Once an Aloysian, Always an Aloysian! It’s Revelry Time at SACAA Reunion
Mangaluru: “Once an Aloysian, Always an Aloysian!”- that’s right. And 12 January Every Year, Same Date Same Place, the old “boys” of St Aloysius College- Mangaluru converge on their Alma Mater premises to join in the ‘St Aloysius College Alumni Association (SACAA) Reunion’ bash. And this year too nearly 700-800 SAC Alumnus who in their 80’s, 70’s, 60’s ,50’s, 40’s and 30’s, and a couple of old-timers used walking-sticks to reach to their cocktail counter- and most of all the crowd was predominately mixed, with young and old, gents and females, boys and girls, joined by a bevy of Jesuit priests in their best attire in formal slacks and shirts, which was hard to distinguish between “Rev. Fathers” or “Mr. Fathers”- but everyone had a jolly good time.
Yes, reunions-they can be excitedly anticipated or painfully dreaded. Either way, the first hour or so can be awkward as people shuffle in from all over. Reunions should include time for catching up and renewing old relationships. Getting past that awkward hour will get a little easier if there is lots of fun and easy reunion ice breaker games. And for that matter, the reunion bash of St Aloysius College Alumni/ae Association (SACAA) was organised in such a way that everyone had a good time, it was not boring and there were no complaints. Well organised with lots of fun and frolic, especially kudos to the compere Hera Pinto, a SAC alumnus who simply rocked and kept the evening live and entertaining, with her professionalism and witty punchlines.
Class Reunions or Alumnae Reunions are a chance to brag about what they may or may not have accomplished. Some there is the fear of what has not been accomplished. And there are some, that are just interested in how far people have come. There is also a chance to look at the humorous side of things. Spending time looking at the fashion and the hair in old photos, and is also a chance to look back at some of the stupid things that were done while being classmates. January 12 every year-it is always a special day for all the old students of St Aloysius College. January 12, 2017 – It was a nostalgic journey down the memory lane for the school/college buddies who came together in large numbers for the Reunion Bash. The memoirs of yester years were once again rejuvenated as they shared their memories of those olden, youthful, cheerful days full of happiness and joy. To enliven the atmosphere there was not only live music but also few spot games, beat boxing, floor dance and lots of friendship cum fellowship, together with a sumptuous spread of food that added spice to the occasion.
Being an old student of St Aloysius High School/College during the 1980s, I had the immense pleasure of meeting many of the staff and students during that term. Some of my classmates and seniors have already turned grey, some have gone bald, some have lost teeth, some have become rich and some are trying to become rich, some are still hanging around in Mangaluru involved in various professions, some entrepreneurs, while some are abroad, but come down during Christmas holidays. It was indeed fun to meet all of them, thereby interact and share our news and views over a glass of our favourite drink!
According to the organisers, they had worked tirelessly for the last two months to reach out as many past SAC students to attend the function, and they were lucky to get hold of nearly 700-800 alumnus who showed up for the event. The convener of the programme Prof. Edmund Frank welcomed the gathering, followed by a devotional prayer rendered by the Jesuit scholastics. The patron of SACAA and Rector of St Aloysius Institutions, Fr Dionysius Vaz in his speech stressed the importance of Alumni Association in an educational institution and invited the members to strengthen SACAA further by actively participating in their activities. “The Jesuit tradition has imparted education and more than information, transforming men and women into leaders of tomorrow and living for others. The students are encouraged to shine and reach out to people with compassion” added Fr Vaz. He also thanked SACAA for the support it has been providing to the institution particularly to the recent inaugurated State-of-the-art swimming pool. complex.
Three distinguished alumni were recognized for their achievement during the past year, namely Jeevan Saldanha for being elected as the president of Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Ln Arun Shetty for being elected as the District Governor of Lions Club 317D; and Edwin JF D’Souza- the eminent and famous Konkani writer for being the recipient of the Kendra Sahitya Academy Award for his award-winning Konkani novel “Kale Bangar” (Black Gold). Archibald Menezes, the President of SACAA thanked everyone for their support towards the Association, and humbly requested the Alumni to strengthen SACAA by actively involving in the Association projects/programmes, also bring in more members, thereby reach the Association to greater heights.
The Celebration incorporated various spot games, live music, skit, baila dance and lots of other goodies and fun. The audience were swayed to the melodious songs from Prem Lobo and his team, and the beatboxing by Swarup Paul mesmerised the audience. The live band “5 Stars” comprising of five talented young musicians transformed the atmosphere into a world of music through their rendition of oldies rock and pop, Konkani, Bollywood and of course, Baila numbers. With music, songs, dance and drinks in full swing the party raved till late evening and the SAC alumni/ae finally reluctantly bid goodbye to each other, while specifically asking for more such reunions to be organised and draw plans to repay their Alma Mater in the best way possible.
As the sumptuous buffet spread was opened, the baila beat reverberated the hall and those who could not resist dancing, both young and the old, had a gala time.To sum it up the SACAA Reunion 2017 will go unparalleled in history, while the snapshots incorporated along with the report here speak for themselves. Many exclaimed, “Oh what an awesome reunion it was!” I will keep January 12, 2018, marked on my calendar to be free that day and attend the next Reunion bash for sure! And “SACAA Reunion 2018” Same Date (12 January), Same Place (St Aloysius College Campus)- and “Thank God, It’s on a Friday!, unlike this year the Reunion Bash fell on a Thursday, which didn’t attract much crowd as expected-Oh well!