Category Archives: Events

OCA Northern Chapter Annual Luncheon

All Old Cottonians [wives and girlfriends of OCs too] are cordially invited to attend the OCA INDIA NORTHERN CHAPTER Annual Luncheon:

Sunday, the 8th December 2019, at the Defence Services Officers Institute, Sector 36C, Chandigarh, 12 noon onwards.

We are delighted to have Mr Simon Weale, The BCS Headmaster, and Senior BCS Staff Members join in as well.

It would be appreciated that OCs make the time and effort to attend in strength (in particular from the tri-city).

The lunch, as usual, is contributory:
Single ₹2000/- Couples ₹ 2500/-

DRESS CODE – Blazer or Combination or Suit; with Tie [either a OC/School/House/or any School awarded Tie]

Appreciate please do circulate this and inform all other OCs in your contact lists.

Gentlemen, we need to plan the catering to the best of our ability, so please do confirm your attendance, at the earliest , to any of the contact persons listed below. Thank you!

The Executive committee, OCA INDIA NORTHERN CHAPTER:

Lt. Col. Upinder [Upi] Gill – 9417801. President.
Dr. RaviSher Toor – 9888890788. Vice President
Jatinder Hayer – 7009177173. Secretary.
Sunil Tiwari – 9855525506. Jt. Secretary.
Amarinder Sidhu – 9876404728. Treasurer.
Executive Members:
Bobby Buwal – 8427377099
Ravi Inder Singh – 9897007192

Thanks and we look forward to seeing you on the 8th!

Invite for the inaugural dinner of OCA Amritsar

OCA Amritsar solicit your gracious presence for its Inaugural Dinner on the 14th of December 2019, along with your spouses, details as follows:

  • Venue: Green Acres Haveli, No. 1 B, Green Acres, Airport Road, Amritsar. (Farm house of Dr. Santokh Singh, one of the organisers, who has very kindly allowed us the use of his place)
  • Date: Saturday, 14th December, 2019
  • Time: 7:00 pm onwards
  • Dress Code: Formal (preferably school winter attire)

Kindly RSVP your attendance and number of people attending so that suitable arrangements can be made by us. Also kindly pass on this message to any OC’s you might know and not yet added in the group and inform us if they wish to attend.

For RSVP and any other operational details/arrangements relating to the above, kindly contact any of the following members from OCA Amritsar:

  • Rajdeep Uppal +91-9814088371
  • Sumit Jain +91-9915554300
  • Kumar Amit +91-9216805555
  • Amaninder Singh Walia +91-9888050822
  • Suvansh Seth +91-9988635676

Looking forward to seeing u all in great numbers…

Thanks and Regards,
OCA Amritsar

Class of 1969 Reunion

The class of ’69s reunion story actually started two years earlier in 2017 when, sitting in my office one morning and looking at our class of ’69 VIth form group photograph, it struck me that out of a class of 29, 10 of our classmates had already gone to the happier hunting grounds….

Back row: Dinesh Sud – Vivek Srivastava – Anil Gupta – Vijay Singh – Ravi Thomas – Thanasak Tipparcorn – Amar Rana – Gurrinder Khanna – Praveen Sachdeva – Ravi Pawa – Adnani – Sadhana. Middle row: Kanwaljit Singh – Ravi Pandit – Sunil Sood – Robin Nakai – Anil Bhasin – Ravi Charanji – Rajat Mukherji – RS Mehta – Himmat Kahalon. Sitting: Anil Sood – Taranjit Lehra – Paramjit Nat – Manjit Sembhey – RK von Goldstein – Sunil Singha – Blondie – Ajay Sawaheny – Sekhon.

…Classmates with whom we’d spent our childhood growing up, studying (at times), playing, raiding plum and apple trees and then together maturing into our teens and then aging.  In the ensuing years, tied up with work and earning a living I realized that I personally had lost touch with most of the guys.  And so began the exercise of combing through the net which, one step at a time, like putting together a jigsaw puzzle, helped the class to re-establish contact.  Which led to me suggesting that we should all meet before our numbers diminished further.  And what better place to meet than our very own ‘Patina school’. 

