Email to Fr. Van from
Miki S.K. Ray on October 16, 2008
Dear Fr. Van,
It has been more than a month when
35 North Pointers and associates met on the shores of Lake Constance. We
had met there because a classmate of the class of '60, Palden Gyanatshang,
lived there and, because of his condition, would never be able to take
part in the many reunions North Point has held around the world. The
reunion was meticulously planned and brilliantly executed by Jimmy and
Palden's wife Cristel who were assisted by Florian and Yuldon (Palden and
Cristel's children). It was wonderful!
It was indeed very sad and poignant
to see the condition Palden was in. However, there was no question in
anyone's mind that he was fully aware of our presence and, amazingly,
cognoscenti of who we were. This he indicated by pressing our hands firmly
and, the tears flowed. When asked to respond to questions by signaling
with his thumbs, up or down, he did.
What was absolutely awe-inspiring
was the courage, compassion, fortitude and sacrifice demonstrated by
Cristel in the care of her husband. I believe, ever since Palden had his
stroke, she has not had a free day and it's been almost ten years!. The
burden she has borne both emotionally and financially is inestimable. Both
she and her children deserve our greatest admiration and regard.
After Lake Constance, about 20+ of
us bundled on to a bus and explored Bavaria and what an education that
was! Some of us learned the difference between Baroque and Rococo, Baroque
and Gothic, Bavarian cows and Bavarian women (thanks to our driver, Rolf,
one is more beautiful then the other and Rolf has a problem
differentiating - he really needs help). We discovered Augsburg, Munich,
Neuschwanstein ("Mad" Ludwig's fairly tale castle and, we don't think he
was that mad), Oberammergau and a muddied number of churches and
monasteries. We also discovered German beer and that the monks make the
strongest. What's with them? We also discovered that when North Pointers
come together, we take centre stage in spite of the fact that some of us
can't sing a single note!
It is amazing, that after so many
years and traveling in so many different directions, North Pointers can
come together and pick up where they left off as if the years apart, never
mattered. I guess the bonds we forged at North Point hold true although, I
must add, there were times when I could have wrung some necks and so could
some of the others!
We had a great time and you all were
in our thoughts.
Standing L-R: Mohan Pradhan, Jyoti Sadhwani, Sheila
Pradhan, Jimmy Pyke, Edie McKenzie, Leena Mohindar, Arnold McKenzie, Albion
Gee, Evelyn (squatting) and Philip Khan-Panni, Boya Mohindar, Emile
LaFrenais, Freddie Ruttonsha, Patricia and Barry Morrow, Suzanne Huffman,
Sameek Ray, Kristel.
Kneeling L-R: Eddie and Phyllis Hsu, Chuck and Janet Wong, Noreen
Dunn, Billy Pyke, Tamding Tempo