Ms. Preema Noronha
Happy Retirement - Dilip Sangle - Farewell on 2/8/2022
Dear Mr. Dilip Sangle and all gathered here,
I am happy to say a few words in honour of Mr. Dilip Sangle who has worked and served at SXBA for 33 years in the school office as the Senior Clerk.
Everyone’s journey is different. Happiness is found within and overthinking can lead to sadness. May you be proud Dilip of the work you have done, the person you are and the difference you have made to all the lives you have touched here at SXBA.
Retirement can be a really exciting period where a person can choose to devote their time to hobbies and activities that they are passionate about which they could not do when they were in a regular job. The official wording says that he is being "relieved" today. That is true. After many years of strenuous commute now he is getting relief from all those strains. Remember what goes round comes around. So for all the good that you have done while serving at SXBA may you be blessed with happiness and peace of mind.
And finally I would like to extend my warm wishes for your next phase of life. No matter where you go, we will always be praying and cheering for you. It is perhaps a great time to catch up and pay greater attention to family now which was not possible earlier because of work commitments. We hope that your retirement gives you the chance to live your life in complete harmony with nature and fulfill all your incomplete wishes.
Thank you and God bless you.
Ms. Preema Noronha
July 31, 2022
ST.IGNATIUS FEAST (30/7/2022)
The Cannon Ball moment which Ignatius experienced 500 years ago was a turning point in his life. After this incident Ignatius’s life was transformed and he became a ‘Man of God from a Man of the World, a Saint from a Soldier’. St.Ignatius pondered, prayed and spent time in solitude after he was hit by a cannon ball on the battlefield and while he was recuperating he was enlightened. Once enlightened Ignatius made a conscious effort to change his old ways and begin life anew. Ignatius became pro active and his life took a different direction.
What has the conversion of Ignatius 500 years ago got to do with us today at SXBA ? Can we remember our own cannon ball moments? What has Education got to do with Ignatius and the cannon ball experience? St.Ignatius was one of the first religious founders who made Education available to the common man. Till then Education was a privilege only for the aristocrats and elite- the upper crust of society. He made education open and within the reach of common people like us. Thus we are here today at SXBA.
The Universe is time and again speaking to us, imploring us and when all this has fallen on deaf ears has finally dropped numerous cannon balls and bombarded us with signs of acute distress – plastic on the sea shores as return gifts, tsunamis, tornadoes, global warming is all staring us in our face. Can we read the signs and listen to this distress call? Do we pay heed to the cries of the Universe? Can our education reform us to ‘find God in all things’ so that we can re-establish the lost connect between Humans, Nature and finally God by truly caring for our Mother Earth?
With our theme ‘Education and Ecology’ for this academic year we endeavour to reshape and recreate all our stakeholders in this direction. God dwells within us. Education should enable us to have a greater knowledge of self since the illumination of the whole world is useless if the Self is in darkness. We seek the intercession of St. Ignatius to help us pay heed to all the Cannon Balls dropped on us by the Earth time and again and start becoming pro-active like he was. Let us pledge today to help renew our Earth in small simple ways e.g: ‘Zero Out Carbon from our Lifestyles’.
Ms. Preema Noronha
AWARDS DAY – 22/7/2022
VOTE OF THANKS
Gratitude opens our eyes to the limitless potential of the universe. The universe provides us with ample opportunities to stop and thank people who make a difference in our lives.
Honourable Chief Guests – Mr. & Mrs. Shah parents of Hardik Shah, Rev.Frs, Respected family and friends, dear parents, ex-students, PASTOR and BAPSA members, ex-staff members, ex-students, benefactors, well-wishers, staff and students.
At the very outset, I thank the Almighty for the various stakeholders of this institution whose dedicated and selfless service enabled us to continue making a difference in the lives of many students who passed through the portals of this hallowed institution S.X.B.A.
Mr. and Mrs. Shah, thank you for accepting our invitation to be the Chief Guests today, for the kind sentiments you shared and for giving away the prizes.
Hardik Shah as the captain of our school you had to shoulder many responsibilities. Since schooling had shifted Online without a fore warning you students did not get much time to prepare yourselves for a new way of Education. But we know how tech savvy the younger generation is and there is so much we can learn from you about technology. Thank you Hardik for being prompt in rendering your services to our school whenever the teachers requested you. You were not just interested in academics alone but also wanted to involve the students in various co-curricular activities online. I am sure you are well prepared to face your future since you did well in the uncertain times of the past year.
I am grateful to our Manager Fr.Blaise D’Souza s.j. for making himself available to us at all times and to Fr.Saby s.j. for his presence with us today. Thank you Mr.Savio D’Mello(Vice-Principal), Mrs.Minelia Monteiro (H.M.-Primary), Ms.Sandra McMahon (Coordinator-Pre-Primary) for your assistance and support in the past year. I would like to place on record my deepest gratitude to Mrs.Yvonne Rodrigues once again who with the support of her teachers of the Primary Section has laid a strong foundation that helped in the formation of our boys. We wish Mrs.Yvonne Rodrigues a well deserved retired life and pray for blessings of good health and happiness.