Dinesh Sud, with Robin Nakai as has been and continues to be his wont sticking his finger in, worked his charm with the Heady who was most forthcoming.  That led to 15 of us making our way up to Simla and the school in early September of that year.  The 15 were joined by P.S.Nat’s Dad and younger brother, and Satish Singha representing Sunil.

1969 get-together in 2017 at Simla. This is how the 1969 batch looks like after a marathon 48 years .. (and tears …)!! Standing: Arun Bhalaik, Satish Singha, Dinesh M. Sud, Paramjit S. Nat, Himmat S.Khalon, Ravi Thomas, Rajat Mukerji, Jasbir S. Sadhana, Gurinder S. Khanna, Bikram S. Sirsa, Harsimran S. Sarron, Ajay Sawhney, Parveen Sachdeva, Anil Mahajan, Manjit Singh Sehmbey, Ravinder S. Mehta, Robin S. Nakai Sitting: DM Sister (Neena Sood), DM Wife (Meenakshi Sud), Ishita Kahlon, Mrs. Mukerji, Kitty Khanna, Mr. Nat, Sangeeta Sawhney, Sareena Sachdeva, Mrs. Sehmbey, Kamini Mehta.

2017 turned out to be almost like a dry run for our actual golden year reunion in September this year when 14 of us 65+ year olds, along with our respective spouses met up in Chandigarh from where we drove up to Manali for two days of partying courtesy Dinesh Sud.  DM went the extra mile pulling out all stops and hosting us at his resort – The AnantMaya.  Then on to Simla and Bishop Cotton School where the Headmaster, the school Staff, the Boys and Support Staff went out of the way to give us three days of sheer pleasure. 

There was a special Chapel Service which had most of us with a lump in the throat and holding back our tears, followed by a ‘cricket’ (in a manner of speaking) match between the staff and a bunch of lumbering and out of condition OCs making feeble attempts to run and bend down to retrieve the ball (a tennis ball I may add).  The cherry on the pie the next day was the tennis match between a ’69s pair and two school boys which, most surprisingly, was won by Jasbir Sadhana and Himmat Kahlon.  A lunch spread in the dining hall, the like of which I’d never seen in my 11 years at school, followed by 2 dinners over two evenings, one hosted by Mr Robinson in the HMs lodge and the other by the class of ’69 at Cecil, ensured that not only were we well fed, but were also nicely pickled.

   

I would be remiss if I did not add my personal two bits which left me mentally thanking my parents for seeing me through 11 years in BCS to end up as a ‘Cottonian’ in the true sense of the word.  That feeling for me was defined and reiterated by the very poignant chapel service, when sitting in the rear pew in the chapel, I watched the choir walking out singing the recessional hymn.  I for one am not ashamed to say that I had tears streaming down my face looking at young 10-16 year olds, wearing cassocks, holding up their hymn books with their heads held up proudly.  What hit me between the eyes was that about 20% of those kids also had on blue turbans.  To me, THAT one moment is what defines the ‘Cottonian’.  A young boy entering the portals of Bishop Cotton, maturing into becoming a good human being all the while developing a bond ‘as close as ivy grows’ and finally stepping out into the world totally unaffected by any ‘narrow domestic walls’ and far removed from bigotry of any sort.

Could one say it any better that what George Lynch Cotton left us with – “Overcome Evil With Good

⁃ Gurrinder [Indi] Khanna [on behalf of the Batch of 1969]

Batch of 1969 begin their Golden Jubilee get-together [2019]

The first bunch arrive Manali [22nd Sept 2019] as a beginning to their Golden Jubilee Celebrations…to be continued at BCS Simla….

27th Sept update:

Some more group photos and letters from Indi Khanna

Gentlemen,

Uncharacteristic for me, but have to say that I am somewhat lost for words.

It’s been a wonderful 4/5 days.  Loved every minute of it, including the fact that I had to miss out one full day of fun!  All par for the course.

To all of you who were here for these wonderful few days, it was a treat catching up with you folk, a couple of whom I actually met after all of 5 decades.  To those who were unable to make it, you don’t know what you missed.  The arrangements, all along, were perfect in every way.  A very special thanks to DM & Meenakshi for going the extra mile.  Whether or not we’ll all meet again being a toss-up, I at least have the satisfaction of this meeting.

Stay well, stay happy, stay in touch and (while this may well sound like a cliché) Overcome Evil with Good!

