59er Golden Reunion Directory

59er Golden Reunion Directory
59er Golden Reunion Directory

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

School badge, CJO and a tie-pin?

Our curly-locked 69er has been active again as she sent me two pictures of the Girls' School Badge she has preserved for the last 40 years! Thanks curly-locks! :-)

We, in the Boys' School, did not have such a badge. But I have a faint feeling that Prefects had a tie pin. Am I right on this and does anyone have a picture of one?

My, my, my - am I scrambling my memory helter skelter!

49er Naval Patel, who is a very meticulous Cathedralite from Mysore, sent me this information that could save someones life:

Sent: Saturday, February 24, 2007 10:46 PM
Subject: V. IMP - Kidney Transplant

Very Important

If you know any patient of Kidney failure and does not have the
financial ability to secure medical care. Please spread the following
details, a prominent Saudi business man Ma'an Al Sanea, has donated the
cost of 60 kidney transplant operations in a Saudi hospital in Dammam,
covering all costs. The hospital until now has only received 4 cases!
If you know a patient who is need, let them contact the hospital at

Saad Specialist hospital, Dammam- AL Khobar
Telephone 00966 3 8826666 extension 4444

Please spread this message to help save lives

And another 49er, Yezad Kapadia from Delhi, had this to say about CJO:

CJO was our English teacher and also played cricket with the School team and also the Old Boys' team. An excellent teacher and and a very good House Master (Barham). Had a very unorthodox way of signalling to his tug of war team.

Visited him last when he was the Principal of St. Peters. He had taken one of the Hamals with him. Although I had met him after many many years, he called me by my first name as soon as he saw me!

It is really a pity that CJO did not teach me any subject. From all that I have now read about him, it is as if I missed one part of my education in Cathedral. Does any other 59er feel that way.

That is not to diminish in any way the teachers of English that we had - Mr. Derek Timmins, Mr. Willie Thompson, Mr. Rider Salmon and Mr. John Billington.

But. like Pop Pharoah, CJO was an important part of the school tradition. Not having had the chance to be "educated" by him certainly appears to have been my loss.

Are there any other such teachers that I missed - I wonder!

Monday, February 26, 2007

A post for 59ers in particular...

If you are not yet a member of the 59ers Google group, here is a web site to go to to see a slide show some of the latest pictures sent to us by Sulabha Dabholkar, wife of 59er Vinay Dabholkar, and 59er Naubir Mohindar. Plase click on any image to see the slide show.

Hello 59ers,

Sulabha Dabholkar sent us a couple of pictures from the wedding reception of Vinay and Sulabha's second son.

Naubhir Mohindar sent us quite a few pictures from the 18th birthday party of 59er Piloo Tata (née Dastur).

We have set these up as a web page. If you click on any image you will see a short slide show.

Click this link:

59ers 2007

Hope you enjoy it and if you have any photographs concerning your particular year, please send them to us.

But, please ensure that you supply appropriate captions.

Naubhir did that. We must really thank him, as otherwise we (and many of you) would never have been able to identify many of those who are shown.

The girls look really beautiful and the boys - Well, they are still trying to look as if they left school yesterday!

Annikki & Jacob

If you want a similar slide show of your class pictures, please send the pictures with the appropriate captions and we will endeavour to have it set up for you.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Isn't she sweet?

I have pleasure in bringing you this photograph of those curly locks that 63er Ian Deane spoke about. I vouch that this baby is just as she sweet was at the time the picture was taken. 54er Gracie Hayeem in San Francisco is going to love this picture of her student and vouch for what I have written!

69er Barbara Rossi - as 63er Ian remembers her!

This was Barbara checking in yesterday from Italy!

here is the Barbara with those curly locks

lucky to be the daughter of those two very special parents who gave her the possibility to be brought up and educated in Bombay, at Cathedral

a life she loved from when she woke up and got ready for the school bus to when she filled her school bag at the end of the day, with text books exercise books pencil box, compass-set (yes Globe!) gym shoes (Bata) etc etc.. in anticipation of the next wonderful day to come

the badge...........hell where on earth have I misplaced it.........this is worse than when the watch was ticking, the bus was arriving, the lift had already been called up to the 6th floor............

hehehe I'll find it I promise!

love, Jacob

have a lovely day, and keep doing your "homework"!


I am sure that the omission of punctuation marks was something she did not learn in Cathedral! At least she capitalises MY NAME!!!! Love you too, Barbara. :-)

Another 69er Zahid Parkar submitted this scanned extract from the 1969 School magazine. (Quality of the original was not good, but hope it is readable.)

And Ubi fed me with the info which gives you the reason why I did not even know about CJO's wife!


C. J. Olliver married very late. In fact, he only got married after taking over as Principal of St Peter's Mazagon, well after he left Cathedral.

