Many residents of Vile Parle especially those of the indigenous tribe of ‘Mobai’ (Bombay, Mumbai), better known as the East Indian’s believe because they were informed by their grandparents and great grandparents that St. Xavier’s School Vile Parle started around the Banyan Tree and the Grave Yard (which are in our Campus) around the early 1800’s.
Now it is well known that the Catholic Priests were responsible for starting schools wherever they went. Also the Catholic Church of Vile Parle called St. Francis Xavier Church has been around since then as is evident from the records maintained and from the Blue Board placed near the statue of St. Francis Xavier on the wall near the Parish office, showing the names of all the Parish Priests from 1850 and the ones who also served as Principal (PP & P) of the school especially if they were Parish Priests which was not the case always. In the early years many Parish Priests were not the Principals.
Until the early 1940’s it is believed our school only had classes only till the 4th standard and these were conducted in the area around the Banyan Tree and Grave Yard. In those days we only had a Chapel. Once our Church was built Classes began being conducted above the Sacristy. Today St. Xavier’s High School & Junior College together with St. Xavier’s Primary School and ‘Shanti Bal Bhavan’ the pre-primary school, all operate from the two buildings which are on either side of the Church. Many of our Alumni today can proudly say that they have studied all 14 years at St. Xavier’s Vile Parle.
Our School and Junior College are affiliated to the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education, Pune and the medium of instruction is the English Language. Our Institution has a wonderful Emblem which is printed on the uniforms of all students. It is a Shield divided into 4 colored parts representing the four houses namely, Blue, Red, Yellow and Green clockwise with Twigs of Young Olive Leaves symbolizing the young minds that study in our Institution on either side and a Torch symbolizing the Our Institution in the centre. Words ‘FOR GOD AND COUNTRY’ appear above the Torch and Our Motto, ‘TRUTH DUTY CHARITY’ embossed on a Ribbon is placed below the Torch. A Hand Holding the Torch can also be seen which emerges from the Ribbon. The Emblem of our Alumni Association takes its inspiration from the Emblem of our Institution and the motto of our Alumni Association is ‘UNTO OTHERS’, In the spirit of giving back generously for we have received generously.
The Four Colors/Houses are not meant to classify us students but to remind us that though we may come from different communities, religious backgrounds, ethnic groups etc., at Xavier’s we are one in spirit, the young leaves represent students, the twigs represent the various grades all curling in attention to Higher values for a greater cause. The objective of the house system is to foster a spirit of competiveness, collective responsibility and camaraderie amongst students.
Along with regular subjects directed by the governing Board of Education, Our young olive leaves are taught public speaking, drawing, drama, martial arts, sport, discipline, and so many other subjects to prepare them for the adult responsible world ensuring they have been taught all needed to help them succeed.
Our School Play Ground, our Secondary School Quadrangle, Our Primary School Quadrangle, the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, the space around the Banyan Tree, The Space around the Statue of Christ The King, the space in front of the Sacristy, the space in front of the Chapel all serve as open spaces for students to run around and play.
Several alumni form St. Xavier’s Vile Parle have become extremely successful in various industries, services and research. The Alumni of St. Xavier’s continue to come back and are just a call away when help is needed. Even today one finds alumni from ages of 18 to 80 come, just to sit under the shade of our Banyan tree or stroll around our Campus to reminiscence and feel the love, affection and security he/she felt while they were in School. Our Alma Mater, we can never forget.