With Love to Alma Mater from St Aloysius HS 1974 Batch Donates Rs 14.5 Lakh ‘Solar Project’
- With Love to Alma Mater from St Aloysius High School 1974 Batch Donates Rs 14.5 Lakh ‘Solar Project’
Mangaluru : “Once an Aloysian, Always an Aloysian!”- that’s right. Yes, a bevy of classmates of 1974 batch of St Aloysius High School, Mangaluru formed ‘Class Group of 1974’ in January 2019, and then hosted a 3-days Reunion Bash ion 28, 29 and 30the December 2019, to cherish the moments and fun that they had as students of this prestigious institution. It was a nostalgic journey down the memory lane for these 1974 classmates who came together for the Reunion Bash. The memoirs of yester years were once again rejuvenated as they all shared their memories of those golden, youthful, cheerful days full of happiness and joy. To enliven the atmosphere there was not only food and drinks, but a few of us shared some jokes and fun things they did in and out of the classroom.
It was a memorable Reunion where these vintage revelers had a chance to brag about what was accomplished and was not, among the bunch, comprising entrepreneurs, Stock Exchange Brokers, Chartered Accountants, Professors, Health Care Personnel, and other fields. It was also a chance where they looked back at the humorous side of things. Spending time looking at the fashion and the hair in old photos, and was also a chance where they looked back at some of the stupid things that were done while being classmates. During the get-together they shared their naughty things they did during class hours-throwing paper planes at the teacher, bunking classes and spending time at Mangli’s (Ananth Shenoy) Sugar cane juice shack; whistling and making noises etc etc- but no matter, they were still good grown up kids- as per one of the alumnus. And apart from lots of friendship cum fellowship, there was a sumptuous spread of food that added spice to the occasion.
“We never had iPhones/iPads/or laptops during our time-like the present generation- we were in our own world- no selfies, no sending SMS’s or chatting/Whatsapp-ing etc. We too had girl friends, had intimate affairs, but we never took extreme steps (suicide) over broken relationships like some of the present youth do-for we respected our precious lives – and therefore we are still alive and kicking! We all loved our school days at St Aloysius and we still cherish and have fond memories of those yester years. We still remember our strict and disciplined Headmaster in Higher Primary school-Fr Denis Coelho SJ, fondly known as “Shivaji” (because of his appearance) and in High school, Fr Denis Rasquinha SJ and Fr Lawrence Pinto SJ , whom we all loved very dearly’ recalled Lester Vas, of 74 batch.
During that reunion in december 2019, the alumnus of St Aloysius High School 1974 batch thought of giving something back to their Alma Mater ,and it was decided to sponsor a Rs 14.5 lakh worth ‘Solar Project’, to be installed on the rooftop of St Aloysius High School- and the project got okay from the Class Group, and within two months nearly Rs 14.5 lakhs was raised, good enough to go ahead with the project. And the project undertaking was given to Jeethan Castelino- the Managing Director of NLite (Enlighten Lives), and the project was completed on 16 September 2020- a little bit of delay due to the sudden intrusion of Covid-19 lockdown. The inauguration and Blessing of Solar Plant donated by the Class of 1974, St. Aloysius High School was held on 7 November 2020, at 10.30 am. A welcome song in Hindi by the teachers, followed by a small passage from the Bible was read and thanksgiving prayers in Kannada. Fr. Melwin Pinto S.J., Rector invoked God’s blessings and blessed the installation.
Thereafter a small program was conducted in the School Auditorium. Fr. Gerald Furtado, Head Master, welcomed the gathering and gave a brief history on how the project came about, and thanked the alumni for their generosity. Clarence Pereira, representing the Class of 1974 Batch also explained how the Class group was formed in January 2019, which then led to a reunion of 3 days in December 2019. It was there a commitment was made to have a Solar Plant. Classmates contributed to the School directly and a sum of 16.5 lakhs was collected. Jeethan Castelino of Enlite Energy LLP, himself an alumni was awarded the project for Rs 14.5 lacs to put up the Solar Plant of 30 kw.
Despite the pandemic, the project was completed and commissioned on 16.09.2020. This is a lasting project and a template for all future potential donors to follow
“With the surplus of Rs 2 lakhs, the Class has decided to set up a scholarship fund for the needy and meritorious students. The scholarships will be given to the students of Class 8, English and Kannada medium and going forward it would extend to Class 9 and 10. Classmates would contribute on a continuing basis to keep the fund going ” added Clarence. Clarence Pereira and Sadashiva Nayak were honoured with a plaque, shawl and fruits for their efforts. Jeethan Castelino too was honoured for his work. All the students of Class of 1974 were also thanked individually with a rose.
The Rector thanked the Class for their generous donation and said it would be a great legacy. He further said, “As an alumnus of this institution, whenever I walk through the corridors it brings back memories of my school and college days here. It should be noted that Alumni play an important role in the growth of their alma mater, through their love and support. Raising nearly Rs 14.5 lakhs in just two months for this solar project, shows the determination and commitment by these 74 high school batch mates. I feel proud of these alumni for what they gave back to their alma mater. Hope other alumni of this prestigious institution which has given good education, moral and manners, will also follow in the footsteps of this batch, and also make a difference”.
A video of the project was presented by Mrs Linet and Mrs Sunitha, faculty at school, followed by a video of the Class of 1974 in Thanksgiving. The program ended with a vote of thanks by the Assistant Headmaster of St Aloysius High school Gopalkrishna S, and the programme was meticulously and professionally compered by Lancy D’souza, a teacher at St Aloysius Higher Primary School- and the prayer song was rendered by Mrs Diana and the group/Prayer intentions read by Mrs Felcy Pinto, thanksgiving hymn by Mrs Renny and Mrs Bharathi and Group-, of the same school.
Among the guests who graced the occasion were- Fr Praveen Martis Sj-the principal of St Aloysius College, Fr Santhosh Kamath Sj; Fr Leo D’souza Sj- former Rector; Fr Melwyn Sj-principal of St Aloysius Gonzaga school, Fr Vincent Pinto sj-Finance Officer, St Aloysius College, among othersAnd with great pride and honour, me also being an alumnus of St Aloysius High School batch of 75, it was indeed a pleasure to grace the occasion, and draft this article. Än Aloysian is Always an Aloysian”- let’s all keep it that way!