The Saints are Still Marching in


Now 165 years old, SXI continues to touch hearts and change lives.

The long history of St. Xavier’s Institution is both a humble saga and an inspiring story. Back in 1786, the year Penang was founded, French Catholic priest Reverend Father Domino Arnaldo Antonio-Garnault arrived from Kedah1. Garnault and his Christian congregation had fled Siam to escape persecution.

He set about establishing a school in a mangrove swamp in a small attap shed, using Malay as the medium of instruction. This is where Church Street now stands.

Four decades later, in 1825, Monsignor Jean-Baptiste Boucho took over the administration of the school, converted it into an English-medium school, and moved it to a brick building that he had constructed. The school was subsequently renamed the Catholic Free School, to set it apart from the newly established Penang Free School set up by Protestants.

To read the rest of the article and to access our e-Archive, subscribe to us for RM150 a year.

Related Articles