History

 

1813 Dec 29th

Dr. Thomas Cook with six young ministers leaves Portsmouth in a
mission to establish Wesleyan Missionaries in India and Ceylon. (Dr. Cook and Mrs. Ault died during the journey)

1814 June 29th

Five ministers landed in Weligama. Rev. James Lynch and Rev. Thomas Squance proceeded to Jaffna

1814 Aug 10th

Arrival of Methodist Missionaries Rev. James Lynch and Rev. Thomas Squance in Jaffna

1816

JaffnaEnglishSchool (Boys’ school) was started on the present
central college premises

1817

A lengthy building of Commandant’s country residence in Dutch rule was bought at a public auction by Mr. James Mooyart, the Sub-Collector

1824 Mar 27th

The building was transferred to the Wesleyan Mission. The site of
the building was known as “Vembadi Mission House” then “VembadiVeethiMandapam” now

1825

The boy’s school was shifted to Vembadi campus (There were 40 girls mostly Burghers in attendance taught by Mrs.Schrader)

1834

1834 Synod minutes record that 5 girls, were being taught at the
Mission House – the three daughters of Mr. Price and one Tamil and one Burgher girl – the first products of Vembadi Rev.Peter Percival is appointed as the Chairman of the district.Synod minutes state five girls  study at the Vembadi Mission House

1835

An excellent school was run by Mrs. Percival and Ms Aston.

1836

A FemaleTamilBoarding School is established by Rev. Peter Percival. No. on roll – 6 adventurous Jaffna girls. Curriculum – a Christian education which emphasizes proficiency in book work and needle work as well.

1837

Mr. Percival has made provisions for girls education in Jaffna.

1838

Female boarding school is started with six Tamil girls as its first
inmates.

1839

The Boarding School gets its first Lady Principal – Miss Twiddy.
Sent out by the Society for Promoting Female Education in China and India

1841

Arrival of Miss Isabel VeraEacott to assist Miss Kilner – first
appointment by the Methodist Women’s Auxiliary in England

1862

Departure of Ms. Twiddy. The school is managed by the wife of the resident missionary for nearly 20 years

1868

First classrooms for the school erected by a specialcontribution

1869

Miss Maria Cartwright takes charge of the school

1870

Government Grant Scheme is  introduced. Vembadi opens its doors to inspectors (the thin end of the wedge!) and qualifies for its first grant of 25 pounds

1875

Miss, Cartwright’s departure. Arrival of Miss. Penny. Music andsinging introduced into curriculum.Rooms for the Lady Principals built are built.

1880

Revised Code introduces 8 standards in school instead of 6 earlier. School officially titled as ‘Anglo-VernacularSchool’, in synod minutes.

1882

Miss Kilner is appointed as Principal. Introduction of Tamil proficiency exams for Lady Principals.

1883

No. on roll – 112. Staff – 5. Salary scale for teachers – Head
master Rs. 30/-, Trained Teacher Rs. 10/-, and untrained teacher Rs. 1/- to Rs. 3/-

1884

School officially declared as  the first “Girls boarding school” in the
Island

1887

Miss Kilner retires. Appointment of Miss Merrikin – whose
enthusiasm for the study of Tamil at midnight often led her to be mistaken for a ghost!

1888

Miss.Annie Stephenson, Principal. Rev. Trimmer is  appointed as the Chairman of the North Ceylon District – Mrs. Trimmer gets involved in the school and its welfare.

1892

Launching of extensive building scheme. Configuration of school
compound to remain unaltered till 1925.

1894

First school picnic to Mandativuorganized by Mrs. Trimmer. Weren’t those the good days?English class is formed to prepare  girls for Cambridge local examination. School uniforms are planned at this time – white jacket and cloth for both pupils and teachers.

1896

Miss. Stephenson returns from  England, with a newschool bell. Beginning of regimentation

1897

A sister for the boarding School !. SeparateHigh School set up to
cope with demand for English education is  now developed into Vembadi Girls’ High School. Miss Ireson assumes duties as the  first Principal.

