59er Golden Reunion Directory

59er Golden Reunion Directory
59er Golden Reunion Directory

Monday, March 27, 2006

What a compliment.....

This is another photograph from what I have termed as the Hasnain Chinwala / Chhaya Purwar collection.

It is the plaque of the recipients of the Mcdonald Medal between 1942 (42er T. Harker) and 1960 (59er Trevor Newnes).

When I read the 1949 entry as V. Kapadia, I knew it was wrong. I have the actual Prize Distribution leaflet:

The winner was none other than one of my oldest and most faithful correspondents from New Delhi - 49er Yezad Kapadia, known to me by my Finnish nickname for him: Yesh.

Besides Yesh, 57er Tony Jaitly, (56er - 58er) Earnest Haskell, and 59er Viney Sethi, plus Aditya, the son of the late 56er Tara Malkani, have been in touch with me over the years.

The person who sent me this Prize Distribution leaflet for my archives, several years ago, was 56er Doreen Heimlich (née Feibusch) who lives with her husband, Seth, in South Carolina in the US.

(By the way how many of you sharp-eyed hawks have noted another difference between the Board and the prize distrubtion leaflet?)

Very coincidentally, just today, Annikki and I received a magnificient gift from Doreen, plus these charming beautiful words in the accompanying greeting card:

It is with great humbleness that I say that it is people like 49er Yezad and 56er Doreen, by their contribution and moral support, who have made this Seventh Heaven Blog the best Mumbai Cathedralite Blog.

Let credit go where it is due - our contributors. I am just their mouthpiece.

This was what was said in this email I got today, when I was copied on one by 57er Behram Badhniwalla (Budni) writing to his fellow 57ers:

Dear 57ers,

Ref my telecon today, this is to confirm that Carmie & I, and Fleur will be in Mumbai on Tuesday 4th April 2006. Sunil is not in town so I cannot confirm but he will contact you if he can make it to Mumbai on the 4th.

We have a specific reason to meet in the evening, for dinner at the Bombay Gym., as we must discuss our 2007 Golden Year Celebration.

As the visit is very specific, so please organise with other 57 batch in Mumbai to join us, for dinner & I think it would be best if we had the dinner on a cost sharing basis, to prevent the burden on one individual.

Please confirm the above.

I am also sending the copy of this mail to all of our 57 batch here in India and also overseas so that the Overseas guys should also start co-ordinating amongst themselves and us. Yvonne on her last visit, had quite a few suggestions.

My suggestion to our Overseas classmates, would be to divide the co-ordination region-wise:

UK & Europe
Middle East
Far East & Australia (If any)

I think Jacob Matthan's Blog could be our co-ordinating point as it is the best site!

Hope to see u on the 4th Evening!



PS: One of the highlights of the 2007 would be to Invite & honour our School Teachers if possible,as it was they,who made us what we are!

This is a long long way from the time I started the Seventh Heaven web site 10 years ago!

I do not know how I can repay any of you for all the wonderful material sent to us, and the goodwill and friendship (and tolerance) shown to both Annikki and me over the years. It has made writing this blog such a heart-warming experience to feel that we are part of a great community, even though we are so far away physically from all of you.

Thank you all dear friends and dearest Doreen, Annikki and I thank you for the beautiful gift.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

A TREASURE TROVE of nostalgia

After much waiting, I received this TREASURE TROVE prepared by 59er Hasnain Chinwala (usually refered to as Chin), from Canada.

I have a recent picture of Chin with our dear Physics Teacher, William Shiri (usually known as Willie), taken on Willie's 80th birthday, when Chin did all us 59ers the honours of delivering the card and the flowers, and a lot more, especially our very best wishes.

Chin and Willie - 2005

Chin and Willie - May 2005

But I digress.

Chin was in India for an extended holiday in Hyderabad. On his return trip, he stopped over in Mumbai. There, he visited our school on 23rd February. The school was devoid of students as it was a holiday to prepare for some examinations. (Wonder what major examinations are held in February?)

However, Chin managed, with his absolute charm, to meet with the current Physics Teacher, Ms. Chhaya Purwar. Sadly, Chin did not get a photograph of this delightful lady. This is what the dear lady said out OUR "Seventh Heaven".

