Tag Archives: 2019

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

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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

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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

OCA India report 2017-2019

OCA INDIA REPORT : 2017-19  (as on 31st March, 2019)

When the OCA India Committee, under the able guidance of its President Justice R.S.Sodhi (Retd.), took over charge of the Association w.e.f. 1st of April 2017, we all were very enthusiastic of lifting the OCA to a new heights by implementing some new ideas and projects to meet the objectives of our association. Some of the highlights of our team’s working in last two years are as follows :-

  1. In the initial phase, around May 2017, we were able to initiate the commissioning of an OCA Application for iphones and androids for the OCs to be on a common social platform with other Old students. The App was solely funded by the Batch of 1983 and was run on trial basis for some months to ensure its smooth operation and to get rid of unwanted glitches, if any. By beginning February 2018 we had successfully tested and launched the said App. on both platforms of Mobile phones. Which is being constantly upgraded with the help of a designated technical team.
  2. OCA India provided its full support to OC Capt. Sandeep Mansukhani who became the first Old Cottonian to scale the Mount Everest in his Second Attempt on 21st May 2018. Our heartiest congratulations to him and his family! I humbly take this opportunity to also state that OCA India had donated Rs.1,00,000/- in his first attempt in 2015 and Rs.50,000/- in 2018, for this noble cause.
  3. Meanwhile, our President had a vision of dedicating a ‘Wall of Honour’ in the War memorial at BCS to honour those Cottonians who had sacrificed ‘their today for our tomorrow’ while defending the nation. Justice Sodhi went out of his way to convince the Board of Governors and School management to implement the said Project. He also provided the necessary funds from his personal account to have the associated job-works done which were timely completed before the OC week began. On 27th September 2018 during OC week, the said ‘Brass Plaque’ (3X2 ft.) as donated by Justice R.S.Sodhi (retd.), was commemorated by the mother of One martyred OC ‘Capt. Sanjay Dogra’ of 1st Maratha Light Infantry, in Presence of the Headmaster, students, & entire staff whilst the School Band played harmoniously. A contingent comprising of an Officer and two Soldiers from Pune of 1st Maratha Light Infantry had been especially deputed by the Unit CO to present a Brass Plaque in the name and in honour of Capt. Sanjay Dogra’s sacrifice. Both the Plaques were duly installed on the Front wall (Left Side) of the War memorial.
  4. On the administrative front most of our general affairs were quite well managed by the entire team but our Association was served a Show-cause notice dated 08.07.2017 by FCRA deptt. in lieu of not filing the concerned account returns since the Sesqui-centennial celebration year 2009 ended. It was during this year such a Foreign Contribution account A/c No. 00131100913359 was opened in Punjab & Sind Bank, H Block, Connaught Place, New Delhi by OCA India. Nevertheless, an effective reply to such notice was duly submitted on 12.09.2017 together with FC3, FC4, C.A.’s certificates and all audited financial statements from 2009 onwards till date. All the requirements to the said notice were complied for and sent to the  department. The said Bank account was then closed by OCA as it was not purposefully used since so many years and the balance money was then transferred to OCA India Account, Delhi Chapter.
  1. Early this year Our president had also envisaged that the Canada Chapter be formed, as the country always had a lot of representation of OCs. Therefore, a due process was initiated in the month of April 2018 by the OCA Secretary who approached a dynamic OC Gerald Godinho (1983 batch +2) based in Toronto to get the OCs together and after his lot of persuasion and efforts an ‘OCA Canada Chapter” was formed successfully over a Lunch meeting on June 3rd 2018 with following as its members. Jerry (Gerald Godinho) deserves a special mention here who has been organising such Lunch/ Dinner events since last 20 years;