To our Staff members both teaching and non-teaching who have spent their time and energy in order to make this programme a success in various ways and who were responsible for various duties assigned to them- my sincere gratitude to you. Thank you B.Ed trainee teachers for all the help you rendered in assisting our school teachers for this programme. Do convey my gratitude to your Principal and lecturers too.
My heartfelt gratitude to our support staff – the ones who work silently behind the scenes. They are an important pillar of this school and their unstinted joyful support keeps everything moving harmoniously. Thank you ever so much.
To our parents and specially the PTA office bearers Mrs.Namrata Poddar, Mrs.Surabhi Shirodkar, Mrs.Rupal Kshatriya who did such a commendable job and very specially for all the help rendered to convey messages back and forth to students and parents as well in the last academic year. I cannot thank you enough for your staunch support and collaboration throughout the last academic year. I am sure the present PTA team will continue the good work started by them. My earnest appeal to you parents is to support the PTA team whenever they approach you, to be present to help conduct all activities planned for your children in our school because education cannot be limited only to the textbook, syllabus, curriculum or classroom. Being educated is making the most of all experiences life offers. The degree our students earn at the end of an exam is merely a piece of paper. That they are truly educated is seen in their conduct, behaviour and character as they face life with all its challenges. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Mrs.Sarika Singh PTA VP (2020-2021) who had to face a lot of challenging situations and she did such a excellent job. Thank you Mrs.Singh.
Dr.Kamlesh Desai and BAPSA members, friends and well-wishers - your presence this evening has made us glad. Thank you for your sustained interest in our school – your Alma Mater.
My gratitude to Mr. Neil for his promptness and efficiency to set our school and staff on track, well prepared and equipped to continue with the online teaching. Thank you Mr.Neil D’Souza and Mr. Mario Parhyad. Also for your assistance in preparing this school report.
Thank you Mr.Terry D’Silva and your team of photographers and Mr. Dylan John for providing the sound system for the day. A word of thanks to Mr.Prakash Gadkar for the special light effects.
To all our security personnel who man their posts every single day and who protect us by their presence -Thank you.
And finally to all my dear students who kept the flow of the show going by their compering, melodious singing, acting and well coordinated dances - you did transport us to a peaceful, harmonious world while keeping us enthralled. Thank you - you were simply wonderful.
If I have inadvertently missed out thanking anyone in particular please accept my deep gratitude and thanks.
God Bless you.
Ms. Preema Noronha
INVESTITURE OF PREFECTS - 1ST JULY 2022
THEME : EDUCATION, ECOLOGY AND LEADERSHIP.
Today you Student Council members are invested not only with a privilege of leadership but power as well. And along with great power comes great responsibilities. Since Education and Ecology is our theme this year let us understand our role as leaders against the background of our theme “Education and Ecology”.
Engaging Leadership is important for motivating a change in human behaviour. But Ecological Leadership is a team effort to create a healthy future for our planet. This necessitates a change in mindsets, leadership skills, strategies and approaches from the traditional ones we are accustomed to.
7 important principles to Ecological leadership:
1) Build your sense of purpose : Developing for ourselves a sense of what is our purpose as well as helping others to find their own, produces exceptional results. You as elected student council leaders have been given this opportunity to develop the best possible version of yourselves with a renewed purpose at work.
Look at your team mates as unique human beings with their own individualities and perspectives, with their own sense of purpose which may not match exactly with yours? Instead of only focussing on your houses and the marks that you hope to achieve inorder to be on the top through participation in various activities, can you focus more on personal growth of yourselves and those in your teams/houses?
Earlier I said each team member may see his purpose as different from yours. So it is evident that there is going to be a lot of diversity.
Diversity, when embraced, can foster new levels of collaboration, innovation, creativity, respect, and results into higher performance.
Instead of embracing this diversity my observation is that we are getting to become less accepting, less accommodating and more intolerant. Become aware of the environment that surrounds you, keep abreast of the happenings in and around the world, our country, our state and question yourself as to what is my individual responsibility in this scenario.
Now having become aware that Ecology, Environment includes diversity then can you look at the other as your brother/sister and be inclusive rather than exclusive?
Today is a good day to think about how you as the student council team of 2022-2023 will make decisions and put them into practice. Can you be collaborative to tap into the collective intelligence as you take decisions and carry everyone along? Can you do your bit towards Harmony with inclusion?
I believe it is time to adopt this approach and what a better day than today to make a start in this direction.
5) Non Violent Management
Non violent management means Non Violent Communication. As Leaders if you are compassionate, able to connect with empathy with those under your charge, are respectful of the feelings and needs of others as well as your own, you are more likely to create a great team. Develop this quality of connection before focussing and running after results. This does not mean trying to gain popularity at the cost of leadership, it does not mean letting everyone do whatever he wants to do. It is a balance you need to achieve between being kind and firm, between friendliness and maintaining boundaries as leaders.
6) The Feminine at work
Many traditions (Buddhism, Hinduism, Zen,) talk about the different energies i.e.feminine and masculine that needs to be balanced in the universe. This also applies to your role as leaders. It is time to rebalance our perspective. So when dealing with others listen with your heart but when dealing with yourself listen also to your head. What a sensible bit of advice which is also so practical.
