Mrs. Anna Drew, the founder of Bentick Higher Secondary School is portrayed as “the angel of perpetual youth, love benevolence and sacrifice”. She started this institution in 1837. She was a missionary sent by the London Missionary Society to cater to the needs of the orphans and destitute in Vepery. In those days, when education to the women folk was neglected, she started the school with 21 orphan children in a spacious airy bungalow.
In those days, needlework and scripture were the chief subjects. It is said by one of the pupils of that time that the needlework which was beautifully done, was sold in England and helped largely to pay the expenses of the school. After the death of Mrs. Anna Drew, the school was under care of Mrs. Bower and Mrs. Turnbull for a short period.
Then in September 1841, Mrs. William Porter took over the Management so effectively that for many years it was known as Mrs. Porter’s School. In the year 1852 the school moved to its present site.
The school was granted a Permanent recognition in 1898. Bentinck owes its gratitude to all the missionaries of the past for their tireless efforts.
Bentinck High School was amalgamated with St. Christopher’s College of Education, as its practicing school in April 1935. Four well-designed cottages were built in 1937-38, when Miss. Brockway was the Principal and a Godmother to Bentinck.
A separate block of 6 class rooms was built and named as Anna Drew Block, in affectionate memory of the young founder of the school.
Later on, the English Medium sections were started progressively from class six in 1964. In 1965, the secretarial course with book keeping and type writing was introduced. On the first floor of the wester wing, a chemistry lab was built in 1972.
As the school expanded in strength and became a higher secondary school after 1970.
A block of 5 classrooms was completed in March 1981 to accommodate the Higher Secondary classes. Later on, more classrooms, a library and an auditorium was built in the same block and was called as Marjorie Sykes block.
The school library was opened in the year 1987 by the Governor of Tamil Nadu, His Excellency Shri. S.L. Khurana, to mark the Triple Jubilee Celebrations.
We have ample place for the sports and activities, the school trains the students in Football, Rugby, Throwball, Volleyball etc., The School sees to the all-round development of the students.
Mr. Drew described the school as a precious little legacy of his wife’s love, zeal and self-denial. This little school, which was a grain of mustard, has grown into our present Bentinck Higher Secondary School for Girls.
Today, as we gaze at the wide, spacious, airy building which houses science laboratories, auditorium, library, our hearts unfold in gratitude and thanksgiving to God Almighty, for its stands to confirm the promise that it was built not by might, nor by power, but by God’s Spirit.
As we look ahead, may we rededicate ourselves to continue our endeavours to impart excellent education and moral values. With renewed commitment, let us trust in God’s providence and unfailing guiding presence to lead us to fulfil our noble vision in the field of education.