59er Golden Reunion Directory

59er Golden Reunion Directory
59er Golden Reunion Directory

Wednesday, March 27, 2002

Newsy Notes 007 - Going to get married


Mumbai Cathedralite 59ers are having a reunion at
Percy and Frainy Mistri’s place on the 28th.

I promised Percy I would be there via my Newsy Notes
- so here I am.

I hope Percy has his beautiful new flat screen iMac
by then in the living room.

I am sure that's the only place Frainy would keep such
a beautiful computer. Then you all can read this on this
fabulously designed computer. As you may have guessed -
I am a Mac addict. :-)

Ratan Batliwalla seriously ill

Percy gave me the news that 59er Renuka Dhanrajgir's
husband, Ratan Batliwalla, also a Cathedralite of 57
era, was seriously ill and at Breach Candy Hospital.
I do hope he recovers quickly. I am praying for his
speedy recovery.

About finding a spouse

I get a fair share of mail from Cathedralites and
Stephanians from around the world. Life is worth
living reading their email inputs.

Within the last three months I did get a number of
unusual requests from Cathedralites (and Stephanians).
Probably it was a result of my recent call to be a
Cathedralite / Stephanian in one's way of life?

The requests have been from older Cathedralites and
Stephanians of my generation who are anxious to find g
ood spouses for their children.

Yes, I am saying this - I have been asked to run a
matrimonial service for Cathedralites and Stephanians.

Besides my well known nickname as Dead Chicken, for some
reason, probably because I was going twice a week to
church for choir practice,attending two Sunday church
services, morning and evening, and all the weddings,
christenings, and other events the choir was asked to
sing at, Californian Viney (Sethi) had also given me
the second nickname as "Padre"!

This Padre, however, is not empowered to legalise a

I can assure you that I have some excellent eligible young
gentlemen and ladies on my list - all data given to me in
strictest confidence by their parents with the full consent
of the eligible son or daughter. Includes a few
millionaires of the dot.com boom who have not yet gone bust.

I was deeply touched when one parent wrote to me to remove
the word "Hindu" from the biodata sent to me. He wrote:

"I have removed the word Hindu between the 5ft 8ins and
well rounded personality. After all a good person is
more important than being a Hindu."

Another asked me to remove the word "Malayalee" which had
been included in the original write-up. A third asked me
to remove the restriction of the bride-to-be being a “Muslim”.

As you all know, it will be difficult for ME to run a
marriage bureau as I was probably one of the first to
break tradition and to find my own wife, running the ire
of many of my family in India. That was nigh 35 years ago.
That bitterness still lingers on in the mind of some of
my relatives.

But I have been the happiest man on this earth as I was
blessed with a "good" non-Indian, non-Malayalee person
as my life's partner. We have been through many
hardships, many successes and many many failures. We
stuck together through all of them with our feet
firmly on the ground and we feel greatly rewarded
by our life together over this period.

How can one so inexperienced as this run a matrimonial

My intention is I hope I can put "good" people together
to know each other, even if it does not result in a
marriage. You may not find a soul mate through me, but
what harm is there in finding a good friend?

If you have someone near and dear to you who is looking
for this form of introduction, then send me the data.
I will do a match and let you have a corresponding
person's data in-confidence. Then it is up to the
people concerned to see whether they hit it off together.

My present list consists of people who are only
Cathedralites or Stephanians or children of
Cathedralites and Stephanians and are from many
communities - Americans, Europeans, Indians,
Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Gujus,
Kannadigas, Maharashtrians, Mallus, Punjabis,
Sindhis, etc.. They live all over the world.

All, both gentlemen and ladies, without exception,
are well employed and are of independent means.
So a change in employment location, may result
if the process of matrimony begins. One must be
prepared for that eventuality. It is difficult t
o see me matching two people exactly in Boston or
Los Angeles, etc.

The ages of people on my list so far are gentlemen
and ladies from 25 to 34, all single to date.

What about my fees for the service?

Receiving a wedding invitation card would be more
than sufficient, although you can rest assured I w
ill not be able to attend!! My schedules are already
too crowded. But I love getting beautiful wedding
invitation cards, like the one 59er Ashok (and Madhu)
Kapur sent out for their daughter's wedding. Something
to be preserved in my collection of cards - I have
several thousands as I am a postcard and general
card collector!! I specialise in cross-written
postcards more than 100 years old.

Email received

I had this input from Yezad Kapadia, a 49er.

