J. S. Grewal [1970 Batch] sent in this very interesting excerpt from a book he is reading “The Frontier Scouts” by Charles Chenevix Trench, in which he came across a reference to an Old Cottonian – Lt. Sharif Khan aka Sharifo . There was an incident  where he [Sharifo] was burying a fellow officer Andrew McKenzie, he mentions the Lord’s Prayer and how remembered the prayer from his days at Bishop Cotton School Simla:
Additional reading: Quoted from THIS webpage
In 1944, Khojak Brigade on Baluchistan frontier was disbanded. In March 1945 Tal Brigade was disbanded and some of its units were assigned to Kohat Brigade. In April 1946, Indian army Commander-in-Chief Field Marshal Claude Auckinleck presided a high-level conference at Peshawar. It was attended by Governor NWFP, Agent to the Governor General Baluchistan, British counsel at Kabul and senior military and civil officers. A unanimous decision was reached to replace regular troops in tribal areas with scouts and khassadars. It was to be gradual withdrawal in five phases and to be completed in two years. It was with this background that Pishin Scouts were raised and decision was made to raise Central Waziristan Scouts and retrain Malakand battalion. Khyber Rifles was re-raised on 26 April 1946. The nucleus was from war time raised Afridi battalion. Lieutenant Colonel Muhammad Sharif Khan ‘Sharifo’ (5/10 Baluch Regiment) was appointed commandant of Khyber Rifles. Khassadars were to be trained and disciplined to make it a reliable partner of scouts. To achieve this objective, in 1946, a new position called district officer in charge of Khassadars was created. In 1946, in North Waziristan about two thousand khassadars were put under the command of Frank Leeson.
Thank you for your message which has come as a shock and a surprise.
Emotions overwhelm you on such occasions.
My earliest memories of Ramani, which is the name we knew her by until she
changed to Mary, is of a little girl immaculately turned out playing in the
garden just above the basketball court which is where your parents first
resided when they moved to Simla. Your parents did not hesitate to display
their affection for this little girl who always seemed shy. She found it
easy to constantly attach herself to her mother and then peer at you from
behind her mother’s sari. She would then smile with hesitation. Small and
casual images but they remain such clear memories etched in my mind. Trivial
and insignificant as these are, they take you back to the happy days of
places, people and events that happened so long ago.
There is now a graphic contrast from that little happy girl to a grown woman
who just past on in life. Two starkly different events more than 50 years
apart strike you as collective memory and you say to yourself, “What
happened ? Did this passage of time move so quickly ?” Disbelief.
I just called and spoke with Sara a few minutes ago. This is another hard
blow after the passing away of your mother in June this year. Ramani’s
photograph bears such a close resemblance of your father, Mr P M Varughese.
Suddenly this family comes back and we can only think of them with affection
and gratitude for the fact that they touched our lives.
On behalf of all those who remember and knew her, The Old Cottonian
Association, we offer our deepest condolences to your families and you. May
her soul rest in peace.
With kind regards
From: A. Siromoney
Sent: 28 December 2017 12:07
To: Vijay Khurana
Subject: Death of Mary d/o PM Varughese
Dear Mr Khurana
I know that my older sister Mary (Ramani) Varughese kept in touch with the
old Cottonians. She was suffering from terminal lung cancer diagnosed in
July 2016. Thanks to the efforts of the doctors at CMC Vellore she enjoyed
fairly good health for nearly 16 months; but the cancer eventually overtook
the available therapies by September. I regret to inform you that she passed
away on 20th November in Delhi at my other sister Sara’s home.
The funeral and burial was conducted in at her church in Coonoor, Nilgris
Dist, Tamil Nadu on 24 Nov.
She studied up till Std VI in BCS, VII -IX at Convent of Jesus and Mary,
before my father moved to the Nilgris where she completed her schooling in
I am attaching the PDF of the obituary in the Hindu (all editions).
