hOla! hOla!! hOla!!! Voila!!! Loyola!!! Congratulations!!!
It is with great delectation that I wish all the Loyoleans, a very exciting, enjoyable, extraordinary and erudite Diamond Jubilee Celebration. I have seen Loyola evolve from a single gender school to a Co-ed. school and witnessed its Silver turn into Gold and then into Diamond. Now, I ask of God to preserve its unique features for its Platinum jubilee and beyond.
On this occasion, I would appreciate if all my fellow Loyoleans - both students and faculty, share some of my pleasant experiences, contacts and events that I perceived during my continuous service period from 1954 to 1993. Right now, my position is just like the"Butter, Cheese and Salad" within a jumbo sandwich - encompassed by several stacks of sliced bread - bridging the Loyola of the 50s with the Loyola of the 90s and following it through its progress during the 60s, 70s and the 80s. The list of all the Loyoleans, whom I remember and genuinely wish to mention here, is really in astronomical proportions. It is as impossible to consider about all of them, as it is to enumerate and name all the stars in the sky. So, I will bring to your attention, especially the neo-Loyoleans, a profile of some luminaries, who still linger in my memories like the dim, blinking stars - many "light years" away from us - in the skies of Loyola.
1950s The Golden Era
1954 was a significant year in the Time Line of my life. It is with respectful gratitude for Rev. Fr. George. A. Hess, S.J., that I must start talking about my association with Loyola. It was he, who appointed me in January 1954. At the time of interview, he suggested that it would be quite easy for my associates and students to pronounce my name, if I chose to have a shorter one rather than the long legal name - Ayalasomayajula Ramalingeswara Appala Narasimham. I considered it to be a nice idea, and said that I would change the second "A" in my name to "U" to become a meaningful acronym, ARUN. Father Hess added "Narasimham" to it in order to satisfy the binomial nomenclature. From then onwards I became Arun Narasimham. The credit for calling me thus goes to him. Rev Fr. Hess was tall, lanky, dignified and had the handsome looks of a movie star and the intellect of a philosopher in the 50s of Loyola. In our relaxed moments, we talked about the books we read. In many ways, he was my role model - my guide and I emulated some of his striking virtues - especially, in performing any job with quiet efficiency, just the way he did. His confidence in me was such that he entrusted the 16mm. movie projector and its accessories to my care. He involved me to show educational movies to the students. In 1984, again as the Principal of Loyola College of Education, he appointed me as a part time lecturer to teach Science Methodology for the B.Ed. students. The college was located on the XLRI campus at that time. Fr. Hess is still my Principal, my guide and a very good friend.
Two American ladies invigorated the Kindergarten classes in 1954 -55. Their work was filled with superlative dedication. Mrs.Hailey, wife of the then Managing Director of the TISCO, Mr.Hailey and their daughter Helen Hailey. Their volunteering services, though brief, were filled with pleasant smiles and lively attitude. I still remember their faces - even now! Miss Helen Kempster and Miss. Helen D'Souza [later, Mrs R.C.D'Souza] took over the responsibilities from them. It is a wondrous coincidence that the Kindergarten classes were taught mostly by Helens!
Parasnath, popularly, called as Paras, was one of the earliest servants of Loyola. He used to bring hot, refreshing coffee during the first recess and served us individually. By his jovial disposition, he really made us miss his presence when he left Loyola some years later.
Energetic Rev. Fr. J. Keogh S.J. was the first Jesuit, who helped me in laying out the hockey field along the grassy CNR Ground, soon after the school reopened for a new calendar year in January 1954, when I volunteered to introduce field hockey to all resolute Loyola boys. Sirbans Singh, was my first captain and I hope he still keeps the whistle, that belonged to me. Patrick Neil, C.S.Venkat, E.V.R.Sharma, Wei Te Fa, Richard Crouch, Dhan Madan, M.Madan, Kokhan Mukherjee, Kersi Kuka, etc., were some of my early customers, who played hockey under my care after school hours. Loyola Sports Department was not yet created at that time! I remember that Mr. F.J.Osta and Mr.Reynold D'Souza, both excellent soccer players, played that game with the students.
