Mr Lowen Lama - R.I.P.
It is with deep sadness we learned of the passing of former DGH teacher, Headmaster and NCC Captain Lowen Lama. Following ill health, over a number days, he passed away at the Neotia Hospital, Siliguri, in the early hours of 25th. January, 2021. GO offers its deepest condolences to the family and friends off Mr Lama.
An obituary by Abhijit Pradhan, OGB (Batch of 1990).
Most Homes students who knew Mr. Lama and had the privilege of sharing a classroom with him knew exactly where every city in the world was geographically located - except Ulan Bator, you got us there, Sir!
Mr. Lama was the Headmaster of the school at the time, but more than that, he was a geography teacher for the batch of 1990 - and a darned good one at that - and for severely distracted eighth graders, his class was the one we all looked forward to.
As a Headmaster, it probably would not have been easy to put on a teacher’s shoe, but Mr. Lama did it effortlessly. He was a favourite of many students, simply because of the way he taught and the way he engaged the class and brought geography to life. As a testament to his methods, even today, some of us can easily (ish) read a contour map, identify the shape of clouds and distinguish between a stalactite and stalagmite.
Mr. Lama was strict, and many in the batch of 1990 felt his wrath, but that came with the job. The Headmaster’s post was definitely not an easy office to hold, especially during the dramatic political turmoil the engulfed the Darjeeling hills during his tenure. Managing the DGH ecosystem in the face of chaos required diplomacy, and more importantly, an iron will to persevere, and Mr. Lama had that in him.
Mr. Lama was multidimensional person and among the few teachers who made us see the world a little differently, encouraged us to be bold, be a little daring - all within reasonable parameters of course. Inside or outside the class, he was always approachable, and for a day scholar prefect in the time of political uncertainty like me, his guidance was invaluable.
He always showed students that hard work always pays off, and that we should never give up. It was evident in the general attitude of Dr. Grahams Homes back when he was the Headmaster. We see the school now, and we remember what it was when we were there.
A person of great integrity, with a strong belief in himself and a nurturing attitude, Mr. Lama was truly one of the great leaders of the school and a champion for us students. He lives in our hearts and minds not only as a storyteller, but also as someone who always saw and tried to bring out the best in us - ‘‘practice, put in a little hard work, understand what you are studying, you will go far’’. How true, Sir. The batch of 1990 is extremely privileged to have learnt so much from you. You are remembered across every city we travel, and among the clouds that we dream of. A sincere thank you for what you taught us and helped us become today.
Mr MB Pradhan - R.I.P
It is with sadness we inform all OGBS of the passing of former DGH teacher Mr MB Pradhan in New Delhi on 30th. December, 2020. He was a popular teacher, a wonderful raconteur, and a scholar with an incredible sense of humour.
We offer our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.
We reproduce here a eulogy to Mr Pradhan, originally published in 2015 in the Batch of 1990 Silver jubilee commemorative book.
Archie Tollin - RIP.
It is with deep sadness we learn of the passing of Archie Tollin, aged 92. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends. of Archie.
OGB Vanda Campbell, a close friend of the family who invited Archie and his daughter Christine to join the 670 miles, 6 day Bike Bengal 2010 cycle ride, writes: “In February 2010, Archie aged 82, cycled from Kolkata to Kalimpong to raise funds for child sponsorship at the Homes. His daughter Christine cycled with him and their family and wide network gave generously. A friend said to Archie – “when I grow up, I want to be like you”! Archie’s response, with typical humility was, “man, have you no ambition”! Archie gave generously to all the fundraising events for DGH. Thanks Archie!
We would also like to thank Vanda for her generous £100 donation to GO in memory of Archie Tollin
George Harrop - R.I.P
It is with deep sadness that we report the passing of George Harrop, an OGB George was a Homes boarder (Scottish Canadian) who, following his education at the Homes, joined the Homes staff as a Cashier and later with his OGB wife Rosie, looked after the boys at Elliott and Heathland cottages. He died of chest pains as he was rushed to the hospital. George was 55 years old and leaves behind his wife Rosalind and elder sisters Jean and Florence. GO offers its deepest condolences to his family.
Below are a few words written by his friends:
"The one cottage that I visited regularly was Heathland. You walked in and you'd hear Aunty Rosie screaming at Uncle George about some chore that he forgot to do. He'd smile and laugh it off and then proceed to welcome you. He always rolled his own cigarette and started his 8:00 PM and 7:00 pm (If you know you know). He called all the Healthland boys Blinking Blighters, sang to them his own rendition of raindrops keep falling on my head and ALWAYS bailed everyone out of trouble. No matter what part of the day or night I visited Healthland, I was always given a full meal to eat and was looked after well. When I first went back after I graduated, he hugged me and said "chalo now you're old enough, have a beer with me". We opened a Budweiser each, said cheers and drank. Aunty Rosie was laughing away because she couldn't believe that I was now drinking with Uncle George. He always had a smile on his face, he remembered everything about you. And they both called me their Heathland Girl! I hope you're at peace wherever you are. Raindrops will never be the same. And like you'd say, they'll always fall on my nut!" - Nicole Urvi, Batch of 2011.
"George came into DGH as a little child. I met up with him in the year 1974 in Scottish Canadian Cottage. He was such a gentle soul and one of the only guys who never bullied a single child in Scottish. Thereafter he went of to Fraser Hostel. He left the Homes and pursued his higher education. He returned back to the Homes as a bachelor and joined the main office as an assistant cashier. He then married Rosalind, an OGB, in the year 1991, took over Elliott cottage and thereafter took over Heathland Cottage where he stayed for almost 18 odd years. He spent his whole life in the Homes. His loss is devastating for all those Elliott and Heathland boys that came under his wings. God bless his soul." - Shane Saviel, his cottage mate
Rinchin Bhutia - R.I.P
Rinchin passed away on 7th. August at the young age of 51. He was much loved at the Homes and was a familiar face on the campus. He was the eldest son of the famous Loshay from Tibet, a fierce khamba warrior who helped an Australian family escape from Tibet during the Chinese occupation. Later he settled in Dr.Grahams Homes and worked in the bakery until his retirement. GO offer their deepest condolences to his family.
Rinchen Bhutia was the eldest of 10 siblings. Jovial in nature, Rinchin studied at the SUMI school and later joined Dr. Grahams Homes like his father and served in the capacity of security supervisor. He loved the Homes dearly and the school kids in particular and assisted parents, often providing assurance on their child's well being. He is survived by one son Sonam Bhutia.
Below is a drawing by Class 2 student Shinjini Mallick when she heard about his passing. The photo is also of her with the late Rinchen. GO offer its deepest condolences to his family.