59er Golden Reunion Directory

59er Golden Reunion Directory
59er Golden Reunion Directory

Saturday, October 29, 2005

School viewed from outer space

About 3 weeks ago, 54er Suhas Phadke sent me this fascinating image of our school buildingsas viewed from Outer Space. He forgot to mark the Kindergarten which can also be seen on the image (I do hope that it is still there!)

Click on the Image to see an enlarged version.

Cathedral Schools from Outer Space

The Indian President, DR. A. P. J. ABDUL KALAM, does not seem very happy with this new image service from Google. (Interesting to note how Google's competitor, Yahoo, phrases the URL - india_google_terror.)

In Finland, we can virtually see into gardens via the space photographs. One of these days I will post an image of the famous Kampitie Garden as viewed from space, probably when Annikki has created her artifical Northern Lights show!

Thanks Suhas.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Happy birthday Pushpa

Just under 5 years ago when I was searching the alumni website I came across the name of William Shiri, my Physics teacher. I dropped him an email through the alumini website, when it was possible without having to go through the rigmarole that it has become today.

That was on November 17th 2000.

I received this email in reply:

From: "William & Pushpa Shiri"
To: "Jacob Matthan"
Subject: Re: Wonderful surprise

Dear Jacob,

Lovely surprise hearing from you. What a lot of information about old Cathedralites!

Thank you.

It is great to re-establish contacts with my students from the distant past! I will write a long letter one of these days but wanted to send a quick note to acknowledge receipt of your letter.

We are often on the phone with one of your classmates - Hasnain Chinwalla - who lives in Toronto and has just retired. I have forwarded your letter to him.

Glad to hear that so many of you have had illustrious careers in all corners of the earth. When I registered on the Alumni Page my wife, Pushpa (you may remember seeing her at the church or at the school), suggested that I might hear from you. She is interested in knowing where your sister, Elizabeth, is.

We were both very sorry to hear about your parents. We did meet them once at a church in Bangalore on one of our trips back to India.

Do keep in touch . I hope to hear from Ranjit one of these days.

With regards to both you and your wife (your children also if they are still in Finland),

Willie Shiri

Ever since then, Willie and Pushpa have been in touch with me. We have shared many many snippets of information and helped each other put people in touch.

They are the titular head of "MY" Cathedralite" family.

There should be a generation gap, but Willie and Pushpa are still the same as I knew them in India, Pushpa I knew from Church and not from school, as she was a Kindergarten teacher way back in the fifties.I did not go to the Cathedral Kindergarten, and even if I did, she would have been too young to be teaching me then!

Pushpa Shiri

Today is Pushpa's 72 birthday and I hope all of you will join me in wishing her a very very happy birthday and many many wonderful ones. (I have a feeing that 59er Hasnian Chinwalla was the photographer, but maybe Willie can help me out on that.)

Friday, October 21, 2005

Budni checks in from Pune

I was truly delighted this afternoon when I received this email.

Dear Matthan,

My name is Dr. Behram T. Badhniwalla (Wilson House Batch 57). In school I was 'Budni' !

I used to walk on crutches during our green years. Of course, I left my disability behind in 1959-60 (Praise be to the Good Lord).

Today, my wife, Carmie, and I have retired and live in Pune.

From all the Cathedralites of our generation, and many have met u, the common factor is we both are holding on to our flocks!

We have regular get-together of the Pune Cathedralites and shall revert later with more information!

Cheers for Now


By the way, Budni, I remember you called me Matthan in school (one of the very few who did), but my name today for Cathedralites of all age groups is either Jacob, Jake, or Dead Chicken!

57er Budni was very popular as, despite his crutches, he was always interested to be in the thick of things. I am so glad that he overcame that disability and took up the noble medical profession. I am sure, like Budni, each one of us have many things to thank the Good Lord for!

