Tag Archives: OCA UK

Annual ‘at-home’ event / Barford Warwickshire

Saturday 29 April 9 OCs with some wives gathered at Barford Warwickshire – this is an annual ‘at-home’ event hosted by Sheila, wife of late Bobby Reed (R 41-46) – continues to his memory.
We believe this simple way to refresh our fraternal acquaintance and rekindle fond memories – this practice helps restore the Spirit of BCS.

The photo taken at the entrance of Watchbury Cottage of 9 OCs.
R to L School Captain 1954 Daljit Singh Jaijee (R 47-54) John Phillips (C 39-45) Gay Niblett (R 40-47) Joginder Chahal (c 44-50) our oldest member 93 Lance Jones (L 35-39)
Stringer ii (Lefroy 43-47) Peter Johans (I 44-48) Raj Lamba (L 49-59) Bambi SK Majumdar (53 – 59).

We enjoyed a dining-room full lunch after drinks & starters (samosas) in the vine covered conservatory where the girls dined – and thank you Sheila & daughter Jancis for your kind warm hospitality.

The afternoon is consigned to another nostalgic memory of innocent schoolboy camaraderie as count down the days for the 24 June OCA (UK) Reunion.

Fond regards
Peter Stringer ii (Lefroy)

Newsletter 2017 and lunch invite


As we all look forward to our Annual OCA(UK) Lunch at the Bombay Brasserie on Saturday 24 June, I thought to give you a quick update on the Pupil Exchange Programme between BCS and Marlborough College.

With great effort on the part of Mr Roy Robinson on the one hand and the continued support and keen interest of Mr Jonathan Leigh, Master of Marlborough College, on the other, a final date has been fixed for the BCS boys, accompanied by Mr Dinesh Thakur, to visit Marlborough 20 – 27 May. The Grade 8 BCS boys will meet up with their counterparts in the Shell Class and get a good idea of life at a British public School.

I am planning to go to Marlborough with our Chairman, Kuljinder Bahia, for the boys’ last couple of days at the school and hopefully take then out for a curry dinner there.

Since attending the OCA (India) annual lunch at Mr D.C. Anand’s Company HQ in Hauz Khas, my time spent as a Governor of BCS has seen me involved in pursuing not only the Exchange but, with Mr Anil Mehra’s initiative and pressure, to see big infrastructure improvements of the kitchens and the completion of the new residential quarters for the staff. Kuljinder’s generous contribution to the school has seen new model classrooms and the refurbishment of the House Comm0n Rooms, starting with Lefroy House – naturally.

The school continues to have good grades in their academic results and keep their heads high in the Interschool Debating contests and sports as well.

With the young BCS boys coming over to England, we now look forward to seeing a lot of older OCs at the Lunch and as many of you who can make it to London. I am going down to Somerset to spend a couple of nights with Bob and Gilly Myers and being joined there by Col. Bill Dewan and wife Neelam as well as Paddy Singh and Daniela.

Sheila Reed very generously continues to host a lunch at her home where there is a good gathering of some 20 or so OCs with their wives.

These meetings of OCs during the year are so important to keeping us all up to date with the lives of our old school friends. Chairman Kuljinder himself, holds gatherings in London where those living there, or passing through, meet up.

I am looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible.
With best wishes,
Gay Niblett [Hon. Life President OCA(UK)]

Dear Old Cottonians

The request goes out please come & join us for 2017 annual last Saturday 24 June at the Bombay Brasserie.

As a new comer to joining the Internet and with the kind assistance of the Web Master I have subscribed and followed two Reunion events. First in February OCA New Delhi & recently the Canadian chapter in Ontario, reading up, both splendid occasions. Shabash for keeping the Spirit of BCS. Our OCA(UK) London Reunions have always been a delight, joined by many from abroad adding that special fraternal togetherness. Even last year we had two consecutive years the Headmaster & Mrs Robinson attend. 2014 Mr Bhadwaj’s visit delivered his very personal moving speech. We have welcomed OCs from everywhere!

We full well know senior members are in decline and we call on younger members to remember…….from those who’ve gone before to those who’ve yet to come! From our chapter we lost Hashim Khan & Eric Waughray last April, Peter Travers in December & Ron Plunkett in February. Not forgotten but the personal memories we shared with them still remain.

And here is something I want to share – our stalwart Treasurer Puneet Singh has been blessed with a baby daughter – and congratulations Mum! OCA Nepal has opened a chapter in Kathmandu and celebrated dinners last year with visiting OC guests … Brilliant.

I have always felt a privilege and with pride my formative five years at dear Patina has illustrated for me our simple motto “Overcome evil with Good” does work & carries our Association into the future. Sharing news & experiences on the Internet is wonderful but the innocent simple luncheon meeting captures first place.

Well think it over – see you there

Yours fraternally
Peter Stringer Lefroy 1943-47

All OC’s and their family members are invited to attend OCA (UK) annual lunch, which is to be held on Saturday 24 June 2017 (11.15 am onwards) at the Bombay Brasserie, Courtfield Road, London (closest underground station is Gloucester Road).

