59er Golden Reunion Directory

59er Golden Reunion Directory
59er Golden Reunion Directory

Sunday, December 31, 2006

During the revelry,,,

Please give a thought and say a prayer for one more who has left us.

We just received this from 62er Adil Gandhy:

Dear Jacob,

Just heard some bad news about another old Cathedralite called Danny Hillel.

I think he was from the class of the mid sixties, (exactly which year I do not know.) He has a brother called Henry who is a very senior Rabbi in Israel, who was in my class of 1961-62.

Danny apparently died yesterday (30th Dec) in Goa, where he had been living since many years apparently.

Since he had no living relatives living with him in Goa, the Israeli consulate flew his body down to Bombay, where a local Jewish friend named Solomon Sopher took care of the rituals & rites and he was interred in a Jewish cemetry here in Bombay today morning (December 31st 2006).

My friend Reuben Solomon of Manchester just called to give me the news and asked that I pass it onto you so that many other friends of Danny would come to know through your Blog.

May his sould rest in peace.


Adil Gandhy

As we take time to wish you into a New Year, we hope all of you will stand in silence remembering many of our friends who are no more and we pray for their relatives who will remember them as the old year passes on and the New Year leaps in.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

35th year reunion

I am extremely grateful for Rajesh Jhaveri for submitting the 35th year Reunion Report of the 71ers.


The 35th reunion of the 1971 batch from Cathedral was held on Saturday the 23rd of December 2006 at Red Light (Khyber restaurant).

Scheduled so as to allow out of towners to return home the same evening, it was probably the longest brunch that most had ever attended, kicking off at 11am and stretching till 5pm, when the restaurant’s manager had to politely usher everyone out.

The venue, a nightclub, was decorated with streamers in the colours of the school and the four houses. Nostalgic ‘60’s hits piped from the speakers as each of the understandably hesitant at first ex-Cathedralites entered, introducing themselves with shrieks and squeals of joy, surprise and delight to their classmates, some of whom they were meeting after 35 years!

As a joke one ‘Cat’ even took another’s name to the consternation of all!

The familiarity of old established, everyone exchanged stories of the paths they had taken since leaving school, half a lifetime ago.

Reminiscing about the good old days brought back memories of an era when one had few cares in the world except having to pass exams and deciding what to wear to school socials.

Out of the 100 odd batchmates, 50 were contactable and 42 attended, some with their spouses.

A few of the absentees, who lived overseas, expressed regret at being unable to make the trip.

Despite an immense effort, it was practically impossible to trace the other 50, comprising mostly of ladies who’ve probably changed their surnames and addresses after marriage.

It will take a detective with worldwide reach to search for and locate the missing ones.

The jovial attendees more than made up for them with unbridled exhilaration fuelled with a little help from the bar’s spirits. The merriment reached a peak with a full throated rendition of the school song sung to a remixed track and some frenzied dancing as ‘Sounds of Silence’ gave way to Bollywood remixes.

After a late, late lunch, a minutes silence was observed for the 5 souls who had been prematurely snatched away.

A T shirt was distributed which bore the school’s logo (it took a week of constant phone calls to get permission from the principal to use it) and ‘Class of 1971 Cathedral & John Connon School’ printed on the front side in the school’s traditional purple colour.

The 3 (Arts, Biology & Maths) class photos were printed on the back.

Eventually everyone stumbled, slightly inebriated, out into the real world back to the present from the past after promising to meet again in five years for the 40th reunion, reluctantly bringing an afternoon of unparalleled fun and joy to its end.

Such truly wonderful and memorable moments are to be cherished.

Thank you Rajesh, and I hope you will send me some more photographs to put up on the Reunion site.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Great greetings

(Cross-posted on Jacob's Blog.)

Annikki and I got some outstandingly beautiful, some really deeply emotional, and many other types of greetings this year. Each one was viewed and appreciated.

As a tradition as of today, every year we intend to pick out the most unusual one for the blog.

Here, in our legally non-binding, uniquely humble and completely personal opinion, is our choice of the possible winner for this year, which choice may be modified if anything seemingly more unusual is received during the following days of the year, or even during any subsequent period, if it can been shown that it was dispatched during this current year, 2006 and relates to the current year:

Holiday Greetings to everyone !

I wanted to send some sort of holiday greetings, but it is so difficult in today's world to know what exactly to say without offending someone. So I met with my lawyer yesterday and on his advice I wish to say the following:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender neutral celebration of the winter/summer solstice holiday, practised with the most enjoyable traditions of religious persuasion or secular practices of your choice with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or other traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.

I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2007, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make our country great (not to imply that it is necessarily greater than any other country) and without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms...

This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawals. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others and is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.

Yours in spirit.

____________ _________ _________ _________ _____
Cosma Papouis

Thank you Catherdralite 54er Zarin Aga for sending us this!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Incomplete list

My list people (in the previous blog entry) from whom we received season's greetings was totally incomplete. The list was just too long to add to one general posting which I had made for all the blogs.

I hope this one of Cathedralites alone is bit more complete.

I am sorry if I missed anyone, but I have archived a lot of my post and my computer is a bit sluggish today:

Staff: John Billington
49ers: Yezad Kapadia, Naval Patel, Sheila Vaney (née Contractor), Peter Vaney
52ers: Atul Shenoy
54ers: Rahul Bajaj, Suhas Phadke, Sadhana Shah, Nilina Parker, Gracie Hayeem, Armaity Patel (née Mody), Nilina Parker, Saleem Fazalbhoy, Zarrin Aga, Indira Subramaniam, Rumy Kapadia
55ers: Buuny Rao, Usha Shroff (née Shah)
56ers: Meena Bhat, HS Uberoi, Joan Austin, Doreen Hemlich, Rishad Talyarkhan, Suguna Ramanathan (née Iyer), Silloo Captain (née Mistry), Dina Daver
57ers: Fleur Ezekiel, Budni Behramwalla, Abe Hayeem, Homi Commissariat, Herbert Vaney, Tom Peters, Phiroze Dastur, Aubrey Ballantine, Arun Mahimtura, Tom Holter, Jimmy Patell, Charu Shah
58ers: Suresh Peter Philip
59ers: Vijay Shivdasani, Viney Sethi, Hasnain Chinwalla, Jack Haskell, Armeane Choksi, Narayan Acharya, Piloo Tata (née Dastur), Ramesh Mirchandani, Naubir Mohindar, Sudhir Anand
60ers: Sheikh Zahur(Mehfooz Ahmed), Cynthia Wilson (née Abbot), Claire Knight (née Pharoah), David Keidan
61ers: Adil Gandhy
63ers: Ranko Ivancevic, Billy Kapur, Kishore Shivdasani, Alenka Breznik (née Miovic), Anjali Puri, Eddie Pettersson
65ers: Jimmy Uranwala
67ers: Anita Watumull, Shobha Jhunjhunwala, Dori Schmetterling
68ers: Tarun Kataria, Kapil Mathur, Ravi Nangia
69ers: Barbara Rossi Montevecchi, Prakash Thadani
70ers: Pranay Shah, Amita Maliye
71ers: Rajesh Jhaveri
72ers: Ajeet Mathur, Bonnie-Preeti Singh
82ers: Priya Malik

Thank you all and have a great 2007.

Merry Christmas to all our friends

(Cross-posted on all our major blogs.)

It is Christmas morn. Annikki and my email Inboxes are filled with greetings from all corners of the globe.

63er Stephanian Ajay called me on a Skype video link from his farmhouse in Lund, Sweden. (I was able to see him, but as I am still having a problem finding an economic web camera for my Apple Mac, he could not see me!)

Chaff participant Kannan, who is taking his mother on a pilgrimage called us from Kashi, Varnasi, India.

Chaff participant Tingting checked in from her home town in Northeast China where she reported all the shops were open and brimming with customers.

63er Stephanian Aftab Seth (the twin brother of Roshan Seth who acted as Nehru in the movie "Gandhi") from Japan, 66er NCRTer Christie Robert from Malaysia, 60er Cathedralite Mehfooz Ahmed from Saudi Arabia, 62er Ranko Ivancevic from Cerbia, 95er Oulu University Ramesh Devu from Silicone Valley, California, USA; from India - 57er Cathedralite and 61er Stephanian Ashok (Tony) Jaitly (retired Chief Commissioner in Kashmir) from New Delhi, Cathedralite 59ers Viney Sethi and Vijay Shivdasani from Mumbai, cousin Satish Abraham from Kerala, Catheralites 43er Naval and 54er Armaity Patel from Mysore, etc...., from Finland Rotarian Ville Suomi, Women's Empowerist Ildiko Hamos, Chaff participant Pekka Keranen and family, on and on.... were among those who shared their greetings with both Annikki and me.

This made us feel profoundly humble that so many hundreds of you, of every age group, took the time to share your thoughts of the season with us.

On our part, we have made it a tradition to ask a couple of young foreigners who have no family here in Oulu, to join us for our very simple Christmas meal.

