Monday, October 27, 2008

Dear Spaggies, Loreto-ites (but ofcourse) and Friends,

The North Point Middle East Alumni Association wishes you a
Very Happy Diwali.
May your lives be blessed with Good Health
may your 'tijoris' be filled with abundant Wealth.
With Best Regards,
The NP-ME Team

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


An Army Cannot march on an empty stomach and YES that IS Vishant in the foreground

A meeting of the Core Group* of the NP Middle East Alumni Association (NPMEAA) was held on Friday 25 July 2008 at International Convention Tower, Dubai

*CORE Group Present: Mr Robert Wilson, Mr. Chogyal Tshering La, Mr. Samir Sharma, Mr. Vishal Subba, Mr. Norden Ghissing, Mr. Steven Gurung & Mr. Vishant Gurung (who had inexplicably gone bald)

Core Group deep in discussion

Before we forget we would like to thank our President, Mr. Robert Wilson for arranging the venue and snacks as usual. Thank You Sir.

A lot of issues were discussed and among them were the following.


All communications and decisions on behalf of the Alumni must be discussed with the core committee. No member is allowed to take decisions without first bringing the issue to the table. This is being done in order to protect the cause of the Alumni and to open better means of communication between members.

Mr Wilson & Mr. Ghissing are deep in discussion while Mr Sharma eyes the muffins


It was thought that gifting football boots or such items (as initially planned) would only target a small group within the school and would not fulfill the Alumni’s goals of doing good substantial work for the school as a whole.

Subscriptions to International Reviews and Magazines (Nat Geo, etc) were suggested for the Library as well as an Inter School Sports Event to be held in Darjeeling (Hosted by NP and funded by the NPMEAA).

A Career Counseling Centre was also proposed. If approved by the members and the school, a permanent faculty member would be sponsored and placed in NP as a full time Career Counselor. It would be of great benefit for the students in guiding them for their future studies and career decisions as such facilities are few and very rare among schools in the hills.

A Sports tournament (football initially) was also proposed for the students of the NP Mungpoo school – Samir Sharma to look into cost while vacationing in Darjeeling.

Another proposal was for future funding of Smart Classrooms in the school with each class being equipped with projectors, screens, laptops & internet connection etc. If passed by the committee it would begin with Class12 and move down gradually.

However for the moment it was decided that the Alumni would gift the school INR Rs. 50,000/- as donation immediately.

The Prez & V.Prez at the meeting. "Next meet at my place." says Chogyal da.


Mr. Wilson to look into this as soon as possible. There is no category called ‘Alumni’ in registrations in the UAE. We however need to be a legal entity in order to have bank accounts and organise events. It was suggested we look at registrations as a Club etc.

Mr. Sharma to meet Jorden Norbu (President NPDSAA) and discuss registration with Darjeeling Alumni.


It was suggested that the Alumni needs to grow bigger and new members need to join as well. Vishal will send an email out requesting for personal information. Replies will be taken as confirmation of registration with the Alumni. All registered people will receive monthly newsletters and information about the Alumni’s activities.

Steve a la The Joker: "Why So Serious?"

Mr. Tshering La to send the HTML pages to Vishal for review and suggestions ASAP.
Alumni website to go online as soon as core members have endorsed it.
Mungpoo video to be uploaded to Youtube for ease in sharing with all



The Core Group decided to organize a Dashai party on the lines of the May Gala Dinner. It will cater to the same kind of people and the Dashai party to have elements of Nepali culture with Tika and complimentary Nepali Topi & Poté being presented to guests on arrival. Need to look into fun games in order to make it exciting and different from other parties. All tickets to be sold atleast 1 week before the event. Door/Gate sale to be avoided- Mr. Sharma will manage the event.

It was suggested that a Pre-Christmas Corporate Football Carnival would be ideal for December. Apart from the Football, it will be organized as a family outing with food & entertainment for all.
Age groups - Below 35 and above 35 for the tournament.
Steven to manage this.

