Sunday, December 2, 2007


violin in hands Father McGuire
It was 1954 that Fr Mc Guire came to India as a young Canadian Jesuit priest. Father taught in Darjeeling in St. Joseph's and St. Robert's school and in St. Mary's school in Kurseong before coming to Kalimpong in 1990. In 1993 the Jesuit superior asked him to start a school for poor children and Gandhi Ashram was born.

I am one of the first children to be taken in by Fr. Mc Guire. "I did not know that life could be so different"

Father noticed that Nepali children were interested in their own music and they had proved that they could go very far in St. Robert's when Father taught a group of poor boys known as Gandhi Youth Group. He chose the violin as an instrument for the children to play because he feels the violin is the most beautiful instrument.

Gandhi Ashram Orchestra began with 11 children in 1993. We gave our first performance in Kalimpong only after 11 months of our encounter with the violin. Later on we were 15. Afterwards we were 30 and now there are almost 80 of us in the school orchestra. Rudramani Biswakarma conducts and teaches the orchestra. Father McGuire picked him up from the streets in Darjeeling when he was a small boy. 'Rudra' is a highly talented, dedicated man, who lives in his world of music. He interprets the music of the great masters and teaches us with love and care. He can relate to us who come from a similar background.

"All children in the school play the violin except the Kindergarten class"

In 1999 eight children were given scholarships to ICSE Schools in Kalimpong. Four of us were taken by Dr. Grahams Homes and five others by Saptashri Gyanpeeth. The principals of the schools heard us playing the violin and wanted to help us. It meant more than a dream coming true for us to be able to study in these schools.

Seema, a tenth grader from the first batch to the Homes says:
"I am very grateful to the people who have given children like us an opportunity to study in such a good school like the Homes".

Now we have 31 students going to different schools in Kalimpong.
We stay in the hostel of Gandhi Ashram School and go to these schools every morning.

Father McGuire is doing a lot for us. He is a channel through whom God's goodness is flowing into our lives. I know I have dared to dream 'big' because of the hope father gives us. We are given the self worth and dignity that helps us to grow and be what we are now.

By Sony Rai, Class 11, 2004

Father McGuire died on August 15,2005 but his legacy continues........

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