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HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014

At St John's, Sibal, classmates reminisce schooldays from '60s

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, November 10, 2013
First Published: 01:16 IST(10/11/2013) | Last Updated: 01:18 IST(10/11/2013)

A trip across the world for one and taking time off from the hectic schedule of heading a Union ministry for another — 50 years after they bid farewell to their alma mater, St John's High School in Sector 26 here, union minister Kapil Sibal and four of his classmates from the school's Class-12 batch of 1963 met again on Saturday.

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 This time for a small reunion, as the school's senior wing celebrated its annual sports day.

All the five surviving members of the batch of seven students shared old memories, when the school had a single building.

Present with their families, the former classmates were glad to see each other. Apart from Sibal - now the union minister of communications and information technology, and law and justice - Sanjiv Krishen, chairman of a New Delhi-based computer company, Charanjit S Wahan, who lives in Switzerland, Rajindar Singh, who lives in Colorado, and Ravipal Singh Mann were present and recollected memories of all the teachers who taught them, including brorther JU Morrissey, brother MF McGrath, brother PS Burke, NR Sharma (science), and Rama Dutt (Hindi). Recollecting the good old days, Sibal said, “A mischief I have never forgotten is that students, in our time, often used slide down the balustrade (staircase railing); it was fun but dangerous. So, to stop this, brother Morrissey got small wooden blocks mounted on the balustrades. It must have been in our first or second year. The wooden artifacts are still there.”

During the sports day, the school also released a commemorative stamp issued by the postal department in the memory of Edmund Rice, the founder of Christian Brothers Worldwide.

Sibal spoke about another memory: “Noni and I used to demand the guards at the governor's house (there was no Haryana then) to salute us as we bicycled past the guard house. We used to have fun until one day, finally, a cop chased us to the school and the consequences were dire, but not damaging!”

He also had a memory from St. Edward's, Shimla. “We went there for a cricket match in March or April 1963. This was the only school trip I (we) took. We spent a couple of nights there and it was sheer fun. Shimla was a great place in those days,” Sibal said.

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