HISTORY OF LADY ENGINEER HIGH SCHOOL
Lady Jerbai Engineer, the founder and the moving spirit of the school has built a sacred trust to perpetuate the training, initially of Parsi Youth, on sound lines. Lady Jerbai Engineer had first enlisted the support of two doctors Dr. Contractor and Dr. Parekh who examined the students medically. Her friend Mrs. Amba C.P. Wadia took great interest in the school, as well as Mr. Choi from the first batch of voluntary workers and she was formally assisted by Mr. and Mrs. Jahabaksha Watcha.
When Lady Jerbai Engineer went to England she personally visited several Montessory and nursery schools – some with the Mayor of Woodgreen who took her around to show the work done by the County Council. One of the earliest visitors, a solicitor, Mr. R. Malegamwala was so impressed by the running of her school that he said that it wasn’t a school but a home. Therefore, he immediately got Rs.30,000 from the Trust of Soonabai Servai for the school. Lady Engineer preserved the sum. Then one day, she found a great opportunity of buying a fairly big plot at Tardeo. So she invested the money in 1941.
As soon as she returned again from England, Lady Engineer started a School at Kotwal’s Bungalow for children aged 4 to 7. At first, there were only 10 to 12 students, but soon the members increased, and today we have about 670 students on our roll.
When Lady Engineer returned from Delhi, in 1950, she was told that Dr. Freany Cama had left a large sum of Rs. 6 Lakhs to build a Hostel in her name. Somebody efficient was required to organize it, and as Lady Engineer had been running a small hostel together with the school, as another activity of the Parsi Amelioration Committee, she was approached by the Trustees and asked if she would build a hostel, organize it, and run it on the lines of the Y.M.C.A., but only for the Parsi women and girls. Lady Engineer consented.
Now the Freany Cama’s Trust had six lakhs, but no land and the land that Lady Engineer had bought for Rs.30,000 in 1941 had gone up to 3 lakhs in 1960. So Lady Engineer offered the land to the Hostel Trust and in return she asked a Nursery High School to be built on the plot at the cost of the Cama Trust. The ground would house the modern large school and the first floor could accommodate a large hostel. Lady Engineer took no money for the ground and in return the Cama Trust consented to build the whole construction at their cost. The school and Hostel building is well lighted, well – ventilated and well arranged in a quiet locality at Gamadia Colony, Tardeo.
Our school is a co-educational school, which we favour, as co-education arouses both a sense of healthy competition and comaraderie with the help of discipline that is both kind and firm. We teach throughout in the English Medium. Earlier the school fees used to be Rs. 3 – Rs. 12 and later it changed to Rs.20 per month. Mrs. Jerbanoo Vatcha an honorary worker, visited the parents who wanted to enter their children and to find out how much they could afford. The fees included a wholesome tasty meal, milk at tea-time and vitamins in the cold for most of the children.
We end by quoting the words of Lady Jerbai Engineer.
“My little school is today a High School in a magnificent building at Tardeo. I from my innermost thank God for his kindness in making my dream come true.”
Lady Jerabai Engineer
Sir Noshirwan Engineer
In Memory Of