Gerald Godinho (Lefroy 1982) – President,

Gautam Salwan (1989) – Vice-President

Jasraj Dhanjal (Ibbetson 2009) – Secretary

Sanjay Chadha – Treasurer

Sameer Sodhi – Astt. Treasurer

Tanvir Sodhi – Class Representative & Member

  1. Buoyed up by the success of Canada chapter the president also requested the Secretary to initiate the process of forming an Australian Chapter, if possible. Currently the said project is still at a nascent stage under talks with an enthusiastic OC named Puneet Sachdeva based at Sydney.
  2. Under the OCA India banner the OCA HP chapter was duly able to form their Committee after many years upon conducting a due Process in September 2018 and after their General body duly approving the extension of existing President’s (HP Chapter) tenure by another 2 years. Now it comprises of the Following OC members ;

Narinder Chauhan – President

Preetinder Singh – Vice President

Vinayak Jishtu – Secretary

Ankur Chauhan – Jt. Secretary

Ashish Chauhan – Treasurer   

  1. The OCA Mumbai Chapter Lunch was successfully conducted on the 20th January 2019 at the ‘Gymkhana Club’, Mumbai and had a good participation of 25 OCs and 10 OC Wives. Simultaneously on that day, under the guidance its Hony. Secretary (Mumbai Chapter) Suneel Bandhu who deserves kudos here for the hardwork he has put in last 5 years of his tenure, the said process of Committee formation was duly conducted in Presence of Secretary & Vice President of OCA India. The members present duly approved the appointment of a New Committee comprising of the Following office bearers ;

Shiv Kapur – President

Yadvendra Sharma – Secretary

Sanjesh Bhatia – Jt. Secretary

Mohnish Sharma – Treasurer   

  1. Another project we had undertaken was the compilation and editing of a centralized data of all Old Cottonians worldwide. A senior OC Himmat Singh (Rivaz 1962) was entrusted to carry out a detailed compilation which he is still carrying out selflessly. Currently our records are scattered all over the chapters and with individuals but the same have not been compiled together at all. Therefore, it is the need of the hour to computerise all that into a verified list excel format in order to know more about our fraternity worldwide and also it has become necessary for our Association to have an effective means of networking amongst ourselves for both on professional and personal grounds which is also a must to keep the OC spirit alive.
  2. Last but not the least OCA India had been working since a long time in finding a solution to some suitable education programme for BCS students which could help them in choosing a career according to his aptitude and learning capabilities. Thereby after a long research about the same, an Onsite-online Career Education Programme, which connects their learning to work, an Independent agency providing such software was introduced to the Headmaster. If implemented by the school then the takeaways for students will be :

Discover and identify Interest, Strengths and abilities;

Explore and select Career Options;

Choose Majors/ Courses and Colleges;

Create Meaningful connections with peers.

The software also has dashboards for parents, a School Facilitator and the Headmaster to provide them info on students journey. Thereafter, it is left to  the Headmaster and Board of Governors whether to implement the said software programme or not.

Apart from the above, with the help of entire OCA team we successfully hosted the OCA India Annual reunion Lunches of 2018 & 19 at New Delhi, both of which had large attendance of 200+ people at each event. Also, the OC weeks of September 2018 & 19 at BCS were celebrated with much enthusiasm and vigour during our tenure. I would hereby like to thank the entire staff of BCS and especially the HM Mr. R.C.Robinson for extending his full support and co-operation to OCA India to conduct such events in School timely & effectively.

I take this opportunity to thank our President Justice R.S.Sodhi without whose fantastic organisational skills & guidance it would not have possible to achieve whatever little we could in the last 2 yrs. I am extremely grateful to our treasurer Mr. N.K.Mehra for extending his valuable services & advice towards managing OCA finances. I would especially extend my heartiest gratitude to our very able Webmaster Mr. Anil Advani who has been successfully handling the OCA Website from the time of its inception and till date selflessly & tirelessly. Lastly our entire Committee deserves Kudos for being always present on time whenever called upon by our President..

Wishing Mr. D.S.Jaaj – Hony. President & his new team (w.e.f. 01.04.19) all the very best for their future endeavours and I am sure OCA India would touch greater heights under its new torch bearers who shall keep the OC spirit alive amongst all of us.

Au-revoir …..!

Ash. Virk

Secretary – OCA India

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