Category Archives: News

Kirtan & Antim Ardaas : Jagdeep Singh Bhasin (“Father”):


To commemorate the life of our beloved Father

Mr. Jagdeep Singh Bhasin (Father)

Please join us for Kirtan and Antim Ardaas on Friday, 28th June, 2024 at Gurudwara Sahib Patshahi Dasvin, Sector 8 Chandigarh from 12 pm- 1 pm followed by Guru ka Langar

Grief stricken:

Ruhie and Ankit Chaturvedi

Naina and Himmat Jakhar

Abhaysher and Aishwarya Singh Bhasin

Grandchildren

Anaya

Naunidh

Jagdeep “Father” Bhasin

With great sadness we inform that Jagdeep Singh Bhasin passed on at his home in Panchkula 24/6/24.

BCS  Lefroy House Batch 1970.


26th June update about Kirtan & Antim Ardaas 



JAGDEEP Singh “ Father “ Bhasin
Lefroy House
Class of 1970

With great sadness, we announce the loss of our beloved class mate, Jagdeep Bhasin.. In loving memory of Jagdeep,we are grieved to announce his passing away on
24 th June 2024..A life so beautifully lived deserves to be beautifully remembered. He was that tall strapping “ gentle giant” amongst us; we guys were always kept in suspense when he vanished out of the school gates for brief interludes; his return was revealed by him reciting his myriad escapades in, around and outside School.. For some of us who lived with him “
PK, Chops, Nagu Chief, Mousie” we were his mini gladiators as he practised his wrestling bouts but never hurting us …being a great fan of Dara Singh…
Father lived his life in the tri-cities of Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula… he lost his wife early in his journey but remained steadfast to bring up his lovely daughter and son…he was a genuine soul; the Almighty has welcomed him into his garden of eternity ..
Please join us to mourn the passing of Jagdeep Bhasin fondly known as “Father” to his school mates.
Aum Shanti Shanti Shanti

– Vivek “Bonnie” Bhasin (BCS Class of 1970)

OCA- NA. Get together.NEW YORK.

Sent in by Vijay (Kuttu) Singh :

I came to New York to represent OCA India, being Secretary of the Association.So let me give you a complete low down of this trip. This journey was indeed memorable. It started in Delhi with a concept of Jaspal Sawhney,which was followed and brought to reality by Ajay Sawhney & Ajay(Maxy) Bhumitra with the hardwork of the young OC Ashish Katyayan. I landed at JFK in the middle of the night,since the Virgin Atlantic flight was a few hours late. At the airport was Laxman,Ajay Bhumitra’s driver to pick me up and take me to his flat in Manhattan. All were asleep since it was 1.30 am ,but Laxman gave me a full bowl of chocolate icecream to eat. As day breaks Maxy takes me for a walking tour of Manhattan all the way to Central Park. By the afternoon Shelly Bhumitra is there from Princeton,to drive us around in his new Volvo. Next day,Maxy checks me into Lexington,a few blocks away from his flat,an iconic Hotel,where Marilyn Monroe had stayed. D day comes with the OCA- NA lunch at Kimberly Hotel,a 5 minute walk from my hotel. Here I met old friends like DK Stokes, Pompeii,Arun Bhumitra,Vivek Srivastava, Skinny Dewan&Ajay Sawhney.The best part was meeting new friends like Guram,Tony Rana,Monish Kapoor,Arun Bhalaik , Shubam Anand , Nishant Parsad , a finance wisard was keen to know about the scholarship scheme which OCA India is working on. The youngest OC was Akashdeep Verma,who came all the way from Toronto and we had Ramandeep Singh who was the most friendly and helpful to all the ladies around. Ashish Katyayan the young tech savy livewire came in late arriving at Maxy’s home where the party shifted after 4pm. Next day, Shelly Bhumitra drove Arun & me to the iconic Princeton University .It was an eye opener to see this historic University. This get together of Old Cottonians in New York was indeed an experience of a life time,seeing so much enthusiasm and love for our Alma Mater.Do hope this is carried forward for years to come. Moved on to Los Angeles ,where another OC get together was hosted by Arun Bhumitra,about which I have already posted. Cheers…it’s great to be a COTTONIAN.