Details of our 2017 annual reunion are as follows –

Date ​​24 June 2017 (Saturday)
Time ​11.15 am onwards
Venue ​Bombay Brasserie, Courtfield Road, London SW7 4QH
The closest station is ​Gloucester Road
—————————————————————————————————-
1. Bombay Brasserie will charge us £32.50 per person for food. Please therefore pay in advance by telegraphic transfer (preferred method) or by cheque.
Telegraphic Transfer
Lloyds TSB Bank
Sort Code ​30 93 84
Account Number ​00126972
Reference ​Please insert your name (plus number of guests)
Cheque
Please make your cheque payable to OCA (UK) and send it to our treasurer Mr Puneet Singh, 6 Sheridan Court, 47 Belsize Road, London NW6 4RY. Please write your name on the reverse of your cheque. OC’s can also contact Puneet on 07841590990 or puneetsingh932@hotmail.com
** Any donations to OCA (UK) would be greatly appreciated.
2. You will have to pay additional for your drinks (prices are approximates and might vary).
a. ​Bottle of house white / red wine – £24.20
b. ​125ml glass of house white / red wine – £6.60
c. ​Beer – £6.60
d. ​Soft drinks – £3.30
3. If you have any questions about the reunion, then please get in touch with Mr Puneet Singh using the details shown above or Mr Gursant Sandhu on 07788716525 or gs@notarypublicgs.co.uk.

Letter from Peter Stringer

While I was Secretary of OCA (UK) for over 25 years, I regret now, for not being Internet connected. Slowly catching up with OCA web news I find to have lost opportunities to gather & exchange interesting contacts.

Now old news comments & views from Mike Weatherfeild who was a class mate, in Prep School – we called a ‘nib’ because he was so clever. Is he still around?
I also find – Sept2013- Geraldine Grimshaw whose father Douglas Horner (School Prefect ’44) mentions Douglas often recalls Whitty White & ‘Lumbo’ Peter Evans & the Willy Brothers. A direct ‘late’ response with regard to Lumbo Evans who often asked did I have any news or whereabouts of the aforementioned.

This may be of interest to some readers.

On invitation I often attended the very cordial Auckland House School London Reunions. Introduced to lady visiting from Australia, who at once informed me Peter Evans was her brother. Peter had moved to Holland after losing his wife, lived with his partner & Sheila would be visiting him before returning to AUZ. Peter wasted no time & was in touch with me.
He & Elisabeth came over & stayed with us & we exchanged many visits when he attended our London annual Reunions.

Sadly now Peter passed away 11 March 2012. Gay Niblett, Catherine & John Phillips, Arthur Jones & his daughter Julie, Maggie & I attend his funeral at Muiderberg.

I also have many interesting photographs – BCS connected if you might like to share

I shall be most obliged if you would be kind to post on the web.

Peter Stringer (Lefroy 1943-47)

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)

Keeping the BCS SPIRIT

Wishing Old Cottonians where ever you are
A VERY HAPPY NEW Year.

Since I discovered OCA (UK) in 1972 I have attended every Annual Reunion under the Chairmanships of Dick Bayliss, Tony Sinha and Gay Niblett, Vivek Bhasin & Kuljinder Bahia.
That is a proud record of an ordinary pupil of Bishop Cotton School in Simla.
Completely unaware of the Association’s existence when I first arrived in England on a cold winter’s afternoon in December 1958 and made my way to the home of a girlfriend from New Delhi, living in Brighton.

My elder Brother John Stringer (L42-45) who many years later followed me to London was employed by a refrigeration service company. After completing his service duties at the then great departmental store of Elyes of Wimbledon he was directed to the manager’s office of Mr. Elye-Dodds. Taken by surprised to find it was no other but Sparrow Dodds (I 40s). ‘Spaggy’ gave my brother information details of the Old Cottonians’ annual reunions organised by Lumboo Woods the legend co-founder of our School’s Association (London Chapter). Unfortunately I have never met Dodds at any reunion.

For me all this discovery has been a profound experience and pleasure. It created outside my family and working life an endearing circle of dear chums brought on from our unique heritage and formal school years. Sorry to recall that my eyes moisten up when rekindling memories of individuals, so many of them that are no longer with us. I will not recall their names – many of them older before I was born and some even far older; a very ‘chota’ youngster, compared to the Bigsters we called the Seniors during my School years.

All a rewarding relationship that has inspired me after taking over hesitantly the reins of the UK Fraternity when Ted Cuzen deposited the books and files of the Association on the table in front of Chairman Dick Bayliss. It was the year after Ted’s retirement, as Head Teacher for a parochial school of Inner London at Clarkenwell. At that Reunion perhaps no more than a dozen OCs and some wives were present over 30 years ago at the public house, The Merlin Caves around the corner from Ted Cuzen’s place of work. It was Dick Bayliss with his gentle manner and direct approach that guided me to the stewardship of Secretary and Treasurer. Luni Dunne, Roy Nissen and Henry Lincoln championed me and I was forced to accept this official undertaking. With my wife Margaret’s help we held it together and Dick the Godfather steering us on. Maggie’s domestic commitments forced her to hand over the Funds & Treasury to veteran Henry Lincoln for awhile. Our numbers kept steady and from nowhere Anil Bhasin (C 62-69) appeared. He at the time owned in family partnership the Green Park Hotel off Piccadilly. With him he ushered in younger OC life & generously offered to stage our future Annual Luncheon in the Green Park Hotel at much reduced cost.

