Monthly Archives: August 2022

OC LOST: S Gurpal Singh Ghattoura / Curzon 1960

Following sad news received from Iqbal Sehmbey:

It is to inform you that S Gurpal Singh Ghattoura [Curzon House, 1960 batch] passed away yesterday. He was not keeping well since the last few days.
Cremation is at Goraya today at 12:30 PM.

From Vijay Khurana :

Pictures sent as attachments (A) Football team 1960 – Gurpal is seated second to the right between Jimmy Hakim & SS Lamba. In the (B) Class of 1960 (taken in 1958), Gurpal is seated third from the left between DK Sachdev & Balwinder Singh, who is currently severely unwell, In the (C) Curzon House 1960 photograph, Gurpal is seated third from the left & (D) Gurpal on the victory stand with Sukhjit Singh (Podgy) and K S Dhanoa (Milo)

Vinod Stokes – Tribute by Deepak Stokes

Best Loser Award.
In our school there was no MVP award because in a team everyone is a MVP. But we did have the highest award “The Best Loser” award. Boxing was compulsory for everyone. When you had someone who fought back like a tiger and lost you got this award “ The Best Loser Award” In 1963, Vinod Bhai was the one who got this award. He had a battered face but was a tiger. The day before
he died I reminded [him] of this award and he gave me that funny smile. I told him that I was now awarding him the best loser award .. his opponent being stage 3 pancreatic cancer.
He never complained despite Whipple surgery; chemotherapy and 1 1/2 year of TPN.. IV fluids. He could not eat a spoon of food. Never complained even once.
This picture was taken 5 minutes before his Whipple surgery. He was well aware of the risks and high mortality rate. Looks like he is going for a wedding . He had no fear.
Love you Bhai

On March 3, 1957 my mother was ill. At the last moment I went shopping for a candy whistle and so we missed the last bus to my boarding school..B.C.S. So at age 7 my “older brother” Vinod age 9 took me to school in a rickshaw around 4 pm. As we entered the school gates he told me in his confident voice “everything will be O.K.”
He has always been there for me.
On August 4, 2022 around 4 pm it was my turn to take him on his last journey from this world. In September of 2019 he was diagnosed to have stage 3 pancreatic cancer. After going through a Whipple procedure and chemotherapy he finally lost the battle to the cancer. The last few days we spent together we talked a lot and in the end I did say “Bhai (brother) everything will be O.K.”. He gave me that smile that only close family and friends understand.
I will miss him. Bhai R.I.P.


Deepak Stokes

Tribute: Harminder Singh Atwal “Bindi”  (6th October 1943- 27th July, 2022)

History and posterity will always remember Arjun Atwal, the international golfer from India who now lives in Orlando. Not many know he is the son of Rupinder and Harminder Atwal. Arjun’s father Harminder, popularly known to his friends as “Bindi” passed away on July 27, 2022 after a battle with cancer.

Bindi had a big hand in creating the golfer that Arjun is today. We all know Bindi himself was a winner and he certainly knew how to create one from his own stable !!

In 1957, three Atwal boys joined BCS. There was Bindi and his cousin, Bhupinder. The third, Premjit, was the younger brother of Bhupinder who left BCS at the end of 1959. Bhupinder, the elder guy finished from BCS in 1960.

So, we distinguished between these three Atwal boys by labelling  Bindi as “Fatty” Atwal. Physical forms were easily identifiable and of the three he was the most affable, the most pleasant and the most warm. He was also the most easy going with not a care in the world. I recall, vividly, his emerging from the evening showers, wiped and clean but the towel was never draped around his waist. He slung it over his shoulder and nonchalantly ambled past the first entry door (closest to the main staircase leading to the dorms on the right side) to the dormitory at the beginning of a long passage all the way to the cubicles at the end of the corridor. The cubicles were the privileged accommodation for the VIth Form guys. In an all-male environment this brief walk was enough raise a few eyebrows. However, when you look back here was a man who was open, honest and, yes, even naked about anything that he did.  Bindi was honest, likeable and easy going.

The Atwal boys travelled every year to School at the beginning of term by train from Calcutta. The family, certainly wealthy, came from the coal mining town of Asansol in West Bengal. Those were the days when parents sent their children from distant cities like Bombay, Calcutta, Nairobi, Singapore and Bangkok because the schools in Simla carried the most favourable reputations for imparting the best all round education. These schools in the hills were the educational establishments of choice for a parent willing to invest in the best education for his child. So that is what motivated the Atwal Family to send Bindi and his brothers to BCS.

Boys from his school days will also remember he possessed a strong arm and was a great shot putter and discus thrower. He finished with the Class of 1961 and was Lefroy House Captain that year.

Bindi was exceptional as a person who fostered and developed lifelong friendships. He was dependable. When bailing out a friend in trouble he would stand by until the crisis had passed. He never walked away.

While, Bindi was born to wealth he was not a man without initiative, drive and possessed a desire to succeed in his own right. He was hard working, had an uncanny knack to develop business and that is what landed him huge road construction contracts in Gaddafi’s Libya. He was discreet, humble and always willing to take on a challenge. He did that with great panache and flair. He celebrated his success and his friends testify to his generosity as a host. Finally, let us not forget his charitable instincts. He was truly a Giver.

A fitting tribute from his classmates, Year of 1961.  “ You were an amazing guy and we adored you. Good bye, Bindi “

Photographs of Bindi accompany this note from his exceptional days at BCS

Vijay Khurana

God bless Bindi.
May he rest in peace.
Condolences to the entire family.
Vijay Singh
1953 – 1958

I had been very close to Bindi and then I met his  young son and I was delighted to meet him and got all Bindi´s contact numbers . We have met several times but due to the pandemic we could not come to India . I did keep a close contact with him and That day Badal Called me to say that he is no more . I found a very nice photo of Bindi and Ricky and Badal as usual with his knowledge of Editing a lovely black and white of Bndia . That same day was Rickys birthday .

A great person who fought a very hard battle -and was always positive . I shall always miss him .

Anyone who can give me Arjun´s contact details do let me have it .

All the Best Bindi as I am sure you are in heaven . I am not deleting your number as maybe one day we see a miracle and you call .

Cheers and Our condolences to the whole family .

Bota [Sudhir Kashyp]

David N Mitchell : just been informed of his demise

David N Mitchell, BCS 1943 Batch [click this link for the batch page]

We have received an email just today from Mr. Mitchell’s son, Julian Mitchell, informing us that he passed on january 25th 2022. We quote from the funeral service website to which Julian has sent a link

David Norval Mitchell, 88, of Tampa, passed away January 25th, 2022. He is survived by his sons Alistair and Julian, two grandchildren Bradley and Caitlin, and one sister Genevra. David was born in Evanston Illinois, the son of Alfred Norval Mitchell and Mary Elizabeth Couch. David lived in India, Scotland, England, Holland, the United States and Spain. He graduated from Balliol College Oxford where he met his wife Kathleen Mary Neale. They were married on September 30th 1958 in Oxford.

David enjoyed singing, golfing, playing bridge, reading, collecting stamps, gardening, and travelling. He sang with the International Chorale out of Dunedin Florida and would often break into song spontaneously, alone, or with his wife Kathleen. The two of them could easily be encouraged to sing an Abba tune for any occasion.

A celebration of his life was held at O’Toole’s Irish Pub on Friday January 28th from 6 to 10 pm.