Some hugged, some tried to recall the other person's name... but in vain, many touched their favorite teachers' feet, a few became emotional and many were in disbelief that they were meeting after a gap of 29 years at the first ever grand 'Guruvandana' programme of Kannada medium students of 1989 batch of SSLC students, organised for the first time in the history of St. Aloysius school.
A total of 26 teachers and five attenders, who were part of the school between 1979 - 1989, were felicitated by the 60 plus Aloysius alumni, much to the delight of teachers.
In the felicitation, retired teacher Sarvajna Achar said that he was selected for the post of a police sub-inspector in 1974, but could not join the service due to his inability to pay a bribe of Rs 50,000. "If I had joined the police service then, I would have retired as DIG or officer with some big rank with 4-5 flats and 5 to 6 kg of gold, but I would not have received such an honour from so many students," he said.
Former physical education teacher Dayanand Rai said that he still sees a football team, a volleyball team and a cricket team among the audience (former students).
Former science teacher and Scouts in-charge G K Bhat called upon students to be a TEAM (T-Together, E-Everyone, A-Achieve, M-More) and continue to help the needy.
Former headmaster Fr Lawrence Pinto, present headmaster Fr Jerald Furtado, retired teachers - Joyce D'Souza, G K Bhat (Sr & Jr), H L R Bhat, Ramachandra Bhat, Srinivas Rao, Francis Mascarenhas, Donald Saldanha, Celina Rego, Rita Mascarenhas, Mary D'Souza, Ruby Lobo and Gretta Patrao among others spoke.
Earlier, St Aloysius Primary School correspondent Rev Fr Eric Mathias lauded the alumni for the programme and called upon them to help poor students, especially those belonging to Dalit and Koraga community in continuing their education. "Though civic workers belonging to Koraga and Dalits community strive to make the city clean by sweeping and collecting garbage, their sons and daughters are finding it difficult to see the portals of the school. Help them to get an education," he appealed.
A total of 26 teachers and 5 attenders who served the institution between 1979 and 1989 were felicitated with a memento, shawl, fruits, 4-gram gold coin and a health card. They included: Joyce D'Silva, Rita Mascarenhas, Ruby Lobo, Mary D'Souza, Celine Concesso, Gretta Patrao, Celine Rego, Shambu Shetty, H.L.R. Bhat, Sarvajna Achar, Frank Sequeira, Fr Lawrence Pinto, Fr Denis Rasquinha, Gopal Krishna Bhat (Sr), Gopal Krishna Bhat (Jr), Ram Mohan Tholpady, Dayanand Rai, Dr John Pinto, Srinivas Rao, Francis Mascarenhas, Donald Saldanha, G Ramachandra Bhat, Valarian Colaco; and attenders Felix, George, Jerald Fernandes, Bonaventure and Herald Misquith (who served St Aloysius for 47 years). The health card was sponsored by Rajesh Lobo of Accu labs, one of alumni.
Earlier, a one-minute silence was observed for the departed souls of teachers - Rev Fr Ronnie Prabhu, Rev Fr J B Frank, Benedict Vas, Sathurin D'Silva, A X Patrao, G Lobo, Bonaventure Menezes, Rev Fr Lawrence D'Souza, Rev Fr A S Rodrigues, Rev Fr Victor, T A Rao, J R D'Leema, Manjappayya, Leo Fernandes, L D'Cunha, Mark Menezes and Ethel Prabhu; and also students - Nilus, Maxim, Kiran Shetty, Shrinivas, Udaychandra, Lokesh, Raghuveer, Malet, Dakshath, Subashchandra, Ratan Pinto, Melwin and Santhosh Rao Pejavar.
A few students had come to attend the programme all the way from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, Dubai, United Kingdom, Mumbai, Belgaum and Bengaluru among other places.
Current drawing teacher John Chandran, a popular cartoonist and also from the 1989 batch was felicitated by his colleagues for winning the best teacher award recently.