Year-before-last it was a young Tanzanian lady, Christine. Last year it was Kannan. This year we called two youngsters, Benjamen Hayes and Kanchan Gupta.

Benjamin is from Australia. He has been here for a few months. He is all what I call Australian, friendly, outgoing, understanding and a lovely human being.

We have a rule in our home that no gifts are exchanged at Christmas. For us, the time for giving is not one day, but the whole year.

Despite this, Benjamin brought me a CD which he cut of some of really best jazz tunes he has collected. Even as I write this I am listening to the CD "Jazz for Jacob". Forever-lasting melodiies, oldies rendered by many great artistes, as George Benson (Eternally) and Diana Krall's "Cry Me A River".

There is beautiful message on the back cover:

"And promise will come
To those whose kindness,
Leaves you without debt,
And bends the shape
Of things to come,
That haven't happened yet."

These are words of the New Zealand pop star Neil Finn, whose career from 1976 till today has been an inspiration to many, including me.

We had also asked Indian newcomer to Oulu, Bihari Kanchan Gupta, to join us. Unfortunately, he went for a walk on the previous day, fell and hurt his hand. He obviously consumed an overdose of pain-killers, which put him to sleep.

When I rang his doorbell to pick him up, and also rang his mobile several times during the course of the evening, he was in deep sleep and dead to the world.

He woke up after our meal was over, just about midnight, telephoned us, apologetic, but sadly, he missed a feast!

Annikki's mother, now 86, was also in a festive mood wearing the elf's hat, as she enjoyed what delicacies that were on offer.

I prepared the turkey. As I was thinking what filling to make, Annikki, as usual, came up with a most humourous and unusal suggestion. We had a box of chicken wings on the shelf. She suggested I stuff the turkey with that.

We laughed our guts out.

I had fun making a new Christmas dish, roast turkey stuffed with chicken wings beautifully flavoured with herbs and light spices carried in plenty of onions!

The meal was fully traditional Finnish in other ways.

The menu: Apple juice and orange juice to accompany Christmas brown bread made with a trace of molasses syrup, pickled herring, salted salmon slices, freshly tossed salad, potato salad, mushroom salad, turnip casserole, carrot casserole, roast potatoes, and, of course, the roast turkey stuffed with chicken wings! Afters were whipped cream with chocolate swiss roll and Annikki's own Christmas cake, full of all the rich dry fruits. Coffee to end the evening.

Mika, had his fill as well. Annikki's brother, who lives as a hermit in the forest, also landed up on the doorstep. Annikki put him to sleep in the cellar. He slept through the meal but enjoyed it later!

It was a true Christmas spirit as Benjamin had a tour around Annikki's garden and enjoyed the humour and simplistic creativity and beauty of what makes us so happy, day-in and day-out!

We finally thanked our Creator and Maker for all the simple things in life which make us so happy.

But, this year we dearly missed our grandchildren, Daniel, Asha and Samuel, who are holidaying in Florida with their parents!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Canadian 59er hits Mumbai

The success of the Seventh Heaven Blog has been mainly due to the input received from Cathedralites all over the world.

Toronto, Canada: 59er Hasnain Chinwalla (left) with
our Physics teacher, Willie Shiri, when he
delivered flowers and a bottle of wine on
behalf of 59ers on Willie's 80th birthday.

No one has contributed more than 59er Hasnain Chinwalla (Chin), who during his visit to India last year got me some absolutely superb photographs from the alma mater as well as many shots from Mumbai.

One of Chin's shots: This is of the school front.

I still have not used up many of his photographs.

I had an email from him a few minutes ago that he is once again in Mumbai. I have asked Rajesh Jhaveri whether he can cover the 71er Reunion which is tomorrow, as I will be sure to get some great photos.

Also, I have sent out an email to all 59ers in Mumbai whose email addresses I have so that Chin could meet up with them and I can get a file full of recent photographs of our classmates.

My mouth waters at this thought!

Monday, December 18, 2006

35th year Reunion of 71ers

I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the 71ers will have their 35th year reunion on the 23rd December 2006 in Mumbai. Here is the anouncement:

Forthcoming Reunion

Class of 1971 Reunion on Saturday, 23rd December 2006

The Class of 1971 is having a reunion brunch from 11.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. on Saturday 23rd, December, 2006 at Khyber - Red Light, Kala Ghoda, next to Rhythm House, Mumbai.

For further details, please contact Rajesh Jhaveri

Date December, 23 2006
Venue: Khyber - Red Light, Kala Ghoda, next to Rhythm House, Mumbai.

December, 2 2006

Please contact for further details.

If you do not have Rajesh Jhaveri's email address, send your email to(jmatthana@gmail.com) and I will forward it, pronto, to him.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Budni proposes a concept

57er Dr. Behram Badhniwalla (known affectionately as Budni), the man behind the 57er movement, sent me a very interesting email.

I will post the entire idea he suggested. But before that, I thought I would give you my take on this.

You are free to enter comments on the idea by clicking the Comments Button at the bottom of this blog entry. Positive and negative comments are welcome, so that Budni can then draw up a Master Plan so as to vitalise all Cathedralites, Past, Present and Future.

Budni's first premise is absolutely correct. Not all Cathedralites are from the "super-rich" class or even the "rich" class. Most of us have come lower and upper middle class backgrounds and most of us have entered and worked our professional lives so as to earn, save and enjoy a reasonably good life.

Budni's second premise is also very true in that good health is vital, but for circumstances beyond our control we could land up in a hospital and then be stung for doctor and hospital fees far outside our financial capabilities.

Living in Finland, where we have universal health care, it is something I would not worry about myself. Also as 99.9% of Finns belong to Unions, and Unions, such as mine, give me comprehensive Travel Health Insurance (100% cover) even after I have retired, should I travel to India and fall ill, I do not really have to be worried.

However, how many can boast this level of cover? Not many outside Scandinavia.

Budni gave me an example how, when he fell ill just a few days ago, even though he knew the doctors and the hospital was one he has good contacts, his bill for 6 days in the hospital was Rs. 24000 (Euro 500) after discounts.

That is a hefty sum for anyone from the lower middle class.

Budni's concept is to start a Cathedral Medical Foundation.

This is part of what he wrote (his full concept follows later):

Remember all of us are not covered by insurance so if we can create a Medical Fund in India, by voluntary contribution and make a Trust. The trust funds are handed over, to some good hospital (Like Jehangir Hospital in Pune or Bombay Hospital/Breach Candy/etc, etc with a provision for free/very nominal cost treatment for any Cathedralite over the age of 60 years.

This idea has given a great and new focus to the Reunion Plans for 57ers. It will not just be a question of getting together, but to focus the energies of a group of intelligent 57ers who have lived active lives around the world on a concept to help those Cathedralites who could be in need of assistance at a crucial time of their lives.

Although Budni focused on the benefits to those who may need access to such a FUND, my take is that it could be the motivation for more of our students to get involved with the noble profession as they spread themselves around the world and bring our Cathedralite morality standards to bear on their communities.

And here is Budni's post:

"The Cathedral Medical Foundation”

The Class of 57’s gift to all Senior Cathedralites

The greatest gift our batch can give back, to our Alma Mater is a Medical Foundation, for the senior citizen Cathedralites, globally.

For a long time it has been on my mind, about a year ago I did mention this to someone from our batch!

This suggestion is based on the fact that today hospital admissions in India and overseas cost an arm & a leg. Although overseas Cathedralites do have state medical benefits, but the period of waiting is far too long for major surgery and a private surgery would cost both arms & a leg overseas. This is also true in case of medical admissions.

Today India is advancing in professional management of the medical fraternity. In fact the new fast growing business is ‘Medical tourism’, combining medical treatment in India + a short holiday, post - treatment! For the overseas chaps, it falls far cheaper than a private treatment in their current homeland. So with this concept in mind, I have been toying with this Idea, for quite some time, for us middle-class senior citizen Cathedralites!

Remember all of us are not covered by insurance so if we can create a Medical Fund in India, by voluntary contribution and make a Trust. The trust funds are handed over, to some good hospital (Like Jehangir Hospital in Pune or Bombay Hospital/Breach Candy/etc., etc., with a provision for free/very nominal cost treatment for any Cathedralite over the age of 60 years.

My seniors & teachers taught us medicine, where, the patient came first, then the financial benefits. Unfortunately this is not true today, and it is honestly a business & no more a profession. So what happens to a not so affluent person? I am sure many of us may have experienced the dilemma!

Looking back retrospectively many of us at school did not necessarily come from affluent families. Many of the cathedralites specially the Anglo-Indians & others were on free or on scholarship! Adding up all these factors, many of our chaps are still not very well financially, I think a Medical Foundation for the senior citizen cathedralites, would be an excellent venture, and a gift from the Class of 57!

Take my own example lately I had to be admitted once again for COPD and peripheral cyanosis. One full day in the ICU & 2 days, in a private room cost Rs.31.000/-. Thanks to J. Jehangir, (Ex-Cathedralite), I paid only Rs.24,000/-!! (Hey JJ, Carmie & I deeply appreciate your kind gesture!)