After Bernard Gunnery, Rev. G. Ridding took over as Principal. To the best of my recollection, he did not stay for his full tenure-but I could be mistaken.

CJO left at that point of time.

Kuruvilla Jacob I think came after Ridding.


This is not a very good picture of the staff in 1965 where, obviously Rev. Ridding is there as Principal and Ollie is not in the picture!

Last night I had dinner in Oulu with someone from Mumbai, and although not a Cathedralite, knew many Cathedralites. Amol Shah, one of the owners of MJ Pharma, which has bought a Finnish company. He knows 52er Yusuf and 56er Muku Hamied of Cipla, as also 59ers Ashok Kapur, Ooky Elijah Elias and also Vijay Shivdasani! Amol plays a good game of badminton, Ashok says!

Very small world.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

CJO as Princi?

Hasnain Chinwalla labelled this wonderful photograph as "Cathedral School Detention Centre for Delinquents"

As I have said in an earlier post, Mr. C. J. Oliver never taught me a single subject. My contact with him was restricted to helping out in back stage work for school plays, where he was quite a demanding personality. I never knew whether I liked him or not as I was never close to him. I did not even know whether he was married or not!

But Ubi unveils a different picture of CJO than I ever imagined. Hope some others will throw some insight into what seems to be live human being!

>Dear Jacob,

I quote below an extract from CJO's farewell article in the COBA magazine of
sometime in 1965:

"And so - to close this rambling account -I record my thanks to all those, Staff, Boys and Hamals who each in some way or other enriched an otherwise very ordinary life. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve with them and it will always be a regret of mine that I could not continue at Cathedral School without sacrificing an opportunity for which
Cathedral School had in fact been preparing me. Thank you C.B.S." C.J.O.

He said it in very few words but what he left unsaid was the fact that Cathedral School had passed him over for the position of Principal. And how deserving he was!

I do not want to start a contentious debate, but if ever there was one, it was he, who deserved to be the Principal of our old school!

But like all things in India in those days,"imported"goods were preferred to local excellence! Thank God,there has been some change in the thinking now and we have a lady from the school faculty as the Principal of the school!

Please also note the particular reference made by C.J.O. to Hamals. Typical of the man.

I spent many lovely evenings with him and his wife, when they visited Poona in the late 60s when he was Principal of St Peter's at Mazagon, Bombay. He used to stay at the Bishop's School, Poona and we often went on excursions to the Maratha Forts around Poona. I was based in Poona at that time. Walter Abraham was also there with the Olivers, as he used to visit me and my wife

I thought you might want to know this!



When was Mr. Kuruvilla Jacob brought in as Principal. He had had an outstanding career as Principal of the Madras Christian College School as well as the Hyderabad Public School. As I knew him only on a personal basis, i do not know how he performed as the Principal of Cathedral School, and the question is whether CJO would have been a better choice.

I have no idea!

Or was CJO overlooked when they brought another Englishman as Principal.

I left Bombay in 1960 and only returned to school when I visited it during a winter recess in 1989! The school seemed hopelessly empty whereas during our times in school there was always activity on weekends and the school holidays as some of us would agree to meet there, play table tennis in the school hall or some quad football. The Scouts would be meeting somewhere.

Between 1960 and 1989 I kept in close touch with many of my classmates and students some of other classes. The school spirit never flagged.

School was more than a 8 to 4 weekday enterprise for many of us during the fifties.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Nostalgia is not JUST for us boisterous boys!

69er Barbara Mont Rossi from Italy sent in this email:

subject: back in school again

Dear Jacob

hooray for all the fantastic descriptions you have added to your blog of school in your days, but also in ours and in many cases still today!

One thing I surely can add to your memories is a precious Hymn book, which accompanied us every day in the Girls' School and then also in the Boys' School turned coed to our great joy and confusion!

here it is

1969 Hymn Book, photo courtesy Barbara.

now turn to hymn 656a and sing
and did those feet...................



Who is Barbara?

This was a comment left on the blog in March 2006 by 63er Ian Deane from UK (not meant to embarrass you, Barbara!).


Have just been sent this site by an "OLD" 63 friend Adil Gandhy.

I was in the A level class of 63/64.

Have been spending a lazy but very interesting Sunday looking through all the blogs!

I remember Barbara Rossi (pretty girl with curly hair!), but even more so her Dad, Cesare, who owned racehorses in Bombay in the 50s and 60s.

My parents knew hers quite well!

I live in the UK and have a business that exports horses (for breeding) to India (mainly) ... just wanted to comment on your very informative article!



The sweetness of those "curly locks" still come through in her emails! :-)

I am glad that we have sorted out the hamal issue by establishing that there were at least 3 of them: Ranchod, the Head Hamal, Boga, who was our meticulous clock-watching Bell Ringer, and Bhagwan, who seems to have been everywhere!

