1970 – 1973
Rev. Fr. M. J. Mariampillai
Fr. Mariampillai’s years (1970-73) at St. Henry’s, though a short spell, were marked with
subtle turning point at least in three frontiers. He was a Tamil Scholar, a man of simplicity, a keen
intellect and unflinching integrity. Grim determination was written large on his countenance.
He inherited the College with Advanced Level Classes in total disarray: able students had
already left for other schools and there was severe dearth for AL teachers, this naturally prompted
the students’ departure. Those left behind were languishing with no direction at sight for one year
without teachers. The situation challenged Fr. Mariampillai who faced it head on fairly and
squarely. The result: he brought the young Mr. Anton Rajayogam to teach Mathematics and
Chemistry for Advanced Level. His next catch was Mr. S. Suntharasan for Biology. With Mr
Lourthu Anthony already there, then a senior teacher for Applied Mathematics and physics, Fr
Mariampillai regrouped a staunch team of teachers to restart the engines for Advanced Level
studies after a long spell.
He brought the Brothers of the Society of St. Joseph back into the fold of St. Henry’
inducted them on the staff and renamed the Hostel as “Mount Carmel” and let it administrated hu
the SSJ Brothers. Rev. Sisters too from the Holy Family Convent were added to the staff of St
The other significant contribution that he made was opening the gates of St. Henry’s for
girls from the Holy Family Convent who were qualified for the Advanced Level as the Convent
did not have the Science AL classes, this helped enhancing the number of students for the A’Level
and the teachers too were immensely encouraged. The foundation he laid for Advanced Level
linked with A’Levels was revamped and broad-based, that even the Laboratory was given a much
needed face lift.
on solid anchor, and the Rectors who came next, simply followed suit. Everything
With his gentle thoughtful demeanour, Fr. Mariampillai was in truth a great and a good
man, a pious priest, a clear practical educator and administrator. His vision and principles were
too strong sometimes applied rigorously but tempered with human approach to suit each studert
and teacheralike. His completed mission ofreinstating the Science Classes for Advanced Levelto
the former credible standing that propelled St. Henry’s to take wings upward once again. All that.
no mean achievement by a zealous Fr. Mariampillai, a rare forerunner that he was, who made
Henry’s genuinely proud of.