Vishal to look into starting a monthly / bi monthly update. Samir to look into probable e-book software

The core members then adjourned for a well deserved lunch break at the Crowne Plaza where the food was great but the service left a lot to be desired. However being North Pointers, and with Mr. Wilson as President, we managed to win the waitresses around and by the end of the meal they were all smiling like Cheshire cats with a certain Mr. Sharma blushing like a new bride.

The Waitress finally consented to Samir. To take the photo I mean.

and White is the new Black

If any of you have any suggestions then please feel free to write in to us by clicking on the link under QUESTIONS, SUGGESTIONS on the left side of the page. We welcome your suggestions and comments.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Mr. Chandan Singh Rawat

Olympian and veteran football player Mr. Chandan Singh Rawat died on Friday. Mr. Rawat who would turn 83 on 27th July was ailing from heart problems for the past one year and was bed ridden since February after he fell down and cracked his hipbone. He was admitted to a Siliguri nursing home on Thursday when his condition grew serious.

The octagenerian sportsman born and brought up in Dehradun played in the Indian football team at the Helsinki Olympics in 1952. He settled down in Darjeeling in 1957.

“It is a great loss for the nation. Though he was invited to play for many foreign countries he just wanted to play for his own country. We are proud he was our father, ” his daughter Mrs Manju Rawat said.

Aditional Note by Mr. Robert Wilson (President: NP ME AA)

Mr Chandan Singh was a part of the North Point staff for many years in the early sixties and he was responsible for handling the Rector’s office at times when he was not on the field doing what he like the best.

He was instrumental in bringing out the best in the St. Josephs’ Team which included the likes of PC Wong, Paljor Tsarong, Hishey Basi,Deb Mukerjei, Ravi Thapa, Father Arroyo and many may more all under the stewardship of Father Burns. A great force to reckon with the NP team was instrumental in setting high standards of football led by Mr. Chandan Singh.

As a football player he will always be remembered by is great playmaking skills in the midfield but above all his ability to beat any opponent be it many years younger than him, in the air and his heading prowess is something which can never be forgotten.

After securing his NIS from Patiala, he then took up several coaching opportunities, but then his love for Darjeeling eventually lured him back to hills where he devoted his time and energy to coach and develop Darjeeling Dynamos, a team which won many laurels, however suffered from the ignominy of never being able to beat the North Point team, a team which was always close to the heart of the late Mr. Chandan Singh Rawat.

I will also remember his exploits in venturing to officiate in the final of the Herlihy Cup between Singamari Lions and Darjeeling Police, when all other officials were petrified to do so and his bold and brazen decisions earned him great respect, especially from his linesman one of whom happened to be me!”

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time.
We pray that they may have the strength to bear this loss and and we pray to the Almighty that his soul may rest in eternal peace.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008



A Perfect Host. A Proud Father. A North Pointer.

NP 1987 -1997

Steve, Steven or simply Ritt-hé.

Apart from the initial education at Himalayan Nursery, he studied in NP and then was the first batch of the +2 Commerce batch in school and finally completed his studies in NP College.

So he is a Himalayan-Josephite through and through.

A sports enthusiast, he is probably one of the few to have played football in all divisions from ‘F’ right through to ‘A’. (His grades meanwhile travelled the other way round and went from 'A' to 'F' )

He was also in the first 4’10” NP team to play in the “Goethals 4-10 Tournament” and they beat SAS 4-1 in the final. (Wow with so many numbers in that last sentence it’s a wonder he didn’t top the class in maths too).

Anyway, SAS have never been good losers and as any North Pointer knows we are always magnanimous in victory. After the final when the SAS bus broke down the good ol’ NP bus (with good ol Bharat daju at the wheel) gave them a lift back, but as Steve mentions, only upto Jorebunglow. (why only jorebunglow you have to ask him)

A Blue Coat holder in Football, Steve was a vital member of the team who won the Phagura Cup and was also the first NP team in 10 years to reach the Quarter Finals of the Hurley cup.

