Tag Archives: News

Passing of Mary [Ramani] Varughese

Dear Anna,

Thank you for your message which has come as a shock and a surprise.
Emotions overwhelm you on such occasions.

My earliest memories of Ramani, which is the name we knew her by until she
changed to Mary, is of a little girl immaculately turned out playing in the
garden just above the basketball court which is where your parents first
resided when they moved to Simla. Your parents did not hesitate to display
their affection for this little girl who always seemed shy. She found it
easy to constantly attach herself to her mother and then peer at you from
behind her mother’s sari. She would then smile with hesitation. Small and
casual images but they remain such clear memories etched in my mind. Trivial
and insignificant as these are, they take you back to the happy days of
places, people and events that happened so long ago.

There is now a graphic contrast from that little happy girl to a grown woman
who just past on in life. Two starkly different events more than 50 years
apart strike you as collective memory and you say to yourself, “What
happened ? Did this passage of time move so quickly ?” Disbelief.

I just called and spoke with Sara a few minutes ago. This is another hard
blow after the passing away of your mother in June this year. Ramani’s
photograph bears such a close resemblance of your father, Mr P M Varughese.
Suddenly this family comes back and we can only think of them with affection
and gratitude for the fact that they touched our lives.

On behalf of all those who remember and knew her, The Old Cottonian
Association, we offer our deepest condolences to your families and you. May
her soul rest in peace.

With kind regards



—–Original Message—–
From: A. Siromoney
Sent: 28 December 2017 12:07
To: Vijay Khurana
Subject: Death of Mary d/o PM Varughese

Dear Mr Khurana
I know that my older sister Mary (Ramani) Varughese kept in touch with the
old Cottonians. She was suffering from terminal lung cancer diagnosed in
July 2016. Thanks to the efforts of the doctors at CMC Vellore she enjoyed
fairly good health for nearly 16 months; but the cancer eventually overtook
the available therapies by September. I regret to inform you that she passed
away on 20th November in Delhi at my other sister Sara’s home.

The funeral and burial was conducted in at her church in Coonoor, Nilgris
Dist, Tamil Nadu on 24 Nov.

She studied up till Std VI in BCS, VII -IX at Convent of Jesus and Mary,
before my father moved to the Nilgris where she completed her schooling in

I am attaching the PDF of the obituary in the Hindu (all editions).

Yours sincerely
Anna Siromoney

(nee Varughese)

Welcome message from OCA India President

‘It is with great honour and privilege, I wish to inform you that I, Justice Rupinder Singh Sodhi (Retd.) of BCS Batch – 1962, House – Curzon, have taken over as President of the ‘Old Cottonians Association – India’ w.e.f. 1st April 2017 alongwith my new team members as below :-
1. Mr. Ashwani Singh Virk – Secretary, Mob. 9810194724
2. Neel Kamal Mehra – Treasurer, Mob. 9810784441
3. Mr. Vivek Bhasin – Jt. Secretary, Mob. 9899561236
4. Mr. Himmat Singh, Mob. 9828383183
5. Col. Uppi Gill, Mob. 9417801853
6. Dr. Ravi Toor, Mob. 9888890788
7. Mr. K.Vijay Singh, Mob. 9811056361
8. Mr. Suneel Bandhu, Mob. 9223349090
9. Mr. Mohnish Sharma, Mob. 9930992094

I also hereby appeal to all of you to enthusiastically take part in activities organised by any chapter of OCA(India) and show your true Cottonian spirit to support our fraternity worldwide.
Sincerely looking forward to a healthy co-operation and association from all old cottonians.

Dr. Mathew Zachariah passes away

Dear All,

It is with great sadness I wish to inform all about the passing away of Dr Mathew Zachariah. I received information from his friend in Delhi, George Mathew (see messages below)

While I will share more details about this interesting man, it would appear, or so I speculate, that it was his kidneys that gave way. He had been on dialysis for some years now.

Dr Zachariah had an impact on so many of us. Some of what he taught us then 11 years old has stuck like glue for the rest of our lives. I even today live by the value system that he and some of the others inculcated in us. I am glad he touched my life and owe him a big thanks.

May his soul rest in peace. He was a good man, nay a wonderful man!!

Warm regards


Vijay (Khurana)

Dear Vijay,
I am sending below the message received from my friend in Ohio. Very sad indeed.

—– Forwarded Message —–
From: oommen thomas 
To: George Mathew 
Sent: Tuesday, 25 October 2016 5:48 PM

Dear G. Mathew
Very sorry to inform you that Dr. Mathew Z passed away 25th early morning 12.30 their time. All the children wife Saro and his brother Dr.Alex was also there with him. May his soul rest in peace.
Take care. Ani and Leela


Dear All,

Here is an obit for Dr Mathew Zachariah that appeared The Calgary Herald.

