BIS #6584 Don Bosco Borivli concludes 02 years of Virtual Golden Jubilee celebrations

by Lynette Sequeira for BISMumbai

Just a little over a month before the pandemic shut down the entire world, Don Bosco High School and Junior College, Borivli inaugurated its Golden Jubilee Year in January’2020, with a Eucharist by the Salesian Provincial, Fr. Savio Silveira; and a grand Musical Production of the Children’s Broadway version of ‘Alladin’. Then the pandemic played spoilt-sport; and the Management and Staff had to change and modify the entire well-planned schedule, for the year that was to come. The celebrations had to also be stretched to two years, instead of one, with mostly virtual events and competitions.

Despite all the hurdles and road-blocks along the way, the dynamic staff, under the guidance of their Principal, Fr. Flovi D’Souza made the two years of the Golden Jubilee, a memorable one. The academic year 2020-2021, saw a large number of online competitions for the school and college students. Seeing the students show-casing their talents virtually, in the midst of the lockdown, was extremely uplifting for all the teachers. It was a real glimmer of hope, amidst the gloom that had settled on the whole world, thanks to the pandemic. The fact that the children were still exploring and discovering their talents, in the characteristic Don Bosco style, even in a situation as bleak as that, was something that filled every heart, including the Management, the parents, the staff and the children, with sunshine and cheer.

In the academic year 2021-2022, the Principal and Staff, decided to take their plans a step further, and a series of virtual Inter-school competitions were organized. The participants were from schools across India; and the fact that so many schools participated, was very encouraging. Co-ordinating a large number of virtual inter-school competitions in the given circumstances was a herculean task; but the teachers in-charge of various events, truly rose to the occasion and made the impossible, possible. No doubt, the learning curve in these last two years, has been an extremely steep one; where there were innumerable moments when ‘Giving Up’ seemed like an easy option. However, the staff kept motivating themselves and persevered against all odds. We think Don Bosco would be really proud of all that the institution and every Salesian Educator has been able to achieve and do, to celebrate this milestone, in the history of the school.

(If you have missed our competitions, do watch some of them on our YouTube Channel.)

During these two years, the foundation stone of the New School building has also been laid, and the construction is already in progress. In addition to this, new Turf Courts have come up on the school grounds as well. The smiles on the faces of the children, when they saw these, once offline school re-opened, was priceless. Watching the children back on the playground again, ‘running, jumping, playing’ and enjoying these upgraded facilities, after the playground was mostly vacant for two whole years, fills the heart with so much joy. The Past-Pupils Alumni and the Parish also distributed food-packets to the less-fortunate, right through the lockdown, which is also an initiative that was appreciated by many.

As the Feast Day was celebrated on 31 January 2022, Mumbai Salesians Vice-Provincial Fr Ashley Miranda joined the Management, Staff and students to formally close the extended Golden Jubilee Celebrations, through a Eucharistic Celebration, followed by a fellowship gathering with the Staff. Our joy was doubled because Fr. Ashley Miranda is also one of the ex-students of the school and is one of its earliest alumnus, from the initial years, when the school was still in its infancy stages. The wonderful stories he shared on this occasion, about his interaction with the Salesians back then, as a student, were very heart-warming. It was also wonderful to be able to have him celebrate the Eucharist with us, in the year when the Salesian Province of Mumbai completed 50 years.

2020-2022 have been a strange couple of years; and no one had ever anticipated them. Hopefully, being on the other side of two years now, we can be glad for all that these experiences have taught us. Most of all, the Management and Staff at Don Bosco, Borivli is really happy, that we have been able to ‘make Don Bosco’s dreams come true and to carry out his visions too’ right through the pandemic as well.