…..

ATTENDEES AT OCA NA LUNCH Name of OC
1 Ajay Bhumitra
2 Smarth Galhotra
3 Arun Bhumitra
4 Hanit
5 K Vijay Singh
6 Ajay Sawhney
7 Vivek Srivastava
8 Rouble Kaul
9 Shelly Bhumitra
10 Arun Bhalaik
11 Kunal Kamra
12 Ramandeep Anand
13 Amrinder S Cheema
14 Akashdeep Verma
15 Manav Soin
16 Nishant Prasad
17 Aman khanna
19 Shailja Chopra (Bhasin)
20 Ashok Stokes
21 Prithvi Legha
22 Siddharth Mehra
23 deepak stokes
24 Mohnish Kapur
25 Maninder Guram
26 Anupam Sachdev
27 Vijay Dewan
28 Shubham Anand
29 Ashish Katyayan
30 Pradeep Yash Rana
31 D.K. Stokes
32 Inderbir Gill
33 Ayesha Karki
34 Jai Dipikar
35 Avarail Rai
……
The OCs in LA who missed the New York bash..were hosted by Arun Bhumitra ,Class of ’66 at his colossal office in Torrance.We had Paraminder(Pari)1975,Anil Sud,1969, senior most was JS Brara,1965, Mokshinder 1968 and the junior most was Jazzy Sihota 1980.Suprisingly most were meeting for the first time, but with in minutes we were bonding as true Cottonians over bottles of beer.Than we moved to El Torito,a Mexican restaurant next door, where the end was the best ,with bread pudding.After over 3 hrs of fun & gossipI handed them over the Mugs & Coasters,courtesy OCA India.They have now formed a whtsapp group for South California ,hoping to be touch more frequently.

The OCA- NA lunch at Kimberly Hotel, New York was a grand success with 46 attendees. OCs DK Stokes from Eureka, Pompeii from Boston, Guram from Houston, Arun Bhumitra from LA, youngsters from Toronto and many others came from all over.

Adam Drobot [BCS from 1956-1959]: Found!

Dear All,

I am not sure how many of you remember Adam Drobot. I have just located him on the net (30) Education | Adam Drobot | LinkedIn

I have downloaded a picture of him from the net. He is an accomplished techy !! His biodata mentions the years at BCS from 1956-1959

Dear Adam,

Yesterday, prior to my mails below, I had written to your corporate address which seemed to have a Adam Drobot as a their CEO on their website. It actually turned out, as I subsequently discovered, to be the you I was attempting to locate !

The correspondence, different colours for better readability, is appended further down in this note.

You, were one of the two Polish boys at BCS during our time, the other being W Kubaseweiz (Curzon, class of 1961), who was a strong swimmer and not the kind you tangled with !!

Accompanying this mail, as attachments, are photographs for Rivaz House for the years from 1956-59 and one for the staff members in 1959 which was the year of our Centenary. You may recognise more than a few of your teachers most of them now gone with the exception of Mr & Mrs Goss !!

I have been able to locate you in all the Rivaz house photographs, except for the house picture for 1959.

1956 –Second row from the top,  Seventh from the right,

1957 – Second row from the top,  Ninth from the left,

1958 – Second row, behind the seated, Fifth from the left

1959 – Unable to locate Adam

[click for larger view of each photo]

I recall you being initially shy and unsure but like other new boys you soon found your footing and were friendly, even easy going. The Adam, I recall was a good student, always in the top five, with a strong disposition to mathematics and chemistry. You loved painting.

The School Art Master, Mr Sasim DasGupta, once commented on your method of heavy and flat brush strokes being somewhat similar to the technique used by Van Gogh ! That year he sent one of your paintings to an institution in London along with those of other boys whose art he felt stood out. In return these boys received certificates of merit. I do not know the name of the institution but Mr DasGupta encouraged talent all the time.

Mr DasGupta was also the Warden of the Remove dormitory where you spent your initial years at BCS. Mr DasGupta, who moved to Toronto and passed away a few years ago, would ask you to spell “Polish” and mildly teased you that that was the spelling for the shoe “polish”. You would deliver a weak smile with a degree of obvious embarrassment.