Authentic leadership requires courage and an openness to receive genuine feedback. This is the key to an ecological healthy leadership. Every time you are open to receive authentic and courageous feedback from others, this creates an opening which helps growth, develops new capabilities and we become better at what we do while we also care for our common home – the Earth.
God bless you.
Republic Day 26/1/2022 – Message from the Principal
Dear Students, Staff, Parents and Well wishers of SXBA,
Since 1950 every year January 26 is celebrated as Republic Day in India as it was on this day that the Indian Constitution came into existence. We remember with gratitude the architect of our Constitution – Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and his team who took nearly 35 months to draft the entire constitution.
Republic Day marks the celebration of the empowerment of Indian citizens. This word empowerment is a very loaded, powerful and meaningful word. What does it mean to be empowered are some thoughts I will share with you on this occasion.
On the eve of Republic Day, many national awards such as the Bharat Ratna, Padma Awards, and Kirti Chakra are presented to heroes - brave men and women of the Armed forces. Civilians too are awarded for courage, hard work, and bravery. Also children who have displayed immense acts of courage are awarded the National Bravery Award.
Some of us are once again in a sort of a lockdown mode and in quarantine too. Ordinary citizens are struggling everywhere. The overriding feeling for many is one of fear, worry, insecurity, tension, and for you students boredom perhaps. It seems like a very negative force is at play everywhere. So then how can we empower ourselves in this frightening, negative and challenging situation to replace negativity with positivity, face our fears courageously and bring about a change for ourselves, our near and dear ones? What is courage then? Is it the absence of fear?? Not at all. Courage does not mean you are not afraid, it only means you do not let fear stop you because Fear is a reaction whereas Courage is a decision. It is a decision to never to let your actions be influenced by your fears. And when you reach this stage in life then we know that you as a person is truly empowered.
How can we empower ourselves to face adversity and become a true hero in the midst of a pandemic? Strength and courage are not always measured in medals and victories. They are measured in the struggles empowered people overcome. Ordinary individuals who find the strength to persevere and endure inspite of overwhelming obstacles, who act irrespective of a decision leading to success or failure, who persist and never give up are true heroes.
So on this Republic day as we ponder on our role and duties as empowered citizens of our nation, let us strive to have Freedom in our mind, Strength in our words, Pureness in our blood, Pride in our souls, Zeal in our hearts and Courage in our being ….. Happy Republic Day 2022 to a generation whom I wish and pray can use this period of adversity to an advantage and empower themselves to turn out victorious as heroes SXBA will always be proud of.
CHRISTMAS MESSAGE - 20/12/2021
THEME : THIS CHRISTMAS LIGHT THE WORLD WITH LOVE
Dear Students, Staff members, Parents, well wishers and all who are participating in this Online Christmas programme and celebrations at SXBA.
Good morning and welcome to each one of you. We are hopefully in a happy, joyful and festive mood this year bringing in the Christmas spirit and cheer which the world so badly needs at the moment. The theme chosen for this year is Light the world with love this Christmas. As we remember the person of Jesus whose birth we celebrate on Christmas day let us understand who Jesus is, what his life was all about and perhaps what he expects from each one of us to remember him by.
One of the greatest gifts that we have received and take for granted the most is LIFE. Life is meant to be well lived every moment. But somehow in the everyday routine, the beauty and purpose of this gift is lost in the busyness of everyday living. The glitz and glamour of the modern world is alluring and attracts us to itself subtly but powerfully by conveying the message that to be happy and successful we need to hide and not reveal our true self, mask our vulnerabilities, be artificial and fake, run a rat race, compete with each other, pull down the other and make every effort to be first or at the top at all times and at any cost. Jesus goes counter current and through his own life and teachings shows us what is really important. He makes us realise that real strength is when you are aware and know your weaknesses, real beauty is when you appreciate and accept your flaws and true wisdom is when you learn from your mistakes. How do we know this???? It is because Jesus the king of kings chose to come down to earth as a mere infant, totally dependent on other humans for his very survival and growth, was vulnerable to the forces that were against him from birth to death and still set himself apart by being real, true, humble, kind and of service to all irrespective of whether one was rich, poor, man, woman, child, Jew or non Jew, a commoner or an official. He was most inclusive and no one was excluded from his life or love.
Jesus also taught us that FAMILY is very important. Christmas is that feast wherein we celebrate the FAMILY. Jesus was born in a family and had his own parents, cousins and friends and in this set up of a family he lived and grew up. In his family he honed his skills of carpentry and lived a life of Obedience, LOVE and Service. This enabled Jesus to grow in wisdom and grace. This Christmas let us cherish our family and make every effort to share more of our time, our Joys, blessings, even our challenges and difficulties, our own selves and dare to be open about our vulnerabilities with those whom we trust. This in turn will make us wise and keep us well grounded too.
Finally when we put up our Christmas Star, decorations and lights on our Christmas tree let this be a reminder that we too must in turn light up our own lives and radiate LOVE to all. A heart filled with love always appreciates every blessing and will always be bigger than the eyes that sees what is only missing. Let this Christmas season be a time of gratitude to God and others for every blessing we have received in life from them.
Merry Christmas to each one of you, your families and loved ones too and a very happy and healthier New Year 2022.
