MESSAGE OF THE CLASS OF 1954 (THOSE WHO CAME)
This is the message from the eleven members of the 1954 class who gathered at Shimla from the four corners of the globe for the sesquicentennial celebrations of Bishop Cotton School.
55 Years Ago, the school equipped us with the qualities of character, courage, resource, honesty and dedication of purpose and sent us out into the world to take our places as citizens of society. After 55 years we have now come back to compare notes on what we did, where we went and to tell our “Alma Mater” that where ever we went we tried to live up to the expectations of this great Institution, the BCS.
These are the individual stories of the boys of the 1954 class who having battled against overwhelming odds to establish their niches in their own spheres and have come to pay homage to their Alma Mater and tell their stories.
Behram Irani: He came all the way from Geneva (Switzerland). He worked his way up in the sphere of Finance against tremendous odds and is now considered in Switzerland as an authority on the subject (Teaching the Swiss in what they are most famous for Finances).
Sumanjit Singh: He came from Munich, Germany to tell us about his remarkable story. He graduated as a Mechanical Engineer and is now with the Audi Auto Plant where he is teaching/assisting the Germans in what they are best at i.e. making cars.
Dr. Daljit Singh: He is a renowned and highly respected dentist in Hounslow (a suburb of London) and brought with him a fascinating story of how he had worked his way up in a foreign land and established a name and reputation for himself and kept the school flag flying.
Inderjit Singh Chadda: He came from New Zealand where he is now settled in Christ Church (and apart from his Consultancy in Travel and Tourism; he has also taken up considerable amount of social work). His is a remarkable story of a career as an Airline Pilot (Captain) of Air India and Malaysia Airlines and of his journey to New Zealand where he is now settled.
D Singh (Cecil): A member of the Royal family of Patiala. His is the story of a man who inspired his wife (Smt Amarjit Kaur) to be elected as a Member of the Parliament and become a very prominent and respected person in political circles in Punjab.
Rajju Gupta: He has established himself in his Century old family concern as one of the most well known suppliers of Ceramics bath room fittings in Delhi. He has graciously promised a special discount to old Cottonians hereafter.
Brijesh Narain: He hails from Delhi and narrated the story of his remarkable career as an Executive and now has set up his own factory in Delhi.
Col Robindra Dewan (Alias Wendy Dewan): An alumni of the National Defence Academy he was commissioned into the Armoured Corps, where he commanded a Regiment with distinction. At the same time he excelled in Cricket and was selected for the Inter Services Cricket Team. But his most remarkable innings has been after retiring from the Army. He has settled in Shimla and has done yeoman service for the school. Wendy Dewan has been the back bone of the OCA for the past 20 years. We owe it to him for getting us all together for the great celebration.
Ranjit Puri: In the Class we remember him as the one who got successive double promotions. A sugar baron of renown. His is one of the most respected names in the sugar manufacturing industry in Northern India.
Maj Vijay Singh Mankotia: A member of one of the erstwhile princely families of Himachal Pradesh. An alumni of the Indian Military Academy where he had the unique distinction of being awarded the coveted “Sword of Honour”. He was commissioned into a Gorkha Regiment and served the Army with distinction. He took premature retirement and took to active politics where he is remembered as one of the most versatile as Minister of Tourism of Himachal Pradesh. He has thereafter done yeoman service to the School.
Brig Harish K Dhawan: He is also an alumni of National Defence Academy and was commissioned in the Corps of Engineers in 1958. A Post Graduate Engineer, he has also taken active part in the UN Operations in Congo in 1962-63 and Indo Pak Wars in 1965 and 1971. In the Corps of Engineers he took up sailing and was a National Champion in Yachting. He has now settled in Delhi.
Some of the others who could not come were Paul Tonk, Vinnie (Toti) Aggarwal and Jogi Rudra.
The Message which all of us want to convey is that wherever we have gone out in to the world we have tried to live up to the standards set for us by the school; so that people could say, “There goes a Cottonian – a man of courage and character”.
Our message to the school (which put us through our paces) is that
“We have come from the four corners of the globe, on this occasion and to say that we thank the school for putting us through our paces so that we could stand on our own feet and take our places as respectable citizens in society and that we have not been found wanting in any manner”.
We have participated with joy in the festivities of this occasion. We all watched with great happiness and satisfaction the high class shows the school had put up, and the meticulous manner in which all the activities were planned. We go back with great sense of satisfaction, knowing that the school is in safe and capable hands.
In conclusion I would like to borrow an expression which I want to say on my behalf and on behalf of all other classmates who had come that: “I was a very lucky man, lucky because I was a Cottonian, not everybody can have such luck”
For and on behalf of Class of 1954