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Houssaini Memorial School

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History & Origin of the School

According to Al-Hâj 'Aun' Ali Ismâ'ïl Lâljee, former Vice-President of the Jamât of Tulear, it all began in 1951 when Alibhai Hirji went to Tulear. The latter took the "first step" by going to the members of our Jamât in the Mosque itself in order to propose to them to open a school managed by our own community. Subsequently, it was Hâji Ismâ'ïl Lâljee who took the initiative to build this school where teaching would therefore be done in Gujarati and in French. To do this, Ismâ'ïl bhây brings together the members of the Tulear Jamât in order to sensitize them to participate financially in this noble project and in order to be able to raise the necessary funds to launch the construction works. Everyone participated according to their possibilities.

Our Jamât then bought with Youssouf 'Ali bhây Karim land which was in Tanambao for the sum of 500,000 Fmg. Construction began under the supervision of Ismâ'ïl bhây and Hâji Qâssam 'Ali Dâyâ (Kadaya). In 1953, Hâji Kadaya died and Ismâ'ïl bhây alone continued to supervise the construction works until the completion of the large works. In 1956, it was the turn of Ismâ'ïl bhây to leave this ephemeral world. The follow-up of the finishing works was then ensured by Bahâdour 'Ali bhây Ahmad Jivâ, who completed the part of the ground floor: the construction of this ground floor cost a total of 5,000,000 FMG to Jamât. Jamât then rented three compartments as sales stores with a monthly rent of 10,000 FMG, and the other compartments were therefore intended for the opening of our school. Note that the foundations of this new building were designed for one floor.

In 1972, Rajab 'Ali bhây Qâssam' Ali Râmjee raised funds to be able to build part of the first floor in order to open a school called "Houssaini Memorial School". At the opening of this school, there were about thirty students from the 8th and 9th grades attending. But subsequently, the school no longer being able to bear its operating costs, the Tulear Jamat made its duty to come to its rescue and to subsidize it up to its expenses.

In 1975, the Tulear Jamat set up a committee of volunteers in order to better manage this school. This committee included the following notables:

• Rafiq 'Ali' Ali-bhây Lakhou

• 'Aun' Ali Ismâ'ïl Lâljee

• Hassan 'Ali Wali

• Ghoulzâr 'Ali Bahâdour' Ali Bardây

• Akbar 'Ali Hassïn Hirjee

• Riâz Soundarjee

• Fidâ-Houssain Sh. Dïn-Mohammad

• Wali Mohammad Houssain Sharif

The members of this committee took the responsibility of assuming the functioning of the school with a statute under cover of our Jamât and approved by the Malagasy government, and with the denomination "College Houssaini Memorial School". They also contacted the Canadian Brother Albanel of the Catholic mission, who was director of the Sacré Coeur school in Tuléar and who agreed to help them direct the teaching with national teachers. It was from this moment that classes going from 12th to 2nd were opened. The number of students then increased from 30 to 400. Thanks to its good functioning, the school was also able to meet its own financial needs. Her schooling being accessible to all, she began to be attended by children of various origins, Indian, Malagasy, Chinese, French, so that it became a cosmopolitan establishment! The second half of the floor was built by the school's own funds, under the supervision of 'Aun' Ali bhây Ismâ'ïl Lâljee. This history dates back to 1980. Currently, the “Collège Houssaini Memorial School” is functioning very well. More than 1,000 students attend this college nowadays, and it is Mr Ashiq Mohammad 'Ali Ghoulâm-Houssain from our very community who is the director ...

Date: May 2014

Interview of: Aun' Ali bhây Lâljee

Interviewed by Zhoulfiqar VASRAM.