Tag Archives: Peter A Stringer

Sponsor an Indian Tiger in memory of Arthur Jones who died on June 11th 2020 of old age

Weʼre raising £250 to Sponsor an Indian Tiger at Shepreth Wildlife Park for a year, in memory of Arthur Jones who died on June 11th 2020 of old age.

We are hoping to raise enough money to Adopt an Indian tiger at Shepreth Wildlife Park, In memory of Arthur Jones, a Dad, Grandad, Great Grandad, Brother, Uncle and friend to many. Who died of Old Age on 11th June 2020

Dad was born in India in 1933 and always had a passion for wildlife, he loved watching wildlife programmes and even stayed in a tiger park on one of his visits back to India with his wife, my Mum Shirley.

Due to Zoos lack of income in the present climate, they may struggle to maintain the livelihood of these magnificent animals, we thought this would be an apt way to remember Dad


Arthur’s final goodbye was held at the Fulborne Cemetary.
Julie had arranged and accepted 30th June – Shirley & Arthur’s wedding anniversary
Arthur was laid side by Shirley & late eldest daughter Lisa’s family plot.  Bless em.
End of an era.
Peter Stringer

Two Old Cottonians

Sorry to be the messenger of sad news
Two Old Cottonians
My brother John Stringer  (Lefroy 1942-45) taken by COVID19  – Sunday 17 May 2020 we mourned his loss – his funeral was this afternoon at St Richard’s Chapel Surry & Sussex Crematorium .
John was born in Khanai Balochistan (now Pakistan) on 24 July 1929.     Early years studied at Lahore Railway School. While a few years in Karachi we both studied at The Karachi Grammar School.  My Mother received a letter of commendation from the Governor of Sindh expressing thanks & to be proud of her son Johnathan who he had watched fighting like a tiger in the boxing ring and sing like a divine cherub in the choir at his daughter’s wedding. John was a member of the outstanding boxing team at Bishop Cotton School Simla. After leaving school he took an apprenticeship in airconditioning in Lahore moved with family to Bihar and carried on to Calcutta starting his Air/con business – Migrated to England with his wife & three children.    Years later he moved & lived in Antiga & Spain returned to the UK after the death of his second wife & resided in Caterham Surrey.
My very dear friend Arthur Jones (L 1942-49) passed away at around 2:pm this afternoon 11 June 2020 very peacefully in Waterbeach Cambridge – his daughter Julie informed me.
Sadly for me, two lights dimmed out of my life.  I shall miss them both dearly am overcome with sorrow but will leave you a poem brother John from about the age of 13 or 14 would recite for me. 
Peter Stringer  (Lefroy1943-47)


O call my brother back to me

By  Felicia Hemans

O, call my brother back to me,
I cannot play alone;
The Summer comes with flower and bee,
Where is my brother gone – ?

“The flowers run wild, the flowers we sowed,
Around our garden tree;
Or vine is drooping with its load,
O, call him back to me.”

“He would not hear thy voice, fair child,
He may not come to thee,
His face that once like Summer smiled
On earth no more thou’t see.

“A rose’s brief, bright life of joy,
Such unto him was given;
Go, thou must play alone, my boy;
Thy brother is in Heaven.”

“And has he left his birds and flowers?
And must I call in vain?
And through the long, long Summer hours,
Will he not come again?”

“And by the brook, and in the glade,
Are all our wanderings o’er?
O, while my brother with me played
Would I had loved him more!”

Miss Marie Bonnaud…The Boys from BCS

…. 7th April 1990….

MS Scandinavian Star a passenger and car ferry plying between Olso Norway and Fredrikshavn Denmark, experienced a heart wrenching maritime disaster orchestrated by way of a planned sabotage by a few of the vessel’s crew members.