1899

Vembadi blazes the trail. For the first time in the history of
Jaffna, girls entered for the Junior Cambridge and the Calcutta Entrance Exams. NallammaTambu is the first successful candidate in the Junior Cambridge.
Nallamma Williams Murugesu passes Calcutta Entrance Exam in the first class and obtains the Keshub Chandra Sen Prize for being the girl candidate who stood first in all India and Ceylon. Well done Vembadi!.

1900

Government grant given to English school – Inspired by the previous years’ achievements, eh?

1904

First Old Girls Re-union held. First rumblings of the ‘Move
Central’ cry heard – surprisingly enough supported by the boys as well.
Govt insists that pupils should do Cambridge and London Exams and not Calcutta or Madras ones. Result – Tamil is now relegated to the back seat.

1907

Sick nursing classes are organized for pupils by Sisters from Puttur.
Beginning of Domestic Science classes.

1908

Miss Hornby Principal. Miss Alphonso joins staff – to teach for 32years

1909

Junior Cambridge Classes have been started.

1910

Boy’s school crosses the road at last, to occupy new premises – How we miss them! Miss LottisSpittel – first trained teacher to be appointed to the staff.

1911

Public meeting to welcome a distinguished Old Girl – Dr. Nallamma
Murugesu – first Tamil Lady in Ceylon to obtain the L. M. S. and L. R. C. P. & S. in Scotland

1912

Special classes set up for girls who have already graduated from
the Boarding School and now want to learn English to enhance their
prospects in the matrimonial market Unusual phenomenon of girls aged 20 or more taught by teachers of 17 MissT. de Silva appointed to the staff

1913

Boarding School gets an “upstairs dormitory” – never heard of
before in Jaffna, My Dear! Beginning of earliest log book-in Miss Ireson’s hand writing.

1914

Beginning of World War 1. Vembadi loyally plunges Into Red Cross work.

1915

Miss.Lythe Principal. Vembadi Girls’ High School is recognized by
Director of Education as ‘an efficient elementary school with secondary department, working up to the Junior School Examination’. Infant Department is registered and grant assessed at the highest rate, because of the excellent work.

1916

March 13. Old Girls’ Association formed.

1920

Miss Lythe goes on furlough and for good. Miss Creedy, principal,
she used to hang placards with ‘I can’ in all the classrooms. (This, later becomes motto of Creedy House). First Head Girl appointed – Jane Thamotheram.

1921

Third Jaffna Guide Company formed by Miss Creedy, 12 guides and 3 patrols. Miss Murgatroyd appointed Principal of BoardingSchool.

1923

Miss Pickard Principal. 10th Oct. Miss Scowcroft made VicePrincipal of Vembadi – an appointment made for the first time in thehistory of the school. Senior Cambridge classes are organized. High School raised to Grade II. Netball pitch laid and cries of ‘defend’ and ‘pass the ball’ echo in the compound. Staging of “The Taming of the Shrew”. Reason for choice of the play – most suitable to Jaffna taste, as inculcating wifely submission. To maintain modesty of girls and so as not to hurt Jaffna’s susceptibilities, women in the cast clad in sarees, and the men in flowing robes.

1924 Feb 7th

Vembadi is  made into a Secondary School.

1924 Mar 24th

Prize Giving. Principal Miss M. Pickard. Special Guest: Miss C. B.
Horaby, Prize distribution: Miss E. P. Ireson. The House System is introduced. Three Houses, Lythe, Creedy and Hornby named after Past Principals. Staff – Principal, Vice-Principal, one graduate, one trained teacher in the Kindergarten, one Tamil trained graduate and all the rest, unqualified teachers. First Inter – House Netball matches.A motto for the school – ‘Dare to do right’

1925

Publishing school magazine “The Torch Bearer” for the firsttime, with Miss Scowcroft as editor. Brownie Pack has organized. Literary Association is founded. Opening of Domestic Science Block.

1926

The beginning of a long rivalry in the field of games and sportsFirst netball match between Chundikuli and Vembadi. Sad to say, Chundikuli won! Miss Wilson joins staff for three years. Mr. J. C. Thamotheram retires. No more men teachers at Vembadi, so they said. Miss Kuruvilla – first of many more Indian graduates –joins staff

1927

Miss Pickard leaves and Miss Scowcroft succeeds her. Introduction of Honours lists and Disorder Mark Books.Retirement of Mr. A. V. Charles from staff of Boarding School Unveiling of, the School Crest. The Torchbearers’ Fair brings in the princely sum of Rs. 1164/- .The Opening of Ireson Block -the new sick room

1930

Y.W. C. A. branch is started.

