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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.