High decile schools in Fiji like Suva Grammar and Xavier College have been known to have marked their reunion publicly and internationally. But for a relatively lower decile school like D.A.V. College, in Ba, this was a difficult call. (The decile rating is meant to represent the income of parents attending the school. Decile 1 represents lowest income. Decile 10 represents highest income.)
The other schools apart from having children of relatively better-off parents also tended to have the cream of students, the brightest and smartest. Schools like D.A.V and others were there to provide services to mostly children of poorer cane-farmer parents, and yours truly, Thakur was also one of them.
That is more the reason why we need to salute so-called lower decile schools in Fiji for moulding the poorer and lower level of students. Anybody can take creamy milk and make butter out of it. But it takes big courage to take butter-milk (maatha) and re-make it into butter. School like DAV has been doing just that and this is an excuse to pay back that gratitude by remembering those fond days.
That is what schools like DAV (includes schools like Sangam, Khalsa, Muslim, Sanatan) needs to have special salute for serving the community of poorer people and poorer students. Despite that, the friendship taught in legends like Krishna-Sudama always live on. It has been a desire of students of 1970-1973 to have a reunion, and this ambition has been burning for over a decade. The idea of planning this was ignited by my visits to USA and Canada beginning in 1998, where I always went to meet my DAV mates like Bimal Chand Sharma, Deo Mani and Ajay Kumar in Sacramento and Stockton, USA and Sant Lal in Canada. This friendship ignited the smouldering wish of DAV Reunion. The advent of Facebook made this task easier. Sant Lal, with Kushwa Singh, Latchman Rao and others were able to hold the first Reunion in Burnaby, Vancouver, Canada. From there it was decided to move this further, with continuation of DAV reunion.
|A WALK DOWN MEMORY LANE-FORMER STUDENTS ARE URGED TO MAKE AN EFFORT TO ATTEND.|
A historic meeting in Surrey, Vancouver, Canada took place on 5 April, 2015 when we decided to launch an international DAV Ex-students Association, and carry the dream of hosting DAV Reunions around the world. This inauguration meeting was attended by Thakur Ranjit Singh, Sant Lal Sharma, Raymond Raj, Jiten Singh and Bimal Charan, at whose house this meeting was held.
It was resolved in this meeting:
1) To hold the current D.A.V. Reunion in Auckland, New Zealand in May 2017
2) To appoint international co-ordinators: They were: Raymond Raj (Canada), Deo Mani (USA) -now with his passing away Sant Lal Sharma is responsible for USA), Sadasivan Naicker (Fiji), Sanat Pandey (Australia) and yours truly Thakur Ranjit Singh (New Zealand).
|At inaugurating DAV. formalisation meeting with (from left) Raymond Raj, Jiten Singh, Thakur Ranjit Singh and Sant Sharma at Surrey, BC , Canada on 5 April, 2015. This was at Bimal Charan's place, who is the photographer.|
Fiji Co-ordinator, Sadasivan Naicker has expressed interest to hold next DAV Reunion in Fiji (of course in Ba) in and around June/July 2019. This will be further confirmed in the DAV BA Reunion in Auckland on 13 May, 2017. Former Ba Mayor, and now Minister Pravin Kumar (Bala) has promised to lend support to Ba reunion. People need to be reminded that Ba businessman, Vinod Patel is amongst the first lot of DAV students of 1953
ATTRACTIONS FOR 2017 AUCKLAND REUNION
We have allocated time for teachers and students to have their say, and present stories, items, jokes and walking down memory lane. At least confirmed attendance of teachers are Bal Ram, Sanat Pandey, Lata and Surya Deep Singh, who are former students as well as former teachers. We also expect Bookkeeping teacher Jai Ram (a lawyer now) of Sydney and Ramendra Mani (Bookkeeping teacher) of Auckland.
Students have four categories of presentations: 1980 to later years, 1975-1980, 1970-1974 and Class of 1953-1969. There is special recognition for some DAV Students for special achievements, and some former principals will be recognised posthumously. Some teachers and students will be acknowledged, recognised and appreciated for their contributions made towards enhancing the name of D.A.V. through their personal contributions and excelling in being an honour to our school.
The programme begins with address by the President and acknowledging Arya Samaj of Fiji in general, and that of Ba in particular for having the vision for providing such an educational institution that built our lives. A well-kept secret is a ten-minute tribute-“Sharadhajali ke doh phool” –a tribute video presentation in memory of teachers and students who have passed away.
|Still not too late. Former students wishing to attend are to contact our people named herein, and make an effort to attend this memeorable event.Add caption|
With a very sumptuous meal, free supply of juice, kava and drinks, with music of yester-years, it is billed as a memorable night to remember all the past memories. Long-time friends will meet and talk, laugh, and cry over their past life, missed opportunities and what they found and lost. Special mention will be made of those lovers who found their partners in the school and are still married. And race is on for the highest number of DAV siblings (brothers and sister who attended DAV). While I will have three of us present, Purshottam Krishna, head of our Secretariat has thrown in a challenge with at least four of his brothers attending. And you have to come to experience this
But what we hope to see is a memorable night of DAVians, not to be missed by former DAV Students. Those who wish to reserve their tickets still have a chance of contacting our Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org immediately, for limited tickets. Also, check Facebook timeline of: DAV COLLEGE, BA FIJI REUNION. Hoping to see you there.
[About the Author: Ranjit Singh, as Thakur was known in school, was at DAV from 1970-1973 inclusive. He is the president of DAV College, Ba Fiji Reunion 2017, and also runs his blog site, FIJI PUNDIT. he is a journalist and is a media commentator.]