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Just a note out to all Goethalites,
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I am writing to all you GMS members as an introduction to myself and with a special regard to the subject of ‘Old Boys’ of GMS. Three of us (my brothers and myself) were taken out of the school in 1947, after the Partition and Independence of India, and we returned to England with the rest of the family members. My elder brothers were already at GMS when I joined them in 1945. We were registered as; OLIVIERE (the Rees was indicated by the letter R) as per the following:
C William R Oliviere – (circa 1941/47) (Cedric)
V John R Oliviere – (circa 1943/47) (Vernon)
R George R Oliviere – (circa 1945/47) (Raymond).
We still have memories of the years that were spent in India and GMS. That was part of our life in India and a growing-up process that cannot be changed. That is why I am making contact now as I wish to make my family aware of the good times (and bad) of my GMS days. I am hoping to locate some photographs taken of the School and areas near Kurseong during those early days (1941 to 1947).
As for myself and the days after GMS:
When I returned to England, I continued my education at another Christian Brothers School ‘St Boniface College’, in Plymouth, Devon. I then joined the Royal Air Force as an RAF Apprentice (three years), where I studied Aeronautical Engineering and completed my advanced studies and Technical Trades of Aerospace Engineering.
St. Boniface College (Plymouth UK)
On completion of my training, I did a further 12 years service in the RAF and was stationed in the following countries:
UK (including Northern Ireland and Scotland) Germany, Malta, Gibraltar, Libya, Canada, Cyprus, Malaya, Singapore, Brunei Labaun, Kuching and Borneo.
I was also a Helicopter Crewman on the Westland Mk10 Whirlwind, and operated in Borneo, Brunei and Malaysia during the Brunei/Borneo Confrontation in 1962 to 1965. I currently have the British Service Medals for: Cyprus, Malaya, Brunei and Borneo.
Also the special Malaysian Medal (the ‘Pingat Jasa Malaysia’ Medal’ – PJM), from the Government of Malaysia (see NOTE below).
When I left the RAF, I completed my studies for Aircraft Engineers Licenses in the UK (CAA) and the USA (FAA), where I also studied for and received my Airworthiness Engineers certification and that of Designated Maintenance Examiner, for the FAA and ICAO.
Even though I am officially retired, I still carry out work as a Consultant in the Aerospace and Defence Sectors. My Aerospace work has taken me to many countries for work they include: Germany, France, Norway, The Oman, Saudi Arabia and back to Singapore. (Another story line to follow later, for all the GMS Ex-Service Personnel).
NOTE: For those of you that have not heard of or seen the PJM, I am attaching a picture of the Malaysian Medal below.
My Sports and Leisure Activities:
As to Sports and Leisure, I received my ‘COLOURS’ for representing the RAF in: Boxing, Hockey and Rugby. I also used to do Judo and still play Badminton.
My taste in music reflects the fact that I used to sing with the Big Bands and also played percussion (Congas and Timbales) with a Jazz/Latin Jazz flavour, performing with various groups and TV/Radio shows in Malaya and Singapore (while in the RAF) and in the UK.
I returned to Singapore in Sept/Oct 2005 and met some of the old musicians that I had played with back in 1962/65 and joined them again to play at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and the Southbridge Jazz Club. Great to be in the ‘line-up’ again with the boys. I have some of the pics for you (the Forum), of the 2005 Malaya/Singapore trip.
(Another story line to follow later, for all the GMS musicians).
I am attaching a photograph of myself, taken at my old RAF Base in Butterworth, Malaya during my trip back to the Far East in 2005. That, however, as they say ‘is another story’ and will be told later.
Outside Butterworth Camp 2005
The above is a short summary of my years after GMS 1945/47 and my return to the UK.
Regards to all the GMS members and a promise to post other story lines that may be of interest to some/all of you out there.
Image: Amitava Maulik
Latest Centenary Pictures
If you are having trouble or need some help posting pictures please go ahead and email your pictures/video email@example.com
Thanks again for the pictures guys.
Congratulations to all Goethalites… Ok now for those of you lucky enough to brave the trip back home… Did any of you manage to get some centenary pictures… specifically looking for pictures of old classmates, teachers etc… please send them in or add them to the photo album… if you are having trouble please email them directly to me at firstname.lastname@example.org — I am getting a lot of request from Goats all over the world to view some pictures… of the centenary celebrations…..
