Mike King a very dear friend of mine based in the UK is a die-hard fanatic of BCS! Even though he could not go to BCS his Father and Uncles did.
Mike regularly attends the OCA (UK) reunions and stays in touch with me regularly, sending snippets of excellent news and information strongly focused on BCS which I enjoy thoroughly. It is Mike and his present family who managed to , over the years retrieve these fantastic gems of letters his Father and Uncles wrote to their parents whilst residing as Boarders in BCS.
Mike King now 70 last April, was educated at Durham School England.
He Served with the City of London Police (UK) before transferring to the Toronto Police in 1975. Specialising in organised crime investigations, his work was featured in several books. He spent two years with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) before entering the private sector and then spent 25 years engaged in commercial investigations around the world. He took part in film documentaries about organised crime and acted as a consultant in two separate productions. He contributed a chapter to noted Indian author Shrabani Basu’s book entitled India Revisited in which he wrote about his ancestor’s lives in India and his father’s respect for the great contribution of the Indian Forces in two world wars – never to be forgotten.
As for languages, Mike is modest, and speaks a little French, German, Spanish and Cantonese.
The following boys (all Cottonians) were the sons of Mr. WH King MBE FRGS who was, himself, born and brought up in India. He was a renowned engineer who built the telegraph line from Gyantse to Lhasa in 1922 which linked Tibet to the outside world.
William King (Uncle of Mike King) – born in Gilgit. Graduated in Agriculture at the University of Alberta, Canada. Lt. Col. British Army – killed in action on Normandy landings 1944.
Charles King (Father of Mike King) – born in Bhatinda. School Captain BCS 1928. Graduated in Theology at the University of Cambridge. Wartime Chaplain to the Forces. Prisoner of War in Poland and Germany 1940-1945. Died in Church service in 1972. ( some fantastic letters/postcard follow)!
John King (Uncle of Mike King) – born in Poona died in 1984 aged 65. Fl. Lt. RAF – WW2 escaper from Crete and member of the elite Caterpillar Club (RAF Escaping Society).
Hereward King (uncle of Mike) – born in Mussoorie. Served in the Royal Navy in WW2. Advertising executive. Died 1976.
Capt. Vivek C Bhasin
SE 652 24 Karlstad
The following attachments can clicked to be opened in a full view page:
More letters and postcards from my father and his brother to their parents sent from BCS. It was nearly 100 years ago!
These invaluable letters bring a sense of the greatest elation in me and that I was one of the privileged sons like all my fellow Cottonians of BCS.
We received the sad news of the death of Lance Jones on 6 July 2019 at the age of 95. Lance we believe served in the Police Force in India. He was a fanatical Supporter of Arsenal FC and equally keen Supporter of OCA(UK) -attending the Annual Lunches until last year and only a year or two earlier, on an OCs evening out, a Night Club featuring a delightful ‘belly dancer,’ whose performance he much enjoyed. Lance was a charming gentleman who will be much missed.
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).