Montfort Brothers of St.Gabriel

Montfort School Anakkara

Montfort School Ankara has the unique distinction of being the first Montfortian School in Kerala. Though Montfort Brothers have been working in India for nearly 100 years and a good number of Brothers in India hail from Kerala, yet they did not deem it necessary to start any educational institution in Kerala because there were already very many priests and religious engaged in the educational field in God's own country.

After the division of the Southern Province in 1992, the Brothers of the Yercaud Province were eagerly looking for a place in the High Ranges of Kerala to establish a good English medium school. This was somewhere in September 1993. Rev. Fr. Mathew Nellary who was the Director of Malanadu Development society based at Ankara in Idukki Dt. had a great desire to see a good school in Ankara and so he wrote to some religious congregations asking them to start a school in his place. . He wrote the letter on the 1st of October 1993 to Bro. Antony Francisco who was the Director of Montfort School Yercaud. Since a positive reply came from Yercaud, Fr. Mathew Nellary went to Yercaud to meet the concerned people and to discus matters about the starting of a school here. It was decided to look for a suitable place for the school in the Ankara Parish. Fr. George Kottady who was the Parish Priest of Ankara Forane Parish was very happy about the prospect and promised all help for the starting of the school. Both the Priests searched for a suitable land for the school.

Rev. Bro. Abraham P.J the Regional Superior, Bro. George Vazhayil the Principal of Montfort School Yercaud and Bro. Antony Francisco who was the Director of Montfort Yercaud visited Ankara to look for a suitable land for the school. Two plots of land were seen and after negotiations the Brothers purchased a 20 acre plot of land with a small house from Mr. Simon Varghese who was affectionally called as "Simon Pappa". All the arrangements for the deal of the land was made and the Brothers went back to Yercaud. After a few days the Brothers went to meet the Bishop of Kanjirapally to get his permission to work in his diocese. With the help of the two Priests, the Brothers got the needed permission from the Bishop to start a school in his diocese. Bro. Oliver who was the then Provincial Bursar went to Ankara with the necessary money. He got all the documents ready and the land was registered in the name of the Institute of the Brothers of St. Gabriel and all the payments made to the people concerned. The Montfort Brothers will ever be grateful to Fr. Mathew Nellary and Fr. George Kottady for all the help given to the Brothers to buy the land and to start the school at Ankara. The land was registered on the 3rd of February 1994. In the same year another property of about 10.5 acres of land belonging to the Kalarickal family was purchased. This land belonged to Dr. Mathew Samuel Kalarickal a famous cardiologist. On 29th of March 1995 a small property of about 3 acres with a big house, which belonged to Bethel Bible School, was purchased. This property is very near to the parish church at Anakkara. In the Kalarickal family property we have the Girl's hostel and in the Bethel Bible school property we have the lady teacher's quarters now.

1994 - 1996 : Bro. K J Sebastian ; Principal.

In May 1994, Bro. K.J Sebastian was appointed to take charge of the Ankara project. He stayed in the house, which was in the property of Mr. Simon. In the beginning he was alone. Bro. Sebastian put his heart and soul into the formidable task entrusted to him. In September 1994, he started the construction work of the school building. He also modified the Brother's quarters to accommodate a few more Brothers. A small chapel and a kitchen were also got ready along with that 6 classrooms were ready by May 1995.

The new school building was blessed and inaugurated by the Parish Priest Fr. George Kottady on 12th June 1995. Bro. K.J Sebastian was the 1st Principal of the School. Bro. Camillus and Bro. Joseph John helped Bro. Sebastian in the school. Thus started, the humble beginning of this great institution. Classes started on the 19th of June with 220 students and 12 staff members. The Nursery classes were conducted in the lady teacher's quarters and classes 1 to V were conducted in the main school compound. Brothers are also very much indebted to the Clarist Sisters of the Alphonsa Hospital for all the help given to the Brothers in the beginning stages of this institution. Yet another person whom the Brothers cannot forget is Mr. Kuttappan Chetan who had been of immense help from the very beginning of this institution. Bro. Sebastian got a good set of Anglo Indian teachers from Tamil Nadu and the classes started on a very optimistic note. The parents started appreciating the efforts of Bro. Sebastian and his team of dedicated staff. Children picked up English very fast and they could speak it quiet fluently.

1996-1997: Bro. Antony Francisco; Principal.