Please don’t misunderstand me - I am not, for one moment crying poverty, Carmie & I are very comfortable with our finances, but I know for sure, in the days to come people like us, both here in India & our overseas chaps, can easily get wiped out on medical expenses. So why not find a self help solution...and extend it universally for all Senior citizen Cathedralites?

It is not how affluent one is, but how much one has to spend on each admission. This is the key question and how long will our funds last?

We can raise funds thro various means, like in 1982, I did a musical show "An Affair to Remember", at the Rang Bhavan for the Handicapped Children of Mumbai i.e., "The fellowship of the Physically Handicapped" also known as FPH (Opp Haji Ali). I had raised in those day approximately Rs. 165,000/- for the FPH. (That was a lot of money in 1982)

We can have sponsors, fashion shows & we can start an active voluntary participation by all of us. Please also remember some of our teachers are still alive over “80”++, who could benefit!

There will be many of us who can contribute – I mailed this to our Jacob Matthan. He was quite taken up by this idea, and is coming back to me, as also work out a P.O.A.

People could toy with this IDEA a little more - and come back and surprise me ;-)

I am going to try, and do my best to make this a success. I am quite a determined chap. U must have judged me by now, and as more heads are better than one, people let’s all pitch into this project together, for one can achieve the impossible, if we stand focused & united.

Please also remember some of our teachers still alive over “80”++, who could benefit!

I know, as in all major achievements there is bound to be oppositions. Well, all I can say is if we keep politics out and some serious search with in, there will be more light in our lives! The modalities could be discussed later!

I would be the first to commit Rs. 100,000/- towards this trust and that is my word!

People, nothing is impossible!

Impossible is a routine affair if u have experienced living on the edge, it is those ‘miracles’ which take up extra time! Specially if u believe in the good Lord himself!

If I did not believe in this, maybe I would still be an old man hobbling on crutches!!

So till u all come back on this....take care & stay healthy!


"...maybe I would still be an old man hobbling on crutches!!"

Budni in 1956 - note a crutch under his arm.

Those words went straight to my heart.

I remember Budni, on his crutches, in school, taking part in everything he could take part in. He was there at the Lemondrop Cricket competition cheering his team. He was here, there, and everywhere.

Budni with his charming and beautiful wife Sheila Carmelita.

Who would have believed that Budni would ever throw them away, become a doctor and serve the people with such devotion.

May I suggest that all of you take this suggestion seriously and work on it, so that within the next 10 months we have a concrete plan to work on.

This is not something new or unusual. The Plastics Institute, of which I used to be a member from 1963, had a Benevolent Fund especially meant for Senior Citizens.

All it needs is the courage and drive of people like Budni to make this take off and fly.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Reactions flow in

After I posted the web pages of the reunion of 56ers, along with a 2 hour slide show, I have had many tens of interesting and highly positive comments flow in. Doreeen, after travelling halfway around the world after the event, emailed me even before she had got over her jetlag!

56er Chitra Ashokkumar (née Bhogilal), daughter,
Nandita, and grandaughter, Anjali (8).
Photo by 56er Doreen Heimlich (née Feibusch).

From the collection of lovely photographs she sent me I chose this one of three generations of a 56er - Chitra, her daughter and her granddaughter - as that is the true spirit of Cathedralites - family values which bind us together as human beings.

One 56er emailed me that he had been sceptical about attending the reunion as what would a group of kids who knew each other 50 years ago have in common today?

The answer he got was more than just positive.

It is indeed most interesting that everyone who attended enjoyed themselves enormously. Every email I have received from those who were present said that the reunion was outstanding. Meena and Ubi outdid themselves in perfection. The hosts spared no effort and money to make sure that each event was top class. And the dramatic entrance of Muku at the opening event showed the character behind us Cathedralites.

I spent a few minutes, actually an hour watching the video of the 54er reunion, which Sadhana Madhusadan (née Shah) and Suhas Phadke had kindly sent me. (I did get a mention in that too!) It had been an outstanding reunion. As things stood it was the best that had ever been held.

Now, 57ers Budni and Fleur are racking their brains as to how they can make their better (not necessarily bigger).

Photographs and comments from around the world are still pouring in. Pictures from other year groups are also pouring in. My email is alive and buzzing.

But the real value of the web posting was that several who had not been able to attend, as well as several staff members, who remembered all these guys when they were kids, enjoyed this presentation.

I just had an email from Priya Malik, daughter of my classmate 59er Head Girl Harmohina Malik (née Uberoi) who is organising the 25th year reunion of her class. It will take place on 16th December 2006 (5 days hence) - and I wish it all success.

Of course, several ideas to make the 57er Reunion next year interesting come to mind - such as getting 57er Johnnny Jameson of Warwickshire and England to lead out a team of Old Boys to play against the School IX!

I am, however, not letting on the secret plans of the 59ers. We were, are and will always be the BEST! :-)

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Slide Show of 56er Reunion

Finally it is finished!

Combined Group Photo of 56ers at their 50th Year reunion.

With 56ers Ubi and Meena working round the clock at the Mumbai end, and with me thumping away at my Macintosh, I am glad to say that I have been able to create the web pages of almost 200 images taken at the Reunion of the 56ers held between the 7th and the 14th of November 2006.

You can also see the permanent link in the column at the side of the main entry.

The two written reports of the reunion submitted by Ubi and Meena are also on the Page 5 of these web pages.

If you click on any thumbnail you will be able to sit back and enjoy a slide show of these 200 images. I have set a 7 sec gap for slide changing, but you can see additional controls above and below the images.

It is interesting to note that each year the reunions are getting more and more intensive as each year tries to outdo the previous one.

The 57ers led by Behram Badhniwalla (Budni) and Fleur Ezekiel in Pune are very far advanced in organising their reunion for next year. They are going to have a tough time trying to meet the standard set by the 56ers.

I hope my fellow 59ers will outshine all else, especially as we have the power of the Internet behind us.

In order to make the 59ers Reunion in 2009 the most outstanding, some decisions have to be made. We have a head start on everyone else as we have had 2 great reunions already (1989 and 1999).

Now we lead all others with our internet contact.

Using me as the link coordinator, we have to start working NOW.

59ers Piloo Dastur, Elijah (Ooky) Elias, Ashok Kapur, Anjula Mansukhani, Viney Sethi and Vijay Shivdasani, all in Mumbai, have been nominated (by me) as the Primary Organising Committee.

Assistance could be provided by Renuka Batliwala, Adi Cooper, Vikram Kamdar, Venkat Kurma, Delbar Mendis, Ramesh Mirchandani, Percy Mistri, Phiroze Mistri, Naubir Mohindar, Vijay Nayar, Farahana Poonawala, Anil Ruia, Indarjit Shah (Pune), Ratan Singara, Gita Vasvani.

International assistance could be provided by

John Beddow (Australia),
Abdilwahab Zayani (Bahrain),
Hasnain Chinwala (Canada),
Shabir Ahmedbhoy (Karachi),
Bashir Currimjee (Mauritus),
Sudhir Anand, David Colaco, Deepak Kaikini (UK),
Narayan Acharya (née Seshachar), Armeane Choksi, Noel Ezekiel, Jack Haskell, Ellis Hayeem, Peter Miovic, Arvind Thadani (USA).

Two 59ers who should be invited are 1959 School Captain Bhupinder Singh Anand and School Vice Captain Abe Hayeem.

Family members of those who have left us should also be invited to attend our reunion.

Respected staff members such as Shiri, Pande, Gregory, Patel should also be invited to attend te Reunion.

If we start now, and set up a budget, we should be able to organise a reunion which like all that we have done in the last 55 years will remember unsurpassed.

We still have to track about 35 missing 59ers. If someone will provide me a list, I will try to track them down.

Come on 59ers - let us wake up!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Hundreds of "Returned Messages"

As expected, my mailbox is full of "Returned Messages" due to changes in email address, Inbox Quota Limit exceeded, and some who do not accept Bulk Mailings. So winter email address cleaning is now in process.

I was glad to see that I got through to many whom I wanted to.

Johnny Jameson, who played for England and Warwickshire in cricket, read the Christmas Message. This made me look back in my Archives to see that I had received this message from him last September:


You may use the photos on the Seventh Heaven Cathedralite Blog.

I was in Savage House. My memory also confirms that the House Master was Timmins?? Not sure of spelling although I could look it up in my photo album.

I left Bombay to come to England in 1955 – July. 1952 to 1954 I was at Sherwood College in Naini Tal.



I remember very vividly our playing hockey and cricket with John in 1955. His spelling of Derek Timmins name was correct. (Wouldn't I like to get a look at John's Photo Album!)

Here come those from John's Album pictures which had been kindly sent to me by 57er Budni.

The face of a great Savage Cathedralite.

John at the Taj.

John's family.

Please keep sending me those pictures from YOUR Albums.

