Alumni Affairs


News

2017 Aug 4. Sidney Brown (1941), our seniormost known living alumnus, died this evening in St Bruno (Montreal), Quebec, aged 92. He is survived by his wife Cecilia and three children. Thanks to Louise and Neville Rodricks (1957) for passing on the news.

They add: “He received the Last Rites/was anointed by a French priest who was at the hospital. Today is “First Friday” and Sidney always made the First Friday and was faithful to his daily prayers. Sidney was a student at SMS (1935-41) and returned as a teacher (1943-51). He also taught in Bombay and Canada and was well loved by his students. We will miss you dear Sidney. You never complained and always had great stories to tell. We will pray for Sidney and his family.”

Share your memories of Sid at Eulogies.

2017 Jun 19. Winston Shemain (1957) died on June 15. Thanks to Bob Amore (1957) for passing on the news from Winston's sister Lydia.

Share your memories of Winston at Eulogies.

2017 May 22. Michael Lewis (1962) died last November 15, reports his brother David (1960).

Share your memories of Michael at Eulogies.

2017 Jan 15. Br Richard “Dermot” Barrett, often known by his initials RDB, who taught in Abu from 1954 to 1957, died in Delhi this morning, aged 90. He'd had a series of strokes over the past 18 months, largely disabling his right side, and making reading difficult. In October, the innocuous act of turning in his chair left him with a broken thigh bone.

While his stint in Abu was short, he is affectionately remembered by his students, and frequently attended their reunions, not just in India but also in Europe and America, over the past 20 years. Bob Amore (1957) who was in his class in the 1950s, spoke to him on the phone recently. “Even after all these years, I still addressed him as 'Sir.'” Adrian Noronha (1966) credits his recruitment into the Brothers to RDB's guidance, and had the privilege of being one of his carers in the final days. RDB celebrated 75 years with the Brothers just a couple of months ago.

Share your memories at Eulogies.

2016 Sep 13. Madhu Choudhury (1972) died suddenly of a heart attack on August 17, in Mysore. He'd just turned 60, was 10 days short of retirement, and was visiting Mysore for pre-retirement training. He was one of the longer-reigning SMS students, having joined in Class 1 in 1962. The photo here was taken against the school building in February. Share your memories at Eulogies.

2016 Jul 21. Ken Staynor (1945) is one of our oldest living alumni. He recently lost a son, and then suffered a serious stroke. His message below is an inspiration to anyone battling a setback or two.

“I am apologising for my long silence and not being in contact with you over the last few months. Unfortunately on the afternoon of the 30th of April I was suddenly and very unexpectedly struck down by a very severe stroke which hospitalised me for over six weeks. Following the death of my eldest son Paul who lived with me, on 29 December, I have been living alone and was only discovered by chance after almost four hours before an ambulance was called.  I am glad to say that although my speech is severely affected and I have difficulty swallowing, managing only mashed food and unable to take liquids without fluid thickener, I am making slow but definite progress in recovering at home. At 89 years of age I feel I have been very lucky to survive and am now looking forward to batting on for at least the next eleven years before even thinking about bringing my innings to a close.

As we say in Wales, 'Pop dymuniad da' (Best wishes)”

If you know Ken, drop him a cheery note — contact me for his address. If not, just enjoy his spirit.

2016 Apr 5. Owen Amore (1956) died in Perth on March 9, aged 76, following a brief illness. He is survived by his wife, daughter and two sons, 10 grandchildren and a great-grandchild, as well as two brothers, Ivor (1951) and Bob (1957). Share your memories at Eulogies.

2016 Apr 1. Marc Carvalho (1979) died in Bombay on March 27. The Times of India carried the obituary. Share your memories at Eulogies. Thanks to Brian Fernandes  (1976) for the news.

2015 Dec 28. Br T J “Joe” O'Donovan, master of the Class of 1972 in 1971-1972, died in Ireland today, unexpectedly but peacefully. He was in his mid-90s. Share your memories at Eulogies. Thanks to Ashley D'Souza (1972) for passing on the news.

2015 Dec 23. Mahipal Singh Rathore (1975) died today in Bombay, after having been in a coma for a number of weeks, and suffering from lung cancer. Share your memories at Eulogies. Thanks to Anil Lobo (1976) for the news and photo.

2015 Dec 20. Fr Roger “Podge” Lesser (1944) died in India recently. There can be no argument that he was the greatest SMS alumnus ever, decorated by the Queen in 1999 with the Order of the British Empire “for services to the poor in India.” Read all about him at the SMS Hall of Fame. Share your memories at Eulogies. Thanks to Ashley D'Souza (1972) for the news, and to Pirkko O'Meara (1946 honorary) and Bob Amore (1957) for the photo of Podge outside Buckingham Palace (see Hall of Fame).

2015 Sep 21. A commendable initiative by SMS alumni: a dozen men from the 1966-71 era, headed by Edi Alva (1967), in conjunction with the Environmental Sanitation Institute of Ahmedabad, launched a Toilet-cum-Chullah Project in the seven villages of Mount Abu (Arna, Salgaon, Oriya, Jawai, Achalgadh, Shergaon & Utrej), trying to bring basic facilities to houses in the local area. The group consists of Sudhir Choudhri (1966), Bharat Kak (1967), Karl D'souza (1967), Walter Aubert (1967), Ainsley Priestman (1969), Susheel Kak (1969), Udayan Sen (1969), Nalin Thaker (1969), Jagdeep Vaishnav (1969), Kishore Parmar (1969), Satyanarayan Sinh Rathore (1971), Dewat Singh Sirohi (1972), Chandrashekar Singh Rathore (1971), Pushpender Singh (1988, son of Narendra Singh, 1966).  Hats off to these fine gentlemen for lending a hand to those in greatest need, and gaining goodwill for SMS.

2015 Sep 14. Dr Geeta Mehta, aka Mrs Trivedi, who taught Biology and served as SMS Physician in the 1970s, mother of Shanker (1971), Arjun (1976), Gauri and Bhairav Trivedi (1976), died this morning in Ahmedabad. The family lived just around the corner north of Paddy's Bridge. They were featured in the Times of India two years ago when Gauri dropped her IAS position to stay home and take care of her mother. Thanks to Zarryl Lobo (1973) for passing on the news. Share your memories at  Eulogies.

2015 Apr 28. Jay Majithia (1955) died in Guelph ON, Canada, on April 25 after a short bout with esophogal cancer. He was a Professor Emeritus in the School of Computer Science at the University of Guelph. A religious service will be held on Saturday May 2 at Ram Mandir, Mississauga. In lieu of flowers, the family has indicated that they would be grateful if a memorial gift honouring Jay were made to the Canadian Cancer Society.  Share your memories of Jay at Eulogies.

2015 Jan 17. Just to prove that this page is not just an obituary column ... SMS is featured as #3 among the top 20 boarding schools in India in this round-up. The article begins: “It's true that we share a deep bond with our alma mater. It's even more true for people who went to boarding schools. Not only was school  a place to learn, but also a place to live ....”  Thanks to Zarryl (1973) for forwarding.

2014 Dec 17. Br J P Murray, who taught in Abu during the 1950s, died on December 16 in Delhi. Br Steve Fernandes writes: “Our dear Brother John Patrick Murray expired this evening in Delhi. Pat complained about chest congestion and breathing difficulty on 9th December and was admitted to ICU in the Holy Family Hospital in Delhi. Pat was supposed to leave for Ireland on 12th December. He was very excited about his travel home. Pat's doctor advised us to postpone his ticket to a later date. The new date for his travel was fixed for 22nd Dec. Pat was born in 1930. He joined the Congregation of Christian Brothers in 1945 and spent 69 years with the Brothers. May God bless his soul. Please pray for his family members in Ireland and in other parts of the world.”

The tragedy of an 84-year-old who devoted his life to education in India, snatched away days before he could be reunited with his family, brings home the dedication of the Brothers.

Share your memories of Pat at Eulogies.

2014 Oct 8.  St Mary's has made some bold changes:

  • It has introduced what's commonly known as Junior College: Year 11 and 12. Initially it will offer only commerce. Science has been approved, but due to the cost of facilities, it will come later.
  • The Junior College section of the school is open to girls. This is not entirely revolutionary; it's actually coming full circle: SMS was co-ed in its earlier incarnation as Mount Abu Railway School. Browse the Class of 1895 at this site and you'll find Emily Remington.
  • Electronic Smart Boards have been introduced in classrooms. Tata, the manufacturer, has been allowed to erect an advertising sign proclaiming this.

The above facts have been distorted into a rumour that SMS is being taken over by Tata Education Trust and turned into a co-ed College of Commerce. The rumour, mailed to a Yahoo list, also reports that the “lady principal” is cutting heritage trees. Not bad! Alien takeover plus Sophian with chainsaw. Two for the price of one. The e-mail did go out during a full moon. Be assured that there's zero substance to it (this has been verified with the principal and a top-ranking Christian Brother), other than that the new kitchen is impressive and the big tree is gone (it collapsed under its own weight 10 years ago). It's strange that the rumour apparently originated with a 1959 alumnus and his son — as opposed to a teen who scored a D on a test. Maybe we'll be able to get to the bottom of that.

2014 Oct 2.  Walter Hawes, or Wali, as he liked to be known sadly passed away on August 4 2014 from cancer.  Born September 6th 1952 in Bombay he attended St Mary's between 1959 and 1964.  The Hawes family then came to the UK in 1965.  After school, university and training as a potter in 1982 he went to live in Spain practicing pottery,  teaching and raising two sons.  From 1992 until 2009 he was based in Japan, before returning to Spain and then the UK in 2011.  In accordance with his wish, his sons planted his ashes with a tree — the Cork Oak (Quercus suber) in the forests of Narvata, Catalunya, Spain.  Wali's website: www.walihawes.com provides much much more of his life and work in art.

Sent on the 2 October 2014 by brother Phillip Hawes (1970).

Share your memories at Eulogies.

2014 Jan 20.  Tyronne Mendes (1972) died in Bombay on January 20, following a brief illness. The funeral is on Jan 21 at 0900. Check local newspapers for details.

Tyronne joined SMS in 1965 (as did his brother Trevor, who died two years ago, see below) in Class 4 and finished in 1972. More at Eulogies ...

The photo was taken at Trevor Tal, at the Class of 1972 40-year reunion.

Share your memories at Eulogies.

