Robert Turlington Noble, the God-gifted man whose vision is for eternity created history by converting 21st Nov. 1843 into a monumental day in the lives of the people of Machilipatnam by establishing Noble Educational Institutions. His ambition, his struggle, reflected his belief in what Mr. Kotahri expressed “A Country’s destiny is shaped in its classroom”. Education ought to teach us not only how to make a living but also how to live.
Machilipatnam, in miniature with all its castism, classism, child marriages, idolatry, superstition, condemned state of young widows, represented the big, great India.
To educate a man in mind and not in morals is To educate a menace to society.
R T Noble and Henry Watson Fox without second thought responded to the appeal of Mr. Goldingham the then Collector of Krishna District, to come live and serve in India as missionaries. Fox has chosen the field of religion and R. T. Noble has selected the arena of education. The zeal and commitment of Noble has to be read again and again or tell and retell for it in contextual in the present society where these two are deteriorating. Will the present generation believe that an English man, in order to reach out people in its true sense, went down to Madras to write his exam in “TELUGU”. R T Noble has not hesitated to venture to establish a school on a foreign soil to encounter the foreign culture.
Universities are turning out highly skilled barbarians because we don’t provide a frame work of values to young people.
This situation must probably inspired R T Noble to take up the yoke of reforming through education. The dream and desire found its execution in establishing `Noble Memorial School’ in 1842, Nov 21, with just `two students’, (1) Manchala Ratnam and (2) Inala Nagabhushanam. For the Sangha Jyothi reader, I wish to bring out the sensational Statistical Information – within 30 days the No. of students increased to 38. By 1863, 294 were admitted out of which 102 were Brahmins, others, others Hindu’s were 92, Muslims 48 and others were 52. The very next year it rose to 310.
People from all walk of life and all castes were helpless from being attracted towardshim because of his character composed of dedication, discipline, devotional and humanistic ideals. He preached only what he practiced. He was 100% true to his name “NOBLE”. Noble in thought is noble in actions as well, a rare combination.
While there was a steady progress in the academic performance and cultural adjustment, a sinister storm, attached Machilipatnam in 1864 disturbing even the health of our dear loving Noble. His fellow countrymen and well-wishers sincerely advised him to go back to England, his original home. But Noble refused. He left his last breath on 17th of October, 1965. The incident that an Indian Christian, a Hindu, A Muslim carried his mortal remains to St. Mary’s Church in Machilipatnam, speak volumes about his exemplary life. The funeral service was conducted by Rev. Manchala Ratnam, a Brahmin Convert who had been ordained and accompanied by Rev. Bhushanam, another Hindu convert.
It is said that – a generous heart, kind speech, a life of service and compassion is the essence of true living and one has to confess that ~Noble’ is still alive as a precious, priceless memory ever inspiring and encouraging to incorporate those things to enjoy true living.
Ever since then it has been, with God’s grace and the seeds sown by this inspiring, selfless, sacrificial R T Noble, the Noble Memorial School, has a developed to be `Noble College’ in 1864 and in 2006 to `Noble (Autonomous) College’, competing with the Corporate Colleges, serving the younger generation by equipping them with the needed knowledge, values to encounter the contextual problem and needs. With pride, the College history claims that many doctors, lawyers, scientist, teachers, politician have attained the foundation for their present status in this sacred niche. How truly did P. B. Shelley say –
The actions of the just smell sweet and Blossom in the dust.
“Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ”
(This was Rev. R. T. Noble’s last text and the motto of his life.)
An Appeal: Kindly remember the College with its staff and students in year prayers, so that it continues to live up to the desire of its founder – R T Noble.