Among the small number of faculty members of the 50s, I have charming memories of some specific teachers. Mr. Blaise Khare, Miss.Florence Farley always made me sing, "Open up Your Heart And Let Me In", whenever we chanced to have free time. Florence openly took pleasure from the song whenever we were together. Mrs. M.Kirwan was a very dedicated teacher. She always protected her students with immense motherly alertness. When they did well at studies or in extracurricular activities, she used to proclaim with vibrant voice, "They are MY Students" with tremendous emphasis on "My". She treated me like her son, Brian Kirwan, who was himself a good accordion player. She was a very sincere, affectionate lady, who served Loyola in a manner in which there is no parallel to behold - now or in future.
I can never forget Mrs.E. D'sa, who was the class teacher of Std. 2. Her husband was working in Germany at that time. Dilip Babyloni, and Ronie D'Costa may remember her well too. One day she told me that her dog became sick with rabies and obeyed her servant only. He kept it in a bolted room for security reasons. The next day, Rev.Fr. Hess asked me if I could do the favor of giving a letter to Mrs.D'Sa she received from her husband and I readily agreed to do so. As I entered the front yard, I bolted the gate and rang the door bell. Unfortunately at that time, the servant did not bolt the doors and the dog was not on the leash too. Barking loudly, it rushed towards me with lightening speed. I sensed imminent danger for my life. My "flight reaction" saved me from it. I ran out and jumped over the 5 feet high, 1 foot wide hedge with barbed wires. However, I could not clear it completely. My right leg landed on the other side of the fence, but my left leg was caught by the barbs, which tore my trousers and made a ghastly wound in the thigh. Her neighbors, who heard the commotion, helped me to restore my leg on the ground, after carefully dislodging it from the barbs that stuck deep into the flesh. Very very painful, indeed. Profuse bleeding! Mrs. D'Sa came out after the servant took control of the dog. She applied tincture of Iodine to my wound after giving first aid and stitched my torn trousers immediately, saying I was just like her brother. The dog died few days later. It was lucky for me that I did not come in contact with it. I still have that scar even to this day! Now, tell me! Can I forget Mrs. D'Sa even if I wished to? She was my best friend - a very pleasant person to deal with. She had a very hearty, melodic and unique laughter that delighted us very much. Later in 1954, Mrs. E. D'Sa's brother, Mr.F.Lobo [I guess that was the initial of his first name], joined the Loyola faculty. Soon, we became good friends. We had one common interest too - playing harmonica - and he played it very well. On 12 December 1955, we both took a party of Loyola boys on an excursion to see Delhi and the Indian Industries Fair on the famous Pragati Maidan and the Taj Mahal. I fairly remember some of the students that made it. Among them are Anil Ratna, Neville D'Cruz, Tushar Kabi, Amrit Jayaram, Ajit Singh Datta, Verghese Chirayath, Ian Zachariah, Ruyantan Panthaky, Cavas Panthaky, Kersi Kuka, Tapan Gopal Mukherjee and Virendra Kumar Singh. It was indeed a memorable excursion, my first one in Loyola. Anil Ratna's uncle, Mr. Ahuja arranged our comfortable lodging in a Montessori school, near the Mandi House. During our week-long stay there, Anil's aunt made hot puries and chapathis with delicious potato, onion, peas and gram currie for breakfast, the taste of which still dances on my tongue. Delhi winter made us feel more hungry and the food was too appetizing. Her affectionate attention given to us made me feel that she served Loyola indirectly. Mr. Lobo resigned in 1956 to take up a position in The Burma Shell Co. I felt sad for losing a good friend. A few months later, Mrs. D'Sa too left Loyola. They are now the remote, blinking stars, many years away from us. 52 Years!
Loyola had a couple of German teachers, who taught the German language for a few German boys and others. Mrs. Bartsch was very unassuming person, quite plump and bespectacled, with a peculiar colored hair. Her son, Siguard Bartsch was a student in Loyola. On 24 Dec. 1955, my father, Mr. A. L. N. Rao and I attended the Navajote dinner of Sohrab Sadri in the Parsi Hostel. Mrs. Bartsch also attended it. At that time, Loyola Flats were still under construction and so we lived at 152- L-5, B.H. Area, in Kadma. We used our push cycles in those days for transportation. After dinner at 10.45 PM, Mrs.Bartsch asked me if I could take her to the N-Road Church for the midnight Mass. I offered her a lift with earnest pleasure. Mr.Rao went home straight by himself on his bike. She sat on the carrier of my cycle and I rode up the incline of the Straight Mile Road, really straight in those days. I kept on checking frequently whether she was comfortable on the hard surface of the carrier. It was a great test of my stamina and I did it well in accomplishing it smoothly. When the school reopened in January 1956 for new academic year, she gave me an imported garment for my wife as a grateful gesture, in return of my assistance to her, saying that she did not know what I liked. She was overwhelmingly frank in her dealings with others.
