Yangon plaque for historic school

YANGON, 6 March 2017: Yangon Heritage Trust recognised Yangon’s Basic Education High School (6) Botahtaung as the latest  historic landmark to receive a Blue Plaque.

Formerly known as St Paul’s High School the school building received Yangon Heritage Trust’s 17th commemorative Blue Plaque last week.

YHT awards Blue Plaques to distinguish Yangon’s top architectural landmarks. Blue Plaques are permanent signs installed on public places to commemorate a link between locations and a famous person, event, or landmark. They serve as historical markers.

St Paul’s high school is one of the oldest schools in Yangon and located at the corner of Anawrahta Road and Theinbyu Road.

Global New Light of Myanmar quoted YHT’s founder and chairman, Thant Myint-U, saying St Paul’s has since its founding been one of Myanmar preeminent schools.

“We recognised St Paul’s, not because it is a ‘colonial’ building worth saving, but because it was one of the key sites where modern Myanmar was born.”

St Paul’s High School was founded by Bishop Paul Bigandet, who resided in Yangon from 1856 until 1894 to promote education and Christianity. He worked with three De La Salle Brothers from Calcutta (now Kolkata).

After founding of St Patrick’s school in Mawlamyine in April 1860, the brothers came to Yangon and set up a school in a humble wooden building near the bishop’s residence, which was on Barr Street (now Maharbandula Park Street), the report said.

Within just couple of years, the school had outgrown its small premises and was moved to its present site in 1886. Between 1900 and 1908, two new wings, which were designed by then famous architect, Thomas Swales, were added and later in the 1930s, a study hall and refectory were extended.

Lessons were taught in English and St Paul’s produced many prominent leaders, intellects and artists.

The commemorative Blue Plaque is part of YHT’s efforts to protect Yangon’s architectural and cultural heritage.