From: Yezad Sam Kapadia
To: Jacob Matthan
Sent: Sunday, March 03, 2002 7:49 AM
Subject: Newsletter

Hi Jacob,
It was great receiving your latest newsletter. Have
a few comments to make.
It was good to know that Vasind continued to be the favorite
camping place for the Scouts even in your time. I remember
the time we were caught in the rains and Oliver had to
make a bivouak to keep himself from getting soaked. He
did a great job of it. Most of us had tents.
If Pop Pharaoh was still around in your time and Karkaria
was the maths teacher, what subject was Pop teaching?
In our time Pop was the maths teacher.

(Ed: Pop taught us Maths till the 10th and Karkaria took
over only for the 11th.)
Cannot remember Doreen Feinbusch but if she has the
documents from the Prize Giving functions of the years
1949 and 1950 I would be interested in seeing them.
I was the Head Boy in 1949. If my memory serves me
right, these functions were held right in the beginning
of the year. One of my first assignments was to go to t
he topmost gallery of the C J Hall and lead the school
to a hearty Three Cheers for the Chief Guest and  his
wife. I only know how I shivered before getting the
words out of my mouth - " SCHOOL, Three Cheers for...."
In 1950, on that occasion, I got the Macdonald Medal
for Leadership. In my final certificate, which I still ha
ve, the departing Principal, L. M. S. Bruce, was to write
that I got the Medal more nearly unanimously than he
had ever known before. I was and am still proud of this.

(Ed: Yesh features greatly in all the documents that
Doreen kindly sent me. I will scan and put up on the
web in due course.)
Your tribute to your English teacher was moving. We
never knew him. In our time Oliver taught us English.
I never got beyond a 4/10 in our weekly essays and
just about scraped through the finals!. Aroo Moolgaker
got a distinction in English Language, which was
quite an achievement.
Glad to know that you are getting out of your winter
Warm regards.

Next major reunion of 59ers

59ers, how about our next major reunion?

Have you considered my offer for the venue in 2004
to be Finland? If so I must get cracking on booking
the absolutely beautiful place on the side of a lake
in summertime when we have 24 hours glorious sunshine.
The place I have in mind can house around 60 couples
- more if we accept dorm style living.

It would be a reunion of a type never before experienced
by any Cathedralite. I shall try to keep the costs to
within about US $ 250 per person for food (breakfast,
lunch and dinner) and accommodation for 5 days (US $ 50 per day),
and including all the amenities at the location - sauna,
barbecue, water and land sports, etc. And I could organise
the services of a great Rock Band - live, so plenty of
dancing possible.

You will have to come well prepared with mosquito repellent
as the size of a mosquito in north Finland during summertime
are about that of a bee or wasp!! :-)

I am sure Viney and Purnima (Mazumdar) Sethi as they have
close relations nearby in Stockholm, and Ajeet (Prof.
Ajeet Mathur) from Tampere (although not a 59er from our
Finland Alma Mater club) will be able to help me out at
the final run-up to the event.

The dates would be ideally about a 5-day period in July
2004 - Thursday or Friday to Monday or Tuesday either pre-
or post- Wimbledon / Test Match as it would be no point
getting stuck in front of a TV when there is glory all around.

We could welcome staff and non-59ers also if they wish
to take the opportunity.

You would have to find the fare to reach from your
location to Oulu (near the Arctic Circle). SAS has
direct international flights to Oulu daily through

If organised properly I can ask SAS to offer a special
fare from Stockholm to Oulu and back as there will
certainly be more than one flight load as they run only s
mall planes to this destination. And maybe Purnima (with
her previous Air India contacts and good contacts in
Stockholm where she was Air India chief for several years)
can help us get a good fare from Mumbai and some point in
US and UK to Stockholm?

If this is acceptable I will set up a separate bank account
where you can deposit the fee at convenient times in
convenient amounts, so the burden is not all at once.
I will ask Ajeet to maintain the accounts.

Give it a thought and get back to me as I have to work
with my contacts at the University to ensure that this
absolutely delightful lakeside place is reserved for us.

Summertime in Finland is so glorious that we really have
to book this 2 years in advance to be sure we get it.

Winter nearly over

Snow is all over the ground still, although temperatures
are slowly heading above the zero mark. Driving is quite
dangerous as under a light snowfall there may be very
slippery patches. I had a nasty fall in my garden just
day before yesterday resulting in a badly bruised shin.

I was also in a car slide the night before. I was turning
a gentle corner when the car just slid with the wheels
locked in the turning position. It jammed into the snow
and was impossible to get out single-handed as the wheels
were turned about 45 degrees, even though I dug out most
of the snow with my bare hands. I called my son-in-law,
Tony, to come with a shovel to dig me out. But a good
young Samaritan with a tow rope in the boot passed by
in a few minutes and pulled me out before Tony could
even leave home!!