Farewell Mrs. Yvonne, Mrs. Carol and Mrs. Dipti
Every moment which has been life giving, uplifting, precious and deep felt should be acknowledged, celebrated, and encapsulated in the deepest corners of our heart before they become memories.
Our entire universe also felt our reluctance to say goodbye to the three of you and so it brought about a shut down like the people of our generation have never ever witnessed before.
Goodbyes and partings are never easy. More specially when they concern people who have forged a bond and have connected to you in a special way. What is important is not that we dwell on the sadness of their leaving but rather focus on how their lives have impacted our very own. And those who have made a place in our hearts never really leave us as they are unforgettable.
Today is a very very special day. A day filled with a number of memorable occasions as we celebrate Maharashtra day, workers day, the Marian Month, and of course the birthday of a very important person in our midst - Mrs. Yvonne Rodrigues. Happy birthday dear Yvonne and may you live a long and healthy life. We pray to the patron of workers - St. Joseph and our blessed mother for blessings on our State of Maharashtra which is facing its worst human and health crisis ever, all the workers specially those working tirelessly in these Covid times in our state of Maharashtra and those who are without a job, that our mother Mary may protect our state and keep her people under the mantle of her love.
Yvonne I was blessed to have had the opportunity of working closely with you ever since I set foot at SXBA and i found you to be a great team-mate. I am not going to repeat all the qualities of mind and heart that have been expressed by all those who have encountered you as I agree with them all. Being the head of any institution is never an easy job but when you have companions who have the same zeal, passion, and commitment to give their best then the journey becomes awesome. It is more important to have fabulous companions who make any journey worthwhile on the road one is travelling. Thank you, Yvonne, for the wonderful times we had at SXBA and for all the lives you impacted when you were the HM of the Primary section.
Carol though you worked in the primary office I can truly say I saw the living out of the MAGIS in you. You did not limit yourself only to the job that SXBA had selected you for and entrusted you with, but you went out of your way and comfort zone to lend a helping hand whenever and wherever it was needed. I saw you at various primary school functions controlling the primary boys in the school hall just with one look, one gesture alongwith all the teachers, I saw your involvement in activities that were primarily the responsibility of the primary teachers whether it was supervising a class in the absence of teachers, conducting the school assembly when the HM was not around, putting up an item for any programme or planning for celebrations of children's day, teachers day etc., I saw your creativity in the decorations of the primary corridors, the prompt display on the primary notice boards according to the occasions that arose, the artistic way of decorating the altar table at our eucharistic celebrations, I saw you do so much of everything that was not a part of your job profile. You did not limit yourself only to your work as a clerk of the primary school office. You chose to do so much more than your job demanded wholeheartedly. You worked with conviction and not out of compulsion. I am sure Yvonne will agree when I say that she was greatly blessed when she was the head of the primary section to have had someone so loyal to her and trustworthy too in the primary office. To have such a staff member is the greatest asset to any institution and a blessing to the one who is in charge. You were truly her right hand in every way possible.
They say some people are part of your life because it is so ordained, but I say some people come into your life as an answer to a prayer.
When I just took over as the new Principal of SXBA I had to deal with so many issues and challenges one of which was young and old staff members resigning for personal reasons.
I remember the year that Dipti came to SXBA. I vividly remember how at the nth hour that year I had an unexpected vacancy created in school and it was almost time to begin a new academic year. I had no teacher to teach the lower grades. Dipti if you remember your interview with us, I had asked you why you did not seek a job before this and why were u looking out for a job when the academic year was just about to begin. I wanted to know why someone who looked fit for the post of a teacher, was qualified professionally, was not grabbed by some other institution already. And Dipti told me because her dad was ill, she had decided to first look after him and then search for a job. At that moment I knew I had found the answer to my prayer. You Dipti were the person I was looking for and was very fortunate to have you in our school all these years. Dipti is a gentle, kind, respectful, soft spoken, and caring person and she has remained true to her nature all these years. Don't get me wrong and think oh so here is a weak person. Far from it. She has a mind of her own, but she knows how to voice her opinion and express her views with utmost respect and grace. Thank you Dipti for being such a God sent person to me and a wonderful staff member of the secondary section.
The walls of our school will feel hollow, corridors will feel empty, and classrooms will feel lifeless without the inspirational presence of the three of you.
A truly great staff member is hard to find, difficult to part with and impossible to forget.
May God bless the three of you, your family and loved ones abundantly. On behalf of the Heads, staff, students, ex-students and other stakeholders of SXBA I thank the three of you immensely and would like to end with this blessing :
May the blessings of good health, the joy of good friends, a loving family and the contentment of a job well done fill your life with happiness.
FAREWELL SPEECH - STD.10 (2020-2021) – 23/3/2021
ST. XAVIER’S BOYS’ ACADEMY
February 3, 2021
MANAGER’S DAY – 3/2/2021
Every day is a gift from God filled with endless possibilities. Some days are special - these special days are given as a bonus to all. Today is a special day for Fr.Blaise. We celebrate his birthday and Manager’s Day as a token of our appreciation for the gift he is to us and our institution.
