In 1890, Venugram (also Belgaum or Belagavi), was a small hamlet of just 20,000 odd persons who frowned upon the education of girls. However, since it had been declared a British Cantonment, it was the destination of several British Officers who, arriving with their families, desired to have a secular education, like in England, for their daughters.
The British officers here, both civilians and military, petitioned the Archbishop of Goa and the Patriarch of the East Indies to establish an English Medium School in Belgaum (now Belagavi) for girls. The Archbishop in turn, requested Mother Stella of the Canossians in Hong Kong to spare a few of her nuns for this proposed School in Belagavi.
Mother Stella sent five sisters by a ship that almost capsized in a storm in the South China Seas. The ship reached Cochin in 1890 and the Sisters made their way to Belagavi, covering some of the distance by bullock cart. On arriving here they purchased an old bungalow and started St. Joseph’s School in 1891.
In those days, Belagavi used to be ravaged by the plague epidemic regularly. Sacrificing their own lives, and braving many hardships, the intrepid Canossian Sisters worked tirelessly to educate Belgaum’s girl-children.
For one hundred and twenty-five years now, the Canossian Sisters have taught the children of Belgaum the importance of discipline, the values of compassion and kindness, the joy of giving and helping and of trusting God. Along with a quality education they have given the children a moral compass.
St. Joseph’s Convent High School started its 125th year Centenary Celebration with a commemorative rally from the School to Globe Talkies, then towards the Hanuman Statue in Police Lines, up Havelock Road and back to the School Gates via High Street on 22nd January 2015.
A grand celebration has been planned on Friday, 22nd January 2016.