Believe it or not - in my 18 years in Finland -
this was my first car snow slide!!

Yahoo Users Beware and be Forewarned

I have it from the grapevine that Yahoo intends to start
charging users to use their, till now, FREE email service.
Try to find another quickly - preferably not hotmail. I
f desperate - contact me and I shall try to get you a
free service from the many I know.

You have been warned.

Best wishes from where spring is just around the corner
- hopefully!!

Jacob Matthan
Savage House Captain 1959
Oulu, Finland

Saturday, March 02, 2002

Newsy Notes 006 - Polar Bear comes out of hibernation

Dear Cathedralites,

March the 1st has just ebbed away and I am coming
out of my hibernation.

"How To Stay Young, Happy & Healthy"

Throw out non-essential numbers. This includes age, weight
and height. Let the doctor worry about them. That is why
you pay him/her.

Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down. If
you really need a grouch, there are probably a few dozen of
your relatives to do the job.

Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts,
gardening ...whatever. Just never let the brain idle.

Enjoy the simple things. When the children are young...
that is all that you can afford. When they are in college...
that is all that you can afford. When they are grown and
you are on retirement... that is all that you can afford!

Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.
Laugh so much that you can be tracked in the store by
your distinctive laughter.

The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only
person who is with us our entire life is ... ourselves.

Surround yourself with what you love, whether it is
family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies ...
whatever. Your home is your refuge.

Cherish your health. If it is good ... preserve it. If it is
unstable ... improve it. If it is beyond what you can
improve ... get help.

Don't take guilt trips. Go to the mall, the next county, a
foreign country... but not guilt.

Tell the people you love, that you love them ... at every

Remember ...

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but
by the moments that take our breath away.

Rider Salmon

I received this message from Rider's wife, Pauline:

Date: Sat, 19 Jan 2002 19:04:00 +0000
Subject: Thank you
To: Jacob Matthan

Dear Jacob Matthan

It was good to receive your very heart warming messages about
Rider's passing away.

He was a fine humorous and loving husband for over 52 years,
so it will bequite hard without him. He loved remembering his
teaching years in Bombay and his pupils there.

Thank you for your words of sympathy and also tribute to him



I placed a picture of Rider Salmon sent to me through Abe
Hayeem in London in the last issue of Newsy Notes. I asked and
got permission from both Pauline, and their son, Luke, to put it
up on our Seventh Heaven website - which I have done.

My wife, Annikki, asked me why I thought so much about
Rider. The answer for me was very easy. I told her that
I had been just one of the thousands of Rider’s students.
When he woke up in the morning after his days at Cathedral
he would never have thought a moment about me. I would
have passed from his memory a few years after we parted

But to me, as a writer, every time I sit down to compose
any piece of writing, just as this one, or edit a technical
or scientific article (which has been my bread and butter
for several years), I would think for a moment about that
tall handsome gentleman with that beautiful smile who
taught me how to compose a decent sentence, express
a point of view, write a line of prose in this language, or
read a chapter in a book and understand its meaning not
only as the words lay on the page but also get the
meaning that lay between the lines.

It is Rider, and John Billington, Willie and Patel (Physics),
OA Gregory (Chemistry) and POP Pharoah and Karkaria (Maths),
who have made me what I am.

Of course, neither I cannot forget the late Mr. Morecroft, no, not for
his side-lock pulling every gym class - but for fishing me out
of the water at Vasind!!

Can I forget such people for even a moment in my life.
Rider taught me that the Wren’s Grammar book was not
the be all and end all of the English language. Rider taught
me to write with my own expressive self.

Above all, Rider taught me when to say “I shall” and “I will”.

And it is the latter expression that has made me what I am today.

Can I ever for a moment forget such a wonderful teacher?

No, not on your life. Although Rider is no more, he will stay in
my memory till the day I breathe my last!!

For that I say, “Thank you, Rider”.

A special message for Californians:

Next week is skiing holiday week here in Finland. Schools
close by rotation starting in Helsinki in mid February and
up here in the Arctic in early March, for a week at a time,
so as to allow Finns and their kids to have a week of their
winter enjoying skiing in the countryside.