This academic year 2020-2021 the unprecedented year of the Pandemic has been a year of the unexpected, the unknown, the year which took most of us by surprise. Many who were craving for personal time got an abundance of it, the virus that hampered our normal / natural breathing also gave us breathing space to rejuvenate, relearn and relook at our priorities. While a sudden break was applied to the rhythm of life as we had known and lived thus far without any warning, this year gave us ample time and plenty of opportunities to refresh, rewind and renew ourselves. It was a year which called for adaption and growth. We learned to take on things that we had never done before, picked up different skills, ventured into unchartered territories as we realised growth and comfort do not co-exist.
At every turn of life we were met with challenges –unforeseen, not thought of even in our dreams and definitely not prepared for in advance. These challenges made life interesting and overcoming them made life meaningful. To help us face a challenge, to overcome our fears, to lead others in times of uncertainties, to prepare oneself within a limited time without knowing whether something new would be a success or failure and then face whatever comes our way becomes less stressful when we have a good and wise leader at the top. Leadership is this ability to guide others into a direction or decision that leaves everyone feeling empowered and accomplished. This is the leader we experienced in the person of Fr.Blaise. He led us through the tough times by example-though we were not in school in those initial days of the Pandemic he was at his post every single day, he kept abreast of all that was happening at the SXBA online classes with the staff, students and parents too and together helped us draw out the best from a challenging situation.
Fr.Blaise’s famous mantra ‘to carry everyone along’ and a word that is in a way synonymous with Him ‘Harmony’ is evident in the choices he makes. Both these are not easy to adhere to in normal times and more so in moments of chaos, turmoil and difficulties. But he never wavered and stood his ground even during this pandemic, urging us to carry along all the stakeholders of SXBA and work in harmony towards setting new goals and also striving for harmony in our day to day interactions with everyone.
Power is not control, power is strength which one gives the other so that they in turn have the strength to stand on their own. Thank you Fr.Blaise for your clarity of thought, your steadfastness in times of uncertainties and your profound understanding of the vision and mission of SXBA. We are blessed to have you with us as a Jesuit Priest and Manager of SXBA.
A leader is a dealer in hope. You have given us plenty of hope specially when we were uneasy, doubted our own abilities, were worried or even at times failed despite our best efforts. A giver of hope believes in the inherent goodness of everyone. This is best expressed in the song I will now play for you ‘Look for the Good in Everyone’ which we as the SXBA family dedicate to you.
Happy Birthday Fr. Blaise and God’s blessings be with you.
ST.XAVIER’S BOYS’ ACADEMY
CHRISTMAS MESSAGE - 22/12/2020
Dear Students, staff and parents,
Christmas is just round the corner and I am so happy to be addressing you perhaps for the last time this year. Coming to think of this year 2020 - the year of the pandemic and lockdown it has been a very challenging year for all of us. The Pandemic and the Lockdown has meant loss of hope, loss of life, loss of livelihood, fear and a sense of purposelessness to many people around the world. The situation we are facing looks scary, grim and most depressing.
Against this background of insecurity, fear, hopelessness, death, anxiety etc. we celebrate Christmas – a symbol of hope, joy, love and peace. There is a sense of magic to the season of Christmas. This magic does not happen out of thin air, it needs to be woven into the fabric of our lives.
The birth of Jesus is what we celebrate on Christmas day. He taught us that life is the most precious of all gifts but a life well lived is one which is lived for others. A learned scholar and teacher was once asked by his students “Master what is the meaning of life?” I am sure we too have asked this same question many times. The wise master answered “Life in itself has no meaning. It is an opportunity to create meaning.” The real fact of the matter is that we do not know what tomorrow is going to bring and the only thing we really have is right now. So how do we go about bringing in this cheer and spreading the message of Christmas? I will place before you some pointers which seem simple but not easy. Do not stay angry for too long and learn instead to forgive. Love your family and friends with all your heart. Have fun and live your life in the service of others. This is the sure way to find happiness and meaning in our life as we bring back Hope and Joy in our world today. I am sure each one of you students of SXBA can be ambassadors of a hopeful and joyous tomorrow.
Christmas is also associated with gifts which is a symbol of Love. Love is not found in material things. Love is something that has to be felt and experienced in the heart. The greatest gift you can ever receive is not found in the shops or placed under the Christmas tree by Santa Claus. Love is found in the hearts of your loving family and your true friends. This Christmas then surround yourself with the gift of beautiful and positive people who love you and believe in you.
In the end I pray for each one of you, your family, loved ones and friends that you may be a beacon of light, hope, love and joy as you spread the Christmas cheer all around you in these challenging and difficult times. I pray that you have a heart free of sadness and a mind free of worries, a life full of gladness, a body free from illness, a spirit full of love and a day filled with God’s blessings. Remember to make sure you test positive for faith, keep your distance from doubt and always isolate yourself from fear and negative people and situations.
Merry Christmas and a happy, hopeful, safe and healthy New Year 2021. God bless you.