1932

Still another first! Election of Mrs. NesamSarawanamuttu – OldGirl to State Council. First Woman in Ceylon to receive thishonour

1933

Miss. Dore Joins staff. ThangammaAkka ‘the mighty atom’ retiresafter years of devoted service as teacher and  matron – Never again shall we see a person like her.

1936

Miss Barker joins staff for a period of 2 years.

1937

Forming  Colombo Branch  O. G. A. Staging “Quality Street”.All the characters include the men wear English costume of the period, and believe it or not!.A murmur of disapproval from Jaffna. The end of an era! Since two schools can no longer behoused in the same compound, to prevent Boarding School from going out of existence altogether, Synod decides to amalgamate it with the Bilingual School at Pt. Pedro. So, Exodus of staff, boarders and many day girls accompanied by Miss Murgatroyd, to Pt. Pedro, carrying with them the spirit and traditions of Vembadi.

1938

Building and compound of Boarding School handed over to HighSchool, which now reigns supreme in Vembadi.The Tamil Preparatory is attached to the English Preparatory Dept.

1938 Aug 12-14

CENTENERA CELEBRATIONS – Old Girls from all parts of the island come back to Vembadi to rejoice with her over a 100 years service to Jaffna women and girls – and should we also add, to theirhusbands!

1939 Jul 25th

Miss Scowcroft’s dream comes true. “The Scowcroft House” is  built at the then exorbitant sum of Rs. 57,000 is opened by Mr. R. Patrick, Asst. Director of Education.

1940 Aug

Miss Scowcroft leaves on furlough, handing over reins of government to Miss Barker. Vembadi gradually gets accustomed to a principal who prefers tennis to embroidery!

1942 Jan

We welcome back Miss Scowcroft and bid good bye to Miss Barker.

1942 Oct 14th

The principal attends the first convocation of the University ofCeylon in Colombo.

1943 Feb 1st

The School Council is revived. School officers given moreresponsibility, which certainly adds to their stature !

1943 Jun 25-26

1ndra Ambal” first of the many plays written and produced by Mrs.C. K. Hoole. The Jaffna public seldom has such a treat!

1943 Oct

Scowcroft Home is full – 60 boarders. No more rooms to let

1944 Oct 1st

A red letter day. We join the Free Education Scheme Swabasha in the Primary Department. (Reaping the benefits now)

1946 Jan

An unheard of thing – 2 divisions in Std. 4 (A & B) Fancy this!

1946 Nov 3rd

3rd Jaffna Guide Company – (our very own) celebrate their SilverJubilee. Miss R. Thomas – Mistress of Ceremonies.

1946 Dec 16th

Miss Scowcroft decides to leave Ceylon for good. Hard to think ofVembadi without her. Glad to have Miss Barker again.

1947 Feb 25th

Miss R. Thomas is appointed Guide Commissioner for Jaffna. Werejoice with her.

1947 Aug 1st

Inter House P.T. Competition held for the first time and theCreedyites win the Chandramalar Niles Cup.

1947 Oct 6th

Department regulations penetrate the school. Christians andnon-Christians meet in separate Assemblies for worship

1948 May 1st

School raised from Grade III to Grade 11

1949 Jan 17th

A Fourth House is created. Name :Scowcroft, Colour: Blue, Motto : Aim High – We expect great things of it.

1949 Sep 6-7

Farewell to Miss Barker. Welcome to Miss Mabel Thambiah – Our first national Principal.

1950 Jan 17th

Miss R. Thomas is appointed as Vice – Principal.

1950 Jan

The first land mark in Miss Thambiah’sregime. We started H.S.C.Arts& University Entrance classes

1950 May 25th

We seek contact with the Homes. Inaugural meeting of the Parent Teachers Association

1950 Aug 12th

The school sends a Relay Team and 2 athletes to take part in the Inter-club Athletic Meet in Jaffna. What’s more, they win the Relay Cup and 1st place in the 100 metres flat race

1951 Sep 7th

More revolting from Jaffna girls! One of our athletes take part in
the 100 and 200 meters flat race in the Junior A. A. meet in
Colombo.

