, the construction of a permanent school building was begun at Jealgora, a suburb of Dhanbad. It was started by Fr McFarland and the first building programme was designed and directed by him. Land was donated for a school building by Mr Banwarilal Agarwalla, a local businessman. In 1962 the building was completed and occupied by 280 pupils. Additional Jesuit staff was recruited, first Frs Eugene Welch and Edgar Graham, later Frs Covely and Judge.
During the years 1967 to 1971 a large building programme was implemented and the school was able to cater to 1000 boys from all parts of the area and staffed by a faculty of six Priests, a Brother and several Scholastics.
In 1968, Fr Thomas Peacock, the latest arrival from America and the last but one of the American missionaries to come to Jamshedpur Vice Province, was assigned to De Nobili and took charge of the Chemistry department. He was a veteran missionary from Burma.
A year later, Fr Richard Kenna, the very last American missionary to arrive, was assigned to the school and was director of the primary school and a teacher.
In 1971, new rooms were added for the classes and more accommodation for the Jesuit faculty and guests. The Primary School block was separated from the Main School and a new science block was designed and built by Fr Hess. Due to his efforts, the School had a close-circuit educational television set-up. The first showing of which was a physics experiment conducted by Fr Hess himself.
At this time, there began an “outreach” in the form of an evening school which gave some 70 local village children an opportunity to study and there was a special English course organized by Fr Power for about 60 local college and high school students.
When Fr Hess left De Nobili School in 1979, he left behind not only a well set-up school with a towering new five-story science block, but also six Branch Schools as well. This was one of the finest and most original contributions to the educational efforts of the Jamshedpur Province, and to what is being referred to, almost a decade later, as lay collaboration.
|Years||Superiors||Years||DNS English, Principals|
|1963-66||Fr. George Hess SJ||1956-62||Fr. F. X. McFarland SJ|
|1966-69||Fr. Joseph Kennedy SJ||1962-79||Fr. George Hess SJ|
|1969-74||Fr. Lawrence Hunt SJ||1979-85||Fr. Fr. Eric Cassel SJ|
|1974-75||Fr. James Keogh SJ||1985-91||Fr. Hilary Lobo SJ|
|1975-77||Fr. Lawrence Hunt SJ||1991-96||Fr. Victor Misquith SJ|
|1977-78||Fr. John Prabhu SJ||1996-96||Fr. James Santhanam SJ|
|1978-79||Fr. Joseph Lacey SJ||1996-98||Fr. Flavian Topno SJ|
|1979-80||Fr. Francis McGauley SJ||1998-00||Fr. Chandy SJ|
|1980-82||Fr. Francis McFarland SJ||2000-02||Fr. Saleth Soosai SJ|
|1982-88||Fr. Carl Dincher SJ||2002-07||Fr. Pius Fernandes SJ|
|1988-90||Fr. Eugene Power SJ||2007-09||Fr. George Fernandes SJ|
|1990-95||Fr. Kuruvilla Verunkal SJ||2009-||Fr. Sebastian Puthenpura SJ|
|1995-97||Fr. John Guidera SJ|
|1997-00||Fr. Kuruvilla Verunkal SJ|
|2000-06||Fr. Woolsie Rodrigues SJ|
|2006-07||Fr. Pius Fernandes SJ|
|2007-||Fr. George Thana SJ|