A small idiosyncratic habit. You were not a sports person but had this habit of often chewing the collar of your Rivaz house jersey! You did not like the marathon and boxing was never your forte

I have never forgotten but you once mentioned that snails were a speciality and a great delicacy in Poland. I have never had the temerity to verify that assertion and hold that belief most firmly because Adam was always a credible source of information. I obviously  never felt desire nor the need to check any further.

The reason why I remember you so well has to do with a little incident and the ensuing moral dilemma

Most of  us were limited by the pocket money that we received at the end of the week from the Housemaster. It was 12 annas (75 paise) or Rs 1 & 4 annas (125 paise) depending on the dormitory you belonged to. When we went out of School on town leave, Rs 5 would get you a movie ticket, a plate of finger chips, an ice cream cone, a Coke and a comic or two! That was luxury.

In 1959 in III Form, you and I sat in the last row along the wall that faced the entrance to the class room from the corridor. You sat on the desk in front of me. These were wooden desks, if you recall, with a sloping lid, lifted at the hinge to offer a cavity space for the storage of books with the provision for a lock. The desk was fixed to the seat with a wooden bar at the bottom that connected the desk with the seat. Often the previous occupant had etched his name on the desk with the use of a compass. There was small space on the desk for an ink pot and we all used fountain pens, the ball point had yet to be invented

One day, I observed a piece of paper what seemed like a Rs 10 note, stained with ink, lodged between the wall and the desk. I dragged the paper using my foot ruler since it was  closer to your desk. Sure enough it was 10 bucks. You were rarely short of money and I felt it, perhaps, belonged to you. Relatively, you were at that time more cash rich and solvent than most of us. So I asked you if that note was yours. “No, it is not mine,” was the response  in your strong heavily accented tone, relieving me, temporarily, of any moral obligation. You are the only one I asked about the note because you were the only likely one who could be its owner in that class room.

I promptly went to the Tuck Shop and deposited that heavily ink stained note (no one else would have taken it!) with Chippu indicating that the credit to my account was now, well, brim-full. For the next few days I enjoyed the best the Tuck Shop had to offer from puris, samosas and chips, all that could satiate an always hungry boy. Days of rapture and contentedness.  A few days later, you came up to me and declared that that Rs 10 note did indeed belong to you. I was non plussed and taken aback. Disaster was about to strike. I froze for a few seconds and then sheepishly informed you that the funds stood extinguished. I had fed, pretty well, a soul in great need. To your credit, you said not a word in rebuke nor did you seek a return of the money. Any other twelve year old would have demanded even an ink stained note. I have always recalled your generosity and understanding.  I have not forgotten though, in my defence, that I had been honest in my declaration and the lack of knowledge was honest though I did speculate, maybe even knew, you were the original owner. No one else was that solvent those days !!

Apart from you, the only other Catholics at that time were Mr & Mrs Goss and a boy named Benjamin (Lefroy, he won the Junior Reading Prize that year! ) who would have finished with the Class of 1964. This group did, on occasion, attend the Catholic service in town with you always turned out in a light grey, well-tailored suit. You were always  well dressed on such occasions but otherwise presentation mattered little.

Adam, you may not remember too many boys from your class during those years at BCS but I reckon you may recall the names of Rishi Rana, the Joshi brothersManjit Sibia, all from Rivaz and in your class, and, possibly, Govinder Singh who lived in Delhi at Wellesley Road not far from the Drobot house in Sunder Nagar.

I faintly recall, that you had a sister and your parents on one occasion drove up all the way from Delhi to celebrate his birthday with a lovely cake. A few days prior to that event, the circle of your best friends had increased rather exponentially in anticipation of a party in the making. The School had arranged a special table outside the Dining Hall in the corridor leading up to the Staff Common Room for the occasion. We wished you wished you “Happy Birthday” with a delightful eye on the spread on that table! . We gorged !!

It has been  65 years in all since we last met. So many memories stand revived and I am sure there will be more inputs from those on this mailing list. Adam will have probably more to add !!

