Another year has passed by quickly, and as I have read on the COTTONIAN website – Indian Northern chapter had held their Reunion, followed by Mumbai and then New Delhi (home of OCA India) now has come to our turn. Our June Reunion always embraces my fond memories of dear Patina and stands among my top annual social occasions. I really look forward to meeting many more of you this year – even though 2017 faltered in numbers.
Unfortunately, as we grow older, some of us find the travel to attend difficult, hence the decline in numbers yearly. I do not know how many of you watched the BBC rail traveling programme of Michael Portillo’s first leg – Ambala to Shimla. It captured those years returning to school in mid-March with thorough nostalgia. His meeting with OC Raja Bhasin enlightened Portillo and others, including myself. Raja is well rehearsed over the influence of history & politics and the life in the Queen of Himalayan Hill Stations. Which, again I ask, have you watched the TV serial documentary about Doon School that is rated about the best in the world? I think they must mean in a separate league to compare with Bishop Cotton School Simla. BCS sits on a real spur of foothills of the mighty Himalayas commanding glorious panoramic views that leaves Doon on the steps of Dehradun. The only other note I can offer to them and fate – my Parents were married in St Thomas Church Dehradun, 2nd April 1918. Our Alma Mater lives supremely in Shimla! We must uphold our inspiring tradition – tell them who come after us how lucky & blessed they are to study in such beautiful set environment and to remind them of the School motto – OVERCOME EVIL WITH GOOD.
We can only ask you please come and join us for another annual Reunion celebration & carry forward our OCA(UK) chapter. If you have never been before – rest assured you will be most welcome; you will enjoy a First Class afternoon and good khanna amongst genuine old-school company. Come share your memories of school stories & tales of Indiaaah.
Wishing you all a peaceful year and good health. See you in June.
Peter Stringer (Lefroy) 1943-47
Dear Old Cottonians,
I write having just returned from BCS where I was joined by The Master of Marlborough College, his wife and daughter and 6 boys and two Masters from the School, all on an exchange visit. They met up with the 6 BCS boys and hm Dinesh Thakur who visited Marlborough last year. This was the sealing moment in this programme, which started almost 20 years ago, when Marlborough Boys were first hosted by Mr Deep C. Anand in Delhi. It was celebrated by medallions, struck by hm Deven Bansal, who son, Tanesh came to Marlborough – to celebrate the event and these were given to all the two parties. Another gesture to follow our Chairman, Kuljinder Bahia generosity in having two fountains built on the first flat and refurnishing of classrooms and house common rooms.
Meanwhile, we have O.C. Captain Sandeep Mansukhani (Rivaz 1994-1995) currently making his second attempt to scale Mt Everest – his first attempt being thwarted by the earthquakes in Nepal in 2015. His son, Kabir Mansukhani has just won his junior marathon – so the genes of courage and determination are passed on.
The Marlborough Boys visited Delhi, Agra (Taj Mahal) and in Shimla Viceregal Lodge and the Mall, Museum and town in general. At School they participated in the “wall climb” went on a hike to Tara Devi and even survived living in a “dorm”. They were lucky to have food, as we never had in time and joined in the Chapel Service and were not affected by the cold, and storms with heavy rain throughout their stay.
The School is looking in great shape. Irwin Hall has been expanded and modernised. The kitchen’s glisten with stainless steel, new staff accommodation, housing 8 apartments has been completed and is now occupied. We await the road leading to the building to be widened to allow car access. I left, as the second flat was having the irrigation pipes installed and I hope on my return at the end of July to see it laid with beautiful green grass. Mr Robinson is doing an excellent job with his staff in seeing the boys academic and sporting efforts well rewarded and there is a wonderful positive and happy atmosphere in the School.
The Marlborough Boys were much impressed by the discipline, courtesy and order of the boys in their smart blazers, white shirts and ties – all under the eyes of the prefects.
I look forward to seeing you at the OCA UK Annual Lunch at the Bombay Brasserie, London on 30 th June 2018.
With my very best wishes to you and your families.
Very sincerely, yours
Hon Life President OCA (UK).
NOTE FROM MR NIBLETT
“At the moment of writing, we would like OCs from or UK Chapter to know that we have an O.C. called Captain Sandeep Mansukhani (Rivaz 1994-95) (who has a son, Kabir, currently in B.C.S. and who won his Junior Marathon) embarking on the last and most difficult part of his second attempt to scale Mt. Everest – a feat which would make all OCs very proud. The expenses of the climb are as high as the mountain and any contribution you can make, no matter how small, will be immensely appreciated by him. Thank you. BCS have already made a contribution and OCA (India) have been asked to do the same. Mr Sandeep Mansukhani’s Bank Account details to which you can send your donation to are:
State Bank of India, Account Number 34777 505 766, IFSC Code SBIN 000 1282, East Patel Nagar Branch, Delhi”
OCA (UK) ANNUAL LUNCHEON DETAILS
All OC’s, their family members and friends are invited to attend OCA (UK) annual luncheon, which is to be held on Saturday 30 th June 2018 (11.15 am onwards) at the Bombay Brasserie, Courtfield Road, London SW7 4QH (closest underground station is Gloucester Road).
Bombay Brasserie will charge us £33.00 per person for food. To kick start the luncheon, there will be some bottles of wine and beers, which will be complimentary but if these finish then you will need to pay for any additional drinks. It will be preferred if you could pay for your lunch in advance by telegraphic transfer (preferred method) or by cheque.
Lloyds TSB Bank
Sort Code 30 93 84
Account Number 00126972
Reference Please insert your name (plus number of guests)
Please make your cheque payable to OCA (UK) and post it to Gursant Sandhu, 44 Chiltern Way, Woodford Green IG8 0RQ. Please write your name on the reverse of your cheque together with number of guests.
You can pay when you attend.
** Any contributions to OCA (UK) will be greatly appreciated.
If you have any questions about the 2018 Annual Luncheon, then please contact Mr Gursant Sandhu on 07788716525 or firstname.lastname@example.org