Many Cathedralite 54ers had been trying to contact me just before and after Founders Day on November 14th 2004. Because of my being isolated to the world I did not receive any of the messages.
The Cathedralite 54ers organised and held a fabulous reunion - with Sadhana Madhusadan (née Shah) in Pune, Suhas Phadke in Mumbai and Gracie Lerno (née Hayeem) in California being the prime movers.
I did, I must confess, play a tiny part in getting together many of them through my persistent nonsensical postings. I managed to locate several, thanks to inputs from my worldwide source of Cathedralites. For instance, Willie Shiri (Staff, Physics) in Toronto located 52er Atul Shenoy who then provided me contact to his brother, Arun, a 54er, in Florida.
However, it all started a couple of years ago when Antony Ramsingh and I had a discussion online and the idea of the 54er 50th year reunion was born. The ball was taken up by the great sport, Sadhana, who then moved it with all her effort and combined it with the management skill provided by Suhas, to its completion. I am sure many others contributed to its success.
They did have the advantage of Rahul Bajaj helping out in several "small" ways. Sadly, he is missing from the group photo which shows all those who managed to attend.
On this occasion I do take the opportunity to wish Zarrin Aga (née Lam) a very happy birthday. She is the sixth from the left in the standing row.
Suhas has been great as he has prepared a complete dossier of all the members of the class as well as great information about the school and small photographs of many of our staff members, many deceased. Over time, I will use some of them in this blog. Thanks, especially to Suhas, for having taken the trouble to share this with all of us through me.
Antony has written a three part report of the reunion in his style of fun and frolic, something which has not deserted him over the last 40 years. I have archived all the information in my computer. Anyone wanting a copy need just send me an email.
I also want to share some very sad news that was sent to me by 57er / 59er Abe Hayeem. He reported the passing of his elder brother, Bengy.
Bengy passed away on 10 December 2004 after a losing battle with prostate cancer. He attended Cathedral School, in the class of 1949. After completing his Senior Cambridge with flying colours, he went on to take his degree in Chemical Engineering at MIT in Boston. After completing research in Los Angeles, he turned to acting as his real metier, being an excellent singer and entertainer in many languages. He joined the Living Theatre, an avant guard 'underground' Theatre popular in the Sixties. He eventually moved into films and made some iconic 'underground' shorts and documentaries, culminating in a feature length slapstick comedy, from an award winning script in Israel called "The Black Banana". This film caused a scandal in the Knesset, as it depicted nudity in a religious setting - giving it a boost of publicity.
Ben continued his career in films, teaching in New York and Jerusalem, and making forays to Cuba and Mexico. Bengy was buried in Israel. He will be fondly remembered by his family and many many friends for his exuberant personality and his sense of fun.
May I request you all to say a short prayer, not only for Bengy, but for his wonderful famly members with whom we share this loss. The Hayeem family represents a whole generation of outstanding Cathedralites: Sophie, Vilma, Gracie, Abe (school vice captain in 1959) and Ellis (my classmate and a 59er). All of them, without exception, have contributed in many many ways to the Cathedral ideals and kept our school colours flying high all through their colourful lives.