Warmly

Vijay

V K Khurana

Incidentally, the large number on this mailing list includes guys from the classes of 1961-63, some from 1964, Mr Goss, a few others who have shown an interest in all things BCS and the Old Cottonian

Adam replied:


VK,

This is a very pleasant surprise. Thank you for reaching out. A lot of the names on the email list and a lot of the faces in the class and staff pictures still look familiar. Your writeup brings back a lot of memories. Life at BCS had its paces and I appreciate your recounting some of the events even though my recollection might be a bit different. If I look at 1956 I find myself in the first row as fifth from left – and definitely not seventh from right in the second row from the back!

When your email reached me, I was frantically preparing talks for a couple of events this coming week. Once I am back from these you should get a much longer reply. Over the years I have managed to visit India on multiple occasions, including a trip to Shimla. On one of the trips I followed Manmohan Singh as a speaker – that was for Telecom India 2009, in New Delhi.

I currently live in Wayne, Pennsylvania, just outside Philadelphia.  The best email address to reach me is: adam.drobot@gmail.com.

With best regards,

Adam Drobot


Hi Adam,

Truly lovely to hear from you. My thanks.

 While, I will check again, the image you sent is certainly not of you. It is one of the Stokes boys. Most of them migrated to the US. Brilliance was in their genes and they went on to do well in different fields including IT, medicine and laser technology!

 Will wait to hear from you and, yes, different interpretations may occur of incidents in each one’s mind. After 65 years, brain cell degradation at different levels and such other aspect change the perception or imagination of events completely !

 Warmly,

 Vijay

Brian Howard Niblett

An Old Cottonian moves into his peaceful garden

I have received the following sad news from Allan Gay Niblett Esq; ( Old Cottonian- Chairman Ex-Officio OCA UK -Board of Governor BCS) on the passing of his esteemed Brother :

Brian Howard Niblett Esq;

Born 19 March 1934 Delhi

Died 6 February 2024 Barmouth Wales

BCS 1940- 47. Prep School Cotton House.   Big School Rivaz House.

School Colts Hockey X1. Boxing  Colours.

UK  Poole Grammar School. 1948- 52. Rugby Colours. Boxing team. Polished Ballroom dancer. School Captain 1952. University Southampton. National Service Palestine.

Joined Johnson &Johnson. Left to take up teaching. Lived near Hereford and worked with SAS. Retired living in Wales, taking up Sheep farming and private lessons for neighbours. Brian was a most charming and cheerful character but withdrew into Wales living quietly , until struck by Cancer of the colon. Operated on and looked after by some wonderful Carers and his wife and after a long period of remission,died peacefully and without pain  at home.

He had two daughters- Linda and Jennie with his first wife Maureen whom he met at  School in Poole and a grand daughter Lucy. His second wife, Lyn continues to live in Barmouth.

Brian’s funeral will be held Thursday 22nd February 2024.

xxxx

On behalf of all Cottonians world wide I sent my most heartfelt condolences to Christine and Gay Niblett. May Brian’s soul Rest in Peace

Vivek ( Bonnie ) Bhasin

A much remembered figure: Jal Boga

Jal Boga had written in years ago and his letter was published online September 25th 2011.

Subsequently we heard from Mr Boga’s daughter, Meher Boga, that her father had passed on around a year ago. The original letter from Jal, the many comments and messages of remembrances, and also the recent exchange are available via a link appended below. Jal Boga remains one of those “larger than life” figures of Bishop Cotton School and continued to shine in his career and endeavours after BCS

Here is the link. We are adding a few of photos to make the connection.

Jal Boga : photo sent by Meher Boga

Lord and Lady Mountbatten (BCS in 1947) A visit to Bishop Cotton School by Lord and Lady Mountbatten. Also in the photograph : Prefects R. Button (I) and Inderjeet Singh (C).

BEST YEARS OF MY LIFE [at Bishop Cotton School]

Kanwar Manjit Singh passed on [Lefroy house-captain 1965]

from Vijay [Kutu] Singh:

Some sad news about Kanwar Manjit Singh having passed away

Kanwar Manjit Singh

Lefroy 1965.

House Captain.

Left for his heavenly abode on Wednesday,6th December 2023.

