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The Rector Major Concludes the Platinum Jubilee of Salesian College Sonada

By Ujjol Mondol
Present and veteran Salesians and staff of Salesian College Sonada, with the Rector Major and Bp. Stephen Lepcha on the occasion of the Platinum Jubilee of the College.
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Kolkata, Nov. 8. On the second day of his visit to North Bengal region the Rector Major, Fr. Pascual Chavez, blessed and inaugurated a new Academic block of Salesian College, Sonada, on 8 November, to mark the platinum jubilee (1928-2013) of its foundation.
The blessing and inauguration of the new academic block took place in the morning at 8.30 A.M in the presence of Rt. Rev. Stephen Lepcha, Bishop of Darjeeling, Fr. Maria Arokiam Kanaga, Regional Councillor for South Asia, Fr. Thomas Ellicherail, Provincial of Kolkata, a large number of priests and religious, students and staff of the College.

Fr. Joseph Pauria, Vice Principal of the College, conducted a short prayer service during which the Rector Major blessed and inaugurated the new block by cutting the ribbon.  The final blessing was given by Bishop Lepcha of Darjeeling diocese.

Following the inauguration of the block, Fr. Chavez presided over the Eucharist at 9.00 A.M. in the new auditorium packed with priests, Sisters, Clerics, professors, students, parents and other well wishers. This was the climax of his visit to Sonada and the focal moment of the Platinum Jubilee celebration. During the homily he commented upon the biblical verse ''The Lord has done great things for me'' (Lk 1:49) which was also the theme for the entire celebration. The student clerics of the College and girl students of St. Mary's School, Kurseong, made the Eucharist very devotional with their mellifluous singing.

The Eucharistic celebration was followed by a short felicitation and cultural programme for the Rector Major. Fr. Thomas Ellicherail in his short address highlighted the eventful Platinum Jubilee of the College founded in 1928. Thereafter Bishop Lepcha spoke in appreciation of the work done by the Salesians in the Diocese of Darjeeling. Fr. Maria Arokiam Kanaga in his speech pointed out to the task of the College in ''creating wise men for the future'' and reminded the students and professors, ''We should have a great sense of history''. He also pointed out to two key elements of history - one being identity, and the other, growth.

Miss Bedika Rai and Master Pranai Chettri were the Masters of Ceremony for the felicitation programme during which the students performed Nepali and Sherpa dances, and the Salesian Clerics performed an enchanting choir piece ''What a Fellowship''. Ms Tanuja Chettri deleivered the address which included words of appreciation and a brief history of Salesian College Sonada. The local Salesian Co-operators and other members of the Salesian family too took active part in the felicitation programme. Towards the end of the programme the Rector Major released a couple of books by Salesian College Sonada Publications, and Fr. George Thadathil SDB, Principal, thanked the gathering and in a special way the Rector Major for their presence.

The programme was concluded with the college Anthem, ''Let's be a flame that shines and enlivens'', composed for the Platinum Jubilee of the College by Clerics Edmund Marak and Anthony Sangma, and based on the Motto of the college ''Flamma Ardens Et Lucens''.

In the afternoon the Rector Major departed for the Siliguri Campus of the College, about 52 Kms away in the plains, for the remainder of the programme in the region.


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