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#1 Letter by Hon'ble S. C. Sah (Rtd) Biology Teacher
To 3rd Nov 2012
The Old Boys Association
St Josephs College

Dear Ranvir,

Words fail me when I look-up to the wonderful gentlemen of SEM who, at one time were my students. You have been very kind to ask me attend this function and it was more of a surprise to my family and me when along with Mr P. L. Shah and Mrs Tahir I was felicitated and I sincerely laud this gesture. My colleagues would also stand by me in saying that.

It was on 23rd of March 1966 when I took up my appointment as the Senior Biology Teacher in St Joseph’s College Nainital. Bro J N Foley was the Principal and what a fine gentleman he was and a better person by heart. He was very stern and yet very soft and always there for all teachers and students alike. When I look back into the thirty years that I taught as a regular teacher in SEM it is no doubt this period was the finest chapter of my life. Although I had few students per class studying Biology, I am proud to say that over seventy of them have become Doctors and taken up the Medical Profession and are practicing and caring for the ill all over and acclaimed by the world. Others have gone about and got their Specialized Doctorates. Yes I am proud of them! Each one of them indeed! I wish them all a Happy and bright successful career and peace of mind.

I am really thankful and I commend the Old Boys Association for their role that they are playing in keeping all of us bound and united and recognizing the efforts of Teachers and really caring for us during the retired and later parts of our lives when we all need to think of the younger days and the very thought of our better days that keeps us fit and fighting. The Old Boys Association has really kept up with the motto of SEM "Certa Bonum Certamen."

Thanks once again to Ranvir and his Team for the enthusiasm that you have built up and may God be with You always!

Best Wishes
S. C. Sah (Rtd.)
Biology Teacher
St. Joseph's College

#2 Letter by Hon'ble R. Chandra (Rtd) Hindi Teacher
All my life I have taught Hindi but today I will be speaking in English.

Good afternoon everyone.

This is indeed a special occasion and I would like to congratulate Mr. Ranvir Singh and the other organizing members of the Old Boys Association for their efforts in bringing all of you together. I thought I had done enough talking for a lifetime but here I am, standing in front of all of you.

I left St. Josephs in 1992 and Nainital in 1997. Today, you have taken me down memory lane. What was a trickle of memories has become a stream of emotions, of course, all pleasant ones. I seem to have gone back fifty years when I was a young man with a straight back and you were little boys.

Over the years, it has been a pleasure to watch the progress of my students. So many businessmen, politicians, doctors, army officers and some big names in the film industry. I feel proud telling my grandchildren that I have taught this person. I feel I have contributed too in your reaching those positions and this I feel, is my achievement in life.

Most of you must be remembering me as a strict disciplinarian. This term is obsolete now but I still stand by my principles and I don’t feel my strictness ever harmed anyone. My grandchildren definitely make fun and say "Nanaji, you could teach discipline to army Generals?".

I stopped working two years back. I have enjoyed being a teacher. But, since I left work two years back, my life has been aimless. Thanks to Mr. Ranvir and the other organizing members, I feel wanted and special today. Thank you for the love and honor you have shown me. Today, in spite of being 83 years old, I want to ask God for more time.

I have also tested my memory to see how many names and faces I remember. Each new face I remember gives me great pleasure. You people have infused life in these old bones.

Two feathers of glory have been added to St. Josephs. The first being the introduction of senior secondary education and the second is that that the school has now become co-educational.

You all have taken St. Josephs College to a great height and I hope in the future, it is known as the best school in India.

Thank You and God Bless you all!
Mr. R Chandra (Rtd.)
Hindi Teacher
St. Joseph's College

#3 Letter by Hon'ble P. L. Sah
Dear Students and Colleagues,

It was the month of January 2011. I was in Delhi with my daughter who stays at Dwarka. One fine morning Mr. Ranvir Singh gave me a pleasant surprise by his presence. He told me that a meet of Old Boys of SEM was scheduled on 22nd January 11 at around mid noon, the venue being Taurus Officer's Mess, Delhi Cantt.

We recollected some very happy unforgettable moments in SEM during the time when Late Brother Hughes was the Principal. I also learnt about the members of the Executives of OBA and was informed that, Brother Beddoe and Dr Peter Emanuel from SEM had confirmed their participation. From the retired staff, Mr. Chandra (Hindi) and Mr. S.C. Sah (Biology) had also given their consent. I was also requested to attend the same to which I happily agreed.

On the much awaited day, I reached the venue before time. The members of the executive welcomed me with a bouquet of flowers and then asked me to sign on a full size Photograph of SEM. Then Shri Arun Sahay, OBA President introduced me to Lt. General Zamir-uddin Shah, Lt. General Shankar Ghosh, and Lt. General Bartwal. Thereafter, I was requested to proceed towards my seat. Screens on display were depicting name of Mr. Chandra, Mr. S.C. Sah and me along with nice photographs of SEM. The atmosphere was filled with enchanting notes of Army band. It made me feel in really good-health, family and retired life.

I was overwhelmed to see them now representing largely as parents and some as grandparents. At one point of time they were donning the uniform, sharing, one dormitory, one study hall, one locker and one dining hall. Now all had gathered together from different walks of life excelling in different fields. But the fond memories of past were still very much live. The ceremony started at the backdrop of soothing notes from the army band. Mementoes were presented to Brother Beddoe, Mr. Chandra, Mr. S.C. Sah, Mr. Draunjo and me. Some members played the Orchestra keeping the audience spellbound. This was followed by speeches from the office bearers who wished for a stronger OBA with a meaningful purpose. After that all dispersed for lunch and made themselves comfortable in smaller groups.