Should anyone of you ever decide to head towards south India, you have a home to come to.

Cheers!

Indi
(Gurrinder Singh Khanna – R ’59 – ’69)

….

Dear Mr Robinson,

Just a short note to thank you for a wonderful couple of days.

Thank you for giving all of us the opportunity to relive and renew the bonds we have with this wonderful institution which has literally (I proudly say this for myself) crafted our future.

For me, personally, it’s been an experience I wouldn’t have missed for the world.

Please do also convey my personal thanks to Dorothy for smilingly bearing up with the rowdy bunch.

Should you ever be heading towards the south, we’d love to have you visit us and giving us the opportunity to reciprocate your hospitality.

Best regards

Gurrinder Singh Khanna
(R ’59 – ’69)

Indi,

Very well said!!!  I wholeheartedly second your sentiments. Overall, the entire event will always rank as one of the most memorable events for me.  

A very special thank you to Meenakshi and DM for taking such good care of us and for giving us a fabulous few days in Manali! Also thanks to all who “sponsored “ various events. Your generosity is much appreciated. Most of all thank you to all of you for making the effort to be there at this occasion so that we could reconnect.

Please stay in touch and if your travels bring you to the US, rest assured that you are very welcome to come and stay with us in New Jersey. 

Regards,

Ajay

From Left to Right: Indi Khanna, Rajat Mukerji, DM Sud; Blondie, Jasbir Sadhana (Sao 1); Ravi Thomas; Bhalaik (Owl); R S Mehta; Praveen Sachdeva (Padu) ; Ajay Sawhney; Vivek Srivastava 
Missing: Talli, Nakai 

AJAY SAWHNEY

Hi, 

It was an honour for Meenakshi and me to be able to get everybody together again. Thanks to all who made the effort to be with us in Manali and subsequently also for the School functions. We missed the ones who could not make it. Rexu and Harry you guys were great to make it to Simla inspite of your compulsions. 
 
Our heartfelt thanks also to the sponsors for the various occasions. I hope we are able to meet up like this annually. 
 
Regards, 
 
DM

Dear Mr Robinson,

Let me wholeheartedly second Gurinder Khanna’s thank you message to you.  

On behalf of all my classmates I would again like to convey our profound thanks for a wonderful reunion you arranged for us.  

Best regards, Himmet Kahlon

Upcoming events

IMPORTANT EVENTS

This community website links and brings together, globally, all Old Cottonians of Bishop Cotton School Simla. It is not specific to any one country or chapter of the OCA.

Shivalik Hill Drive : OCA Northern Chapter. 21st Sept 2019.

OCA Northern Chapter is organizing a Shivalik Hill Drive from Chandigarh to Simla on 21st September 2019 coinciding with the OCs Week Celebrations at BCS.

To participate : Contact any of the numbers above or write an email to Shivalik Hill Drive

Important documents :

Radio clip 1

Radio clip 2

OCA UK Reunion 2019 “LOVE OF DEAR PATINA” – from Peter Stringer

LOVE OF DEAR PATINA

29th June was forecast to be a heatwave temperature to reach 34/35 phew! & we India-walas attended our OCA (UK) annual Luncheon at our favourite choice restaurant the Bombay Brasserie just off outside Gloucester Road Underground station.

What can I say & where to start? For me, it is the highlight of mid-summer & anticipation annually to meet our fraternal family to celebrate school years & share stories of Indiaaah.

Elisabeth & Peter Johans (I44-48) flew in from Switzerland two weeks earlier  Johnny McLaughlin (I 41-48) from Michigan arrived in Whyteleafe on the 27th – Sheila Reed wife of late Bobby Reed (R) came to us on 28th.

We awoke to a beautiful Saturday morning and gathered at my Fairlands spread to catch a train to Victoria.     The excitement increasing as we six traveled & arrived in London & well after noon at the venue. All aglow with greetings & good wishes as we slowly circled around and boyhood memories came flooding in. Voices & clinking of glasses added to the gentle crescendo of merriment with laughter – sheer pleasure to be in the mix, no rush to the tables as the personal happy encounters lingered.

