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Historical Background of SFI Print E-mail
ImageThe St. Francis Institution had its early beginning in 1872 when it was known as St. Mary’s School, whose founder was Rev. Fr. Maximillian de Souza, better remembered as 'Father Bachino'. It was solely meant for the Catholic education of children in the Parish. In 1880 the school shifted to a two-storey building which is across the road in front of St. Francis' Church and was renamed St. Francis Institution by its new principal, Rev. Fr. Deloutte. Due to the lack of progress, the Government withdrawn its aid and thus, the school was temporarily closed down in 1902. In 1903, the school was re-opened by four Christian Brothers lead by Rev. Bro. Joseph. In 1903, on the transfer of Rev. Bro. Joseph to Burma, Rev. Bro. Dositheus shouldered the responsibility of running the school and remained as its Director until 1913. Its enrolments began to rise rapidly and it was soon apparent that more spacious and suitable accommodation was becoming a necessity. And so in 1906 rose the old 'U' Building as the nucleus of St. Francis Institution.The quality of education provided improved to such a high standard that the Government was loud in its praises of the great step-forward made by the school.

In 1922, Rev. Bro. V. Augustus bought the Malacca Rubber Plantation building which is adjoining the school premises. The building was renovated and turned into quarters for the Brothers; and the grounds behind added much to the size of the playing field.

From 1923 to 1930 when Rev. Bro. Barnitus was in charge of affairs; the school excel in scholastic and extra curricular. The Cadet Corps and a Boys' Scout Troop was established. The Cadet Corps were established on April the 29th 1918 with 58 members. The Corps were disbanded late in 1919 when the ruling Colonial government refused to give permission to sustain its equipments. However, in the year 1925, the Corps were re-established. On the other hand, the Boys' Scout Troop were founded in January the 25th in 1926 with 32 members. Both the uniformed units have been going strong until today. Rev. Bro. Louis 'Bun Sen' who replaced Rev. Bro. Barnitus had organized an excellent Cadet Band which he personally trained and conducted. Originally started as a Cadet Band, it was the first of its kind in Malacca. Over the years, it has established itself into the Military Band as it is known today.

In 1923 Rev. Bro. Dominic became the Director and stayed in the office until 1935. During this time the school obtained one of its best results in recent years - 31 out of 32 Juniors and 23 out of 29 Seniors passed in the Cambridge Examination. Rev. Bro. Augustus returned to Malacca for a second term of office in 1935. He was responsible for building the new school chapel, which is acclaimed the best in the mission schools in the East. Thanks to the generosity of Mrs. Tan Chay Yan in donating a piece of land, Rev. Bro. Augustus was able to erect a bungalow as a holiday house for the Brothers at Kundor.

During the Japanese Occupation the Japanese Government requisitioned part of the school premises but the school continued functioning with Rev. Bro. Augustus still as its head. On the return of the British in 1945, he carried on until December 1947 when he was succeeded by Rev. Bro. Edmund of Salisbury.

Under Rev. Bro. Edmund's Directorship, the school enrolment jumped up to more than 800 boys and once again shortage of classrooms was becoming a major problem. To be up-to-date and keeping with the higher standard of education expected, the Science laboratory was fitted at about the same time as the new building on the other side of Koon Cheng Road.

In 1954, Rev. Bro. T. Michael assumed the office of Director but before he could carry out his great ideas for improvement of the school, he was called to Penang. He has, however left behind an indelible impression of his short association with the school - the introduction of the school uniform and his school code of good behavior.

Ever since then, the St. Francis Institution has been progressing rapidly through the years. In 1986, M. Peter King Tuen Chan, together with his friend, Fr. Lancelot Rodrigues, another old student, were kind and generous enough to donate a new three-storey block to the Brothers. This new block had been used to replace the old building and the two-storey block adjoining it. The new block had added to the school more facilities and space to educate more young Franciscans.

Now, the St. Francis Institution is under the helm of Principal, Mr. Ong Chong Wee as the school continues in its destiny to educate more students in the dawn of this new age.

Special thanks to Loo Lian Wee from Rotaract Club of Stamford College Malacca for allowing us to share his valuable information of S.F.I. Also, to the past Webmasters for their compilation of this history.

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