Isabelle M Ritchie with her students at  Paljor Namgyal Girls’ School in Gangtok, Sikkim

Gangtok: Isabelle M Ritchie, who served Paljor Namgyal Girls (PNG) School, Gangtok for three decades, passed away at her native place in Dunfermlne, Scotland on Tuesday. She was 88.

The faculty, staff and students of the school on Wednesday morning held a special prayer assembly to mourn her demise. The school flag was also flown at half-mast as a mark of respect to the departed soul. The special prayer assembly was followed by a two-minute silence to pay homage to her dedicated life for PNG School, informed a press release issued by the school.

Ritchie joined PNG School in 1966 as its principal. During her 30-year tenure as the school head, she made tremendous contribution in many activities of the school, noteworthy being the opening of a special course for the differently-abled children in 1981. She was awarded the Order of British Empire in 1982 for this. She is also credited with introducing the Girls’ Guide and NCC in the school. She left the school in 1996.
Even after she left for her native country, Ritchie kept visiting the school from time to time.

Chief minister Pawan Chamling also expressed his heartfelt condolence on her demise. “I feel extremely sad to know about the untimely demise of Miss Isabelle M Ritchie, former Principal, Paljor Namgyal Girls’(PNG) School in Dunfermline, Scotland. May the departed soul rest in peace! I also extend my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family and pray that God give them the fortitude to bear this great loss,” he said.

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