Finally, lunch was being served – do not ask me to relay the delicious menu as my mind was too full of delight. But for those not present – I say fellows you missed an enhanced “Jugh-Day Chew”! Khaana finishing we were drawn to the attention by Master of Ceremonies our Chairman Kuljinder Bahia.  After his kind pleasantries, he introduced ‘Dimpy’ Anil Mehra (C) Board of Governors (member), who reported a flourishing account of BCS as he now controls overall School finances – a roar of thanks for him followed a cordial welcome, & listening to Deep C Anand (R) expand his vision for the School’s future as he has guided together with wisdom and support and his very generous hospitality for so many years.

I have no final count of heads but believe 55 to 60 attended – and as I looked around older members are declining year on year. What is heartening we still stand foursquare as younger OCs join us. Some older guys did ring informing to be absent. However, I am compelled to mention my sincere appreciation for our visitors from abroad & above all the determined spirit of Allan Bapty (R1937-44) in a wheelchair (at 94) all the way from DEVON – thank you, Tricia, for accompanying him.

We salute the young Committee team for their dedication and sterling efforts seeking & making new OCs aware we need their loyalty. To bring us together we joined the chorister and sang our rendition of the School Song after the one two three from leader Vivek Bhasin. We thoroughly enjoyed an emotional swell afternoon in the company we all love. Slowly the Reunion disbanded as evening began to draw near and we said our goodbyes reminding to meet next year God willing. Keep in touch and stay well.

God bless the SPIRIT OF BCS and may our Chapter of fraternal love lives on.

Peter Stringer  Lefroy 1943-47

[click for full view]

A few pics @ OCA UK Luncheon 29th June ’19

OCA UK get-together At the Bombay Brasserie London

BCS is the benchmark!

OCA UK Newsletter May 2019

Dear Fellow Cottonians,

I hope to see a good gathering for our Annual OCA (UK) lunch at the Bombay Brasserie on Saturday 29 June. We will also be hoping to see plenty from abroad, including Deep Anand, Dimpy Mehra, and Vivek Bhasin from India and possibly Humayun Khan from Pakistan, with nearer, Peter Johans from Switzerland. 

I visited the School recently and great progress is being made in improving the infrastructure. The concrete base has been laid for the road from the School gate to right across the First flat. The roof of the main building has been completely covered in bold Curzon red roofing. The grass on the 2nd Flat is looking a strong, healthy Lefroy green and should be in good condition after the monsoon. A whole new development of apartment blocks is planned for Staff quarters. 

Our Academic results are good, and the Careers Department is looking into following up boys as they enter University, Business School or other Higher Special Studies. 

On a visit to Doon School, with the Headmaster and two Teachers we were able to see the many differences between our two Schools. This 85-year-old Institution had its modern buildings and 75 acres of surrounding land but still they continue to upgrade their classrooms and sleeping quarters. Their Teachers are constantly assessed, and pupils being tested with the Baccalaureate system being introduced to the school, widening their knowledge to prepare them for the modern challenges of life after leaving school. I hope to return and try to engage with both Masters and boys at work and the playing fields. An Old Cottonian is happily settled in at Doon as a Teacher and I hope to get his views on the System employed there. 

Capt. Vivek Bhasin visits BCS regularly and gives talks to the boys, giving them advice on how to comport themselves, with manners and courtesy in adult company; dressing well and correctly and so adding to their self-confidence. 

We have a growing number of Nonagenarians in Allan Bapty (R 1936-38), Lance Jones(L1935-39), Bob Myers (I 1936-44) and John Phillips (C1939-44). Sadly, we have lost Clive Hardie (L 1940-45). Clive was one of the great Sportsmen, House Captain and School Captain and with it a most charming and cheerful man. He will be missed, and we send our condolences to his family. 

At the end of this year the Headmaster, Roy Robinson, will be stepping down, after 15 years at the helm. He and his wife, Dorothy, have worked tirelessly, caring for the boys, from the Junior School under Mrs Robinson, to leaving at the end of their Schooldays. The discipline has improved with the raised academic results. The School, in financial straits on his arrival has under him, along with the careful husbandry of the Financial Officer on the Board, Mr Anil Mehra, emerged in good shape.  We owe them our deepest gratitude.

The Senior Master, Mr Boyd, will also be leaving and we wish him well for the future. 

