59er Golden Reunion Directory

59er Golden Reunion Directory
59er Golden Reunion Directory

Thursday, June 13, 1996

SH-Issue 6: 960613

Hi Cathedralites

(sorry to Kooler Talk (Web Version) readers also visiting here for some duplication),

Ad at the top

You may have noticed an ad at the top if you are using Netscape. It is part of a contract with a Portugese group that all my web pages will carry a rotating ad at the top. If it offends anyone or affects your access time or download time, please do let me know. I shall reconsider whether I keep it at the top of the Seventh Heaven page. (Ed: I have to try to earn some money sometime - I am not very successful at that task!)


In the last issue I asked whether my annoying reminders should stop - I have a posting of just over a hundred messages to Cathedralites. I received a total of 0 replies. Well this split the response 0/0/0 (undecided), so I am continuing my reminders. Any of you that wants out should let me know.


May I please direct you to the Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO). You can read the letter from Prof. Thomas Abraham from Columbia University in the Letters to the Editor on my main web page. Do take a break and visit it and the appropriate link.

The late Mr. A. G. Glynne Howell


Well a few words about Glynne Howell.

I came upon this absolutely delightful gentleman when I was in the VIII Standard and decided to take up Latin as one of my alternate languages. Anything to get away from the throttling hold of Marathi and Hindi. Glynne was a great teacher. He started off the first lessons from a book called "Ora Maritama" or "The Sea Shore". That is probably the present limit of my knowledge of Latin, as although I was interested, with so many things to do in school, I had little time to mug up a dead language. (Anyone interested in sending me the words of the School Song?)

When I entered the IXth, Glynne Howell was our Classmaster. His special subject was Geography. He was meticulous in his presentation of the subject, immaculately written on the blackboard. He fostered my interest in the subject so that I went on to get a distinction in it at the Senior Cambridge examination.

Glynne Howell was always dressed to perfection with a creaseless suit, starched white shirt with appropriate armbands to hold up his sleeves so that the chalk dust would not make them dirty, perfectly pressed trousers and tie and a neatly folded handkerchief in his top pocket. His attendance register was a work of art. He never permitted anyone to take attendance in his absence as he did not like his register messed up.

He was quite unlike Stan Pharoah who was always dressed in a sloppy grey cotton coat and equally baggy white trousers. Also, unlike Stan, Glynne Howell was an intensely personal individual. I never ever had the opportunity to meet or know his family.



School Prefects 1959:
Back Row: Chainani (58er), Noel Ezekiel, Vijay Nayar, Ramesh Mirchandani, Ashok Kapur, Andy Gordon, Neelam Lakhani
Center Row: Elijah Elias, Nuabir Mohindar, Balani, Arvind Thadani, Peter Miovic, Abe Stevenson (58er), Armeane Choksi, Vijay Shivdasani, Nalin Dharia (57er)
Seated: Michael Colaco (58er), Viney Sethi, Bhupinder Singh Anand (57er), Principal G. G. Gunnery, Abe Hayeem (57er), Jacob Matthan, M. André (58er)
Seated on Ground: Ashok Advani (58er), Trevor Newnes

The IXth was a year in which we really had a lot of fun before we got the serious task of getting ready for the Senior Cambridge. We were a truly international and secular class. I the A Section we had an American (Bobby Anderson), a Baharaini (Wabhir Zayani), Britishers (John Beddoes and Jimmy Jameson) and a Yugoslavian (Peter Miovic). We had Hindus (Bhakley, Chadha, Dhabolkar, Ghatge, Kapur, Kurma, Nayar, Ruias (Anil and Ashok), Sethi), Parsees (Choksi, Cooper, Kanga, Mistry, Modi, Moos, Singara, Shroff), Christians (Colaco, Matthan, Rodrigues, Singh), Muslims (Ahmedbhoy, Chinwalla, Currimjee, Hoosein), Sindhis (Lakhani, Thadani), and also three Indian Jews (Solomon, Hayem and Haskell - it was the year before Elias (alias Ooky) joined the school) and others - must ask Jangoo to rattle off the attendance register. The B Section was equally secular.

We all lived in total harmony. (Forgive me if I forgot anyone - 40 years is a long time to remember all your classmates names. Some like Bala Parasuraman and Narayan Sesachar got added between the IXth and the XIth while a couple from this list moved to the B Section or left. The A Section was the Science stream and the B section the Arts stream.)

Many a time I have been asked whether being a Christian in India had been a handicap. In truth, we were so secular in our approach that I never once thought about the religious background of any of my classmates, especially as a comparative factor. The only time I realised there was a difference was when we stripped our shirts for PT class and the Parsees would have their special type of cotton vests which no one else had.

I do not know whether this secularistic attitude is the case in most schools, but my secular and international attitude for life was definitely sown during the time I was in Cathedral.

More in a fortnight

Jacob Matthan
Sacvage House Captain 1959
Oulu, Finland

SH-Issue 5: 960613

Hi Cathedralites,

As promised I aim tell you what I know about the Pharoah of Cathedral.

Stan Pharoah was Vice Principal during the time I was in school. He was a great man in more than one sense. Stan (he would say "Mr. Pharoah to you, young man!") was my class teacher in the 10th Standard. He taught Mathematics. His teaching skill was excellent. He made Mathematics interesting. He had a beautiful writing hand on the blackboard.

