Address Speech by H.E. Jean M. Deboutte, Ambassador of Belgium

Your Lordship the Archbisschop Charles Soreng,
Your Eminence the Provincial of the Ranchi Province of the Jesuits
Father Principal, Dear fathers and Sisters, Alumni, Students and Parents of St. Xavier’s School,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a privilege for my wife régy and me to be here today with you to celebrate St. Xavier’s School Doranda’s Golden Jubilee.

Over those fifty years since the school’s inception,
India has changed,
Belgium has changed,
The world has changed.

In 1960, 13 years after Independence and Partition, the masses of India were very poor indeed. India was a poor developing country, seeking its way between the superpowers.

A fragile democracy looking to the communist world for models of development and to the West for fundamental values. Slowly emerging as one of the leaders of the Third World.

And look at India now: food production is largely sufficient to feed 1.2 billion people. Due to lack of infrastructure, the distribution is still not optimal and food security is not complete for the totality of the population.

The country has chosen to move ahead with economic development and selective globalization. As a major IT force, India is rightly recognised as one of the emerging economies, which will pull the world out of recession.

1960, was a milestone year for Belgium. We did not like to look back, to the war and misery, but were looking forward and had fully embraced the ‘new world’ with economic expansion fuelled by consumption, with nuclear energy to power car production factories and chemical industries. We were also preparing for the independence of our then  colony, Congo.

And just like the people of the world were striving for freedom and looking for their place in the world, the youth of Belgium was eagerly looking for freedom. Some of them, of us, were experimenting with new musical styles: rock and roll and the Beatles. Some wanted to share the experiences of the communist world. Many of them were engaged in welfare and development work.

And some were following their inner and spiritual voices and by religious convictions went to Africa, especially to Congo, to Latin America and to Asia, to India, to Ranchi, to Doranda.

They were certainly also moved by a part of adventure. But there was also a huge dose of commitment to the uplift of the poor. Some undertook this for a few years, others for their lifetime.

What is driving them? In one word: Faith. Faith in God, Faith in the world. Faith in you.

Or, if you like it in a more prosaic way, I think that rooted in values, these people derive their strength from the people. Throughout their actions they transform the lives of the people among whom they work.

The result of this, we can see in these buildings, in the number of students attending these classes, in the number of alumni and the positions. However, what is much more important than these measurable and visual successes is the education they have given. I mean beyond the curriculum, which is of course extremely important, the values these volunteers, these women and men have demonstrated and continue to show to you every day will accompany you through life.

This, dear friends, has been their gift to you.

Allow me, dear friends to say a few words especially to the students of this school although I understand that by now they may be getting nervous and restless, but maybe also proud to be member of the Doranda School community.
You are, dear students, very privileged to study in this unique environment;

Your family and friends expect much from you and rightly so because you are the future leaders of this glorious nation, India;
You will carry the flame of the values of St. Xavier’s School;

In you there will probably also be some sense of the spirit of adventure, just like the pioneers of this school were also driven by their spirit of adventure;

The adventure of wondering, the adventure of learning, the adventure of sharing.

As Ambassador of Belgium to India, I am proud of the work of my compatriots in St. Xavier’s School Doranda as well as what so many other generous Belgian women and men have done, have achieved, measurable and less measurable.

I am grateful for their actions which have also put my country on the map of Jharkhand and hopefully also into your hearts.

Thank you for your attention.

H.E. Jean M. Deboutte,
 Ambassador of Belgium to India


Welcome Speech - Golden Jubilee Inauguration - By Fr. Ajit Kr. Xess S.J., Principal

Your Excellency – Mr. Jean M. Deboutte – The Ambassador of Belgium
Mrs. Regy: - the wife of the Ambassador
Your Lordship Bishop – Charles Soreng – Bishop of Hazaribagh
Rev. Fr. Ranjit P. Toppo, SJ – Provincial of Ranchi Province
Jesuits of Ranchi Province, Priests, religious, parents
Distinguished Guests,
Members of Doranda Old Xaverians
Ladies and Gentlemen, Teachers and my dear students.

I consider it my privilege to welcome all of you to the Golden Jubilee Celebration that marks the 50 glorious years of St. Xavier’s School, Doranda.

On behalf of St. Xavier’s family I especially welcome His Excellencey Mr. Jean M. Deboutte, the honorable ambassador of Belgium, Mrs. Regy Deboutte, the wife of the Ambassador, His Lordship, Bishop Charles Soreng, Bishop of Hazaribagh, Rev. Fr. Ranjit Pascal Toppo, Provincial of Ranchi and the President of St. Xavier’s School.

Today, as I stand before this august gathering, the significance of this momentous occasion makes me realize, that, though each one of us is a part of history in the making, the present owes much to the past.

It is in this context, that I express my gratitude and indebtedness to the entire founder Principals, Vice-principals, members of the faculty and parents whose contribution towards the establishment of this school cannot be forgotten.

When the historic decision to establish an English Medium School in Doranda was taken by the then Provincial Fr. Crick, it was a small step towards a big cause. Nourished and guided by the scholarly Jesuits St. Xavier’s School has, over the years, shed its light over the length and breadth of the country.

The word ‘Golden Jubilee’ speak volume for the aura of glory in which our school lies submerged. For a period of five decades, it has unfailingly sent out students who are capable of being good citizens on whom the nation can count for help, guidance and the upliftment of the downtrodden. The service it has rendered to the country may be negligible according to some, but it is important to realize that it is only the ‘little’ sunrays that constitute the vast sunlight that floods the land.

The roots of the present lie in the past and so to the past we must look back to the years when the scaffolds of our school were formed. We must endeavour to comprehend the thoughts of the founders of this school and embody the visions which they had cherished.

Why do couples celebrate silver or Golden Jubilee at the completion of 25 and 50 years of marriage respectively? They repeat the promise which they had made 25 and 50 years ago and pledge to stand by each other through thick and thin. The Golden Jubilee celebration is the symbolic expression of successful married life.

It is an occasion on which we must reaffirm the purpose for which St. Xavier’s was given shape to and to pledge to continue the trend to progress.

Rarely have things been attained without help and guidance. The teachers have done the role of luminaries, guiding us intellectually and morally. It is their visions that have been translated into actions. The parents too took a share in helping us by financing our ventures and their moral support went a long way to contribute to our success. The ‘Xaverian’ era of glory and achievement was begun by the past students. They had lighted the torch marking the commencement of this era. The torch bearers of today merely carry it along. It is the responsibility as well as the privilege of all who make up the school “family” – parents, teaching and non-teaching staff, administrators, the students past and present, individually as well as in a group – to work together, each in his or her own way, towards the nurturing of this growth.

Today will give place to tomorrow and tomorrow will dawn into a day after and yet another 50 years will fade into oblivion.

The Golden Jubilee celebrations offer us all an occasion to thank the Almighty for all He has done to make possible the growth into full manhood and womanhood of so many through the growth of St. Xavier’s School Doranda. A Jubilee is a time of joy and thanksgiving. I would invite all of you to join us in giving thanks to God and pray for all students, teachers and other staff, parents, friends and well wishers who by their toil and aid have made St. Xavier’s what it is today.

Fr. Ajit Kumar Xess, S.J.