This is what Willie (Shiri, not Patel) from Canade wrote:

Yes indeed, Jacob, it was no one else but Boga the Physics lab hamal who rang the school bell (which was the real thing, not a piece of sh.. I mean, scrap off the railway track !)

He was meticulous about seconds, stationing himself under the bell well before time, one eye on the Physic slab clock and one hand on the bell, ready to swing it as the clock struck. I can still see him so poised !


That is indeed my first memory of school as I joined in Standard VI, where the late Derek Timmins, Savage Senior House Master, was my class teacher. The school bell was just a few feet away from where I sat in the class.


School Chapel, Photo by 59er Hasnain Chinwalla.

Little did I know then that there was this undiscovered fantastic Chapel just a few feet behind me!

And 56er Ubi has added this in his recent email:

Subject: From Where to Where

Dear Jacob,

I am quite pleased that the school hamals have elicited so much interest and correspondence. I always felt that enough importance was never paid to their role in our development and that of the faculty!

Willie Shiri and Bill (although we remember him as Willie) Patel must be right about Boga!

And it does appear that Joe D'Souza was Savage!!

How remiss of me not to remember that!

I received a photocopy of CJO's farewell article in the COBA magazine from Ravi Nangia. More about that later.



Like Ubi, I hang my head in shame for not remembering that Joe D'Souza was our Savage Junior House Master! I am trying to locate the pictures that Wllie has referred to, as after the incident of The Borderer, i do not trust my memory any longer!

Thank you all (from 49er Yezad in Delhi to 69er Barbara in Italy) for these great inputs. The hits to the blog have sky-rocketed these last few days. It shows that all this nostalgia is catching. But don't just sit there reading. Send me more!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Now I am upside down!

This email from our Physics Teacher Willie Shiri has me all in a dither. Now I am am not sure who is who!

Dear Jacob and Annikki,

Sorry I have been out of touch. In fact that has been the case with all my email contacts who, like me, only send Fws to keep in touch !

(And then you wonder why no one sends any personal mail any more !)

It is all because of my current preoccupation with the clarinet . I have lessons but progress is SLOW ! Must be my age. I still strive .... to justify having the instrument !

Well, re. Ranchod.

I interrupted my perusal of the Jacob-blog (I am afraid I have to catch up with unread one or two back numbers) to call Bill and Homai Patel, Florida, for inf.

Ranchod: Bill says that R was really like the Head-Hamal of staff welfare, served us tea in the Staff Rm or to invitees on special occasions, and that sort of thing.

I remember the Physics Hamal those days was Boga - remember him ? - Often assisted by a slim tall guy called Bhagwan, who was still there after Boga retired, or returned to 'Muluk'.

As far as I remember, Boga helped at both the labs.

Joe D'Souza was a Junior House Master ; don't know which House, but he is seated in the centre in one or two House photos you must have in your collection.

Later he must have become a Senior H.M.

If I find the answer from one of the old boys I am in touch, I'll email you.

No, Joe was the only D'Souza at that time.

His current whereabouts not known.

I'm sure Greg will throw more light on the subject.

Hasnain Chinwalla is just back here after a long holiday of 10 weeks in Mumbai where he says there were frequent get-togethers of many Old Boys.

Fond regards.


So whom I thought was Ranchod was actually Boga. But did Boga ring the school bell or Ranchod?

Now I am absolutely sure I am really growing OLD.

I had an email from Zahid who pointed out that not only had I blogged the front cover of the 1961 Borderer that I had received from John Billington, but I had promised to digitize it and put it up.

He asked me to look through it and find out the House Master so to resolve the issue of Mr. Joe D'Souza.

I could not believe my eyes when I read this. I looked in the place where I keep all the Cathedral paraphernalia - and there, still sitting in the envelope was the letter and the copy of the Borderer.

As promised, I will start to digitize it this week and send the Issue back to John.

Pages 32 and 33 from the 1961 Issue of The Borderer

Coming to the subject of Mr. D'Souza - as can be seen from the above åpicture, in 1961 he was the Junior House Master for Savage House, exactly as I had recalled!

Thank you Zahid for bringing me back to my senses!


Those of you who read Comments (many, unfortunately, do not) would have seen this one by 49er Yezad Kapadia.


Just to fill in on some of the queries raised.

In 1949 the Prefects' room was below the belfry which could be accessed through a vertical ladder from the Prefects' room. Once we had locked up Kali Cawasji in the belfry!!

I agree with you about what the Lesson Reading taught us.

The badge on the blazer of the Head Boy had a golden braiding whereas the one on the Prefects' badge had a silver one.

We never had a Head Boy's room in our time.


It appears the Stationary Room of our time was the Prefects' Room and the belfry could be accessed from there. My word Yesh, you 49ers were naughty! :-)

This input was from 56er Ubi:

Subject: "School Quiz!!"


