17 August 2020
Independence Day celebrated virtually at Bishop Cotton School, Shimla
Bishop Cotton School, Shimla (BCS) celebrated the 74th Independence Day last Saturday (15 August 2020) but this year, for the first time in history, it was celebrated virtually with the school community contributing remotely online from home (see BCS video links below to the YouTube video celebrations).
After a few days of mist and rain, the sun came out for the ceremony as residential staff gathered at the Shimla site for the flag raising and National Anthem ceremony. The Indian flag could be seen for miles flying high on the BCS flagpole (of 106 feet high) in the blue sky across the Shimla area.
BCS is one of the oldest residential schools in Asia and has played a big part in shaping the development of public schools and education in India as well as producing a host of well-known and successful alumni.
The online ceremony (links below) included heartfelt messages from the BCS students about why they love their country and the meaning for them of Independence Day.
The students were very clear in expressing their ideas that we must mark the day and respect those freedom fighters who gave their lives for their country.
The Cottonian family wishes all Cottonians a very happy Independence Day. Here are the highlights of the celebrations at Bishop Cotton School, Shimla, with video contributions from the boys expressing their love for India and the values it stands for.
Bishop Cotton School, Shimla, Independence Day 2020 – Video highlights duration: 5’27”
1) Independence Day 2020 celebrations from Bishop Cotton School, Shimla
2) BCS Facebook link – Independence Day 2020:
The school has operated a full academic curriculum with online classes since March. Parents have reported that the children have been missing playing sport and being with their friends and are yearning to get back on campus in Shimla.
Director Simon Weale together with the Headmaster Mathew John and BCS Staff gathered for the Flag raising ceremony.
Further information from BISHOP COTTON SCHOOL, Shimla – 171002 (H.P.) India.
Phone : 0177 – 2620880
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
.. 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…