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NPAA Meeting in New York, Saturday, June 23, 2007

North Point Alumni Association Meeting and Award Presentation

Date:    June 23, 2007
Place:   Dinyar Devitre’s residence

Chhunju Andrugsurba
Nigel Brady
Gobind and Carol Daryanani
Dinyar and Aashish Devitre
Ban-An (C.M.Cho), Sharon and Alexander Khaw
Tony and Lesley Lao (San Tutt)
Roshan Massey
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 of the 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 them open.

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.

Photos submitted by Todd Jaime through Tony Lao on, June 25, 2007

Miki Ray and Dinyar Devitre

C.M. Cho, Miki Ray, Tony Lao, .....


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