2013 Aug 3.  Chris Peris (1960) died in Dallas, TX, USA, on June 28. Keith Fernandes (1958) forwarded the obituary:

Dr. Christopher Richard Peris, 67, a long-time resident of the Lake James subdivision of Edinburg, passed away peacefully on June 28 at Medical City Hospital in Dallas due to cardiac arrest. He will be greatly missed by his loving family, including wife Pam Peris, his friends and colleagues at Mission Hospital, where he worked for many years as an anesthesiologist. Born in 1945 in India, Dr. Peris received his medical training at the Armed Forces Medical College in Pune, India. He did residencies in London, Brooklyn, NY and Yale Hospital in New Haven, CT where his first son David was born in 1974. He and his family soon relocated to the Williamsville suburb of Buffalo, NY where he practiced at Sisters of Charity Hospital, where his son Steven was born in 1978. Tired of the harsh Buffalo winters, Dr. Peris looked to move his family to warmer climates and after a trip to South Texas, the family moved to the Rio Grande Valley in 1983. Dr. Peris soon worked at the former Edinburg Hospital for many years, with his sons attending schools in Edinburg. He was a valued member of the medical community in the Valley and was held in high regard among his patients and Mission Hospital colleagues who were very close to him. He is preceded in death by his father. Survivors include his mother, Vida, and his sister Vera, both of India, his wife Pam of Edinburg, his sons Steven of Dallas and David of Austin, his daughter-in-law Shannon and his grandchildren Lila & Chloe. A memorial service will tentatively be held on July 10th at 6pm at Holy Spirit Parish in McAllen, TX.

Share your memories at Eulogies.

2012 June 30.  Trevor Mendes (1973) died in Bombay on June 20, following an extended illness. He was an outdoorsman and naturalist. The first word that many of his classmates uttered in his memory was “fearless.” He was most famously known as “Snake Mendes,” after having had his calf pierced by an angry snake being wrestled out of its lair—Trevor wasn't the wrestler, but the name stuck to him anyway. He is survived by his brother Tyronne and two sons. Share your memories at Eulogies.

The snake episode in detail, from Ashley D'Souza (1972): “Br. Foran was supervising my Div E hockey match when the commotion started. It was in summer/hockey season of 1967. Someone saw a snake dart from somewhere and make its way into the rocks behind the school end of the Div E goal post. [Wrestler] grabbed it by the tail and started pulling on it with all of us cheering him on! For a while it seemed like [wrestler] was losing his grip, when suddenly the snake let go, and recoiled out of the hole like a rubber band. It swung to the right and bit Trevor in the calf.”

2012 May 21.  The Class of 1962 is heading for Mount Abu at the end of 2012 (November 22-25) to celebrate their 50th Anniversary. Contact Suresh D'Lima

The Class of 1972 is planning their 40th Anniversary reunion, on October 5-9.

2011 Sep 18. Received this anonymous report, subsequently confirmed by Erle Pereira (1974): “I'd like to inform the staff that Mr. John B. Pereira who taught English approximately during the years of 1974-1978 passed away on September 13, 2011 in Manchester England. He is survived by his wife Patricia (who also taught at the school during this time), his daughter Maureen, sons Ashley and Quentin, his daughter-in-law Debbie and grandchildren Abigail and Aidan. He was very fond of this school and the staff and students there. Please remember him and his family in your prayers.”

Anil Lobo (1976) adds: “Johnny and Mrs. Pereira started teaching in Abu in 1974, when they returned from East Africa. Very likely they were in Abu till 1978. After Abu, think they lived/taught in Poona for a few years and then moved to the UK ... The Pers used to share the cottage next to the gym with the Khambattas.

“RIP Johnny—you were finicky about propah pronunciation, had sartorial style and taught us to appreciate the English language. Including boring Shakespearean works like Henry V!”

Share your memories at Eulogies.

2011 May 17. On the occasion of the Queen's visit to Ireland this week, BBC put together this short but useful history of Ireland vis-à-vis Britain.

2011 Apr 28. “Yarooh!  You beast!” Who could forget Billy Bunter's porcine squeals and the endearing tales of life at Greyfriars? And there's Harry Potter at Hogwarts, but that's hogwash about witchsticks and wizmebobs, nothing to do with the realities of boarding.

Now there's a novel inspired in part by life at the most respectable establishment of them all. Ashley Shemain (1956) has published Boarding School Boy, a complete work of fiction about the life and times of Anglo Indians in railway colonies and boarding schools during the final decades of The Raj. Many of us will be able to relate to the protagonists in the story since in many ways it is a fictional rendition of life in mid-20th century India. It's set at “St Augustine's.” The pic at right doesn't really do the book justice. It's a handsome, hard-bound, 450-page volume, well printed and produced. There's an extensive 60-page preview and other details at Ashley's web site. The book is available at Amazon and other outlets, in the US, UK, Canada, Australia and India.
Update 2012: Boarding School Boy is now an e-book, available for 99 cents from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Apple iTunes.

And I came across this list of the “best” boarding schools in India. SMS doesn't feature. Which of course raises questions about the metrics and research methods. How many of those 34 celebrated institutions can claim to have motivated two books?* And four anthems? How many of those schools have thousands of faithful alumni who visit their web site just to listen to the chime of its clock? Bah! Hogwash!

*The other is by Pat O'Meara, referenced in the news item below from April 2002. Under the Old School Topee by Hazel Craig also references SMS obliquely.

2010 Sep 8. In the biggest success of its kind, the alumni funding tug-of-war (see March 17 item) ended with bragging rights for the Young Bucks, but more importantly, raising Rs 6 lakhs for the school. Frank E Dias (1973) pulled this off largely on his own, and the Class of 1973 heads off to a reunion in a month, holding its head high, and a cheque in its hand. It was much more than the Class of 1973 involved at the donor end, and thanks are due to all who participated and made it an enjoyable contest.

2010 Apr 8. Joel Shalom (1985) eulogizes his brother Jotham (1997), who died on March 15. Share your memories at Eulogies.

2010 Apr 1. Byron Pereira reports the death of Jude Alva (1976). No details yet.

2010 Mar 17. What do the boys of 1965+ do better than their counterparts from 1964 and earlier? We're set to find out. Frank E Dias (1973) has launched a significant funding campaign to support two parallel causes at SMS: the Goyal Memorial Bursary Fund (detailed below, see news item of 2008-12-16) and the Keane Memorial Infrastructure Fund. The Upper Classmen (pre-1965) have been challenged to out-fundraise the 1965+ Young Bucks. Roughly Rs 350K has been pledged so far by both sides, and it's shaping up as an enthralling tug-of-war. The Young Bucks have had a 3-month head start, but the Upper Classmen, having paid off their mortgages and kids' college tuition, are heaving back.

The finish line is July 31, Founder's Day. Both funds are exceptionally worthy, and you're invited, no, cajoled, to pull for your generation—and your school. More...

2010 Mar 17. Br H K Rigney, who taught senior classes at SMS in the 1960s, died on February 18 (?) in Ireland. Vivian Noronha (1968) recalls his 11th Commandment: “Do what you like but don't get caught. If you do get caught, take your punishment like a man.” Share your memories at Eulogies.

2009 Oct 26. Celine Castellino (nee Pereira), a teacher in the 1950s, died in Montreal on October 24. Share your memories of her at Eulogies.

2009 Oct 25. Chris Joseph (1956) writes: “Gordon Clarke informed me that Lloyd Gilder passed away to Eternal Life on 30 Sep 2009 in Melbourne, Australia, and requested that we pray for him and to let other old St. Mary's boys from the 1950s know about his passing to Eternal Rest.”  Chris shares his memories of Lloyd—and you're invited to do the same—at Eulogies.

2009 Oct 21. Keith Fernandes (1957) writes of his late classmate: “Olav Pacheco died this morning, Wednesday October 21, a few weeks shy of his 67th birthday. On speaking with his brother-in-law in Chembur a few minutes ago, I learned that Olav had another massive heart attack to which he succumbed. He had been in good health in recent weeks and when I spoke with him last, about a month ago, he was in good health and felt that he had recovered well from his coronary bypass surgery. A few days ago Olav developed a fever and this got worse over the last couple of days. He was admitted into one hospital and was about to be transferred to another when he had a massive heart attack and died.  Olav’s funeral will be held at OLPH in Chembur at 4:00 pm on Thursday October 22.” Share your memories of him at Eulogies.

2009 Oct 17. Ainsley Priestman (1969) has posted excerpts from the 2009 Sports on YouTube: opening, relay and tug-of-war.

2009 Sep 23. Trevor Gilby (1956) died on September 19 in California.  He had been ill for some years, and suffered a stroke about 10 days ago. A memorial service was held on Sep 27 in El Cerrito, CA. Trevor is survived by his wife Cheryl and three daughters. A retrospective on his life—including a fair number of pics at SMS—is on YouTube, as is a photo montage of the memorial service. Share your memories of him at Eulogies.

2009 Aug 1. Keith Roland (1958) died on July 18. Keith Fernandes writes: “I still recall where Keith sat in our last year in school, where his bed was in the dorm, how well he played sport, his great play as a forward on the school and class hockey teams, how he was committed to the 440s [440-yard races], his great art work, how he spent his time making lists of musical artists and performers, but mostly as my friend who loved to sing. Keith was a great competitor in all sports and athletic events from table tennis to cricket ... I remember him as a keen competitor, a smart guy, a fine singer, an accomplished athlete and an outstanding classmate. May he rest in peace.” Share your memories of Keith at Eulogies.

2009 Jul 11. Philip Thomas (1958) died on July 5. Keith Fernandes writes: “As many of you may remember, Philip was a brilliant student in Abu and a great classmate. I still recall his superb mental abilities and his winning smile. After his Senior Cambridge, Philip along with Vipin Patel and Bhupendra Surana attended St. Joseph’s in Naini Tal where they did an accelerated ISc. I believe Philip then went on to study in the US returning to India on the completion of his studies. He later taught at IIAM in Ahmadabad and then retired to Goa where he was active in his efforts to ensure that Goa got appropriate flight facilities.” Share your memories of Philip at Eulogies.

2009 Jul 4. Noel deSouza (1980) pointed out this Times of India article, transcribed:

JAIPUR: Boating in Nakki Lake or enjoying the sunset point at Mount Abu is set to become more fun with the Union environment ministry declaring the hill station an eco-sensitive zone which will ensure that now curbs are in place to retain its pristine charm.

