North Point Alumni Association Meeting and Award Presentation
Date: June 23, 2007
Place: Dinyar Devitre’s residence
Gobind and Carol Daryanani
Dinyar and Aashish Devitre
Ban-An (C.M.Cho), Sharon and Alexander Khaw
Tony and Lesley Lao (San Tutt)
TT Pemba and his wife
Om and Jigme Pradhan
Sameek K. “Miki” Ray
The president of NPAA of North America, Miki,
suggested that the prime focus
Association should be the completion of Vision 2000 and
contributions for the Bamboo School at Mungpoo should be on an
individual volunteer basis. Although there appeared to be consensus
on this issue there were some who felt, out of loyalty to Fr. Van,
that they would like to concentrate the majority of their donations
to the Mongpoo school.
It was also suggested that we should look
outside the North point community for funds for both North Point and
the Bamboo School. However it was felt that a program for the less
fortunate and disenfranchised, such as the Mungpoo School project,
would probably be more appealing to Americans and therefore, meet
with greater success.
Dinny suggested that a “marketing package” on
the Mungpoo School would be very useful and would be used by North
Pointers to present to potential donors. This should be
professionally put together with the assistance of those intimately
involved with the program. This would be in the form of a Powerpoint
presentation with pictures and verbage describing the project to
include the history, the area, the demographics, the people etc.
Fr. Van should provide the leadership for this effort, but the
actual responsibility of getting it done should be managed by
Shasheesh Prasad or the President of the local chapter of the Alumni
Association or anyone designated by Fr. Van. The Alumni Association
of North America would fund this effort. Dinny said he could make
this presentation to the America-India Foundation (AIF) as he knew
the president and, to various other benevolent organizations.
The impact of NPAA Alumni Awards at NP, during
the reunion, on the students was brought up. It was felt that,
notwithstanding the honour to the recipients, the positive
reinforcement that these awards gave the current students was in
some ways even more important and, therefore, those nominated should
accept it graciously.
The meaning of “NP spirit” which cannot be
easily defined in words but finds definition in action was
discussed. We recognized that this was nurtured at North Point
through its holistic approach to
education that, encompassed, not only what was taught in the
classrooms, but also what was learned in the playing fields and
experienced in the cultural diversity of its student population
where future Kings and children of parents of every walk of life
ate, breathed and lived together as one family.
Recognizing this definition of the “NP Spirit”
the NPAA Awards ceremony commenced with the reading of the citations
and handing out of the awards by our president, Miki Ray. It must be
noted that all the citations were written by our very distinguished
alumnus in the UK, Phillip Khan-Panni who, did an outstanding job
reading the citations at the reunion in Darjeeling.
The first recipient of the Distinguished NPAA
alumni award was Dr. Gobind Daryanani who was accompanied by his
wife, Carol. Gobind had a
distinguished career with some of the leading US corporations where
he used his mathematical genius and financial acumen to greatly
enhance their profitability. He went on to form his own company and
developed a financial model by which individuals may better plan and
secure their retirement.
Then, our host Dinny patched through a
conference call to Sharan Jagpal, the recipient of one of the Most
Distinguished NP alumni Life Time Achievement Awards. Sharan was
unable to attend the ceremony due family medical reasons. Sharan is
a professor at Rutgers University’s business school and is
considered one of the world’s leading authorities in applying
marketing research to practical business solutions. He has written a
considerable number of books and articles and informed us that his
latest book has been accepted for publication by the Oxford
University press. His potential to receive a Nobel Prize in
economics was acknowledged.
The last but not the least, Distinguished NPAA
Award recipient was Lyanpo Om Pradhan. His innumerable
accomplishments in the service of his country and to the United
Nations were similarly acknowledged. Among his many responsibilities
at the U.N., is charged with assuring all Island Nations have
evacuation plans in place should Global Warming submerge their
countries. Om was at hand to receive the award personally and was
accompanied by his wife, Jigme.
Each Awardee acknowledged the role N.P. had
played in molding his life and chosen career.
The meeting resumed with discussion on the
purpose and role of North Point Alumni Association in general. As,
has been stated, many times before, at prior meetings, the NPAA
should not be an “Old Boys” club and just in fund raising for the
school. NPAA members should also get involved in their communities
and in mentoring fresh North Pointers. Apart from the service point
of the vision, it was also suggested that bonding or re-bonding
would be facilitated by an annual get together, similar to what the
UK alumni have or a picnic or a mini-convention and picnic. Each
member is requested to submit possible dates for such an event.
It was agreed that the North American Alumni
cannot tell the other chapters what to do but we felt that we should
share our minutes with them and keep our lines of communication with
The issue of collecting membership due and to
increase membership drive was brought up. A list of all North
Pointers in the US supplied by Tony Lao to achieve this was not
productive the last time since either the telephone numbers and
email addresses were not current or there was no response. Tony will
re-submit the list and we will attempt to contact the alumni again.
We also discussed the need to have
representative leadership for the West Coast and Canadian chapters.
This is still an unresolved issue. Miki to follow-up.
Lastly, it was agreed to have Fr. Kinley visit
the US and, perhaps the UK if the UK Alumni agree, to present his
vision for NP and for fund raising, to NP alumni around the country
was discussed. Miki will follow-up with Fr. Kinley to determine what
would work best for him in terms of timing and travel.
In closing, our NPAA president, S.K. Ray,
acknowledged and thanked Dinny and Aashish Devitre for their
generosity, dedication and show of North Point spirit by hosting the
meetings and providing sumptuous lunches for all of us.