Mrs. Gerhard was the other German lady, who joined Loyola after Mrs. Bartsch left for Germany for ever. She handled the same schedule as Mrs.Bartsch. By then, Loyola opened a new course, Biology, for its boys, particularly due to the tenacity of Dr.S.K. Ganguly, who contributed an incubator, initial furniture, advice and his mastery to the department. Rev. Fr. Hess put me in charge of this new venture and a class room near the cloister was allotted for the purpose. Dr. T.Swamy, pathologist of the Tata Main Hospital, helped me with more resources to establish the Bio lab.
One day, Mrs. Gerhard brought half-a-dozen small, white, skinny eggs to the department. She said her gardener found them under a hedge and told her that they were the eggs of a snake. She wanted to make certain of his judgment and asked me if that was true. I said they looked like the eggs of a garden lizard, however, I would check it within a fortnight. I put them under a belljar in a petri dish and gave all the conditions for incubation, including moist cotton. Also, I kept a 40 Watt electric bulb close to the belljar to provide the eggs sufficient warmth. After about 20 days a wonderful thing happened, when I opened the doors of the room. I saw tiny, green garden lizard babies slowly exploring the space under the belljar. I called Mrs. Gerhard to show her this remarkable spectacle. Her wonder and expression surpassed mine! She took them with her to report to her gardener.
Two significant events took place about that time in Loyola. Brother W. Braganza S.J. became the minister of Loyola Jesuit community. He was an ardent naturalist and enthusiastic collector of Butterflies. His collections of these beautiful lepidopterans are still there in the Biology museum. He was responsible for the formation of the museum club. I too became involved with all its activities and worked jointly with him. The collection of specimens under the Lab stairway were the products of his stupendous dedication. As the activities became crowded, in about 1957-58, I started the Biology club upon his suggestion. Unfortunately, during the Easter holidays in 1961, Bro.Braganza, died in an accident, while he and Rev. Fr. Dietrich S.J. were returning to Jamshedpur from Hazaribagh.
Fr. Dietrich was seated in the back seat and was praying at that time when the Landrover, which Bro. Braganza was driving, met with an accident. Fr. Dietrich, escaped with some minor injuries. It was a gloomy day for Loyola and I lost a gracious colleague. From that time onwards, I started looking after both museum and biology clubs and finally merged them into one, "The Bio.Club".
Now, for the other event! Mr. John Deverell joined Loyola in 1955, as a replacement for Mr.S.K. Ghoshal. Mr.Ghoshal received a fond farewell from us in December 1954. No retiring teacher did receive, or would ever receive such treatment. Mr.A.L.N. Rao, Mr.Pandey, Mr. P.K.Thomas, Mr. Burrows, Mr.Osta, Mr.R.C.D'Souza, Mr.S.K.Dayal and I went on our cycles to the Tatanagar Railway Station, to say "Alvida" to him and his family at midnight and in mid winter! Can anyone beat it? Such affection, a very rare display of emotion to my reckoning, can never, never, never happen again! Mr. Ghoshal was a good singer. "Ekto Chelo Re" was his favorite song. Mr. Deverell formed the music club at about the same period when the museum club flourished. He played the flute very well and I learnt a few tips of playing that instrument from him. All of us, especially, Rev.Fr. E.J.Power utilized the skills of the budding musicians and Tabla, Sitar players in most of our entertainment activities during parent-teacher meetings, etc. Mr.S. K. Banerjee was its music master. We made use of their musical proficiency in "Glimpses Of India", started by Rev.Fr.Power. When Mr. Deverell resigned and left Loyola for ever, I became the moderator of the music club also. I remember some students, who made an impact on our minds with their musical skills - Sudip Ghosh, S.K.Lahiri, Pradeep Mitra, Pradeep Sikhdar, Barun Kumar Roy, etc., were outstanding performers. In the year 1958, Rev.Fr.Power initiated "Glimpses Of India". He himself directed the play, "Ashoka The Great". Mrs. F.Irani directed an event in the life of Mahatma M.K Gandhi, played by Tushar Kabi and Mrs. Zachariah and Mr.K.S.James conducted "The Kerala Boat Song" led by K. Janardhan.