With these Changes at the top of the Teaching Staff, we must hope the new era brings an even brighter future for our beloved School and the pupils who will be there when next we meet for our Annual Old Boys Lunch. 

We, here, must keep in touch with each other and encourage School Leavers to join our Association, using the Internet and all other means of communication to expand this wonderful camaraderie and closeness between us. Meeting more often, in smaller groups and keeping contact via the Old Cottonians Association web site. 

May I wish you and your families a warm, sunny Summer and a good healthy year beyond.  

All the very best 

Gay Niblett. 

Hon.Life President OCA(UK)

Hello Old Cottonians

Weeks have collect days and 2019 has raced into months and here we are stood soon to meet at the June Barra Khanna.   So 29th June – last Saturday of the month as most of you know, we now remind & request you please come along to join & meet at the Bombay Brasserie. It is a useful good time to share the afternoon hours with memories, burnish and symbolize the Spirit of BCS.

Our roving Ambassador and active member on the Board of School Governors, after his Spring visit to Indiaaah informed me Patina is looking good. The new roofing cover over the main buildings has been completed, the grass on the Second Flat is now greener and Headmaster Mr. Robinson is moving on to other pastures at the end of the year having done good service.

No doubt visiting OCs from India will bring us more good news as we hope other OCA Chapters will be encouraged to be with us as well.  I have keenly followed the OCA Website with interest finding it rather fascinating in the range of features and recommend for you to explore the contents.

Gives me great pleasure to receive or make a telephone call to OCs through the months, here in the UK or abroad.    Regular contact with Gay Niblett (R 40-47) from his island home in Mallorca, Rajah Lamba (L 49-59) – North London, Vinny Nanda (L 59-68) – Southall.   Sometimes talking with John Phillips (C 39-44) in Uxbridge, Daljit Jaijee (R 47-54) – Hounslow, Dorothy & Jogy Chahal (C 44-50) near Melton Mowbray.   Late Bobby Reed’s wife Sheila in Warwickshire.   Bambi Majumdar (I 50s) & Susan outside Birmingham.    

Most weekends Arthur Jones (L 43-49) chats from Cambridge – the dear fellow is struggling.     Email exchanges with Bob Myers (I 36-44) in Somerset, Dick D’Abrue (C38-45) in Australia, Dimpy Mehra – New Delhi, Neelam & Wendy Dewan in Simla, Johnny McLaughlin (I 41-48) Michigan USA, and Vivek Bhasin (L61-70) in Delhi or Sweden.    And good long conversations with Sylvia & Les Homer (L43-49) in Bristol & meeting up with Elisabeth & Peter Johans (I 44-48) on their annual quarterly visits to & from West Sussex.      Always a joy with news from all around.

Now it is where I look forward to meeting as many at the Bombay Brasserie afternoon Tamasha – see you then. In closing allow me to pass on fond fraternal good wishes to all – have a good year.

CHEERS   

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 29th June 2019 (11.15 am onwards) at the Bombay Brasserie, Courtfield Road, London (closest underground station is Gloucester Road).

OCA Canada Dinner April 2019

On a wonderful spring day, 14 OC’s got together for a sumptuous, swank, Indian Khana. Sumit Arora planned the event, with all the young bucks half my age.

We talked about a lot of stuff about boarding, how things were different in the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and in the 21st century.
It is amazing to see what we have in common. A love for our school, each other and to excel in every area of our lives.
I challenged the young generation that the baton of the OCA Canada is being passed on to them. They have to take it to the next level.
We are now approximately 50 OC’s in Toronto. The most outside India and the UK.
I have also challenged the young guns to think outside the box in our reunions.
Let’s do some Canadian things like getting a cottage for the weekend, go diving, jumping from the plane and spelunking. eh….
The heath of the OC fraternity is the best that I have seen it in the last two decades.
Cheers
Jerry

[Click for a full view]
The following is the list of OCs who attended-
  • Akshay Bansal
  • Kapil Khurana
  • Sandeep Botta
  • Jasraj Singh
  • Sumit Arora
  • Garv Sodhi
  • Vishal Rana
  • Aman Sood
  • Rishi Sood
  • Gerald Godinho
  • Saranjit Singh
  • Gautam Salwan
  • Gurpreet Bhogal
  • Iqbal Singh