Also known as the BULL.He was so strong in school, that he would break the wooden cupboards in our dorms with his bare fists.He would lift juniors from their belts with his four fingers.

Loved drinking condensed milk, would drink a can in one shot, and later on in life could drink a bottle of Rum in one sitting.

Passed out from St Stephen’s, and later taught there too.

Joined the IAS and held many important posts in the GOI.His last being the Registrar of Delhi University.

PS: a change in his profile..it was IAAS..audit & account service.

Dr Ravi Thomas – passed on

We are saddened to announce the sudden and untimely demise of Dr Ravi Thomas BCS Batch 1969.

Condolences to Ravi’s family and friends.


[following received from Indi khanna, as received by him from Ravi’s daughter who has also requested that the two images be put side by side];

Prof. Ravi Thomas

Following his graduation from Bishop Cotton School, Ravi studied medicine at the Christian Medical College and specialised in ophthalmology at the All India Institute of Medicine. He soon became an internationally respected teacher, academic and mentor to many.

He is someone who pushed the boundaries for his patients, his students, and his clinical research. He took delight in challenging more conventional mindsets.

With his wife’s support, he was as brilliant as he was kind in everything he did. Not only in caring for his patients, but also his respect for all support staff.

He has left a legacy of colleagues and students who channel his work, his research, his ethics and most importantly, his empathy.

All he ever wanted was to help those who needed it the most.

He will be deeply missed around the world.

He is survived by his loving wife Promilla, his son Ariez, and his daughter Aleysha.


Ajay Sawhney
– on behalf of  Batch of 1969 :

I am sorry to report the sad and untimely demise of Dr. Ravi Thomas. Ravi was a dear friend from our early school days atBishop Cotton School, Shimla. He passed away unexpectedly in Brisbane, Australia on November 12 , 2023.

I will always remember Ravi fondly for his jovial nature and his willingness to try anything. In school, Ravi excelled in academics and gymnastics. He was also quite an accomplished violinist. Ravi was always a happy-go-lucky type of character. It was hard to offend him. After school, we lost touch for a couple of years. However, we were fortunate that Ravi was able to join us for the 48th and the 50th anniversary of our graduation from high school. It was amazing how the gap of a few years of not seeing each other melted in five minutes when we got together. It was as though we were back in school. He was still the fun-loving Ravi that we remembered . When we said goodbye,Ravi was optimistic that we would get together again soon. However, sadly, it was not to be.

Ravi was an accomplished ophthalmologist who had earned a well-deserved reputation both for his clinical and research skills. After completing his MD from Delhi, where he specialized in glaucoma and paediatric ophthalmology, Ravi chose to return to his hometown in Vellore, Tamil Nadu. There, like his father, Ravi rose to become the Head of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Christian Medical School in Vellore.Ravi subsequently worked as the Director of the LV Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad and was invited to deliver the Gillies lecture at the World Glaucoma Congress in Melbourne, Australia in 2019. Ravi was also the author of several papers on primary angle closure disease and was a visiting professor in China.

In addition to his interest in Ophthalmology,Ravi took up martial arts and earned a Black Belt. At the reunion, Ravi was always willing to show you how he could personally send you to your maker with his bare hands!

Ravi is survived by his wife, Promilla, a daughter and one son. Ravi will be sorely missed by all his friend sand family. May the Almighty grant his soul eternal peace.

Rajat Mukarji [Ibbetson 1969 batch] passed on

We sadly announce the sudden passing-away of Old Cottonian Rajat Mukarji [Ibbetson 1969 batch], today who suffered a  massive cardiac attack.

An alumni of Bishop Cotton School (1967-69) and St. Stephen’s College, Rajat worked as a general manager at Birla AT&T from 1996 to 2002. He joined UK-based Vodafone (now Vodafone Idea) in 2002.
During his nearly 17-year stint at Vodafone Idea, Mukarji represented the telecom company at many national and international forums, and helped in several strategic initiatives.
Later, he also briefly served Chinese telecom gear maker ZTE as a corporate affairs officer from July 2019 to February 2020.
In 2020, he joined Broadband India Forum (BIF) as a director general at Gurgaon till date.