The feature about Stan was that he told us kids that if he had not been lifted you up by the seat of their pants and walloped you across the bottom -you could not claim to be Cathedralite! He told us of how even Zulfiqar Bhutto, who was then Prime Minister of Pakistan, had been so complimented by the Sphinx. As an aside he did mention that Bhutto was not very good at mathematics.

Stan had a heart of gold. He, his wife (her name skips me just now) and two children, Margret and Claire lived in the Girl's School. All were devout Christians. I used to encounter them in the Cathedral every Sunday morning.

Stan knew and loved every student. He was always prepared to help anyone that came to him. He made Ashok Kapur (Non-Executive Chairman of the YES Bank in Bombay) and me Prefects already in the last term of the 10th Standard. A great honour for us.

Ashok Kapur and me

Ashok Kapur and me at his flat in Bombay, 1994

Stan retired from the school sometime in the early sixties and migrated to England as his daughters wanted him to settle there for their future. I visited him in his nice suburban home in Surbiton in Surrey in the mid-sixties. Although he was relaxed and happy and enjoyed his English country garden, he seemed to miss our Cathedral School every single minute.
Both his daughters finished their studies and were married in England.

As I moved away from London, I lost touch with Stan.

Maybe I was too good - I was not lifted by the seat of my pants by Stan, so I have little claim to be a Cathedralite - it would have been an honour to have been reprimanded by him!


Jacob Matthan
Savage House aptain 1959

PS: Maybe one of you out there can fill us in with more details you may have about this wonderful character which made Cathedral the institution it has become.

PPS: I am still waiting for authentic data about Connon, Savage, Palmer, Wilson, Barham - I have received considerable comments, but almost all are speculations. I am also looking for data about Gunnery, Kuruvilla Jacob, and earlier and subsequent Principals from any of you out there.

Sunday, June 02, 1996

SH-Issue 4: 960602

Hi Web-surfing Cathedralites,

Thank you all for taking the mickey out of me. I am six feet and two inches tall, weigh a hundred kilos and have very broad shoulders - and can take quite a lot of flak. Yes (true confessions), I had to dress up as a washerwoman and also as one of the ladies-in-waiting of the princess, and sing in my soprano voice. (We were not co-educational in those days!) That, however, was not the embarrasing part of the story as many of you seemed to infer!

Well the laugh is on you. Because I was in the Cathedral Church Choir, which meant twice a week singing practice - late on Wednesday and Friday evenings and two church services to attend on Sunday - morning and evening, and a whole lot of christenings (baptisms), weddings and funerals to sing at), I did not have to pay the school fees. I think it was the grand sum of Rs.15 per month.

Some of the people even paid us money to sing at those events - usually half an rupee - great amount of money in those days. It was enough to have a hearty meal of chicken curry and rice at the Pyrkes Restaurant at Flora Fountain, at Olympic Restaurant in Colaba Causeway or a scruptious meal at the railway restaurant in Bombay Central, though not enough to have a chicken burger in a small restaurant almost at the end of Veer Nariman Road where it meets Marine Drive (think it was called Skyways) which used to be our regular hangout - that used it cost 12 annas. The was usually some pies left over for the Charminars - I picked up all my bad habits while singing in the church choir, or maybe it was an attempt to destroy my voice to get out of the drudgery.

As far as I can remember there were no school fees even for my elder brother and my younger sister, a family savng of about Rs. 50 at least - so I always tell them that I got them educated through our alma mater by my endeavours! I wonder whether this traditional link between the church and the school continues even now?

I must tell you about our French teacher, Mr. Ribi. He was a true-life Frenchman who had an MG sports car. He lived on the top floor above the flat of the Principal. I think you got to it by going up the stairs at the back of the then Standard X on the second floor (where they used to do the annual medical examination where we all had to strip and be examined by a lady doctor who always insisted that we all had to be circumsised!)

Mr. Ribi was a real monster. If we did not pronounce a French word correctly he would blow his head off in a rage and if at the second attempt we failed to satisfy his morbidity, he would screw our ears. Painful experience which in today's world would probably be called child molestation. Now you can understand all my psychological traumas which come through this page! Luckily he left after a couple of years so I did not have to suffer him till the XIth.

Wonder often where he got too? Any clues anyone?

Well we did have several foreign teachers in our day and I will tell you about some of them in the coming issues and also some of the real local character teachers which we had.

By the way, I know you are all enjoying these reminiscences, but I think some of you should start to take control and manage this page. I am a little old and weary and would like to give the reins to a younger and more dynamic editor so that Ican concentrate on the main page - Findians Briefings -which is shocking and rocking the world with its hard hitting style. So if someone would like to slowly take over Seventh Heaven, you are welcome, and you will always have one devoted reader - me!! May I, however, echo 57er Kashinath Dandekar, my senior by 2 years who wrote in the latest issue of the Cathedral Newslatter:

"Let us keep the language parliamentary, it may be a little sterile but it might be more acceptable. Perhaps I am beginning to feel OLD."

Well, next week I am going to tell you about the "Pharoah" of Cathedral School and I am sure Kashinath and Bhupi, and Bala, will not feel quite sooooo old!


Jacob Matthan
Savage House Captain 59
Oulu, Finland