The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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One and all for alma mater

It was an ode on the “hallowed ground of hallowed memory”. After 25 years of service, the old boys of St Xavier’s Collegiate School — or the Alumnorum Societas (Alsoc) — were back to formally announce their future plans for their alma mater.

At Saturday’s annual dinner, named Silver this year to commemorate Alsoc’s 25th year, the alumni also recognised “over 50 years of service” of Father Andre Bruylants, who came to India in 1949. “I am deeply honoured and deeply grateful,” said Father Bruylants, receiving the Alsoc Award for 2003, on the senior school grounds.

“Things have altered and do go on changing. I wish you all the best for another 25 years,” smiled the veteran educator, who was also the force behind one of Alsoc’s main social projects Titli, a school for around 150 under-privileged boys of the area.

A book on Father Camille Bouche, the legendary teacher who died last year, was also released by Father Boris D’Santos.

The reunion — led by ex-student and professor of Xavier’s N. Vishwanathan, and Noomi Mehta, honorary general secretary of Alsoc — visited the school’s past as well as the future. A film on the school and alumni association’s history was screened, tracing the growth of service projects like Titli and a weekly free clinic, financed and run by Xaverians. It also recorded the “passing of history”, much of which has been lost through time. For instance, Rabindranath Tagore, an ex-student of the Park Street school, initiating a short-lived alumni association is a little-known fact.

An interactive CD titled Taal (The Alsoc Alumni Library), unveiled the future plans of Alsoc for the school, including a centre for sporting excellence, a revamp of the libraries, labs, bathrooms and staff rooms. “It is our duty to continue to improve our alma mater,” said ex-student, now benefactor, B.M. Khaitan, chief guest for the night. Noomi Mehta urged Xaverians to “join the army” of Alsoc to better serve the school and community.

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