This resulted in a fatalistic fire resulting in 159 deaths…

One of the root causes so many perished ( along with accusations of murder and sabotage) was the crew, a Heinz 57 combination of nationals speaking different languages ( although English should have been the common communicator ).. so when there was utter pandemonium on board or for that matter, in any disastrous situation land lubber based,  or on the high seas, team work splintered into local shards of languages including four letter expletives and yes, crazy panic attacks, confusion, dog eat dog, not save our souls but save your own sorry assed selfish soul guv’nor…grab your life jacket ignore the helpless and get the hella outta here..!

In this particular tragedy the disaster took place in the most developed and advanced maritime waters of the world, not in some “far away  third world shit hole of a land “when advanced nations would simply record this just as that and “ those poor illiterate undertrained buggers; lets hope they pull their rotten dirty stinking holed socks up” as life is cheap….. No-No Sir! this happened in the Nordic countries Ma’am; here the International Martime Organisation, the United Nations of Shipping takes serious fcuking heed Sir! Here everyone’s cajones ( balls) get in a sling shot and Directors earning six figure American Greens would be fired… axed… jailed… by even more hard core unscrupulous lawyers waiting to milk the udders of the shipping company’s owners…so no more  sitting their bloated roast beef bottoms on golf carts with golf club memberships and Platinum Black American Express Cards with global concierge services … it’s the end of the gold run chaps… these big shots will now get on the bread line; their wives would have to cut down their Italian stilettos to flats and cheap rubber flip flops; no more beach holidays with the creme de la creme in San Tropez and oil reeking Sheiks on their platinum plated yachts. The creases on the ladies wrinkled faces will highlight the sorry plight as no Christian Dior makeup and super expensive French Parfum and manicures with gold dust any more… sorry.

…..The Year was 1996 whilst in Command of the Ro-Ro Vessel MV Cartagena carrying bananas,  frozen shrimp from Colombia to Jacksonville and Port Everglades Florida, whilst back hauling Big Mack 10 axle trucks and trailers, my Boss Ian  Pull an English gentleman around seven foot tall Vice-President Operations at the Shipping Company based in San Jose ( SJO) Costa Rica called me..the  harbinger of good news … “ Cap’n Vivek I want you in the office at SJO to develop the International Safety Management ( ISM) code for the shipping fleet and the office. We need to get certified, a global requirement to conform with and ensure our ships never experience an adverse situation like the MS Scandinavian Star; we need to complete this exercise by 01 July 2002…

My sailing days were coming to an end after 31 years on the high seas…

Costa Rica or the Rich Coast is a glittering fabuloso emerald  country between Panama and Nicaragua. With the Caribbean lapping it’s beaches in the north and Mar Pacifico in the south known for high wave surfing and Blue Marlins, it is probably the first country to have got rid of its armed forces on 01 December 1948. What I loved about mi “ pueblo lindo” ( my beautiful village) as what the local Costa Ricans  call their beautiful country was the exploding fauna, rivers, volcanoes, beaches, bird life, alligators, sloths, parakeets, snakes, scorpions, gigantic spiders, dangerous luminous red frogs, iguanas, turtles, flamingos… and the salsa* and merengue night clubs… Everyone just loved to bailar ( dance )..the coolest dancers were the local truck mechanics with their squeezes!..  so I too joined the local swinging dance school “Merecumbe” and saw beautiful bodies lunging at each other with such fabulous sensual and sexy moves to the tunes of Cuban, Colombian, Puerto Ricanõ and local Heredia bands…music entered my blood stream and this Latin groove was the only other genre I permitted to merge with my holy genre Hard Rock..I can pull a move but nothing like those mecanicos…! The locals are nicknamed costarricenses in their native country … with the ladies caller “ticas” a few even being crowned Miss Universe and men, “ticos “…

…every weekend I was in the midst of these “wonderful locals” enjoying the flavour passion and gyrations of music, peace and love, Paz y Amor and “Pura Vida Mahe”..Pure Life Dude!!

