Lasalgaon Seventh-day Adventist Higher Secondary School

By Gordon E. Christo

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Gordon E. Christo, Ph.D. in Old Testament and Adventist Studies (Andrews University). Christo is retired and working on contract as assistant editor of the Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists and assistant editor of the Seventh-day Adventist International Biblical-Theological Dictionary. He is currently setting up a heritage center for Southern Asia Division. Some of his research on Adventist history can be seen at https://sudheritage.blogspot.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/SUDHeritage/.

Lasalgaon Seventh-day Adventist Higher Secondary School is a secondary boarding school. Established in 1919, it is located at Nasik District, Maharashtra, India. The school is operated by the Western India Union Section.

Foundation

Roland E. Loasby arrived in Bombay on February 4, 1916.1 In 1918, after he had passed his second level exam in Marathi with the help of A. H. Williams, he acquired an acre of land in Lasalgaon in the Nashik district on which to build a bungalow,2 completed the following year.3

However, soon after the construction of the bungalow, Loasby received a call to head the Marathi Training School in Kalyan.4 It was one of the successors to the India Union Christian Training School that the church had discontinued in favor of separate institutions in the newly created unions of the just-formed Southern Asia Division. The intent was to provide instruction in local languages.

Loasby had 11 Marathi boys in the first group of students in 1919. Two years later he became superintendent of the Bombay Presidency (roughly the state of Maharashtra), in addition to his task of heading the school,5 which had now moved to Lasalgaon along with the Marathi Boys Boarding School that W. H. McHenry and S. O. Martin had started in Aurangabad.6

In 1924, after returning from furlough, Loasby continued to head the training school.7 At this time he also conducted distance education courses in arithmetic and Marathi grammar and literature through correspondence.8 Within two years the school was functioning up to the level of Standard Eight.9

Co-education

After McHenry and Martin transferred from Aurangabad, a small boarding school continued for girls, though the older students went temporarily to the Training School for Girls in Lucknow, pending the opening of a school for Marathi girls.10 Records indicate the establishment in 1920 of a Marathi Training School for Girls operating in Lasalgaon under the leadership of Mrs. W. H. McHenry.11 The Training School for Girls next appears at Clarence Lines in Aurangabad around1924 and in Kalyan about the year 1927.12

Following the formation of the Bombay Union in 1929, the training school for girls merged with the one for boys in Lasalgaon and took the name Bombay Union Training School. 13

The school reopened in August with 75 students of which 67—40 boys and 27 girls--were in the boarding facilities. Academic performance improved with the girls often excelling the boys. The local teachers included Shinde, Ruthbai, Marybai Bhakre at the elementary level and Mr. Waghmare at the higher level. The institution built a new boys’ dormitory that year and purchased 10 more bighas of farm land.14

Later Developments

In 1944 the high school section of the Lasalgaon school moved to Spicer College in Poona15 to provide practical experience for the college’s teacher training program. 16 For a decade the remaining levels at Lasalgaon continued as an elementary school.

G. J. Christo upgraded the institution to high school level in 1955.17 The institution bought an additional 32 acres of land and constructed a girls’ hostel in 1953.18 A boys’ hostel followed in 1958.19 The high school received accreditation from the SSLC Board of Education in 1965.20 However, due to the perennial problem of Sabbath exams, the school switched to the ICSE Board in 1979.21 At the beginning of the twenty-first century the school again upgraded to a higher secondary level.22

In 2009 a new boys’ hostel opened with 12 new classrooms added in 2013.23

Celebrations

The Lasalgaon school celebrated its golden jubilee December 12-13, 1972, commemorating the completion of 50 years at the Lasalgaon campus. Eight former principals attended, and dignitaries broke ground for a chapel provided by funds donated by A. E. Nelson, former division treasurer.24 It was completed in 1976.25

Centenary celebrations of the founding of the Marathi Training School in Kalyan took place on the Lasalgaon campus November 21-23, 2019. The Lasalgaon Ex-students Welfare Trust (India) sponsored a new entrance gate for the campus as well as solar heating for the hostels and lighting for the streets. The organization has other projects planned for the future.

