Fr. Peter Jones (1931 -)
(Principal Jun 1976 – Dec 1977)
Fr. Peter Jones was Principal of the school for a relatively short time from June 1976 to December 1977. This short period as Principal is not an adequate measure of the influence he exercised in his long association with the school.
Before joining the Jesuits Fr. Jones had studied at the University of Melbourne gaining a B.E.E (Bachelor of Electrical Engineering) and a B.A in mathematics, and practiced as an engineer for a year. Fresh from Australia he joined the school staff in January 1961 and remained till the summer of 1964. Four years later, now a priest, he rejoined the school and taught for five years. With a deep interest in teaching methods for Mathematics he took a break for the classroom and studied for a year at the University of Cambridge completing the Higher Diploma in Education. On returning to St Xavier’s in 1975 he taught for seven more years, during which time he was in the post of Principal for just eighteen months.
Meantime he composed and printed his own textbooks for mathematics which were used until Indian publishers began to print school textbooks following the new methods of teaching which Fr. Jones had pioneered ten years before. In this way his influence extends over more than two generations of St Xavier’s boys in the latter part of the 20th century.
It was during his time as Principal that, following a trend in other parts of India, the decision was finally made to phase out the boarding facilities and hence Fr Jones set about restructuring the school to fit it to be a day school, with an expected increase in enrollment. For this purpose he introduced Preparatory and Standard One for the first time. The main classroom block underwent a facelift with the addition of a third storey to the school building.