Fact File

THE PURPOSE OF THE ESTABLISHMENT OF  ST. CHARLES
True to her mission, education has always been part and parcel of the evangelizing mission of  the Church with the view to combating ignorance and promoting integral human development.  Thus, in keeping with this noble tradition of the church, the White Fathers established St. Charles to train/form local priests and lay people for service in the Church and society at large.
 
THE INFRASTRUCTURE AT THE START OF THE SCHOOL IN TAMALE
The school started with only two buildings; one was used by the students and the other was occupied by the priests who made up the staff.  The building used by the students served as dormitory, classroom, chapel, assembly hall etc. Within a very short time however, two dormitory blocks, a chapel cum assembly hall, and a storey building to house the teaching priests were constructed.  All these buildings sprang up within the period of four and a half (41/2) years. These facilities were put up by the hardworking Brothers Willie Ludwig Suzo, Lussier Germain and Laurenzo.  Buildings like the present library, Science Laboratory, dinning hall were later developments.
 
HEADMASTERS AND OTHER PROMINENT STAFF MEMBERS
When the school moved from Wiaga to Tamale, it was headed by Fr. Ken Haskew with a staff of about eight (8) priests who at times were merely in transit or waiting to be posted.
Fr. Ken Haskew was succeeded by Fr. Briody. Other Headmasters or Rectors that followed include:  Frs. Avila Lafrance, G. Charboneau, P. Laframboise, G. Lincourt, Bro. Stephen Custers, Bro. Arnold Schmal, Fr. Arnold Anglaaere, Mr. P. Kelly and presently Bro. Luke Bangnikon.  Other teaching staff worth mentioning includes Fr. Paul Haskew (brother of Ken Haskew), Fr. Paul Perrault, erstwhile Fr. Rudolf Akanlu, Fr. G. Ouellette, Frs. G. Delbe, P. Walters, Victor Gregoire, H. Herrity, G. Theriault, P. Shanahan.
Bros. Rudolf Keith and Alex Schrenk have spent many years of their youthful life as bursars, general developers of the infrastructure and the farming sector.
Lay teachers that have served in St. Charles in the early years include:  Hilary Ziniyel, Benedict Der, Bartosiewicz, E.N. Delle, Saani Nuhu, Alexander Naah, N. Dasobri, Flyn, Sigrist, Branigan, Vincent Kerr, Roetz, Oscar Anglandong, Dominic Angbempuo.  Other names are: John Amissa, Anthony Kutame, Peter Antwi, A.A. Arrow, Ernest Ahiako, Albert Telly, Solomon Dabuo, Emmanuel Yakubu, Abantariba, Brown, Alhassan Wahabu, Paschal Atandem, Alou, John Kanyirzele, John Tuoyiri, Paul Kaleem, Simon Tarko, Micheal Aburiya, Gabriel Gbolo, Philip Issahaku, Richard Yakubu etc. etc. The longest lay teacher in the school is Mr. Fred Kyiu.
SUBJECTS TAUGHT IN THOSE DAYS
The subjects which were taught in St. Charles included: Latin, English, English Literature, French, Geography, History, Traditional Mathematics, Add Maths, General Science, Bible Studies.
The first three (3) batches of students wrote the Cambridge School Certificate Examination, with separate examination for sixth form.  It was the fourth batch that started the West African Certificate Examinations in the year 1960. In those days, there was close academic collaboration between St. Charles and Opoku Ware Secondary School in Kumasi.
 
