You are on page 1of 4

Our History

The Treaty of Sugauli 1816 between Nepal and East India Company granted Sikkim the region West of the Teesta under the guarantee of the Company. This territory was put under Capt. Lloyd and Mr. J. Grant, Commissioner Resident at Malda. Captain Lloyd toured the region and saw the suitability of Darjeeling as a sanitarium. He strongly urged the then Governor General Lord Bentinck to acquire it for health, trade, military and political purposes. Lord Bentinck agreed and negotiations with Sikkim Raja were made. In 1835 the Sikkim Raja made a free gift of Darjeeling Hill. In 1841 compensation of Rs. 3000 per annum was made to the Raja which was raised to Rs. 6000 per annum. By 1840 a road was made from Pankhabari to Darjeeling. Houses were built in the wooded hill slopes. In 1839, Dr. Campbell was appointed Superintendent of Darjeeling. Between 1839-42 a cart road had been built between Siliguri and Darjeeling. In the neighborhood tea plantation had begun. By 1850 there was a bazaar, a jail and a hospital. In 1840, the famous botanist Sir Joseph Hooker and Dr. Campbell while touring in North Sikkim were seized and imprisoned for six weeks. An avenging force was sent to Sikkim. The result was that the land south of the Rangeet and Tarai were annexed and formed the western part of the district of Darjeeling. Disputes on the borders of Bhutan and Bengal had continued for years since the British came to power in Bengal and Assam. In 1863 Sir Ashley Eden was sent to negotiate a treaty with Bhutan. The mission was a failure. He was ill treated in Bhutan and in retaliation Indian forces invaded Bhutan from the south. Tongsa, Penlop signed a treaty with Indian Government in 1865. By this treaty Bhutan ceded the Duars and the region between the Jaldhaka and the Teesta, the present Kalimpong Sub-Division. Thus the regions ceded by Sikkim and Bhutan formed the Darjeeling District. In this district, came the first missionary of the Church of Scotland in 1870. The first Church of Scotland missionary Rev. Williamm Macfarlane came to Darjeeling from Gaya in 1870. He bought a small piece of land and built a small school in Darjeeling. Boys attended this school and received education for four years. These youths were sent to schools in the neighboring tea gardens and villages. He himself toiled hard at school and toured Sikkim and the neighborhood. In 1873, he crossed the Teesta and reached Kalimpong. He thought that Kalimpong would be a fruitful station for education and evangelism. In 1873, he came to Kalimpong, bringing two teachers with him and opened a small school the first school in Kalimpong. The teaching and preaching work in Darjeeling prospered. Many youths became workers in offices, teachers in schools and some of them were baptized in 1874. These young Christians became leaders of Church Ganga Prasad Pradhan, Lakshmansing Mukhia, Surjaman Mukhia, Apun Laksom, Jangabir Mukhia and Sukhman Limbu. The area of Rev. Macfarlanes work was so extensive by 1878 that he could not cover the area alone. So he sent a letter to Scotland, asking for two workers. So the Church of Scotland in 1880 sent two missionaries Rev. W.S. Sutherland and Rev. A. Turnbull to work in the newly founded educational and religious work. The three missionaries in a meeting agreed to work in different parts of Darjeeling District and Sikkim Turnbull in Darjeeling, Sutherland in Sikkim and Macfarlane in Kalimpong. During the furlough in 1881 after 15 years, Rev. Macfarlane visited churches in Scotland and held meetings in which he told them about the work of the missionaries in the Eastern Himalaya. The Church of Scotland was very happy to hear this. A Missionary Association of four Scottish Universities had been formed a few years before this. Mr. Macfarlane met this Scottish Universities Mission Association members and had talks about the teaching and preaching work of the missionaries. This Scottish Universities Mission, under and jointly with Church of Scotland decided to send Mr. Macfarlane in the Eastern Himalayan region. This S.U.M. field of work was to