Newsy Notes: Season's Greetings and Email Validation

Sunday, December 3, 2006

(Click images to see enlarged version.)

Dear Cathedralite,

Season's Greetings to each and every one of you from Annikki and myself from the land of Santa Claus.

The greetings come to you from Santa Claus himself!

This year, the Seventh Heaven blog has been extremely active, thanks to some wonderful photograph input from 59er Hasnain Chinwala, like the one above.

From the 1958 hockey team photo.
56ers Ubi, Jimmy Tata, Staff Member Mr. Pande and 59er myself (on the floor).

The blog was also very active due to the intensive campaign by 56ers Ubi and Meena to get a good turnout for their 56er Reunion. That was a blast.

The 57ers led by Behram Badhniwala and Fleur Madnani (née Ezekiel), both located in Pune, have been working hard to get their base active for their 50th reunion.

The Class of 58 has been remarkably quiet. To tell you the truth, I have very few 58ers in my email list. I do remember many of the names from the Class of 58, eg., Jaffar Hussain, Peter Philip, Rosario, Gupta, etc., and I do have a list of some sorts. If any of you can fill me in on the whereabouts of any of the 58ers, I would be greatly obliged.

The Mumbai 59ers, my usual crowd, have also been very quiet this year. I do hope Vijay Shivdasani, the spark of life of our group in Mumbai, is actively planning the best ever get-together for our 50th year Reunion in 2009.

There may be some clash, as the School is planning a great do for the 150th Founders Day Celebration in 2010.

Mrs. Meera Isaacs, Principal, receives Best Teacher Award
from the President of India APJ Abdul Kalam

Mayhe the 59er Reunion Organising Committee should work with Principal Meera Isaacs to kick off the 150th year celerations with OUR Reunion and end it on November 14th 2010!

It may also be prudent to work with the 49ers who will be planning their 60th Year reunion in 2009. Yezad Kapadia and Naval Patel are two active 49ers. I am sure that they would love to join up with us 59ers.

The email version of this blog entry is going out to over 3000 Cathedralites in all corners of the globe. If, by chance, you get more than one copy, please let me know which is your preferred email address. I will know from the bounces how many of you have not taken the time to let me know that you have moved. Usually it is about 25% of my email addresses, but I certainly hope it is is less.

From the Return Receipt I will also know those who do not want to read these once a year newsletters to wish you the very best for the new year. I will take these people off my list. So no need to let me know separately to take you off the list.

In the email, next to your first name, which I am using to address you directly, you will find a number indicating which year you left school - eg. Yezad 49er, Sadhana 54er or Jacob 59er. If the number is incorrect, I hope you will spare a few moments to email me and tell me exactly which year you completed school. If you stayed onto do HSc, please give both years. If you were Staff or became Staff after studying in school, please also let me know.

This information will help many of the Organisers who are planning their class reunions. I will not have to wade through 3000 email addresses to prepare the lists for them.

The 49er, 54er, 56er, 57er, 59er, 63er, 67er, 69er, and 80er lists are fairly comprehensive, but I may have made mistakes in classification, so do help me out.

Another thing you could do is to let me know which House you belonged to, whether you were School Captain, School Vice Captain, House Captain, House Vice Captain, Captain of any particular team, Prefect, or any other data you think shows out your standing in the school. This may appear that I am focusing on leadership and sports, but that is not the idea. If you shone in the School Final exams, that also would be of great interest to me.

If you did not get the email, it will be obvious that you are not on my circulation list. If you want to be on it to receive my very occasional postings, please email me giving me as many details about yourself that you would like to share with others.

Our apologies to those who did not receive our 2006 Cake Calendar as there were about 100 or so lost in transit, some to Canada, but most of them sent to Central Europe.(It appears the Chinese Stamps on the cover were too tempting!)

Annikki and I, pictured above, wish you a very prosperous 2007.

Jacob Matthan
email: Jacob Matthan

Saturday, December 02, 2006

56er Meena reports in....

I must thank 56er Meena (née Lele) for sending me the 50th year Reunion Report of the Girls who were in Mumbai during the Founders Day Week.

I am able to add a couple of photographs of the staff, most probably of the 56 era, from my collection.

1956 Girls School Staff members.

1956 (?) Boys School Staff members.

Dear Friends,

Two weeks have passed since our wonderful farewell dinner at Patsy (née Dubash) and Pallon’s house, and I am sure the euphoria has now disappeared as we return to the normalcy of our lives. Speaking for myself, it was an unforgettable week.

The auguries were not good. Two weeks before the party began, Muku (Hamied) flew back from a Goa holiday with multiple fractures of the knee and shoulder, and Suguna’s (née Iyer) husband Krishna underwent surgery to pin his broken femur. Chitra’s (née Bhogilal) husband, Ashok, also gave everyone a fright, but we are happy to know he is on the mend. But the ice was well and truly broken and the party generated warmth from the moment that Muku was wheeled in to the Cabbage Patch on a gurney! It was a moving moment. He was co-hosting the first party, it is true, but his heroic gesture in putting in an appearance almost straight out of the hospital was spontaneously applauded by all present.

The next morning, bright and early, the ‘girls’ drove off to Pune for two days of bonding at Patsy’s Pune home. Paulette (née Glover) and Doreen (née Feibusch) had not come back to India in the intervening years, but they reverted to their old ties as if they had never been away. Ruma (née Ghosh) and Razia (née Quamarain), who had left in the 7th and 8th had had reservations about how they would gel, but amid all the “do you remembers” they picked up old friendships.

The visit to Patsy’s Stud Farm a bit of ways out of Pune saw Rajni (née Shivdasani) come into her element. She knew the names of all the sires and dams and looked over their progeny with an expert eye! The rest of us just looked with awe at the magnificent equine specimens. Silloo’s (née Mistry) Italian menu dinner and Meena’s Maharashtrian one offered contrasting cuisines. Mention must be made of the inspired impromptu recreation by Thrity (née Vazifdar) and Ruma of the Marathi folk dance we had performed in Std.6.

Work took Ruma away on our return to Mumbai, but we had a good representation of boys and girls at Chitra’s wonderfully filling High Tea on the 11th. As you must have heard from Ubi (Uberoi), the boys had had a bonding session at Iqbal’s on the night of the 9th and we heard that it carried on late into the night. It was also the night on which the boys managed to entice Michael (Tahseen) out of his self-imposed seclusion.

Rajni and her daughter Kaajal, had made meticulous arrangements for our transport to Kihim the morning of the 12th and the day was spent is the lap of luxury with food and drinks being served from the time of our arrival till the time of our departure. Kudos to both mother and daughter who had planned the whole affair down to the last detail-- music from the 1950s being piped over the PA system all through the day. The music had been ordered by Rajni, but supplied by Ubi and Meena!

The highlight of the festivities must surely be the party of the 13th at the Yacht Club hosted by Ubi, Ranjit (Matthan), and Sohrab (Kapadia). An attempt was made to recreate the atmosphere of the school socials and it was a huge success. The DJ, the balloons, the drinks and the splendid dinner made everyone nostalgic. This party was special for it was attended by Kirti’s (Doongersee) sister, (54er) Pushpa, who provided the cake for dessert, Tara’s (Malkani) wife (Baby) and son (98er Aditya), and all four of Fulmala’s (née Sagar) children (Kunal, Maneesha, Rahul, Mallika) and her brother too. More especially, Michael’s wife and daughter, two wonderful people, dragged Michael out of his cocoon to join his classmates. And he really enjoyed himself. We are not going to let him slip back into oblivion again!

Founder’s Day with all its solemnity and its moving service caused many a fumble for tissues. The Choir was magnificent, given all the odds against enticing boys in for practices when there is competition from exciting things like cricket! Then came the class photograph. The boys all came formally turned out, Iqbal (Chaiwal) made it in time for the snap all togged out in a superb grey galaband . Mention must be made of Suguna who flew in from Ahmedabad in time for the Service, the contributory lunch at the Bombay Gym and then flew back to be with her husband by the evening flight. Muku and Suguna quietly emphasise the pull exercised by old ties and we salute their efforts.

Then we knew it was time to say goodbye as our friends started packing their bags and checking their schedules. But there was one last splendiferous bash at Patsy’s. As usual, she and her husband had pulled out all the stops to make the evening a memorable one. There was ‘live’ music, singing and dancing and even the partings were made without too much emotion. It was an Auf Wiedersehen, with everyone’s eye on the 150th anniversary of the founding of the school that falls in 2010. That’s when we will all meet again.

A word about the Yearbook. It took me a year and a half to compile and gave me immense pleasure, with only the occasional vent of frustration. Please forgive me all of you for hounding you in the way I did, but you must concede the entries not only reflect what our classmates did, but also what they have left unsaid or only obliquely depicted. So we can spend the next four years, till our next meeting, playing detectives and finding out more about our friends. Thank you, all of you, for making this Reunion so special and unique.

