Carolyn, your memories brought back memories for me. The tuck boxes – wow – I remember that they were the most important. The gooseberry chutney and jam, mango pickle, tomato dorma, stick-jaw and other goodies that my mother and grandmother used to make or buy for us. Everything had to be equally shared between my brothers and myself. We even counted the barley sugars so that we all had the same. It would all probably last about a week or two. I remember Pam Ayling. She had this powdered milk mixed with sugar. It was sensational. It got stuck in your teeth and lasted ages.

I remember when it was my turn to go to OG, I would get all the hand-me-downs from my sister Evelyn even though they were several sizes too big for me. The swimming costume was especially memorable. I could not wait. My mother and grandmother used to mark all our clothes by embroidering our names on all our clothes. At school we wore black socks one week and white socks the next. We had to have our hair checked for lice and I remember the ayahs having to oil my hair and then they would tie thread around the teeth of my comb (three or four teeth together) as a make shift fine tooth comb and drag this through my hair. I had long hair at the time. Ouch.

I used to suck my fingers. They dipped my fingers in ink, put a sock on my hand at night and also put some bitter stuff on my fingers. But I still went ahead despite having a blue mouth (from the ink). I chewed through the sock!!!!. I stopped somehow.

I remember the Pereria girls. I still have some photos of them. How are they? I have seen pictures of them that you posted on one of your visits to OG. I also remember the Worthsworths. How are they all? I have a number of photos I would love to put on. I have pictures of my mother at school with her sola topy and another dressed in white along with about 6 other girls, getting confirmed; my brother Winston in a Shakespeare Play and a couple of pictures of the boys school doing gymnastics in the valley – among others. Does anyone know how I can get them posted on our OG site? I am sure someone will recognise some of the boys or girls in the pictures. There is one of a group of us in the Junior School. I only recognise myself and Tara Malla.

I remember Mrs Marshall. I also remember Mrs Haslam and Judith and Roy Haslam. In 1997 I went to La Martinere Calcutta for secretarial training. Over there I met relatives of Mrs Haslam – a big family. I only remember Delphine and Wendy Haslem. I was only there for one year. Small world isn’t it? Miss Thomas – she corresponded with my sister Evelyn for several years and even sent her a beautiful red and gold sari. I still have it. Miss Wesley – we were all afraid of her. Miss Cleophas, Miss Nerona, Miss Garlah – Head Teacher. I remember Evelyn taking me to her to reassure me because I had swallowed a tooth while eating stick-jaw.

Does anyone remember the name of our maths teacher? She was good at maths but unfortunately ………… ….

About the house colours – I was in blue house – I thought it was Meerabai. I will have to check with my younger sister Yvonne who was still there after I left. Sarojini was yellow I think.

In years to come there were only a handful of Christians. We occasionally had service in the little chapel behind the dormitory. I remember receiving a Bible as a prize because I could recite the names of the books of the Bible. I had to – I was the oldest.

Two weeks ago I met a man who went to St Georges from 1960 to 1963/64. His father was in the army so they travelled around. His name was Trevor. Can’t remember his surname. Does anyone remember him? I have waited all my life to meet someone from OG and I go and meet someone who went to St Georges. He remembered the inter school sports.

My sister Evelyn was School Captain and Spirit of OG. She came back the next year to study shorthand. Unfortunately Mrs Fowles (or was it Mrs Woolfe? who I think taught shorthand & business studies) left half way through the year and so Evelyn had to leave too. I can still remember her leaving with my father. I was devastated. I also remember the needlework and dressmaking classes we had during my early years. I still have a cross-stitch table cloth I made (the easy way out) and a linen bag my sister Evelyn made. It was done in proper satin stitch and back stitch etc. She was much better at everything than I was. I will have to confirm some of these names with Evelyn.

You mentioned the dandy. My mother remembers going to school in a dandy. She was in OG in the 1930s.

“This is when I remember helping a young Jean Tocher with her costume”. What costume did you help me with Carolyn? I remember Evelyn dressing me as a doll-in-a-box and a bon-bon for our Jha Jha socials only because I have photos of myself in a big doll box and a bon-bon (does anyone NOT know what a bon-bon is?). This was before I went to OG.

I remember the snow – the one and only time we had snow (while I was at OG anyway).

You have brought back so many memories. I will comment on the rest of them in my next episode.

– Jean Heather Gomes (1966 Batch)


This article is a work by Jean Heather Gomes – batch of 1966. This content has been reproduced from a blog posted by Raveesh Gupta on June 16, 2009. Here is the link to the original post.

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