ST.XAVIER’S BOYS’ ACADEMY
FAREWELL CLASS - X (2019-20)
4th FEBRUARY 2020
My dear boys of class 2019-20,
This is perhaps the last time you will be addressed as ‘Boys of the Academy’ since you now stand on the threshold of adulthood. So far you have been shielded, protected, sheltered and cared for by all those who have selflessly spent many years in your formation - starting with God, your parents and finally we your teachers who have left no stone unturned to help bring out the best version of yourselves. In the bargain at times we have faced innumerable struggles, hardships, challenges, stumbling blocks, misunderstandings and what have you. We have taken all this in our stride and I am sure you will agree that nothing deterred us in our mission of transforming you to become men of character. We have done our jobs and have prepared you for the 21st century. There is a lot of promise and opportunity alongwith the challenges that the world outside holds for you. But the most important question you need to ask yourself is – ‘Are you ready for what life has to offer you and for what lies ahead of you?’ The faster you learn the difference between preparation (which we have done with you) and readiness (which you yourself hopefully have worked on) the better it is for you. Once you understand this, you will realise that henceforth you will be held accountable and responsible for all your options, choices, actions, results and mistakes too. I would think this in itself is a thought worth spending time and reflecting upon.
Tim Cook the Chief Executive Officer of Apple Inc. says ‘What you build and what you create defines who you are. If you build a chaos factory you cannot dodge responsibility for chaos’. The problems that we face today are all human problems created by humans. If you turn a blind eye and accept everything that happens to you and others as normal and unavoidable, if you do not take responsibility for your actions or inactions at the appropriate time, then you will have no one else but yourselves to blame. There are too many people out there who want credit without accepting responsibility, too many who show up for the ribbon cutting without building or creating anything, too many who trod on the known pathways.
We at SXBA now urge you to find your vision on a solitary road, seek courage in your challenges and hope in the unexpected. This road is yours and yours alone. Others may walk it with you but no one can walk it for you. So do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. A good way to embark on this journey called life is to first feel safe and secure in your own skin. How does one go about doing this? When no one else celebrates you, learn to celebrate yourself, compliment yourself. It is not upto other people to keep you encouraged at all times. It is now solely upto you. Encouragement should come from within. Believe in yourself and never give up, hold fast on to the values instilled in you and which have stood you in good stead. Also encourage others to look at the goodness in this world and inspire them to be the greatest version of themselves. It is in this togetherness, collaboration and harmony with others you will find the true meaning to your existence and a purpose to your life. The Japanese have understood this secret to a long, happy, healthy and fulfilled life and they call this the “Ikigai”. I have shared this secret with you now so do whatever you can to make it your own.
Your time on earth is limited too so do not waste it living someone else’s life. Be different, leave something worthy and always remember you cannot take all that you have created with you. You are going to leave it all behind in the hope that someday it will pass on and live forever if it benefits humankind.
I wish you the very best as you put your best foot forward and embrace life in it’s fullness in the years ahead………..beginning today.
CHRISTMAS MESSAGE – 2019
Christmas is my most favourite time of the year. For me this feast gives me the reason, the purpose and meaning to my existence. Christmas stands for HOPE, JOY, LOVE AND PEACE. I like to remember Christmas as a feast that UPLIFTS us all and I’ll tell you why.
I believe our God loves us so much, knows us so well, cares for us like no one really would and is aware of our true potential but most of the times we are not aware of who we really are. So what better way then, than to come down to our level, take us up to his level and UPLIFT us to become God like – the way God wants us to be. The word UPLIFT beautifully explains the true meaning of Christmas.
U Jesus came down to us as a Universal person. He belonged to no one in particular and at the same time belonged to everyone – i.e. to all who accepted and welcomed him. Jesus through his life taught us that being Universal means having no barriers or boundaries, no claims or sole propertiership over any one, no favourites per se but someone who made Preferred choices.
P One can be Universal if one makes a Personal choice based on principles. These principles are the values that are close to us because of our convictions. So Jesus made a personal choice to leave his Godhead, status, power, honour, glory and become a human just like us in every way except sin. He made a preference for the poor, the marginalised, the less fortunate, those who had no one to call their own or stand with them and for them – Do we have such principles and make personal choices in challenging situations based on these principles?
L Jesus understood the true meaning of unconditional love from his birth to his death. His love went beyond measure and embraced all. He loved even when it seemed the most foolish thing to do so and without counting the cost. What is our idea of love? Do we love only to get something in return or can we love till it hurts and have nothing more to give ?
I I don’t remember a single instance in Jesus’ life where he excluded anyone – lepers, women, children, outcasts, those belonging to other religions, you name it - he embraced them all. Are we inclusive at SXBA or do we have our exclusive groups? Are we ok and accepting when someone does not agree with our views, our opinions and our ideas ? Do we pretend to be open but are prejudiced in our minds and hearts?
F Jesus could have chosen any other way to become a part of our lives, but he chose to come down in a family. A family is the cradle of civilization and the bedrock from where we become who we are meant to be. In our world today ego, pride, greed, corruption, anger, property fights, separation, divorces, etc. has disrupted family life. As we go back home today can we cherish our family members? Can we try and make the situation at home better ? Can our families be more warm, inviting and welcoming? Can we spend more time and be more connected with and relate to our parents, siblings, other family members at home rather than be glued to our T.V sets, computers, mobiles, games, pubs, parties and other gadgets?
T The best prayer that one can make at all times is the prayer of Thanksgiving. There is nothing better than a grateful heart. This Christmas let us learn to be grateful for the big and small things of life, for all our blessings and for the many things we take for granted just because we have received them freely.
