Dear 59ers and Other Cathedralites,
What a hectic month it has been. There was so much input that I was able to release a full fledged issue of Newsy Notes.
Well, I said I would give you answer about my beard.
I heard my dear one say - "Get thee behind me Satan".
So, I grew a beard so my true self would not be recognised.
I do not like to repeat myself in the Seventh Heaven, so I am trying to only bring in only fresh material here.
I have a new table which is in memoriam to all the 59ers who have left us to be with their Maker. Let us remember in our hearts the good times we shared with these wonderful friends of us and also remember their families.
This month saw the addition of 59er Narayan Acharya as a member of our clan. It also saw a lot of input from non 59ers who have decided that this magazine is not just for 59ers but for all Cathedralites.
I am not in competition with Cat Call, but I am enjoying the great inputs being sent to me by both seniors and juniors.
I start with a report from one of our most senior alma materites, 49er Yezad Kapadia who resides in New Delhi. He sent me a report of the 50th reunion of the 49ers, which I thought would interest our global audience. Yezad was the second Indian School captain. Can anyone tell me who was the first?
Some of us in Delhi started to think of a possible reunion of our class at the beginning of the year 1999. We had a recollection that there were about twenty of us when we sat for our Senior Cambridge examination at the end of 1949. From the class photograph preserved by Aroo Moolgaoker and sent to us at the time of the reunion from London (most unfortunately he could not join us but was with us in soul and spirit as he mentioned)- we know that we were twenty-three in all. Aroo has sent us his hilarious recollections of his classmates. This is being printed separately in this issue of the Catcall.
Efforts were undertaken to locate our classmates from whatever little information we had. We knew that some of us had gone abroad for studies. But where were we all now? Some of us had kept in touch with one another over the years and decided to pool our knowledge regarding where all we were currently located. Vijay Ram coordinated the efforts in Mumbai, where most of us were still located. For me, Ratan Lalkaka of the class of 47, was a great help in getting the addresses of quite a few of our classmates who were located out of Mumbai and also the country.
Sarosh Wadia, Narottam, Bunny Khattau, Chandrasen Merchant, Vijay Ram, Naval Patel and Jumani were all in Mumbai and all turned up gladly for the reunion.
Although Raj Bhandari used to stay very close to me when I was staying in Vasant Vihar in Delhi, I did not know of his whereabouts then. It was only when we started to look for one another, that we realised how close to one another we used to stay. I still meet Jamshed Desai quite often. He too was keen to have this reunion. So it was the three of us from Delhi.
We got to know that Buster Ley had passed away.
Chottu Padamsee was located in Goa and I visited him there. He was very keen to come but could not at the last minute due to an unavoidable engagement.
Kali Cawasji was contacted in Bangalore and came gladly.
Through the courtesy of Pilloo Hakim (Cooper) and her classmate of 51, Meenakshi (Rangnekar), who now lives in Canada, we did manage to get a few messages across to Maneck Khambatta in Canada, but he too could not make it.
Soli Lam was sought to be contacted in London but we were unable to establish contact with him.
We were informed that Hassan Mirza, the star marathon runner from Palmer House, who went to the UK to study Aeronautical Engineering after the Senior Cambridge exams, was located in Pakistan. We had no means of finding out his address. Similarly, efforts to locate Benjie Hayeem in the States did not bear fruit to get him in time for our reunion. We are happy that we now have established contact with him . He is one of the few from our class listed on the Catalumni site on the web. All efforts to locate the other classmates remained unsuccessful.
Of the girls, we had very little information. Leela Suntook (Punjabi) was in Mumbai and very readily agreed to come to the reunion. Unfortunately, she was the only representative from amongst the girls. Of Betty Ballard, my counterpart as the Head Girl, we knew that she had migrated to Australia after our final exams. It is only after we received the latest issue of the Catcall that we know that she is still there. Anjali (Lahiri) had left for England shortly after we had a final party at her home on Cuffe Parade. She passed away a few years ago. Silla Dubash (Vakil) lives in Delhi and we are in touch with one another but she could not make it to our function. We understand that Dina (Forbes), who along with Leela, used to come to the Boys' School for Chemistry and Physics, is living in Delhi, but we do not know where.