I am grateful for the picture that I received in his email of a party at Budni's pad for fellow 57rs.

s7ers chez Carmie and Budni

In the picture, at the far right are Kamal and husband, 57er Sunil Sahni, who visited us here in Oulu two summers ago. Carmie is standing in the centre with that ferocious looking tiger skin dress, but obviously purring like a tame cat to guard her black camera case (brilliant deduction as she would not have been carrying a handbag in her own pad). Budni stands behind her to the right. He certainly has very broad shoulders as can be seen from his arms being draped around the shoulders of two huge fellows! Sort of indicates that Budni may have been an orthopaedic surgeon. (Am I sounding something like Hercule Poirot or Sherlock Holmes?)

If I am not mistaken, Londoner architect and musician and singer, 57er Abe Hayeem, is standing between Budni and Sunil. This picture must have been taken when Abe and his group of fabulous musicians toured India earlier this year. Abe (voice, tambourine) sent me a beautiful album of the music of his group called "Treasures of the Rivers of Babylon". It is something I listen to often. The group, besides Abe, consists of Sara Manasseh (leader, voice, dumbuk), David Burman (keyboard), Solomon Elias (mandolin), Saeed Nathan (Druze & Indian flutes, sba'ten), Barry Solomon (voice, oboe, cor anglais), Edward Solomon (voice), Pamela Solomon (voice), Solly Solomon (voice), Ruth Tarzi (voice), Narges Torshizi (tombak), Susan Verney (violin). I believe they have other Cathedralites in this group. You can see and hear of this visit at at their website.

Abe and his sisters and brother (Vilma, Sophie, Gracie and Ellis) have been my very regular correspondents. As many will remember we lost their brother, 49er Benjy, a short while ago.

Others in the photograph certainly look very very familiar, but as dementia has set in, I am sure someone will help me out!

Thank you Budni for checking in.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Yusuf does it again

56er Dr. Yusuf K. Hamied, chairman of Cipla of Bombay, is at the centre of a huge storm on drugs to save people's lives, yet again. Yusuf was at the centre of the storm in providing a cheaper vaccine for AIDS.

Indian Company to Make Generic Version of Flu Drug Tamiflu, by DONALD G. McNEIL Jr., Published: October 14, 2005

"Right or wrong, we're going to commercialize and make oseltamivir," said Dr. Yusuf K. Hamied, chairman of Cipla of Bombay, using the drug's generic name and acknowledging that he might face a fight in the Indian courts with Roche, the Swiss pharmaceutical giant that holds the patent.

Dr. Hamied dismissed that claim, saying that he initially thought it would be too hard but that his scientists had finished reverse-engineering the drug in his laboratories two weeks ago. He said he could have small commercial quantities available as early as January.

Let us stand by Yusuf and encourage him to get that flu vaccine out on the market for the poor people in developing countries.

As I drove along our E4 highway today, I saw one pigeon and one crow which had fallen DEAD by the roadside. (Sorry, no pictures, as the traffic was too fast moving for me to stop and get some shots of these dead birds.)

Avian Flu is certainly on the march!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Other Reunion Reports now ONLINE

After I put up the Reunion Report of 54ers, I was pressed by many who asked me to put up other Reunion Reports that I may have. It provides interesting and nostalgic reading, especially for those who were unable to attend.

As a result, I have already put up 2 Reunion Reports - the 50 year Reunion Reports of the 1949 Students who met in 1999 and the 50 year Reunion report of the 1953 Students who met in 2003.

Many thanks to 49er Yezad Kapadia and 53er Aislynn Moses (née Hyam) who had sent me the reports.

I am now preparing Web Pages of other Reunion Reports that have reached me. Stay tuned as I have several to put online and your classes may be one of them.

If you have a Reunion Report that you would like me to put up as a web page in this Section, please send me a text file (preferably not a Microsoft document but an rtf file would do just fine) of the report.

I will create the web page.

So as to make the report really meaningful, please send me any photographs that you may have taken at the reunion OR photographs of your years in school. I will use as many as possible. A photograph of the authors would also be very much appreciated.

I hope you enjoy this new feature of the Seventh Heaven Blog.

Please do not forget to view Ranko's blog, another Cathedralite from Belgrade, who is making a valiant effort to set up a nice, readable blog. the link is in sidebar of this blog.