TOI had first reported this in its July 17 edition last year. But the locals had been vehemently opposing the move. However, in June 25, the ministry passed the notifications which will now limit traffic and ban the use of plastic bags among other things. The decision has come as per the recommendations of the Mohan Ram Committee set up by the Supreme Court. The committee had found Mount Abu to be an eco-fragile area and had asked the government to take immediate measures.

Although the ministry has taken the decision in the right earnest, locals are still not convinced and will oppose it. “The move will create more procedural complications and may also lead to corruption as the public will fall victim to babus’ highhandedness,” said Jalam Giri, chairman, Mount Abu Municipal Corporation. He said the move was on for quite some time and they had met chief minister Ashok Gehlot and other leaders apprising them about the problems of the local people. “The chief minister had assured that the tag will be subject to locals’ consent but it has happened unilaterally without taking their views into account,” he added.

2009 May 6. Pat O'Meara (1946), one of our most energetic and lovable alumni, died in the UK yesterday. Through the 1980s and 1990s he worked hard to organize the alumni community in the UK. He wrote periodic newsletters, and hosted a 100-strong reunion at his house in Surbiton. He wrote a book, Indian Tales, on his experiences in boarding schools around India, with a memorable section on Abu, so that his children could have a flavour of his life. It's free online reading too. Bob Amore (1957) and I joined Pat and his family at their home for dinner about 2003. Pat was still like a little Abu boy, full of stories about pranks they'd played (he's just getting warmed up in this movie—we have to censor the details of the prank). About a year earlier, he'd had an otherworldly experience, recovering a batch of his dad's army medals thanks to his Abu connection (story below). Pat is survived by his wife Pirkko and children Ros, Philomena, Veronique, Marco, Karl and Kieron.  Share your memories of him at Eulogies.

His funeral will be on Wednesday May 13, 10:00 AM at Randalls Park Crematorium in Leatherhead, Surrey, UK. True to O'Meara tradition, Abuites and families are welcome at the service and reception. Details are at a special web page: www.omeara.co.uk

2009 Mar 27. Iona College, a Christian Brothers institution in New Rochelle, New York, has made an incredible offer to SMS. A full scholarship will be awarded annually to a foreign student pursuing a Bachelor's degree at Iona. SMS has been designated the preferred recipient for the first award, because the donor is a SMS alumnus. A wide range of subjects is available, and Iona is particularly known for business and computer science. Applicants should have completed Junior College in the 10+2+3 sequence. Admission as early as Fall 2009, just a few months away, is a possibility. Abuites in the New York area will be asked to help with adjustment issues. A full scholarship at a private college in the U.S. is an opportunity to be taken very seriously. Contact the Principal, Mary Joseph, for details.

2009 Mar 18. Pat Louis (1959) died on March 13. He made his name as a photographer, who reputedly stayed up all night on the branch of a tree, capturing a movie of eggs hatching in a nest. The photo at left, Balloon Seller, was featured on the front cover of the International Photography Year Book, and won an International Gold Medal. Others are being archived at patlouis.com. Keith Fernandes (1958) writes: “He accomplished great feats of travel and mobility despite being hobbled by a disease that would have caused most of us to remain bedridden; whereas Pat modified his car so that he could drive, travelled alone and with crutches through parts of Australia, Africa and around the US and Canada.” Share your memories of Pat at Eulogies.

2009 Feb 16. Br J A Keane, 2-time Principal of SMS, 1964-1968 (photo at left is from 1968 Abu Oriole) and 1976-1981, died in Ireland today. The write-up in the Hall of Fame speaks volumes about his compassion as well as the outstanding legacy that he leaves behind as an administrator. In an interview (4 items below in this list) while leaving India, he remembered Abu as his favourite posting. Share your memories of him in Eulogies.

Br Pat Gaffney writes: “Just had word that Tony has passed to his reward after struggling manfully for the past three days. I expect that the removal will probably take place Tuesday at 5.30 pm. May he rest in peace. Several of the ex-Abuites have been in touch enquiring about him.”

Ashley D'Souza was probably the last alumnus to see Keane, on an very appropriately described “pilgrimage” to Ireland last Christmas. He shares some wonderful photos at his web site.

2009 Feb 14. Br Anish John reports that Br Keane has had a serious stroke and is in critical condition. He had a stroke a couple of years ago, left India last October in failing health and is at the Brothers' retirement home in Baldoyle, Ireland. You may want to get your thoughts together and drop him/the family a note c/o Br Patrick Bowler pabowler_2000 -at- yahoo.ie. Not sure whether he can understand spoken words.

Update Feb 16. From Br Pat Gaffney: “Tony Keane continues to struggle on but has shown no signs of recognition or awareness of the presence of his sisters, brothers, nephews and nieces around him. His breathing is shallow, he is getting a regular dose of morphine and the other life-support systems are still in place. The doctor thought Tony was about to leave us yesterday and had him moved into an isolation room so that the family could be by his bedside. I don't think he took into consideration the strength of Tony's heart and will. Keep praying for him.”

2008 Dec 16. The L R Goyal Memorial Bursary celebrates the memory of SMS's most beloved teacher, who served 38 years from 1951 to 1989, training classes in Hindi among other duties. An anonymous alumnus launched the Bursary Fund with CAD$10,000 (roughly Rs 400,000) this month, and challenges the alumni body to contribute a matching amount. The interest will support orphans and less-well-off students, giving them the opportunity of a lifetime that we all hold dear—education at SMS.

Upon Mr Goyal's death in January 2001, several alumni asked what could be done in his memory. This seems like the perfect answer. Don't stop at 4 lakhs. Solicit donations from your employer, friends, neighbours, their employers, etc. They can all identify with the cause. Let's make it a megafund worthy of the man after whom it's named.

Why fund the way of orphans at SMS? Take a look at the story of Tony Paul in the Hall of Fame. Have a kerchief handy.

2010-03-17 update: How to get involved: check the menu at left: Alumni Affairs > Fund Raising.

2008 Nov 24. Mr Christanand Vase, who made history as the first lay Principal, has decided not to renew his tenure at the head of SMS. The baton passes to another history-maker, Mary Joseph, who will be the first lady Principal.

Br Noel Desa writes: “Mr Christanand Vase has informed the Brothers of his inability to be available for a new contracted term as Principal of St Mary's. This is due to personal reasons. Accordingly the Brothers have asked Ms Mary Joseph to take over the reigns of the Principalship for the next year, during which time the sourcing of the new person for the job will be done.

“Ms Joseph has spent 25 years teaching at St Mary's, the last 8 of them being the Coordinator, working closely with the Principal. She is therefore well experienced as far as not only teaching and the spirit of SMS goes, but also well versed with the workings of the office. We at SMS are extremely grateful to her for having agreed to step up and lead the school during this time of transition, and express every confidence in her ability to lead the school.”

The school is also very grateful to Christanand for his 5 years at the helm. Being the first lay Principal of a school run by the Brothers for 74 years comes with personal challenges. Ainsley Priestman (1969) articulates this well in his thoughts on Christanand's departure.

Mary's leadership of St Mary's raises the possibility that one of us lads could one day be Principal at Sophia. Hmm!

2008 Oct 25. Br O'Neill, who taught at SMS during the 1960s, died on October 17. Br Liam Deasy writes: “Dear All, I don't know whether you knew Hughie O'Neill who was stationed in Abu in the 60s. Later he left and married a lovely girl, Joan, and raised a beautiful family. He passed away on Friday night last and was cremated yesterday here in Dublin. His wishes were that some of his ashes be spread on Mount Abu ... so he will be coming home at last. May he rest in peace. Please do pray for the support of his wife and family as well as for his friends both in India and in Ireland. Regards and Aashirvad, Liam.” Share your memories at Eulogies.

2008 Oct 13. Br Anish reports from Goa that Br Keane, in failing health, returned to Ireland on October 2 after serving India for 57 years. He suffered a stroke two years ago. He is retiring to St Mary's Nursing Home, Baldoyle (suburban Dublin), the home for senior Brothers in Ireland. Just two days ago the SMS Hall of Fame was launched, featuring Br Keane's pioneering work in Gujarat. The following brief interview appears in the newsletter of Regina Mundi School in Goa, from where he left:

Q: When did you first come to India?
4th November 1951.

Q: What are your fondest memories of India?
Working for the tribal people of Gujarat—it's amazing, but the lower down the social ladder you go, the better the people and their values.  My ex-students who have thanked me not for the lessons, but for the values they learnt.

Q: Which is your favourite school in India?
St Mary's in Abu because I spent 14 years there.

Q: What advice do you wish to pass on to Regina Mundi School students?
You are very privileged, you come from good homes and backgrounds. Make use of school. Build your character and study hard. Everything is taught in class so pay full attention. Don't encourage those fooling around.

Q: What will you find hardest to say goodbye to in India ?
The people of India. The tribal people of Gujarat who took me right to their hearts. My Brothers and my students.

2008 Oct 7. Br Brendan MacCarthaigh (formerly McCarthy) received a Harmony Silver award from Dev Anand at a ceremony in Bombay today, in recognition of his work on suicidal kids and reducing the stress of education. Silver awards, from the Ambani group, recognize those who continue to pursue their life's goals with vigour despite having silver threads upon their crown. The award did come with about Rs 50,000, but SERVE could use a lot more serious funding. The citation reads: “Brother Brendan MacCarthaigh,  70, Kolkata. For trying to eliminate suffering from the Indian classroom. This Irish priest and educationist who has made India his home developed a study module in 1996 to de-stress children during examinations and minimise student suicides—it’s called Student’s Empowerment, Rights and Vision through Education (SERVE). (Nearly 24 per cent of all suicides in India are committed by children who fail in examinations—the highest in the world.) Since then, he’s been fighting to get his system incorporated in the country’s mainstream education. He works from an unassuming office in Kolkata with volunteers to help. It took five years for his efforts to receive a major boost. In 2001, Janaki Rajan, then director of State Council Educational Research and Training (SCERT) Delhi allowed the system to be adopted in the state. Though nearly 900,000 children benefited and several teachers were trained, SCERT stopped using the programme after Rajan’s term owing to its unconventional nature. Here’s the good news, though: Rajasthan and Uttarakhand began to support the module last year after Educate Girls Globally, an NGO, invited him to conduct a teachers’ course. And in Kolkata, La Martiniere School for Girls uses it for lower classes. Now, MacCarthaigh hopes that retired silvers with a wealth of potential to share join the movement to make Indian classrooms happier places; on July 12 SERVE organised an event with Kolkata-based NGO Tapovan to motivate the elderly to become more active in the community.”