I read the Seventh Heaven, in which Mrs Meena Bhatt's name appeared. We were working together in Bombay International school. She retired from there and joined Cathedral to start Learning Resource Centre for Dyslexics. Along with that, she brought me from Bombay International School to Cathedral School. We were together for about a decade. Interesting and amazing!!! The world is really small !!!

She guided Chin around the school and opened locked doors.

Chin is an amazing photographer and he has provided us with a set of gold nuggets.

Chin especially wanted it said:
1. Permission was granted for me to take the photographs, and
2. The photographs were possible due to the contribution of Mrs. Chhaya Purwar. She managed to get the keys to open locked doors (the assembly hall, and the chapel). Essentially, she gave me a guided tour of the school.

I intend to preface the next few entries over the course of the next few weeks with photographs from his collection with thanks attached to these two wonderful people who have made our lives so much richer by giving their time to assemble this collection.

The first 3 photographs are truly astounding for someone who thought he knew the school premises inside out. I had, on many occassion, with the hammals, wandered through wht I thought was every nook and corner of the school, not only during Saturdays and Sundays, but also when it was absolutely quiet during the summer and winter holidays.

Chin and Chhaya have got me totally foxed by a these photographs of what was a hidden Chapel in the school.

To quote Chin again:

These are pictures of the stained glass windows and paintings that were recently discovered during renovations. I don't think anyone was aware of the chapel's presence.

While working my life with those "cheap and shoddy" materials known as "plastics" :-), I became a great devotee to the subject of Art Glass. Over the years, I have managed a very small collection of them. I appreciate the beauty of glass, as Finns, especially, are creators of beauty in this material.

So, these pictures are especially of great interest to me.

I have asked Chin to let me know where exactly this hidden chapel is situated. Stay tuned for more news and photographs.

And finally, one more line about 59er Jack Haskell. He has just sent me another of his outstanding renditions, "Afternoon in Paris", with Wayne Baldwin on the piano and Jake on the bass. Thanks Jake.

Monday, March 20, 2006

It is difficult to say who is the greatest..

I have been pondering about us 59ers.

We have so many outstanding personalities in our midst, that it is very difficult to say who is the greatest amongst our group.

Given below are a few, not in any order - just like scrambled eggs for eggitarians - every morsel is tasty!

Naubir Mohindar revolutionised the subject of Venetian Blinds in India.
Vikram Kamdar set the trend for modern furniture in Mumbai.
The Ruia's - Ashok, Bridge Champion of India, and Anil an outstanding industrialist, like many others as Vijay Nayar and Elijah Elias.
Adi Cooper, besides his work on the race track, was the wizard of computers from when he headed Tata Consultancy Services as the right hand of F C Kholi, vice chairman of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), the Father of the Computer Revolution of India.
Jangoo Moos ended a wonderful career in the corporate world as Company Secretary of Glaxo, to become a high range environmentalist trekker!
Bashir Currimjee heads the huge corporate group in Mauritius.
Sudhir Anand has written many of the papers along with Amartya Sen who received the Nobel Prize for his work.
Vijay Shivdasani was the Captain of the INS Vikrant after a very honouerable career in the Indian Navy.
Arvind Thadani had a glorious stint ending at the top of the AOL Ladder.
Ashok Kapur had an illustrious career in banking now Chairing the newest Indian success of banking scene in India, the "YES" Bank.
Gita Vaswani is one of India's leading artists.
Armeane Choksi and Peter Miovic had well-documented careers in the World Bank and their treatises on various subjects, from Bangldesh to Africa, can be found everywhere.
And many others out of our 40+ colleague have performed with distinction in their own areas of expertise.
And, finally, despite whatever Naubir may say, Ratan Singara has to be accepted by all of us as one of the Table Tennis greats of our era! :-) )(More on the last individual in a later post as the irrefutable evidence is still coming in!)

I could go on and on, in every field.

(Modesty is my middle name.) I know, however, who is the lowliest - ME! :-)

I was thinking, besides Percy Mistri, who is hitting the high notes in jazz in Mumbai, who else in our crowd has been outstanding in music.