DISCIPLINE AND GENERAL ATMOSPHERE IN ST. CHARLES
Mr. Isidore Langmane, an old boy of the school of the 1960 year group, reports that there was no need for a fence to keep students in as the student body was so small that the absence of any body was immediately noticed. With time, however, there was the need for a fence to be constructed to secure the land, keep off animals and human intruders as well as keep the students in.  The fence was put up in the late Sixties.  The athletic field was also put up at this time.
The students were also to interact in pairs especially those from the Upper West and Upper East Regions who at the time were virtually the only groups.  He observes that when students from the Northern Region started coming to St. Charles, Navrongo and Wa dioceses had already started to establish their own Minor Seminaries, Notre Dame and St. Francis Xavier respectively.  He further relates that students mixed freely with the teaching priests and were bound to take one as a spiritual director or confessor.  That Wednesday afternoons were free from formal classes and students could take a walk with their lunch pack of sardine and bread.  This outing could be to any place of interest.  Late coming was not tolerated. Permission was also granted occasionally for group visits to carry out legionary and catechetical apostolate.
 
OTHER MATTERS OF GENERAL INTEREST
Here, Mr. Isidore Langmagne reports as follows:
Until the school year had changed with the new academic year, the school terms were two, a break in May/June and again in December.  St. Charles students paid fees either in cash or in kind.  This was paid to the Local Manager of schools in their home parish or to the school.  In lieu of money an American tin of guinea corn or millet was accepted.
Students were withdrawn if their behaviour was not conducive in the school environment, or when a bad report from the parish priest was received by the school authorities or a student was found to be academically weak.  A student could also decide to withdraw voluntarily.
Although the student body was small we used to play football matches with the town teams, and later with sister schools in town.  The school had the privilege to be coached by C.K. Gyamfi any time this catholic footballer visited Tamale.
The school for the first four years had no uniform.  One could wear any clothes once they were neat, modest and presentable.  A white shirt and a khaki short were introduced in 1957 as the official school uniform.
Daily mass was compulsory and students and staff attended Mass every day.  Games and sports were equally compulsory.  Periodic excursions especially to the Black Volta were made during public holidays but  in the company of a priest.  The school had a very strong and effective scouting organization, as well as the Legion of Mary.
The school kitchen had a staff of two female cooks and a male to help stir the meals that needed more energy.  The male helper also served the kitchen staff with water and performed odd jobs.
Water problem in Tamale has been a chronic issue.  Water was rolled in drums daily from the Bulpiela dam to the school by only two labourers.  This water was to serve both students and staff. Later the situation improved by harvesting rainwater through gutters on roofs into cisterns or available containers. A very big and wide well was also dug but could not yield water throughout the year.  A borehole was tried but delivery per minute was found too low and therefore abandoned.
To finish up, a student of St. Charles was given an all round education. He was formed by training to be morally upright and academically strong and confident.
With this set objective we can confidently mention a few areas of endeavours where the products of St. Charles are found.  In the field of Administration we have so many.  We have produced an Inspector General of Police in the person of Peter Nanfuri.  Our Lawyers are several.  Agriculturists, Engineers, Medical Doctors.  We have professors both locally and abroad who are vice Chancellors or Presidents of Universities.  In the Religious field we have produced four Bishops and several priests.  Incidentally one year group has produced two Bishops and four priests from a class of fifteen. This is a record yet to be beaten and therefore worth mentioning. 
This brief cannot cover the fifty years we are celebrating.  The year groups shall have to add their experiences to make the history of St. Charles Minor Seminary/Secondary School a complete account of the period we are celebrating.  As for recent developments they are only too vivid and fresh in our minds. It is our hope that St. Charles will continue “to fight the good fight” until the appearing of our lord Jesus Christ.
 Long live St. Charles!  Long live the founding Fathers of St. Charles!  Long live Catholic Education!

37 Comments

  1. edem Armsrong Darkey said,

    Please i will like to be admitted at you School.I just finished my first year in the Secondary School and i will like tobe admitted in your School.Hoping to hear from you soon.