So it was that eleven of the boys and one girl, along with our spouses, from the Class of 49 met in Mumbai for the reunion.. For most of us it was a meeting after fifty years. As we walked in one by one, we could hardly recognize ourselves. Time had inevitably changed us. All in all it was a very memorable evening and we agreed to remain in touch with one another. Something we have done very assiduously so far.
Judging by the response that one reads of to the activities of the Alumni Association in the Catcall and on the website, it is clear that there is something very special about our School. The response to and the fellow feeling at this reunion after a lapse of fifty years only goes to show how special the School truly is.
Class of 49
The class of 49 is already planning its next reunion, so get in touch with Yezad for details.
There have been several of you who were able to name the members of the 1952 Soccer Team, the photograph of which I circulated with Newsy Notes 004. The first one to send me the complete list was 57er / 59er Abe Hayeem. (Photograph courtesy Aubrey Ballantine, Canada)
Standing: (Y. Hamid or Antony Ramsingh), Roy Raymond, R. Ahuja , M. Anees, (Rohington Tata?)
Seated: N. Calcuttawalla, Roff Soonavala, A . Choonavala, Ravi Jaitly, L. Wilkinson
Seated on the Ground: Farookh Hussain
Does anyone have any corrections to this submission? If not I will send Abe his prize
And then I had this input from 59er Hasnain Chinwalla from Canada:
From: "Hasnain Chinwalla"
To: "Jacob Matthan"
Subject: Just woke up!
Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2001 17:21:58 -0500
I had no idea that you were expecting me to write! (Ed: Without your inputs, this magazine would be colder than dry ice.)
Well, here I am, and I'll make you wish I had never written!
It is fantastic getting all the news of the 59ers - I can only second all the people that have praised your efforts. Just don't stop. (Ed: Only when you guys stop feeding me with ideas.)
I read all about the sports everyone excelled in during school. As for me, I remember being the undisputed, but uncrowned champion of pocket-billiards. (Come on Editor - do your job and edit the stupid remarks this asshole is making!!) (Ed: The truth never hurts!!)
I am really pleased that David Colaco got in touch with you - we have been in touch for quite a long time, and I met up with all the brothers when I visited London in 1995. This last Christmas, David sent me a scan of a photograph of all the brothers. Jacob, David is resident in the UK, but visited here a few years ago, and met up with Willie Shiri and myself. I am tempted to send the scan to you, but I shall ask him first.
About Deepak Kaikini, we usually communicate at Christmas time, and I have no idea if he is 'connected'. However, I got off my ass and wrote him a letter today - I am enclosing a scan of that as evidence!!! (Ed: And I vouch that Hasnain's handwriting is still as silky as the day he was born.)
I used to be in touch with Venkie Kurma, but lost track when he moved to Pune. Still in touch with Shabir Ahmedbhoy - who was a visitor last year. Spent 3 years with Armeane Choksi at the University of Edinburgh, but lost contact. Now we have the opportunity to get in touch again.
From your list, there are so many that I would just love to meet again - hopefully, that will happen. Other names that spring to mind: Virat Gidwani and his sister, Gizi; Farokh Kanga; Trevor Newnes (in New Zealand, the last I heard); Krupa Swamy (now Krupa Srinivas) (Ed: You have me foxed - who is Krupa; I thought I was the only Mallu in the class.) Statira Guzder (Ed: Was Stat really in our class?) etc.
In 1991, on a trip to Bombay, I got permission to roam the corridors of our school, videotaping anything I wanted. Permission was granted - and it was great. The desks were the same ones we used - the holes for the ink-wells, and all the intricate hand carving - I think my crib sheets could still be read.