Then Armeane sent me an mp3 called called "What Is This Thing". It was superb - and I found that it featured none other than "drummer boy" 59er Jake Haskell, but, in this, he was playing the bass. I asked Jake whether this was a shot in the blue.

He promptly sent me another mp3 called "Night and Day".

It is also truly melodious.

I have now an Album in my iTunes called "Haskell and friends" - vintage Jazz.

Here is the story about his music in Jake's own words:

Pianist is Wendy Macbain and it was recorded live at an art gallery in Palo Alto called ART 21. You can tell it was live by the loud voice of one of the patrons! In fact I play there again in June and July on the first Friday of the month.

I played drums as a professional while still at school getting my Master's degree in Madison. Switched to bass when I turned up to play at a jam session with Ben Sidran, two drummers and no bassist - and literally picked it up. Ben insisted I play that instead of the drums so I taught myself the instrument. I also taught myself to read music on a Mac Plus and a program called "Practica Musica". I however learned treble clef much better than bass clef!

So who is the greatest of the whole bunch of outstanding 59ers?

Want to submit an untold story about one of our colleagues?

Want to take a poll?

Sunday, March 19, 2006

A 56er checks in...; Snow Rugby in Oulu

Doreen Helmlich (née Feibush) has been a dear friend from South Carolina, USA ,and she is a "56er".

She just checked in so Ubi and Meena can add her to the list.

I hope this wonderful Cathedralite gets to the 56er reunion.

Dear Jacob,

By now, I hope Spring-like weather has arrived in Oulu, as it has over here. The daffodils and flowering trees have been in full bloom, which lifts one's spirits after the winter blahs.

It's been quite a while since we last corresponded, but I do check on your blog periodically to keep up with your news and the Cathedralite news. As a matter of fact, I want to attend the '56ers reunion in November, as it's been a dream of mine to see my old school friends and visit the venerable Cathedral again, and this weeklong reunion celebration would be an ideal time to go there -- before I get even older and creakier.

Meena Bhatt (nee Lele) has done an outstanding and most commendable job in making all the arrangements to take place throughout the week.

I'm just dreading the actual trip to India and back. Just getting to London from South Carolina is bad enough; I arrive there more dead than alive, so flying that much further (in steerage class) will be that much worse. Will need to break up the trip somewhere in Europe for a day or two, if possible.

I'm afraid I'm not familiar with Caroline, who appealed to you for help in finding her Cathedral classmates, although the names of all the other girls who Meena is trying to locate are names that I recognize. Hopefully, someone will have come forward and got in touch with her by now.

I remember how thrilled I was, when I finally found my former classmates through your kind intervention. And I know you've brought about many more such reunions of Old Girls -- and Old Boys -- from the Cathedral, for which we are most grateful.

Best regards to you and Annikki.


Doreen, we are still far from daffodils - yesterday I witnessed a game of English Rugby played in a metre of snow. It was absolutely superb in this idyllic setting on the sea front.

Watch that rugger ball fly in the air

And see an exhausted touchdown.

More action photos soon of this great sport from our region on my CHAFF and my personal blogs!

Monday, March 13, 2006

When riled the sleeper wakes up

59er Ratan Singara had been virtually ignoring his email, so much so that he was actually off my regular email list.

So I was surprised to receive an email from him which read:

From: Niloufer Singara
Date: 12-Mar-2006 11:01
Subject: RE: Class of 59 rackets ..........where's ratan ???

Dear Percy, Naubir & Jacob...

Here's something that will interest you. Check the face in the bottom row of the left hand corner of the picture. Hahahaha.


And here was a great picture that he attached with his email:

Rackets Team - Year ?
Back Row: Viney Sethi, Vijay Nayar, Ashok Kapur, Arvind Thadani,
?., ?., ?., Ralph David
Seated: ?., Ramesh Mirchandani, ?., ?., Ashok Ruia.
Seated (Ground): Ratan Singara, Armeane Choksi, Sudhir Anand, Flicky Shroff

Ratan is the one sitting on the ground on the extreme left. The problem that arises is which year was this picture taken?