During my four glorious heavenly years I lived in a gorgeous villa in the outskirts of the Capital San Jose situated at 1200 meters. The small quaint place  called Ciudad Colon and in the condominium Colonial del Prado.. the owners were a young Dutch couple retired Doctors ( I mean do young Doctors retire ?) who moved down from Holland to live in peace, harmony and play tennis…their’s was a fabulous property with teak floors, massive windows that overlooked on to a beautiful lush garden abound with trees… mangoes, grapefruit, lemons, tangerines, custard apple, tamarind and of course banana… every species of flowers and one permanent “guest” at the end of the garden.

For many weeks I looked at that “log” but could have sworn it somewhat moved, slow and lethargic; a wee bit here and a wee bit there but generally in the same place….One day I asked the gardener Enrique perhaps that log needed to be dumped elsewhere as it was not really settling to the beautiful landscape…… it was then he smiled at me and casually dropped the biggest bombshell… !“ El Capi… no es un tronco de madera .. es una culebra un Boa  Constrictor ..!” 🙄 I pissed my pants but he assured me the bugger had been there for years and would never venture out of his space. Horse Manure… ! I had to insist they remove the lodger / guest by gently coaxing it into a massive wooden carton and leave it far far away from me….in the rain forests…🙏

After three years at Colonial del Prado ( where I befriended a wonderful Dutch Lady Majorie who was 102 and loved her G&Ts, another superb Canadian couple Sussane & Gillces Ladouceur, I decided to move closer to the city **( remaining in constant touch with my Colonia friends). Thus, I came to know of an exquisite four bedroom flat for possible rent, owned by the aristocratic Señora Dama Majorie Elliot Sypher de Oduber, the ex. First Lady of Costa Rica. She was a tough old dame over the telephone, refusing to rent out just to “anybody“ but my stubborn persuasion and insistence to at least let me drop in to see her, worked. Wearing my absolute best, packing a sumptuous box of chocolate and pineapple pastries, a pack of pure Darjeeling Lopchu Tea, I arrived at her residence in Escazu….on the dot at 1600 hrs. Along with the eats, tea and my italian sensual cologne, I charmed her with my finest first impressions and style, pure Cottonian ingredients..reciting loads about BCS, Simla and India…Dama Marjorie finally relented …The rest is history! I enjoyed that fabulous place! The residence had priceless oils that she purchased over the years whilst travelling on official visits and sojourns with her late husband El Presidente de Costa Rica Señor Daniel Oduber, alrededor del mundo…

Well, well there is no Shangri-La, not even in Costa Rica…

My first few weeks in the office starting March 1996 felt as though I  was still Skipper on my ship.. as a new vertigo seemed to keep me off balance; the only saving grace amongst the boring lot were the Beautiful Ticas; the Office Secretary and other girls in the office… “ Hola Capitan que pasa” as they rushed and held me tight; genuinely hugging me with great concern ..real sweet close against them to support me from crumbling on to the ground.. Jeez they were divine ..! But still I felt strange… U N T I L one afternoon the entire office was jolted with a massive earthquake that lasted an agonising twenty seconds … Yes my vertigo was due to light tremors… Costa Rica experiences an average of TEN tremors (temblors) EVERY DAY that’s 3600 a year …😲😲… my body settled down, I started walking straight except when some very heavy ones hit ..

