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.
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
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.
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).
Another year has passed by quickly, and as I have read on the COTTONIAN website – Indian Northern chapter had held their Reunion, followed by Mumbai and then New Delhi (home of OCA India) now has come to our turn. Our June Reunion always embraces my fond memories of dear Patina and stands among my top annual social occasions. I really look forward to meeting many more of you this year – even though 2017 faltered in numbers.
Unfortunately, as we grow older, some of us find the travel to attend difficult, hence the decline in numbers yearly. I do not know how many of you watched the BBC rail traveling programme of Michael Portillo’s first leg – Ambala to Shimla. It captured those years returning to school in mid-March with thorough nostalgia. His meeting with OC Raja Bhasin enlightened Portillo and others, including myself. Raja is well rehearsed over the influence of history & politics and the life in the Queen of Himalayan Hill Stations. Which, again I ask, have you watched the TV serial documentary about Doon School that is rated about the best in the world? I think they must mean in a separate league to compare with Bishop Cotton School Simla. BCS sits on a real spur of foothills of the mighty Himalayas commanding glorious panoramic views that leaves Doon on the steps of Dehradun. The only other note I can offer to them and fate – my Parents were married in St Thomas Church Dehradun, 2nd April 1918. Our Alma Mater lives supremely in Shimla! We must uphold our inspiring tradition – tell them who come after us how lucky & blessed they are to study in such beautiful set environment and to remind them of the School motto – OVERCOME EVIL WITH GOOD.
We can only ask you please come and join us for another annual Reunion celebration & carry forward our OCA(UK) chapter. If you have never been before – rest assured you will be most welcome; you will enjoy a First Class afternoon and good khanna amongst genuine old-school company. Come share your memories of school stories & tales of Indiaaah.
Wishing you all a peaceful year and good health. See you in June.
Yours fraternally Peter Stringer (Lefroy) 1943-47
Dear Old Cottonians,
I write having just returned from BCS where I was joined by The Master of Marlborough College, his wife and daughter and 6 boys and two Masters from the School, all on an exchange visit. They met up with the 6 BCS boys and hm Dinesh Thakur who visited Marlborough last year. This was the sealing moment in this programme, which started almost 20 years ago, when Marlborough Boys were first hosted by Mr Deep C. Anand in Delhi. It was celebrated by medallions, struck by hm Deven Bansal, who son, Tanesh came to Marlborough – to celebrate the event and these were given to all the two parties. Another gesture to follow our Chairman, Kuljinder Bahia generosity in having two fountains built on the first flat and refurnishing of classrooms and house common rooms.
Meanwhile, we have O.C. Captain Sandeep Mansukhani (Rivaz 1994-1995) currently making his second attempt to scale Mt Everest – his first attempt being thwarted by the earthquakes in Nepal in 2015. His son, Kabir Mansukhani has just won his junior marathon – so the genes of courage and determination are passed on.
The Marlborough Boys visited Delhi, Agra (Taj Mahal) and in Shimla Viceregal Lodge and the Mall, Museum and town in general. At School they participated in the “wall climb” went on a hike to Tara Devi and even survived living in a “dorm”. They were lucky to have food, as we never had in time and joined in the Chapel Service and were not affected by the cold, and storms with heavy rain throughout their stay.
The School is looking in great shape. Irwin Hall has been expanded and modernised. The kitchen’s glisten with stainless steel, new staff accommodation, housing 8 apartments has been completed and is now occupied. We await the road leading to the building to be widened to allow car access. I left, as the second flat was having the irrigation pipes installed and I hope on my return at the end of July to see it laid with beautiful green grass. Mr Robinson is doing an excellent job with his staff in seeing the boys academic and sporting efforts well rewarded and there is a wonderful positive and happy atmosphere in the School.
The Marlborough Boys were much impressed by the discipline, courtesy and order of the boys in their smart blazers, white shirts and ties – all under the eyes of the prefects.
I look forward to seeing you at the OCA UK Annual Lunch at the Bombay Brasserie, London on 30 th June 2018.
With my very best wishes to you and your families.
Very sincerely, yours Gay Niblett Hon Life President OCA (UK).
NOTE FROM MR NIBLETT
“At the moment of writing, we would like OCs from or UK Chapter to know that we have an O.C. called Captain Sandeep Mansukhani (Rivaz 1994-95) (who has a son, Kabir, currently in B.C.S. and who won his Junior Marathon) embarking on the last and most difficult part of his second attempt to scale Mt. Everest – a feat which would make all OCs very proud. The expenses of the climb are as high as the mountain and any contribution you can make, no matter how small, will be immensely appreciated by him. Thank you. BCS have already made a contribution and OCA (India) have been asked to do the same. Mr Sandeep Mansukhani’s Bank Account details to which you can send your donation to are:
State Bank of India, Account Number 34777 505 766, IFSC Code SBIN 000 1282, East Patel Nagar Branch, Delhi”
OCA (UK) ANNUAL LUNCHEON DETAILS
All OC’s, their family members and friends are invited to attend OCA (UK) annual luncheon, which is to be held on Saturday 30 th June 2018 (11.15 am onwards) at the Bombay Brasserie, Courtfield Road, London SW7 4QH (closest underground station is Gloucester Road).
Bombay Brasserie will charge us £33.00 per person for food. To kick start the luncheon, there will be some bottles of wine and beers, which will be complimentary but if these finish then you will need to pay for any additional drinks. It will be preferred if you could pay for your lunch in advance by telegraphic transfer (preferred method) or by cheque.
