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Campion alumni take trip down memory lane

india Updated: Dec 29, 2006 17:05 IST

MORE THAN 80 ex-students – all belonging to the first three batches of Campion School Bhopal – gathered here on Thursday for a two-day reunion.

They have come from all around the country – with some arriving from foreign countries too. The first three batches from 1969 to 1971 had about 110 students who were shifted from St Joseph’s Convent School, Idgah Hills in 1969 when that school was converted into an all girls institution.

The ex-students – many along with their families – met at about noon at the Wind and Waves restaurant at the Upper Lake here. Old pals embraced each other with gusto and exchanged pleasantries before getting on to cracking jokes with each other like good old times.

People from varied walks of life – including doctors, engineers, defence personnel, lawyers and others – seemed to have forgotten all their professional commitments and thoroughly enjoyed the company of old time friends after many years.

The School’s first captain from the 1969 batch Mohan Gidwani who is now a Commodore in the Indian Navy said he was nostalgic meeting his classmates. Son of a late police official, Commodore Gidwani lived at Civil Lines locality in those days.

He was commissioned in the navy in 1977 and is presently posted in Mumbai in the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Branch. “Bhopal has improved tremendously with wider and better roads and other amenities,’’ he told the Hindustan Times.

Another ex-student Dr Gautam Ganguly – a paediatric surgeon practicing in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – expressed similar feelings. A student of the 1970 batch, Dr Ganguly did his MBBS from the Gandhi Medical College (GMC) Bhopal before acquiring advanced degrees in paediatric surgery.  “ Bhopal has undoubtedly improved as a city over the years but the big-city woes like parking problems, traffic congestions and pollution have also gone up,’’ he said.

Son of late yoga guru from Bhopal Krishna Mohan Ganguly, Dr Ganguly works as consultant surgeon in the Damai (Peace) Hospital in Kuala Lumpur. Dr Ganguly’s wife Dr Rakhi Ganguly – an MD Medicine - is also practicing in the University Hospital there.

Ex-student from 1970 batch Dilip Rao now owns an online payment company, Paymate.com, in Down Under Australia. Having settled in Sydney along with his family some years ago, Rao has been globetrotting since the early 80s.

An alumnus of the prestigious Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad and Indian Institute of Science (IIS), Bangalore, Rao has business operations in Australia and New Zealand at present. “I would definitely like to start some business in India too and am looking at the prospects of setting up a mobile payment company here,’’ he said.

Pramod Agrawal – who had the enrollment number one in the school – was also present. Besides, Colonel V P Singh (retd), Raj Panjwani, a practicing lawyer in the Supreme Court, Dr Salil Kumar, Bhopal based ophthalmologist, journalist Pervez Jamal Bari,  Rakesh Nagu, Akhilesh Bhargava, Robert Anthony and a host of other ex-students were present and fully enjoyed the reunion’s first day.

After relishing drinks and a sumptuous spread at the restaurant, the ex-students and their families visited Van Vihar National Park. Subsequently, they went for an enjoyable sortie on the Lake Princess Cruise Vessel. The fun for the first day culminated in style with a dinner at the Green Woods Country Club.

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