In June 1996, Bro. Sebastian was transferred to Montfort School Yercaud. So Bro. Antony Francisco took charge as the New Principal of the School. Besides Bro. Camillus Bro. Baptist and Bro. John of the Cross were added to the school community. School re- opened on the 5th of June with 300 students and 14 staff members. Montfort School makes steady progress and the parents are very happy about the improvement in their children.

1997-2001. Bro. K. K. Thomas Principal

On 2nd of June, Bro. K. K. Thomas took charge as the principal of the school. Bro. K. L Vincent joined the community of Ankara. Bro. George Kalangod was the co-ordinator of Kerala- Karnataka development project. The student strength as well as the staff strength increase steadily. On 15th of November 1997, we had the official laying of the foundation stone for the new building which is the main school building at present. The foundation stone was blessed by the Bishop of Kanjirapally, Bp. Mathew Vattakuzhy. It was laid by Mr. P. J. Joseph who was the education Minister of Kerala. Bro. George Kalangod was given the charge of putting up the school building. Under his able and inspiring guidance the school construction work made steady and speedy progress.

The school started growing from strength to strength. Bro. Thomas started leveling the playfield on the 3rd of May 1999. The school re-opened in June and the process for the affiliation of the school started. A team of inspectors came from the Regional Office at Chennai for the inspection on the 4th of June . It was very difficult to get the NOC from the state government. But Bro. Thomas with the help of Mr. E.M. Augusty who was the M.L.A of Peermedu and also a parent of the school, got the NOC from the state Govt. The inspection team sent a positive report to the CBSE board at Delhi recommending to give affiliation to Montfort School.. So on August 6th 1999, the CBSE board gave affiliation to our school and the order reached the school on that day. The entire school was very happy and all thanked Bro. K. K. Thomas for his tireless efforts and the hard work put in by the other Brothers and the staff members. In June 2000, Bro. Deepu and Bro. Dominic Savio joined the school community. Classes reached up to IXth and the strength reached about 700.

2001-2002.Bro.K.V. Thomas Principal

As As Bro. K. K. Thomas became the Provincial of Yercaud Province, Rev. Bro. K.V Thomas took over as the Principal of the school. Bro. Sebastian Olickal And Bro. Abraham Pralel joined the school community. It was during this year a boarding for the boys started at Ankara. There were about 50 boarders in the boarding. On Dec.31st we got the news that Montfort School Ankara was selected as a centre for the Xth board exam by the CBSE board. In January 2002, Bro. K.V Thomas purchased about 37 cents of land in front of the Brothers quarters. On 5th February, work started on the first basketball court and it was completed on 28th of April 2002. Ist batch of X standard students about 57 of them wrote the Board exam in the month of March 2002.

2002 -2003: Bro. Jose Kannampuzha; Principal.

In the month of June 2002, Bro. Jose Kannampuzha took charge as the Principal of Montfort as Bro. K.V. Thomas was transferred to Kolathur. Bro. Gibi and Bro. Renoy joined the school community. The results of the AISSE board exam came out and all passed with good marks. 100% result. "Praise the Lord". Bro. Jose wanted to upgrade the school into a Senior Secondary school. So he started the process of affiliation for that. On 22nd of June we had the inspection by the regional team from Chennai. After the inspection was over a positive report was send to Delhi CBSE board. So on 18th of November, we got the order stating that Montfort School was upgraded into a Senior Secondary school and we were permitted to start both the Science and the Commerce groups.

The total strength of the school came to almost one thousand, so more classrooms were needed. So. Bro. Jose started the work on the Primary School building. On 26th of January 2003, the foundation stone was blessed and laid by Rev. Bro. John of the Cross. The second batch of X students wrote the board exam in the month of March. The students from Infant Jesus Kattapana and Holy Cross Nedumkandam also wrote their exams in our school.

2003 May to 2006 May: Bro. Paul Kachappilly : Principal.

In the month of May, Bro. Jose was transferred and Bro. Paul Kachappilly took over as the Principal and Director of Montfort School Ankara. Bro. M.K Joseph and Bro. A.M. Abraham along with Bro. John of the Cross made the Montfort community. The strength of the school rose to about second batch of class X result was 1100 and about 50 staff members. They good. In the Senior Secondary, we started taking students for both the groups.

It was a long cherished dream of ours to start a hostel for the girls. After consulting many groups of sisters, finally the sisters of the St. Augustine [A German originated congregation] came forward to take up the responsibility of running the Girl's hostel. They purchased 4.25 acres of land from the school and started the construction of the hostel building. On the 17th of November 2003, the foundation stone was laid by the Bishop Mr. Mathew Vattakuzhy at a small function arranged by the sisters. The work started the very next day and it progressed very fast.