1951 Oct 9th

We stage “Barets of Wimpole Street.” A great success

1952 Jan

School raised from Grade 11 to Grade 1. Miss G. Vadivelu appointed Lower School Supervisor.

1952 June

School and Old Girls bid farewell to Mrs. C. K. Hoole and Miss T De Silva.

1952 Jul 11-12

“Mid-summer revels” in Vembadi.

1953 Sep 25th

“Sarasangi” adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Cymeline’ is  staged at the Town Hall.

1954 Jul16-17

“Northern Light” twinkle in Vembadi

1954 Dec

Our first venture into a giddy social life. The first H.S.C. Uniondinner. What will they say? We get our first male member on the staff (permanent) What’s more, He’s young

1955

H.S. C. Science classes started.

1955 Feb

Prefects take their oath at a solemn installation ceremony.

1955 Sep

Another dream comes true. A new block is put up to house HomeScience and Science Laboratories, the Library, the Geography room and any odd classes that wander around homeless. Vembadi becomes the meeting place of the Nations. World Industrial Fair organized by the Education Department. We run the French stall, and what chic French women we make!

1956

Tremendous attempt to keep pace with modern educational methods. We get a new tape recorder and film projector for the school – and use them regularly.

1957

Pottery classes are started. We begin to cater for the morepractical minded in our school.

1958

Those from behind the Iron curtain visit those behind the Cadjan Curtains. We welcome the Cultural delegation and a group of teachers from the U. S. S. R.

1958 Sep 6th

Our Jeans – clad P. T. Squad marches off with challenge cup awarded by Lankadeepa for the All Island P. T. Competition, held at the Oval.

1958 Sep 29th

The ‘Australian Crusaders’ meet the Jaffna Schools, Net ball Teamon our grounds.

1960

National Education bill passed and Vembadi becomes a DirectorManaged School.

1961

The school was vested with the Government.

1962

Vembadi was selected as the only “All Island School for Girls” inthe North. The Senior P. T. Squad took part in the all Island P. T.Competition and came 2nd, winning the Asia Foundation ChallengeTrophy. The “Ireson Block” is convertedinto the “Principal’sBungalow”. Inauguration of the Hindu Association. SaraswathyPooja is celebrated for the first time.

1968

Gandhi Centenary. Sri Jeyaprakash Narayanan and SrimathiVijayalakshrnyPandit visited the school and the inauguration of theSakthiSenai Group of senior girls. The school is reorganized into two sections with Miss G.T.Vadivelu as Principal of theKanishta School. Staging of the dance drama “Suganya”The School Western Band is formed. They won the First placein the first all island band competition.

1969

Completion of the five class rooms and three Science laboratoriesin the Mabel Thambiah Block.

1970

Completion of Mabel Thambiah Block with an Assembly Hall.

1971

Opening of Mabel Thambiah Hall by Dr. P. Udagama, Director General of the Education Department and Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Education.

1971 Mar 22nd

Ms.MabelThambiah retires and Miss PathmasanyArumugam assumes duties as Principal

1972

The primary Section of the School is terminated. Pre -vocational
subjects are introduced in the curriculum.

1973

Construction of the Saraswathy Block and the Chemistry Laboratory.
Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the 3rd Jaffna Girl Guide Company of Vembadi Girls’ High School

1974

New look is given to the class rooms along Vembadi road and named asVembadi   VeethyMandapam

1975 Dec

The first batch of students under the new educational reformswere inaugurated in 1972 sat the NCGE Exam.

1976

Sri Lanka hosted an International Conference. The Non – alignedSummit Conference. Our school band, both Eastern and Western participated in the eventsto welcome State guests.

1981

Miss P. Arumugam retires and Mrs. A. Rajaratnam takes over asPrincipal. The introduction of the Non Formal Education Unit. Stenography Course for school leavers.

1983

Prize Giving held after a long period.

1984

Vembadi reaches the coveted status of being made the FirstNationalSchool for Girls in the North.