Meena Bhat (née Lele)

Now, I await those photographs of their Reunion so that I can put the entire 50th year reports (Meena's and Ubi's) in a permament place on the Internet alongside those of the 49ers and 54ers.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Thank you 56ers!

(Cross-posted on all my major personal and alma mater blogs.)

Monday, November 27, 2006

(Click images to see enlarged version.)

Dear Class of 56,

I proudly wear YOUR Tee-Shirt.

Editorial page from Class of 1956 Directory, 2006.

To quote from the editorial page of your Class Directory:

To Jacob Matthan go immense thanks for the support of his blogsite and his indefatigable research.

Thank you, Meena, for writing these words which will be remembered by my children and grandchildren for another 50 years at least, even though none of them had the opportunity to be Cathedralites.

I do hope that I have instilled some of the “education” that I received from my glorious alma mater to these two generations of my immediate family.

You 56ers have made today of my most wonderful days of my life.

Courier Post this evening brought me the Class Directory and two absolutely precious Tee-Shirts.

Cover of 1956 Class Directory, 2006.

I offered one to my better half, but she said that they were for me.

Annikki & me, Rauma, 2006 October.

Of course, she told me not to wear it as I usually do, as I am, at this tender age of 63, in the habit of spilling my tea all over the front onto my large paunchy area.

When Ubi forwarded me the Reunion Report, my eyes were moist with the tears of joy and sorrow that welled in me. I was especially moved by the news of how Muku, another one of my heroes, came to the reunion get-together. His CV in the Directory explained to me the character of a man I admired in school.

I especially remember when young Aditya Malkani read about his father on my Seventh Heaven website (April 2001), well before it was made into a blog.
From: "Aditya Malkani"

Subject: Re: Picture Champion House 1953

Mr Mathan,

It was great to recieve your email.

I went to your very impressive web site and saw the picture from 53.

I almost had tears coming out of my eyes looking at pictures of my dad and reading about names that i had heard him mention so often.

I am currently a third year in Oberlin college and i will be graduating in may of 2002.

I have several school pictures from around 1956 that my father kept in good condition, if you like i can scan them and send them to you when i return to Bombay in July.

I wish in thirty years from now our graduating class of '98..manages to keep in touch, the way yours has.

Thank you ever so much for allowing me to learn more about my father's younger days.

aditya malkani

When Doreen discovered me and entered into a beautiful relationship, I have enjoyed every moment learning about her life and her family.

And when Ubi entered into my life via the blog, I was so thrilled to be in touch again with someone so immensely dedicated to the school, that it was my greatest pleasure to fulfil his every desire towards making your reunion a success.

And from all the accounts that I have received, it was.

When I received the Directory and turned open the cover and found the mention of ME in the editorial, Annikki and i were so overjoyed that we have still not stopped talking about it.

I explained to her about so many of the personages contained therein, many of you whom i remember so vividly.

Ubi was my hero, but that does not detract from the enormous respect I hold for so many of you who used to be willing to give time to us kids to help us.

What I learnt from many of you is what i practice on my blog.

I do hope that as many of you will send me photographs and details to share with over 3000 Cathedralites from 1945 to 2006 who tune in to this blog faithfully to see what YOU have to say.

I hope that you will allow me to be part of your 60th Reunion!

Thank you 56ers.

Jacob Matthan
Kampitie 6 B
90150 Oulu
Tel: 041 - 7067788
email: jmatthan@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Anyone have need of two extra "right arms"?

57er Behram Badhniwalla (more commonly known as Budni) just gave me the fantastic news that he had located 57er and Savageite Ramesh Punwani.

In an email entitled "Solving The 57 Savage House Mystery!" a few weeks ago, 56er Ubi had written:

Dear Jacob,

The 57 Savage House Captain was Ramesh Punwani!

I got this information from the 57 copy of the Old Boys' School magazine "The Borderer".

(54er) Pushpa Bhatia has so very kindly made bound copies of The Borderer issues 50 through 57! She has also given me copies of some fantastic old photographs.

Incidentally Photo 25 from your album is Mr. McKenzie. (Ed: The name was D. D. Mackenzie. Anyone else who can fit the names to the photographs in the album will be suitably rewarded!)

Jacob, do you or any of your readers have copies of any 57 school photos and a copy of The Borderer year 57.

I would give my right arm for copies!!



You can get two right arms if you can send ME those old photos! :-)

Monday, November 20, 2006

56ers Reunion Report

56er H.S. Uberoi has not been far behind 69er Prakash Thadani on feeding me on the happenings in Mumbai of last week. I am greatly flattered for the compliments (which I hardly deserve). But thanks, anyway.

Our School and Church on Google.

Click on image to see an enlarged version.

Dear Jacob,

It was a year and something when I first wrote to you planning for the 50th anniversary of the class of 56. I can’t believe that I am writing to you today to give you details of the class reunion we had between 7th and 14th November 2006.

I would like to begin by saying that the reunion would never have been possible without the great efforts of those who took the trouble to be in Bombay. Especially those who came from out of Bombay and abroad at great expense and effort.

Our thanks to them.

The anniversary celebrations got under way on the 7th of November 2006 over dinner at the “Cabbage Patch”, Willingdon Club. The event was hosted by Muku Hamied, Iqbal Chaiwala, Dina Daver, Khadija Sarela and Rima Kashyap.

Muku had, a few days earlier, a serious fall, when he fractured several bones in his right arm apart from several other injuries. Poor Muku had to undergo surgery to set his fractures right and had to be hospitalized.

As the classmates of 56 began to gather for this inaugural dinner of their 50th anniversary, an ambulance drove up near the venue and out came Muku, on a hospital geurney!

A very dramatic entrance by a gracious host, who despite his serious injuries made it to the class reunion.

How’s that for commitment to the old school spirit that you wrote about recently!

The ambience of the Willingdon Club lawns, soft music in the background, fairy lights in the trees, set the tone for a perfect opener for the reunion!

The class of 56 set about renewing friendships, some after 50 years!

The wine and excellent cuisine,and the excitement of classmates trying to recognize faces of their youth!

The next morning the girls set off on their own to Poona to renew and review old relationships.

On the 9th night the boys met, while the girls were away in Poona, at dinner at the elegant home of Iqbal Chaiwala and his charming wife Almas. They graciously hosted the dinner with some excellent Muglai fare. The boys, with some of the spouses present, let their hair down and had a great evening. The surprise of the evening was the appearance of Michael Tahseen. He had kept a studied silence for long time and decide finally to join in!

Well done Michael!

The girls returned from their trip to Poona on the 10th of November.

11th November, we were hosted to a high tea by Chitra and Ashok Kumar in their lovely garden. It was a delightful evening, with all the classmates of 56 now in full swing of things, exchanging old tales. It was evident that all awkward silences had given way to animated revelry. Even the spouses had shed there inhibitions and were a part of the meeting of old friends.

Early on Sunday, 12th November, we gathered at the private boat jetty opposite the Taj Mahal hotel, where our hostess Rajni Anand and her charming daughter Kaajal were waiting to board us onto waiting speedboats to take us for the day to Alibag.The class of 56 was treated to an absolutely wonderful day in the palatial home of friends of Rajni.

Her hospitality was indeed superb and gracious. The food and drink were exquisite. The boys and girls of 56 relaxed and caught up with 50 years and more friendship as the music of the 50s set the mood.

We returned from Alibag early evening after a wonderful day. Ranjit Mathan, his wife Thangam (who could not be with us), Sohrab Kapadia, his wife Mahroukh, my wife Bubbles (NOT Dimple, as erroneously mentioned by Prakash Thadani. Dimple is my sister) and I hosted the dinner on 13th November, at the Royal Bombay Yacht Club.

The Yacht Club has an old word charm about it, being an old heritage building. Ranjit, Sohrab and I decided to recreate the “school social” type of an ambience for the evening.

We therefore had special balloons made (courtesy Ranjit) in the four House colours and the School colours, with the school crest printed on two side and with the inscription “Class Of 56”.

At least two thousand of these balloons decorated the halls and floor of the venue.

We had a DJ, who had instructions not to play any other music except my collection CDs of 50s music! We had a separate room for dancing and the buffet/sit down dinner was in a separate room.

The “school social” theme was a great hit and the floor was on fire with jive and rock and roll!

Well and truly was the class of 56 immersed in the nostalgia of the 50s.

As much as it was such a great joy to renew old friendships, there was sadness too, of not having with us some our classmates who were no longer with us.

Tara Malkani,our Head Boy, sadly passed away in May 1994. He was represented by his wife, Baby, and his son Aditya. Kirti Doongersee, we lost on the last day of school 1957 (after SSC) in a tragic accident.He was represented by his sister Pushpa. Fulmala Sagar, who I know was looking forward to this anniversary,was snatched from us in May 2005. Representing her were her children, Kunal, Manisha, Malika and Rahul. We also remembered with sadness, Roshan Khurody, Nalini Shah, Arjun Daryanani and Jeffrey Downey. Ashok Chawla is one more who has passed on.