Steve is currently working in Dubai but he still manages to play football. However I am not sure if it is still in the 4’10” category or if he has moved up.

While in class 9 he was selected for the [fSports Authority of India (football camp] but quit after just 5 days.

Don’t get me wrong, his football skills were still good, the food at the camp however sucked. And that’s why he quit.

A complete foodie, he still manages to serve the choicest of morsels to whoever visits his place in Dubai and as his wife, Doma, would testify, people do seem to visit a little too often.

“Guys: No Shirt, No Service - Gals: No Shirt, No Charge” –Sign at a Bar in Sydney

While at college, his was the first batch to reach the finals of the Darjeeling 'A' Div League after 30 yrs but unfortunately lost in the finals 5-0.

The startling loss however, was not due to lack of skills but due to the distractions, as that was the only day that all the girls of the college landed in Lebong to cheer for the team. There are also unsubstantiated rumours that a certain someone had also come down from VVA that day to watch the game resulting in Steve ‘shooting’ many goals towards the stands. But we need to check with Doma for verification on that.

musu musu haasi deuna lai lai, musu musu....

Now if all that were not enough Steve also represented the North Bengal University 97' in the All India University Tournament held in Ranchi. (And for his friends, Ranchi explains sooooooooo many things)

He also represented Darjeeling 11 for the Governors Gold Cup in Gangtok in 97' 98' and 99. (In 2000 however, he was too busy with Governor Doma to play the Governor’s Cup… see details below)

He then represented the school athletics team and just so that All Play did not make Steve a Dull Boy, he decided to diversify his skills and play the role of sexy Fathima in the school drama production of Ali Baba & The 40 Thieves. (Samir and Steve often get together, draped in sarees, reminiscing of those fond school times)

He was in Laenen (yellow) house all the way and also captained it in his final year. Holy Shit!

In the 12th standard he was made the school prefect and keeping in mind the colour of his house, was actively involved in cleaning toilets (his own words I swear).
Again, Holy Shit Indeed!

“Last night I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and I thought to myself, where the heck is the ceiling.” – Anon

Then quite astonishingly he managed to captain the Volleyball team in class 10 with teammate Vishant, and they quite un-astonishingly, managed to prove, that to win at volleyball, you’d need to be a ‘little’ more than 4’10”.
Even today, Steve & Vishant can vividly remember those cries of “purké, purké” still reverberating from the stands (again his own words I swear).

FYI: Vishant has since taken to Gym-ming.

If I can’t grow vertically,” he reasons practically, “well, horizontal will have to do.”

By the way Vishant when asked to describe Steve in 1 line said “Doma and Ryan his life, Football his mistress and friends his strength but he's highly toxic when doused in booze.............Mind it!!!!”

“24 hours in a day 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not” - Anon

Steve meanwhile met his wife Doma in 2000 and after 2 months “Love Gave Him Wings” and he migrated to Dubai.

Dubai initially was hell (so much to study so little booze) but he did manage to complete his- Masters of International Business from The University of Wollongong, Dubai Campus.

And finally after 6 years of winging it he finally proposed (rumors are that he sang the proposal) to Doma in 2006. She accepted and they got married in April 2006.

And then just to make sure, they got married twice more.
So 3 times in total, Once in Church, Once a Nepali wedding and Once a Buddhist ceremony. Talk of being well & truly hitched.

“He early on let his wife know who the boss was. He looked her right in the eye and clearly said, "You're the boss." - Anonymous

They were blessed with a son Ryan on 18th September 2007.

The little tot has not only grown up to become extremely cute and amazingly fair but also wonderfully well tempered. Almost anyone who meets him can only marvel at his ability to adapt with people and at his lack of crying and tantrums.

“How Come You Are Chooo Calm & Tranquil?” someone once asked him and in reply he lisped “Me Father Makes Up For Both Of Us That’s Why.”