The centenary celebrations of the arrival of the Brothers in India were held in our school on the 6th of December 2003. Since the Primary school block was ready for the blessing, we had both the functions on the same day. Our Bishop Mr. Mathew Arackal blessed the new block. Mr. Vakkachan M.P. as well as an old boy of Montfort School Yercaud and E.M. Augusty M.L.A were present for the function. A good number of Religious and parents were also present for the big function. It was a grand function. In the month of March, we send up the IIIrd batch of X and the 1st batch of the XII for the CBSE board exam.

Class started in the month of May 2004. The strength of the school rose up to 1250 and about 55 staff members. The X as well as the XII results were out. All passed the X with good marks while in the XII, 2 failed out of the 31 who wrote the exam. In the month of June, Bro. M.K. Joseph was transferred to Salem and Bro. Abraham Pralel came to Ankara The hostel strength had gone up to 65 students. On 18th of August, we had the rare privilege of the visit of the Apostolic Nuncio from Vatican, Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana to our school. He spent about 30 minutes with us and spoke to our children. We consider it as a special blessing of God on us

On the 22nd of September, we had the blessing of the Girl's hostel. It was blessed by Bishop Mar Mathew Arackal. Both the Provincials were present for the function. There were about 15 girls staying in the hostel. It was yet another red letter day in the history of Montfort School Ankara. In the month of March, we send up the IVth batch of the X and the 2nd batch of the XII standard for the board exam. In the Xth, we had 80 students and in the XII we had 35 students.

For the academic year 2005-2006, school reopened in the month of May. The school strength stood at 1475 students and 60 staff members. Bro. Louis Alex joined our community. The Xth results were out and all passed, with 1st mark of 472 by Chandini Ram. In the XIIth result 3 students failed while 32 passed with good marks. A statue of St. Montfort to adorn our school campus was our long cherished dream. This dream was fulfilled on the 27th of May 2005. The statue was blessed and inaugurated by Rev. Fr. George Alunkal, the V.G of the Diocese of Kanjirapally. In the month of December, we started the extension work of the boy's hostel. When the work is completed it can accommodate about 40 boys more. This year we are sending the third batch of XII and the fifth batch of the Xth students for the CBSE Board Exam for the year 2006. Let us hope and pray that all will come out in flying colors. School closed on 31st of March for the summer holidays.

2006 May to 2006 September: Bro. P C Thomas : Principal.

Bro. K P Paul who was here for three years was transferred to Yercaud, and Bro. P C Thomas took charge as the principal. He started with a lot of developmental works. The senior dormitory works got completed. He also made modifications to the school emblem. The statue of St Montfort at the entrance of the school was demolished and in that spot, he started the work for a musical fountain. His inning was short and he got transferred in the middle of the year.

2006 October to till date: Bro. Abraham A M : Principal.

Bro. Abraham A M took over as the principal from October 2006. The developmental works continued. By December 2006, Bro. Oliver took over as the Superior. The work of the Lady-teachers' staff-quarter was constructed by him. The extension of the main football field was given a final shape with proper drainage system. The sports day well as annual day were made every- year affair. The school strength slowly increased. Bro. Jose Lawrence Joseph took over from Bro. Oliver in May 2007. By June 2007, the study hall work of the boarding was completed. The first school exhibition was organized in November 2007. In commemoration of the Birthday of St. Montfort, a Volley ball tournament started on 31st of January 2008. The ground floor veranda of the school building was tiled in May 2008. The present Montfort Statue was erected at the entrance by may 2008. The construction work of the 2nd floor of the central block of the main school building was started in July 2008. Bro. T J John joined the community as the procurator in June 2008.. A language lab for the school was inaugurated in August 2008. The first Marathon race from kumily to Ankara started on 1st November - Kerala Piravi day. The much acclaimed smart class by Educom was launched in the school on 27th of July 2009. The inauguration was done by Mr. Mons Joseph, the minister for PWD.

Death of Bro. John of the Cross:

Rev Bro. John of the Cross, who served this institution for over 13 years was not well for the past 5 months. On and off, he showed improvement but he passed away on 7th of July 2009 at 2.25 PM at St. Augustine's hospital - Kumily. His body was taken to Yercaud on 8th morning and was buried at Eachinkad at 6.30 PM.