2008 Oct 7. Ainsley Priestman (1969) has posted a blog on Sports Day 2008. Great show of organization and disciplined marching from the class of 1983, celebrating a 25-year reunion. In contrast to the other brigade of alums who joined the march-past, some of whom seemed not to appreciate the privilege of participation. Though there have been more ragtag showings in the past. May the 1983 group set the standard for future appearances.

2008 Apr 11. Ainsley Priestman (1969) has posted some great shots of Abu at Flickr with informative captions and even poetry. These links tend not to last too long, so visit while you can. Caution: it could trigger a tourist stampede.

2007 Nov 9. Mary Donald, who taught at SMS in the 1950s and early 1960s, died on November 8. Her son Chris writes:
Dear family and friends
My mother passed away peacefully at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal without discomfort at 7.00am this morning, November 8, 2007. She considered that hospital her home away from home! Wendy and I went up and arranged for a priest to stand with us over her and say prayers as she had wished. She looked very peaceful, her skin still looked surprisingly clear and young, and it simply appeared that she was in a deep sleep. I feel blessed that I was able to spend time and prayers with her (she was able to follow along especially with the Lord's Prayer) over these past few days, and that her grandsons Matthew and Jonathan had accompanied me on a very recent visit. She had been hospitalized for just over two weeks with a blood ailment she had lived with for more than 25 years, and at 91, the severity was more than her body could handle. As per her wishes, she will be cremated within the next 48 hours after which I will bring the urn to St Jean Brebeuf Church in LaSalle where she was a long time parish member and where a mass will be said in her memory over the next ten days or so. An obituary will run in the city's major daily newspaper. Thank you for the thoughts, prayers and love you have shared with my mother throughout her life.

2007 Oct 13. Proud to report that a classmate is making the news for lending a hand in the right place. Len Alphonso (1973) opens his apartment in Goa to homeless kids, and teaches them what he knows best: architecture and computer aided design (article in E Shaddai). Other philanthropic standouts among our ranks are Fr Roger Lesser (1944) in Udaipur, late Jagdish Nazareth (1967) in Gujarat, Zarryl Lobo (1973) in Bangalore, Tony Paul (1975) in Bassein, and Br Brendan MacCarthaigh in Calcutta. Of course this is an incomplete list, with many do-gooders going unrecognized.

2007 Sep 20.  Malcolm Goode (1954) died in Bombay this week. His sons Bruce and Warren wrote: “He suffered a sudden heart attack. He took ill on the evening of Tuesday the 18th, was rushed to the hospital, but unfortunately didn't make it. The funeral is set for 1030 AM on Saturday the 22nd, at St. John the Evangelist Church, Marol. Should you require any further information, kindly ring +91.9869255301 or e-mail jimgoode@blueyonder.DELETE-ME.co.uk”

Malcolm loved math. He sometimes asked to share math posers with alums (see June 2003 item below).

2007 Jun 12. Who's our seniormost living alumnus?  Robin “Boots” Jebb (1938) used to correspond until he died in 2002. Edgar “Denzil” Alexander (1944) got in touch recently, put me in contact with Bob Foote (1941), whose elder brother John lives in Katgodam, U.P., near Naini Tal.  Haven't made contact with John yet, but the three Foote brothers started schooling in Abu in 1933, so let's guess John was in the batch of 1935.  That would have put him in class with Br Vieyra, a venerable veteran of SMS ... see item below.

2007 Jun 12. A request for memories, from Br Roy da Silva (1977):

Dear Friends

Greetings from the Garden City of Chandigarh (India), where we are trying to beat the severe heat wave!  The thunderstorm last night did not do much to cool the place down.

I have a request from all you Abuites (Marians) from the years when Br. R. B. Vieyra was posted at St. Mary’s and any other acquaintances whether former students, teachers, parents and friends. I have been given the task of writing Br. Vieyra’s obituary and I request all of you to help me out with this honour by sending your contributions by way of reminiscences, anecdotes, words of appreciation, photographs and any other material which I might include in recounting the noble life of one who touched us all in some unique way. I am putting a time-line by requesting that all contributions be sent to me latest by Saturday, 30th June, either by email to roydasilva@hotmail.com or in the post.  The address is given below.  Also kindly forward this message and inform all the others who may not be part of this “loop.”

Thanking you all in anticipation.

Br. Roy da Silva, CFC,
St. John’s High School, Sector 26, Chandigarh – 160 019
Res: +91.172.508 3622.  School: +91.172.279 2678.  Mob: +91.98154 21226

2007 Jan 17. Br F “Larry” Kelly, the genial genius, legendary ambidextrous science master (who could write notes on the blackboard with one hand while simultaneously drawing a figure with the other), with the much coveted Gaelic autograph, architect of SMS's landmark chapel, quick and practical thinker ..., died at about 5.30 pm on January 16 in Ireland. He had been seriously ill in hospital. He'd been at a retirement home in Baldoyle since 2000, when his health required specialized attention. He was first posted to Abu in 1969, replacing Br O'Keeffe as senior science master. We can remember learning F=MA, V=IR, acid+alkali=salt+water only, and a host of other relationships that remain indelible, from him.

Br Noel D'Sa writes: “I am sure many hold him in high esteem, as I think he was posted in Abu for around 13 years or so and had a profound way of dealing with kids.” Br Noel has offered to compile your memories, photos, handwriting samples, autographs, etc, into a memorial album from SMS alumni, to be presented to Br Kelly's family. Contribute your thoughts at Eulogies. If you have images, recordings, etc, please e-mail them to sms@dgrcXX.ca, deleting the XX from the address.

2006 Nov 29. Deryk “Tinkle Toes” de Souza (1957), Bombay/India Alumni Association Managing Committee Member, died on November 23 of a massive heart attack. He's remembered most as a football ace. In his time he also set an unofficial long jump record of 19' 4" (5.89 metres). Chris Joseph's Diary (Memorabilia—Articles) has a number of entries about him.
2006 Nov 26. Karl Aubert (1962) retires from SMS this year, after about 30 years on the teaching staff.

2006 Oct 15. It's been 10 years since this site was launched, putting SMS on the web and reinvigorating the memories of the sights and sounds of Abu. Out of about 3000 alums from 1887 to 2006, more than 1000 have registered their contact details. There have been raucous reunions in Australia, Canada, the Middle East, the UK and US, and of course Abu and Bombay. Boys from the 1950s, boys from the 1990s. There have been a few bonuses: we've reunited cousins lost since WWII, and reunited family heirlooms with their owner. There have also been sad moments, reporting deaths in the SMS family.

Our alumni range in age from teens to 80s; if I could identify the single most remarkable feature of the past decade, it's that the camaraderie among us transcends age and era. I've been in touch with boys 40 years senior to me, as well as men 20 years my junior.

In the same vein, the web site has been a team effort, with various inputs of content, news bites, photos, techniques, and everyone's enthusiasm. A big Thank You to all who've helped to make this site what it is—special mention of Aloysius and Marlon—and to those picking up the baton by hosting sites of their own—Ashley, Ulysses, etc.

To commemorate the decade, here are links to the earliest archived 1996 site design, and the story of how it started.

Speaking of reunions, half a dozen lads from our batch got together in Los Angeles last week, and while we were at it, we celebrated two 50th birthdays. One of the pentagenarians had recently suffered a frightening heart attack but lived to tell the tale. Yes, that's from my relatively young class of 1973.

Looking to the future, I expect to spend less time maintaining this site, and to let the other sites, forums and instant messaging systems pick up more of the slack. But I do have two pet projects to share with you. The first is to step up the Articles section of Memorabilia, to document the legends of the various eras. Everyday life, routines, challenges, laughs and pranks. I've set the pace with an account of how we made the inimitable SMS catties; your contribution on a similar story would be welcome.

The second project is to think about how to give a bit back to our teachers, whom many credit for turning us into men. One approach is to make donations to the school, which we have in the past. How about direct gratitude to the retiring Brothers and Staff? As they get less active and more lonely, the memory of grateful boys can be uplifting. The Brothers set up a retirement house in Goa, but in practice it's tended to become a palliative care facility, hence not very attractive to more healthy retirees. Perhaps we could get some funds together to make the place more exciting? Any ideas? Memories don't have to equate to hard cash; a letter and photo to an old teacher can work wonders too. Do it now while you and your teacher are still around.

2006 Sep 7. It's here! Sitting on the other side of the world, we can now see SMS and our childhood haunts. Google's latest resolution update shows the campus in glorious detail. Down to the green-and-gold star on the front field—that appears to have been placed there precisely for space-based validation. See for yourself: SMS campus. Spongy. Golden HornSchool LakeShallow BayTourist Bungalows. Polo Grounds. Trevor Tal. And how could we forget ... Sophia. Google still offers the eastern part of Abu, from Plummy to Abu Road, in lower resolution. Give it a few months.


There are 3D shots and technical commentary at About SMS—Maps.

2006 Sep 3. Paddy's Bridge has been in the local news this past week. On Aug 19 the river was in spate and the boys had to hoof it over the hill to the new check post. Never in the history of SMS have the day scholars had as many non-instructional working days as this year. The local authorities put up temporary barricades and some meshing on either side of the bridge. A ban on 4-wheelers and heavy traffic will continue as long as it is raining heavily. Regular school resumed on the 25th.  —Pramod Pereira (1988).

2006 Aug 31. Ashley D'Souza has just added to his site a number of Oriole issues from 1977 to 1981, thanks to Andre Rasquinha (1981) who sent in his collection.  If you have an old Oriole that's not on Ashley's list, please consider sharing them with Ashley and the wider community of Abuites. Ashley's started a painstaking process of identifying each face in each class photo, so that you can mouse-over a buddy and get his name. Hmm, tough Abu discipline pays off.

2006 Jun 3. SMS always had something in common with heaven. Now there's one more point of similarity—there are gates at the entrance, they're locked, and you have to ask nicely to enter. The “black road” was being treated as a public thoroughfare by cabbies taking visitors for a view of the dam. Now it will be just a little more difficult to sneak out of bounds.