By the way some of his grandmother, Miss Viveka’s, genes surely have passed on as the little guy already knows how to plunk on the piano..Steve in the meantime started his career with shipping and logistics and is currently working as Groupage Incharge (sic) at Swift Freight International LLC in Dubai.

Steve believes that "Nothing is impossible - you just have to find a way"

And as Van Damme once famously said “A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing”

By the way Steve can give Brangelina a run for their money any day.
His Mom Viveka is a Christian, Dad Bhushan a Hindu and wife Doma a Buddhist….
so he just loves to celebrate it all… Loshar, Dashain, Christmas, even Hannukah…

Again as Doma will testify, Steve does NOT need an excuse to party.

Or sing for that matter and while in class 12 he competed in the 1st ISC fest held in St. Pauls and came second in the solo. All present during that fest say he should have come first as he is a truly wonderful singer and he would have too, if only he wasn’t talking as much as singing.

Samir when asked to describe Steve said “He is a rabble rouser, gregarious, perfect host, party animal, fun to have around, trustworthy, passionate & extremely friendly.”
(I guess they can’t help but be passionate when sitting beside each other, 1 beer in hand, 4 in the gut and draped in a silky chiffon saree.. but that’s another story for another day and another blog)

Steve also heads a Band here in Dubai called The 11th Hour.

As he helpfully explained, the name is because no party begins before the 9th Hour and no song begins unless Steve has spoken for another 2 hours, hence The 11th Hour.

I could go on but in Steve’s own words, ammamam.. abho bhayo laah da... oberai lamoo bhayo .. so here’s to a wonderful guy, a passionate North Pointer and a loving Husband & Dad.

And I end with a quote which I am sure he would completely agree with “A good friend is one who will bail you out of jail, but your best friend is the one sitting next to you saying, "Damn That Was Awesome".

Cheers to you Steve! Cheers Indeed!


Steven Gurung can be contacted at

Saturday, June 7, 2008



It was really nice to go through the NP Alumni blog.

We are both very happy for the success of the gala dinner and I must say that it was organised very well and professionally. After a long time it was really nice to have such a gathering in Dubai and especially since it was for such a good cause.

It is very difficult for people in Dubai to take time out for such things because most of the time the people are busy with their daily schedules and yet on that particular day so many of us were there and its really nice to know that there are still some people who are interested in such things.

It is indeed very heartwarming and do keep up the good work.

Fr. Van speech and the Mungpoo school video was very inspiring and while we could not spent much time with Father that evening, we were blessed when we got to meet and escort Father at the Dubai International Airport during his departure. He was genuinely surprised and at the end near the gate, he also prayed and blessed us both.

God bless you all, keep up the good work and we hope to do a lot more in future too.

All the best.


Mr. & Mrs Pranaya Subba.

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Dear All,

I had a great time on the 29th. Everything was so well organised and I salute you guys for putting all your effort to bring so many people together to put a smile on so many under priviliged children back home.... If we don't do it then who does?

So I hope for more such events in future. You can count on me if there is anything I can do to help.

I'm so glad that i was part of the event..and I would like to thank all the organisers for making a difference in life.

Thats all for today... catch you soon and god bless.

Next time I promise to give you more contacts


Rekha Blone

Rekha was the winner of the TV in the auction that night

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Dear All,

A very special thanks to all of who mobilized so many donations towards the Mungpoo School Project, the very first venture of the newly set up North Point Alumni Association, Middle East Chapter. It is indeed heartwarming that we have benefactors like you who are willing to not only contribute but also lend your support to a good cause and especially one which involves giving young children a fair chance in life. The NP Alumni remains committed to bettering the lot of the less fortunate in the world keeping in mind the words of our school song – “Here’s a hand to a faltering brother, here’s a lift for the lame and the slow