Historical Role

The Lasalgaon school is the premier institution of the Western India Union. However, it has had to vie with Spicer Adventist University, Pune, Maharashtra, India, and METAS Adventist College, Gurajat, India, in the same union. Nevertheless, serving as a feeder for college level education, it has survived famines, droughts, and a major flood in 1931, and has strong support from its constituency and alumni. Its signboard sums up the objective of the school with the motto “Trains for Service.”

Principals

Marathi Training School: R. E. Loasby (1919-1929).26

Bombay Union Training School: Melvin Oss (1929-1930); C. C. Cantwell (1930-33).

Western India Mission Training School: F. E. Spiess (1933-1937); C. C. Cantwell (1938-1939); C. C. Cantwell (1939-1942; R. S. Lowry (1942-1943).27

Lasalgaon Secondary Boarding School: R. S. Lowry (1943-1944).

Lasalgaon Elementary Boarding School: S. B. Gaikwad (1944-1946); Sumitra S. Pandit (1946-1950); V. P. Mutthiah (1950-1952); D. H. Skau (1952-1954); Gerald J. Christo (1954-1955).

Lasalgaon Secondary Boarding School: Gerald J. Christo (1955-1956).

Lasalgaon High School: Robinson Koilpillai (1956-1958); Samuel Jesudas (1959-1963); R. J. E. Hillock (1963-1966); Vasant Ohal (1966); S. B. Gaikwad (1967); Harold D. Erickson (1967-1970); R. S. Shinge (1970-1971).

Seventh-day Adventist High School, Lasalgaon: R. S. Shinge (1971-1972); D. Sukumaran (1972-1979); K. Bhasker Rao (1979-1980); G. E. Sharon (1980-1988); Ramesh Nirmal (1988-1990).

Seventh-day Adventist Higher Secondary School: Ramesh Nirmal (1990-1993); R. G. Waidande (1993-1995); Pratap Gaikwad (1995-2002); M. E. Mathew (2002); Anupam Nowrangi (2002-2008); Jayant Sable (2008-2015); Joseph Khandagle (2015-).

Sources

“A History of Lasalgaon.” Southern Asia Tidings, February 1973.

Eastern Tidings, January 1, 1918.

Eastern Tidings, February 15, 1919.

Eastern Tidings, May 1, 1920.

Guild, Nora, “Aurangabad Centre is Opened.” Southern Asia Tidings, March 1968.

Ham, A. L. Eastern Tidings, June 1, 1944.

Hetke, E. A. “Lasalgaon Celebrates Golden Jubilee.” Southern Asia Tidings, February 2, 1973.

“History of Lasalgaon.” Southern Asia Tidings, February 1973.

“In North-Western India.” Eastern Tidings, February 1, 1921.

Jenson, George Roos. Spicer Memorial College, OWPH (Poona, 1965).

“Lasalgaon Boys’ Hostel Completion.” Minutes of the Division Committee, # 58-269, 76 -1958.

“Lasalgaon Boys’s Hostel Plans.” Minutes of the Southern Asia Division Committee, July 12, 1957. Southern Asia Division archives, Krishnagiri Dist., Tamil Nadu, India.

“Lasalgaon Briefs.” Eastern Tidings, February 15, 1925.

“Lasalgaon Girls’ Dormitory-Building Plans.” Northwest India Committee Minutes, December 30, 1952.

“Loasby, Roaland E. obituary.” Southern Asia Tidings, June,1974.

“NW India Union.” Eastern Tidings, October 15, 1928.

Oss, Melvin. “The Bombay Union Training School.” Eastern Tidings, Sept 1, 1929.

“SDA Boarding School History at a Glance.” SDA Boarding School Lasalgaon, Souvenir. No publication date.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington, D.C./Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association. Various years.