Dick Bayliss and I ceased the opportunity and embraced the influx of younger Indian Old Cottonians. We formed a committee of six in all. Dick, Tony Sinha, Vinod Nanda, Kamal Behal, Tony Verma and yours fraternally!!

By this time OCA India began to take note. Deep C Anand was President elect OCA New Delhi and Surinder Jain his Secretary. OCs late Mudoo McBean and Robert Reed with Arthur Jones (L 42-49) and their wives visited BCS on an organised tour by an old Sanawarian in 1990. Spearheading the welcome Col. Bill Dewan and some other OCs in Simla and New Delhi promoted closer links. DC Anand sent SM Jain to attend our 1991 Reunion at the Green Park Hotel with open invitations and persuade our Chairman and me to come out to India and visit the School. All paid for and settled they flew us out, Ron Plunkett (C 43-50) and Arthur Jones accompanied us, at their own expense – 1992.

It was a poignant visit filled with nostalgia – dear Dick was our treasure (returning 70 years after leaving Patina) and I coming back after 45 years brought a tear to my eyes as I walked across the “First” flat. It was even more emotional when departing back to Delhi and the lump in my throat was staunch. We had presented an English oak Shield (I had designed and carried to Simla) -Dick presented it to further encourage learning; it now features as The Bayliss Challenge Shield.

Setting the trend in motion I have returned with parties to Simla in 1994, ’97 and 2000, with Maggie; 2004 in a smaller party and by myself in 2006.

Finally in 2009 we joined in the eventful Sesquicentennial Founder’s Celebrations. Every visit has been warmer and the response closer, meeting many OCs and making good acquaintances. A chapter of my life has harvested sheer joy and shared with Old Cottonians of all ages and scattered around the globe.

I have personally met the last two and present Headmaster and have tried to offer my support without interference.

At the Reunion Luncheon 2006 members of OCA(UK) in London honoured me handsomely for my diligent tenure as Secretary. The main donation endorsed my own finance and encouragement from Johnny McLaughlin (I 41-48) to visit North America with my Maggie. What an epic adventure! John made all the arrangements – Helen & John met us when we landed at Detroit and welcomed us to their home in Williamston. We four attended a Canadian OCs Reunion in Toronto.

A fleeting stopover at Niagara Falls, before returning south of the border to sleep the night and then John drove us down to New Jersey. Stayed a few days at the home of Gurdip Sidhu (L 48-52) & affectionate wife Jagdish – taking in the sights of New York & Liberty! On to Maryland to meet with, once ex-Treasurer Kamal Behal (I 58-67) and his charming wife Nawel, staying at their home. A whistle-stop-tour of Washington – onto a lunch in Virginia with a few more OCs, followed next day a long drive back to Michigan.

Resting up days for Maggie – two of us flew down to Gracelands. Three day stopover then we flew to LA to join again with Johnny. Staying a few days doing the sights & finally for a Dinner Reunion with OC Californians on Wiltshire Avenue. Up in the air next morning we followed the Rockies to Vancouver. Met with Paul Jones (L 36-46) – spending a few more days & finally to meet at a Lunch Reunion with West Canadian resident OCs. Lucky to meet a Stringer cousin Paul arranged to meet in his penthouse flat. Our return was a long tiresome flight back through Dallas to Michigan. Few more days rest with Helen & John in Williamston – too soon IT was all over & we crossed the Pond for Home.

Old Cottonians have come and found us; we have extensively laboured to locate others. We found some of them and our numbers increased and then we lose some, but life must go on. Through the years we have held Reunions at Steak Houses, Public Houses, The Overseas Club, Veeraswamy Restaurant, The Green Park Hotel, The Cumberland Hotel, The Regent Hotel, The Bombay Palace and the Bombay Brasserie. Year on year the Committee guided by each Chairman has boldly achieved success, the Luncheon better every time. But without doubt Marlborough College, in the name of our Founder, has secured a divine place in our hearts and unforgettable. For me the Commemorative Service in the magnificent College Chapel lifted our hearts and voices to remind us of our dear Holy Trinity Chapel and years at BCS. What a dignified honour to the man George Edward Lynch Cotton after 150 years founding our place of learning.

We pray for the good and future of Bishop Cotton School, Marlborough College and Rugby School the strength in fellowship grows to usefulness to one another.

Grateful thanks to everyone for giving me the honoured privilege & experience

OVERCOME EVIL WITH GOOD

Peter A Stringer (L43-47)