In that context here is a word for those of you living near
Hollywood. Annikki’s workmate, a very nice young Finnish girl,
Hannele Leskelä, and her boyfriend, Kimmo Tyni, are visiting
Hollywood as they are keen of seeing what the Hollywood stars are
all about. Kimmo works at Nokia Moibile Phones in Oulu. If any of
you have an evening to spare and you are near the region, they
would certainly like to spend an evening with a "local" family,

Their coordinates in Hollywood are

Hannele Leskelä and Kimmo Tyni,
Best Western Hotel
Hollywood Hills
6141 Franklin Avenue
California 90028
Hotel Tel: 323 - 464 - 5181

and as all Finns, they do have their Nokia Mobile phone. Here is
Kimmo’s mobile phone number:

+358 - 400 - 759638

You can also reach Kimmo by email

Hope they can get to see some of you. Annikki and I would love to
hear about you from them.

Formula 1

Tomorrow morning will see the start of the Formula 1
racing season in Australia. This year we will not see the flashy
Mika Hakkinen. He has been replaced in the Maclaren
Mercedes line-up by another young Finn, Kimi Raikkonen.
Kimi is a focused young man witha truly dead pan Finnish
character. I am sure he will drive well.

But more likely to succeed is the second Finn who is making
a comeback this year driving for theToyota team. Mika Salo
will pull in some surprises as he is a determined driver and
going all out to show the world his real class.

Michael Schumacher and his brother, Ralph, had better
watch out for some aggressive driving by these two Finns.

Messages received:

Prakash Thadani fed me with some data from Mumbai:

Had to tell you of the ROCK Concert last night -2 bands
Pythagorus and Parikrama The crowd was 5000 plus. Age was
no barrier when I heard Pink Floyd - (wish you were here)
& Deep Purple to enjoy any form of music, though Pythagorus
played the latest ROCK Nos. and then a few known old Rock
band tunes while Parikrama played most of their own
compositions heard on MTV and the all time favourite

The Indian Jazz Yatra 2002, at the Rang Bhavan is being
hosted by JAZZ INDIA 22nd to 23rd March featuring the
greatest Indian jazz Musicians. So do try to book your
season tickets in advance.

The Raza celebration of his 80th birthday at the Jehangir
art gallery last week brought together all those who have
his paintings or those who appreciated he work. The
release of a  book with 3 signed prints for a whopping sum
of Rs. 37500, was talked inhushed tones..

A few words by the Master, Raza, and short speeches were
welcome by all who drank fine french wine and ate tasty

The footpaths outside Jehangir art gallery had many
interesting works of art on display. I personally liked
the ARTQUEST stall with bright vivid colours and paintings
on home furniture pricey but still great to create an
impact. The Jewel Gallery also featured some new talent
being displayed on ART PLAZA the open air footpath gallery
now on for the Kalaghoda festival.

The PICASSO show Metamorphoses is still on at the National
Gallery of Cotemporary Art formerly Cawasji Jehagir Hall
opp Regal. NOT TO BE MISSED BY anyone. Take a guided tour.
The guides really gives you an insight into the life of

Sunday is the running of the  Poonawalla Million a horse
race worth 38million bucks. for 3 years old to be run
over 1400 Metres.

There are prizes like a Maruti Car and plenty of gifts
usually won by those who have no clue about the horse
racing scene in Mumbai. One has to nominate the horses in
winning order on a contest form. Sounds very easy but luck
plays and importrant part here. All thanks to the
dynamic Vivek Jain an ex Cathedralites who has
implemented many new ideas . Racing is now a family outing.
One can take your kids to the Mahalakshmi Race Course and
enjoy the afternoon. Kids have amusement rides, and the

Prakash also informed me about the passing away of Miss Oliver
at the ripe old age of 92. Miss Oliver was the handiwork (I think)
teacher in the girl’s school and many of our friends acquired
their cooking skills from her.

Here was an interesting input from Doreen (nee Feibusch) Heimlich
from Clemson, USA.

Dear Jacob,

I had just mailed off an envelope to you this (Saturday)
morning, containing xerox copies of the Cathedral's Prize
Giving Day Programmes of 1949 and 1950, wherein you should
recognize a good number of the names, even though you
are of a much younger vintage. It's interesting to see Ellis
Hayeem's name, and some of the other boys, listed under
the Girl's School, because in those days the Lower School
(Upper K.G., Lower K.G., Transition, and Preparatory) was
"co-ed" -- though in those far-off days we were not familiar
with the term "co-ed." And you should enjoy the listing of
the teachers and the subjects they taught, for the Boy's
School and the Girl's School.  Made copies of the same
items for Gracie Hayeem, but am waiting for her response
to my e-mail request for her snail-mail address, which I
was unable to find on the internet. I don't know how
long this envelope will take to get to you, since I've never
posted anything to Finland before.

For now, my very best to you and your family,


Having received the package, I certainly do have a lot of
material for many Seventh Heavens considering also the great
stuff sent to me by Abe.