A novel enterprise, this School project furthers the educational opportunities for the underprivileged in the society. The aim to make them proficient in English as this is the teaching medium, educate them to become world class citizens capable of integrating into society and further be able to avail of better opportunities in other parts of the world.
This School is being built with treated bamboo, keeping in mind the natural setting and effective use of resources for an environment-friendly construction and along the lines of the Green Concepts which are critical in today’s world. Since most of the students are from nearby plantations, the need for vocational education is high. Students are taught beekeeping, bioorganic farming, planting mushrooms and many more vocations. Your contribution towards this enterprise is critical given the fact that it costs just Dhs. 250 to educate a child for a year and Dhs. 2500 for the entire ten years of schooling, which indeed is a relatively small sum, isn’t it?

So once again please accept our gratitude as well as appreciation for your great service which is truly appreciated,

With kind regards,


Robert C S Wilson
North Point Alumni Association UAE-ME Chapter

Monday, June 2, 2008


Dear All,

I have attached a few pictures from my time in NP - the b&w pictures are from Year 9-10 (1981-2) and from our 43rd HMI Adventure Course (1982). I am the 4th from right front row in the class photo and the 1st from left front row in the HMI photo. I cannot recall if Robert was in the same class, please ask him. The other b&w pictures are from my scouting days.

The more recent coloured pictures are of our family, my wife Nilanjana, and our two girls, Hia 6yrs and Oli 3yrs - as you can see, we have maintained an adventurous outlook in life taking on from the NP spirit.

I owe a lot of who I am today to the NP days, and for instilling in me a sense of principle, discipline, will power, adventure and a love for outdoors and nature.

Wish you, Robert and the team there all the best for the first alumni event and do keep in touch.

Anoop Chaudhuri HRBO Director,
PD Asia Pacific and Africa
Ford Motor Company

Anoop can be contacted on

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I'm Wilf Armstrong class of '58. I'm now retired, but still work the Alaska Cruise season for Holland America from May 'til September. I live on the west coast of British Columbia, with the Pacific Ocean in front and the Coast Mountain Range behind me.
A long way from N P and the Himalayas 'and a long time ago, but I'll never forget those days at the school.
One day, in the not too distant future, I hope to return for a visit.

Yours Truly Wilf

Wilf can be contacted on
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Dear All,

Wishing you and all the attendees, at what sounds like a wonderful night, every success at the Gala event. Wish I could be there !! See you at the NP reunion in Bangkok next May perhaps ??
All the best

Billy Pyke
(NP: 1956-1963)

Bill can be contacted on
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Dear North Pointers,

Thank you for your mail.

As you perhaps know, my husband is severely handicapped after two brain hemorrhages several years ago.
Last September, his former classmates and their wives came to our place for the yearly N.P reunion. Altogether, we were 34 people. We had a tremendous weekend together and afterwards a five-days bus trip to Bavaria.

My husband apparently was very happy to see them all again. In spite of the fact that he cannot talk we were sure he recognised everybody. For my children and me it was the event of the year- we will never forget it. It gave us a family feeling. It was so moving.
To give you a glimpse on my husbands life, I will tell you his CV.
After school, he obtained a sponsorship by the DAAD (German academic exchange organisation) to Germany and became a mechanical engineer. He returned to India to help his fellow refugees and for a year was the interpreter for His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama.
In 1969, he returned to Germany and worked as an engineer till October 2000. We married in 1972 and have two children: Norbu (30) and Yuldon(27). We live in South Germany at Lake Constance near the Swiss border.
In October 2000, Palden had a severe brain hemorrhage, and in February 2001 a second stroke. Since then he is severely handicapped ; a locked-in-syndrome.
On his behalf please give his regards to the NP alumni and their respective families. He certainly would love to join them.
Best wishes and Sursum Corda!
Christel Gyanatshang-Moser

Christel can be contacted on
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Dear NP Guys,
Thanks for your note. I am filled with pride to read of the gala dinner and the cause behind hosting such a noble event. We indeed make a difference and a positive one. Mr. Wilson was my teacher in NP school and I was a classmate of Patrick his younger brother. Even though I would like to join the event I will not be able to do so. Please convey my wishes and best regards to all and to Mr Wilson too. Wish and pray the event is a great success. I have attached some pics of our reunion in New York on Sep 11 2004 and also pics of Fr. Van when he visited us in Ho Chi Minh City. Sursum Corda

Somendra P Pradhan

Country Finance

DirectorICI Paints
Somendra can be contacted on

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Message for the NP Alumni Middle East gala dinner in Dubai.