….. I still shudder… remembering one beautiful morning at The Colonia, after spending forty five minutes with my Tennis trainer Sr.Alonso in the courts and now having breakfast in the midst of fresh mountain air, tucans, hummingbirds and red squirrels…it started with a strange guttural notice in the distance as though a heavy duty truck was struggling up the hill, groaning against its weight with the muffler holed … the noise turned into a crescendo and felt like a barrage of heavy steel girders slamming and then grinding against each other … the heightening sound then entered the earth’s belly and headed in my direction like a long angry roar … like a battle tank and a massive steel-iron monster cutting through rock, again moaning…. and then roaring-a-million lions it passed right under my house like a huge way in a rapid yet painstakingly “ slow “ five seconds that felt like an eternal nightmare…I was thrown of my chair and fell hard to the ground, my muesli spilt, my burnt toast skidded away and my coffee mug rolled too leaving a river of black gold. The entire house shook and shuddered, window panes shattered, the rafters shivered uncontrollably and severe cracks appeared in the walls as the wooden bannister leading to the first floor splintered with one section breaking with a snap from its foundations and shooting off in a carved trajectory like an imbecile missile slam bang puncturing the wall..!! reeling in shock with my heart blasting into my skull, I contracted into a ball preparing for the roof to come crashing down; preparing for the worst..

…and then pin drop silence before the stray dogs started howling, the horses in the fields across neighed and went beserk. This powerful wave measured 6.4 on the Richter scale having it’s epicentre in the next village Puriscal barely 12 km distant.

I survived this and all …! Some Great Power protected my arse.

… and so in 1997 successfully along with great cooperation from the Fleet of Ship Captains, Chief Engineers and their crew, I obtained the necessary ISM certification for the fleet and the office five years ahead of the deadline.

Whilst the company was celebrating success by being the first Fresh Produce Shipping Company in the world  to comply with the ISM code, my Boss was carving out other plans for me, on his corporate chess board..

Yes, towards the end of 1999 he told me to pack my bags, my memories, my exploits and head to England…. the company wanted to open an office in the UK. Although I was the junior most I was the dude for the new assignment ..”Vivek is a self starter.. he gets the bloody job done..”

November 1999 saw me landing at Heathrow having left exotic Costa Rica, a country that I can never ever forget, I stepped out into England …rain-wind-rain and more rain whiplashed the pavement and drenched me to the bone with ice cold drops dripping inside my shirt sending a shiver along my entire body..

But the “old country” was special and sentimental for me … it felt like returning home and every day I felt more enthused with new challenges as Managing Director based in Chertsey, Surrey just of the M25 London orbital and 23 minutes by fast train to London Waterloo. The company was building two unique Container vessels in Germany and my offices had virtual control of these vessels, the largest of their type in the world!

London was my kinda place too. Great Food, Cool Rock Bands, Trendy Clothes from Carnaby Street, Saville Row and shoes from Loakes and Paul Smith… and yes, plenty of Rain and Fog, beautiful green lush grass, loads of golf courses and connecting with the Old Cottonian network!

Amongst the Cottonian network especially Peter Stringer Esq; , Allan Gay Niblett Esq;  and John Whitmarsh Knight Esq; whose late uncle was Senior Master at BCS, these fine gentlemen were my closest, my benefactors and more; we met often. John Whitmarsh was my neighbour and we thoroughly enjoyed each other’s company everyday. I immediately dived in to the wonderful world of the OCA ( UK) and in some years took over Chairmanship. The Seniors at that time were mostly British along with a few diehard Indians; each and every OC extended warmth and very strong feelings for the brotherhood not to mention their fiercest memories of BCS. Get togethers were often hosted by the genuine diehard OC Vinod Nanda and his wife Rosie at his place for meetings, these followed by leisurely khaana as Pete Stringer Sahib and the seniors always wished for an Indian meal at Southall.

England felt great! It was like a groovy second homecoming having studied for my Master’s Foreign Going, the Sea Captain’s Licence for unlimited tonnage in world wide trading back in 1979-1980. I spent those years up at Southshields, Bristol, London and Newcastle-upon-Tyne, . besides studying …often visiting the trendy discotheque “ Tuxedo Junction “!

But I was back with a mission in November 1999; to make a success of the new company entrusted to me…

December 31, 1999 23:59:00..the millennium hour struck as we all waited in Trafalgar Square for a global blackout at Y2K…torches in hand …perhaps a volley of nukes released with no control to annihilate the world, the end of planet earth, or more mildly though catastrophic, ships stopping at sea engine dead and rudderless as the clocks struck 00.00.00 and the year 2000 slowly moved in leaving the last century behind, destroying everything living…no one knew what would happen..