I shall try and clear some of your cobwebs, hopefully!

1. The Prefects' ties were handed over to the recipients by the Head Boy on the stage at school assembly.

2. The Head Boy had a gold braid around the school badge on the blazer, the Prefects had silver braids.

3. The announcement of the appontment of the new Head Boy, at least in my case, was on the last day of school. The Vice-Head Boy appointment was also announced on that day. I am told that there is no Vice-Head Boy any more.

4. Both the Head Boy and Prefects had the same purple badge for their blazers, which was also given out as school colours for games.

5. House Captains, to the best of my memory, were elected at House meetings and the formal announcement was made at time the Prefects' names were announced at assembly.

I hope I got this right!



So we are clear on the gold and silver braids around the prefects' badge which I now assume must have been different from the school badge.

Ubi added in another email:

Subject: "How could we forget Biology"


As a PS, you are right to the extent that boys did not have biology as a subject.

But the girls did and they did not have a lab. So, all their practicals/experiments were conducted in our Chemistry Lab!

It was also another opportunity for the girls and boys to meet!


So was Rachod the hamal for both the Chemistry lab on the ground floor and the Physics lab on the 1st floor?

I am sure Willie and Gregory can clear this up when they read this!!

Zahid had this to add:

Ravi - you are absolutely correct.

We bought our ties and belts from near the Principal's Office. There was a steel cupboard in the corridor facing the quad, next to the old IIIB classroom, which stocked these items. The house shirts however, if I remember right, were sold in the stationary office on the 2nd floor.

I am absolutely certain there was a Mr D'Souza in charge. I faintly recollect him as a medium built, bespectacled, elderly man wearing a light coloured suit. There used to be a large register with various stationery item listed in which he would enter our names, and have us initial the last column after supplying the requested items.

I remember our note books as A book which had lined pages, C book which had alternate lined and blank pages, D book which had checked pages for maths and the F book which was for graphs. Then we had "Globe" compass boxes and wooden 12 inch rulers.

Mr J.P D'Souza was the Barham House Master and the name Ranchod definitely rings a bell !


Zahid, I almost think you were a Stephanian with the last pun which would have been dignified with a loud (highly complimetary) shout of PJ (Poor/Pun Joke)!!

The story of Mr. D'Souza's House affiliations have taken a twist. Ubi firmly believes he was the Palmer House Master. Zahid says it was Bahram.

But this input really took the cake!

Dear Jacob,

Although Mr J.P. D'Souza was Barham House Master during my years in school, I have this niggling suspicion at the back of my mind that in 1961, when I was in std III, he was the Savage Junior House Master and he left Savage in 1962 to take over Barham from Mr Oliver who became Vice Principal after Mr Pharoah left.

Mr. C. Smith then became Junior House Master for Savage while Mr Timmins continued as the Senior House Master.

As you have a copy of the 1961 Borderer, could you please check the Savage House notes for the year which should have the name of the Junior House Master.

I would be extremely grateful if you could clarify this for me and set my mind at rest ... either way !

Kind regards,

Zahid Parkar

I do wish I had a copy of the Borderer!

But I can confirm from my memory that what you wrote was correct. In 1959, when I was Savage House Captain, Mr. J. P. D'Souza, our History Teacher, the teacher in charge of the School Library, which was above the gym, and also the teacher who ran the debates, was Savage Junior House Master, with Mr. D. A. Timmins as the Savage Senior House Master.

I clearly recall being congratulated by both when I was elected (unanimously) at a joint meeting of the Senior and Junior Savage-ites at near the end of term in 1958!
However, I do not recall the procedure as whether my name was suggested by the House Master or one of the students. It was probably Peter Philip, who was the 58 House Captain that proposed my name, and I think it was late 59ers Ghatge and Arvind Thadhani that seconded it. I was intending to propose Peter Miovic who was a great gymnast, a outstanding swimmer and also, despite his English not being as good as us, he was also great in studies, especially Maths. But I had no seconders.

I was overwhelmed by that occasion as I did not think in my wildest dreams that I would be so honoured. I was a very very ordinary student, usually occupyng places between 15 and 20 during each years' class assessment of academic skills!

(Please click on the picture to see an enlarged version)

CBS 1961 Boys'School Staff, submiitted by John Billington
(Enhanced image - let me know if this is OK.)

And finally, thanks to Mr. John Billington, who was my Class Master in 1959 and also my 1959 English teacher (prior to this it was the late Rider Salmon), I have the above photographs of the 1961 Boys'School Staff. (If the text is not clear, please inform me and I wil try to put up an enhanced version as the one John sent me is perfect on my computer.) Thank you John.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Discussion continues....

Memories are something that play a lot of tricks on the brain.

In his recent submission, 68er Ravi Nangia asks a question about where we got those school belts and ties.

This raised another big gap in my memory.