Christmas is a time to spread Hope when there is uncertainty, mistrust, insecurity and fear gripping us. It is a time to spread Joy because we can do so when we become inclusive, accepting, inviting and welcoming both in our home and outside, it is a time to Love till it hurts – unconditionally and without measure, it is a time to spread Peace which comes from a grateful heart.
So be Christ-like this Christmas uplifting yourself and others and spreading the true spirit and message of Christmas to one and all you meet and greet.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2020 to you, your family and your loved ones.
AWARDS DAY – 19/7/2019 - VOTE OF THANKS
Gratitude is that currency which we can mint for ourselves and spend without the fear of bankruptcy.
Honourable Chief Guests – Mr. Patel & Grandmother of Jay Patel –Mrs. Shobhana Patel, Rev.Frs, Respected family and friends, dear parents, ex-students, PASTOR and BAPSA members, benefactors, well wishers, staff and students.
An attitude of gratitude is not merely a great rhyme - It is a wonderful way to live life – it changes everything. We need to be grateful for – the big and the small things of life which makes it worthwhile and special. Today on this special occasion I can see a number of special people to whom I owe a huge amount of gratitude.
At the very outset, I thank the Almighty for the various stakeholders of this institution whose dedicated and selfless service enabled us to continue making a difference in the lives of many students who passed through the portals of this hallowed institution S.X.B.A.
Mr.Patel, Mrs. Shobhna Patel and Jay, thank you for accepting our invitation to be the Chief Guests today, for the kind sentiments you shared and for giving away the prizes. I would like to make a special mention of my deepest gratitude to the Grandmother of Jay who looked after him so lovingly after his mother’s untimely demise. Thank you.
Jay Patel as the captain of our school you had to shoulder many responsibilities. You were clever, respectful, polite and willing to do jobs entrusted to you sincerely while upholding the values of our school – a true gentleman at heart. You were also well loved by the students of our school. Despite your personal loss and pain you were so true to your post as school captain never letting your personal challenges interfere with your commitment to duty or studies. You made us proud by being the third highest topper at the SSC Board Exam. You managed to balance your studies, responsibilities as captain and also participated in other co-curricular activities too. You are a true role model to our students of the Academy. I must say you are very capable of facing anything that lies in store for you in the future.
I am grateful to our Manager Fr.Blaise D’Souza s.j. for making himself available to us at all times. Thank you for giving us your time and for sharing your wisdom which guides us. Thank you Mr.Savio D’Mello(Vice-Principal), Mrs.Yvonne Rodrigues(H.M.-Primary), Ms.Pauline Noronha (Supervisor-Pre-Primary) for sharing my burden, pitching in whenever needed and for the team spirit we shared right through the Academic year 2018-19. I would like to place on record my deepest gratitude to Ms.Pauline Noronha who with the support of her teachers of the
Pre-Primary Section laid a strong foundation that helped in the upbringing of our boys. We wish Ms.Pauline a well deserved retired life and pray for blessings of good health and happiness as we welcome Ms.Sandra McMahon who has taken charge now as the Pre-Primary Coordinator.
To our Staff members both teaching and non-teaching who have spent their time and energy in order to make this programme a success, my sincere gratitude to you. Thank you B.Ed trainee teachers for all the help you rendered in assisting our school teachers for this programme. Do convey my gratitude to your Principal and lecturers too.
To our student council members for all the help extended - my heartfelt gratitude. You have already started working hard and responsibly right from the commencement of this academic year. Congratulations and all the very best for the rest of the year.
A special word of thanks to Mr.Elias Correia who helped us to commence with Scouting as an academic subject in our school last year and for the Scouts Camp he organized so efficiently which was appreciated by all. Our Scouts team has helped with the discipline in the hall this evening. Thank you Mr.Anandprakash Sharma and all you scouters who did a good job this evening.
To our parents, the PTA and BAPSA members, friends and well wishers - your presence this evening has made us glad. I must make a special mention of 3 important –PTA members - Mrs.Rashida Dhorajiwala – Vice President of the PTA, Mrs.Sarika Singh – Hon.Secretary and Mrs.Dharti Shinde – Hon. Treasurer for being such a wonderful, hardworking and efficient team who worked like a family. They were ever willing to reach out and help us conduct all the PTA activities as planned in school inspite of the many difficulties they faced. Often times I could see these three ladies trying so hard to get many more parents involved in school but with little success and looking so disappointed. Their love for our students and commitment to our school was so evident through their availability at all times despite the hardships alongwith their professional and personal commitments. I cannot thank you enough for your staunch support and collaboration throughout the last academic year. I am sure the present PTA members will continue the good work started by their predecessors. My earnest appeal to you parents is to support this team whenever they approach you to be present to help conduct all activities planned for your children because education cannot be limited only to the textbook, syllabus, curriculum or classroom. Being educated is making the most of all experiences life offers. The degree our students earn at the end of an exam is merely a piece of paper. That they are truly educated is seen in their conduct, behaviour and character as they face life with all its challenges.
My gratitude to Mr.Neil for his promptness and efficiency as our school’s website designer as also for updating, maintaining and being the Administrator of our ‘Whatsapp facility’. The presentation of this School Report so colourful, creative and concise is the result of his expertise. Thank you Mr.Neil D’Souza and Mr.Mario Parhyad for your assistance.
