Rousing reception awaits vice president in his old school

April 9th, 2009 - 2:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, April 9 (IANS) Vice President Hamid Ansari will go down memory lane next week when he visits his alma mater St Edward’s School in the Himachal Pradesh capital after more than half a century.
Ansari, 70, who had studied in St Edward’s during 1949-51, will spend some hours April 15 with scores of students, teachers and staff of the school.

“It’s definitely a homecoming for the diplomat turned vice president of India. A sense of happiness and excitement is evident regarding the visit of the alumnus who has made us proud,” principal Father John Bosco told IANS Thursday.

“This is his first visit to the school after he left the school in 1951,” Bosco said, adding when the school authorities came to know Ansari would be visiting Shimla to deliver a lecture, they requested him to visit the school where he spent a few years and the vice president agreed.

Bosco said Ansari would interact with a new generation of students, staff and take a round of the historic school buildings.

According to the admission register of the school, Ansari was admitted to the sixth standard June 3, 1949, and he left the school after passing the seventh standard in 1951. His admission number was 1453.

His younger brother Haris Ansari was admitted to the school in the fifth standard on the same day with admission number 1454. He left the school after completing the sixth standard in 1951.

The register mentions that their father, M.A. Aziz Ansari, was a superintendent of insurance, government of India.

Bosco, who joined this school in 2005, said some alumni recalled that the Ansari brothers were good in sports too.

Paediatrician Kailashnath Sood, an alumnus who lives here, has some memories of Hamid Ansari.

“Hamid Ansari was senior to me (in the school) and I still remember when he played cricket in the school ground. He was very good cricketer, especially wicket-keeper.

“I have never met him since he left the school (St Edward’s), but I am still in touch with him through letters… I am still junior to him and would love to meet him (during his visit),” he said. Sood completed the tenth standard from this school in 1956.

St Edward’s has been a prominent boy’s school in Shimla right from the day it was opened March 9, 1925, in the Milsington Estate. Brother J.C. Doheny was its founder principal. The school also boasts of alumni like ace cricketer Kapil Dev, former director general of Punjab Police K.P.S. Gill and Himachal Pradesh’s former chief minister Virbhadra Singh.

At present, the school has over 1,700 students. It is affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education and has senior secondary classes since 1998.

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