I fail to remember how I was given my Prefect's tie.

Somewhere at the back of my mind I seem to recall that it was given to me in front of the school at Assembly. The actual event has faded completely from my memory.

Also, did the Head Boy get some form of identification other than the tie at a public event. And when was the annoucement made - at the end of the year or the beginning of the year?

Also, did Prefects's have a differet School Badge for the blazer?

Also was the election of the House Captain made at the House Meetings and the announcement made in the Assembly.

Do any of these traditions continue or have they been changed?

Ubi informed me that the access to the belfry was not through the "Stairway to Heaven" but through a trap door in the stationary room.

Looking at this picture of the school in 1890, Ubi must be right as the belfry tower is the one on the far left of this picture.

Here is the most recent submission by Ravi:

My apologies to all for not responding earlier, but things got very hectic ahead of my trip back to Manila.

Ubi -- I posted a photocopy of Ollie's article on the 13th to you and hope you have received it by now. Actually, I suspect you may already have a copy of the entire magazine as you are mentioned in it as a committee member of COBA.

J.P D'Souza was the history teacher and, if memory serves me right, he was in Barham, not Palmer.

Ranchod, who rang the school bell (or rather, a section of railway track after the bell was nicked), was also the hamal for the Biology Laboratory. Poor chap, constantly being compelled to chloroform frogs and catch cockroaches for dissection by students. Nonetheless, a cheerful person, always ready to oblige everyone who asked him for help.

Zahid, my memory is not a patch on yours -- put it down to the fact that I am a whole year older than you (though the fact that I haven't been back to School since our re-exam of January/February 1969, might, I hope, also have something to do with it).

I remember Chand and the accounts office, though not the name of the person in the stationary office. Am I correct in thinking that School items -- belts (with the snake shaped buckle) and ties were sold, not in the stationary office, but near the Principal's Office and next to the old IIIB classroom?

Ubi, there were a couple of Uberoi kids, one in our grade and the second a year ahead initially. I recall sitting next to Swarandeep Uberoi, in the fifth, right at the very back of the classroom! Were/are they related to you?

Best wishes,

Ravi Nangia

My memory puts Ranchod as the hamal in the Physics Laboratory during our time. We did not have biology as a subject during our days!

When was the bell nicked? Was the bell nicked before or after our time in school. Mind is blank even though I passed that way every single day I was in school!

And Mr. D'Souza in Baghram or Palmer? The only Cock House picture I have of Palmer is from 1976. It is so unclear that I cannot make out any of the staff, except Headmaster Kuruvilla Jacob.

Kuruvilla Jacob in 1977

That brings me to another subject - an email from 54er Sadhana Madhusadan (née Shah) who sent me details of the "KURUVILA JACOB INITIATIVE FOR PROMOTION OF EXCELLENCE IN SCHOOL EDUCATION".

He was my landlord for many years when we lived in Chennai. He was also related (through marriage). But he was also a great friend having known our family all through his life.

If anyone wants details of this initiative, please contact me and I will send it to you.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Some people I respect

Ubi was quick to fill me in about some people I respected when I was young and in school. As soon as the names appeared on the screen, wonderful thoughts on my conversations with them came flooding back. Although I got zero in Marathi and struggled with Hindi, right until I had to pass a Hindi exam to get my Bachelor's degree from Delhi University, with them I could converse for hours in both these languages!


The tall hamal was Bhagwan. He, in fact, was still in school when my son Samir was Head Boy. It was quite embarrassing to be called "baba" by Bhagwan in my son's presence! He retired and no one knows where he is.

The short one was Ranchod, who rang the school bell. He died, I am told, soon after he retired. His son also worked in school.

Path to the Old Prefects' Room
Photo by 59er Hasnain Chinwalla.

When I was a prefect, the Prefects' Room was the last room (north) on the verandah near the cricket nets. I am told that later it was shifted to where the tuck shop was.

I believe there is no Prefects' Room now. There is also no Head Boy's room anymore.

In fact, I was discussing the same issue with the present Principal, Mrs. Meera Isaacs, when I met her in connection with our 50th Anniversary Reunion last October/November.

It truly was a great privilege to have had a Head Boy's room, even though it had a connecting door with the Principal's Study! One never knew when he would walk through the door (it was always unlocked) and what state of undress one would be in! I recall having discussed serious school issues with the Principal, with just shorts on with bare feet and bare torso!!

Incidentally, I am told that up to the point there were borders in school (first term 48?) the prefects' room in the boys' school was in the belfry! I have been up there. It must have been fun. I am told that prefects those days were allowed to smoke in the prefects' room (that is unsubstantiated information though!)


Stairway to Heaven
Photograph by 59er Hasnain Chinwalla.

What a wealth of information.

Can you tell us where the stairs are to the belfry? Was it up the main Stairway to Heaven?