A solo magical dance by Astad Deboo predicted his future reputation as an International dancer.
Mr. Alfonse Dung Dung directed an Adibasi group dance to the rhythm of resounding Jharkhand drums. I myself directed a Hindi one-act play, "A Day In Akbar's Court". I wrote the script in English, which was based on Birbal's fanciful behavior and requested Mr.R.S Pandey to translate it into Hindi. Mr. Pandey adhered to the script so very faithfully and did a great job. I made use of the music club members in the play. Being its moderator, it was an easy task for me. Sudip Ghosh as Tansen played the sitar, accompanied by the other sitar players, Pradip Mitra and S.K Lahiri. Barun Kumar Roy and Pradip Sikhdhar played Tabla. Ruyantan Panthaky, displayed his acting ability in his role as the Emperor Akbar, Kersi Kuka played as the witty Birbal, Chandrakant Mehta as Abdul Fazl, Prabir Das Gupta, V. Srinivasan as the scholars in Akbar's court and finally the most important character in the play, a "scholarly stranger", was played by Virendra Kumar Singh. Rev. Fr. Power and I went to the A.D.L.Society in Sakchi to borrow costumes, wigs, etc., needed for the event. Miss Pretty Patel did a tremendous job of giving accurate make-up to all actors of the program. She was the queen of the green-room at all times. She was very dexterous in making Ashoka and Akbar come alive again after so many centuries! Rev. Fr. Power proved himself to be a perfectionist by not only directing the play, Emperor Ashoka, but in scrutinizing even the minute contents of the entire program. The comedy, "A Day In Akbar's Court", also was very well appreciated by the audience. A professor of the Jamshedpur Co-operative College borrowed my script after the play, but I did not get it back. It was a gratifying night for all people, who attended this greatest show on the Earth.
The Loyola environment during this time was very congenial and satisfied my temperament exceedingly well. Rev. Frs.G. A. Hess, J. M. Kennedy, L.. J. Hunt and K. M. Judge gave me absolute freedom in my professional affairs, especially in planning and designing the Biology Laboratory. The students also were my chief motivating factors to work with sustained enthusiasm. I remember the brothers - Dipankar Sinha Roy, Arabindo Sinha Roy, Rana Sinha Roy, all of them good elocutionists, John Chirayath, Ashok Chirayath, Verghese Chirayath, the brothers - Ravi Bharadwaj, Mahi Bharadwaj, Amar Bharadwaj, the brothers again - Dinesh Singhal, Umesh Singhal, Naresh Singhal, Khattu De'Vitre, Liu Min Tin, Wei Te Fa, Sobi Muzumdar, Suhas Pradhan, Dickie Mody, Frank D'Souza, Vincent Athaide and many more, who, by virtue of their respect and affection, provided ample thrust for me to work here. So! I identify 50s and the early 60s as the Golden Era of Loyola.
1960s: The Pinnacle of Glory
Rev.Fr. L. J. Hunt became the principal of Loyola after Rev. Fr. Hess and later Rev. Fr. Kennedy left in about 1964. I found Fr. Hunt to be a sports-oriented person - milk of human kindness and I still remember how he cheered Loyola teams, when they played other teams in Keenan stadium or on its adjacent ground, which now became a monumental stadium, where our sports day is conducted these days. Without my asking, he gave me an allowance of Rs. 50 per month during the season for coaching hockey, which I did on voluntary basis till then. I myself used to play for St.Mary's team, affiliated to The Jamshedpur Sports Association, in those days. The J.S.A office was located in the Keenan Stadium. Mr K.C. Gandhi, the secretary of the association at that time, encouraged me to register Loyola team also to become a member of the association. Thus, Loyola entered as a participating member of the City's B division and was exposed to many aggressive teams, like The Adibasi Wanderers. I felt very proud that I played in the league matches as a St.Mary's player, against the very Loyola team I coached. Winning or losing a match did not matter much for me, because, whosoever won the match, it was still win for me! Later on I transferred myself to Punjab Sports, an A-division team, upon the insistence of its captain, Kripal Singh Sokhi. Loyola played several matches during the two or three years of its existence. When Loyola Sports Department was created, my coaching activity ended, as it became part of the schedule in its area, but we still continued to play after school hours - just for pleasure and exercise. Some servants also played with us and made the game more interesting. They were impressive players too! Born athletes!!!