2006 Jun 2. Mrs Jeroo Khambatta, who taught art at SMS from 1967 to the 1980s, died on May 30. Her students remember her as a fine, well-mannered person and a patient teacher. Some time during our final days in school in 1973, out of the blue she ordered dosas for our entire class and we had a surprise dinner treat. It's a gesture we fondly remember 33 years later. Her son Burzeen attended SMS, class of 1976. More at Eulogies

2006 Mar 14. Heard from Br Anish that after several decades caring for the boys at SMS, the Mission Sisters of Ajmer—the nuns in charge of hospi, the junior dorm and even the senior dorm—have withdrawn. Sr Edith, Sr Eleanora, Sr Ludovica, and many others. At SMS they had to drop their names in favour of Dorm Sas, Hospi Sas and Old Sas. Hospi Sas always had to be the most patient of the three, dealing with a horde of unruly whiners after breakfast, and another after lunch. They were pretty much “Mom” when it came to fixing bruises, fixing buttons, or fixing beds. In all my years at SMS and after, I never heard about a disagreement involving the good sisters. My only recollection of a negative incident was that one of them cut my nails too close to the quick. It's a bit late, but Thank You, Sisters!

2006 Feb 8. Dr Vincent deMello (1957) died on January 23. Bob Amore writes: “After 41 years, we met in 1998 at a reunion back in School.  He was game to try anything, even entering the old boys 4 x 100m relay and playing 'goalie' during the old boys vs schoolboys football match. We met again in Southampton in 2003.  He really enjoyed the Abu days and asked me to organise a small reunion.  He had come over with his wife, Daphne, on their way to a cruise on the QE 2.  He loved cruising and has been on several.  It is his suggestion that we OBs meet for a reunion on a cruise with good accommodation, good food, good friends, good entertainment and good excursions. If this does come about, it will be dedicated to Vincent.”  Photos of Vincent appear in the article by Bob under Memories|Articles.

2005 Dec 20. Another SMS web site launched: Rickson's forum

2005 Jan 21Three Jubilee Photo Web Sites.  Ulysses Menezes has put up a Jubilee web site with excellent photos of the celebration events, narratives on walks to Plummy, Golden Horn, etc.  Sunil Noronha has a large collection at Yahoo, including some/all of the Priestman/Aubert collection below.  Ashley D'Souza's web site has a Jubilee section too, under the Photographs link.  There are 500-1000 photos between these three sites, covering the events as well as the general scenery of Abu.

2004 Nov 24.  After six years at the helm of SMS, Br Anish John leaves on Dec 4. During his time we've been fortunate to receive frequent updates on happenings via the Principal's newsletters (posted at the Principal's page). Mr Christanand Vase takes over, the first lay Principal at SMS. Alumni extend best wishes to both Br Anish and Mr Vase.

2004 Oct 14.  Aloysius D'Souza's account of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations

St Mary's High Schol, Mount Abu celebrated the Platinum Jubilee (1929 to 2004) with great pomp.  On September 25th, 2004 the celebrations commenced with the Operetta — Ali Baba and the Forty Black Sheep — conducted by Bro Anish  (Principal).  Fantastic show.  The harem of young girls really looked like girls so much so one of the people in the audience asked "Is SMHS now a co-ed school?"  The show was held in the open air on the basket-ball courts, with lowering skies — it had rained that afternoon — but the boys' and the audience's prayers were answered and there was no rain.

Sunday, September 26th,  Thanksgiving Mass — in the School Hall — Mass concelebrated by five Priests, one of whom, Fr Arun D'Souza, SJ, is an alumnus.  Bro. Anish announced that with effect from next year the Principal will be a lay man, Mr Vase, who is presently a teacher at SMHS.

That evening there was a Variety Programme on the basket-ball courts.  Must have been a good programme, but the audience was so undisciplined that we at the back could hardly hear anything because of the hum of conversation (shouted across from one row of seats to another much further back) — we moved off after about five items.

September 27th 08:00. There were two options, Walk down Memory Lane or  Back to School — the latter was the reverse of "No more Latin no more Greek, No more sitting  on the hard hard bench, If the teacher interferes, Knock him down and box his ears" — sit in the class room, eat breakfast in the refectory.  Our group of 1950s Old Boys opted for a walk down memory lane, but were not upto climbing Plummy, etc, went to the old School Lake and Shallow Bay, but had to circumnavignate the new lake (of the new dam) through an over-grown jungle.  Both the old school lake and shallow bay are now full of water most of the year thanks to the new dam.  Environment protection rules in place, no leaving plastic bags, etc in the jungle, bring them back to school!!!

September 27th 12:00.  Memorial Mass. Remembered all the Brothers and Teachers who are no longer with us in person, but very much with us in spirit, in our memories and in a reflection of all that they had taught us over the years we spent at School.  Specially remembered Bro George Bennett and suggested that as a memorial to him, we the alumni make efforts to re-forest Mount Abu and then re-introduce the wild animals who once inhabited these hills and forests.

September 27th 19:00.  Dinner Dance at Hotel Hillock.  Lots of unattached young ladies waiting for dance partners, but surprisingly the current (and the old) old boys were most bashful and had to be actually pulled on to the floor.  Quite a success for all that — the floor was crowded and specially for old guys like me they played a selection of old old pieces to which you could really dance and not just gyrate and shake in one place.

September 28th 14:00. Annual Sports Meet and Drill Display.  Four old boys (Ivor Amore and Aloysius D'Souza, both 1951, Pat Kelly (1955) and Owen Amore (1956), were given the privilege of handing over the School Flag to the School's House Captains, who then hoisted it to herald the commencement of the Sports meet.  Some of the young boys lay down and spelled out "WELCOME  75."   Some of the flat races and the relays were run, but most of the items had been decided earlier. Val's record of 1972 in the shot put at 10.52 m. still stands. Club drill with different coloured clubs was basically the same but the sari-drill and the bamboo drill were new.   Old Boys' Race — There must have been over 200 old boys present for the Jubilee celebrations, from 1951 to 2004. Old Boys were therefore divided into two groups, pre-1995 and post 1996. Bobby Amore (1957) after starting late managed to beat younger (and much more-out-of-condition youngsters) to win the pre-1995 group race with a huge lead over the second runner.  Prize Distribution  — Ivor Amore (1951) as the oldest among the old boys, and having come the longest way — Sydney (Australia) to Vancouver, to Toronto, to U K, to Germany, to Dubai and then to Bombay and Mount Abu — was requested to distribute the prizes.

St Mary's Mount Abu Alumni Association. A small group of SMHS Alumni met on Saturday, October 9th, 2004, at the Catholic Gym, Bombay.  Thanksgiving Mass was celebrated by Fr Emil D'Cruz (1952) followed by a get together and dinner.

2004 Aug 12.  Kishoresinh Parmar (1969) <milestonetravelshop@yahoo.com> runs a travel agency in Baroda, and has offered to help with accommodation bookings for those attending the Jubilee celebrations.
2004 Jul 12. Ainsley Priestman (1969) and Walter Aubert (1967) have put together a collection of 27 hi-res digital photos at Imagestation.

2004 Jul 6.  From Bob Amore: “I have sad news.  Norman Phillips (1958) died this morning from a heart attack.  Most of you will remember him from school days and several others would have met him and his wife at the reunions in Southampton, Toronto and Vancouver.  He will be sadly missed from our future reunions.  None of us are in our youth and so must continue to keep in touch.”

2004 May 10.  From Bob Amore: “A bunch of us oldies are travelling to Abu in Sept.  They are: Vincent deMello 1957, Neville Correy 1957, also his son Peter, Bob Amore 1957, Owen Amore 1956, Pat Kelly 1955, Donnie Pew 1955, Ivor Amore 1951and his wife Norma, Datch D'Souza 1951.  Apparently there should be others from Bombay also travelling but I don't know who.  Plans are to meet Bombay 24 Sept to catch train to Abu.  Stay for 6 days, leave 1 Oct for Bombay.  We disperse on 1 Oct.  Four of us (Pat, Donnie, Vincent and self) plan a trip to Goa for 7 days 2 t0 9 Oct.  Return to Bombay on ( Oct for get together being arranged by Bombay OBs on 9 or 10 Oct.  Any others want to join us?”

2004 Feb 23.  In commemoration of the Platinum Jubilee, Ashley D'Souza (1972) has launched a new SMS web site, www.sms-mtabu.com.  There he hosts the Abu Orioles from 1962 to 1973, with more to come.  The Abu Orioles are the annual school magazines (“yearbooks”) that inspired the name of this web site.  The first issue was published in 1959.  Extracts from that issue can be found under Memorabilia-Articles.

2004 Jan 23.  Br J B Judge, eulogized by Pierre Francis (1973):

Br. Judge, who was Principal at St Mary’s 1968-72, passed away on the night of January 22 in Delhi. Stout, ruddy-faced, with a shock of steel-grey hair and always impeccably attired, he personified the brisk, no-nonsense efficiency with which the Christian Brothers ran their institutions. It was under his stewardship that our school took significant steps forward in terms of expansion — but it was his wizardry at advanced mathematics that those who studied under his tutelage will surely remember. Who else could spin off an equation a yard long the minute he stepped up to the blackboard as easily as whistling a tune? An unsung genius perhaps was Br Judge, but forever remembered in our hearts. More at Eulogies

2003 Jul 9.  Just how low is the water level in the dam? Lloyd Fernando (1997) sent this pic taken in May.

2003 Jan 3.  Jagdish Nazareth (1967) died suddenly of a heart attack on December 28.  He was one of the true saints of SMS.  About a decade ago, he started the Institute for Studies and Transformations (IST), applying his brilliant mind to the problems of farmers in Gujarat, weaving alternative eco-friendly fertilizers out of natural substances. He pursued a plethora of scientific disciplines, investigating not just the biochemical aspects, but also looking at satellite imagery for mapping crop health. He corresponded with me on that last bit, and I had a chance to appreciate the depth of his intellect. He was starting to communicate by e-mail with a circle of scientists around the world, exchanging ideas on probiotic fertilizers. Obviously the big chemical companies weren't exactly supportive of this work, but he chose to plod on despite them. His death is a loss to family and friends, and also to farmers and scientists everywhere. More at Eulogies

2002 Jul 18.  Since this site facilitates e-communication, it's appropriate to draw attention to some of the inherent dangers in this medium.  E-mail viruses are getting smarter, and the time has come to mistrust any attachment from anyone , including your trusted Abuite friends.  Even an office document that you're expecting could be infected by a smart virus.  Keith Fernandes (1958) was sent the Kluz.E virus, probably by an infected machine of a mutual contact — which might just be you. The e-mail said it was from me!  The virus picked his address and mine from the infected user's address database, and made up a message to him, in my name, saying essentially “Click here to protect yourself against the deadly Kluz.E virus.” That's all it would have taken to trash Keith's hard drive, but fortunately he was alert and checked with me first.  John Dvorak's article in PCMagazine, July 15, talks about a new generation of viruses that can catch even the best techies.  It's worth a read by anyone who uses e-mail.

