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HERITAGE SCHOOLS OF COLONIAL CALCUTTA – Hare School

Hare School Calcutta

Born in Scotland in 1775, David Hare came to India in 1800 to make a fortune as a watchmaker. He prospered in his business, but unlike other Europeans, never returned to his native country after gathering a fortune to live a life in peace and prosperity. He decided to stay back and devote himself to the cause of its uplift. He was not a missionary, seeking to convert others to his religion, he just lived his own life and allowed others to live their own, only helping to improve their condition.

David Hare
David Hare

David Hare felt that English should be taught for the social and economic upliftment of the nation. That led to the foundation of Hindu College, on 20 January 1817, School Book Society on May 6, 1817 and Calcutta School Society on 1st September, 1818. He also established a school within the complex of the Hindu college, which was later came to be known as Hare School. Nobody is sure about the actual date of establishment of the School, but officially the year of establishment of the school is 1818. Thus the school is declared as the Oldest western type school in Asia. The combined campus of the Hare School and Hindu College (now Presidency University) is one of the largest in Calcutta.

Ground Floor Corridor of Hare School
Ground Floor Corridor of Hare School

The construction of the white building of the school followed the style of the Victorian era. The big rooms have high ceilings, tall doors, and no windows. A third floor was constructed on top of the original two-story building, maintain the same architectural style. However, a new smaller building has been constructed nearby in a modern style. The combined campus of the Hare School and the Hindu College (now Presidency University) has two common playgrounds. There is a statue of David Hare in the complex, which is always properly maintained.

Playground of Hare School
Playground of Hare School

It will not be out of place to mention here that, David Hare died of Cholera on 1st June 1842. It is a pity that, the Christian missionaries refused to allot a plot of land in their cemeteries for his burial, as they thought that he was a non-believer. As a result, he was buried in the earlier compound of the Hare School-Hindu College that he had donated. However, after reallocation of the compound, now the tomb with his bust falls within the Gol Dighi (College Square).

Dibyendu Banerjee
Dibyendu Banerjee

Ex student of Scottish Church College. Served a Nationalised Bank for nearly 35 years. Authored novels in Bengali. Translated into Bengali novels/short stories of Leo Tolstoy, Eric Maria Remarque, D.H.Lawrence, Harold Robbins, Guy de Maupassant, Somerset Maugham and others. Also compiled collections of short stories from Africa and Third World. Interested in literature, history, music, sports and international films.

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