1985

Year 6 is reintroduced at Vembadi

1986

Difficult years for the school

1987

Due to its proximity to the Fort, Vembadi was also one of thetargets of shelling and bombing. We bravely decided to remain in the premises despite frantic suggestions to leave our premises for security reasons. We have saved our traditions of 150 years old

1988

The completion of the 3 storyed “AriamalarRajaratnam Block”.Frantic moves to repair the damaged buildings and re-equip laboratories.Our Library lost most of its valuable books – a colossal loss.

1988

June 28th & 29th “150th ANNIVERSARYCelebrations”.

1989

Miss RatneswaryRajaratman takes over the duties as Principal

1993

Mrs .S. Skandarajah is appointed as Principal

1995 Oct

Mass exodus from Jaffna. Vembadi was no exception

1996 Feb 1st

Mrs.K.Ponnampalam assumes duty as Principal of Majestic Vembadi in the corridors of ChavakachcheriLadiesCollege

1996 May 13th

Back at Vembadi. Pathetic to see our grand old lady in ruins.Buildings damaged, Loss of furniture and equipment and pricelessliterature and photographic records.

1997

Mabel Thambiah hall was reconstructed and nowthe hall stands majestically

1999

A decision was taken to build a 3 storey building in place of the shattered‘Vembadiveethymandapam’. It was erected and named as ‘KamaleswaryPonnampalam’ block in recognition of the principal’s strenuous effort.

2000

Basketball court was constructed to promote the sports skills of our students.

2003 March

With funds received from the Ministry ofrehabilitation , ‘Rev. Peter Percival’ block was built and is used as‘library’ & ‘General Science laboratory’ now.Peter Perceval Block and Library and learning resource centre was constructed in ground floor to reading materials to students.

2003 Aug – 2004 Aug

A project was carried out at Vembadi by Japanese International Co-operation Agency. We received the 1st runner-up award for Best pilot school among the 25 schools island wide. We came first among Tamil medium schools and second among Island wide schools.

2004

The teachers and students corner was formed to enhance the talents of students in various fields such as sports, quiz and other extra-curricularprogrammes.

2005

The Saraswathy statue was erected.Saraswathy is the god of knowledge and wisdom. Her presence in our school will radiate the minds of our students.

2007

The playground had been renovated to enrich the physical skills of our students. Our students are trained here throughout the whole year.

2008

The Basketball court had been renovated. We always have good teams which scored several places in the competitions.

2009

Vembadi entrance gate had been renovated with grandeur elegance. It provides a majestic look to our school. Also a new learning centre has been attached with our students corner now. This centre promotes the skills of our students and also provides ample opportunities to practice in the life.

2010

New Staff Room with modern facilities constructed by the School Development Society. Two storied Block for library constructed under “Vadakin Vasantham” and it was declared open by Hon. Minister of Economic Development, Basil Rajapakse.

2011

An audio visual room was set up and opened for effective teaching and learning process. This unit creates a very good environment which makes the teaching and learning process more meaningfully.

2012

Three computer laboratories were constructed for the benefits of our students who will face the future challenges in this fast moving world. This massive project was successfully organized and implemented by the old girls with the assistance of the parents.

Mrs.Venuka Shanmukaratnam took over the duties as the Principal of this majestic educational institution.

2013

“175th Anniversary Celebrations “Our founder Rev.Peter Percival’s statue was sculptured on 29th June, 2013 by the Art and Design Teachers of school.

The foundation for Mahindodaya Laboratory construction was put up by Northern Provincial director of Education Mr. V. Selvarajah on 14.11.2013. Technology stream was introduced as a new stream in our school. Secured the 1st rank in G.C.E(O/L) among Tamil schools and 4th rank in the National Level.

Secured eight places among the top ten in G.C.E (A/L) results in commerce stream in the district level.

2014

1st rank in G.C.E(O/L) among Tamil schools and 10th rank in the National Level. Introduced Sports Flag. Secured 3rd  Place in Bio Stream and 1st Place   in Arts & Commerce Stream. For G.C.E (A/L) results among  North Province Schools.

2015

27thFeb Opened Mahindodaya Technical Laboratory

2015

26th of May Honorable President of our country Maithiripala Sirisena visited to our school.

2015

 

21st of November The foundation for New Modern Toilets construction was put up.

 

 

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Mrs.V.Shanmukaratnam
SLEAS III

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