If you have a blog meant for Cathedralites that you want listed, please send me the blog address.

Remember - what Jacob does TODAY, the others SHALL DO TOMORROW!

Mr. Salmon, English Teacher d. Jan. 2002

Mr. Rider Salmon, English Teacher d. Jan. 2002

Our great English teacher pictured above, who is sadly no more, Mr. Rider Salmon, would have shuddered at my last sentence.

This is what his wife, Pauline, wrote to me at the time of his passing:

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

And, I was one of his very "lucky" pupils.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Reunion Report - 54ers 50th Reunion

As per popular demand, I will putting up web pages of Reunion Reports which are submitted to me. (A 70er was keen to read the "humourous" reunion report of the 54ers!)

Here is the Reunion Report of the 50 years Reunion of the 54ers which was held in Mumbai in November 2004.

54ers who attended the Reunion

54ers who attended the Reunion

The main report was prepared by 54er Anthony Ramsinh. Photographs came from several sources, especially Anthony and Suhas Phadke, who, with Sadhana Madhusadan and Gracie Hayeem, were responsible for organising the entire event. Included a picture from the inside of the Cathedral which was sent to me by 64er Brinda Chinappa (now Somaya) a brilliant architect who has been doing work remodelling the school and the church.

I was really happy when Gracie sent me an email a few days ago which said:

"Thanks for all these connections Jacob, we are now so much more United."

Can you imagine how chuffed I feel when I get a line like that! It makes all this effort worthwhile.

The 54ers were kind enough to give me a little credit for helping them, especially on the CD which was prepared of the event. I will try to find some way of putting an edited version of the CD online.

Thanks guys and gals.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Reunions THIS year, 2005

I am sure that the passing away of Michael Colaco has got many of you thinking.

Yes, it is important that you attend your class reunion and renew your friendships with those who you shared many years with as close friends, locked up for several years in the same classrooms.

To me, those years in school were not about just studying English (sorry John), Physics (sorry Willie) or Chemistry (sorry OAG). It was about education - learning to live and respect others in all circumstances. Mr. Joe De Souza was instrumental in teaching us how to debate.

Mr. Joe De Souza

Mr. Joe De Souza, our history teacher
who also introduced us to debating

It was part of being part of a team.

That has stood me in good stead all these years - which is the success you share with others on this blog - not my blog, but yours.

Two groups will hold their reunions this year in Mumbai around Founder's Day in November.

The 1955 Group is busy organising its reunion. They have not sought any assistance from me and I am sure those mature gentleman and ladies will find their old schoolmates.

Ther 1970 Group is also holding its 35 year reunion. A list of students that have not yet been traced has been sent to me. I will start my search in a few days.

If you have a class photograph, please, please send me a scan at a reasonably high resolution.

However, if you are a 70er, you could save me some trouble by checking in with me so that I can put you in touch with the organisers.

They have a lively programme organised. I am sure none of you would want to miss it. If you live outside of India, even more important that you get in touch with me quick so that I can give you any relevant information so that yu can organise your ticketing.

Even if you are not a 70er, but know of any, either let the person know, or send me details so I can contact them.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Update on 59ers

Many thanks to 59er Shivi (Rtd. Commander Vijay Shivdasani) for this update about several 59ers:

Vijay & Suchi

Naubir and Aarti Mohinder------They have just returned from Canada and NY where their beautiful daughter works and where Aarti has a sister. I think he visited all the old haunts from his college days, rumour has it he found a few Mohinder look-alike in the vicinity. He did not quite make it to New Orleans that is why he is back and suffering only jetlag.



Piloo Dastur------Last heard from Piloo yesterday – she is jetsetting or cruising in Maui, Hawaii having a ball. She is not wearing the Hula-Hula skirt!

Ramesh Mirchandani------Johnny saxon is Jetsetting also, somewhere.

Piloo, Ramesh

Piloo, Ramesh at a class reunion in Mumbai

Percy and Frainy Mistry----------he is still mysterious and inscrutable. Taken to the Trumpet in a big way and blows it loud and clear! along with his mates in the Jazz Junkies he is blowing to club galleries all over Mumbai and Pune! He has had a lil altercation with his grandfather (clock) recently and retired hurt.

