Ansari goes down memory lane at his alma mater (With image)

April 15th, 2009 - 6:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, April 15 (IANS) It was a trip down memory lane for Vice President Hamid Ansari, who visited his alma mater St. Edward’s School in the Himachal Pradesh capital on Wednesday.
As he stepped in his alma mater after more than half a century, his immediate remark was: “How can one forget his school?”

Ansari, 70, who had studied at St. Edward’s between 1949-51, and his wife Salma Ansari spent a few hours at the school.

Ansari also mingled freely with a new generation of students to catch up with their vision of a new world, and their hopes and aspirations.

Pointing towards the old school building, an overwhelmed Ansari said: “My classroom was towards this side.”

In a brief address, Ansari said,”Homecoming is a feeling that is difficult to articulate. A sense of happiness is evident. So are a flood of memories.”

“This is one of those occasions when one is left speechless. I vividly remember the time I spent at St. Edward’s. I have come to salute an institution whose dedication to its mission is exemplary,” he said.

“I remember the galaxy of reverend Fathers who taught us. I recognise without any difficulty the playing fields and a tough PT (physical training) instructor,” he said.

He said: “India is the second largest populated country in the world, on its way to becoming the most populated. In terms of human brain power, we are second to none. We have resource, capability and ambition. The future is the younger generation. The elders have finished with their exercise.”

Replying to queries from IANS, Ansari said: “This is my first visit to the school since I left in 1951. Even my last, less than one day visit to Shimla was sometime in 1980-81.”

In the visitors’ book Ansari wrote: “To come back to school after half a century generates sentiments and emotions that are difficult to express in words. May the school prosper and may students go out and contribute to the building of the nation.”

The Ansaris were accorded a rousing reception by the faculty and students, including principal Father John Bosco.

St. Edward’s has been a prominent boys’ school in Shimla right from the day it was opened on March 9, 1925, in the Milsington Estate. Brother J.C. Doheny was its founder and 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.

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