Nothing abnormal nor extraordinary happened! The world remained sane, safe, secure and  with us billions slid in to the 21st Century.

It was one September morning five years later in the year 2005, having just rented a lovely spacious flat on Queen’s Road, Weybridge my second rental in five years, all spruced up and getting ready to go to work, looking out of the window on to the garden I saw a diminutive little figure moving about with a pair of clippers pruning the rose bushes…

There were four flats in the building of which one on the first floor was owned by Bruce Campbell a Director of Southend Airport,  on the ground floor and the adjoining maisonette lived two ladies whose names were yet unknown. I had my place entirely to myself on the topmost. I could crank up Plant screaming ..nobody’s fault but mine..” and live my life loud and free.

I had yet to present myself to them but proper etiquette demanded I first write a short note introducing myself. as “ your new friendly neighbour”. Which I did with a carefully hand written piece, brief with no great detail. Just as a “your new friendly neighbour, a Sea Captain who is delighted to be in your midst, in residence” neatly folded, gently tucked into a neutral blue envelope, silently dropped through each letter box.

Returning home one evening as I entered the driveway of the house I saw the little figure again. She was a petite little lady in a Red Mink coat stepping out of her entrance just as I parked.. smartly stepping out of my car..“ Good Evening Ma’am” I started as she curtly responded “ Good Evening” and slowly walked towards a Red Volvo Estate. Matching Mink matching Car! Getting in she slammed the door, fired up the engine and without a seconds  hesitation accelerated and shot out of the driveway on to heavy cross traffic; horns blaring and brakes screeching all stopped except Ma’am who made a hard right and zoomed off towards Walton -on-Thames! Phew ! What a zooming wonderful introduction..

The next few times I saw the Lady I always stopped to wish her; she sometimes acknowledged and at other times just ignored me as I turned towards my door feeling her sharp eyes studying me from behind.

Early mornings as I stepped out for a morning brisker, a five kilometre walk around Oatlands Village, I always saw outside the lady’s door, four bottles of milk with blue caps. Each was half a litre and I wondered if there were others living with her as late in the evening I always saw four empty bottles outside her door again. And yes, another four full bottles left at her door by the battery powered milk float early in the morning.

It was only when I met Bruce my neighbour did he enlighten me that the “ four foot and a fag paper tall lady is Miss Marie Bonnaud. She’s tough as nails, keep your distance .. a safe distance Mate.. she is temperamental, keeps to her self and tinkers around in our garden. Drinks loads of milk, lives alone, has no family, drives like a maniac, the last lad who lived in yours escaped to Thailand without bag’n’baggage as she came after him with a Witches broom; she just turned 100 and was quite chuffed HRH THE QUEEN sent her a Birthday Card all with the Royal Seal and much regalia ..” and that was that.

Wow! I was neighbour to a centenarian living in our midst! So how old was the other lady I enquired … “ Oh she’s much younger at a sprightly 93” Bruce replied..! “…one Mrs Joy Adams who ran a Beauty Parlour on Baker Street; she’s the more friendly one and always offers a cuppa to the gardener when he arrives on Friday along with thin sliced mint cucumber sandwiches; more humane I’d say ole chap vis-a-vis you know who…Miss Bonneaud”. That did it for me. Respectful Distance, Greetings both Ante Meridiem and Post Meridiem and no more with that lady…

Until it all changed,

Until I was floored..

It was in November the same year whilst I was in Port Everglades Fl. USA carrying out a safety audit on board a company vessel that my mobile tinkled… answering “ Good Morning, Vivek..”……. “ is that Captain Bhasin” in a harsh lady’s voice.