Notes

  1. “Loasby, Roland E obituary,” Southern Asia Tidings, June 1974, 11

  2. Eastern Tidings, January 1, 1918. 4. He had to choose between Lasalgaon and Niphad.

  3. See Eastern Tidings, February 15, 1919, which records the construction of the bungalow, and Eastern Tidings, May 1, 1920.

  4. “Loasby, Roland E obituary,” Southern Tidings, June 1971, 11.

  5. Ibid.

  6. Nora Guild, “Aurangabad Centre is Opened,” Southern Asia Tidings, Machr 1968, 1. Conflicting reports exist about the school that the McHenrys operated. See G. S. Wilson, Lasalgaon High School,” Southern Asia Tidings, October 1, 1969, 4, 5 and J. B. Trim, “Brief History of the Lasalgaon High School, Canadian Union Messenger, November 3, 1969, 398. The way to understand it is that the school in Aurangabad was a boys’ school that merged with the school in Lasalgaon in 1921, and then a girls’ school functioned in its place in Aurangabad that later moved to Kalyan and joined Lasalgaon in 1929.

  7. Ibid. See also “History of Lasalgaon,Southern Asia Tidings, February 1973, 3. However, the Loasbys were welcomed back to Lasalgaon in December 1924: “Lasalgaon Briefs,” Eastern Tidings, February 15, 1925, 6.

  8. “History of Lasalgaon;” “Lasalgaon Briefs.”

  9. Eastern Tidings, February 15, 1925, 6.

  10. “In North-Western India,” Eastern Tidings, February 1, 1921, 11.

  11. “Marathi Training School,” in Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1924), 203.

  12. “Marathi Training School” in Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1927, 1928).

  13. “Bombay Union Training School,” in Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1930), 279.

  14. Melvin Oss, “The Bombay Union Training School,” Eastern Tidings, September 1, 1929, 4.

  15. “A History of Lasalgaon,” Southern Asia Tidings, February 1973, 3; A. L. Ham, Eastern Tidings, June 1, 1944, 3.

  16. George Roos Jenson, Spicer Memorial College, OWPH (Poona, 1965), 72.

  17. The school is described for the first time as Lasalgaon Secondary Boarding School in the Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1956).

  18. “Lasalgaon Girls’ Dormitory-Building Plans,” Northwest India Committee Minutes, December 30, 1952, #299.

  19. “Lasalgaon Boys’s Hostel Plans,” Minutes of the Division Committee, July 12, 1957, #57-383, 122; and “Lasalgaon Boys’ Hostel Completion,” Minutes of the Division Committee, 1958, # 58-269, 76.

  20. “A History of Lasalgaon,” Southern Asia Tidings, February 1973, 3.

  21. “SDA Boarding School History at a Glance,” in SDA Boarding School Lasalgaon, Souvenir (No publication data), 48.

  22. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 2000).

  23. Souvenir, 76, 77.

  24. E. A. Hetke, “Lasalgaon Celebrates Golden Jubilee,” Southern Asia Tidings, February 2, 1973, 1, 3, 19.

  25. Souvenir, 32.

  26. Though all previous lists of principals cite Melvin Oss as the principal from 1927-1930, that is apparently incorrect as the Yearbooks for those years have Loasby as the principal of the Marathi Training School for Boys in Lasalgaon, and reports and the Yearbooks describe Melvin Oss as the principal of the Marathi Training School for Girls in Kalyan. Cf. “NW India Union,” Eastern Tidings, October 15, 1928, 5.

  27. Southern Asia Tidings, October 1, 1969.

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Christo, Gordon E. "Lasalgaon Seventh-day Adventist Higher Secondary School." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 09, 2021. Accessed January 21, 2021. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=DAM7.

Christo, Gordon E. "Lasalgaon Seventh-day Adventist Higher Secondary School." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 09, 2021. Date of access January 21, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=DAM7.

Christo, Gordon E. (2021, January 09). Lasalgaon Seventh-day Adventist Higher Secondary School. Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved January 21, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=DAM7.