Friday, March 16, 2007
Rimcollians, Dehradun 2007
I am a Rimcollian, which is the name for an Old Boy of the Rashtriya Indian Military College (formerly the Prince of Wales Royal Indian Military College), in Dehradun in the Himalayan foothills. Earlier this week I was in Dehradun to attend the school reunion, which is held on the Foundation Day, 13 March.
The Rimcollian bond is very strong. In the 85 years since the school was established, less than 5,000 students have studied here. So its a very small and exclusive fraternity. The unique and demanding military ethos of the school also bonds all the Old Boys. Rimcollians have been at the forefront of military valour and leadership of the Indian army and armed forces for 7 decades. Many Rimcollians also led the armed forces of Pakistan after 1947.
This year marks the centenary of Mr Hugh Catchpole, an Englishman, who came to teach at the RIMC in 1928. He became the Principal of the school in 1948, and in 1953 went to Pakistan where he established and taught in 3 schools - until his death in 1997. The RIMC and the 3 schools in Pakistan, and the Old Boys of all these schools, are jointly observing and celebrating the Catchpole Centenary with a diverse programme of events spread across the schools in India and Pakistan.
I studied at the RIMC during 1972-76. And during 1998-2003 I did a second stint in the school, this time as a visiting Master. RIMC is one place that I shall always feel is my home. I can never have enough of the verdant splendour of the campus and the exceptional sensibility of the cadets fashioned by the daily routine and culture of the school.
Amrit, in the picture above, joined RIMC in 2003. I was seeing him after 4 years. As I told him, he was a complete mess then; he's a fine young man now!
Pictures from the RIMC reunion of 2007 are accessible here.