This Post is dedicated to you Sir, Mr Eugene Moraes, Ex- Principal, Holy Cross Secondary School, Mongu, Zambia.
As i write this Post, my eyes are turn moist. Such is sweet nostalgia.
When i left Mongu in mid 1980s, after having spent four and half years and studying in your school, i never imagined that the memories of my school days would be so precious to me.
With the advent of internet, i would surf for a contact in Mongu, but to no avail. Then when i started blogging, i wrote a post, 'Nostalgia for Zambia' uploaded one of the few pics i had of my class mates. As luck would have it, Ivy Gould saw that link. She contacted another friend Sibeso. This way i came in conatact with a few more ex Holy Cross girls. But still, nothing much happened for six months.Till today.
A few minutes ago, i got a message on Facebook from Bo Lilian Lubinda, saying:
"Go to the Ex Holy Cross page on Facebook.. Mr Moraes commented on a post there."
I quickly opened that page on Facebook and lo behold! I Couldn't believe i was actually looking at your photograph after 31 years! And i cannot express my happiness at having made contact with you.
So, today, i go down memory lane, remembering my eventful four years in school.
Your strict disciplinarian and no nonsense stance is something each and every student of yours shall remember.
And your sense of humor... If the girls did not give a proper response to the lesson at hand, you'd remark;
'Don't be like a Pumpkin with roots. When a Pumpkin grows and does not get picked , it develops roots and sits and stays there. Immobile. Don't be like that! Be active. be a doer "
And your lively way of teaching Science. I shall never forget Archimedes Principle.
I remember you teaching us about it in a most engaging and interesting manner.
"One day as Archimedes was lowering himself into one of the public baths in the city, he noticed that some water flowed over the sides of the tub. It is said that he became so excited that he ran out of the bath house through the streets of Syracuse, yelling, "Eureka! Eureka!" In Greek it meant, "I found it! I found it!"
One day, i missed the Car which was to take us home from school. I had gone visiting my friend in the Dormitory. Clueless, i did not know what to do. No School bus. No Phone. No way to communicate with Dad or Mum. And then i mustered up the courage to go to your house and explain the situation.
You were sitting in the Living room, reading a book. And the next minute, without a word, you took out the car and dropped me home.
Yet one more incident comes to my mind. It was December of 1979 and the Senior Cambridge Exams wee going on in the school. I had opted to appear for Hindi exam as one of my passing out O level subjects. We were only two Indian girls and by mistake i missed the date. The exam had begun in school, when you realized i was not present. you drove all the way from school to my home , notified me of the error and took me to school..
Had it not been for you, my Senior Cambridge Certificate would not show HINDI as one of my subjects.
You were a great role model, and i feel blessed to have studied under someone with such high morals as you.
The entire staff, students and the people of Mongu looked up to you, as ours was the only girls Senior Secondary School.
My parents also live near my home in Faridabad and i just told Mum about having made contact with you. They fondly remember you and send their Greetings. My younger sister Anupa too was your student. She is living in Canada. I shared the news with her too. She ll be connecting with you soon.
Thanks to Technology, it has become possible to trace our roots and connect with people who have made our lives meaningful.
Wishing you, Mrs Moraes and the rest of your family the very best. And wish to stay connected. Today is indeed a blessed day as i also got to see a picture of our school through the School Page on Facebook.
Thanks for being such a great mentor.