14th November, Founders’ Day,took us to the St.Thomas’ Cathedral for the Founders Day service. Thanks to the kind courtesy of the Principal, Mrs Meera Isaac, we were allotted the front pews. The class of 56 looked resplendent !

It was a lovely service and I dare say quite emotional for us, who had left school 50 years earlier!

I am told that the girls went through several handkerchiefs each!

I would be lying if I said the boys were unaffected. There were quite few wet eyes! I know that whilst singing the school song that there was a catch in my throat when we reached “Pens will be driven by new boys in classrooms…..”!

Quite amazing that the parents of a girl of 56 were married in the St.Thomas’ Cathedral, she was baptized and confirmed there!

The Head Girl of 56, Amarjit Kulwant Singh (née Anand) read the lesson.

From the Cathedral we moved on to the middle school for tea and a class photograph.(Jacob, I pause here to tell you that I shall send to you the photographs that were taken during the week, in the next couple of days.)

After the photographs,the group was taken on a conducted tour of the schools.

This must have been very interesting especially with each one recalling who did what in which nook and cranny!

We then proceeded for the contributory lunch at the Bombay Gymkhana.

Till that morning we had 11 takers. By the time it got to about 1330 hrs. We were 23!!Obviosly the reunion had kicked in! (Suguna Ramanathan flew in that morning from Ahmedabad and flew right back after lunch.)

The final dinner was hosted by the gracious Patsy and Pallon Mistry at their beautiful home.The class of 56 was bit somber and mellow that evening at the thought that it would soon be over!

The music and gracious hospitality lightened moods as everyone broke into impromptu song and dance!

After a magnificent dinner the gathering talked about how the week had gone and how marvelous it was for everyone to have met after so many years.

As some of the class had in fact to catch flights that very night, we bade goodbye to each other with heavy hearts, but with a promise to meet again soon in the future!

The reunion was over!

What next? Talking to Mrs.Meera Isaac,the Principal, she suggested that as the the school was planning a big celebration in 2010, the school’s 150th anniversary, we should plan our next reunion then. This was discussed with the classmates and it was agreed that we meet next in 2010, if not earlier.

Meena, please get started again!!

We produced a yearbook of all the class fellows of 56 we could possibly think of , with their photos “then” and “now”, with brief biographical statements on each person. We also produced commemorative T shirts with the school crest and the inscription “Class Of 56”. Both these items were very popular.

Jacob, thank you very much for all your help. If it was not for you we would not have had so many of our classmates here.

I am sending to you by courier a copy of the yearbook and two XL T shirts for you.

I give below the names those who attended the reunion of the Class Of 56:

  1. Amar Kulwant Singh (née Anand)

  2. Amin Jaffer

  3. Chitra Ashok Kumar(née Bhogilal)

  4. Dina Daver (nee Billimoria)

  5. Doreen Heimlich (nee Feibusch)

  6. Ernest Haskell

  7. Iqbal Chaiwala

  8. Jane Bigg (nee Simon)

  9. Joan Densham (nee Meyers)

  10. Khadija Sarela (nee Haveliwala)

  11. Koshu Jain(nee Israni)

  12. Meena Bhat (nee Lele)

  13. Michael Tahseen

  14. Muku Hamied

  15. Navroz Badhniwala

  16. Patsy Mistry (nee Dubash)

  17. Paulette Harte (nee Glover)

  18. Pradeep Anand

  19. Primla Madhok (nee Kapur)

  20. Rajni Anand (nee Shivdasani)

  21. Ramesh Gupta

  22. Ranjit Mathan

  23. Rima Kashyap (nee Savara)

  24. Razia Grover (nee Quamarain)

  25. Rishad Talyarkhan

  26. Sherna Kotwal (nee Tarapore)

  27. Shyam Chainani

  28. Silloo Captain (nee Mistry)

  29. Sohrab Kapadia

  30. Suguna Ramanathan (nee Iyer)

  31. Thrity Saraf (nee Vazifdar)

  32. Waseem Brelvi, and

  33. H.S. Uberoi



It is my turn to say THANK YOU to Ubi who has become my regular and highly informed correspondent out of Mumbai. He has helped correct me on facts and figures, which, sitting 7000 km away, is much appreciated.

Ubi, along with 49ers Naval Patel (Mysore) and Yezad Kapadia (Delhi), 54ers Suhas Phadke (Mumbai), Sadhana Madhusadan (née Shah) (Pune) and Gracie Bent Lerno (née Hayeem) (California), 57er Behram Badniwalla (Budni) (Pune), 59ers Vijay Shivdasani (Mumbai) and Hasnain Chinwalla (Toronto) and 63er Mithoo Malani (Florida), 69er Prakash Thadani, plus our indomitable Physics Teacher Willie Shiri and his wife Pushpa (Toronto), and a few others from around the world whom you see posted in regular postings (Abe, Barbara, Ranko, Shoba, Shyla, etc.), form a cadre of on-the-spot reporters which has kept this blog so vibrant.

You do not have to wait till the next Founders Day to be in touch. Send me what you want to express, and I will ensure that you get the exposure.

Of course, I would be greatly honoured if our School Headmistress would grace these pages with a short speel - on any topic of her choice.

Anyone willing to work on this project?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Mumbai Update from 69er Prakash

Thanks to 69er Prakash Thadani for this report from Mumbai about Founders Day Alumni Dinner and some other items. Thanks Prakash for the superb presentation. I am sure Cathedralites around the world, like me, will wish that they had been there!

Dear Jacob,

How are you & Annikki?

Trust this finds you and your family in the best of health and spirits. The lovely calendar you sent still sits next to my computer.

One hectic weekend over with the Alumni Dinner to celebrate Founder's Day.

An enthusiastic dedicated Alumni team worked together to ensure that function was well attended and that a good time was had by all who were there.

The venue Blue Sea at Worli Sea Face, the sea in front with a cool breeze wafting through. Beautiful decor by Nazneen & Perrine Irani. Balloons in Purple, Black & White. The flower arrangements were something to enjoy and appreciate on every table with a candle tee light. Reams of tissue in Purple, Black and White criss-crossing the ceiling of the air conditioned room.

The food was, as expected, delicious: bit sized boneless chicken in a thick gravy, sarson ka saag, makhani dal the dum biryani crisp freshly baked nans at the tandoor, and for the calories concious, a noodle counter, all made by the internationally famous Copper Chimney Kitchen.

Deserts were kulfi and falooda, the rabri was missing. Tiramisu and Blueberry mousse in shot glasses.

From the Class of 1969 there was Sunita Struck from Germany accompanied by her elder brother Pratap Kamal Kavarana, with her sister Roxanne, Sheba Thomas (née Eapen) Shekhar Shah, Anil & Honey Harish and, of course, Gopika Saran & Shyla, Naushad Patel and their daugher Alisha.

Prakash Thadani (class of 1969) was at the entrance welcoming each and everyone checking their invites and seeing if they had filled out the forms and requesting those who hadn't to fill it out. Pens were kept at the desks.(Efficiency & fore-thought)

Over 450 people turned up while the Alumni Committee Rohita Doshi (née Chhaganlal), Shyla Boga Patel, Chitra Rajkumar, Sonal Modi, Rajeev Bhatia, Meil Phatak (née Saigal) Dr. Anand Shroff, Firdausi Jussawalla aided by the dynamic Gopika Saran, very efficiently handled the brisk sale of the invites.

Many sizzled the floor with their graceful moves. Towards the end of the evening a younger crowd hung on till 2 am and the Alumni Committee left the place by 2.45 am after taking the banners, boxes, and email forms collected at the entrance. The slips collected will go for the Alumni database and hopefully all will soon receive emails regularly. (A complaint heard very often from many that they don't know what's happening as snail mail is not being done now.)

The DJ played music for all ages right from the 50's to the 21st century Rap that is loved by all youngsters of today.

One noticed several pregnant ladies accompanying their husbands, admissions round the corner, better get to know Mrs M. Isaacs before the baby arrives. Even those parents who recently have had babies were there coming in their chauffeur driven cars all to network and see what their peers have been upto, even though the valet service provided by the Blue Sea was excellent with ample parking on the sea face.

Rohita Doshi the current Alumni President, gave a small speech thanking all the sponsors. A lucky draw was held, Mrs Nargolwalla drew the lucky slip of Hrushit Bhat, who won a return ticket on Goa Air the newest no frill airline promoted by the Wadia's of Bombay Dyeing.

Mala Dayal (class of 1970), looking really graceful, accompanied her brother Ajit and sister Sunita Karna from Bangalore. Others from Mala's batch were Havovi, Amita Maliye

Monica Vaziralli (class of 1968) made a grand late entrance with some stunning Jadhao jewllery, bright canary yellow spaghetti top a thin flowing knee length skirt. In contrast, her daughter, Payal, was in a very traditional attire with a Bindi and her husband Akshay in full black. Black seemed to be the in colour for many of the young men in attendance.

