1964 batch of Model School revives a dilapidated school building

The introductory sessions were on in all seriousness. As the list of degrees and achievements of each of them were being read out, one could hear snatches of humorous comments from their old classmates getting mixed with questions of some others trying hard to map the old figures standing in front of them to a familiar memory from 50 years ago.

The scene was from the reunion of the 1964 batch of Model Boys Higher Secondary School inside the old school auditorium, one of the few remnants of their school days.

A majority of them were crossing the school gates for the first time, after they walked out in the summer of 64. They walked in with simple identity cards with just their name written on it, for their old ‘best friends’ to identify them without troubling their fading memory.

“This is the result of more than two years of planning. It all started when some of us visited the school. We were disappointed to see the plight of some of the buildings. We thought of reviving one of these buildings, the manual training block. That is when we started tracking down each of them,” says N. Hari, a retired bank employee.

Old habits…

Halfway through the introductory session, many of the seats were vacant, with some old champions of ‘class bunking’ moving out to relive the old days in the shade of the trees outside.

Soorya Krishnamoorthy, a student of the batch, remembers his school as one of the best in the State then.

“The private schools were few in number and only the best students got admission here. We had the best of teachers too,” he says.

Three of them, S. Peer Mohammed, K. Sreedharan Pillai, and P. Damodaran Nair, were present, at the function. Some of the students of the batch who have distinguished themselves in their chosen fields also attended, including Senior Vice President of the World Bank Vinod Thomas and spiritual guru Sri M.

Another meet

But this was not the only alumni meet to take place in the city on Saturday. Down the road from Model School, the 1962 batch of the College of Engineering also came together for their annual meet, which has been taking place for the past 25 years.

“We were the first batch to pass out from the CET campus at Kulathur. It was a batch of 210 students. We didn’t even have proper transportation or drinking water facility there. I remember our Principal K.C. Chacko walking straight into Chief Minister Pattom Thanu Pillai’s office to demand drinking water supply for the students,” says Additional Chief Secretary and writer D. Babu Paul.