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In around 1870, the town council of Mechelen-aan-de-Maas decided to build a new school "close to the church”. The classes were ready for use in the academic year 1871-1872. 

 

However, in 1879, the tranquil school life came to an abrupt end. The so-called Unlucky Law of freemason and liberal minister Pierre van Humbeek stipulated that only teachers from National Teacher Training Colleges would be allowed to teach. Religion was even removed from the school curriculum.


The local dean, Mr. Geukens, was obliged to look for a new school. He succeeded with the aid of the Booten family, who rented out a house. At the beginning of the new school year, the people of Mechelen, of course, opted to send their children to the school of their dean. This was much to the dismay of the liberal Mayor Pieter Hermans, who responded, in vain, by adding the words “Catholic School” to the façade of the school building, but unfortunately it was seldom used again.


The situation remained tense, but tranquillity returned after the mayor died and Dean Geukens was transferred to Herk-de-Stad. Many years later, after the boys opted for the Training School at the new Holy Heart Institute, and the girls attended the convent of the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary, the council school fell out of use. Until today, when the building is still a "home" for young people, the youth centre ’t Alibi.


Indeed, these days, the school building on the right side serves as the hall of the Sint-Cecilia brass band, one of the oldest brass bands in the country, which was co-founded by the father of Dr. Hauben in 1846.

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Dr. Haubenlaan 24
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