Auckland House School has a past worthy of notice. Lord Auckland, the then Governor- General bought the house in 1836, for the use of himself and his sisters. Later Viceroys moved elsewhere and the house was sold. The School authorities bought Auckland House in 1868.
The project for starting a school to provide sound education to girls on Christian principles was initiated by the Rev. J.B.D' Aquilar in 1864. It was given a practical shape by a Church-related ladies group in Dalhouise who began collecting funds for this school which they wanted to be placed in Dharmamsala. However on the persuasion of Mrs. Cotton, wife of Bishop Cotton, it was founded in Shimla in the spring of 1866 at Holly Lodge on Jakhu. Two years later, the school authorities bought Auckland House and the name of the school was changed accordingly. The school began with 32 pupils and the the Head was Mrs. Mackinnon. The School shifted to its present site on the 6th of November, 1869, after extensive alterations and additions had been made to the building, including the School Hall.
The early years were those of great struggle due to lack of funds and adequate staff. In 1904, Miss Strong from the Cheltenham Ladies College became Headmistress and brought with her several other Cheltenham teachers. At once the School became popular and was known as "The Cheltenham College of India". The days of trial, however, were not over. In 1905 an earthquake caused much damage to the School building and for a while the girls had to live in tents. Despite repairs, the building gradually became unsuitable for the purpose of running a school, and the Governors took the bold decision to pull it down and build a new one on the site.
The boarders were temporarily shifted to Sterling Castle and Mr.Hotz began work in December 1920.The new building was ready by January 1921.
From 1908 to 1952 the St. Hilda's Society, Lahore, provided the school with Principal's and other members of the staff. Chief among them was Miss Pearce who was the Principal from 1915 to 1936. while most of the pupils were of European descent yet quite a few were Indian too. In fact, Indian girls were encouraged to join the School and participate with their European school mates in all activities of the School.
Another landmark was the expansion of the School campus to include the "Belvedere" estate which was acquired in 1962. This had become necessary due to the rising numbers, and the junior section of the School was shifted there.
The School continued to grow and gradually strengthened its international image with a large number of boarders from all parts of the world. Auckland House School fulfils a great need in catering for the children of Indian parents working in many countries of Africa , Asia , Europe, and America. Also children of parents working in Armed Forces or in the Central Government who are liable to frequent transfers find a regular unbroken education by joining the 'boarding house'. The pioneering spirit of Auckland House School in providing wholesome education to girls has not diminished down the years. From being a small School of 32 girls, struggling for survival, Auckland House School, today, is pulsating with life. The struggle today is to restrict the number to less than the four figure mark in the face of the overwhelming demand for admissions.
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