Rest in Peace dear OC.Our Deepest condolences to the bereaved family.

Happy birthday, Mr Goss – 94th 

May 3rd 2023

My dear Mr Goss,

Warm and sincere wishes on this your 94th (Ninety Fourth) birthday. My friends, I and our respective families wish you a wonderful day. May the years ahead, and may there be many, many more, continue to bring you good health, great happiness and tons of laughter.

Looking back and from my collection, I am sending as attachments to this mail a few photographs of the way we still remember you. The change, which has surely occurred over these long years, does not register in our mind’s eye. You are still the spritely young man we knew who walked in briskly into the class and went about the assignment without much ado. What was enormously enjoyable was your introducing us to Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes. Those class sessions were inevitably the most enjoyable and certainly the most remembered. It certainly did inculcate the reading habit in so many of us. Sometimes I wish we had started with P G Wodehouse though Conan Doyle is a class apart in an entirely different genre. In those mostly quiet corridors, peals of laughter generated by a Jeeves incident may have had other consequences, I suspect !!

I will not recount your fearful and stern marking record but I think it was all well-meant. No blemishes ever attached to us but it was a good inkling, a warning lesson, perhaps, of how tough life can be. It all began with red ink in the classroom !!

Thank you, Mr Goss.

With great warmth and affectionate wishes from us all, once again

Vijay

Vijay Khurana


My dear Mr Goss,

A very Happy Birthday to you.
I recall our Geography lessons, 39 Steps,  and your being our Housemaster !
Many Happy Returns !
Our best regards to your family.

Govinder Singh
Ibbetson 1952-1963


Hi Mr Goss: I wish you a very happy birthday. May all your wishes come true. Best regards also to your charming wife.
Joe Joshi 1
Rivaz 1954 – 1963
Commercial airline / combat pilot and war correspondent in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.
Senior editor of print and broadcast news with worldwide experience.

Joe Joshi


Dear Mr. Goss,
Wishing you a most wonderful and a very happy birthday with all my heart.
Respectfully yours,
NP Pawa


Dear Mr.Goss
Wishing you a very Happy Birthday.
May God give you good health and happiness.Warm regards to Mrs Goss.
With lots of love.
K.Vijay Singh
Lefroy.1958-’66.


The new OCA India Committee 2023-25

The new OLD COTTONIANS ASSOCIATION India Committee has been formed for the next 2 yrs i.e from 1st April 2023 to 31st March 2025.

Mr.Jaspal Sawhney – Ibbetson 1963, has taken over as the next PRESIDENT of this Association.

Mr.Neel Kamal Mehra – bbetson 1962, has been appointed the TREASURER.

Mr.K.Vijay Singh – Lefroy 1966, was elected the GENERAL SECRETARY.

It’s our endeavour to make our Association more interactive and inclusive with your help and new ideas.

All suggestions are most welcome.

K Vijay Singh
General Secretary
OCA India.

Old Cottonians’ Association United Kingdom President’s Newsletter Vijay Bhalaik MRCS FRCS / OCA UK annual luncheon


Old Cottonians’ Association United Kingdom

President’s Newsletter

Vijay Bhalaik MRCS FRCS

Dear Old Cottonians

I am delighted to take over the reigns of the Old Cottonians’ Association (UK) and hope that I will be

able to do justice to the office. The school is very dear to me and I feel privileged to be representing

the Old Boys in the United Kingdom. Thank you for your support.

I have been off and on attending the Old Cottonians’ lunch for over 30 years. During this time, the

association was brought together by Peter Stringer, Gay Niblett and Kuljinder Bahia. I must thank

Kuljinder for his spirited leadership of the UK chapter. He has very successfully kept the organisation

going and contributed significantly to the school, for which he must be congratulated. Kuljinder has

been supported by Gursant Sandhu who has, as the Secretary of the Association, kept contact with

the membership and Puneet Singh, Treasurer, who has kept the organisation financially afloat. I am

very grateful for their unrelenting contribution.