2002 Jul 05. The web site has had a few success reuniting long lost friends and rellies.  This story from Pat O'Meara (1946, author of Indian Tales cited below), has a different twist.

THE TALE OF THE PRODIGAL INDIAN ARMY MEDALS

During his thirty years service in the Army my father had risen through the ranks from Bugle-Boy to Lt. Colonel and had acquired four service medals namely The Indian Independence Medal, The 1939-1945 Service Medal, The Long Service & Good Conduct Medal (his most prized) and the India Service Medal. Medals were usually handed out in two sets — a standard set and a dress set. After my father died, my mother gave the medals to my young brother, Sean, a Brigadier General in the British Army and the only one of the children to have also made a career in the Army. Having two sets of the medals, Sean generously gave the dress set to a close friend in the US — a collector of militaria, toy soldiers and so on and
retained the standard set for himself.  Unfortunately, Sean’s house in Hampshire was burgled about two years ago and among the stuff stolen was the standard medal-set.  Naturally, he was quite upset  especially since he felt that he could hardly ask for the return of the medals he had given to the US friend. Anyway, being properly insured he reclaimed the value of his loss from the insurance company, was reimbursed and replaced the stolen goods.

Ten days ago I was called to the telephone to talk to a person of whom I had never heard.  He asked if I was Patrick O’Meara and if my father had been in the army.  When I told him “yes”, he advised me that he had been to a sale-room and had purchased a set of medals with my father’s name engraved on them.  Did the medals relate to our family ? Once he had described the medals it was clear that they were the self same medals which had belonged to my father and which had been stolen from Sean. The caller said that having successfully contacted me he felt that I should have them back in the family for the same price he had paid for them — £73. I agreed.

The most fascinating part of the story was how the caller had traced me: Having seen my father’s name inscribed on the medals he had used the Google search-engine and entered “O’Meara RIASC”.  That took him immediately to Indian Tales (thanks, incidentally once again for the link) and found Patrick O’Meara.  But having entered “Patrick O’Meara” he found “hundreds of them” — as he put it.  No chance there! So he went back to Indian Tales and started to read it.  In fact he became fascinated with the stuff  because his father had been in the Army and he really knew nothing of what life in India and the Army was like. So he read the whole thing on line, saw the photos contained in the book and decided that he had hit the right line of enquiry. Within a short time he had found my wife’s name, Pirkko O’Meara, and figured that there would not be many with that (Finnish) first name.  Pirkko’s name took him to your St Mary’s site.  He started to read the various parts of St Mary’s and at the bottom of one of the pages found my name, address and telephone number.  Presto!  Success.

Well, Val, I felt I had to tell you of the success in finding the medals again and they are now once more in our family’s possession.  Thanks a million.
Sincerely,
Patrick.

Foran2002 Jun 16. Br M R Foran died a few hours ago, from complications after a fall, while on a trip home to Ireland for his 80th birthday.  For most of the last 40 years, Br Foran was a cornerstone of the affable character of St Mary's, and many of us grew up with his “There's that nice D'Souza boy” and “There's that nice [nickname] boy,” not to forget “He's a lovely boy when he's sleeping.”  Most recently he retired to St Joseph's, Naini Tal. There are photos of Br Foran in the album, as well as in the article by Victor Nazareth (1972), and a couple of audio clips too — all in the Memories section.  More at Eulogies

2002 Jun 16.  The web site has a new look, with navigation facilitated by frames.  The menu at left will get you to most places you need to go, and click on the crest to return to the home page.  Not everything may be fully functional yet.  If you find something amiss, drop a line to sms@dgrc.Delete-Me.ca

2002 May 8.  SMS has its own web site: www.sms.ac.in.  Some content from our alumni site will probably be migrated there.

2002 Apr 19.  Pat O'Meara (1946) is no stranger to “active nostalgia” — defined as not just feeling nostalgic, but doing something about it.  In the early 1990s he tried to get Abu alumni organized, put together a couple of issues of a newsletter, and organized a large reunion in the UK. In 2000 he published “Indian Tales,” a personal and endearing account of growing up as an Anglo-Indian in British India.  His years in SMS are documented in some detail, with some great stories about wild animals, tough disciplinarian Brothers — “the bloody strap” — and no less, the boys' pranks (he does go on to say that when he returned for a visit in 1972, he sensed a much more liberal relationship between the Brothers and boys).  “Indian Tales” is now on the web at www.Indian-Tales.com, with many more photos than in the print version. You can browse the entire text online, or for $5 can download the whole thing in PDF, and there's also a discussion board for your questions and input, which could lead to the Second Edition. Engrossing reading, and you can't beat the price.

2002 Mar 28.  Br J P Pinto (1972-73) has been appointed Superior General of the Christian Brothers (worldwide).  Congratulations from the Class of '73 who made him famous ... and resilient.  We feel privileged to have been taught by a man of this calibre ... and that goes for the Brothers in general.  Br Pinto has been Provincial of the Christian Brothers for the last several years, based in St Columba's, Delhi.

2002 Jan 4.  Bhairav Trivedi (1976), brother of Arjun and Shanker, and son of Dr Geeta Mehta, runs a company that transfers cash to India over the net.  He has offered his company's services to facilitate transfers to SMS for the IT fund, waiving the service fee that would normally apply.  Log on to https://www.rapidremitsvc.com/ to check it out.  Here's the deal, straight from him: “They can email me (trivedi@payquik.Delete-Me.com) after completing a transaction so I will waive the fee.  I do require that people do an Internet Check transaction only to have the fee waived since the cost of processing credit card transactions is horrendous.”  Thanks, Bhairav!

2001 Oct 24.  The Principal, Br Anish John, has issued an appeal for funds in support of an ambitious computer-in-the-classroom project.  Victor Menezes (1964) led with a Rs 35 lakh gift, and we're being challenged to shore that up with Rs 5-7 lakhs (USD 15,000).  Read all about it on the Principal's page.  Three years ago, on the swimming pool fund, we asked for pledges to get a sense of the numbers, and expressed good intentions to set up charity status to facilitate the transfer of funds.  Only the Bombay lads actually got organized as a charity.  This time we'll be less ambitious and leave it up to each alumnus to make contributions directly to the Principal, as described in the Principal's letter.  This does not mean we support the cause less enthusiastically — in fact classroom computers are much easier to justify than a pool.

2001 Oct 16.  Reunion in Bombay, December 22.  Essentially it's a 25 year reunion for the ISC-1976 & ICSE-1976 batches but guys from 1975 & 1977 are most welcome.  For that matter, any Abu guy is welcome.  Contact Anil Lobo (Gola) at <lobo_anil@yahoo.Delete-Me.com> or Anthony Malkaney <antheresa@yahoo.Delete-Me.com>

2001 Sep 28.  Samir Nazareth (1987) was arrested on July 14 while engaged in a Greenpeace protest against Star Wars tests at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.  He will appear in court on November 20, and faces up to 6 years in jail.  This according to a Goanet news release.

Opinion — Do we stand together as an Abuite family and help/intercede, or do we leave this irresponsible fellow to his fate?  The issue is not only whether Star Wars is good or reprehensible.  It's also that Samir is an adult with an Indian passport, who chose to confront a foreign military on its own soil, may have broken the law ... and is now complaining about his treatment.  This is high-risk in-your-face behaviour, much like bungee-jumping.  One has to be prepared to face the consequences of such actions, and to forfeit any expectations of mercy and influential intercession.  That's not to say we can't be empathetic — we all took a few youthful risks climbing Golden Horn and swimming at Trevor Tal, and we must admire courage and conviction.  The court will decide the lawbreaking bit and whether Greenpeace's position is defensible.  We can only stand by and hope that the Nov 20 verdict will be just and reasonable, and that our schoolmate and his family don't come to too much grief.

2001 Sep 16.  Sad news this morning about Sr Victoria who died peacefully at the age of 85 or thereabouts in Ajmer. She wasn't ill at all and the sisters were surprised at her sudden death. God rest her soul. We were so blessed to have her in Abu during all the years we were there. For us Brothers she was a Mother, always there to support and love us but never had a problem talking her mind especially when she felt we had bungled an issue.  Over the years I had been to Ajmer to see her on a number of occasions and her conversation always centered around Abu and you guys especially the devils in school!! She must be having quite a celebration with Bonny, and Br Morrow up above, and laughing at the lot of us Abuites. May her soul rest in peace. The funeral is tomorrow at 10.00 am

— Br Cyril Christopher

2001 Aug 12.  Br R B Vieyra (1935) passed away this afternoon at 1.45 pm after a brief illness.  May his soul rest in peace. He was fine until last night and was on the road to recovery from surgery.  He suddenly took a bad turn early this morning.  On the whole he died a very peaceful death.  Community members were with him at the time.  A funeral mass will be held at 4 pm tomorrow, at St.Francis Xavier Church, Chicalim, Goa.  Messages of remembrance may be sent to The Principal, Regina Mundi High School, Chicalim GOA 403711.  More at Eulogies

2001 Aug 11.  Br.Kevin Ward is in Toronto, and we are taking him out for dinner on Friday August 17. Anyone interested in joining, please contact Jason Menezes (1984) at 905-502-9158 or email jasonmenezes@home.com

2001 Jul 27.  Mr Kureekat, who taught in middle school in the 1970s and 1980s, died on July 26 following a massive heart attack.  Mrs Kureekat taught junior school at SMS too, and their son Naveen was with the class of 1984.  The family moved to Una, Gujarat in the late 1980s and set up a school of their own there, which Naveen now runs.  Contact information will be provided upon request.

2001 Jul 18.  Alumni from the 1970s may remember Br Whelan, who was in Abu for a few months in 1971.  He's settled in Ireland, now a layman.  Br Kevin Ward put him in touch.  His e-address is on the staff directory.

