Tag Archives: OCA UK

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).

AN ABSOLUTE PILLAR OF BISHOP COTTON SCHOOL JOHN WHITMARSH KNIGHT – passed on

AN ABSOLUTE PILLAR OF BISHOP COTTON SCHOOL
JOHN WHITMARSH KNIGHT

I am deeply deeply grieved to be the bearer of sad news…

A noble soul a gentleman and a scholar, my mentor since 1999 though I can swear by The Almighty that he was omnipresent in me from the day I was born, John Whitmarsh Knight breathed his last, last evening Friday ( 9th Nov 2018) TBC ….. I was informed. I sit here in Delhi and whirl of memories of this amazing gentleman are hovering around me….

He was the most honest, transparent and forthright Gentleman and I was Blessed to have known him … I spent years in Weybridge with him and he taught me the path to becoming a well formed human being…

..whilst in the UK under the auspices of the OCA UK we orchestrated his tenure at the greatest school in the planet : OUR BISHOP COTTON SCHOOL… he worked tirelessly in School and he not only taught English but was a mentor to the boys …

he looked at the world with the widest photo lens and the boys during his years looked up to him to as a Global Citizen who played his part in giving them an all around education …

My Brother Sharat and his wife Rupa ALWAYS hosted him in transit to School and the UK at their place in Gurgaon…

John was steadfast in his views and saw the world in Black and White .. he stayed away from politics and intrigues and falsehood … and his own tuition and guidance was under his Uncle Tubby Whitmarsh Knight… John was School Captain, Rugby Captain at Dulwich College where Ernest Shackleton and PG Wodehouse hailed from …

He strived to instill good noble values in the Boys at BCS…(he never forgave me for his termination at BCS .. due to ill health.. “ VIVEK , I could have lived in Chandigarh and continued to have mentored to Boys if they chose to visit me… as I WISHED to die in India…”)

I am weeping incessantly for John Whitmarsh… he passed away all alone … a confirmed Bachelor in Addlestone / Weybridge…

I CAN ONLY PLEAD TO HEAD MASTER MR ROY ROBINSON TO HAVE AN EXTENDED SERVICE FOR JOHN WHITMARSH KINGHT
I CAN ONLY PLEAD TO ALL THE OCA CHAPTER MEMBERS, COTTONIANS WORLD WIDE TO PLEASE PRAY FOR THIS ABSOLUTE SUPERB GENTLEMAN WHO LOVED INDIA, DEEPLY LOVED BISHOP COTTON SCHOOL… HE WAS A MAJOR CONTRIBUTOR DURING THE SESQUICENTENNIAL CELEBRATIONS ( ALWAYS IN THE BACK GROUND)
I CAN ONLY PLEAD TO
THE OCA UK CHAIRMAN TO PLEASE ARRANGE A VERY BEFITTING TRIBUTE AND FUNERAL FOR JOHN….

I am not sure who is there for John and his beautiful belongings ..??

“ John…. Thank You Sir for being a part of my life… I can see you sitting in your lounge surrounded by your 2000 Books … looking at your garden and reciting quotes from Shakespeare, Keats, Shelly and Wordsworth…… someday Sir… I too will meet you .. in that special garden.. so we can continue ….”

AMEN
Vivek Bhasin

OCA UK Newsletter 2018

Hot press! OCA UK

Old Cottonians (UK) Reunion 24 June 2017
Smaller than usual – still I think OCs & guests 45 assembled at our favourite venue the Bombay Brasserie that brings on the cordial BCS Spirit & sees us through another year. A very happy enjoyable summer afternoon in good company & fun, delicious Indian khanna with drinks.
I had read OCs in Kathmandu sponsored a football match verses Sanawar (same morning) – by coincidence we had one Sanawarian attending our luncheon.
Also encouraging to see Wendi Dewan with charming wife Neelem & Gurpratap Sahi, on holiday from India joined us, Elisabeth & Peter Johans from Switzerland. To his memory – always in support Sheila (wife of late Bobby Reed) & reliable as ever our roving BCS ambassador from his Mallorca hide-away. And to surprise us all, Evelyn wife of late Malcolm Petters came from Australia – & Jenny (in the UK) daughter of late Leslie Knight – & another roving emissary Mike King whose father was School Captain 1928.
As we mellow with age and accept members are in decline – we miss the presence of our school years groups & yet I was really delighted to meet with more younger Old Cottonians who we hope will influence others.
As growing older my mind begins to fade, please forgive my indulgence that may appear neglectful of my old School chums – my fraternal fondness will never leave for you & dear Patina. So before I end let me express in English/Hindi my feeling today…………………………… Mehra dhill both khush hai !!
Finally to say please keep the Spirit of BCS Old Cottonians across the globe Overcome evil with Good
Peter Stringer (Lefroy 1943-47)

Annual ‘at-home’ event / Barford Warwickshire

Saturday 29 April 9 OCs with some wives gathered at Barford Warwickshire – this is an annual ‘at-home’ event hosted by Sheila, wife of late Bobby Reed (R 41-46) – continues to his memory.
We believe this simple way to refresh our fraternal acquaintance and rekindle fond memories – this practice helps restore the Spirit of BCS.

The photo taken at the entrance of Watchbury Cottage of 9 OCs.
R to L School Captain 1954 Daljit Singh Jaijee (R 47-54) John Phillips (C 39-45) Gay Niblett (R 40-47) Joginder Chahal (c 44-50) our oldest member 93 Lance Jones (L 35-39)
Stringer ii (Lefroy 43-47) Peter Johans (I 44-48) Raj Lamba (L 49-59) Bambi SK Majumdar (53 – 59).

We enjoyed a dining-room full lunch after drinks & starters (samosas) in the vine covered conservatory where the girls dined – and thank you Sheila & daughter Jancis for your kind warm hospitality.

The afternoon is consigned to another nostalgic memory of innocent schoolboy camaraderie as count down the days for the 24 June OCA (UK) Reunion.

Fond regards
Peter Stringer ii (Lefroy)