As Ubi says, in our time the Prefects' Room was behind the stage. Of the two rooms, the back room was always in a mess. I do not know whether anyone ever cleaned it as it always had a musty smell.

Life was so hectic that I hardly spent much time in the Prefects' Room. I remember using it as the Green Room when acting in the school plays. Also, before Assembly, if one had to read the Lesson, I always went to the Prefects' Room to calm my nerves! (Believe it or not, even I suffered from nerves!)

I also remember using the small mirror on the wall to make sure my tie was straight and my hair, usually disheveled, was tidied up! Otherwise, Pop Pharoah would surely make a comment and there would be a smart rejoinder from Glynn-Howell! Gunnery never said a word except after the reading where he would comment on whether it had been read well or not. Rider Salmon would correct some of my diction after the reading. I appreciated that greatly as it meant he had listened to the reading. I doubt whether any of the students ever listened to what we read!

It is the Lesson Reading in front of the whole school which gave me the poise in later life to stand up and speak in front of huge audiences. I remember when I was giving the Plenary Lecture in Lyon, France, in 1987, at the First European Symposium on Polymeric Materials, as I stood in front of the huge audience of over a thousand people, the thought that flashed through my mind as I looked down at the lectern and then up at this audience of my peers, the picture of the Cathedral school children flashed through my mind, just for a second. Then, I started my 45 minute speech with the confidence that no one out there would probably be listening to me. :-)

However, with old age, I have lost much of that poise as the emotion (not alcohol) of the event usually blurs and slurs my words.

When I was at a funeral of a dear friend the other day, even as I read the tribute from Annikki and me (which is customary in Finnish funeral services), for the first time the emotions overcame me and I just wobbled through the words.

Thanks Ubi for the wonderful information. Made my day as you just patched another large hole in my brain.

Bhagwan and Ranchod - may God be with them.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A 1939er?

49er Yezad Kapadia (with my Finnish nickname for him as YESH) just checked in with data of some seniors with this email:

Note about Yesh:

(Dipl. - engineer Yezad Kapadia: Management in the steel and equipment construction industry in India. Yesh is an engineering graduate in ferrous metallurgy. He was over 28 years with Tata Steel, Jamshedpur, first in Blast Furnaces and later in Management activities. From 1987 to 1995 he was a Managing Director of Lurgi India. In 1995 he created his own company, Y.S. Kapadia Consults (P) Ltd., where he is still active as Managing Director. Yesh supports young university graduates in their study and career planning, and helps in planning business enterprises.)

Hi Jacob,

Just got back from Mumbai and Bengaluru yesterday.

In Mumbai caught up with several alumni.

Pilloo Hakim (née Cooper, Savage 1951) and her husband had invited me to a drink at the CCI. Caught up with her class mate Roshan Dodhy (Palmer) and another alumni (cannot remember his name) who claimed to have belonged to the class of 1939!!

The next day I was at my brother Sohrab's (Palmer 1956) where his class mate Ubi Uberoi (Savage) and John Palkhiwalla (Wilson, 1948) were also there.

Whilst in Bengaluru spent over two hours with my class mate Naval Patel (Wilson).

Trust all is well at you end.


I found it fascinating that there is someone out there who will celebrate his 70th reunion in 2009. Maybe the 59ers may like to invite him to theirs!

Thanks Yesh for this clip.

[Pune, Mumbai, Chenai, Thiruvananthapuram, .... Has the name of Bangalore been officially changed to Bengaluru? And what about Mysore, New Delhi and Delhi (Old)? Have these been renamed? Just so I can update my CV! :-) )]

49er Naval and 56er Ubi are regular contributors to this blog. They have provided us with much insight about various aspects of life in school, just as Yesh has.

Naval's great service of sending me news items, especially about cricket, of which I am starved in this near Arctic, has warmed my heart considerably.

But I remain intrigued by this 39er - would love to have his name. I do wish someone like Ubi would carry out an interview of him for us. He could reveal many aspects we know nothing about about our school, just as 45er Desmond did.

Monday, February 12, 2007

This is what I call classic nostalgic info

The response was swift to my last posting. 69er Zahid Parkar had this to add.

Re: "The treasures..."

There was Mr Chand who sat in the first floor office where we paid our fees. This office also had the "lost and found" where we would look for misplaced fountain pens. There invariably was a large collection but never the missing one !

The second floor stationery shop was manned by Mr D'Souza (not the teacher).

Apart from stationery and texts, we also bought our hockey sticks from him !!

What I remember of our tuck shop is lining up by the window for hot veg samosas that were sold out as soon as they arrived in a basket, packed in paper packets 3 to a packet for 25np.

Then there were lemon drops and bulls eyes, pencil like candy sticks wrapped in cellophane, packets of spicy chana and dal. There also was a ice cream freezer in the corridor with choccream stick for 15np while the vanilla cost 25np.