Bro. Abraham Pralel once again joined the Ankara Community. Bro. T J John was replace by Bro. Lourdsamy in may 2009. The second exhibition was organized in the school on 31st of July and 1st of August 2009. Along with this, there was also an inter school exhibition also was organized. This was really a splendid show of the creative talents of our students.

The school office was shifted to the entrance are with a minor office complex, in September 2009 and it started functioning from 22nd onwards. The fist ever Bro. John of the Cross memorial quiz competition was held on 9th of November 2009. Montfort - Ankara was the venue for the All Kerala Roller-Skating Championship held on 21, 22nd of November 2009. We started the work of the 3rd floor of the primary building by November 2009. The school can be proud of having a full pledged 400 hundred meters track - football ground. Bro. Jose Kannampuzha took over from Bro. Lawrence as the superior from May 2010. Bro. Thomas Montfort and Bro. Bosco joined the community. Bro. Antony was transferred to Yercaud and Bro. Lourdsamy took over as the bursar. The first alumni meeting were held in our school on 26th of December 2010. The auditorium work in front of the KG section was completed. The synergy 2011, the first ever get together of the institutions of Yercaud province was held in our school on 29th and 30th of January 2011. It was a great occasion for all the Montfortians. The work of the 3rd floor of the primary building was completed by February 2011.


Montfort School Anakkara Articles

The Beginnings:

After the division of the Southern Province into Yercaud and Trichy Regions, the Brothers were looking for a suitable property in Kumaly - Munnar area, for starting a School. Hearing this, in Nov. / Dec. 1993, the then Parish Priest of Anakkara Church, Rev. Fr. George Kottadikunnel rushed to Yercaud and informed Rev. Bro. Antony Francisco, the Director of Montfort School and Rev. Bro. P.J. Abraham, the Regional Superior, that a property consisting of 20.70 Acres of land with one house is available in his parish and offered all helps in purchasing it and starting a school there. The property belonged to one Mr. Simon, a Marthomite gentleman. Another property belonging to a Valumannu family was also considered for our purchase, but the negotiations for that failed.

So, Rev. Bros. P.J. Abraham and Antony Francisco Joseph Louis and George Vaz visited the place, probably in December 1993, inspected the property ahnd held preliminary discussions. They were satisfied with the locality, property and price. They also made arrangements with one Lawyer Mr. A.G. Babu Mohan, to make sure that the property is free from any legal hurdles. An advance of 5,000/- was also paid.

On 29th January 1993 Bros. Abraham and Antony Francisco took me ( the then Provincial Bursar) with them to carry out the legal transactions of purchasing the property and taking possession of it.

Near-disaster:

As the Anakkara St. Thomas Parish comes under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Kanjirappalli we stopped in Kanjirappally to pay our respects to and receive the permission / blessings of the Bishop. We met the Bishop a little before noon, together with his Secretary and the Procurator of the Diocese. This being our first institution in his Diocese we expected some words of joyful / warm welcome from the Bishop. But due to some reasons not known, he started with quoting Cannon Law starting that we have to get permission from the Sacred Congregation for Oriental churches, for establishing a Community in his Diocese. This abrupt statement (instead of a word of welcome) upset Bros. Antony Francisco and P.J . Abraham so much that they almost gave up the Anakkara project ! Anyhow we decided to proceed to Anakkara and inform the Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. George Kottady about what happened, and about our proposal to give up the project. We reached Anakkara Parish by 6.00 P.M. Rev. Fr. George, Rev. Fr. Mathew Nellary and the Sisters there received us with enthusiasm and accommodated us partly in the presbytery and partly in Hospital. Rev. Fr. George Kottadikunnel , the Parish Priest was very unhappy about what happened in the Bishop's house but promised to get a letter from the Bishop, Welcoming us into his Diocese, and pleaded with us not to give up the project. So, he took the 3.00 A.M. Bus from Anakkara to Kanjirappally met the Bishop's Secretary and the Bishop very early in the morning, and got the required letter and reached back anakkara before noon ! This pacified the 'Team'.

The Purchase:

The next day, Bros. P. J . Abraham and Antony Francisco left for Yercaud leaving me behind to carry out the official transactions of purchasing the property and taking possession of it.

As the vendor wanted payments in cash, we had taken several bundles of notes; and you may guess my plight in watching them for several days and nights in a room in the presbytery. I simply followed the late Bro. Claudien's methods.

