Category Archives: Articles

OC Vijay Stokes – “The Swadeshi Apple” article

It’s an enviable view that Vijay Stokes has from his family home, Harmony Hall. It crests his very own hill in Kotgarh, 3 hours north-east of Shimla, and on a clear day he can see snow-capped Himalayan peaks ring the horizon while the Sutlej river snakes through the valley below. Pickaxe in hand, and dressed in his customary Pahari kurta and waistcoat, the 78-year-old is reworking an experiment his grandfather, Samuel Stokes, had begun nearly a century before him. And it has to do with an apple which was as much [continue reading…]

The Great Himalaya and Our Bishop Cotton School

The Great Himalaya

No other range can match the lofty grandeur, the immense heights and the diversity in flora and fauna from the foothills to Kanchenjunga , to Mount Kailash to Mount Everest to

Bishop Cotton School….. which is at a mere 2300 metres or so but its perch, its architectural and geographical position were set to get maximum strength from the Sun God, pay obeisance when he sets across the Tara Devi Gap and a million stars appearing and the Moon illuminating the school, setting the 2nd and 3rd flats on a silver blaze. Besides Sports and Academics emphasis was on the pure Himalayan air, the smells of pine that was tonic to our growing years.

As a Third Former I used to creep across to the benches and strain my eyes and ears towards the gap wanting to know if my Mum and Pa thought of me every moment the way I did about them.Far away in Calcutta..

Having sailed the seas and touched every continent, driven across the Andes, The Rockies and the Alps my final return was always the Great Himalaya. Here New Monasteries, Temples, Pagodas, Mosques and Churches have come up yet I know our School Chapel stays unmatched in beauty and splendour. Being a Saprano in the Choir I had Adams, Dehlvi, Singhs, Bhasins , Tippakorn and Pandit all singing in unison to the hymns and psalms everyday.

Our School touched our lives and has stood entrenched in the soul of the mighty mountain range. It is there waiting with open arms for every Cottonian to come back today tomorrow or whenever..

We Cottonians are Blessed to have merged our soul with the Great Himalaya.

Vivek Bhasin

Lefroy 1961-1970

Message from Peter Stringer / Obituary Ron Plunkett

I would like to take this opportunity to send cordial fraternal good wishes for a happy & successful Reunion OCA Delhi next Saturday.
Would you be kind enough to add my sadness on behalf of OCAUK:
Last evening I received a call from Les Homer (L 43-49) in Bristol to say Ron Plunkett (C 43-50) passed away at 4 o’clock yesterday afternoon in Somerset after a prolonged illness.     
Pauline with love & devotion nursed him through those years.
After leaving school the first time I met Ron again was at attending my first OC Reunion on Oxford Street about 1971. From that meet Ron, Les, Arthur Jones (L 42-48) & I remained in close contact.   Ron joined the Metropolitan Police force and retired as Superintendent & settled into a charming homestead on Porlock Hill Somerset.  Maggie & I and sometimes accompanied by Shirley & Arthur Jones spent many long weekends and on occasion Sylvia & Les Homer would join all of us. Happy Days & us guys recalling school years & tales of India while our wives rehearsed their exchanges. Pauline & Ron attended all the OCA lunches till Ron could no longer travel after moving to resettle in nearby Allicombe. Phone calls, letters & cards replaced contact & our presence.
I can recall the significant return to Patina OCAUK Chairman Dick Bayliss, Ron Plunkett, Arthur Jones & myself made June 1992. DC Anand kindly sponsored & made arrangement with late SM Jain to make our experience an outstanding visit. For all of us an historic moment struck that gave the arrowhead to the Spirit of BCS across the globe.  
We shall miss Ron and send our united condolence to Pauline, son Shaun and daughter Melanie – bless him another Curzonite to be remembered.
Thank you
Peter Stringer (Lefroy 43-47)