2001 Mar 18.  Magan, a familiar and endearing face at SMS for at least 4 decades, died today of a heart attack.  He was bearer and short-order chef to the Brothers as long as I can remember.  On my brief visit in 1998, he spared no effort, making sure I felt not just comfortable but positively pampered.  I recall an incident in 1973, when we were in a particularly unruly phase of our final year.  We ambushed Magan while he passed the dormitory on his lunchtime route to the Brothers' quarters.  We came away with a solitary potato chip, which we shared among about 8 of us.  Our symoblic strike against the establishment.  Magan took it in his stride, kept plodding along on his dutiful way, and never complained.  He leaves behind a son and three unmarried daughters. More at Eulogies

2001 Feb 04.  The e-mail many of you received from “Anna Vergese” seems to be a crooked attempt at publicity for a “free” discussion board.  Apparently this sleazy outfit, based in the Delhi area, intercepted my mailing on Hindi Pop, figured St Mary's must be a girls' school, and mailed a number of us under a fictitious name.  Good try!  Now they've started a stream of junk e-mail.  Do NOT send an angry response; it only confirms that your address exists, and the problem gets worse.  Just use the delete button, or a mail filter that trashes anything containing “power2” in the sender field.  Feb 6.  Probably unrelated to “Anna”, just received a message from “Hahaha” on a goatelecom server, subject: Snowhite [sic], with an attachment midgets.scr.  This carries the virus W95.Hybris.gen.  See symantec.com for countermeasures.  I don't plan to issue warnings about all viruses in circulation, but this one appears to have arisen from SMS e-mail traffic, and you may be targeted.

2001 Jan 30.  This news from the Principal, Br Anish John, following the Bhuj earthquake: “No real damage was done here but things are really bad in Gujarat.”

2001 Jan 19.  Mr L R Goyal, affectionately known as “Hindi Munshi” and “Hindi Pop,” who served SMS with everything he had for 38 years from 1951 to 1988, died on January 7 in Ahmedabad.  For those who missed the developments, the web site shut down for 12 days, displaying only a single page in Pop's memory.  About 100 tributes were received and are being forwarded to the Goyal family.  More at Eulogies

2000 Dec 4.  Br George Bennett (1944-57) died on November 29 at the Brothers' home in Goa, and was buried on November 30.  Words of remembrance may be sent to the Principal, Regina Mundi High School, Chicalim, Goa 403711.

2000 Nov 20.  Just received this news: “On the 6th of June 2000 at Buckingham Palace, London, England, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II presented Fr Roger H Lesser (1944) with a MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire). Fr Lesser has devoted his life to helping others, and has done a lot of charity work throughout his life in India.  Fr Lesser has also written several books.  It was Randolph Williams [apparently also a student at St. Mary's, though he's not on the directory — details, anyone?] who campaigned for Fr Lesser to be recognised for his good services.  Fr Lesser can be contacted at:


      Rajeshwar Sadan School
      Zinc Smelter P.O.
      Dist. Udaipur 313024
      Rajasthan, India.”

You might be able to get more on this by following the Press Releases link from Buckingham Palace.  Fr Lesser's nickname was Podge, or Podgy.  Does anyone remember the column Ask Uncle Podge?  It was a sort of Ann Landers targeted at teens wrestling with adolescence and puppy love, that ran in The Teenager in the 1970s.  The anonymous counsellor was, of course, Podge.  I personally remember Fr Lesser as a periodic visitor to SMS, who gave us a retreat about 1972.

2000 Nov 20.  News of Podgy's MBE came from Pirkko O'Meara, wife of Pat (1946).  Pat has done a lot of work to reunite Abuites, and wrote a couple of intimate and chatty newletters in the early 1990s (see the News archive).  In fact the second issue featured a visit to Podge's place in Udaipur.  Pat's claim to fame as author has just leapt forward with the release of a book of yarns and reminiscences, entitled Indian Tales.  It's about the family growing up in India, with emphasis on SMS.  The language is explicit — it was originally intended for his sons growing up in a different country.  The following is an extract with which all of us could identify:


“A really horrid wile of “Punchie” was that if he caught you eating a sweet in class, for example, he would make you hand over any others which you had and he would “capture” them, as he put it, and devour the lot himself.  If it happened to be your last or only sweet and he was therefore unable to capture the rest, the rotter would give you a “taste” of his “sweetie” (the bloody strap again!) instead.  One day we had a brainwave. Clinton “Clint” Hutchins, the genius of the class, produced a wrapped bar of chocolate laxative called “Brooklax.”  The rest of us had never heard of the stuff before, probably because it was an American product, and surely Punchie had never heard of it either.  Anyway, Clint assured us that one square of the bar was enough to “give an elephant the runs” and the bar had about six or eight pieces in it.  Clint broke one piece away to make it look as though it was eaten and then instructed Nellu to keep the rest in his desk and make out that he was chewing something.  Like a fish, Punchie fell for the trick and took the bait hook, line and sinker.  He asked what Nellu was eating, captured the rest of the bar, and consumed it within the course of the 45-minute lesson.   That evening, Punchie took us for hockey practice on the lower playing field, removed his habit which was like a long overall that hung down to the shins and, with his white trousers tucked into his socks, proceeded to play hockey with us.  I have to admit that he was quite an adroit player, but at some time during the evening he must have tried to fart or else over-exerted himself and felt the moist crap in his pants.  A small brown stain appeared on his white trouser seat.  Later in the game the stain grew larger, wetter and obviously more and more uncomfortable.  Punchie called off the rest of the game, an unheard of decision, and told us that we were to get back to the school “as soon as possible, boys.”  But we stooged around on the way back to the school and he had to follow on behind to try to prevent us from getting behind him and seeing the ever growing stained mess on the seat of his trousers.  After much dawdling about and finding any excuse to get behind him and view the “damage,” we finally we got back to the school while he rushed off, no doubt to have a big liquid crap.  We had tamed his greed and I think he suspected what had happened, but he never said anything to us.  The other thing he never again did was to capture and eat our sweets!”

The San Diego Evening Tribune concludes: “It has all the elements of an historical novel — adventures, human relationships, tragedy, with a pleasant mixture of humorous anecdotes. The use of first-person narrative, in this case, is very effective, since it traces the life of a young lad growing up in India. The writing is polished and the use of anecdotes is a way of propelling the narrative.  The experiences encountered by the family are heart-warming and interesting to a person who spent his life in a rather mundane Ohio city and later in California.”  Indian Tales is available at a nominal price that defrays the cost of printing and mailing.  £10 includes worldwide shipping.

2000 Sep 17.  Brian Jansen (1958) died this morning in UK, at 59.  Just 3 months ago Brian was at a reunion of 33 lads and wives, organized by Bob Amore (1957) in honour of Br RD Barrett's visit to the area.

2000 May 21.  The UAE boys are organizing a get-together around Br P C Christopher's visit to the area on June 17.  Associated with this is a plan to raise Rs. 30,000 towards sponsoring a needy child at SMS — currently the school subsidizes a few of these.  Contact Neil Mendonca for details.
2000 Mar 21.  Victor Menezes (1964) has been appointed CEO of Citibank — the press release, courtesy of Frank John Dias (1969).  An inspiration to us all.
2000 Jan 30.  Help!  Nick Balmer just wrote in from UK.  His Great Great Grandfather was in Abu during the 1800s, and left behind a water painting of an institution of some sort: “Civils Station at Mount Abu.”  Not a very clear picture, and doesn't look like SMS.  Palace Hotel?  Alwar Palace?  Survey of India?  Any ideas?  Here's the photograph and accompanying text.

1999 Dec 10.  The Bombay lads are having a picnic.  Place: Nhava Training Ship Rahaman Campus.  Date:  Sunday, December 19.  Starting Point:  Ferry Wharf  — "Bhau che Dhaka".  Launch will leave at 08:00 hours. Launch will reach Nhava at about 09:30 hours. Transport will meet us at Nhava jetty and take us to the Campus. Breakfast. Visit to Maritime Museum and other interesting spots on the Campus. Lunch. Some more loafing (if you have not eaten or drunk too much). Tea. 16:00  Departure from Nhava. 17:30 Arrival at Ferry Wharf. Maximum number of souls on the launch must not exceed 100 (one hundred) only. Contribution for the picnic: Members of St Mary's Mount Abu Alumni Association, their wives and children - Rs.100/- per head. Alumni of SMHS, Mount Abu (who have not yet become members of SMASHAL) their wives & children Rs.125/- per head. Non-Alumni (guests), their wives and children  -  provided we do not exceed 100  -  Rs.150/- per head. Confirm immediately and hand in your contribution to Bryan D'Sylva, Treasurer  at Bandra (6433496) or Suresh Takalkar, Asst Treasurer  at Fort, Bombay (2613105)

1999 Nov 11.   Alumni in the United Arab Emirates are organising their first ever get together, at the Dubai Creek Park on 26 Nov 1999.  Look for details in the UAE newspapers.  The effort is spearheaded by Neil Mendonca (1986).  Details from Stephen (Bud) D'Costa

1999 Oct 15.  “Under the Old School Topee” is a little paperback about life in hill schools established in India under the British Raj.  It's written by Hazel Craig, who attended Mount Hermon in Darjeeling in the 1940s.  She traces the history of why the Brits needed their own schools, how they were run, and the experiences of students.  A bit of British history (for those who weren't paying attention in school) and nostalgia.  SMS doesn't get a lot of press — the principal Abu attraction is the Lawrence School, which later became the Central Police Training College (CPTC) and National Police Academy (NPA).  But there is a quote or two from our own Patrick O'Meara (1946), about the “dreaded strap” and pranks at the staff's expense.  The book is about £10 + p&h, available by writing to Mrs H.M.Craig, 53 Hill Rise, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire WD3 2NY, UK.

1999 Jul 23.  From Bob Amore comes sad news that Rajendra “Titch” Patel (1957) died in UK 3 weeks ago.  Earlier this year Bob had reported on a mini-reunion: “Just returned from a weekend in Cardigan, Wales where I met 2 old classmates, Raj Patel and Sikander Khan.  Great nostalgia and no world war with the meeting of a Hindu, a Muslim and a Catholic!”  Raj couldn't make a subsequent get-together because he'd suffered a heart attack the previous day.

1999 Jun 10.  The following came by e-mail some months ago.  There was a reference in the first line to a particular religious group.  That has been deleted; the only important thing is that it was not Catholic.