In the final hockey season, Loyola B-team became the runners-up of the league matches. The winners moved to the A-division automatically. Fr. Kongari, Reynold D'Souza and I were the faculty members included in this team. Reynold was an excellent football player. I asked him to play hockey for our team. He said, "Rooney", [that's how he used to call me and I used to address him as "Reny"], "Rooney, I do not know how to play hockey well". I said, "Reny, you will make an ideal full back. You can bulldoze the opponents and will be a strong defender of the team. Besides, most of the hockey maneuvers are similar to the soccer game you are already proficient!" He really did a commendable job. Rev. Fr. Kongari, was a skillful player, a wizard at hockey! Bro. Anthony Stevens, himself an excellent player, played hockey with us regularly during coaching classes and helped me immensely by giving me valuable advice and suggestions in improving the team's performance. Richard Crouch, Valentine Xavier, Ravinder Singh Marvay, were some of my team captains during different seasons.
I consider this decade to be the pinnacle of glory for Loyola. Many significant events occurred about this time. Loyola was still a Senior Cambridge school, with its affiliation to the educational management in Cambridge, England. Cordiality existed among the administration, faculty and students. It was an exhilarating experience for me to work in such environment. I conducted some Biological excursions to Puri, Visakhapatnam, Digha, and Darjeeling. However, an excursion to Katmandu was the most enjoyable one. It was the resourceful work of Mr. Derek Phillips -Ward, that made Loyola's first International excursion to happen.
Mr. Ward was a distinguished person, who by his dynamism, directed the Loyola Sports Department and took it to its pinnacle. His deep, characteristic, sonorous voice could make any unruly student come to proper order. Mr. Ward became a very good friend of mine from the moment he joined Loyola. He asked me if I would like to join the excursion and I readily agreed to his proposal. Captain Dayal, father of Anand Dayal, also accompanied us. I remember most of the students, that took part in it. Among them were, Surinder Singh Virdi, K.C.Cherian, Ashok Anant, Vivek Lamba, Rajesh Chopra, S.G. Shankar, Anand Dayal, Anindya Bose, Sumit Gupta, Ravinder Singh Khokkar, etc. We left for Katmandu from Patna Airport by Royal Nepal Airlines. For most of us, it was the first flight also and therefore, it became more thrilling excursion too! Mr.Pai, a Rotary Club activist in Katmandu, received us at the Airport. Our visit to the Royal palace was a spectacular one. Prince Gyanendra, the present king, was acquainted with our students as an Inter-Jesuit elocutionist.
He gave us care, and courtesy when we visited the palace. We went to a Jesuit school, St. Xavier School, located in Godavari, a town some miles away from Katmandu. We met the then Indian Ambassador, Sri Srimannarayan also, at his residence. It was a very impressive excursion, indeed!
Another event in Loyola's life in the 60s, was the establishment of the Guidance department. It was managed by Rev. Fr. E. J. Power and the very talented and sophisticated lady, Mrs. Vimala Surie, who was also the co-ordinator in the Maths department. Mrs. Surie's ability in dramatics was revealed in the performance of a Punjabi musical dance show, that was put up as a Staff Club item. Reynold D'Souza, K. S. James, Estappan, and I were the male members, supported by Miss P. Patel, Mrs.Lal, Mrs. M. Narang and Mrs. Vimala Surie in that rhythmic dance. I still remember some Punjabi words of that song, "Mikka Mikka Bajra, hei ho ha!".
1970s: The Dynamic Decade
1970s proved to be a very challenging decade for Loyola and also for me. After Rev. Fr. K. M. Judge left Loyola, Rev Fr. Frank H McGauley succeeded him as its Rector-Principal. Fr. Judge appointed me as Assistant Registrar before he left for the States. It was an interesting job to work under my father and with Rev. Fr. McGauley. When Mr. Rao passed away on September 2nd 1970, I became the Registrar of the school. Fr. McGauley always addressed me as "My Registrar". I learned much about office organization and management procedures from him, especially to write short notes on any event immediately, however insignificant that event may be. It was a turbulent period in my life, not only because of the loss of my dear father, but for the enormous work load which I happily took on myself as a challenge. Although I worked as the Registrar of the school, I did not abandon my teaching work, which I continued with the same fervor. Two years passed by this way and Fr. McGauley appointed Mr. Frank D'Souza, who was assisting the Treasurer, as the Registrar of the school in April 1972 and I returned to my regular schedule.