I am very happy to hear that the N:P: Middle East Alumni is hosting a dinner in the aid of the Mungopoo school project. This project is a very typical example of the activities of the Jesuits in Darjeeling and it’s surroundings. I am sure this dinner will help greatly in accomplishing the project.

I first went to North Point in 1951, when I was five and a half year old. I left North Point after finishing my bachelor’s degree in 1964, when I turned twenty. In these 13 years in North Point I have learned one very important lesson (amongst others) from the Jesuits: “Never give up a good thing worth doing, even if you see many problems ahead”. This has often been my motivation even during some very difficult times in the past 44 years after leaving North Point.

The school in Mungpoo is a project, that is very characteristic for the Jesuits. Take up on a good thing and then do your best to overcome any type of problem turning up. Just do not give up. Now I expect that many N.P. alumni organisations world wide will be doing their best in helping to fund this project.

And ofcourse it is worth our while undertaking the effort of helping out. The school will help children in a remote area in India to get educated and maybe become very valuable in their field of work for the country.

I wish the Middle East Alumni under the leadership of Mr. Robert Wilson a very successful evening - with lots of fun, fond remembrances of the old days at North Point and of course the collection of a proud sum for funding the school to be built.

Sursum Corda!

Serosh Engineer
Am Rotdorn 40
47804 Krefeld, Germany

Serosh can be contacted on

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Dear North Pointers,

Sadly, I have to inform you that Colin died May 20th 2002. He was 82 years old. He had had a remarkable life. From being Captain of some of Exxon's largest tankers, he came ashore and when they struck oil in the Libyan desert, he helped to design their Marine facilities and ran the port for eleven years. After Libya his career took him to New York, Holland, Indonesia, Malaysia and as a Marine consultant he advised on many marine problems around the world. He was famous in the tanker world for a book he wrote in 1954 called Tanker Handbook for Deck Officers. The 8th and last edition was published around the year 2000.

Colin wrote his life story for the family in his retirement and the first page depicted a photograph of North Point College. Sadly it was only a black and white photo, the only one he had of it.

I hope his photograph will come out. I'm not very good at sending pictures yet. Please let me know.

Since Colin died (we were then living in Cornwall, U.K. ) I came to Perth, W. Australia 4 years ago and now live with my daughter, and enjoying 4 very young great grandchildren.

I trust this will be of some interest to you. The only other N.P. student Colin mentioned to me was Dijmi Dorgi (I may have the spelling wrong), he was apparently in Colin's dormitory.

Best of Luck for all your ventures.

With kind regards -

Joyce Baptist (wife)

Joyce can be contacted on

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Dear NP Guys,

I will be happy to help asap in any way I can.

I had seen your blog sometimes back and was happy to learn that Anand’s son Vishant was doing well.
He was my classmate and closest friend.
Under Willi, whom I remember very well, you will do well!

Keep up the good work.

A bientot

Ashok Mirchandani

Ashok can be contacted on

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Dear Guys,

I do wish you all the best in your fundraising efforts. It is a really worthy effort and well in keeping with the spirit of North Point where stand like men to each other with a helping hand to the lame and the slow.

Give my regards to Robert. If he is who I think he is, he was a couple of years senior to me. His father used to play the drums if I remember correctly. They were a very well known family in Darj.

Will try to send some photos

Best Wishes

Sursum Corda


NP 63 – 72

Vincent can be contacted on