The last three years have been very challenging for everyone, and the OCA brotherhood was unable

to meet during this difficult time. As a healthcare professional myself, I was in the middle of the

action, but was able to arrange a Zoom meeting with my colleagues during the extreme lockdown in

the UK. Sukhminder Sehmbey, Iqroop Chopra, Raju Singh, Sundar Sidha, Gursant Sandhu and

Kuljinder were a great source of strength in those difficult times.

Since taking over the role of President in October last year, I have had regular meetings with the core

committee of the association, which includes Gursant and Puneet. We have been planning the year

ahead to strengthen the association. The main aim of the association is to support Old Cottonians

in the United Kingdom and liaise with our alma mater. Going forward there are some key areas of

development which we will be working on:

• Updating our membership directory. This will improve our communication with the

membership. I am keen to capture all Old Cottonians in the United Kingdom. My secretary,

Pam Palphreyman, has kindly agreed to support the organisation during my term as President

and has already started to work on this. I would be grateful if you could forward your details

or anyone new in the UK to Pam (pamelapalphreyman@nhs.net) so that the membership

directory can be updated. The organisation will be GDPR compliant, and your details will not

be passed on to anyone outside OCA UK.

• Financial stability of the Old Cottonians’ Association UK. It is important for an organisation to

be financially viable and there are a few models we are working on, and this is an area I am

familiar with due to my role at Health Education England and Charities Trust. We will discuss

this matter at the next AGM in London.

• Develop a framework and touchpoint for old boys in the UK. The thought behind this is that

the association has a link person for every school decade, e.g., 1950-1960 etc. This will

hopefully strengthen the organisation. If this is something that you would be interested in

helping with, then please get in contact. The OCA UK would love to have you onboard.

• Supporting our alma mater. As Old Cottonians, we are very proud of our parent school and

there are many ways we can support it. The OCA UK under Kuljinder supported many projects

at the school and I would hope that this can be strengthened. I am aware that our

membership has very successful businessman/financiers/bankers/doctors and writers. My

plan is to link up with the mentorship programme at the school, so that the headmaster,

Mr Simon Weale can approach you. If you are willing to mentor a young Cottonian, either

during his school time at Bishop Cotton School or after leaving school, please get in touch with

myself or Pam.

• Develop the OCA UK website. This work is ongoing, and we are looking for an enthusiastic

volunteer/volunteers who would be willing to take on the challenge of developing this. The

role would mainly be for content delivery. I am grateful to our last President, Kuljinder, who

is funding the website development. If you have an IT/journalism/content editor background,

please consider getting in touch with myself or Gursant.

• Supporting the Old Cottonians’ Association. I would hope to strengthen the relationship

between the various chapters in India and abroad.

• Annual lunch. We will continue with the tradition of our annual OCA UK lunch on the last

Saturday of June. This falls on the 24 June this year and will be held at Bombay Palace, 50

Connaught Street, London, W2 2AA. All Old Cottonians and their partners are invited, and

the cost will be £50 per head. This is a great social gathering when the younger members of

the Association can network with the senior members. I would encourage everyone to

attend if they are able to. Please RSVP to Puneet (puneetsingh932@hotmail.com or

07841590990).

Sadly, over last few years, we lost many of our older members. I thank Gay Niblett for his assistance

in collating the below information.

Peter Stringer (Lefroy 1941-1947). Peter was the most spirited Old Cottonian I have had the privilege

of meeting. He had great enthusiasm and reminisced his time in school, sharing his experiences with

the members. His leadership kept the association together for the last 20 years. He will be sadly

missed by all.

Dr Humayun Khan (Rivaz 1941-1947) used to regularly visit us from Pakistan. Humayun was one of

the old boys who left school on the 3 June 1947 during the partition of India and later joined the

Pakistan Superior Services. In 1984, he was appointed Pakistan High Commissioner to India.

Sanjiv Talwar (Rivaz 1968-1974). Sanjiv was a brilliant academic student. He topped the Delhi

University in Economics following which he came to the UK and studied chartered accountancy. He

subsequently did a PhD in International Finance, after which he worked in international banking for

many years and then became a very successful independent consultant and finance director of e

booker.com.