First, my apologies to Ratan for doubting that he was in the School Rackets Team. My memory was really jogged by the picture. But, it was not taken in 1959.

Compare it with this picture I had published in my blog entry for 11th November 2005 when I wrote about the Tin and Bottle Tournament:

1959 Cathedral Rackets Team
Back Row: Noel Ezekiel, Percy Mistri, Lam, Vijay Nayar, Ramesh Mirchandani, Armane Choksi, Pundole or Jimmy Captain, Neelam Lakhani.
Seated: ?, Ralph David, Abraham, Nalin Dharia, Zarir Suntook, Ashok Ruia, Ashok Kapur.
Seated (Ground): Sudhir Anand, Roger Cloy, ?.

According to Percy, both the unknowns were in our class, but neither are Ratan. Percy threw up one name - Gokern, but I am unable to jog my damaged brain enough to confirm that.

The real question arises as to which year is the picture submitted by Ratan?

But, I tender my public apology for doubting Ratan's talent and his assertion that he was in the School Rackets Team.

As I did say in the email exchange, Ratan was certainly a keen player. He was one who used to rush down to the school hall with me, during the lunch break, to get a few games during that time. I did not challenge him to get onto the School Top 8, and I did challenge almost everyone on the list!

It is clear that Ratan was not in the 1959 Rackets Team but he was certainly in the School Rackets Team for a year UNKNOWN.

Can anyone solve this riddle?

Here is a recent picture of a few 59ers:

59ers as a Group
59ers as a Group at the Piloo's (18th) birthday party,
59er Ratan is standing on the far right.
Photo courtesy: Naubir Mohindar

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Background to "delicious" painting

A few days ago I described this picture as delicious.

Cathedral Boys School 1900

Cathedral School - 1900

Here is the background to this picture as explained to me by 56er HS Uberoi, Savage House Captain, School Captain and someone who has three generations association with our school. His grandkids are presently in school!

Jacob, in a recent update you have put up some very pretty pictures of the school. An interesting backgrounder of the one you have captioned "delicious".

This one, and an identical one, coloured as the school is, were commissioned by the Alumni Association in 1985. I was President then and it was also the 125th anniversary of the school. We presented it to the school principal, then, Eric Simeon, at the Founders Day Dinner that year at the Taj.

It was hung after that in the principal's study.

I will ferret out a photograph of the occasion and send it to you one of these days.

The other one, was also presented to the school sometime later and it was last seen hung in the school library.

Thank you again,


Please send me photos of events that represent your participation in school events - as there are thousands of people out there wanting to know more about our "unofficial" school history!

Monday, March 06, 2006

56er Meena has info for YOU

With so many pictures about the Boys'School, I redress the balance. Here is a picture of the Girls' School, maybe in the year 1956 or 1957. It was published in the School prospectus for 1958, kindly sent to me by 69er Barbara Rossi in Italy.

Girls' School

I received this email from 56er Meena Bhatt (née Lele)

Dear Jacob,

We have managed to trace quite a few of our classmates, we are even trying to get David Haskell who left school before graduating, whose last known address was a kibbutz in Israel.

We have got affirmative answers from over 24 of the class girls and I think Ubi is working hard to get more. Pauline Pitman was last heard of in Australia, but Vera Harris and Joyce Wilkie disappeared into England a long time ago.

If you have any method of getting hold of people in Australia, could you try?

I have now retired and am reveling in doing nothing all day long! Perhaps I will tire in a month or so!!

With warm regards,


Meena sent me her last circular letter addressed to all 56ers, so if you know one, please direct them to this info.

Dear All,

Things are slowly falling into place, but we need everyone to help find "lost" people. So far, untraceable are:

  1. Pauline Pitman,

  2. Vera Harris,

  3. Razia Quamarain,

  4. Yasmin Batliwala,

  5. Neela Mehta,

  6. Rakshi Gupta,

  7. Joyce Wilkie,

  8. Padma Abichandani.

Among the boys, we would appreciate it if anyone can contribute helpful links to :

  1. R. Gokern,

  2. Sudhir Grover,

  3. Ernest Haskell,

  4. Isaac Hyaem,

  5. A. Jaffer,

  6. D. J. Kripalani,

  7. A. Kumar,

  8. A. Rohira,

  9. R. Shah,

  10. R. Banatwala,

  11. M. Tayabji.

We have traced Michael Tahseem. (Ed: I have informed Ubi about Ernest Haskell's email contact.)