During my time the Tuck shop was manned by prefects.

When the shed was replaced by the "new building" the tuck shop was converted to the prefects room.

These are memories of the early 60s in school.

Will Ravi Nangia corroborate the above? I believe he was one year senior to me.

Zahid Parkar
savage 69

Almost everything fits my memory (except the np bit as we were in Rs. Annas. Pies era) especially the ice cream sticks - and not the samosas.

Zahid, made my mouth to water and freeze in this Arctic environment. So I am literally dumbstruck!

And hot of the press: We have today located 59er Trevor Newnes. He is now one of our 59er Google Group. 59er Hasnain Chinwalla gets the credit for locating this one.

Trevor was an outstanding sportsman representing the school in almost all the field sports as well as athletics.

"The treasures"...

56er Ubi is overjoyed but has a request for 68er Nangia.

Hi Jacob,

I was beginning to wonder if I was the only one of your readers who
remembered the Chronicill!!

I was very pleased to read the snippet by Ravi Nangia. It brought back memories.

I had quite forgotten about Lincoln. He was the Head Clerk in charge of dispensing all school materials from stationery to school/house/games shirts, belts, badges and all sundry items.

If I remember correctly, our school fees also had to be tendered to him. He had his "office" on the first floor on the right hand side, as you came up the front stairs. There was a counter between him and us where all the business was transacted.

He was a rather thin person, of darkish complexion, for some reason was fond of black trousers and was hyper active. He also played the piano every moning for the assembly
to sing the hymns!

I wonder if it is asking too much of Ravi Nangia to kindly copy the publication in which CJO's article appeared, in its entirety, and send it to me? I shall be pleased to bear the cost of such an excercise.

The wonder of this blogsite and the treasures it continues to throw up!



I sort of remember two such counters, one on the first floor where we paid school fees, and the other on the second. The second floor counter was where, I sort have faint recollection, we could buy school stationary, books, sports shirts, etc. I cannot remember who manned that.

The other room I remember rather well was the "Tuck Shop" where we all rushed to if we had a small pieces of bus money left. Usually manned by Willie Shiri when I got there, but other staff members were also involved but for the life of me I cannot remember whom. Can anyone remind me what we bought at the Tuck Shop?

I spent a lot of 4 annas (or was it 8 annas) getting games against the top 10 table tennis players as we could leave our challenge money there.

I do not remember Lincoln playing the piano. I sort of remember Charles Velu being there, but occasionally remember some lady teacher doing the honours.

Stay tuned as some great photos will soon be appearing on the blog. Tell everyone to check in as the master photographer is now winging his way from Mumbai to Toronto with disks full of goodies.

He has just reported another "success". Fantastic news about locating another 59er.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Ollie's humour

I am indeed grateful to 68er Ravi Nangia for sending me this snippet.

Reading "Ubi's" reference to the "Chronicill" in his recent email to you (posted on your blog of Jan 30), sent me looking for an article, "In Retrospect" which Ollie wrote when he left School in 1965.

The Chronicill folded up long before my time, but this is what Ollie wrote:


Those were the days [Ollie wrote about the late 1940s] when with less than 400 boys in school... We had a limited number of hymns which we sang over and over again, .. I do not know if these were the only hymns known or the the only tunes Lincoln (Head Clerk) could play.

It was not until the "Chronicill", a monthly rag made its appearance that the hymn list was lengthened and the reading of the lesson by Prefects became audible.

The Chronicill (named so due to a spelling error by Bobby Jones [Ollie doesn't explain why he continued to use the misspelt name] ran for about six years under a parody of the School crest and motto

"Clearum difficient stupia"

and lived up to its proud boast,

"We print anything".

It once printed an absentee list which found its way into the contribution box, a toffee wrapper, and somebody's "lines"....

Best wishes,

Ravi Nangia

Seventh Heaven certainly had some competition.

But we have survived and the two first editors (59ers Vinay Dabholkar and Wabhi Zayani) are still out there watching me husband their work!

Hope I am doing a decent job of it? :-)

Sunday, February 04, 2007

No fire in his belly?

Cross-posted on the Kooler Talk (Web Version).)

Here on a cold winter evening near the arctic, I was enjoying a 40 winks,when suddenly a unique Cathedral/Stephanian sounding voice came over CNN. I got up with a start to see a familiar face on the TV.

It was none other than our 54er Cathedralite and 58er Stephanian Rahul Bajaj.

Here is the transcript of his interview by Andrew Stevens. (To see the video of the interview please click on this link):

The Board Room: Interview of Cathedralite/Stephanian Rahul Bajaj

PUNE, India (CNN) -- He is one of corporate India's elder statesmen. The man, who for nearly 40 years, provided transport for the world's second most populous country. Rahul Bajaj has now handed the reigns of the $7 billion U.S. Bajaj Auto to his son Rajiv, to spend more time in politics. But he is still chairman and still very much a part of the company he took over from his father in 1968. In a business landscape that is increasingly run by hired executives, family succession at Bajaj remains as strong as ever. Rahul Bajaj spoke to CNN's Andrew Stevens.