This was the input from Viney and Purnima (nee Mazumdar)
Sethi from the USA:

Jakes - thanks for 004....also received 003 after some delay....

Purnima is at present in Stockholm helping her daughter
Shonaar with her 2nd baby girl Sabine (born on 15th Dec.)....
we have recently come back after a 2 month stay in India
(Oct 24th to Dec 25th)...attended the Founder's Day service
after 41 and 39 years respectively!!!!.....what an experience..
.a real "tear jerker" and highly recommended to bring home
old memories and acquaintances.....we were also there for
Diwali and did not get much sleep for 7 days due to the
fireworks.....HAPPY NEW YEAR and our very best wishes to
Annikki and the family,

Viney & Purnima

Abdul Kalam

Recently, one of you sent me an interesting enclosure:

Mr. APJ Abdul Kalaam's speech in Hyderabad. A must
read for every Indian.

I certainly take my hats off to that gentleman scientist for his
forthright views and also the touching story of how his research
helped a little girl get a lighter artificial limb.

However, consider for a moment that story and the issue of patriotism.
If we think that we are Indian, or British, or Hindu, or Muslim, or
Jew, or Arab, or Christian, or set up other man made divisions,
what we face will be turmoil and senseless violence as was
witnessed in Gujarat yesterday.

And just as I was writing this - Kashinath Dandekar sent me a link to
the Times of India article of yesterday which read:

Gujarat school trip that turned into a nightmare



"We saw the city burning, there was smoke all over...
it was so frightening," exclaims 14-year-old Mehak Goyal,
a student of The Cathedral and John Connon school who's
just returned from her Ahmedabad trip.

Mehak and her classmates, around 140 students, were in
Ahmedabad between February 25 and 28 when the city
was severely hit by riots. Theirs was an educational trip
along with nine teachers, which turned into a nightmare.....

Many years ago when we were living in Madras, the Finnish Ambassador
wrote to Annikki saying that she had received instructions from the
Finnish Government that in case of unrest in India she would be able
to get the help of the Embassy for her evacuation from India as she
was a Finn. Annikki’s reaction was simple and straightforward - she
asked the Ambassador whether she would leave her husband and
children behind in the face of unrest just because they were not Finns!!

Many years ago the now Chief Minister of Karnataka made a speech in
the Karnataka Assembly about the “sons of the soil” policy and about
job resevation. I was forced to ask him what son of the soil was I -
my origins are from Kerala, one of my grandfathers was the Chief
Minister of Mysore during the time of the Maharaja, I was born in
Bangalore, studied the second half my schooling in Bombay, did my
University in Delhi and then studied in England, worked for the
British Government in a Research Laboratory and then moved to
Madras with a Finnish wife, two British passport holding children
and two Indian passport holding children. Which son of the soil was I?

Today, I hold an Indfian Passport, my wife, two children and one
grandchild hold Finnish passports, while another two children and
another grandchild hold British passports. Does Abdul Kalaam expect
me to pick up a gun as an Indian and kill my grandchildren just
because they were born in a different country to the one where
I was born?

Brother against brother, sister against sister, husband against wife,
son against father, daughter against mother - is that what life
is supposed to be.

Nobody dies for one’s country - one kills for it.

If we can learn to live as true Cathedxralites, as brother and
sister, respecting all people and their views and opinions, what
a wonderful place the world would be. We would have no need for
nuclear weapons or the research to kill people being conducted
by great scientists as Abdul Kalaam. I hope for that world where
Palestinians and Israelis, Arabs and Jews, Roman Catholics and
Protestants, Hindus and Muslims, would live together as
friends, as neighbours - loving their neighbours as themselves.
Then September 11th can never be repeated. But with divisions and
man made struggle for power, there will be many more September 11ths
and I do not want to wish that on my grandchildren.

Let us learn to live as true Cathedralites - in peace with each other
and not as Hindus or Muslims, Christians, Jews or Arabs, not as Indians
or Pakistanis.

And finally, I thought I would share an appropriate joke that also came
to me in today’s email:

If you can start the day without caffeine or pep pills,
If you can be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,
If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,
If you can eat the same food everyday and be grateful for it,
If you can understand when loved ones are too busy to give you time,
If you can overlook when people take things out on you when,
through no fault of yours, something goes wrong,
If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,
If you can face the world without lies and deceit,
If you can conquer tension without medical help,
If you can relax without liquor,
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,
If you can do all these things,




Jacob Matthan
1954 - 1959
Prefect 1958 - 1959
School Hackey Goalkeeper 1958 - 1959
Savage House Captain 1959