Thank you Mr.Terry D’Silva and your team of photographers and Mr.Pragnesh Mehta for providing the sound system for the day.
To the trustees of Patkar Hall for renting out their premises to us, the other personnel of Patkar Hall and the Support staff - Thank you very much.
And finally to all my dear students who kept the flow of the show going by their compering, melodious singing, acting, choral recitation, and well coordinated dance steps. You did transport us to a peaceful, harmonious world while keeping us enthralled - Thank you - you were simply wonderful.
If I have inadvertently missed out thanking anyone in particular please accept my deep gratitude and thanks.
Good night and God Bless you.
INVESTITURE OF PREFECTS – 28th JUNE 2019
Education of the heart is true education and that is what matters. Aristotle the Greek philosopher rightly said “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all”. We have chosen our theme for the year “Conversion of Heart For A Change of Mind” – In the context of this theme then what does it mean to be a good leader? Leadership is hard to define and good leadership even harder.
My dear student council members - Leadership starts with the heart. Mark Miller said “If your heart is not right nobody cares about your leadership skills”. All you council members have just been invested to be leaders of SXBA. But what kind of leaders and leadership style do we hope to see in you here at SXBA?
Each one of you is intelligent and that is good. But mere intelligence is not good enough for us. You will also need to possess a greater dose of emotional intelligence too. You are elected as leaders because we know you to be different and as ones who can make a difference. So then where do you begin? Begin with yourself. Make Awareness your close companion and guide. Move out of your comfort zones which may seem to be a secure place but nothing grows there. Make every effort to change your attitude, your style, your thinking, the way you carry yourself, the language you use to communicate and interact with others - in a nutshell – ‘Change your very self’.
Leadership is not merely being in charge. It is about taking care of those in your charge, it is not about a title, a badge, a sash or a designation. It is about impact, influence and inspiration. It is about commitment, dedication and service to one and all without any sort of discrimination.
You do not inspire your team mates by showing them how amazing you are. You inspire them by showing them how amazing they are. So show respect, give respect and earn respect – even to those whom you think do not deserve it. This then will be a true reflection of your character. Work at building your character and not your reputation because your character is who you are while your reputation is what people think of you. Leaders with influence give when they don’t have to, grow continuously, live authentically, empower others, manage hardships and always serve with humility.
We have seen something special in each one of you. So have the confidence then to stand alone if need be, the courage to make tough decisions when called for even though you may be unpopular, compassion to listen to others with an open mind and the patience to get into meaningful dialogue in times of disagreements. Learn to strike a balance and know when to lead and when to step back, when to use power and when to empower, when to take a firm stand and when to let go, when to use your head and when your heart. A helpful tip to keep in mind when dealing with others is use your heart but with yourself - use your head.
Finally if you truly want to be happy and successful define success in your own terms, achieve it by your own rules and build a life you are proud to live. This then is how and when our theme for the year “Conversion of Heart For A change of mind” will become a reality in school. I wish you all the very best on this exciting journey and assure you of our help all the way.
God Bless You.
Ms. Preema Noronha
Manager’s Day – 4th February 2019
Dear Fr. Blaise,
We have gathered specially this morning to wish you a very happy Manager’s day and a belated happy birthday too. I stand here on behalf of all the staff (teaching and non teaching), students, parents of SXBA and our B.Ed interns, to thank God for the gift of you to our institution and for your dedicated service to us.
You have been a source of inspiration, strength and guidance for all in these premises throughout the year. Thank you for the effort you constantly put in to lead our school in the direction the Jesuit Congregation has chalked out for us. You are no ordinary manager who rules from above but you believe in carrying everyone alongwith you. This is no mean feat and sometimes when you have to stand your ground on principles and policies and be firm and decisive you have a number of added challenges to face. However nothing deters you easily as you continue leading us, challenging us, empowering us, teaching us, showing us walking alongwith us and helping us reach our true potential.
Despite your ill health at times, you still continue to faithfully come to our institution each and every day and leave last of all. You have been amply blessed by God dear Fr. Blaise with his choicest blessings but your commitment towards the work entrusted to you, which was initially not of your choice but eventually you made it your own, your clarity of thought, sharp mind, inclusive attitude along with your administrative and decision making, problem solving and leadership skills is what sets you apart. You possess that child like curiosity and determination to learn and understand new and complex issues and you never give up easily. These have been some of your outstanding qualities worth emulating.
Thank you for helping us understand the true meaning of Harmony in simple and doable ways, for encouraging us and propelling us onwards to strive to achieve it in our personal lives and professional commitment alongwith all the stakeholders of SXBA. We do hope your presence and example will enable us to learn to collaborate and cooperate with one another despite our disagreements and misgivings, the ups and downs, successes and failures, always keeping the vision of this great institution and our own personal mission at the centre of our choices and decisions. Thank you for trusting us and letting us grow at our pace in qualities of mind and heart. We forge ahead confidently knowing fully well that you are there watching our backs and that we will have your support for the effort we put in irrespective of the results we achieve.
On this your special day I pray that our God almighty grant you good health, peace of mind and many more years of active service in his vineyard and here at SXBA.
Thank you and have an exciting year ahead.
Ms. Preema Noronha