Saturday 26th June 2010:
(Capt. Vivek Bhasin : Chairman OCA (UK Chapter)
From Kindergarden to Transition and then to Lower I……
Isn’t that’s the way all Cottonians start?
The OCA (UK) Chapter’s Annual Lunch at Bombay Brasserie was attended by 45 OCs and their wives; in my case my Mother and Brother ( an OC stalwart) accompanied me.
It was my Mother who packed my trunk and my bedding roll, gave me my red attache case and putting on me Black ‘ tuffies’ shoes from Bata, tying my laces put me on the Howrah-Kalka Mail on the 5th of March 1961……..at the age of FIVE……… The Old Cottonian has come a long way.
Having accepted the position of Chairman of the Old Cottonians Association United Kingdom on this date, I wish to first Thank all my Seniors; especially:
-Allan Gay Niblett-Chairman OCA (UK) who is now appointed as Honorary Life President; indeed the most remarkable and dedicated Chairman in the history of the Association. Unfailing in his responsibilities, he makes at least 12 trips a year to London from his Mallorca Home; nearly always at his own time and expense; personally writing such meaningful and intelligent letters in his most beautiful handwriting and ensuring that whatever he says…’will be done….for the Good of the OCA….for the Good of BCS’. To me he is a Father, a mentor and a true true friend. Christine….you are Beautiful.
-Peter Stringer-Secretary of the OCA (UK) who breathes the Simla Air and has dedicated his 150 years( yes he is 150) for his love of BCS-he too has stepped down,( but I am not releasing him in a hurry). Peter lives in Whyteleafe and has steadily over time, built a small museum of BCS in his pretty home. Maggie his Dear Wife has given him a study where he sits, thinks, paints….Bishop Cotton forever…. To me he is my Rock of Ages. Maggie we love you.
– Raj Lamba: A Hard Core Cottonian who always supports and is part of the Committee….permanently.
– Vinod Nanda: The hardest of the core…..a fellow Lefroyian…..Guts and Glory……A committee member…permanently. Over the last 10 years he has always been there..offering his home for us to attend meetings before we move on to an authentic north Indian khaana at Southall. Rosy we appreciate it all…… we really do.
-Arthur Jones: A wonderful wonderful person…..always there; Peter Stringer’s true bother in arms…at home and in the pub……God! We do miss Shirley.
-Ken Richards:….motoring down from Marlborough….until… until then….we know how life goes through its changes…..the mind is willing but the body is weak….the last angrez speaking Hindustani…never forgotten.
– John & Katherine Phillips: John… Tall, bold, Mighty……decisive….and the delicate but firm Katherine. The OCA (UK) will always need you…..for a lot more. Your hard work and sincerity is always appreciated.
– Peter Evans (Lamboo):…….He may live in Amsterdam….and is a more in-depth painter than Van Gogh….A PILLAR of BCS..ageless….forever. His strength is what drives all of us….onwards.
– Bob Myers: A tower of strength; his knowledge and planning excellence knows no bounds. He too keeps BCS always on his mind…on his agenda.
–Shiela Reed: A true Lady Cottonian; yes she is. No doubt.
……and so so many more Seniors whose faces, whose actions, I can never forget…… Dr Daljit Singh…never ever failing to be there. Thank you Sir.
Dr Humayun Khan……Hashim Khan Esq,…..in a complex world….you make it look …So Very Easy….
On behalf of ALL Cottonians far and wide…… I Salute You ALL.
AND NOW…….(into Transition to a newer and younger generation)…
-Young Puneet Singh: The numbers Kid…..(Treasurer)….!!! A ROCK, BISON
-Young Gursant Singh…
-Young Gursant Sidhu…..
-Young Mrinal Vijay..
-Young Bunti Singh..
-Young Kuljinder Singh Bahia…
-Young Rana Datar
-Young Bhawani Singh
-Young Mohit Chowdhury
-Young Marshal Brar
-Young Chaku Talwar
-Young Samson Rathur
AND every young, youthful OC who in a way is omnipresent here in the UK.
THIS IS A TIME FOR CHANGE. OUR SENIORS HAVE IN EVERY GRACIOUS MANNER MOVED TO EXHAULTED POSITIONS LEAVING US , THE YOUNGER OCs TO FURTHER CEMENT OUR ORGANISATION HERE IN THE UK. FOR ME AS CHAIRMAN, I KNOW I NEED THE STRENGTH OF THE YOUNGER GENERATION……I BESEECH YOUR HELP…
We need to come together more often..
Very good suggestions and ideas flow from the young….We need to Listen, we need to sit together and make this work…..for ourselves, for future OCs and for Bishop Cotton School.
Lets also be frank and open.. We need Cottonians who have the infrastructure, organisation, financial capacity to come forward and assist whenever/wherever possible.
1. We need to have at least 4 to 6 get togethers here in London. Suggestions are Welcome!!
2. Culminate in the Annual Get Together on the Last Saturday of June every year..
3. As suggested the ‘out-of -towners’ and the younger chaps in College need to be supported by way of subsidised travel/accommodation to attend the same.
In clear terms, every OC in the UK is part and parcel of the Association. Every OC visiting the UK must make contact..
Networking plays a great part in today’s world.
The OCs worldwide form one of the greatest networks..we need to develop this further.
We are Blessed and Proud that we were Born Cottonians.
Lets make the most of it! Help each other….Help our School and enjoy ourselves
May God Bless the OCA (UK) and Bishop Cotton School.
My Sincerely Regards
Capt. Vivek Bhasin
The Old Cottonians Association, United Kingdom