Percy & Frainy

Percy & Frainy

Ashok and Madhu Kapur------they have recently announced that their son Tunnu has said YES to a young lady from Delhi and plans are afoot for the mother-of-all-weddings in November. It seems Tunnu is a chip of the ole block cause Ashok has taken to saying YES to a very successful bank!

Ashok & Madhu

Ashok & Madhu

Ooky & Rifka Elias------they are delighted grandparents twice over and are going great guns with their containers, oops! actually they call them consoles or cabinets or modules, for the telecom industries. Alongwith the Sensex their shares have jumped over the moon.

Ooky & Rifka with me

Ooky & Rifka with me

Arvind and Gita Thadani------last seen in the property souks of Dubai and Mumbai buying up valuable apartments like I buy ‘chana’ me thinks his next destination Manhattan. Think Gita is hereabouts in SE Asian recently on a jaunt while Arvind is doing the Indian rope trick in his 10000 sq foot mansion in Washington. Please do not mention the shanties of maharashtra to him (see below)

Viney and Purnima Sethi-------just had a long chat with Viney who is settled in Alibaug across the harbour from Mumbai in a beautifull bungalow which reminds us of the one he had at Woodland Hills in LA, swimming pool et al. He is now busy shooing away the pigeons who crap all over the place. I did advise him pigeon soup is good for the winter months to come! And to invest in an airgun which the Indian Ordnance has announced that they will dispose of shortly. Not sure he is into crap shooting though.

Arvind, Viney and me

Arvind, Viney and me

Ratan and Niloufer Singara------had dinner with them this week. Their son Fali is into film making and recently made a film about the last Pope and was invited to the Vatican. Handsome Fali has his father’s creative genius and mother’s dash.



Adi Cooper & Phiroz------he is visiting Dubai alone every week recently. Is it called Consulting these days?

Aroon Sethi------drinking the evening away at the Bombay Gym Bar, says he has just made a million in Yemen or Syria or Iraq -forget which!

Apart from all this rumour mongering, I must mention that I did attend a Reunion in Pune recently which was superbly organised by Fleur Ezekiel of Miss India 1959 fame,

Fleur and Manu

Fleur and Manu

on behalf of Salil Fazalboy I think he was a few years senior to us but now looks a few years junior! Cause (our wives may please note) he has remained a bachelor. The Reunion was for all Puniete Cathedralites—I think I qualify on both accounts as I have a shanty in Pune—pls note BTW shanties are IN, cause the Maharashtra Govt eventually gives all shanty owners a palace and our shanty is just behind Aga Khan’s palace.

It was a wonderful evening about 45 Cathedralites there and yes the Class of ‘59 was in full force—besides myself, Vikram Kamdar with his beautiful Miss India Nandini, Khoshru Balsara and his ‘ Efficient Secretary of the Decade’ wife, Inderjit Shah with his wife, Shirisha (Wink - Vijay). He has become quite a poet and was heard reciting Urdu shairies and couplets all evening much to the bemusement of those present cause being Cathedralites naturally they could not understand Urdu. I had not seen Inderjit in 45 years!

We were among some Cathedralites of the Class of the Roaring 40’s and 50’s----- some of them still mewing! The rich’n famous were also there, Rahul Bajaj (Ed: who is a Cathedralite and Stephanian, like me, jacob not Shivi) to drop one name at least in case you actually read this email.

It was an evening of fine wine & dine at the decorated banquet hall of the Poona Club, very generously hosted by Fazalboy.

Gotta go friend I think I have filled you up sufficient--just look at the price of gas! You may like to include this in your global circulation as there maybe more takers for shanties at least!

