The Foundress  


The most important thing I find In life, is how you use your mind.
Think good and good will come to you
And you will be blessed the whole day through
Think kindly and everyone will be
Happy in your company
Think love and all things will be sweet
As flowers blooming at your feet.
Think pure and you will have no fear
For you will know that God is near.

                                                                     Iris C. Auer

                                                                        Member of British Empire (M.B.E.)

                                                                     1904-1998

 

Miss Iris Cynthia Philomene Auer came to India after she retired from the Principalship of her school in England. She founded All Saints' School in 1980. The acclaim that her School achieved is evident in the growth from seven pupils in July 1980 to the present numerical strength of over 2,500 pupils. Education and All Saints' was for Miss Auer not just a learning process or an institution but a mission where both teachers and students strove for academic excellence, and even more importantly, for the vibrant lessons of humanity, service, love and worship. A postgraduate in Psychology and with numerous degrees in Music. Miss Auer was a weaver of magic through her poetry, music, drama, dance, art and infinite other accomplishments of which she was both an exponent and a paragon, she entered into the soul of culture and the hearts of children. A deeply religious person, Miss Auer worshipped the Godhead as a true humanitarian. " It is in giving that we receive" was her favorite dictum and a mission statement for All Saints'. Education, Miss Auer advocated, is not only incomplete but meaningless without the active awareness, expression and display of cultural values and social responsibilities.


All school and college programmes of both learning and enjoyment aim " To the Highest," the motto of All Saints' which exemplifies its creed. The cadre of student leaders, house and inter-house competitions, exhibitions of project work, talent search opportunities through music, dance, elocution, drama, sports, karate, quiz-programmes, seminars etc. are all part of the system that provides students, as well as their teachers and parents, with opportunities to become achievers and winners certainly, but also to feel the thrill of sharing more in the fellowship of participation and support than in winning, more in a sense of belonging and loyalty than in attainment, in mutual trust and co-operation that brings with it a feeling of pride and exhilaration for school and college , inculcates patriotic sentiments and envisions national goals. It is therefore but natural for the students to be in the forefront in contributing to their country's need to alleviate the sufferings of the underprivileged, and in times of national crises, by sacrificing a material pleasure and earning their donations by doing a labour or love. The mind-set that such attitudes and work develop is the hallmark of Miss Auer's ideal of trueeducation.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

It was an occasion of great pride for the students, staff, numerous friends and well-wishers and for Bhopal, when Miss Auer's capabilities as an educationalist and administrator both in precept and example were recognized in the award of Member of the British Empire accredited to her in the Queen of England's Birthday Honours List in 1989. Her Royal Highness, Princess Alexandra of Kent presented the award to Miss Auer in October of that year and a gala civic reception was accorded to Miss Auer after the ceremony.

Miss Auer planned and actively worked to extend the ambit of education from school to college. In April 1996 she laid the foundation stone of All Saints' College at Gandhinagar, Bhopal. Miss Auer continued to direct and guide the course of All Saints' with a verve and excitement that was at once infectious and inspiring. Age to her was a quality of mind and not of years. Into her nineties, and now constantly in a wheelchair, her presence and acuity was a guiding force at all staff meetings and functions.


Miss Auer left her earthly abode on 8th. August 1998 - significantly, on Raksha Bandhan Day. She was in her ninety fourth year. She taught everyone the art of living with the accent of her love. Her final resting place, as she had wished, is in the campus of All Saints' College at Gandhinagar and is, in all truth, called the Garden of Love. She gave her heart and soul not only to the children under her care but to India and was in turn rewarded with deep love and untold appreciation.

 

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