  2. A. Zachary Yamba said,

    Reading this site evoked fond memories of my five years at St.Charles’. I, together with Norbert Akansirem Aminzia, Msgr. Roger Aboteyuure among others, were the first class to graduate from St. Charles’. There were eleven of us who sat for the Cambridge exam in 1957 and ten of us passed in six subjects or better, for a pass rate of almost 91%.
    I was proud of my school and continue to cherish the fond memories of our beginnings at Wiagha before the Tamale campus was completed.
    With eternal gratitude to St Charles, our alma mater, I am
    A. Zachary Yamba, President
    Essex County College, Newark, New Jersey. USA

  3. ADAGWINE,A. B Peter said,

    Folks,
    I MUST CONFESS THAT THE SCHOOL ST. CHARLES HAS HELPED TRANSFORM ME AND IS MAKING ME WHO I AM TODAY. I CHERISH ALL THAT HAPPENED DURING MY DAYS AT ST CHARLES AND WHAT I MISS MOST IS THE WEDNESDAY LOGS WHICH WAS VERY MUCH LOVED BY MR. SARAKPO EMMANUEL NOW A NATIONAL SERVICE PERSONNEL AT THE CENTRE FOR GENDER STUDIES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF GHANA, LEGON.
    I NEED HELP, ANYONE WHO HAS FR. ANGLAAERE ARNOLD PETER”S CONTACT SHOULD KINDLY SEND IT TO ME.
    BOYS LETS STIL HOLD THE FORT. THANKS AND KEEP IN TOUCH

  4. Sarakpo Emmanuel said,

    ST CHARLES IS CERTAINLY A PLACE TO BE AND AM PROUD TO BE AN OLD STUDENT OF SUCH A REPUTABLE INSTITUTION. THE GREATEST SINGULAR OFFER I EVER HAD CAM,E FROM ST CHARLE IN THE FORM OF A CARICACHURE
    CALLED ADAGWINI. I HAVE NEVER SEEN ONE WITH A BROKEN WASTE LIKE THAT GENTLEMAN. THE ONLY TIME THE GUY MADE SENSE WAS WHEN EVER HE HEARD OF LOGS, MY DELICACY BACK AT ST CHARLES. PETER ADAGWINI YOU WILL FOR EVER BE MY MOST HUMOROUS FRIEND AND THE GREATEST ASSET ST CHARLES HAS OFFERED ME.

  5. Richard said,

    ST. CHARLES IN THE REAL SENSE IS GOOD FOR ALL AND I’M PROUD THAT MY UNCLE SAMED ALHASSAN IS GOING TO ATTEND IT. I HOPE THAT HE ENJOYS THE BENEFITS OF THE SCHOOL. I AM ALSO HAPPY THAT NOTRE DAME IS ASOCIATED WITH ST.CHARLES SINCE THAT IS THE PLACE I AM ALSO GOING TO ATTEND.
    I KNOW WITH WHAT WE HAVE HEARD RESEARCH AND HEARD ABOUT THE SCHOOL, WE WILL CERTAINLY MAKE IT IN THE END.

  6. KILLIAN AKWASI BOAMPONG-KONAM said,

    I’m proud to be a Carolean.

  7. ocran lasim said,

    i am honoured to have attended st charles sem.back in 2003,though things were getting bad,but i still enjoyed being a student there.the geog. teacher,mr sayibu wud ever be remembered by me.greetings to the outgone/current staff and also to old boys and current carolians.keep the flame burning and meet you there on the feast day

  8. Sarakpo Emmanuel said,

    St Charles Minor Seminary has once again chalked successes in the recent crop of doctors in the country. May i use this medium to congratulate such personalities including my best friends Killian, Alphonses and OP. May they excell in their newly inducted and intriquing carrer. May i also challenge the young ones out there to aspire higher to be able to achieve higher.

