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About Mayo: History


 
THE GIBSON YEARS

Mr. J.T.M. Gibson
1954 - 1969

Jack Gibson came to Mayo as Principal in end 1953 and achieved a remarkable turnaround. This was done by adopting a two - pronged strategy on an emergency basis. One was an up gradation of academics, games and extracurricular activities and the other was the persuasion of parents outside Rajasthan to send their progeny to Mayo. The steps he took to canvass for admissions were marked by remarkable energy with which he personally undertook visits to Delhi, Calcutta, Bombay, Madras, etc. to meet old students and other well placed contacts to sell Mayo, and were indeed an example of personal salesmanship at its best. At meeting after meeting, which was organised for him in these and other cities by his contacts, Jack Gibson exhorted the potential parents to send their sons to Mayo which, he clarified, had shed its princely aura and was now a well endowed public school open to all.

In this session he fully exploited the promotional opportunity offered by the Congress Party's request to hold its annual AICC session within Mayo precincts in 1954, during school term, much against the wishes of the rather reluctant Governing Body, whose princely members had an innate suspicion of Congress politicians. Many Congress members housed in some of the Boarding Houses went for strolls around Mayo in their leisure hours and soon the mental cobwebs cleared and political support for Mayo ensured thereafter both at the State and Central level, which in turn led to financial grants and numerous other benefits for Mayo including free publicity and write-up in national newspapers.

Turning inwards, Gibson took urgent steps to stem the decline in academic standards and reversing the trend to restore confidence of the existing staff. He employed younger talented staff, enforced greater discipline and introduced innovative activities. Gibson focussed on simultaneous development of the student's mind, body and character and thus overhauled the basically sound Mayo machine. The Gibson years were thus a phase of completion of the transition from the exclusive Chief's College era to an open public school era.

The events that had occurred in the years 1947 - 52 including the exit of the British shook the very foundations of Mayo and generated much uncertainty and doubt amongst its fraternity and community and surprisingly, it took a Britisher to put the tottering structure together again - a cementing that generations will be grateful for.

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