A water tank... In memory of Class '69 of Aloysius School

Last Updated 20 March 2013, 17:25 IST

Events such as get-together end up being a wonderful memory as one shares the past, celebrates the present and welcomes the future.

One such story is of 'Class 69,' a batch of students who studied in St Aloysius College and are still in touch, breaking the barriers of distance and time.

In the year 1998, Sunil Bhandary, a businessman, came up with a brilliant idea of organising a get-together for his classmates and shared the same with his friends and classmates he was in touch with.

However, getting in touch was a major challenge as there were no social networking sites and email was a new concept back then. Nonetheless, Sunil, Sumith Rao, Ranganath Kini, Vidhyadhar and few others readily took up the challenge and set out on an impossible mission of finding their friends with a class photograph taken in the year 1969.

"We were in first standard, when that photograph was taken and identifying each of our classmates with that photo was an herculean task. Unlike today, there were no social networking sites in 1998 and email was a new concept. So, we decided that we create a network, to track down our friends," says Sumith to Deccan Herald.
Sumith, Sunil and others started contacting all the friends they were in touch with and got numbers of few other friends. Contacting those friends, they got numbers of few others. Hence, a network was created and the group managed to track 88 of the 105 students in two batches who studied first standard in 1969.

"We met for the first time in 1998. We were around 35 of us. Some could not make it as they were in foreign countries. We had a lot of fun and decided that we hold the event every year," says Ranganath Kini.

Hence, the group named themselves as, 'Class 69' and marked their calenders every year to have a get-together.

"It has been almost 14 years since we started meeting. In each of the get-together a new face used to pop-up," says Sunil.

Meeting their first standard class teacher Janet Pereira, was a sentimental moment for class 69. "Janet teacher was the mother of our classmate Ashok. We manAged to find her address and invited her to our get-together. She was very pleased. She patted our back and told us some of the naughty things, we have done in the class," says Sumith.

"Three of our classmates turned out to be priests. One of them was Melwin Pinto, who became the Headmaster of the same School we studied. During his time, we held many get-together events," said Vidhyadhar.

"We were saddened to know that nine of our classmates died. The most tragic incident was of Sashikanth Poonja, who died with his family in Mangalore Air Crash. Our another classmate, Yogish Shetty became the CEO of Travel Ex Australia. We managed to track him after 30 years and he promised to attend the get-together to be held in 2013. Unfortunately, he died in 2012," says Sumith.

'Class 69,' ensures that all the classmates are in touch through emails and phone calls. Around 15 to 20 of our classmates are settled in West Asia. Once, we simultaneously held a get-together in Mangalore and Dubai and spoke to each other for hours through video-conferencing, says Sunil.

Water Tank

Class 69, donated a purified drinking water system to St Aloysius High School on Wednesday.

The installation consists of Ultra Violet water purification system to purify 600 litres per hour. The water is stored in 2 water tanks of 600 ltr capacity each and dispensed through 5 taps in each tank. The project cost of Rs 1 Lakh came from 20 class mates from “Class of ‘69”.

The water system was formally handed over to St Aloysius High School Headmaster Rev Fr Edward Rodrigues SJ on Wednesday.

"When we were kids, we used to drink water from a stone tank, which had many frogs. Thankfully nothing happened to us. However, this tank is a small gesture to

(Published 20 March 2013, 17:25 IST)

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