Going Down The Memory Lane

  1. History Of The School

  2. Gihs/Duke/Jamhuri Achivers List

  3. Teachers

  4. Teacher's Message

  5. Outstanding Alumni Of The School

  6. Contributions To The Acadame

  7. Contribution To Sports

  8. Contribution To The Struggle For Independence Of Kenya

  9. Contribution To The Development Of Commercial Activity

  10. Outstanding Alumni

Outstanding Alumni Of The School

It is invidious to name names; there are just too many. So, without meaning to offend anyone through commission or omission, it needs saying that (1) asprefigured above, the history of the school intersects frequently and quite significantly with Kenya's history between the years just prior to World War II and independence; (2) a kaleidoscope needs to be presented; and (3) some names have been pulled out of the hat to represent, justly or not, cohorts along time and professional lines. Forgiveness should be in order!

The earliest alumni to feature prominently in East African politics include C.B. "Chief" Madan; Makhan Singh, Ibrahim Nathoo; Sir Eboo Pirbhai; and Kirpal Singh Sagoo (perhaps, the oldest alumnus). Madan doubles with Majid Cockar as Chief Justices of Kenya. R.B. Bhandari and R. Maini represent a score of magistrates. D.N. Khanna and A.R. Kapila lead a list of Crown Counsels among others Mota Singh, State Counsels and other very able lawyers.

The medical profession threw up Indusians (as they were called up to the 1950s) of rare quality. Drs. Vidya Bhardwaj; Dhruv Dhupa; and Dr. Brij Sood shone, not only in Kenya, but also abroad -- in Uganda, Tanzania, U.S.A, U.K. and Canada; with Brij Sood earning rare Canadian accolade. Drs. K. S. Panesar and Naresh Mohindra rank with them. In sweeping the international scene, the brave and able D.K. Sharda needs a special mention. He, after leaving behind turbulent years as editor of the DAILY CHRONICLE, edited Hindustan Times. His friend, Pranlal Seth, featured prominently in the U.K., as did Masterji D.N. Khanna 's elder son, Suresh. Baroness Usha Prashar Sharma sits in the House of Lords; Waheed Butt served President Ayub Khan; Chander Sharma was highly ranked in the Indian Air Force.

In the U.K., as well as in India, West Africa, Britain and Canada, the Bhardwaj brothers (Priya, Vijay and Ravi) beat an important path; Suresh Sofat flourished in commerce. The story of the Mehtas, Chandarias, Shahs, Mohindras, Senniks and Madhvanis is complemented by the pioneer work in textiles by Desh and Priya Sharma as well as the Bhagwanjis. Also abroad, several professors made significant contributions through teaching, writing, administration. Drs. P.M. Rattansi and Visho Sharma are acclaimed professors; Dr. Shamash Kassam-Lakha served as President of the Aga Khan University, Karachi.

Diminutive and modest, Mr Yashpal Ghai has been a constitutional law giant across a wide swath of the developing world -- and the grossly underdeveloped world of Kenya. Widely acknowledged and decorated, he ran into racist disdain in his motherland. When Kenya finally adopts a progressive constitution, citizen Ghai's fingerprints will be all over the document; but his name will not be taken in the bigoted corridors of power. When eminently corrupt leadership, at long last, stands down, and economic democracy finally dawns in Kenya, the silent suffering of our alumni given to writing and striving and their well-published, smothered aspirations or our land will form part of the soil from which a new Kenya will burgeon.

Along with those, prolific writers, a new genre of Kenyan memoirs is led by Dr. Vidya Sood and Neera Kapur -- following in the large footsteps of Kuldip Sondhi. Feroze Nowrojee and a second Peter Nazareth bring grace to poetry and novel writing. Among authors, Mohammed Amin built immensely on Priyavrat Ramrakha's contributions, at the price of death during the Biafra War, to bring out the sights and sounds of hugely destructive international warfare. Art (Deol Singh), poetry (Amarjit Chandan), dance, drama (Dilbagh Channa) and music (Ustad Basharat and his brothers, Bashir and Laiq) were well represented by our stalwarts. Radio and television saw some weighty contributions, while J.S. Mangat wrote up our political history exceedingly well. Dr. Dharampal Ghai and Niranjan Desai represented us well in international agencies associated with the U.N. Ben Pereira provided a much needed internet forum chronicling not only our history but also quickened our nostalgia with contributions concerning Kenya's unfolding drama.