TO ALL MY FELLOW OLD COTTONIANS:
‘It is with great honour and privilege, I wish to inform you that I, Justice Rupinder Singh Sodhi (Retd.) of BCS Batch – 1962, House – Curzon, have taken over as President of the ‘Old Cottonians Association – India’ w.e.f. 1st April 2017 alongwith my new team members as below :-
1. Mr. Ashwani Singh Virk – Secretary, Mob. 9810194724
2. Neel Kamal Mehra – Treasurer, Mob. 9810784441
3. Mr. Vivek Bhasin – Jt. Secretary, Mob. 9899561236
4. Mr. Himmat Singh, Mob. 9828383183
5. Col. Uppi Gill, Mob. 9417801853
6. Dr. Ravi Toor, Mob. 9888890788
7. Mr. K.Vijay Singh, Mob. 9811056361
8. Mr. Suneel Bandhu, Mob. 9223349090
9. Mr. Mohnish Sharma, Mob. 9930992094
I also hereby appeal to all of you to enthusiastically take part in activities organised by any chapter of OCA(India) and show your true Cottonian spirit to support our fraternity worldwide.
Sincerely looking forward to a healthy co-operation and association from all old cottonians.
It is with great sadness I wish to inform all about the passing away of Dr Mathew Zachariah. I received information from his friend in Delhi, George Mathew (see messages below)
While I will share more details about this interesting man, it would appear, or so I speculate, that it was his kidneys that gave way. He had been on dialysis for some years now.
Dr Zachariah had an impact on so many of us. Some of what he taught us then 11 years old has stuck like glue for the rest of our lives. I even today live by the value system that he and some of the others inculcated in us. I am glad he touched my life and owe him a big thanks.
May his soul rest in peace. He was a good man, nay a wonderful man!!
I am sending below the message received from my friend in Ohio. Very sad indeed.
—– Forwarded Message —–
From: oommen thomas
To: George Mathew
Sent: Tuesday, 25 October 2016 5:48 PM
Dear G. Mathew
Very sorry to inform you that Dr. Mathew Z passed away 25th early morning 12.30 their time. All the children wife Saro and his brother Dr.Alex was also there with him. May his soul rest in peace.
Take care. Ani and Leela
Here is an obit for Dr Mathew Zachariah that appeared The Calgary Herald.
Mathew Zachariah May 24, 1935-October 25, 2016 Mathew Zachariah passed away on October 25, 2016. He was born in Tiruvalla, Kerala, India in 1935. He spent part of his childhood in Miri, Borneo where his father was an accountant with an oil company, returning to India with his mother in the early 1940’s when a Japanese invasion was imminent. He had and older and younger brother. His father suffered much during the war years in Borneo and died in 1946 on his return to India. In 1942, he was informally adopted by his mother’s older sister and husband, a childless couple, and raised as their son. In the early 1960s he moved to the U.S. as a Fulbright scholar to advance his post-secondary education, and in 1966 accepted the position of assistant professor with the Faculty of Education at the University of Calgary. He became an associate professor in 1969 and full professor in 1973.
Dr. Zachariah holds several degrees, including a BA in economics from University of Madras (1956), B.Ed from University of Delhi (1960), MS in Education, English and Social Sciences from State University of New York (New Paltz, 1962) and a PhD in Social Sciences and Education from University of Colorado at Boulder (1965). A comparative sociologist of education, he made significant contributions to academic services at University of Calgary as department head and associate dean in the Faculty of Education. He retired from the U of C in 2000 after more than three decades of service and was honoured as an Emeritus Professor of Education. He continued his community service activities, despite failing health.
He is the recipient of numerous awards and honours, including a U of C Students’ Union Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching in 1985 and in 1999, a national award from the Canadian Committee of Students in Education for mentoring masters and doctoral students. He received the Alberta Human Rights Award in 1989, as well as the Internationalization Lifetime Achievement Award by the U of C in 2002. In 2004, Dr. Zachariah was named one of 114 leaders in the university community recognized for outstanding achievement. After his retirement, he was distinguished visiting professor at the University of Pittsburgh and Menno Simons College in Winnipeg.
He was a prolific author and published many books, articles and essays to his credit. He has also published short stories and poems. The leitmotif of his life was to be a promote justice and fairness to people denied their dignity and were oppressed by the dominant economic and cultural institutions.
He was the first Canadian to receive the Honourary Fellow designation from the Comparative and International Education Society, USA (CIES). This honour recognized the contribution Dr. Zachariah has made to the development of comparative and international education throughout his teaching career, as well as the impact he has had on various academic and professional organizations.
He was an Anglican all his life and became more active in the life of his church after retirement.
For details go to
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