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Celebrating St. George’s College, Mussoorie through generations

by Nikki Kumar

Kindred Spirits!


Nestled in the serene foothills of Uttarakhand, India, St. George’s College, Mussoorie stands as a beacon of tradition and excellence since its establishment in 1853. Renowned as a premier all-boys boarding school, it has nurtured generations of ‘Manorites,’ instilling in them not just knowledge, but a spirit of camaraderie and aspiration. In a spirited celebration of cherished memories, mischievous escapades, and heartfelt connections forged at St. George’s College, Mussoorie, alumni spanning from the 1960s to the 2020s came together for an evening brimming with gratitude towards their alma mater.

Against the backdrop of the Hilton Bangkok Grande Asoke on 16th March, they united for the Manorite Nite BKK 2.0 reunion to pay homage to the place that shaped their lives, reflecting on the influence it continues to exert on their journeys beyond its hallowed halls. Having the opportunity to attend this momentous occasion, I witnessed firsthand the
power of shared memories and the unwavering bonds that define the Manorite spirit.

A palpable sense of cheer filled the air as St. George’s alumni gathered for a reunion dinner. The elegant ballroom setting was replete with a delectable buffet echoing the school’s culinary classics, from Madras Cafe to the canteen, evoking nostalgic memories for attendees. The night began with a warm buzz of reconnection as former classmates mingled, catching up with years of laughter and stories. The joyful reunion reached a crescendo when the alumni, divided into their former houses (the Cullens, Gatelleys, Tapsells, and Marthins), paraded into the ballroom in a spirited display of school pride.

The evening officially kicked off with the resounding strains of the school anthem sung in unison, a testament to the enduring bond forged within the walls of the school. Following the heartwarming opening, the festivities continued with a delicious dinner and a series of engaging activities. From beverage-drinking contests to lighthearted award ceremonies, the night unfolded in a spirit of celebration and shared memories.

As I mingled with attendees, I delved into their reminiscences of their time at the school, where anecdotes of mischief, laughter, and personal growth abounded. Through these exchanges, I gained insights into their individual journeys, enduring resilience, and determination cultivated through their St. George’s College, Mussoorie experiences.

Could you share some cherished memories from your time at St. George’s College?

Sukhit Narula, Batch of 1975: Looking back, I can honestly say it was the best time of my life, though we didn’t realise it at the time. It only occurred to us after we had left the school. The experience was awesome. Picture a school of 450 students, where an entire mountain served as our campus, equipped with every facility you could think of. The people were great, and the school was great – everything about it was amazing.

Rapin Kukreja, Batch of 1972: I have so many fond memories from that time. I was somewhat of a teacher’s pet, close to both the teachers and the school principal, which meant I could get away with quite a few shenanigans that others couldn’t! [Laughs] Looking back, I can definitely say it was the most enjoyable time of my life.

Pravin Chawla, Batch of 1977: I joined the school back in 1969 when I was just nine years old. My fondest memory of my
time there is undoubtedly the positive impact it has left on my life. The school not only taught us valuable lessons, but also provided numerous opportunities. Today, our strength and resilience can largely be attributed to our education, our teachers, and most importantly, our friends – many of whom are here tonight! Thanks to St. George’s College, Mussoorie, we all have very strong foundations.
How does it feel to be back in the school spirit, reconnecting with everyone?

Sukhbir ‘Sam’ Singh Sethi, Batch of 1976: I believe we all share a strong fondness for the school. After spending so many years together, the bonds we’ve formed are truly unimaginable. Fortunately, my group of classmates meet up quite often, so we’ve managed to stay closely connected and frequently attend each other’s events. However, we haven’t had as much opportunity to interact with the younger alumni, so this event is particularly exciting for that reason.

Nikorn Sachdev, Batch of 1993: I hold a lot of admiration for the school, particularly because of the friendships I forged there. It truly shaped us into who we are today, and instilled in us a strong sense of discipline. I’m delighted that eight of my friends have travelled all the way from India to attend this function. It’s always wonderful to reminisce about our childhood memories, the fun times we shared, and to revel in the burst of memories that come flooding back.

Do you feel there are significant advantages to going to a boarding school rather than a traditional day school?

Adarsh Narang, Batch of 2012: Actually, this is a common question from my friends in Thailand who attended day schools. A significant advantage of attending boarding school is that it fosters independence. From a young age, you learn to manage on your own without parental guidance, which teaches you how to interact with different people. This skill proves invaluable later in life, a realisation that has become clearer to me over time. Additionally, the friends you make at boarding school often become like family, since you experience everything together. I truly believe that the friendships, memories, and lessons from boarding school are irreplaceable.

Dr. Sumeet Narang, Batch of 2013: I definitely think so. Everything I’ve achieved, I owe to my experience at boarding school. It shaped me into an independent individual, capable of standing on my own, making decisions, and handling various situations without needing to adapt. Beyond that, I think it broadens your perspective, helping you realise your potential and discover what truly defines you.

Devan Narang, Alumnus, 2011-2014: Being at a boarding school allows you to spend time away from your parents’ guidance, which offers significant advantages. You essentially learn how to handle everything on your own. It teaches you the value of independence, which I believe is crucial. Gaining independence helps you make your own decisions, and provides you with the courage to forge your own path in life.

Following the event, I was eager to delve into the inner workings of this fantastic reunion. I had the chance to speak with Chanjee Narang, a representative from the organising committee from the Batch of 1991, to uncover the inspiration for the event, gather more details, and discuss the impact of intergenerational connections.

What brought about the idea to host Manorite Night BKK 2.0?
The initial event in 2010, Manorite Night Bangkok, was such a success and brought together so many people, that we felt compelled to organise a follow-up event. The positive feedback and the sense of community that the first event fostered, inspired us to continue the tradition and host another memorable evening for all attendees.

Moreover, we wanted to celebrate our shared cultural heritage and traditions in a meaningful way. By organising Manorite
Night Bangkok 2.0, we aimed to create a space where we could honour our roots, reminisce about our upbringing, and celebrate the values that unite us as Manorites, even while living in diverse and bustling cities around the globe.

Why was it important to include alumni of graduating classes that spanned over six decades?
Involving alumni from different decades provided an opportunity for intergenerational exchange and learning. Younger alumni could learn from the wisdom and experiences of those who graduated decades earlier, while older alumni could reconnect with the school community and see how it has evolved over time.

Moreover, it allowed us to showcase the enduring impact of our school on individuals’ lives, highlighting the common bond that unites us all despite the passage of time. It also served as a testament to the enduring sense of connection that persists among alumni, regardless of when they graduated.

What influenced your decision to enrol your sons to your alma mater?
My decision to send both of my sons, Adarsh and Devan Narang, to study at our alma mater was deeply rooted in the belief that the values and lessons imparted by the school played a significant role in shaping my own character and successes. Witnessing my sons grow into compassionate and accomplished individuals has reaffirmed my confidence in the school’s enduring legacy of excellence and character development.

In seeing my sons thrive academically, socially, and personally, I am reminded of the enduring impact of our alma mater and the profound sense of belonging it cultivates. It’s truly a testament to the school’s unwavering commitment to nurturing not only bright minds, but also compassionate hearts and principled individuals. I am proud to be part of a legacy that spans generations and continues to positively shape the lives of its students.

The Organising Committee:
Inderjit Narula, Batch of 1970
Narinderpal Sachdev, Batch of 1973
Sukhit Narula, Batch of 1975
Pravin Chawla, Batch of 1977
Chanjee Narang, Batch of 1991
Nikorn Sachdev, Batch of 1993
Vuthinand Singhrakthai, Batch of 1997


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