Ubi has managed to get an affirmative answer from 8 boys, so some beginning has been made.

The plan stands confirmed:

Arrive in Mumbai any time before Tuesday 7th Nov. evening.
Dinner that night, 1930, will be hosted by Rima and Khadija. All spouses are invited.
Wed.8th & Thurs 9th is the outing to Pune only for the girls. Hostess in Pune is Patsy.
Wednesday night dinner hosted by Silloo at the ABC Farms.
Thursday night dinner hosted by Meena at her Pune home.
Thursday lunch is at Patsy's Stud Farm.
Friday 10th return to Mumbai after breakfast. Travel time is around 2 1/2 - 3 hours.
Saturday 11th is High Tea at Chitra's, with all spouses--boys' and girls'
Sunday 12th 0800 departure by launch from Gateway of India for Mandwa/Alibaug for day long picnic with all spouses. Hostess Rajni. Return to Mumbai after 1730.
Monday 13th Cocktails at 1900 with Uberoi and his wife at 1900. Girls/boys/spouses.
Tuesday 14th Founder's Day. Church Service at 0900 (plan on getting to the church by 0830-0845). Contributory tea in the Middle School followed by group photographs. Lunch at the Bombay Gym will be a Dutch treat with food being ordered previously.
Farewell dinner at Patsy's Sterling Bay home for grils/boys/spouses.

Could you all scan and send photographs of any school related group or function. DO NOT send hard copies. Also, could you think of writing small articles not more than 200 words. We also need information about yourselves -- likes, interests, ambitions, achievements that might have changed since school and will therefore help us in preparing the momento Year Book. We are not going beyond a Year Book and a souvenir mug unless you all feel the need for it.

I will be making an update of lists for the boys as soon as Ubi gets somemore names.

Sheila, could you please mail Jayalakshmi yourself, and send me her last known email address again?

Please do try and search your memories for the people I have named, and mail any information to me.

Lots of love,


I wish the 56ers a grand time at their reunion, but watch this space as news develops about this reunion.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

56ers getting ready?

56ers, the Gentlemen, get off your backsides and get in touch with UBI, pronto.

I had this email from 56er Ubi:

Dear Jacob,

I have not written for some time now, but I look at your Blogsite almost daily and am totally updated.

You had very kindly put up the details of the anniversary on your site on 30 December 2005.

In addition to the programme detailed there, the following additional items are now contemplated also and the list will grow:

  1. Dinner hosted by two old girls on 10 November 2006

  2. Contributory lunch at the Bombay Gymkhana on 14 November 2006

  3. High tea hosted by an old girl

I shall shortly advise you of the names of the hosts of the various functions.

For the dinner mentioned above on 10 November 2006,if any 56ers wish to join in as hosts they are welcome.

We have made contact with the following Old Boys of 56 who will attend the Reunion:

  1. Ravi Dandekar

  2. Shyam Chainani

  3. Muku Hamied (hopefully)

  4. S.Brelvi

  5. Sohrab Kapadia

  6. Ranjit Matthan

  7. Michael Tahseen

  8. H.S.Uberoi

Wherever possble, the spouses will also attend.

I have been coordinating with Meena Bhatt (nee Lele) in the organising of this event and it looks good. Very good. She tells me that they are expecting 23 Old Girls of the Class of 56 to attend. Tremendous.

I shall in my next update give you perhaps fuller details of the events etc.

Jacob, may I request you to please put this on your Blogsite in whatever modified form you wish. Thanks.

Thank you for the lovely table calendar I received very recently.

All the best,

HS Uberoi

There are lots of 56ers in our midst. Please get in touch with me or Ubi as soon as possible.

The 57ers under Fleur (née Ezekilel) and Budni in Pune have already started making their plans for their reunion next year, 2007 and they seem to be far more advanced than the 56ers!

Further, we 59ers seem to use every opportunity to get together.

There was a great get together of 59ers in Mumbai just a few weeks ago.

