Kolese Kanisius


Following the spelling change in Indonesia in 1972, “tj” became “c”, the well-known private catholic boys school ‘Canisius’ on Jalan Menteng Raya had its name changed into ‘Kolese Kanisius’ in order to be pronounced correctly.

This school already opened in 1927 as the Algemene Middelbare School (A.M.S.) and Roman Catholic M.U.L.O. Initially all lessons were given in the stylish 19th century Indies house on Menteng 40, which was previously occupied by dairy company Swaga. In 1929 the school bought additional land on the left and right side and constructed various school buildings and pavilions, designed by architect bureau Fermont Cuypers.

Behind the old house a chapel was built with beautiful stained glass windows, which were designed by Robert Deppe.

In 1931 the school received its official status as Canisius College and Pater A.Th. van Hoof SJ was appointed as the first rector.

During WWII in Batavia/Jakarta (1942-1945), the school initially changed into a public high school but lessons were soon suspended due to the deteriorating situation in the city. The first rector after the war, Pater Lodewijk Ingenhousz, proposed a national focused curriculum and was of the (for that time progressive) opinion that the Indonesian language should be the main language used at the school.

In our days this school does still exist as an all-boys Jesuit Catholic school. Famous students in the past were activist Soe Hok Gie (1942-1969), Djarum’s CEO R. Budi Hartono, and former Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo.

The 19th century building has sadly been demolished long ago, and the front of the school now exists of a multi storey concrete complex. Most of the outbuildings at the back do still exist, although mostly altered. The chapel is fortunately still present.

The name Canisius is derived from Peter Canisius SJ (1521-1597), a renowned Dutch Jesuit Catholic priest.

Apart from Jakarta, there are also Catholic Canisius schools in the Netherlands as well as in Buffalo (New York, USA), Vienna (Austria), Pymble (Sydney, Australia) and Omusati (Namibia). [photos: Leiden University, NMVW the Netherlands]

News Reporter

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