School Songs La Martiniere, Kolkata, Lucknow and Lyon (France). La MartiniÃ¨re is a non-denominational public school in India (Calcutta and Lucknow) and in France (Lyon). La MartiniÃ¨re Schools were founded posthumously by Major General Claude Martin in the early 19th century. Martin had acquired a large fortune while serving the Nawab of Awadh Asaf-ud-Daula and bequeath a major part of his estate to establish the schools. His will outlined every detail of the schools, from their location to the manner of celebrating the annual Founder's Day. The seven branches function independently, but maintain close contacts and share most traditions. La MartiniÃ¨re College, Lucknow was awarded a Battle Honour - 'Defence of Lucknow' for the part the staff and pupils played in the Defence of the Residency at Lucknow during the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 - the only school in the world so distinguished. La Martiniere Calcutta and La MartiniÃ¨re Lucknow consist of separate girls' and boys' schools, while the three in La MartiniÃ¨re Lyon are co-educational. The Colleges are day schools, but Calcutta and Lucknow have boarding facilities as well. Extra-curricular activities, including sports and community service organizations, are emphasized, and music and dance are included in the general curriculum.. Claude Martin was born on 5 January 1735 in Lyon, France. He came to India when he was seventeen. After the French influence declined in India, he served in the British East India Company and rose to the rank of Major-General. After taking up residence in Lucknow, he occupied an important position in the court of Nawab Shuja-ud-Daulah and later his son, Asaf-ud-Daula. During this period Martin accumulated a fortune of about 4,000,000 rupees. He built the palace of 'Constantia' and his fine house of Farud Baksh, both of which he equipped with luxuries that included a library of some 4,000 volumes written in many languages and a picture gallery containing a collection of works of art. Martin died in Lucknow on September 13, 1800. According to his will, he was buried in the vault prepared for his remains in the basement of the college in Lucknow. The major portion of his estate were left for the founding of three institutions, one each at Lucknow, Calcutta and his birthplace Lyon in France. It took 30 years to dispose of the litigation arising out of Claude Martin's will. Finally, as the result of a Supreme Court decision, La MartiniÃ¨re Schools opened in Calcutta, on 1 March 1836. Claude Martin's intent was the education of children in India without specific mention to race and creed. However, the attitude of British rulers in India changed to a Victorian and imperialist outlook resulted in the formation of a school meant for European Christians, though permitting Catholics, Armenien Christians and those of other denominations. It was only in 1935 that native Indians were permitted to join the school. La MartiniÃ¨re coat of arms The La MartiniÃ¨re coat of arms was designed by the founder Claude Martin. It is supported by seven flags, each bearing the design of a fish, the emblem of Oudh. The devices on the escutcheon appear to epitomise Claude Martin's life. The ship recalls his voyage to India where he established his fortune. The lion with the pennant represents his career as an officer in the East India Company and with the Nawab of Oudh The setting sun behind the castellated building to the right of the shield has been said to point to the sunset of his days and the large part which the building of "Constantia" played in his later years. The coat of arms and the accompanying motto Labore et Constantia are now shared by all the schools founded by Martin. The La Martinere College flag consists of the coat of arms on a blue and gold background. The flag is generally flown above the buildings, and used for formal events and celebrations, such as the annual Founder's Day. The seal is engraved on the school buildings. College traditions Founder's Day Founder's Day is commemorated every year on September 13, the day Claude Martin died. Some of the traditions of this day include an extended formal assembly in the morning with a faculty march, a speech by a prominent guest or alumnus, the playing of bagpipes, singing of the school song and other selected hymns by the College choir, and the laying of a wreath at Claude Martin's tomb. For the Founder's Day dinner the entire senior school and staff are treated to an elaborate sit-down dinner in the afternoon. Claude Martin had apparently listed in his will that his death should not be commemorated as a day of mourning but one of celebration of his life. He had also written out a menu for the meal to be served. Although today, the menu does not remain the same, the tradition of the Founder's Day dinner is still preserved. A Founder's Day Social is held in the evening for the senior school. Classes are suspended on Founder's Day, which is generally followed by a school holiday.