School Leaving Certificates!

Those days we used to get charged up for the SSLC called Secondary School Leaving Certificate which will determine our fate to enter the College, called Pre University Course! 

I remember getting 70% ensuring automatic admission to St. Joseph’s College, Trichy as such great Institutions where from Abdul Kalamgraduated, never deviated an inch from admission criteria! 

Father Ehrhart, was like our Real father in Clive’s, very very strict in discipline but extremely benevolent and affectionate! Many like Gopalsami, ex CEC, who was senior to me by a year, even now recall with fond memories, how we owe our life to that One year in St. Joseph’s! 

St.Joseph’s College 61-62

One day just before our PUC examns (April 62) I was in St. Joseph’s Library, when Father Lawrence Sundaram, a typical Brahmin accented Father told me :”I see your father contesting for the Teachers Constituency, against a Syndicate Member, Alexander Gyanamuthu! “(Alexander Gyanamuthu was the Principal of Alagappa Arts College and a Senior Syndicate Member of the Madras University) 

I told him ‘Father, I am really surprised as first I don’t know about it! Second I thought as a Headmaster well respected all over Tamil Nadu, my father wdnt take such a’wrong step‘in his life’ and I collapsed weeping like a Child!

Father Sundaram took hold of me and explained ‘that he won’t quit his HM’s position but continue to serve only for Teachers’ cause. Probably he didn’t inform you because your exams are shortly coming and I shdnt have disturbed you either! ‘

From then on Father Lawrence Sundaram was more particular about my examn preparations! 

Alagappa Classmates (Sitting Left Corner is Yours Truly!)

When I entered Alagappa Engg College, I was pleasantly surprised to see many of my St. Joseph’s College Classmates, as that Principal Mani Sundaram had a liking for students from St. Joseph’s! 

Alagappa Classmates

I was surprised when I appeared for the IIMC personal interview, one in the panel was from St. Joseph’s and he was more happy talking about Father X. Ehrhart than anything else! 

With Easwar @ Amherst

The importance, that discipline is intricately embedded in your blood in such Institutions, more so by the Blessings  of Fathers Ehrharts and Lawrence Sundarams, makes you a Man worthy of your very existence! 

Alagappa Engg College, Karaikudi

Todays youth must try to  become an Abdul Kalam and not aspire to own a Koda Nadu Somehow ! 


About s.rajah iyer

An MBA.. Interested in writing,Reading..Indian Philosophy
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12 Responses to School Leaving Certificates!

  1. Shankar says:

    Excellent recap ‘Down the memory lane’. Thanks Suri for sharing. Shankar (your class mate at Raja’s high school) RMD


  2. D. Ramasundaram says:

    your anecdote recalls me to my PUC to in Salem Govt. college 1961 to 1965. But no hostel life.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Muthuvadivu says:

    Lovely Suri
    Thanks for the Golden moments of our St.Joseph’s and Dr. Alagappa Chettiar’s Engg. College with photos. I was a New Hosteler at St. Joseph’s and our Principal was Father Ehrhat. I enjoyed viewing your posting with my wife and grand kids.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. R santhanam says:

    I always cherish the one year spent at St Joseph college and Clives hostel.
    Clives mates will recall that every evening “Study hour ” starts at 7 PM. We used to chat loudly till the bell is sounded by Hostel Assistant Antony at 7 PM. Fr Ehrhart used to come daily to hostel in the evenings.
    One evening when I was chatting away in the adjoining room, Fr. entered that room. Seeing me there he pulled my ear and started to take me to my room.At that time the 7 PM bell rang. He realised his mistake. HE APOLOGIZED to me !
    He WAS indeed a Great Man.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. V. L. Swaminathan says:

    Rev Fr Ehrhart showered blessings on me so much. He named me Very Lazy.Swaminathan as he did not come in his vicinity for more than a week (in Sep59).
    I am 3rd batch of PUC (1958-59 ) followed that B Sc (1959-62), A very good institution St Joseph Trichy

    Liked by 1 person

  6. R.Balasubramanian(Sivaganga) says:

    Very lucky to be a student of high
    Valued Institution,St.Joseph College.
    Now such such colleges are rare.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. R.Balasubramanian(Sivaganga) says:

    Very lucky to be a student of high
    Valued Institution,St.Joseph College.
    Now such such colleges are rare.


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