Several former teachers who came included Mr. Pande, Dr. Chand, Mr. Sharma, Miss Hallegua and Mrs Nargolwalla and her husband.

The Class of 1956 had all of them mingling with the younger lot of ex-Cathedralites. They were all with H.S. Uberoi and his wife Dimple. Their turnout at the church service on 14th morning was very noticeable as they sat in the front pews. The Church service was again a very memorable morning, followed by a tea and the Alumni AGM at the Middle School on Tuesday 14th. The school choir sang hymns, school prayers with much passion and feeling that touched all those who heard them,

Ratan Lalkaka, was accompanied his old friend Naresh Maniar, down in Mumbai from the US. Vinod Nayar and wife Joanne, sat with 59er Renuka (née Dhanrajgir) & Ratan Batliwala.

Youngsters from all batches who attended to meet drink and dance the Saturday night away, were Sharan Jagtiani, Ruchika Bhojwani, Namita Devidayal, Prat Motwani, Anushka Pinto, Uraz Bahl, Zahan Batliwala, Tarun Thadani, Ranjana (née Kamlani). Reyna Jagtiani with a crew cut mentioned she was playing great music at a local Lounge. Vidur Sood was there from the US. Gulu Watumull hung around the bar while receiving endless calls on his mobile. Our Congress M.P from Cathedral Alumni, Milind Deora, was also in atendance with friends.

Other Cathedralites who made the effort of attending were, Ashok Kurien, Nawaz & Gautam Singhania with sister Shefali, Dinky & Navin Sadarangani, Tanya (née Godrej) and husband Arvind Dubash, Pherosa Godrej with her kids, Navroz and daughter, Gayatri & Atul Ruia, Madhoo & Anand Shah, Rajeev Samant of Sula Wines.

Sula wines had donated their white, red and rose wines for consumption at the dinner. Rajeev has been in the news lately for aggressively promoting his brand of Sula Wines with grapes grown only in Maharashtra.

Rajeev Bhatia was seen distributing his planned proposal for the plans of the future plans of the Alumni. Its fund raising, aims, aspirations and intending help for the school.

Reliance Telecom had also put up a stall to promote thier Reliance connect the wire free internet connection now freely available in India.

The elegance and style at such an event was clearly evident, no hiccups, no throwing up youngsters, everyone smartly attired. No press cameras and NO TV personel for Page 3 coverage, A few photographs were discreetly clicked by an inobtrusive cameraman. But this time one noticed a lot of interaction. Exchange of cards, people all talking about what they do their work, asking questions about school, more aggresively than ever.

A great fun time was had by all those who came. This clearly indicates that the Alumni Committee will now annually plan to hold a dinner for the Founder's Day Celebration after the resounding success of this evening.

69er Prakash Thadani

PS : One thing that wasn't done: NO SCHOOL SONG WAS SUNG as everyone was too busy networking !

Footnote :

1. Theobroma, the food of the Gods in Greece. This new deli has taken Mumbai by storm. Run by a Parsi husband & wife team they make great snacks and have a very small 4 table coffee shop on the border of Cusrow Baug opposite the Hanuman Temple.

2. The Lavage quiches, croissants and delightful pastries are a rage with everyone. They have also introduced dips, humous and other novelty foods that others have missed out.

3. Anushka Jagtiani will sing as the 2nd act on the opening day of the Jazz Utsav 2006, She is going to do a blues act Eta James style with some other Cathedralite musicians. Jazz Utsav 2006 organised and hosted by Capital Jazz will be staging a 3 day Jazz Festival at the Bandra Amphitheatre Landsend from the 1st of Dec to the 3rd. 6 foreign groups from Europe and 3 Indian artists will perform. To open the Jazz Utsav we have Gary Lawyer, India's most well known western music singer.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Poem by former Cathedral School Teacher

I must thank 54er Gracie Bent Lerno (née Hayeem) for sending me this poem by our former Cathedral School Teacher. I hope the pages are readable.

Dear Jacob,

Felt you would like to read Veronica [ley] Mahdusadhan's impressions of Independence Day this year. She had entered this poem in a Contest. Have to find out if she won!

Perhaps you might remember I had mentioned her before as a Kindergarten teacher the same time I began teaching and she became my Mentor. She also taught Barbara Rossi!

She lives in Poona and is now 80 years old! Does not have a computer. We should try to get someone to help her to get one and then she could be on line!

It would be great if this coiled go on your blog!

Soon it will be another school reunion. Yours has not arrived yet. Is it the year for my brother Abe? I have lost count.

Many greetings to Annikki.

Take good care.


Click on images to see enlarged versions.

From Cathedral Sch...

From Cathedral Sch...

Hope you enjoy the poem.

I was not brother Abe's classmate, but younger brother Ellis's classmate (59er).

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Dinner Dance in Mumbai

This is an email I just received from the Administration of the Cathedral School Alumni Committee.

Dear Alumnus

Due to the tremendous response we have received for this year's annual Dinner Dance, we have increased the limit of guests for that evening.

We expect to have great evening like last year. This year, in addition to some great wine and food, we have some spectacular gifts, kindly sponsored by some Alumni.

Thus you still have a chance to get your donor cards. Contact any one of the Alumni Committee members or the following.

Gopika Saran +91-98195-13698
Rhythm House, Kala Ghoda, Fort Mumbai

Office of the President Rohita Doshi
Ruby Rele +91-22-30281250 Ext. 60
Art Point Gallery Chowpatty +91-22-2369-4417

from Monday Nov 6th.

Please procure them to avoid disappointment.

The rate is Rs. 850/- per head alumni & spouses/partners /friends are welcome at the same rate.

The venue for the Dinner Dance is : Blue Sea, Worli Seaface, Mumbai

Date : Saturday, 18th November 2006

Time : 8.30 p.m. onwards

Look forward to seeing you.

Seems that this is going to be the culmination of a great week.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

One more picture of Narayan Acharya

The last picture I put up of 59er Narayan Acharya (née Seshachar) was truly BAD. Sorry - but my camera is falling to bits!

To redress, I hope this one conveys a slightly better impression!!

Narayan Acharya (née Seshachar) 2006 November in Oulu, Finland.

Narayan Acharya (née Seshachar) 2006 November in Oulu, Finland.

Note that his facial features have not changed in 47 years.

Great guy.

Deeply moved

Today is Founders Day and the Church Service at St. Thomas Cathedral should be starting in a few minutes.

I got this email early this morning from fellow Savageite and my former School Captain, and one of my few idols: 56er HS Uberoi.

Dear Jacob,

Just read your blog entry of Sunday 12th November.

We owe you a huge debt of gratitude!!

I have already made plans to send you the details of the week of celebrations that started on 7th November. As soon as 14th November is done I shall send you full details of each and every function, photographs of all (that were possible) the 56 classmates "then and now"! I shall also forward to you the photographs taken at each function. A copy of the Yearbook, and XL size T shirts produced for the occasion will also be couriered to you.

Do you want any for your wife or anyone else?

The Reunion has gone absolutely dreamlike so far. We too had our share of shouting and slanging prior to the week commencing! True Cathedral Spirit. We did sort out all the differences also in the same spirit.

More later, and thank you for your good wishes which I shall convey to all concerned at this evening's dinner where we are expecting 70+ people!


It is not very often that I develop goosepimples.

Here I am sitting in a cold cellar (about +17 C) at 4:30 am, in my lungi and shirtless, my pot belly representing my years of computer staring, and I am covered in them, not because of the -10 C outside, but because of a feeling of being one with all my Cathedralites, from 45ers to present day boys and girls who take the time and trouble to write to me.

When the 54er Sadhana Madhusadan (née Shah) and others honoured this blog on the CD made of their reunion two years ago, I was deeply moved.

Now, I thank this 56er for giving this blog such kind words.

When I looked in my 56ers photo file, I only had one solitary picture. (Maybe this situation will change in the course of time!) It was a scan of a letter from a 56er from the US who had sent a beautiful gift for Annikki and me.

Letter from Doreen Heimlich (née Feibusch)
Click on image to see an enlarged readable version.

This is what she wrote to me in August of this year about attending the reunion:

I finally overcame my demons about the horrors of the long flight to Bombay, and made my bookings to fly there for the Class of '56 Reunion in November. Will break my journey by spending two nights with a friend of mine in London on the outbound trip, and about two weeks in London on my return from Bombay. This, so that I can see my Aunt, who lives near Bristol, for her 93rd birthday at the end of November, and attend the wedding of my cousin's granddaughter in Harrow on the 2nd of December.

I think I mentioned to you that in anticipation of my trip to the Reunion, I had my knee replacement surgery last October (had put it off for 6 years), and three weeks ago, I went under the knife again for an abdominal (ventral) hernia surgery, which I'd put off for four years.

Am making a good recovery from both those ordeals.


So you can see how important a class reunion is to many friends around the world. Although I am 7000 km away, I too am there in spirit and through the many blog readers who are representing me out there!

Remember this blog is NOT ME - IT IS YOU!

