The Stanes Group of Institutions was a result of the realization of the vision of our founder Sir Robert Stanes. He spent his life for the betterment of the neglected masses in Coimbatore. Soaring higher and higher over the years, the Stanes Group of Institutions has contributed largely to the development of education and industry in the Coimbatore region.
Sir Robert Stanes was always concerned about the spiritual and emotional development of a child which is highlighted in one of his letters dated 13th August 1913 – ‘I pray that the boys and girls of our school at Coimbatore may be amongst those who have found Christ as their own personal Saviour, so that one day we may be “At Home” with the Lord’.
Our founder, Sir Robert Stanes was born in London on the 13th, May 1841. He was educated at Campdon House School, Brighton. At the age of seventeen he left England for India making a voyage round the Cape of Good Hope, Africa.
Sir Robert Stanes was compassionate towards the downtrodden. He came to know that many children were entirely uneducated and he started a day school for children on 6th November, 1862 with a few children. After a year, the school moved to a new premise and continued for more than 50 years.
With the increasing number of students, Robert Stanes desired that the school campus be very spacious, so the present campus on Avinashi Road was purchased. The foundation for the building was laid on 23rd September 1927. Amid pomp and splendor befitting the occasion, Robert Stanes stated that, “the unseen foundation of the new building is being laid on the solid ground of God’s Word, the Bible.”
In 1864, Coimbatore was constituted a Municipality. Robert Stanes being the Council’s first Chairman at the age of 23, served as a backbone in modernizing the city. On 14th November 1888, the Coimbatore Spinning and Weaving Mills financed by Robert Stanes thrust its first great chimney skywards.
Sir Robert Stanes has left an indelible mark in the progress and development of his adopted homeland, Coimbatore and the Nilgris. It is an established fact that it was Robert Stanes who set the pace for the modernization of Coimbatore, the city which later blossomed into ‘the Manchester of South India.’
In one of his letters, he urged both teachers and scholars to do their best to keep up the good reputation of the school by earnest hard work and dependence on God and His eternal Word. The present mighty institution has sent out thousands of boys and girls, thoroughly equipped for the battle of life, morally, intellectually and physically.
The high ideals of our founder have been realized by the members of the Governing Board, dedicated Principals and the devoted members of staff.
Stanes School stands as a shinning beacon to the people of Coimbatore and lives up to its motto-
Our beloved Founder Sir Robert Stanes was born in London on May 13th, 1841. He was the youngest son of James Stanes, who had a family of five sons and four daughters. James Stanes was a ship-owner of London, a free born citizen of that city. Robert Stanes was educated at Campdon House School, Brighton. While yet a boy in England he had come under the ministry of Rev. Thos. Binny in the old “Wheigh House Chapel,” as well as that of Rev. Christopherson, a member of New College Chapel, St.John’s Wood. He left school at the age of 16 and served for one year in the office of Tolman, Livingston & Co., ship brokers, London.
In September 1858, he left England for India in the Green’s line sailing ship ‘Trafalgar’, making a voyage round “The Cape”. After 96 days, the vessel arrived at Madras in December 1858, just before Christmas.
He worked as a planter with his brother Thomas Stanes up to 1861. In 1860 he met with an accident which injured his eye. Robert Stanes paid his first visit to Coimbatore in 1860 to meet his friend, Mr.Thomas, the Collector. To try and shake off the fever he had contracted at this time, he made a voyage to Ganjam and Colombo in his father’s ship ‘Bengal’. This voyage made all the difference to his life’s work, for, on it he read Bishop Ryle’s tract ASSURANCE, which led him to devote his life to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Being convicted by the Holy Spirit, he at once commenced Sunday Bible School work for the Anglo-Indian children, but as many of the children attending this Sunday School could neither read nor write, he started the Day School at the end of 1862.
It was Mr.Robert Stanes who gave to Coimbatore its industrial importance. In the memorable year 1861, he found the climate of Coimbatore suitable for the curing of coffee, and for the ginning of cotton. In 1888, the C.S. & W. Mills, established by Robert Stanes, thrust its first great chimney skywards.
He went to England in 1869 and on July 7th, 1870, married Harriet Huntingdon Harris, the second daughter of Major General Harris, and grand daughter of Colonel Sir N. Harris, of Waterloo fame. They were married by Mr.George Muller of Bristol and had six daughters and two sons. Mr.Robert Stanes and Mrs.Stanes returned to Coimbatore at the end of 1870, and for the next 15 years the business (Stanes & Co.), the school work and church services grew. Mrs. Stanes evinced a keen and active interest in the school till her death in 1901.
The School with its Founder, celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 1912. In 1914 Robert Stanes was awarded the Kaiser –i- Hind gold medal, and was bestowed with Knighthood in the year 1920. But whether his services had been recognized or not, Sir Robert Stanes would have continued to live as always – “A Christian Knight”, “AGreat Gentle Man”, “A Pioneer Industrialist”, “The Children’s Friend”, “Father to the helpless and the widows”, “The Greatest Supporter of India”, “ A Practical Christian”, “A Missionary Business Man”, “The Grand Old Man of South India”, “A Philanthropist” ,…
Sir Robert Stanes had done a life long meritorious service in promoting agricultural and industrial expansion. A keen Christian, he belongs to a generation of European business men, very probably the last of his class. He has given employment to thousands for over a generation and he has been an employer of the old patriarchal type. His generous aid to education and his simplicity reveal his inborn charitable disposition. His life may well be an example to many a planter and a business man in India.
His hospitality and the kindness he bestowed on those who were in need are note worthy. He was a simple and lovable man who made money only to give it back. It was his hobby to help those in need. Any movement which aimed at helping the poorer members of the society always appealed to him.
Sir Robert Stanes rested in the Lord at a ripe age of 95 on 6th September 1936. His demise was a personal loss to thousands whose lives he had touched. As written in Mathew 5 : 16, “Let your light shine before men that they may see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven”, he was indeed a light which shone for the glory of the Lord.
Sir Robert Stanes impressed upon the young the extreme necessity of clinging to the Bible in spite of all dissuasion. In one of his letters, he urged both teachers and scholars to do their best to keep up the good reputation of the school by earnest work and in dependence upon God and His eternal Word. The present mighty institution has sent out thousands of boys and girls, thoroughly equipped for the battle of life, morally, intellectually and physically.
The high ideals of our founder have been realized by the members of the Governing Board, the dedicated Principal and the devoted members of the staff. Stanes School stands as a shining beacon to the people of Coimbatore and lives upon its motto –