There are some more major changes in the system of Education in Loyola, such as the introduction of the Hindi medium stream, a change from the Senior Cambridge school system to Indian Certificate for Secondary Education [ICSE] system, and the movement of the Library to the Hostel shower rooms and the Biology labs to the Library hall. The final batch of Loyola students appeared for the Senior Cambridge examination in 1975, concurrently with the first batch of the ICSE stream for ICSE certification. A gradual transition took place in the handing over of the academic administration of the school, with the Indian Jesuit Fathers taking the reins from the American Jesuits as Rectors and Principals. Rev.Fr M. Love became the Rector of Loyola and Rev. Fr Richard Periera became its Principal. Fr. R. Pereira was a true educationist during his tenure and cared very much for the improvement of all the activities of Loyola. His love for children and total dedication towards his work were highly commendable. He is a true mathematician. My first meeting with him was in Jaipore, Rajasthan, in 1968, when Mrs. A. K. Devi and I attended a seminar on Modern Mathematics, along with Mrs. V. Surie, Mr. A. Burrows, Mrs. I. Burrows, Mr. Paul Mathew, Mrs. D.Gocal, Miss. Leela Saha [now Mrs. Leela Ghosh], Mrs. B.R. Duggal, Mrs. V. Osta, and Miss P. Patel. This entire Loyola contingent was under the care of Rev. Fr. Graham. Later, Rev. Fr. Pereira was transferred from Jaipore to St. Xavier's, Bombay, from where he came to Loyola in c1976 as its principal. I used to say about him, "Bombay sey aaye mere Dost, Dostomn Salaam Karo!". However, Fr.Pereira did not stay long in Loyola, as he was transferred to St. Xavier's in Delhi. Rev. Fr. F. Menezes became the principal of Loyola after he left. When such changes were happening in Loyola, in 1975, we lost a very witty and worthy colleague, Mr. Philip Allencherry. He died in a gruesome accident in Jullunder, when he was taking Loyola boys on an trip to Kashmir. It was a terrible loss for Loyola and his family.
1980s: The Garden of Eden
It is said that next to Venus, the flower is the most beautiful creation of God! This decade saw Loyola blooming into beautiful flowers, with the addition of girl students into its ISCE system, also known as Plus Two, when it regained its status from a Secondary School to a High School. Rev. Fr. Rocky Vaz and followed by Rev. Fr. Eric Cassel made this dream come true. I had the greatest pleasure in handling both Psychology and Biology classes for these heterogeneous groups throughout. One of the events that still fascinates me was a Biology exhibition in 1984, when we put up an experiment on "Plant Emotions". The students, who contributed enormously and painstakingly and to whom I give the fullest credit in designing it, were Manish Srivatsava, Biswaroop Chatterjee and Paramjit Singh Pabby(?). I hope I am correct in remembering Singh's name. Pardon me if it is not right, please! A potted plant, Dracena, was hooked to very sensitive oscilloscopes with micro electrodes. Rev Fr Simon Kirsch, a notable physicist himself, loaned them to us for that purpose. When we touched the plant with a stick, a short wavelength curve with sharp peaks was displayed, as if it was annoyed at the action and when we gently watered the pot, the curve was very smooth, almost a sinusoidal curve, showing that it was happy. A skeptical parent challenged that the responses were not coming from the plant, but from the people, who became the conductors of electricity. So, to disprove it, we made him wear rubberized shoes and asked him to touch the plant with the stick and afterwards water it too. No change in its responses! He was surprised by this amazing result!
September 19 1989 was an extraordinary date for me. I was directly invited by the Council for the ISCE, to revise the syllabus in Biology for the Plus Two stream at the National level. The Principal of The Cathedral & John Connon School, Bombay, Mr. D.E.W.Shaw, acted as our host and took every care to see that we were comfortable and at ease to carry out this enormous task. Two other members joined me in formulating the syllabus. One of them was the Head of the Department Of Biology of that school, Mrs. Mathur, a British lady married to an Indian. She acted as the co-ordinator of the trio and conducted the proceedings with the utmost civility and capability. I hope the current Plus Two streams are still following that syllabus!