Bajaj: The reputation of the Bajaj family, leave alone my reputation and almost the entire wealth of the Bajaj family is represented by the equities we own in these companies and today the best in the world have to exert and exert like mad to survive leave alone prosper so if my son whom I wanted to take over was not good enough, was not the best, I wouldn't put him there and not because I would have become charitable to somebody else. It is in our enlightened self interest, his interest, our interest, the family's interest.

Stevens: So how did you prepare for the succession? How did you make sure that a family member was the best one to lead the company?

Bajaj: You can't. You can only try. To be the CEO you require many things. Books have been written on it and business schools teach that. According to me first is something in the person himself or herself. The genes, the DNA. To me they make a difference. The foundations are extremely important. So DNA or genes, upbringing and education. But then I think the person should not forget what we try to teach our children, the rest is up to them. You cannot teach beyond a limit.

Stevens: You gave your son Rajiv a difficult task of turning around a motorcycle division. If he hadn't achieved success there, and he did, would he still be the chief executive officer of the company?

Bajaj: Probably not. When he joined, the first few years he was on the shop floor he was an engineer and learning a lot and then when I started handing over power it was not to convert a scooter division into motorcycles and the 3 wheelers were earning very good money and they still are, it is to get prepared to prepare him to become the CEO of the company to take over from me and he started doing very well.

Stevens: As with all family companies there can be charges of nepotism leveled at you. What do you say to those sorts of accusations?

Bajaj: My first reaction if I find that in a company or in the government or politicians, if somebody is grooming a son, well the desire and obviously you call it nepotism or you want to keep it in the family, it is there. Good or bad, that is for people to judge. As far as I am concerned, it is good. I think a family guy, if he is a professional if he is competent, he has the advantage of continuity. He will not go somewhere else for getting twice the salary, he has the commitment, he doesn't need stock options he already has all of those. So there are great advantages. The whole problem in family management is if the guy isn't competent and you still put him in the chair.

Stevens: You were the chief executive officer for 38 years. How difficult was it to let go?

Bajaj: It was not at all difficult. I was dying to do it. To succeed you need to have a hunger in your belly. You need a fire in your belly and I had that for all of those years. And they have it now and I don't have that fire in my belly for Bajaj Auto but I have that fire in the belly and that hunger to do something, whatever little I can do, for my country. And that was one of the reasons why when I was approached I decided to get into the Rajya Sabha which is our upper house of parliament.

I wrote to Rahul and complimented him on his forthright views about handing over the Bajaj empire to Rajiv.

If you want to read a hard-hitting interview that Rahul had with the rude and ungentlemanly Doscoite Karan Thapar, please go to this link:

Does Sonia pay my salary: Bajaj

In it, he said:

Rahul Bajaj: Where did you go to school Karan?

Karan Thapar: Is that relevant?

Rahul Bajaj: It is very relevant because your logic is illogical.

Karan Thapar: If it is relevant I will tell you. I went to Doon School, Cambridge, Oxford and I know a lot about politics.

Rahul Bajaj: I went to Cathedral, St. Stephens, and Harvard, slightly better than you in every respect. So I understand logic. But I am a humble man unlike you.

Hope you can note the style of a professional journalist as Andrew Stevens against a ruck maker for the sake of ruck making, as Karan Thapar. Rahul certainly gave Karan a rough time. Well done Rahul!

I hope Rahul can make a difference in India sitting as an Independent in the Rajya Sabha!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Did you switch OFF?

(Cross-posted on my Jacob's Blog and also our Oulu Chaff Blog.)

How many of you switched off all your lights and power units between 19:55 and 20:00 hours on 1st February 2007. (As was pointed out to us by 59er Peter Miovic.)

We did and sat in darkness with our living room flooded by the light of a full moon just behind us.

We did it not only to focus on the Climate Change issue but also as a protest to the "Oil Wars" being carried out by the US in Iraq and being planned in Iran!

As we looked around our small colony of 27 houses, we noted that one young couple with two small children had also followed the instructions, but 25 other families had been either oblivious or insensitive to the situation.

Eiffel Tower at sunrise.

The local newspapers did not cover the issue. It was only the television channels, as BBC World, which covered it by showing the switching off of the lights on the Eiffel Tower.

Today, there was much greater TV coverage of the report released today on climate change which stresses that there is 90% certainty that human beings were "very likely" to have been responsible for this.

We wonder why they stopped at saying "very likely" when it is absolutely certain and every scientist in the world studying this has no doubt whatsoever?