They went strolling through the meandering lanes of the past to capture a plethora of memories, images and symbols, all wrapped in emotional packages.
“I was only an average student. As a college boy, I thoroughly enjoyed the harmless fun we indulged in. We would attend classes regularly and at 5 p.m., it was time to board the five number route bus, to be around Stella College,” he said amidst friendly hoots and chuckles.
The candid confession came from none other than the Technical Education Minister Mopidevi Venkata Ramana. Addressing a large gathering of the Andhra Loyola College Alumni Association (ALCAA) at Fr. Devaiah auditorium on Sunday, the Minister, who is also a former student of the ALC, spoke about the sense of belonging he feels when he is on the campus.
“I was on this campus between 1983 and 1986. Politics was an alien subject for me. I was not even in the habit of reading newspapers,” he said, adding that missionary educational institutions like ALC were doing a commendable job in the education sector.
“My father was very particular that I gain admission in Loyola and he was ready to do anything for it,” he recalled. The Minister assured all help to the institution saying: “I am only a phone call away from you. I promise all help from my side at any given point in time.”
Ponnur MLA Dhulipalla Narendra Kumar was yet another celebrity alumni seated on the dais.
Disclosing that he was in the college between 1983 and 86, the MLA said he was here mainly to be able to reconnect to old friends. “After a gap of 26 years, I am here to see if I can find some old friends,” he said adding that regardless of their position in society, ALCAA members would always remain good friends.
There were too many good memories to choose the best ones for the members who shared some of their finest experiences on the campus.
Y. Rajagopala Rao, physics lecturer from the first batch of the ALC staff, recounted how it was the first building to come up amidst vast stretches of farm fields way back in 1954. “We were just four or five of us and so we were very over-strained,” he said explaining how the ALCAA fought many obstacles to pave the way for construction of Fr. Devaiah auditorium, the association’s silver jubilee project.
G.V. Mohan Rao, president of ALCAA, listed the many activities taken up by the association and said efforts were on to make it more vibrant in the days to come. Director of ALCAA Fr. A. Theckemury, Rector Fr. A. Stanley, Correspondent Fr. D. Showraiah, Principal A. Francis Xaviour, associate director of ALCAA Fr. Rex Angelo and others were present.