Members of the University College Alumni Senior Citizens' Association will get together on December 20

A dmittedly they are a bunch of upstanding senior citizens; a veritable who's who of the city's most distinguished. Yet that doesn't stop them from having a blast when they get together for the University College Alumni Senior Citizens' Association (UCASCA). In fact, for most of them just a visit to (or the mere mention of) the University College is enough to set them reminiscing about their “good old days” at the institution and wax lyrical about their alma mater.

Come December 20, at 3 p.m., the 300-odd members of the UCASCA will once again get together to celebrate the fifth anniversary of their formation with a nostalgia-filled event called ‘Golden Nostalgia' at the quadrangle of their “beloved” University College.

Hangout

“We hit upon the idea of an association over a cuppa at the Indian Coffee House – incidentally one of our main hangouts while we were students of University College. Immediately we set about forming UCASCA,” says Ayyappan Nair, a retired civil servant who is the president of the association and who adds that his years in the college as a student of geology and as a lecturer were some of his best.

From a small get-together in December 2005, the association has now grown into a fully-fledged one with bye-laws and all with around 320 members and a chapter in Kochi. The association has even got a website and an e-mail group that the members use to keep in touch with each other!

Each year, UCASCA conducts three events. One is the annual general body meeting held usually in May. The other is the family get-together in October at a hotel in the city, where all our families also come and present dance and music programmes. Then there is the piece de résistance – ‘Golden Nostalgia' – reunion of the members in December.

“There's nothing better than meeting up with your long lost friends and reminiscing about those days that were truly golden,” says Retd. Col. S. Anand, a member of the group who started the e-group to keep in touch with his college buddies. For members, not only is the event an opportunity to meet and catch up with new and old members from near and far, it is also an opportunity to revisit their favourite haunts of the old such as the ‘maavinmoodu' (an old mango tree which no longer exists).

It is at the event that they felicitate their teachers too and those of their ilk who turned 80 the past year. This year the friends will felicitate academician B. Hridayakumari. Friends in deed.

NITA SATHYENDRAN

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