That time they must be recapitulating the days when they used to stay as a family, were given motherly affection by the dormitory sisters continuously for eight to ten years, eagerly waited for the Saturday town walks and small spells of holidays to have a reunion with their families.

Lastly I will not forget the Herculean efforts of Irish Brothers who made SEM one of the Premier Learning institutions of the country. Its Alumni are spread all around the world with Semites excelling in the fields they are serving. I feel proud to be associated with this institution for 30 years. It makes me feel better when I come across old boys and learn about their achievements.

Before bidding adieu to the meet, all members participated in the college anthem. This was followed by slogans which reignited the memories of juveniles. Come on SEM give it to them SJC. It depicted the true spirit of the motto "CERTA BONUM CERTA MEN" i.e. "FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT" and made everyone feel that SEM had landed at Delhi. The entire atmosphere was charged up making the moment a memorable one. At the end I convey my sincere thanks to all those who made this meet a Grand Success. Moreover it was special as it gave me an opportunity to reunite with my old colleagues Mr. Chandra, Mr. S C Sah and Mr. Draunjo after a long span.

Thank you once again and I wish the Old Boys Association a Great Success! God Bless You All.

Pyare Lal Sah
H.No.246 NayaBazaar
TalliTal - Nainital

#4 Letter by Hon'ble Arun Sahay
  22nd Jan, 2011

Mr. R. Chandra, Mr. PL Shah, Mr. SC Shah, Bro. Beddoe and friends, What a gathering of Sem Old Boys from all over including those from outside Delhi and what an ambience! Our grateful thanks to General Shankar Ghosh, ISC 1966 and General Officer Commanding – in – Chief, Western Command for having made possible the excellent arrangements for our OBA get together today.

We are here to honor our old teacher Mr. Chandra who taught Hindi in Sem from 1958 to 1994 for 36 long years. Mr. Chandra and I joined Sem in 1958 so we have something in common. We are delighted he could come. We were told he had to attend a silver wedding anniversary but has managed to juggle the dates so he could be with us today.

We in the OBA have been looking at enlarging our role beyond networking get togethers and we have made a beginning by honoring our old teachers. We are aware the Teachers are an important resource for the school. We understand discipline is a problem today and the Teachers can play a major role in managing discipline.

Our Vice President Mr. Ranvir Singh has been making frequent visits to the school. We are keen to know what the school needs from the Old Boys so that our efforts can be more focused. We have a large pool of expertise and can give counseling for careers and otherwise to the students. We could help procure assets using technologies more relevant and appropriate for the school's needs. We are happy to help.

The leading schools in the country are now being rated. As an Old Boy we are aware of the excellent facilities that are available in the school. It has a 123 year history and many distinguished alumni. The academic results are also good. If only we complete the questionnaire and other formalities of the rating agencies, we could be rated amongst the top 10 schools in the country. I am sure a high rating helps the school earn respect, get better students and of course tickle the egos of the Old Boys!

We are proud to belong to Sem where we got a solid foundation. We have requested conveners to commence chapters in other locations so we can extend the brotherhood. We have distributed souvenirs today and would make these available to chapters in other locations. I personally had the opportunity to meet Buninder Falak from Sem in Silicon Valley and spoke to Col. Sudhir Gupta, Kiran Rana and Sanjiv Chawla during the visit to USA and was overwhelmed by the response only because we were from Sem.

Naseer-uddin Shah had done a play for us at the time of the Centenary to raise funds for the school. We hope we shall repeat it soon depending on his busy schedule but he has assured us he would let us know when he is performing in Delhi in advance and we have a special show for the Old Boys. I invite all Old Boys present today to sign their names on the photograph displayed on the stand as a souvenir to be given to the school.

Thank You!

Arun Sahay
President OBA

#5 Letter by Hon'ble Ranvir Singh
Dear SEMITES / SEMIANS, 22nd Jan, 2011

At the very outset, I would like to use this occasion to thank Lt. Gen Shanker Ghosh, GOC-in-C, Western command, INDIAN ARMY for giving us an opportunity to host this historic, memorable SEM OBA get to-gether at the Taurus Officers Institute - Delhi. Also we are all highly obliged and convey Thanks to Lt. Gen Manvendra Singh GOC Delhi Area and his team of very efficient officers and men to have taken such personal interest in making this event so very successful. Without them we would not have been able to get what we all achieved.

The principal of St Joseph's College Nainital, Bro Beddoe, Mr R. Chandra, Mr P L Shah, Mr S C Shah and Mr Druanjo; Sirs, we are all very touched and overwhelmed merely by your presence and we all feel it was an Honor in honoring you this day. Special thanks to Lt. Gen Zamiruddin Shah and Lt. Gen Bartwal for making it a day for us by attending with their Ladies In the end a very BIG THANKS to all Semites, young and old to have taken out the time and joining in to make this effort of ours A BIG SUCCESS. However this is only the beginning of what the SEM OBA has in store for times to come .I finish with the request to all, specially the younger SEMITES to join in and carry on the good work and make SEM and SEM OBA the best in the world. Yes - together we can, and, together we will.

Come on SEM, Give it to them ... SJC! CERTA BONUM CERTAMEN !!!!

Thank You!

Ranvir Singh
Vice President OBA


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