  9. nashiru ibrahim said,

    ST CHARLES IS REALLY A GOOD SCHOOL AND I THINK IT HAS HELPED MANY PEOPLE AND IF I MAY SAY IT IS NICE TO ATTEND BUT JUST THAT IT HAS SOME RULES WHICH ARE NOT GOOD EXAMPLE THEY DO NOT ALLOW THEIR STUDENTS WHO ARE MUSLIMS TO PRAY AND ALSO THEY DENY THEM OF WEARING ANY SHOES APART FROM BROWN CROSS

  10. KADRI said,

    MY LIFE IN ST CHARLES WAS LIKE LIVING IN HEAVEN.. I CAN NEVER FORGET THE GOOD TEACHERS AND THE DELICIOUS FOODS BEING COOKED. ST CHARLES HAS TRANSFORMED MY LIFE AND AM PROUD TO BE A CAROLEAN

  11. KIWANO AKA MICHAEL said,

    WHEN I FIRST CAME INTO ST CHARLES, I WAS SHOCKED TO SEE THE FRIENDLINESS OF MY SENIORS. THE SCHOOL IS MADE UP OF NOBLE BOYS WITH ONE GOAL AND AN AIM. ST CHARLES IS TRUELY THE BEST IN GHANA AND WORLD WIDE. FINALY MY DREAM OF BEING A PRIEST HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED

  12. abu mubarik said,

    arise caroleans and shine is the athem,noble boys we are,pride of the north and academials we are.am proud of this institution.when i came to the school,i was shocked by the frendliness of every soul of the institution.no harassment,no unfair punishment.infect every thing about the shool is fair.the school has really train me to be who i am today.there is one fact about this school people are yet to know,the best school in ghana.finaly my dream is to become a research scientist.

  13. AKANTUK VINCENT ANNAK said,

    ST. CHARLES IS AN INSTITUTE OF LIFE SHAPING AND I AM PROUD TO HAVE BEEN SHAPED BY THIS NOBLE INSTITUTE.

  14. SPIK AKA JOSEPH YOURKAL JOSEPH said,

    WHEN I HEAR PEOPLE TALK ABOUT ST.CHARLES.I FEEL LIKE IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A MISTAKE THAT I HADNT GOT MY SELF THERE.AM A PROUD CAROLLEAN .I WLL GRADUATE IN 2011 THATS TO MUCH BUT I KNOW WHEN AM FINALLY OUT I WILL BE MOST RESPECTED WITH GENTLE MAN’S QUALITIES.THATS WHAT MAKES EVERY CAROLLEAN UNIQUE.WE ARE PROUD…AND THANKS TO MR.PAUL KELLY,MR.GEORGE,TH4E SENIOR HOUSE MASTER AND ALL THE ENTIRE STAFF THEY DOING THEIR BEST.AND WE ARE PROUD OF THEM.WE APPRECIATE IT…ARISE CAROLLEANS AND LETS CONTINUE TO MAKE OUR SCHOOL PROUD……LOVE YOU ALL..WE ARE BROTHERS IN ONE GOD…..

  15. Mohammed Sherif said,

    ST. CHARLES HAS MADE AN IMPACT IN MY LIFE SINCE I STARTED SCHOOLING THERE

  16. Napari Alhassan said,

    St charles is indeed a school for winners and i appriciate it, but i think some of their rules should be given a second look.

  17. Magdalene yekple said,

    Please i want to know if there is a vacancy in your school as a teacher in business

  18. Magdalene yekple said,

    Please is there a vacancy in school as a teacher in business class

  19. Samuel Paidoo (Mould) said,

    I’m a proud carolean and i would forever be. Friends Joe Ayiworoh, Tony Osei, Hey! Ed Twum, Johm Mensah Abat, Alando. Kandan the two krahs etc where are u contact 0262609089

  20. DE MELLO said,

    SCHOOL FEES IS ALWAYS PAID

  21. St charles said,

    St charles is one of the most reputable institutions in ghana. Words cannot describe the pride i have to have attended st charles. The most enjoyable times for me were morning assemblies with PK. I cant wait to visit the school again for the st charles at 60.

  22. Alhassan Albin korem Jacob said,

    St charles is one of the most reputable institutions in ghana. Words can’t describe the pride i have to have attended st charles. The most enjoyable times for me were morning assemblies with PK. I cant wait to visit the school again for the st charles at 60.