Mathew Zachariah May 24, 1935-October 25, 2016 Mathew Zachariah passed away on October 25, 2016. He was born in Tiruvalla, Kerala, India in 1935. He spent part of his childhood in Miri, Borneo where his father was an accountant with an oil company, returning to India with his mother in the early 1940’s when a Japanese invasion was imminent. He had and older and younger brother. His father suffered much during the war years in Borneo and died in 1946 on his return to India. In 1942, he was informally adopted by his mother’s older sister and husband, a childless couple, and raised as their son. In the early 1960s he moved to the U.S. as a Fulbright scholar to advance his post-secondary education, and in 1966 accepted the position of assistant professor with the Faculty of Education at the University of Calgary. He became an associate professor in 1969 and full professor in 1973.

Dr. Zachariah holds several degrees, including a BA in economics from University of Madras (1956), B.Ed from University of Delhi (1960), MS in Education, English and Social Sciences from State University of New York (New Paltz, 1962) and a PhD in Social Sciences and Education from University of Colorado at Boulder (1965). A comparative sociologist of education, he made significant contributions to academic services at University of Calgary as department head and associate dean in the Faculty of Education. He retired from the U of C in 2000 after more than three decades of service and was honoured as an Emeritus Professor of Education. He continued his community service activities, despite failing health.

He is the recipient of numerous awards and honours, including a U of C Students’ Union Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching in 1985 and in 1999, a national award from the Canadian Committee of Students in Education for mentoring masters and doctoral students. He received the Alberta Human Rights Award in 1989, as well as the Internationalization Lifetime Achievement Award by the U of C in 2002. In 2004, Dr. Zachariah was named one of 114 leaders in the university community recognized for outstanding achievement. After his retirement, he was distinguished visiting professor at the University of Pittsburgh and Menno Simons College in Winnipeg.

He was a prolific author and published many books, articles and essays to his credit. He has also published short stories and poems. The leitmotif of his life was to be a promote justice and fairness to people denied their dignity and were oppressed by the dominant economic and cultural institutions.

He was the first Canadian to receive the Honourary Fellow designation from the Comparative and International Education Society, USA (CIES). This honour recognized the contribution Dr. Zachariah has made to the development of comparative and international education throughout his teaching career, as well as the impact he has had on various academic and professional organizations.

He was an Anglican all his life and became more active in the life of his church after retirement.

For details go to


You can sign in and leave condolence messages on this site

Vijay Khurana

OCA Nepal Official Inception

Dear Old Cottonians

I am writing to you all today with pleasure and pride as our long-pursued aim has now turned into achievement. OCA Nepal is finally official!

On 27 May 2016, Mr. Sukhinder Singh, President, OCA, accompanied by his wife and Col. R. Dewan, visited us here in Kathmandu and witnessed the official inception OCA Nepal.

Lead by Mr. Prabal SJB Rana, batch of 1954, the first President of OCA Nepal, 24 other Nepalese OCs and their wives attended this event. Although small in number, with 47 registered Nepalese OCs, we all Nepalese OCs are very happy to have established OCA Nepal and we look forward to taking our association to greater heights.

I have attached a few pictures of the event along with this email.

We would also like to encourage Nepalese OCs around the world to join us. They may inquire by emailing: ocanepal@gmail.com

Thank you.

Ayush Rajbhandari

[click for larger view of the photos]

Here are the names of the ones present in the group photograph from Left to Right and from Bottom to Top:
Bottom Row (Seated):
1. Silika Shakya-Rajbhandari / 2. Saloni Rajbhandari-Pradhan / 3. Mrs. Sukhinder Singh / 4. Puja Chitlangia-Kabra / 5. Shivani Jajodia / 6. Yumena Shrestha-Pradhan / 7. Palija Shrestha-Rajbhandari.
Middle Row:
1. Rohit Man Pradhan / 2. Ayush Rajbhandari / 3. Amish Man Pradhan / 4. Bishal Rana / 5. Nanda SBJ Rana / 6. Prem Gurung / 7.  Sukhinder Singh / 8. Pundrik Kabra / 9. Prabal SJB Rana / 10. Deewaker Piya / 11. R. Diwan / 12. Robin Rana / 13. Sabin Rana / 14. Siddhartha Jajodia / 15. Ashish Rajbhandari / 16. Anmol P. Singh / 17. Sailesh Shrestha / 18. Subodh Das Shrestha.
Top Row:
1. Nuraj Batajoo / 2. Pulkit Kabra / 3. Shreyans Shethia / 4. Sobit Aggarwal.