Class of 1984 Batch Reunion Photos (Lots of it) Hope you guys dont mind if I share it…
Hey Class of 1992 —seing that a lot of us didnt make it back — lets plan for something down the road and make it happen…
Goethals Memorial School, Kurseong, quietly nestled in the pristine Siwalik Range and celebrating its centenary, is spread over an area of more than 148 acres which ranges anywhere between 5,500 ft to 6000 ft. Built in the revered memory of Dr Paul Count Goethals, the Arch Bishop of Calcutta, it was the brainchild of Hon’ble James Woodroffe the Advocate General of Calcutta High Court and Br Fabian Kenneally of the Irish Christian Brothers.
The school stands on land procured from the Maharaja of Burdwan and an additional strip leased from the government.
It started with 110 boarders in a magnificent building built by Br John Molitor SJ and led by Br MS O’Brien as the first principal to study the Sub Overseer’s Course affiliated to the Shibpur Engineering College, officially on 30 April 1907. Later to provide a more general education the school switched over to the Cambridge Local Examinations, and which finally changed to its ‘desi’ version – ICSE, in the early 1970s.
Down the years, the school has been honing the skills of young boys – ‘Goets’ as they would like to be called. Thus, Prakash Bhartia, winner of the School Science Award went on to become, Dr Prakash Bhartia authority on electro-magnetic systems, a defence scientist and member of the Order of Canada.
Among the hill schools Goethals also has the unique distinction of having the largest number of playing fields. It has produced among others, Gold winning Olympians in hockey, Joe Galibardi and Cyril Mitchie (Berlin Olympics, 1936) and Chaman Sing Gurung (Helsinki Olympics, 1952).
This hundred-year-old school draws sustenance from the fountainhead, the blessed Edmund Rice, founder of the Congregatio Fratrum Christanorum. It was with his vision, of ministry amongst the poor and needy and specially educating the youth, that the Congregation of the Irish Christian Brothers opened their first school at Waterford, Ireland in 1802.
That same vision propels Goethals, to now embark in educating the disadvantaged youth through the NIOS system and has finally thrown open its doors to female students too. In its hundredth year Goethals Memorial School continues to ‘do all things well’ as enshrined in its motto – Omna Bene Facere.
Three cheers for Goethals!
Date with Olympian at Goethals centenary
Goethals Memorial School. Picture by Suman Tamang
Darjeeling, Sept. 16: On April 29, 1907, the toy train stopped at the siding outside Kurseong to allow the lieutenant governor of Bengal, Andrew Fraser, to disembark and inaugurate Goethals Memorial School, built in the memory of Paul Count Goethals, the archbishop of Calcutta.
A little over 100 years later, on November 3, 2007, the scene will be replayed. The toy train will make an unscheduled stop at the Goethals Siding (the stop had been done away with 25 years ago) and the present governor of Bengal, Gopalkrishna Gandhi, will get down to be part of the institution’s centenary celebrations.
“We are trying to enact the exact scene. It takes about 17 minutes for the toy train to get to Goethals Siding from Kurseong on its way to Darjeeling and the governor is expected to cover the 2km on it. We are also trying to get a runner as was prevalent in those days (his task was to run ahead of the train and announce the arrival of dignitaries),” said Raja Banerjee, the president of the home alumni chapter of the school.
In the intervening 100 years, Goethals Memorial has produced three Olympic gold medalists in hockey. All three will be honoured during the weeklong celebrations.
First Field, the school playground, will be named after Joseph T. Galibardy, a member of the Indian hockey team that won the gold medal in the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
The school pavilions, on the other hand, will be named after Cyril J. Mitchie, Galibardy’s team-mate in the 1936 team, and C.S. Gurung, whose team won the hockey gold in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics.
Galibardy is the only surviving member of the trio.
”We have got in touch with the 92-year-old Galibardy in England and we are happy to announce that he will be coming over for the celebrations,” said Krishna Kumar Chirimar, the president of the Calcutta alumni chapter.
Galibardy will also receive the Golden Wreath Award during the celebrations, which will be attended by members of the various alumni chapters including the ones from the US, UK, Canada and Australia.
A former student of the school, Prakash Bhartia, who is an authority on electro-magnetic systems, will also attend the programme. The man who has been awarded the Order of Canada and has a postage stamp issued in his honour, will be given the Alpha Omega Award by Goethals Memorial.
The Nepal alumni chapter has big plans to mark the centenary.
“We are trying to take the Goethals’ flag to Mt Everest,” said Navin Puri, a core-committee member of the Nepal chapter. “We hope to get it done once the climbing season starts in October so that the ascent coincides with the celebrations but if we fail then we will do it in March-April.”
The alumni members have also hired a helicopter from Sikkim to drop petals and confetti during the programme on November 3.
Goethals Memorial School, run by the Congregation of Christian Brothers in India, had started off with 111 students. Currently it has a student strength of 650. The all boys’ institution also provides education to about 200 poor girls from the locality through its open school.
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