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About Mayo: History


 
THE McCANLIS YEARS

Mr. McCanlis
1943 - 1948

Beginning with an experiment in early 1942, a system of common mess and common servants and an all-inclusive fee for all the students had been introduced. In order not to cause a flutter, this was done on a voluntary basis for 14 boys in each House. The parents were subsequently invited to come and have a look at the new system and after obtaining their approval all new admissions were done on the new basis from July 1944. In January 1945 all Houses were converted to the new system. The changes although introduced with the approval of the General Council initially caused much debate and flux amongst the old boys and their families as anticipated. Though political changes were sweeping India the large body of old boys and parents of students at Mayo who had been confined and cut off from the outside world were still very conservative and traditional. However, there were some progressive families and members of General Council who pushed through these changes despite the initial resistance.

In the transition period the strength of the British staff depleted fast as all able-bodied Britishers went to join the war effort. These even included some Indians who had recently done some military service. Therefore Mayo began to add to the Indian teaching staff. The new staff brought with them a range of talents. Games like boxing were added to the sports list and drama-theatre, earlier considered infra-dig in Rajput families, to the cultural hobbies.

When World War II ended in 1945, Mr. McCanlis already uncomfortable at Mayo due to changes he had introduced was now upset by the demands for Indianisation at all levels and indicated therefore his desire to resign. His tenure was thus a period of radical transition for Mayo, which by 1947 became a member of the Indian Public Schools Society. Mr. T.N. Vyas was selected as his successor.

With Independence came a major political change in India. Princely states were merged and later integrated with larger states and the jagirdari system was abolished by an Act of Parliament. Consequently Mayo entered another crisis phase as it led to withdrawal of students and financial support since the princely states were a major source of funds by way of donations. However, it would be remiss of anyone assessing this stormy period to overlook the role of the old stalwarts who spared no efforts to Mayo's preservation, survival and subsequent rebirth.

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