First Roll Call…

I well remember my first roll call as an eight year old at Bishop Cotton School when I was  placed in Rivaz House. This was before we had a prep school in Chota Simla.

After a tearful parting from my mother, I was introduced to the Rivaz Housemaster. He showed me to my place at the Rivaz House dining table for the evening meal. When we were all seated, the House Captain of Rivaz stood up and read out the roll call. The first name on the roll was Abreu. As he called out this name, no one answered. He repeated it once again. I then replied, that if the name was meant to be me, I was known as D’Abreu. ” The roll book says you are Abreu…You will answer to that name” said the House Captain. “Yes sir I am present” I said. “You do not call me sir, I am a School Prefect and your House Captain…” . “Yes sir Mr. Prefect, I am present“. He addressed me again. “You need to say Adsum when answering your name” “Yes Mr. Prefect, Adsum I am here.. ” He then carried on with the roll call. I really felt terrified for the rest of the evening meal.

I can still recall some of the names on that roll 73 years later.  They were:- Abreu.. Advice…Bannon 1 ..Bannon 2 ..Bains … Bapty… Bennigall …Brooks…Coats 1… Coats 2… Dorgey… Edwards… Grant 1….Grant…2 …Greenway… Hemmingway… etc etc.. I often wonder if some of those I can remember are still around today.  In 1938 we younger students were put into the new Prep School. When I returned to the main school I was placed in Curzon House. I was in the 3rd Form, and a lot older. I was able to enjoy my school days. I could well distinguish a master from a school prefect, so able to keep well out of trouble.. 

Dick D’Abreu
Curzon House