With the helps of Rev. Fr. George, the parish priest and Mr. Kuttappan chettan (Anakkara Kuttappan) one of the leading parishners everything was got ready quickly and the Sale Deeds were registered at Kattappana on 3rd February 1994. The cost of the property was Rs. 16,80,000/- Mr. Simon and Family vacated the property on the next day. The superiors wanted me to look after the property till a Brother was appointed there. But I could not stay there, as I had my other works in St. Louis Villa. But Rev. Fr. George, the parish priest, very kindly agreed to look after the property while I visited the place occasionally more or less onece a fort-night. Mr. Kuttappan chettan assisted the Parish Priest in this work. They did a wonderful job in this. Whenever I went to Anakkara, the Parish Priest provided accommodation and the Clarist Sisters the food.

The 2nd Property:

Another plot of land on the opposite side of the road, belonging to the Kalarickal family (of Dr. Mathew Samuel, in Apollo Hospital), consisting of 9.35 Acres of land was also on sale for 45,000/- per Acre: Rev. Fr. George and Mr. Kuttappan Chettan negotiated with the owner and brought down the prince to Rs. 42,5000/- per Acre for us, and we purchased it on 12-04-1994. At that time this property was considered suitable place for future hostel for girls.

The 3rd Property:

A third plot 2.90 Acres, with an old building used as 'Bethel Bible Centre' close to the parish church, was offered to us and we purchased it in March 1995, when Rev. Bro. Sebastian Joseph was in charge there. This property became very useful for the K.G. Classes and for accommodation of the Lady Teachers.

General Plan:

The parish of Anakkara had an English Medium School housed in the Parish Hall. In Jan. '94 it had LKG, UKG, Stds. I and II. One Clarist sister was in charge of the school, under the management of the parish priest.

During discussions held in February and March 1994 between the Bros. (Antony Francisco, Abraham P.J. and Myself) and the Parish Priest, it was agreed that the Brothers could take over this Parish English Medium School and continue, as there was no point in having two similar schools in the Parish. The Brothers were/are expected to make it possible for the children of the Parish to continue to benefit from our school.. especially the economically weaker ones. In May 1994 a two weeks' special coaching programme was arranged at Montfort School, Yercaud, by Rev. Bro. Antony Francisco, for the Teacher of the Anakkara parish English Medium School, to help them improve their skills. This was very much appreciated by everyone of them.

Director appointed:

In June 1994 Bro. Sebastian Joseph was appointed Director of our new foundation in Anakkara and my assignment there got over. He quickly made arrangements to take over the parish English Medium School and continue the classes. A small building was constructed in the new property for immediate use, while plans were being prepared for more permanent structures. The building in the property near the Parish Church was repaired and made ready for accommodating the lower classes and the staff members from outside Anakkara. Some modifications were also made to the house which existed when we purchased the property, from Mr. Simon. Bro. Joseph John joined Bro. Sebastian in Nov. '94. Thus the classes started in the present site on 10th June 1995, with Bro. Sebastian Joseph and Director and Bro. Joseph John the assistant.

I leave to Rev. Bro. Sebastian Joseph and successors to write about the developments of this institution, during their period of administration.

Our debts of gratitude:

I wish to mention here that we owe much to Rev. Fr. George Kottadikunnel, the parish priest of St. Thomas Church, Anakkara during 1993 - 95, Rev. Fr. Mathew Nellary, the Director of the Social Service Centre in Anakkara at that time, and Mr. Kuttappan Chettan also known as Anakkara Kuttappan ( a prominent parishner and early settler of the locality) for the great helps they rendered us for our foundation in Anakkara.

Mr. Kuttappan Chettan died a few months ago. Rev. Frs. George and Mathew have been transferred elsewhere. We also have to be grateful to the Parishners of Anakkara for the enthusiastic welcome given us and handing over their parish school to us.

May Montfort School Anakkara always spread the Good News of Christ and serve the people of the locality! A portion of the article by Bro. John of the Cross in the Dec.2000 issue of the News Magazine of Yercaud Province.


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Address

Montfort Senior Sec. School
Anakkara P.0.685512 Kumily(via),
Idukki Dt., Kerala

Ph.No.: 04868-282350(R), 282598(O),
282075(Hostel) & Fax : 282598

Email: montfortanakkara@gmail.com

WebSite :www.montfortank.com

MONTFORT COUNSELLING CENTRE

Community (2015 - 2016)

Bro. K V Thomas - LS

Bro.Jenny Kuriakose - Principal & Bursar

Bro. Ignatius - Chaplain

Bro.Thomas Thottiyil - Primary in-charge



Bro.Sabu Joseph - Director