John Phillips (Curzon 1939-1944). John was a good sportsman and apparently had an eye for Joyce

Sinker, the Headmaster’s elder daughter, and was a friend when both were back in England. He was

by then a senior member of the Farmers Union in the UK. A stalwart of the OCA(UK)

Bob Myers (Ibbertson 1936-1944) Bob was House Captain of Ibbetson. He was a Prefect and boxed

for the school. He later got a Blue for boxing at Cambridge University. Bob was a great supporter of

OCA UK and regularly invited OCs to his home in Somerset to stay for a couple of nights before the

Annual Lunch, even inviting an Old Sanawarian to his dining table at the same time.

Allan Bapty (Rivaz 1936-1944). Allan was a doctor who did a lot of missionary work looking after

people suffering with leprosy, mainly in Nepal and Africa.

Clive Hardy (Lefroy 1940-1945). Clive was House Captain of Lefroy and an all-round sportsman. He

was a keen supporter of OCA UK

Arthur Jones (Lefroy 1942-1945). Arthur was a keen cricketer and played for BCS. He always attended

the Annual Lunches.

Lance Jones (Lefroy 1935-1939). Lance served in the Indian Police Force and when he returned to

London he was a fervent Arsenal supporter. Despite being rather frail in his last years, he was full of

spirit.

Douglas Reed (Rivaz 1940-1946). Doug (Dhumchu) was House Captain of Rivaz. He was a formidable

long-distance runner and unbeatable marathon performer.

Robert (Bobby) Reed (Rivaz 1940-1946). Bobby was an outstanding sportsman and academic. We

OCs, however, must thank him and his wife, Sheila, and their family for hosting many lunches at their

home. Sheila continues to attend and was present on an overseas trip to the school.

They are in our thoughts and the OCA UK fondly remembers their association with the membership.

I was fortunate last year to meet the Headmaster of Bishop Cottons School, Simon Weale, along with

his charming wife Rebecca, and the schoolboys on their cricket tour to the UK. The OCA UK, under

our President, Kuljinder, hosted the boys and staff during this visit and it was a delight to meet the

boys and watch them play cricket. Some of the old boys were able to follow and attend as the

Cottonians continued their tour. The school will be visiting the UK again this year for a cultural tour.

Again, this would be an ideal opportunity for the OCA UK membership to meet and support the school.

Cottonians plan to visit Strafford-upon-Avon, Rugby, Bath and London during this period. I am hopeful

that the headmaster and his wife will be able to attend the OCA UK lunch on the 24 June. Their

programme is as follows.

18th June – Arrive in London – transfer to Oxford.

19th June – Visit to Stratford Upon Avon and then Rugby School – visit Cotton House and meet the

Rugby archivist who will show us the archives on George Cotton.

20th June – Tour of Oxford and Oxford University – transfer to Bristol

21st June – Sightseeing in Bristol then interaction with pupils and staff at Bristol Grammar School.

22nd June – Morning in Bath with visit to Kingswood School. Evening tea/BBQ at Cotton House,

Marlborough

23rd June – Visit to Harry Potter World

24th June – Sightseeing in London

25th June – Sightseeing in London including production of Comedy of Errors at the Globe

26th June – Sightseeing in London including visit to Westminster School

27th June – Return

The school has appointed a resident teacher in charge of alumni affairs- Deepa Kennedy. She will be

the point of contact with Bishop Cotton School. She can be contacted by emailaluminibishopcotton@

gmail.com. Please contact her for any help required. This is a welcome step

for old cottonians all over the world who can now keep in touch with their alma matar.

I look forward to seeing you all on the 24 June.

Kindest regards, Vijay


All OC’s and their family members are invited to attend OCA (UK) annual lunch, which is to be held on Saturday 24th June 2023 (12 noon onwards) at Bombay Palace, 50 Connaught Street, London W2 2AA.
1. Bombay Palace will charge us £50.00 per person for food. Please therefore pay in advance by telegraphic transfer (preferred method) or by cheque.
Telegraphic Transfer Lloyds TSB Bank Sort Code
Account Number Reference
30 93 84
00126972
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, Flat 1, 1 Frognal, London NW3 6AL. 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. Soft drinks are inclusive. You will need to pay for any drinks (beers, wines, spirits).
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.