59ers Ramesh  and Ashok
59ers Ramesh Mirchandani and Ashok Kapur,
Photo: Naubir Mohindar

59ers Vijay and Ooky
59ers Vijay Shivdasani and Elijah Elias (alias Ooky),
Photo Naubir Mohindar

59ers Naubir and Piloo
59ers Naubir Mohindar and birthday girl Piloo (née Dastur),
Photo: Naubir Mohindar (Honest, I do not know how he did it?) :-)

59ers as a Group
59ers as a Group at the Piloo's (18th) birthday party,
59er Ratan Singara is standing on the far right.
Photo: Naubir Mohindar

Where there is a will there is a way.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Beautiful pictures

In the past few weeks several of you have sent me many many beautiful photographs on a variety of subjects. Although some are the same from different sources, please continue to do so, as I am able to build a good archive of these pictures.

59er Naubir Mohindar sent me a great collection of many 59ers. That deserves and entry by itself. Moshin Ahmed sent me a grea link to pictures of 80ers, which I will soon upload in the Reunion Section. 54er Sadhana Shah's daughter, Gopa, who lives in South Finland, sent me a beautiful collection of photographs from all over India, which also requires many entries on the blog.

I must thank 63er Mithoo Malani for sending me a "then and now" picture.

63er Nancy, like her beautiful sister, 59er Piloo, certainly learnt how to grow older without losing their charm and beauty. Mithoo has also kept his youth - except, like me, added a bit around the waist and lost a bit at the top. Wish it were the other way around!

Nancy and Mithoo in 1963

63ers Nancy and Mithoo in 1963

And here is a captivating picture of them in 2006 - both looking really great:

63ers Nancy and Mithoo in 2006 - Florida
Nancy and Mithoo in 2006 - Florida

The next picture was sent to me by several Cathedralites amongst them 57er Budni in Pune and 63er Adil. Budni seems to have received it from 54er Gracie in California. I also received a set of 3 absolutely great photographs from 69er Barbara Rossi from Italy. Thank you Barbara.

Cathedral School - 1890
Cathedral School - 1890

The text which accompanied this picture was:

New Cathedral High School in Bombay from the 'Album of architectural and topographical views, mostly in South Asia' taken by an unknown photographer in the 1890s. The New Cathedral High School was built by Khan Bahadur Muncherjee Cowasjee Murzban (1839-1917). Murzban was born in Bombay and trained at the Engineering College in Pune. He oversaw the construction of the General Post Office and the Chief Presidency Magistrate's Court in the city. This view of the school shows a four-storey structure articulated with arcades, balconies and a high pitched roof.

Here is delicious painting of the school.

Cathedral Boys School 1900
Cathedral School - 1900

Here is a picture from 1958.

Cathedral Boys School 1958
Cathedral School - 1958

And finaly, here was the signature picture I used for my Seventh Heaven Website for many many years taken by Annikki, with me posing in front of the school.

Cathedral School and me - 1991

I would love to have one from 2006!!

Anyone who will oblige?

Mainline: Geostrategy Feeds America's Oil Addiction

Cross-posted on all my main blogs -

Jacob's Blog
Jacob's Politics;
Kooler Talk for Delhi Stephanians;
Oulu Chaff
Move The UN.

My topical article "Geostrategy Feeds America's Oil Addiction", which relates to the visit of Bush to India, has appeared in a major North American online journal Raise the Hammer in their fortnightly issue dated 1st March 2006.

Editor Ryan McGreal has really tidied up the article. Thanks.

What is original in this submission?

It is my long term speculations about:
1. The rationale for the attack on and occupation of Afghanistan relating to the Enron history.
2. Who most likely perpetrated the fraud of the Iranian election.
3. Why the Indian Industrial Community desperately want Bush and his malAdministration to stay in office for another 3 years!
4. Why the nuclear attack on Iran is imminent.

Many may wrinkle their foreheads in disbelief. But that is what political analysis is all about. I theorise and later people fit the facts to my theories.

Hope you enjoy it and would love to have your feedback - even if it is abusive!!

I love getting abusive email. I thrive on it as it drives me on harder to more fantasy! :-)