The 1964 batch of Class I students of Noyes School reunite after 50 years.
“That’s where we played during the break,” pointed out 55-year-old Bhanu to her friends. “We used to sit on the floor and it was like a Gurukulam. Our classrooms had thatched roofs then,” recalled Advocate Ganesh, looking at the now-tiled roof of the classroom at Noyes School, Narimedu.
It was nostalgia, bonhomie and camaraderie last Sunday at the school campus as 50 First Standard students met after half-a-century. It was an emotional time as the former students who are now managers, doctors, advocates, engineers and business tycoons, revisited their childhood. They were proud of their alma mater, which was one of the best schools in the city those days.
The classrooms and corridors once again echoed with chirpy conversation and laughter. The friends who were together from 1964 to 1969, recalled names, faces and funny incidents. They also remembered friends and teachers who are no more. Sheela Packinathan remembered the school assemblies when the ‘Happy birthday’ song was played on an old gramophone. “I would be so anxious that it shouldn’t get stuck in the middle. And on one birthday, it did and I cried. One of my teachers had to console me,” said Sheela. Sharada from Pondicherry recollected how one of the naughty boys in her class, would steal her pencil box everyday.
Omprakash Agarwal, who came from Mumbai for the reunion said, “I feel like a tiny tot. I am transported to the time when we were just boys and girls.” Kanthimathi, a home-maker from Chennai and Suresh Kumar went back in time gathering interesting moments, Thirumavalavan from Silvassa remembered his benchmate whom he often quarrelled with as a kid. Jebakani Samuel had taken the effort to compile some of the school songs that they sang every morning. “Our classes were full of music, dance and fun. We never felt the pressure to study and excel like the kids of these days. Life was much simpler then,” he observed.
The batch also honoured five of their teachers whom they had traced after much search. “Within two months, we were able to trace all our classmates and teachers, thanks to social networking sites,” said Ashraf Tayub, one of the organisers of the meet. Mrs. Chandra, who was better known as the dance teacher and the choreographer for all the cultural events in the school, said, “I am happy and humbled to meet my students after such a long time.” Vimala Lawrence, another teacher said, “I always thought teaching was a thankless job. But my students have proved me wrong. They have set an example on how students should be.” Vasantha Nallathambi, Jamila Samuel and Anbu Chellappa were the other teachers who were honoured.
The alumni also raised an endowment fund of Rs. 50,000 for their school.