be Sikkim. It was decided to open a Training school for teachers and catechists in Kalimpong, so Mr. Macfarlane returned to Kalimpong as the first S.U.M. missionary. Meanwhile, Rev. Sutherland was working in Kalimpong and in 1886 on 19th April, Training Institution was opened with twelve students. The number of pupils gradually grew and the mission had to provide accommodation for students. Mr. Macfarlane began his activity of the construction of houses School, hostel for students and quarters for teachers. These were low roofed one storied long houses. The hostel consisted of a long one storied house divided into separate rooms. Each room was occupied by two or three students. They cooked their food in the room. He supervised the construction of the houses, brought materials and went to the forest to employ woodcutters and sawyers for timber in the construction of houses. On 15th February 1887, he had gone to the forest to bring timber, he returned late in the evening tired and went to bed early. Next Morning, his servant found him dead. He was 47 years of age at his home call. Now, the burden of the Guild Mission and Scottish University Mission work fell on the shoulders of Rev. Sutherland. To relieve him of the two responsibilities, the Young Mens Guild sent Rev. J.A. Graham who took the church work in Kalimpong. Rev. W.S. Sutherland was put in charge of the S.U.M. Training Institution. He built the Lalkothi Ladies Mission House. He as the first Principal of the S.U.M. Training Institution worked upto 1889. In 1891, an English School was opened by Shri Harkadhoj Pradhan near the bazaar. He taught the young men who later on held good jobs in the court and forest and police departments. After 12 or 13 years, this school was amalgamated with the Training Institution. Rev. Sutherland returned after 20 years in this district to Scotland. Rev. John Macara worked in his place from 1900 to 1902. Then Rev. T.E. Taylor succeeded him in the same year. He was a humble selfless Christian. During his tenure of Principal ship, he did manual labour leading the students. He and the training students after hard labour drained a large pool of water which covered the low area between the Girls hostel and K.D. Pradhan Road. This is now the Mission ground. In 1904 05, the training Institution was shifted to its present location. The one storied school and hostel were taken over by Womens Guild Mission. The new double storied building had then a Constance Taylor Memorial Hall and class rooms on both sides on the ground floor. The upper stories contained sleeping rooms for boarders. Rev. Taylor died on Christmas Day 1906 at Newpara, Gorubathan where he had gone to nurse a tea planter. Rev. W.G. McKean became the Principal after Rev. T.E. Taylor and served upto 1907 when the Rev. W.S. Sutherland returned to Kalimpong. He served this term of 14 years upto January 1921. Aberdeen University had conferred D.D. on him while he was in Scotland. Although, this are between the Jaldhaka and the Teesta was annexed to Bengal by the Treaty of Sinchula in 1865, there were few people and land survey was taken lately. Mr. C.A. Bell (Later Sir) the second Settlement Officer undertook the first survey of this sub-division in 1901-03. The land was classified (a) Khas mahal, (b) Forest and (c) Tea or Cinchona plantation. The Church of Scotland within 30 years, by the end of the last century, had opened Primary Schools in Darjeeling and Kalimpong. In Kalimpong Female Education and Home Industries and a hospital were begun. In these institutes local people were trained. In the hospital opened in 1893, Scottish Missionary doctors and sisters but they needed nurses, compounders and attendants. So, young men and women were taken in the hospital to be trained in this profession. The Hospital Superintendent in the early years of this century, selected labourious, intelligent, patient youths and gave them thorough practical and theoretical coaching. After 3 years they were sent to Patna Medical School for the completion of the course. These young men after completion of course became L.M.S. The first qualified doctors came from S.U.M.I. where they educated first. Similarly, nurse training started here in 1913 and this

Nurses Training is going on. So Indirectly the students of this institution have served their community as doctors. These were the first doctors from this district Yensing Sitling, Ongden Rongong, Prem Tshring Rongong, Lemsing Foning, Bishnulal Diskhit, Tongyuk Chhiring and Kashinath Chettri. At the arrival of Dr. Sutherland in 1907 as the Principal of the S.U.M.I. The Institution had developed into a large school with over 800 students. There were his assistants David Lepcha, A. Ropcha Sada, Singbir Pradhan, Bahadur Lama, Lakshmansingh Mukhia, Kiran Sarkar, Dharnidhar Biswas, Benjamin Roy. The Teachers Training School was started in 1908. This department took teachers of primary schools and gave practical and theoretical lessons in classes. The teachers who had read upto Upper Primary Class were put in Lower Grade and those above and class four in Higher Grade Class. Gradually all teachers of Primary Mission Schools were sent to Kalimpong S.U.M.I. for refresher course. Towards the end of 1907, Mr. H.J. Kinghorn came to help as the English Teacher in the school. People in Kalimpong wanted the standard of teaching to be raised upto the Entrance Examination of Calcutta University. The students of S.U.M.I. after passing the M.E. Examination, had to go to Darjeeling for 4 years study for Matriculation Examination. Going to Darjeeling meant expenditure on boarding and lodging besides school and personal expenses. Dr. Sutherland sympathetically, tutored some youths for the Examination. They were successful so he planned to raise the education standard as the people wanted. Suddenly on September 7th 1915, Mr. H.J. Kinghorn died. He had served in Kalimpong for seven years. Mr. Wm. W. Ferrie from Glasgow was sent to work in the vacancy. He worked from 1916 to the beginning of 1922 and went to Duars for education service. The Foreign Mission saw that Kalimpong would be a suitable station for education and evangelism. The teaching and preaching works prospered and the mission became a success and a good producer of church leaders. It was the first training school for teachers as well as catechist in Kalimpong. The Young Men's Guild and the Scottish Universities' Mission continued sending missionaries. many Primary schools were opened in kalimpong, female education, home industry, hospital were opened and the locals were trained. The first qualified doctors were educated first at SUMI and the nurse training was started in 1913. By then SUMI had developed into a large and renowned Institution. The teachers' training school was started in 1908 and the teachers of Primary mission schools were sent to SUMI for refreshers courses. The standard of teaching was raised upto the Entrance Examination of Calcutta University. Thus the teaching as well as preaching ministry began which became a noble service to Bhutan as well as teachers were sent there to spread education from SUMI. Mention may be made here of the moral teachings the School is imparting through the Holy Scriptures which has been successful to uphold the moral values but the pressing need in the School is the Chapel for Christian education programme for the students. Although many day school have adopted books on moral education, which give the basic guidelines for ethical standards, but these have not addressed to the faith dimension. The Chapel could take into account not only the moral values but the basic faith values that are the foundation for an integrated personality. The neglected moral and faith values due to present day distractions could be preserved through prayer and fellowship conducted in the Chapel which will definitely be an avenue for evangelism. The Sumians are constantly reminded of the burning bush that was set ablaze but was never consumed as envisaged in the Bible Exodus 3:2. It is with this holy fire the SUMIANS move with the vision that is well epitomized in the words of the Bible: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Knowledge".