Sunday, September 6, 2015

SJBHS OBA Day 2015

The celebration of the Old Boys' Association (OBA) Day is a highly anticipated event every year at St Joseph's Boys' High School, Bangalore. While the OBA itself is close to a 100 years old, the School is 107 years and going strong. The OBA is a pillar of strength within the school's fabric, driving and supporting several initiatives to benefit students and staff. We pay our respects to Old Boys who have passed on during the solemn ceremony on the first Sunday of September each year.  

Several former Principals participate in the ceremony. 

Meanwhile, the School Band gets ready to participate in another traditional ceremony that follows. 

Staff and students then remember with gratitude Old Boys who have gave up their lives during the World Wars and subsequent Wars. 

Originally a World War I memorial, this beautiful memorial is one of the few WWI memorials in Bangalore.  

The homage to our War heroes is followed by the unfurling of the School Flag. 

Just like the old Days, we then fall in four lines to sing the School Song and the National Anthem, according to our school Houses. 

Dr Ragaven Baliga is awarded the OBA Lifetime Achievement Award by Rev Fr Hedwig Da'Costa who was the Principal during most of the years when Ragaven was a student. Congrats, Ragaven! 

The traditional Breakfast is still remembered vividly by all Old Boys. Reminds us of the seriously famous food that used to be served in the Refectory. 

Sausages, Eggs, Bread, Banana and Coffee. Well, the vegetarian folks are served South Indian fare, a relatively new development. 

Old Boys then march to the end of the field to have their photographs taken. The group has become rather large lately, so the Photos are taken in two batches - one for the 'Older Old Boys' and the second group for the 'Younger Old Boys'. 

Several speeches follow, including one to honour Dr Ragaven Baliga, winner of the OBA Lifetime Achievement Award.  

The outgoing President decides to makes his highly creative speech in verse form, which seems to have a a rather unexpected effect on some members of the audience. 

The Batch of 75 celebrates the award received by their Classmate.

Rewind to Friday, Sept 4: An extremely unique event was held, the first of its kind. It was the 'Back to School' event for the Batches that had completed School in 1955, 1965, 1975 and 1985. Several of our teachers had joined, some like Mr Pinto alias Noddy, who had come all the way from Mangalore, looking as evergreen as ever. 

Mr John Kuthina who had taught us all about the History of India was also present. 

Several 'Older Old Boys' made it to the famous Concert Hall where we used to write our ISC and ICSE exams.  

The Batch of 75 was the largest, with 27 participants, celebrating getting together after 40 years. Many Old Boys had traveled from other parts of India, the UK and the USA. Their celebration lasted all weekend, from Friday evening to Sunday evening.

An entertaining musical evening was followed by dinner. 

Meanwhile, somewhere in Bangalore, the Batch of 1990 had a mega reunion celebrated getting back together after 25 years. 

Another year, another OBA Day. A time to remember and celebrate. And to look forward to the next year.