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A milestone was reached on Sunday 5 May 2013 when the first two BCS boys on a Student Exchange Programme entered Marlborough College.
The School Captain, Raghav Gandhi and his friend Manvendra Tomar, a Prefect of the school, arrived at Heathrow Airport at 7 a.m. that Sunday morning. They were met by John Whitmarsh-Knight, who took them to his home to await collection by taxi for their journey to Marlborough College.
Mr Mark McVeigh, the College International Liaison Coordinator, saw them settled into their respective Houses for a good night’s sleep, before getting into the School routine the next day.
The boys, who are wonderful ambassadors for BCS, have been shown tremendous kindness and help and been made to feel absolutely at home from the moment of their arrival. Doubtless they will have their stories to tell when their all-too-brief stay is over.
I travelled over from Mallorca to see them but could not do so until the Sunday as they went on a School trip to Bristol all day on Saturday.
On Sunday I was invited, with them, to the home of Mr and Mrs McVeigh for Sunday lunch. Two girls from Waterford School, South Africa, on a similar exchange programme, also joined us. After a delicious meal, we three OCs watched the Old Marlburians playing cricket. The day was completed when we went for a curry at the Raj Indian restaurant, where we were joined by Mr Martin Evans, Secretary of the Marlburian Club.
On the Monday and Tuesday both boys went up to London to enjoy the experience of the ‘big city’. A few days later – on 25 May – they returned home, after a memorable time.
Many people have been involved in this programme. From B.C.S., the Headmaster, Mr Roy Robinson and his able Assistant Praveen Dharma. Old Boy K.C. Anand has helped liaising between School, parents and the British High Commissioner to obtain visas and saw them onto the plane at Delhi Airport. Mr Deep C. Anand has cemented the relationship between the two schools, hosting a Reception for the Master of Marlborough College, Mr Jonathan Leigh and his wife Emma. Present at the Reception, along with Old Boys and their wives, were two Marlburians on the Exchange Programme – Hugo Wilson and Sam Green – who, having been accommodated at Mr Deep C. Anand’s guest quarters in Gurgaon, were then accompanied up to Shimla for their stay at B.C.S. We hope to see them and their two predecessors from the year before – Rory Manley and Max Adams – at the OCA Lunch on 29 June at the Bombay Brasserie.
From Marlborough, the newly appointed Master – Jonathan Leigh – took immediate interest and through Mr Mark McVeigh, the successor to Larry Lamont, the programme was put in place. Mr Martin Evans, Secretary of the Marlburian Club, has kept an eye on the programme and with Jane Pendry – Alumni Relations Manager- ensured that the exchange has featured in the Marlburian Magazine and Newsletter.
Last but not least we are grateful to Mr John Whitmarsh-Knight, who has spent several spells in BCS teaching the boys – amongst them Raghav Gandhi and Manvendra Tomar – for his support and wonderful act of meeting the boys at the unearthly hour of 7 a.m. in London.
We must now look forward to the repeat of this Exchange on a yearly basis – with longer time being spent in Marlborough and eventually the exchange of teachers being added to the programme.
With our sincere thanks to all those involved for their time, effort and keen interest in the success of the exchange.
With best wishes
Hon. Life President OCA (UK)