What I did get from this trip is the names of all the School Captains, and here are some of them:
1955: S. Episcopo
1956: T. Malkani
1957: T. Holter
1958: H. Uberoi
1959: Jaffer Hussain / B. Anand
1960: K. Andres
1961: T. Newnes
1962: M. Sopher
1963: Ashok Advani
1964: Neville Mody
Quite a list!!
(Ed: I am very confused by this list. I thought that 59er Vijay Nayar was School Captain for some time, and that 59er Trevor Newnes and 59er Mark Sopher were our classmates as 59ers. Also, I was under the impression that Trevor left for New Zealand before 59 end. Can anyone help out with the correct data. No doubt Hasnain's data is right, but could somebody put it in some perspective.)
In January, I went over to Willie and Pushpa Shiri's place for a fantastic dinner - we should do it again soon, Willie! - and the information I got about the teachers was overwhelming.
Mr. O. A. Gregory is in Montreal, and Mr. John Billington had visited here, but was either back in the UK or in Tibet - a place with which he had fallen in love. We did talk about the others - Thomson, Timmins, Pande, Dexter etc.
Somehow, I am surprised that nobody has mentioned Pharoah's bacon-slicer! Any memories about this? (Ed: This is going to be interesting - can anyone who was sliced tell us about it.)
I guess I have gone on too long, but I don't expect you to publish any of this. I am attaching
i) my letter to Deepak, and
ii) a scan from a photo that Willie gave me - Wilson House circa 1953. Yes, there are some Colacos, Naubir, Vijay Shivi, Deepak Kaikini, Virat and a few others!!
I have another one of Wilson House 1955, but that can wait till the next time.
I apologize for not writing earlier, but frostbite had gotten to my brain!
Bye for now, all the best to you and your family, and to all the Cathedralites out there, and take care.
And here is the Wilson House photograph from 1953 courtesy Hasnain and Willie.
And here is our regular correspondent chatty 54er Sadhana (and she is such a dear):
Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2001 23:26:47 -0800 (PST)
From: sadhana madhusudan
Subject: vive les Mallus
It was wonderful to hear from you, your wizrdry at making troubles disappear with just a few clicks from the computer is admirable. Thanks a ton for the catalumni address and for inducting Anthony into your seventh heaven.
I feel kinda good knowing I resurrected him for you. He was such a good sportsman.I only remember him in his sporty days wearing the school colours in his shorts. In fact if the chap was fully dressed I may not recognise him (heh heh)!
Seriously, him, 56er the late Tara Malkani and 54er Roff Sonawala were our class heroes. Sonawala was Wilson house, Captain and 54er Ravi Jaitly was the Vice Capt. Sonawalla was also Headboy.
During our Cambridge exams, Roff's seat was on my starboard beam (figure that out you landlubber) (Ed: I have my ex-Commander of the Vikrant to help me out on this!!) and it was very unnerving to watch him from the corner of my eyes, as he sat very still and stared dreamily into the vacant space....oblivious of all the frantic scratching and scribbling around him..
Then there was the dashing 53er M. Anees, who like my Mallu is also a Merchant Navy man. There was Rohington Tata, Prem Prakash Gupta (Palmer Capt) and Dante' Modi, Chagla, Nerurkar, Ramesh Sareen the brother of legendary film star Bina Rai, Vispee (surname?), Rahul Bajaj (who was awarded the Nation's prestigious Padma Bhushan just yesterday and Jhangoo Mama (who was a boxer and whose Mum brought fruit juice when he practised..,,) All this is part of memorabilia of those lovely days.
It is sizzling out here already, mid 30's during the day.
Well, how's that for an "getting to know me mail?"
Keep in touch, bye for now, love to all 3 generations...from all of us here in Pune.
Now 59ers, can any of you match an input like that? What do you say we adopt her? She told me that she is so tiny, so we can put her in our pocket and carry her around as our mascot.
Keep those emails and photographs coming. See you in a month.
Seventh Heaven (Web Version)
Cathedralite 1954 - 1959
School Hockey Goalkeeper - 1958; 1959
School Prefect - 1958; 1959
Savage House Captain - 1959