Have a great reunion 56ers.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


(Cross-posted on my Jacob's Blog.)

The Cathedral School Founders Day programme will take place on the 14th and several reunions will take place. (I have been especially involved with the 50 Year Reunion of 56ers, and may I wish them all a very very happy reunion!)

I am hoping that the Reunion Reports will be sent to me so that I can blog them.

This last week, I went through a reunion after 47 years when Narayan Acharya (née Seshachar) took the trouble and made the time to visit me at this Arctic location. Ooky (Elijah Elias) is the only other classmate who has visited me here.

It was wonderful to establish a one-to-one reunion with Narayan. Narayan joined school only in the 10th Standard and so was not a full-blown Cathedralite. He came from a great school run by American Jesuit priests in Jamshedpur, so Cathedral was not the "cat's whiskers" for him.

He made a few friends. He lived so far away from school, at Khar, that he could not take part in all the extracurricular activities which were part of our enjoyment of school.

But, as I remember, Narayan's entry to our class had a profound effect on the top echelon as he was a brilliant student, topping almost in every subject. His brilliance really shone when he topped the entrance exam to the Indian Institute of Technologies a little later in his life.

His likes and dislikes were based on his short exposure to the school, and were quite different from mine.

Our week together was really great as we exchanged opinions, agreed on many subjects and disagreed on many. We shouted at each other and on one occasion, when we had dinner at an Indian Restaurant, and we were the only customers late in the evening, we went at each other with hammer and tongs. It was great as it showed our Cathedralite upbringing in that we could argue on issues and not take offence!

This is something a Class Reunion does not accomplish. I have attended our class reunions in 1989 and 1999, and they were great events. (I do wish Shivi (Vijay Shivdasani) would send me the video and snaps from the second event!)

But there was no possibility to get to know each other as I got to know Narayan during his visit.

He went with Annikki and me to the Loy Krathong Festival, he saw the sights of Oulu as only I know how to show them, he met many of my friends, my adopted children (that is those who have adopted Annikki and me), and he even had dinner and listened to a lecture about Australia and the English Club of Oulu.

Like me, Narayan is a Jonah and Murphy’s Law follows him everywhere. His trip to Oulu was eventful with a series of mishaps, so much so that I went to the Railway Station several times and could not find him, till he finally found a landline phone to ring me. Most public phones in Oulu are dead as almost everyone has a mobile!

Narayan, for all his brilliance, has stayed away from new electronic gadgetry.

When I invited him here, I did not expect that Oulu would be anywhere near wintry conditions, but a few days before he arrived, we were hit by a blizzard and the temperature dropped sharply, so much so it appeared to be already mid winter. Narayan coped rather well in these conditions. I did feel sorry for having dragged him here under false pretenses.

He was able to see Annikki's Winter Garden.

This year we have a long boat - several metres long, and a lighthouse in front of our Thai Pergola! (More creations will appear shortly!)

Even before we both realised it, the visit was over and he took the train to Turku to catch the ferry to Stockholm, the train across Sweden to Malmö, the crossing to Copenhagen in Denmark, and the long journey from there to Frankfurt to take the flight to Philadelphia.

Thank you Narayan for coming and sharing your time with me.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Winter grips Oulu early; Cathedralite visits Oulu

(Cross-posted on my Jacob's Blog.)

Last Thursday we were hit by a blizard. As it ws still October, Annikki held out saying it was still autumn and this was something known as autumn-winter. She recalled having experienced snow in Oulu as early as the 1st of September.

It took me about half an hour to drive the 2 km from the City Centre to our home.

Come 1st November, Annikki announced that it was now winter, and the snow all around was sufficient proof to anyone that we were right in the middle of winter.

The tree in our garden was covered with berries. (I must apologise for the quality of the pictures taken with our crummy camera.)

Above is a picture of the berry tree against a dark night sky pre snowfall.

And here, above, are a couple of snaps the same berry tree after our blizzard a day later.

In real life it looks great to see the beautiful red berries being preserved with a thick layer of snow!

I invited a Mumbai Cathedralite classmate, whom I had not seen for 47 years, to visit me in Oulu on his way back from Bangalore to Philadelphia.

Narayan Acharya was known as Seshachar when he was in school. He joined school in the middle of our 10th Standard, and hence did not find friends easy to come by. But he was a really brilliant student and topped our class in almost every subject. (The last fact I did remember about Narayan was that when he sat for the entrance exam to the Indian Institute of Technolgies, he topped the list of several thousands who sat for that exam.)

A few years ago, when I was searching for classmates, I found someone by the name of Narayan Acharya, as I had been told that Seshachar had changed his name to this. So I emailed the gentleman. I found Seshachar's cousin who goes by the same name. Through him I got our Narayan onto our class mailing list.

After a rather eventful journey, as Narayan seems to be like me as far as travel is concerned (we both are living proof of the truth of Murphy's law), Narayan reached Oulu safely last night.

We have been catching up on our intervening years.

It has been a bit here, there and everywhere, but it has been really great meeting up with him.

But I digress.

When I invited Narayan I told him not to be worried about the cold, as November is usually not that cold. When he landed here yesterday the temperature was around -11 C.

He is going to experience one of our coldest Novembers.

Those who remember Narayan will think of him as being a small chubby person. He is now a handsome gentleman, standing quite tall.

I will have a picture of him in a couple of days, and hopefully, one of the two of us together.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

My 80 year old Physics teacher sent me this

(Cross-posted on my Jacob's Blog, on the Oulu CHAFF Blog and the St. Stephen's Kooler Talk Blog.)

Willie Shiri lives with his wife Pushpa in Canada. He taught me Physics in the late 50s in Mumbai, for which I am ever grateful. We discovered each other on the internet a few years ago, and besides Physics, he continues to inspire me on many fronts.

This is a story he sent me. It cheered me up as I set out to launch our Chaff Help Fund. This story is not true but the message it conveys is very valuable and helps me to focus on little things that make differences in the lives of people around me.

Subject: MIRACLE

A little girl went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in the closet..

She poured the change out on the floor and counted it carefully. Three times, even. The total had to be exactly perfect. No chance here for mistakes.

Carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made her way 6 blocks to Rexall's Drug Store with the big red Indian Chief sign above the door.

She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention but he was too busy at this moment. Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise. Nothing. She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster. No good.. Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter. That did it!

"And what do you want?" the pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of voice. I'm talking to my brother from Chicago whom I haven't seen in ages," he said without waiting for a reply to his question.

"Well, I want to talk to you about my brother," Tess answered back in the same annoyed tone. "He's really, really sick... and I want to buy a miracle."

" I beg your pardon?" said the pharmacist.

" His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now. So how much does a miracle cost?"

"We don't sell miracles here, little girl. I'm sorry but I can't help you," the pharmacist said, softening a little.

"Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn't enough, I will get the rest. Just tell me how much it costs."

The pharmacist's brother was a well dressed man. He stooped down and asked the little girl, "What kind of a miracle does your brother need?"

" I don't know," Tess replied with her eyes welling up. I just know he's really sick and Mommy says he needs an operation. But my Daddy can't pay for it, so I want to use my money."

" How much do you have?" asked the man from Chicago.

"One dollar and eleven cents," Tess answered barely audibly.

"And it's all the money I have, but I can get some more if I need to.."

"Well, what a coincidence," smiled the man. "A dollar and eleven cents---the exact price of a miracle for little brothers. "

He took her money in one hand and with the other hand he grasped her mitten and said "Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let's see if I have the miracle you need."

That well dressed man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon, specializing in neuro-surgery. The operation was completed free of charge and it wasn't long until Andrew was home again and doing well.

Mom and Dad were happily talking about the chain of events that had led them to this place.

That surgery," her Mom whispered. "was a real miracle. I wonder how much it would have cost?"

Tess smiled. She knew exactly how much a miracle cost...one dollar and eleven cents .... plus the faith of a little child.

In our lives, we never know how many miracles we will need..

A miracle is not the suspension of natural law, but the operation of a higher law.. I know you'll keep the ball moving!

Here it goes. Throw it back to someone who means something to you!

A ball is a circle, no beginning, no end. It keeps us together like our Circle of Friends. But the treasure inside for you to see is the treasure of friendship you've granted to me.

Today I pass the friendship ball to you.

Pass it on to someone who is a friend to you.


When you are sad.....I will dry your tears.
When you are scared.....I will comfort your fears.
When you are worried.....I will give you hope.
When you are confused....I will help you cope.
And when you are lost...And can't see the light, I shall be your
beacon.....Shining ever so bright.
This is my oath.....I pledge till the end.
Why you may ask?.....Because you're my friend.

Signed: GOD

Yes, many of us at CHAFF know how much miracles cost, so your small contribution to the CHAFF Help Fund, however small, could certainly do miracles for many many people.

Last week at the meeting one retired CHAFF participant gave me 100 Swedish Kroner (Euro 11) as his contribution. It was a wonderful feeling when I accepted this contribution to CHAFF to help someone, somewhere and at sometime.