Working hard to recognise the voice I just couldn’t… “ I am Marie Bonnaud speaking..”…. my neighbour in England, calling me for the first time … I perked up

“ Yes Ma’am, quite a surprise to get a call from you..”….

“ yes it must be, I think you are not in England as your ring tone sounded strange..”…..

“ yes Ma’am, I’m in the USA” but now the worry vibe started surging in me ..” is everything alright?” I asked.

There was a moment’s silence and then “Captain Bhasin, I was at the front of the flat looking out of the window and saw an automobile crane drive in with three men in surgeon coats. They backed in the crane and were hooking it to your car…. I felt something was not right so I ventured out and asked one of them what was going on; he said you were sending your car for repairs.. told him this sounds not right and they should wait right there, so they are waiting but fidgeting…”….. I was taken aback… “ Miss Bonnaud, my car needs no repairs, so who they be?”….. “ probably car thieves in disguise; I will tell them to stop if not I will call the police..!” Hanging up!

That was Miss Marie Bonnaud! Super Smart, Alert, Brisk and Snappy… ! She saved my car getting nicked..!

Back in Weybridge I was returning from the office, entering the drive way when I saw Miss Bonnaud outside her door surrounded by a man and a woman; it appeared a heated interchange with flaying and flapping arms, the lot.

I quickly parked, jumped out and approached the “heat”…….”Captain Bhasin, please tell the Lady and Gentleman I am completely sound of mine, have all my ducks in a row and have been driving for the last 50 years since I got in to England ….”.

As much as I tried to convince the two on Miss Bonnaud’s professional driving skills ( not to mention the signage on the main road  which these two from the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency – DVLA must have read “ Motorists Beware-Elderly Lady in Red Volvo living adjacent could be dangerous to others “)….they were there asking her to gently surrender her Driving License.. if not they would take it away, regardless.

That was when Miss Marie Bonnaud ended her driving days and her love affair with her Red Volvo…. (and the signage outside on the main road was removed.)

I helped Miss Bonnaud as often as I could with her shopping and other errands; our relationship remained extremely formal until one evening as I drove in to the drive way… I saw her standing at her door beckoning me…

Parked I smartly jumped out of the car and approached her…

“ Good Evening Miss Bonnaud”….

“ Good Evening Captain Bhasin…..” and then she started …

“ Where are you from Captain? You don’t look English, but you’re a good looking man…”…..

“ Thank You Ma’am ..India Ma’am”…. I said…it felt good!

“ Are you from Simla?” She asked and I stepped back in surprise …” Yes Ma’am… Simla..” and she butted in …. “ Bishop Cotton School ?”… surprised startled suspicious, I mean had she been spying on me? Come up to my flat during my absence, but how could she? Or Could she ?

… “ Yes Ma’am from Bishop Cotton… how did you know?” I whispered ….

she slowly responded …” I just knew… you see I studied in Tara Hall…”!!

I was completely taken aback ….

“ Ma’am…..?” I questioned …..

“ I knew” she said… “ You Boys from Bishop Cotton were smart, very smart and a lot more. It was your mannerisms, your etiquette that gave me a very strong impression … you must be from BCS …. You boys stood out everywhere…… Good Night” and she entered her flat and closed the door behind her…

I just stood there…

I just stood there….

I looked up at the dusk and saw the planet Venus on the Western end..

….( that was Miss Marie Bonnaud****)

*My salsa and merengue is rusty today as I last moved in Madrid one crazy night in September 2018 with a fabulous pilgrim…

**actually an iguana died in the loft of the villa at Colonia Del Prado and a bunch of skunks arrived… the awful stench killed my love for the place sadly and I moved out …☹️☹️but moved into that fabulous flat owned by Dame Marjorie Oduber, First Lady of Costa Rica.

*** Dame Marjorie Oduber passed away in 2015

**** Miss Marie Bonnaud was born in Simla, studied in Tara Hall, worked with Shaw Wallace Shipping Agents in Calcutta, played Golf at Fort William Calcutta … came to England when she was 50 and stayed out at her flat in Weybridge.

