A bunch of smiling faces—both young and old— lit up the Lawrence School’s Barne field on Saturday. They were the alumni of the institute who had come down from across the country to attend the 167th Founder’s Day celebrations and also the reunion, an old practice at the school.
As the students of 1954, 1964 and 1989 batches celebrating their diamond, golden and silver jubilees respectively presented a march-past on the occasion, the old Sanawarians said, “The Founder’s day cum alumni meet was like taking a walk down the corridors of nostalgia.”
The three-day 167th Founder’s Day Celebrations of the Lawrence School Sanawar concluded today with the ceremony of trooping the school flag and an NCC Parade by the students. Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk, the King of Bhutan and his wife Jetsun Pema who is an alumnus of the school were the chief guests on the occasion. While, Lt General KJ Singh, GOC-in-C Western Command and his wife Anita Singh were the guests of honour.
Expressing gratitude and addressing the students, the King shared his moment of joy to visit his queen’s school. “This place is special to me as this is here, where I met the queen for the first time. I am thankful to this school for giving her a wonderful education,” said Jigme Khesar.
He further added, “I am happy to be here in the school, it is an extraordinary establishment. Many Bhutanese students come to Indian Institutes to take quality education, only to return with economic development. India has contributed a lot by promoting education in Bhutan. It is a bedrock of the Indo-Bhutanese friendship.”
Not only this, but the King also urged the students to safeguard their culture and spiritual heritage. “We must learn about the world we live in, we must invest the best in medicine and technology. But it is equally imperative to protect our values and cultural heritage,” he added.
Meanwhile, the school headmaster Praveen Vasisht read out the school annual report which included the achievements of the school in the allied fields of academics, sports, cultural and extra-curricular activities. Besides healthy exchange programmes, the school also made its presence felt in Round Square activities and community service. The chief guest felicitated the staff and the students on the occasion and later took a round of the school with his wife, who had passed out from school in 2008.
As the old batch mates shared their cherished experiences and fond memories of school, celebrities like Pooja Bedi, former Bollywood actress and television talk show host along with Omar Farooq Abdullah, Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir representing the batch of 1989 were also present during the occasion. All the old Snawarians, at the end planted saplings near the chapel in the memory of their departed batch mates.