As ever,

Vijay (Shivi) Shivdasani
Class of ‘59, Wilson House Captain 1959,
Represented School in Tennis, Cricket, Football
Swimming & Tennis Blue from NDA Khadakvasla
At age of 37, Commanded a Nanuchka Class Missile Corvette,
At age 39, Commander of the Indian Aircraft Carrier Vikrant (which is why she is ending up in the Museum.)
A Hongkong diamantaire par excellence.
Tired and Retired now but still able, with a golf handicap yesterday of 18.

The photographs have been added from my archives - some very very old ones - the one of Arvind, Viney and me was taken in Mousouri in 1960 Maybe some of you can update my archives and add a few missing persons to it. Thanks (in anticipation, but I am not holding my breath).

Monday, October 03, 2005

Tributes pour in

Nova Scotia, Ontario, Florida, California, Mumbai, London - these are some centres from which tributes came (from 54ers to 67es) in to Michael Colaco who left us to rest till his Lord calls him up on the Day of Resurrection.

Everyone had kind things to say about Michael, but all were singing the same note as to his talent, his ability to transcend age groups, and also his natural flair as a leader.

He was looked upon by all his fellow choir mates, including me, as our leader as he sang beautifully and from his heart.

As our late choir master's son Romesh (Sunil Velu, London) wrote:

When I was just a treble at St Thomas', there was a game of Robbers and Cops before a Friday practice, and I'll never forget Michael the sprinter thundering from the back of the Cathedral to rescue some fellow robbers at the twisted tree in the grassy area that doubled as a jail. He was my hero from then on. It makes the weak heart at 63 seem even more unfair.

I saw a little more of him over the last couple of years, and he was unfailingly good-humoured and generous in spite of changing circumstances. He was a nice guy.

Michael was more than jut a nice guy to many of us. He was our "voice" leader - something that he did most admirably.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Thank you David

David was quick to send me a very recent picture of brother, Michael, to share with all of you.

It was taken on his 63rd birthday on Wednesday, 28th September 2005, at Cecil Bernard Colaco's residence, one day before his untimely demise.

Cecil is the youngest of the Colaco brothers (late Michael d. 29.9.2005, David, late Alex d. 7.6.2000, Basil and Cecil).

Michael Colaco, birthday 28.9.2005

Outstanding singer and actor from Cathedral School,
Bombay, 59er Michael Colaco, birthday 28.9.2005,
(picture taken by brother David)

David helped Michael change his car tyre in the morning of 29th. He died the same evening at 16:00 hours.

His children, Emma (22), Stephanie (18) and Tim (15) are devasted.

As David said "God rest his soul."

David says that Michael's family will be included in all their family gatherings. They are coming for lunch on Sunday to David's home so that they can receive support and comfort each other.

I hope they will be told that there are so many of us all around the world who loved Michael as he gave so many of us great joy with his beautiful singing and outstanding acting, that we can never forget him.

I, personally, am proud to have known Michael and sung at his side, both in the St. Thomas Cathedral Church Choir as also in our school plays.

Michael passes away

I have the onerous task of bringing you sad news this morning.

Michael Colaco, eldest of the Colaco brothers, an extraordinary Cathedralite who dominated the schools performace in arts with his singing and acting in the latter half of the fifties, passed away in London on Thursday afternoon.

Brother, 59er David, saw him earlier the same day and Michael was fine.

Willie Shiri, from Canada, who reported this to me, suspects that he must have had a heart attack. Michael lived alone in London and was known to suffer from heart problems.

Michael leaves behind three chidren, in their late teens or early twenties. Michael was separated from his wife of many years.

Michael sang in our school operas. His melodic soprano voice which later changed to alto, was the lead voice at the St. Thomas Cathedral Choir.

Michael was always well groomed and he was a leader. Here he is in a picture I treasure very much as he was Wilson House Captain in 1959. (Click on image to see enlarged version.)

Prefects in 1959

Prefects in 1959
Michael is seated on the extreme left

I am sure all of you will join me in sending our deepest condolences to all Michael's family and hope that they bear this loss with strength.

For all of us, the same age as Michael, it is reminder that our Maker may call us at any moment. So be in touch with all your friends and relatives whom you love as time on this earth is certainly limited and we should enjoy each other to the fullest when we have the chance.