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Maharashtra Chief Minister and Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee President Ashok Chavan was awarded with the Xavier Ratna by the St. Xavier's High School on the commemoration of its 150th anniversary.

Adi Godrej, Deepak Parekh, and Sunil Gavaskar were also presented with the Xavier Ratna today. The Chief Guest for the event was Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao. The event was held at the school's historic campus in South Mumbai.

Introduced as one of the most prominent alumni of the school for being Chief Minister of the state, Chavan was lauded for continuously supporting his alma mater after his graduation.

Chavan, who passed out of the school in 1975, recalled fond memories of Xavier's while accepting the award and said that “whatever I am today, I owe to this school.”

He added that a deep tradition of secularism had been ingrained in him because of the teachings of the school, which was one of the most inclusive institutions in the city when it was founded in 1869.

“Amongst the 512 students who made up the first few batches of Xavier's, there were Catholics and Protestants, Hindus and Muslims, Parsis and Jews. This school, therefore, was truly one of the most,” said Chavan.

St. Xavier's High School was established in 1869, right as the Suez Canal was built. The school completes 150 years this year, and has organised year-long celebrations to commemorate this anniversary.

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