Journalist Salim Lone served as the UN special representative in Iraq. He now is the spokesman for Prime Minister Raila Odinga's ODM party. Bhupinder Liddar represents Canada at the UNDP, Nairobi. Sir Mohinder Dhillion was knighted for his work in the field highlighting Ethiopian drought, as well as for being the top cinematographer on the African scene.

Our alumni have been prominent in every reputable profession; be it architecture or business, engineering or service in every walk of life. In Kenya's armed services and the police, nursing and health delivery, our alumni have served the nation well. But it is our teachers that merit special mention. They are just too numerous to acknowledge; here again, a sampling must suffice -- with cohorts down the years. First there were Masters Lahori Ram and Bhagwan Dass; then Amar Chand and B.S. Mohindra; the Shah brothers; Manoharlal and Pimenta; Aryamuni and M.S. Mangat; O.S. Desai and Lobo; R.C. Patel and R.K. Dixit; Sobti and Uppal; Varghese and V. K. Sood; B.N. Varma and Karam Singh; Clement and D.N. Khanna. The list of our true mentors, giants among men, is unending.

To end on a lighter note, let us mention sports -- an arena where the distilled values feature most importantly. Karamchand may have been the first legendary figure, but Gurcharan and Jaswant soon followed, as did the Deen brothers and the Cockars. The Bhandaris were rampant, too. But it was in Olympic hockey that our school made the international scene. Among a dozen Singhs, Dr. Joginder Dhillon, a consultant surgeon, and Chhani Sehmi come to mind; the former because he became a consultant surgeon and the latter, a pharmacist, matched the Karamchand legend with his range -- cricket, golf and hockey (not in that order!).

A number of our sportsmen blazed a path overseas. Dr. Om Raval, as an undergraduate, and Ravi Modgill, as a civil engineer, shone in Indian cricket. Zulfikar and Basharat excelled in England -- just to mention a few. Some of us planted the seed of cricket in parts of the American Mid-West; someone closely resembling me now took 9 wickets for 8 runs against the Toledo West Indian Cricket Club on the strength of off-breaks honed in Nairobi league cricket. Our high ethical standards earned for Banwari Sennik the stewardship of Canadian cricket; Bharat Bhardwaj headed the African Bridge Association. Which recalls also for some of us -- scarred and all -- the school's dominance in motor sports, especially the internationally acknowledged East African Safari Rally, with Tiger Joginder Singh leading Shekhar Mehta as an unsurpassed international rally driver. GIHS-DOGS-Jamhuri njuu!

Let us now rally around the website task at hand so ably laid out by Suniti Mohindra,with assistance and encouragement by Ram Chandrana. On an urgent note: PLEASE respond to the website probe for a get-together shindig in good old London, U.K.

Dr. Visho Sharma , Emeritus Professor
April 2008
Dr. Visho Sharma came to Western in 1967 after a distinguished career in his native Kenya. An English barrister, he brought the whole corpus of Kenyan statute law into compliance with the independence constitution. He also taught law, economics, history and politics, and was a prominent broadcaster as well as actor, director, producer and sportsman -- including successful track racing and some indifferent rally driving. His multifarious services, included putting Kalamazoo on the map of cricket in the Mid-West. He made popular also the game of squash, one of his many youthful passions.

Some of the names mentioned above may not be Alumnis of the GIHS & Duke of Gloucester, however, deserving recognition according to Dr. Sharma

Suniti Mohindra, Class of 1957 DOGS