A ten-year-old [not Catholic] boy was failing math.  His parents tried everything from tutors to hypnosis; but to no avail.  Finally, at the insistence of a family friend, they decided to enroll their son in a private Catholic school.
After the first day, the boy’s parents were surprised when he walked in after school with a stern, focused and very determined expression on his face.  He went straight past them, right to his room and quietly closed the door.  For nearly two hours he toiled away in his room with math books strewn about his desk and the surrounding floor. He emerged long enough to eat, and after quickly cleaning his plate, went straight back to his room, closed the door and worked feverishly at his studies until bedtime.  This pattern of behaviour continued until it was time for the first quarter’s report card.  The boy walked in with it unopened, laid it on the dinner table and went straight to his room.  Cautiously, his mother opened it and, to her amazement, she saw a large red ‘A’ under the subject of Math.  Overjoyed, she and her husband rushed into their son’s room, thrilled at his remarkable progress.
“Was it the nuns that did it?” the father asked. The boy shook his head and said “No.”
“Was it the one-to-one tutoring?  The peer-mentoring?”   “No.”
“The textbooks?  The teachers?  The curriculum?”
“No”, said the son.  “On that first day, when I walked in the front door and saw that guy nailed to the plus sign, I knew they were serious!

1999 Jun 01.  Jason Menezes (1985) reports on the weekend reunion in Toronto: “Our camping trip was a great success. We had 11 Abuites in total including Patrick Louis from the class of 1959 who visited us Sunday afternoon with his wife Ida.  Patrick showed us some interesting pictures of Abu including an Abu Oriole from 1955.  The highlight was the soccer match between 5 of us from the Class of 85 vs. the rest.  I guess the score of 7-2 in our favour speaks for itself.  I hope to get more Abuites for the next trip.”

1999 Apr 30.  Atish Sanyal (1972) reports that Br J B Judge (principal, 1969-72) is back on the staff at Abu.

1999 Apr 30.  Goethal's, the CB school in Kurseong, has a web site hosted by Clem Lee (who graduated from there about 1957), and we've been exchanging web content, e.g. their 1950s photo of Br Foran.  Maybe this liaison could lead to an inter-school alumni soccer match in Toronto some day.  On a related note, Aubrey Ballantine hosts the Victoria and Dow Hill Schools Alumni web page, and would like to invite SMS alumni to the Year 2000 Grand Millennium Reunion of Hill Schools in India and Pakistan, to be held in London next year.  VADHA includes boys and girls schools, so this could be fun. Where: The Clay Oven Banqueting Suites, 197 Ealing Road, Wembley, Middlesex.  When: Wednesday, 15 March 2000 from 12 noon to 7 p.m.  All the details at Hill Schools Reunion Notice

1999 Mar 16.  The Canadian alumni are at it again.  This from Jason Menezes: “I am organizing a camping trip in the Toronto area for all ex-Abuites & spouses, friends etc. during the May 29-31 weekend (long weekend in the States).  Our list stands at around 15 people so far.  This is the third year we've been doing this — so you can say it has become an annual event. It's a great way to let out some steam and share old Abu Memories.”

1998 Dec 29.  Br Anish John is the new Principal of SMS, effective December 15.  Thanks to the outgoing Principal, Br Noel D'Sa, for his support and cooperation, particularly in helping us compile the database of alumni.  We look forward to more of the same with Br Anish.

Class of '62 in the News:

A man stumbles up to the only other patron in the bar and asks if he could buy him a drink.  “Why of course,” comes the reply.
The first man then asks, “Where are you from?”
“I'm from Ireland,” replies the second man.
The first man responds, “You don't say. I'm from Ireland too!  Let's have another round to Ireland.”
“Of course,” replies the second man, and they both pour back their drinks.
Curious, the first man then asks, “Where in Ireland are you from?”
“Dublin,” comes the reply.
“I can't believe it,” says the first man. “I'm from Dublin too!  Let's have another drink to Dublin!” The men both continue drinking.
Curiosity strikes again and the first man asks, “What school did you go to?”
“St. Mary's,” replied the second man. “I graduated in '62.”
“This is unbelievable,” the first man says. “I went to St. Mary's and I graduated in '62, too!”
About that time, in comes one of the regulars and sits down at the bar. “What's been going on?” he asks the bartender.
“Nothing much,” replies the bartender. “The O'Mally twins are drunk again.”

[E-mail jokes don't usually make it on to this page.  This exception is courtesy of Gavin Jeddo.]

1998 Dec 29.  Br Anish John is the new Principal of SMS, effective December 15.  Thanks to the outgoing Principal, Br Noel D'Sa, for his support and cooperation, particularly in helping us compile the database of alumni.  We look forward to more of the same with Br Anish.

1998 Dec 12.  Another blast from the distant past.  I just heard from Susannah Green: “My grandfather was Chaplain of your school 1927-1928 — Reverend HIK Jones.  My mother has recently (November 98) visited Mount Abu and was very pleased to see the school, St. Saviours Church and even my grandfather's old bungalow still in tact.”  St. Saviour's Church is the one in town, near Mount Hotel; and the chaplain's bungalow is probably the one we describe in the map as “house with peach garden.”

1998 Oct 04.  The SMS alumni reunion in Bombay is a “huge success.”  Aloysius D'Souza reports:

“Fr Henry D'Cruz (1952) celebrated Mass with special readings and a pretty inspiring homily.  Franky Dias (1955) was MC and did a pretty good job including obtaining Papal Blessing of the SMHS Alumni Association dated April 1998 — pretty far sighted planning on his part.

“Almost all the years were represented upto 1998  —  with guys who came down from Madras, Jodhpur, Baroda and Pune in addition to those from Bombay and its extended suburbs. Plus the guys from U K, Canada & USA.  Hardly any dancing since the guys were so busy chatting and catching up with news about their various classmates.  When we met some of the younger alumni at SMHS Mt Abu, they had expressed the fear that this would be an old men's show — they were the guys who are now insisting that we organise such functions regularly at least once a year.  Have got a number of them to volunteer to come on to the committee and will be responsible for taking this onwards.

“Bro Adrian (1966) came over as also Bro Noel (1979) and Bro Judge from Abu.  Bro Keane from Vassai and Bro Ralph D'Mello, from Salvation I think,  and Bro Raj Noronha (1976) from Asansol.  Total number of alumni was 100 plus wives and children.

“We had catered for 160, and we must just have touched this figure.

“The new committee are
            Siddish Sriganesh (1996); Sunil D'Abreo (1981); Nitin Serro (1993); Steve (Bud) D'Costa (Dubai) (1990);
            Bryan D'Sylva (1954); Francis Dias (1955); Clovis Moraes (1954); Cedric Moraes (1956);
            Anil Lobo (1976); Dereyk Desouza (1957); Aloysius D'Souza (1951)

“We raffled off all the gifts we received and  collected Rs.10,000/- which will be sent as a demand draft to SMHS Swimming Pool Project Fund.  Will be meeting on Wednesday to settle accounts.”

1998 Aug 25.  We have a new record for the title of Earliest Known Alumnus, displacing Horace Brown (1909).  Emily Gardiner (nee Remington) attended MARS from 1887 to 1895.  Yes, MARS was co-ed, they didn't have to climb the hill to look into girls' dorms.  I just heard from Emily's son, David.  He's 85 years old and lives in California.

1998 Aug 20.  The Canadian alumni invite you to Reunion 2000 in the Great White North.  Keith Fernandes (1958) proposes a reunion in Vancouver, followed by a retreat to Whistler, cruise to Alaska, and drive to Jasper, Banff and Calgary.  If those placenames aren't familiar to you, we'll have to write them up in the World's Top Ten Places to Visit.  Whistler is a top class hill resort, and the Banff-Jasper road is breathtaking — you can shake hands with a glacier.  This is serious entertainment, folks, the trip of a lifetime.  Contact Keith for more.

1998 Aug 20.  Reunion 1998, October 4 at Catholic Gym, Bombay.  Dinner-dance, damages Rs. 500 per couple.  A handful of alumni are travelling from NAmerica and Europe for the occasion; some will be in Abu for Parents Week too.  Contact Aloysius D'Souza for more details on the reunion.

1998 Aug 20.  An Association of SMS Alumni has been registered in Bombay as a non-profit trust.  Its mission and other matters will be discussed at the reunion October 4.  A lifetime membership fee of Rs.1000 (USD 25) is proposed (the notion of membership is still a matter of debate; call it an association support fee or contribution if you prefer).  Whether Bombay represents one of several local fraternities, or the Association of SMS Alumni, is still not clear.  More discussion expected at the October reunion.  Contact Aloysius D'Souza.

1998 Feb 25.  Br A G Bennett celebrates 70 years as a Christian Brother.  He is at the CBs' new retirement home:

      Regina Mundi High School
      Chicalim 403711, Goa.
      Phone +91.8345.12392 or +91.8345.10589

1997 Aug 04. Mr and Mrs Alfred Edwin died in a car accident at Mehsana on August 4.  The Edwins were class teachers in junior and middle school during the late '60s and '70s.  Later they ran St Michael's School, located in Jodhpur Palace near Toad Rock.  Their son Ajoy graduated in 1988.  Thanks to Zulfiqar Momin (1988) for relaying the news from Walter Aubert (1967), who is currently on staff at SMS.

1997 Jul 5. Charlie Thurlow (1955) died on July 5.  He worked for the Customs.  More from Aloysius D'Souza (1951), who supplied this anecdote:

“I once spotted him in a dirty outfit with a towel wrapped around his head (pukkah “mowali” type) and when I called out to him he put his fingers to his lips and told me to move on — he must have been waiting to catch a smuggler.”
1996 Apr 17. Br R B Vieyra celebrated his Diamond Jubilee on April 17.  Extract from Br Noel's newletter:

“60 years spent as a Christian Brother is quite an achievement.  He has held many a high post in our province, including the principalship of St Edmund's College, as well as being on our Provincial council for a number of years.  Much that we have today is due to the great leadership of people like him in the bygone years.  Not many people know that he is the first Abuite to join the Christian Brothers.  We were glad therefore that his Jubilee was celebrated here.  The day was celebrated, true to his style, in a quiet manner, with a special mass and lunch.  No tamasha!”

1996. Christian Brothers around the world celebrate the beatification of Br Edmund Ignatius Rice, founder of the CFC* (we all remember him at least for the annual Founder's Day holiday, July 31). Beatification is a preliminary step towards canonization.

*Congregratio Fraternum Christianorum: Congregation of Christian Brothers





Home