1990s: Hasta la Vista - Farewell to Loyola
The 90s opened new ways, new glow and new horizons for us! Rev. Fr. Pius Fernandez joined Loyola as its Principal in 1990, following Rev. Fr. Eric Cassel, who was transferred to another institution. Fr. Pius, as we used to call him, has a sportive look and springy gait. He has progressive ideas about education and implemented them with courage and unique dedication. Spontaneously, he showed a favorable, supportive enthusiasm for my proposal of opening a new club called the "Consumer Education Forum". I was inspired by the work done in the city by Mr. Bejon Misra, a former student of Loyola, in solving the problems, which many consumers faced in their dealings. I felt that this novel dimension in Loyola, the first of its kind in the city, would educate our students to face life outside Loyola and Mr. Misra gladly rendered his ability on this project. So! On July 28th 1993, "The Consumer Education Forum" [CEF], was inaugurated by Dr. J. J. Irani in the Fasy auditorium. The following Office bearers were elected representing a wide cross-section of Loyola body:
Chairman: Rev Fr. P. Fernanadez. Vice Chair-persons: Mr.Arun Narasimham, Mrs. Lata Goel,
Mrs. Pinky Midha, Mrs. A. K. Devi, Mr. Theodore Menezes. President: Kaizad Sethna.
Vice President: Jugjeev Duggal. Secretary: Pooja Misra. Treasurer: Russel D'Costa.
Members: Parveez Dhamodiwala, Raghuvendra Upadhyaya, Sunaina Singh, Dipesh Gandhi, Maneck Kotwal, Sourabh Srivatsava, Radhakrishna Kamar, Shantanu Singh, Wasim Khan, Pratim Bhattacharya, Aranav Siddharth and Sarabjit Singh. I understood from the very inception of this forum, that managing it is a colossal task, but felt optimistic that it would achieve some result. Only Time should tell, because it is very difficult to get the ball rolling! The CEF was the last and final deed I performed for Loyola with same fervor I had when I joined its faculty in 1954, although I knew that the time for saying farewell to Loyola was very near.
In the last week of October 1993, Mrs. A. K. Devi and I bade fond farewell to Loyola. It was Mrs. Devi's Silver Jubilee year too, but sadly we could not wait for the public recognition, honoring her achievement. All these 25 years, she worked with diligence and purity of heart, that it is comparable with 24-carat Gold. During her 25-year service, she worked with selfless and unbiased love for the students entrusted to her care. A letter of appreciation from Mrs. C. Alberts, Principal of VIG English School, Govindpur, reveals Mrs. Devi's sweet disposition, an admirable mark of a good teacher! She is an environmentalist, a lover of trees and gardening, an enthusiastic teacher of Arts and Crafts, Mathematics and Moral Science. Sometime in 1986, as a Moral Science project, she took her students on "Peace March" to the Jubilee Park and offered silent prayer near the tree planted by Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, in the Park. The importance of this parade was further enhanced by Rev. Fr. Rocky Vaz's presence with the group. As a Cub-Mistress, Mrs. Devi felt proud of working with Mrs. H. Khory and later with Miss. Mithali Das and conducted the activity with zeal.
True Copy of Letter
From: Mrs. C. Alberts,
Vig English School,
Jamshedpur - 831015.
Loyola High School,
-- * - * --
Dear Father R. Vaz,
On 16th Saturday February '85 our school boys and girls of Std. III to V had the opportunity of going for their class picnic to Jubilee Park. We had the good opportunity to meet the scout group of your school enjoying themselves.
We are specially pleased and would like to thank through your good offices, Mrs.Devi, the incharge of your school group for being good enough to accept our on the spot invitation to be our guest of honour and give away the prizes to the winners of the various events conducted on that day.
We are pleased to forward you the photo for Mrs. Devi's memories.
Sd/ Mrs. C.Alberts
Now, let me end up by saying," If well thou hast begun, go on: it is the end that crowns us, not the fight". - Robert Herrick. Well! I grew up in Loyola as a "Boy-Teacher in '54, and ended up as a "Cow-Boy teacher" in '93! Rev Fr. Pius Fernanadez and Rev. Fr. Dulhan came to give me and Mrs. Devi an emotional and warm send off at the Tatanagar station on October 28th 1993. We feel that warmth even now in 2007, the "Diamond Jubilee Year" of Loyola! Enjoy joyful Jubilation!
Write to Mrs. Devi and Mr. Arun.