  23. Abdulhakeem Shuaib said,

    this school has created so many dignitaries, including my boss. long live st. Charles sec sch

  24. David Aoaeh said,

    Long live St. Charles Secondary School, Tamale

  25. David Aoaeh said,

    Delighted to stumble on our great Alma Mater, St. Charles Junior Seminary/Secondary School, Tamale, Ghana, I noted two (clearly pardonable?) omissions in the section on LAY STAFF.
    One was about Miss Pugh who devotedly taught us religious music, especially the Psalms, and inspired us in her own way to study harder.
    I, David Kwabong AOAEH, attended St. Charles from January 1960 to July 1964, and proceed to Tamale (then Government) Sec. School for the 2-year Sixth Form.
    On completion, I was proud to return to St. Charles to teach English, Latin History, and Sports & Games: I taught some of those whose names are mentioned in the list! As the sports master, I was privileged to play a leading role in the ALL STAFF-ON- DECK committee that prepared for and hosted the Northern Region Inter-Schools/Colleges Sports Competitions in March/April, 1967.
    The outstanding organizational competence and efficiency of St. Charles was clear for all to see: every member of staff played her/his role superbly. For example, Fr Laframboise ensured that any item required for an event, for example, the discus, or javelin, or batons for a relay race was presented to the officials immediately they announced for it. Brother Keith created a spacious special ‘Super Kool’ spot for everyone!

    The Spartan our athletes had received ensured that ‘small’ Gervase Ansotinge (later Rector of XAVIER, Wa), running barefoot, stamped the sporting prowess of this ‘tiny’ unknown school firmly on the minds and hearts of fellow-athletes, spectators and officials, when, with great panache, he snatched two of the most coveted GOLD medals-in 100metres and 200metres! People now began to wonder: “We thought they learned only Latin, French and prayers in this school; lately they have started excelling in Mathematics and the Sciences in the Sixth Form, and now they are adding sporting prowess too…?
    The Carolean is driven throughout life by the simple but uncompromising motto:
    RECTA SAPERE
    We are seeing the results all over the world, and there is much, much, more and better to come, DEO VOLENTE.

  26. Abdul Rahim Arafat said,

    St’ charles is the best secundary school of Africa…I am proud of all the masters of st charles also I am proud of my selfe for bieng a student of St charles high school of tamale N/R….St charles all the best.2007/2012.

  27. kannubaegar said,

    i love st. Charles

  28. Bangni Ebenezer said,

    well am really happy i had a chance to study in this great and noble school… indeed it is the pride of the north. may the bond that binds we caroleans grow stronger and stronger….best wishes to 2008/2012 batch

    • Mashud said,

      St-charles!-no-comment

  29. Apersil Hocket said,

    St.charlse 4 real and the best of all.

  30. Junior said,

    I really love my school

  31. Emmanuel Boah Amponsah said,

    Please help connect me to Peter Antwi, a former student and lay teacher of the school. Regards

  32. osei boateng mathew said,

    st.charles is the best school in the north and am proud to be an old boy of the school

  33. Amoah Bernard Wedam said,

    Arise caroleans and shine
    St. Charlse the famous school
    The school of pride and promises
    Famous school…oh great St. Charlse
    Noble boys of great St. Charlse
    The school of pride and promises
    Noble boys, Noble boys
    Arise…Arise and shine.

  34. ONYESOM SAMUEEL said,

    I WILL LIKE TO ATTEND THIS REPUTABLE AND GREAT INSTITUTION

  35. Richard Hermon said,

    Hello. I was a VSO volunteer teacher at St Charles in the years 1964-5. I may be visiting Ghana in November this year and would like to see the school again. Would this be possible?
    Richard Hermon

  36. Abugah Abel said,

    Am very disappointed to see St charles not performing again.i fink the authority n church has to fulfill dier duties given dem by god by fighting to make d skull stand again instead of allowing d gov to control dem fully coz its no more like a mission school.dey shld emulate d ruling in Notre dame boys n st francis xavier

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