Put your missionary kids in
a private Christian boarding school or send them home
From Chapter 3: Woodstock, A World
School - The high school and Parker Hall auditorium
on the upper level. The steps, referred to as "Jacob´s
Ladder," rise past terraces where we cultivated
class gardens and were awarded prizes for the
good ones. Cosmos was about the only flower we
could get to grow.
Dad and Mother
were faced with the serious problem of schooling for John
during their first term in India,
for Frances and me after they returned to Khargpur in 1931.
There were several options, such as using a correspondence
course at home or sending us away to a boarding school
in India. Another was to send us to the "States" and arrange
for our schooling there. That was the one chosen by the
Amstutz family (American Methodist missionaries in British
Malaya) for their young daughter, Beverly. Of course, Bev
and I are indebted to her parents for bringing her back
with them from furlough in 1939 and sending her to Woodstock
School in India.
a school decision for children involved balancing calculation, sentiment and
myth. The myth was a widely-held belief that the tropics (before air-conditioning)
were unhealthy for white adolescents, especially girls. They mature early like "hot
house flowers," is the comment Beverly remembers hearing. That being the case,
it was thought by some parents to be wiser to leave young children in America
or send them back as early adolescents from overseas.
The Landour location
was spectacular. Northward there were views of the snow peaks around
the sources of the Jumna and Ganges rivers near the Tibetan frontier.
Southward the flat expanse of the Doon valley lay almost at our feet
|The Boys´ Hostel with Woodstock spring & falls
in the background, the source of fresh water for the swimming pool on
the other side of the building. The senior boys had their beds on the
upper verandah. The near wing housed faculty. The photo might have been
taken by John after the end of the senior year in December 1937 at a
moment of unusual quiet - not a single person in sight!
A temperate climate was available,
however, in India inthe mountains, where the foreigner-friendly atmosphere
was celebrated by dispensing with the bothersome topi. Here the British
authorities built dozens of town at elevations of 5000 to 7000 feet above
sea level. They were places in which to locate summer offices, military
cantonments and hospitals, holiday resorts - and schools, run mostly by
church-related organizations along the lines of English boarding schools.
Dad and Mother wanted to find one with an American curriculum and a Protestant
orientation. Three qualified. They were Kodaikanal (pron. cody-kanal)
in South India, Mt. Hermon School in Darjeeling, in the Himalayas of Northern
Bengal and Woodstock
School in Landour (pron. lan-dower),
in the Garhwal Himalayas of the United Provinces north of Delhi.
They chose Woodstock.
Landour location was spectacular. Northward there were views of the snow
peaks around the sources of the Jumna and Ganges rivers near the Tibetan
frontier. Southward the flat expanse of the Doon valley lay almost at our
feet, bordered in the middle distance by the Siwalik hills. Beyond them,
visible on clear days and nights, were the receding terrain and twinkling
lights of the north Indian plains. The forest of silver oaks, horse chestnut
trees, long-needle pines, deodars (Himalayan cedars) and rhododendrons;
the lush grasses, wild flowers, ferns and mosses; the immense valleys and
Get the whole story! Read Stan Brush's Memoir of His Boyhood in India, "Farewell
sweeping vistas of range after
range leading up to the snows were breathtaking. The changing seasonal
drama of towering cloud formations above or the endless ocean of monsoon
clouds below broken only by mountain "islands;" the swirling mist; and
shattering lightning, thunder, hail and rainstorms sending torrents cascading
down the mountain, sometimes taking whole pieces of hillside, road and
portions of buildings with it, thrilled us to the core.
Indian Beetles were strong enough
to pry your clenched fingers apart!