She tripped, fell in her flat , was admitted to hospital and later moved into an old age home … she really missed her flat but could never come home again. She passed away in 2009 aged 104, never married.

Vivek Bhasin

Lefroy 1961-1970

27th May 2020

Think of Happy Days

Never before has a pandemic thrust the world into such a frenzy.    Nations, acutely consider the loss of life just as important as livelihoods and causing desperate economic measures for the future.
It is just my feeling this may bring about surrender away from war & hate to global peace.      Behind all this my old school motto – OVERCOME EVIL WITH GOOD begins to support my thinking
The madness has taken over the Great British public attitude of greedy shoppers does suddenly magnify the dire situation !!
Human behavior will hopefully someday change and become more civic-minded.  Supermarket shelves emptied of every-day foodstuff and crazy about loo rolls too
Hard to understand this mentality when there isn’t a shortage.     As a friend writes ….”About time every dwelling in the land got a bidet or a bottom wash facility installed.  Ecologically sound, hygienic and saves trees!”

Government advice reinforced by our son Peter & daughter Marnie for Maggie & me to stay home and enjoy the confines of our garden.     Leaves time for thought & olden memories …………

            I once was confined to school hospital when taken ill with Mumps, this put the school into quarantine precisely just before the start of 10 days holiday for end of second term.     Oh boy did I have to suffer indignation, abuse with threats for canceled all town leave.     The Sanatorium was in the care of Sister Maclean, a well accomplished, competent elderly Scottish matron.     She was quite deaf and wore an early primitive hearing aid that carried the receiver on the breast of her uniform.    She was very thorough in nursing the sick.    Whatever the ailment – the blue bottle appeared & you were forced to swallow a large spoon of Castrol in her presence.    Some of the patients spitefully would take delight in her hard of hearing – face up to her mimicking only lip-service, as the dear Sister would adjust the receiver – they would come closer and bellow in a loud voice.     A memory circles back to me of Prep School, when every fortnight we were by houses paraded up to our tiny sanatorium to be given, the purgative, Senna pod liquid to swallow and immediately say ‘Thank you’ before we were allowed to leave, just to ensure full intake!

               For us boys, far more important and meaningful to us young hungry souls was the December House–treats or as we called them ‘JHUG-DAY CHEWS’ held in our dormitories.    All festooned with hand art and decorations to accentuate end of year & home for winter holidays.       Specially prepared food  catered and brought in from Simla – delicious Indian curries, rices, chapattis and assortment of sweet fare we gorged and demolished.     I recall remembering for the very first time in my youth to suffer indigestion – so chronic it lasted for a couple of days and leaving me with a stinking disgusting breath.     The lower Boggs – then latrines, below the side of the First Flat became unworthy of shame almost forcing one to light up and smoke a cigarette.

            Finally, in December approaching year ending, next followed in the evening, senior boys would stage their own theatre productions, in the Irwin Hall.    Poetry, music, songs, plays and short sketches, sometimes ridiculous observations of School life and masters’ eccentric behaviour for us the riotous audience so wholeheartedly enjoyed & applauded.

            Primarily the School conducted its function for education & sport.     The main purpose to develop well rounded young men ready for their future.      We were nurtured in deportment strict discipline, physical exercise following rules of clean living in hygiene, good manners & respect for all religions and fellow beings.   Bullying was stamped out immediately.    One only had to tell of a bully and a simple procedure followed.    The bully was put in the boxing ring with an opponent, champion of his fighting weight who dealt out with gloves punching a very sound message while others watched on.    My keen observations have found a host of Old Cottonians became leaders in the many facets of worldly undertaking.

Count our blessing and with confidence believe PATINA will deliver GOOD!

Yours fraternally
Peter Stringer Lefroy 1943-47

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).