Tag Archives: 2020

BCS 161st Founder’s Day 2020

One hundred and sixty one years  today and my beautiful Alma mater remains steadfast on that spur of Simla looking towards the gap of Tara Devi, whilst the Heavens above look down and Bless our great institution…

The history of Bishop Cotton School is entwined with the history of India and Britain. Our school founded by Reverend Bishop George Edward Lynch Cotton is the ground where I grew up from a five year old…. to what I am today.

At an interesting talk at Chatham House London by Mark Tully ( ex.BBC) on life in India, I was sitting amongst the rows of invitees and put my hand up when the Q&A* session started.

I must have asked something terribly relevant.. as Mr Tully started with “that’s a great question…!”

At the end of the event, someone tapped me very gently on my left shoulder. I turned to that side and saw a gentle hand with beautifully manicured nails, delicate long fingers that lead to a gorgeous arm and on to a very aristocratic Lady with coiffured silver-grey hair, a gorgeous face, a string of Mallorca pink pearls and a divine smile ….a whiff of Chanel No 5 and Pure Radiance!

“Excuse me“ she whispered coming closer …”are you the India High Commissioner?”….

I turned around towards her and stood up….we both smiling looking deep into each other’s eyes..

“ No Ma’am” I whispered back ..

“ I am not the High Commissioner, but I am an Ambassador …”

… she raised her well groomed eyebrow questioningly with an even bigger smile..

“ indeed I am an Ambassador Ma’am, an Ambassador of Bishop Cotton School**Simla” 

And that for us was said enough.

Wishing The Director,the Staff and All We Ambassadors** of Bishop Cotton School, felicitations on our 161st Founder’s Day.

God Bless our great institution; may it continue from strength to strength.

*Q&A session : When my class of 1970 sits on the stage in the Irwin Hall with the senior boys throwing questions at us like freebies ….. we will answer… “about the roads we took, the paths we chose, our lives experiences and whether we have reached our destination..

** Every week day at Chapel Service, just after the hymn was sung, the last prayer recited, we used to wait expectantly for Heady Goldie ( Head Master R. K. von Goldstein) to walk up to the alter to end the service with a very brief talk …..he always did… immaculately, striding forward in his three piece suit, oxfords and Head Master’s gown, he never failed us as we listened to his three minutes that consisted of a spectrum of thoughts, stories and events. The Brass hand grip on the Chapel door and more. What he ingrained in me was one of his impeccable sayings that resound in me every single day….. “ never ever forget young gentlemen… when you walk out of the gates of this great institution, always remember…You Are Ambassadors of Bishop Cotton School…”.

Vivek ( Bonnie ) Bhasin

Lefroy 

1961-1970

.. hurting deep and hard that my Class of 1970 will not make it to School this year to celebrate our Golden Anniversary. Deep and hard and heart breaking…

Fresh dates for the OC Week 2020

Dear Old Cottonians:
Trust you and your family are doing well during this very trying time on account of the Covid 19 virus.
I’am taking this opportunity to inform you that the school and OCA-India were finding it difficult to conduct the OC Week 2020 this year due to the challenges created by the Covid19 virus. This as a background, the school has now very graciously offered us with a fresh set of dates for this years OC Week. The dates are 9th till 11th October, both days inclusive. Whilst the dates have been finalised, the programme for the OC Week would follow soon.
Stay safe and stay healthy.
Regards,
Ajay Thiara
Secretary
OCA-India
+91-9876900001

Introduction by Mr. Simon David Weale [MA Oxon] – new Director [HM] of BCS

Dear Ocs, I am forwarding herewith an amended version of introduction sent by Mr. Simon Weale. I am sure you all will enjoy meeting Simon Weale, new Director of Bishop Cotton School on 9th February at OCA lunch in Hauz Khas.Deep C. Anand – OCA President Emeritus

I am writing to introduce myself as the new Director of Bishop Cotton School.

As you may be aware my title is to be Director rather than Headmaster. The Board of Governors of Bishop Cotton School feels this title more accurately reflects the multi-faceted nature of modern school leadership.  I am responsible to the Board of Governors for ensuring that every aspect of the leadership and management of the school is of the highest class.

I was brought up in London where my father was a university lecturer in Chemical Engineering at Imperial College, London. I studied Modern History at Oxford University where I was a contemporary of UK Prime Ministers Boris Johnson and David Cameron as well as Mr Rajdeep Sardesai (who was in the same cricket team as me). I began my teaching career at the Judd School, one of the finest government schools in the UK. I am married with three children. My wife Rebecca will be overseeing admissions at the school, our youngest daughter (aged eight) has come with us to India. We have two other children. Our oldest daughter is a corporate lawyer and our son is studying History at the University of Warwick in England.

In my thirty-year teaching career, I have worked in several of the top independent schools in the UK and I have significant experience of raising academic standards within those schools and helping students to achieve places in world class universities both in the UK and abroad. Those schools all had extensive numbers of international students and they underlined to me how similar young people are and how connected they are with their peers around the world.  The Board of Governors of Bishop Cotton School are determined that we build upon its distinguished reputation as one of the finest schools in India. We must maintain our incredible track record of producing young men who will make a difference to both India and the rest of the world. Under my leadership our ambition for the boys will be evident and we will offer them a range of experiences to help them become productive and successful global citizens.

I am a passionate believer in the holistic and values driven education upon which Bishop Cotton School is built. As well as each boy’s academic progress it is essential that they are tested on the sports field, that they have the chance to be creative and that we provide for their spiritual development. Character is built outside of the classroom as well as inside.  It is proven that students who have strong core values study more effectively and contribute more to the world around them. The Bishop Cotton School boarding community allows each individual to develop into confident and resilient young men. The Christian tradition of the school encourages students to be ever mindful of others especially those less fortunate.

After six years of Headship within the UK at Shebbear College, I am extremely excited at the opportunity of working in modern vibrant India – the largest democracy in the world. I look forward to bringing my skills to bear upon the task ahead and also to learn from the expertise that exists within the school already. One area I am particularly keen to develop is how we prepare our students for university.  We will review our offer so students do not feel they need to leave for ‘coaching’ and we will improve the quality of spoken English so that it is of ‘undergraduate standard’.

A change in school leadership is always unsettling and I am indebted to the support and handover I have received from my predecessor Mr Robinson (and Mrs Robinson) who has been such a tremendous and effective servant of the school.  As such when the boys return to school it will be ‘business as usual’ The rest of the school community has given us a very warm welcome and of course we have already met many distinguished OCAs in Delhi and Chandigarh. Mrs Weale and I are already living in Shimla and look forward to the OCA lunch in Delhi on 9th February.  We welcome your ideas as we plan for the future and will write to you with a simple questionnaire about what we might do to develop the school. Most of all we look forward to sharing another tremendous chapter in the history of this great school with you.