Lloyds TSB Bank
Sort Code 30 93 84
Account Number 00126972
Reference Please insert your name (plus number of guests)
Please make your cheque payable to OCA (UK) and post it to Gursant Sandhu, 44 Chiltern Way, Woodford Green IG8 0RQ. Please write your name on the reverse of your cheque together with number of guests.
You can pay when you attend.
** Any contributions to OCA (UK) will be greatly appreciated.
If you have any questions about the 2018 Annual Luncheon, then please contact Mr Gursant Sandhu on 07788716525 or firstname.lastname@example.org
A few photos from the get together at Bombay Brasserie
As we all look forward to our Annual OCA(UK) Lunch at the Bombay Brasserie on Saturday 24 June, I thought to give you a quick update on the Pupil Exchange Programme between BCS and Marlborough College.
With great effort on the part of Mr Roy Robinson on the one hand and the continued support and keen interest of Mr Jonathan Leigh, Master of Marlborough College, on the other, a final date has been fixed for the BCS boys, accompanied by Mr Dinesh Thakur, to visit Marlborough 20 – 27 May. The Grade 8 BCS boys will meet up with their counterparts in the Shell Class and get a good idea of life at a British public School.
I am planning to go to Marlborough with our Chairman, Kuljinder Bahia, for the boys’ last couple of days at the school and hopefully take then out for a curry dinner there.
Since attending the OCA (India) annual lunch at Mr D.C. Anand’s Company HQ in Hauz Khas, my time spent as a Governor of BCS has seen me involved in pursuing not only the Exchange but, with Mr Anil Mehra’s initiative and pressure, to see big infrastructure improvements of the kitchens and the completion of the new residential quarters for the staff. Kuljinder’s generous contribution to the school has seen new model classrooms and the refurbishment of the House Comm0n Rooms, starting with Lefroy House – naturally.
The school continues to have good grades in their academic results and keep their heads high in the Interschool Debating contests and sports as well.
With the young BCS boys coming over to England, we now look forward to seeing a lot of older OCs at the Lunch and as many of you who can make it to London. I am going down to Somerset to spend a couple of nights with Bob and Gilly Myers and being joined there by Col. Bill Dewan and wife Neelam as well as Paddy Singh and Daniela.
Sheila Reed very generously continues to host a lunch at her home where there is a good gathering of some 20 or so OCs with their wives.
These meetings of OCs during the year are so important to keeping us all up to date with the lives of our old school friends. Chairman Kuljinder himself, holds gatherings in London where those living there, or passing through, meet up.
I am looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible.
With best wishes,
Gay Niblett [Hon. Life President OCA(UK)]
Dear Old Cottonians
The request goes out please come & join us for 2017 annual last Saturday 24 June at the Bombay Brasserie.
As a new comer to joining the Internet and with the kind assistance of the Web Master I have subscribed and followed two Reunion events. First in February OCA New Delhi & recently the Canadian chapter in Ontario, reading up, both splendid occasions. Shabash for keeping the Spirit of BCS. Our OCA(UK) London Reunions have always been a delight, joined by many from abroad adding that special fraternal togetherness. Even last year we had two consecutive years the Headmaster & Mrs Robinson attend. 2014 Mr Bhadwaj’s visit delivered his very personal moving speech. We have welcomed OCs from everywhere!
We full well know senior members are in decline and we call on younger members to remember…….from those who’ve gone before to those who’ve yet to come! From our chapter we lost Hashim Khan & Eric Waughray last April, Peter Travers in December & Ron Plunkett in February. Not forgotten but the personal memories we shared with them still remain.
And here is something I want to share – our stalwart Treasurer Puneet Singh has been blessed with a baby daughter – and congratulations Mum! OCA Nepal has opened a chapter in Kathmandu and celebrated dinners last year with visiting OC guests … Brilliant.
I have always felt a privilege and with pride my formative five years at dear Patina has illustrated for me our simple motto “Overcome evil with Good” does work & carries our Association into the future. Sharing news & experiences on the Internet is wonderful but the innocent simple luncheon meeting captures first place.
Well think it over – see you there
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 24 June 2017 (11.15 am onwards) at the Bombay Brasserie, Courtfield Road, London (closest underground station is Gloucester Road).
Details of our 2017 annual reunion are as follows –
Date 24 June 2017 (Saturday)
Time 11.15 am onwards
Venue Bombay Brasserie, Courtfield Road, London SW7 4QH
The closest station is Gloucester Road
1. Bombay Brasserie will charge us £32.50 per person for food. Please therefore pay in advance by telegraphic transfer (preferred method) or by cheque.
Lloyds TSB Bank
Sort Code 30 93 84
Account Number 00126972
Reference Please insert your name (plus number of guests)
Please make your cheque payable to OCA (UK) and send it to our treasurer Mr Puneet Singh, 6 Sheridan Court, 47 Belsize Road, London NW6 4RY. Please write your name on the reverse of your cheque. OC’s can also contact Puneet on 07841590990 or email@example.com
** Any donations to OCA (UK) would be greatly appreciated.
2. You will have to pay additional for your drinks (prices are approximates and might vary).
a. Bottle of house white / red wine – £24.20
b. 125ml glass of house white / red wine – £6.60
c. Beer – £6.60
d. Soft drinks – £3.30
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.