The OBA Kerala Connect 2012 at the Yacht Club, Kochi was really memorable and will always be cherished by all present as that’s when Fr. Celestine Sera disclosed that he was fully committed to a new OBA office in the state- of-the-art sports complex under construction. This momentous announcement was greeted enthusiastically with loud cheers by the gathering. What a dream come true! And true to his word, the foundation laying ceremony happened in September of the same year with Fr. Sera and Fr. Stany D’Souza, the Rector as the Chief Guest.
The allocated office space was easily four times the size of the then existing office, which was fondly referred to as ‘our lorry office’. Now that the OBA was formally given a place that was of a respectable size, the OBA committee sprung into action to flesh out the office. Obviously, money was required to help furnish the interiors to a specific and functional design. Arjun Nambisan (1989) offered his services at no cost and soon the final design was approved along with the budget. The batch of 1972 generously contributed Rs. 10,00,000/- to the cause. PriyeshMody (1990) donated the wooden flooring along with a couple of old boys also pitching in. Some more old boys have committed to be generously open-minded in helping us finish the place.
The OBA committee wished to inaugurate the new office on September 8, 2013, our OBA Day. Once the deadline was set for the office to be functionally finished, work proceeded at a feverish pace. The night before the inauguration was chaotic with the wooden flooring not done, painting in patches, hinges on cupboards not to be seen and debris everywhere. Oh Lord, will we ever get things done in time? Well, biryani and kebabs did the trick and the team toiled through the night sawing and hammering and brushing and fixing. The following morning, at the stroke of 9, saw the work team leave the office after a few last minute touches and with the satisfaction that they had delivered.
Fr. Clifford Sequeira, the new principal and our OBA Treasurer, was pleasantly surprised that the work was done in time for the inauguration as, on his visit a week earlier, he had some doubts on seeing the amount of work still pending. But the committee truly believed in the school motto of Faith and Toil and were determined to keep to their commitments. The new OBA office was reverentially blessed by Fr. Sequeira and formally inaugurated by Rahul Dravid amidst much cheering, clapping and shouting.
The OBA is at the cusp of reaching its 100th year in 2018 and has many miles to go and many fields to conquer. The new OBA office is expected to become a hub for camaraderie, fellowship, networking, nostalgia, giving back to society and so much more. The futuristic office has been designed to have specified areas as well as meet certain functional needs. The wifi-enabled office now has a meeting table, sofa lounge, display shelves, secretary cabin, staff workplace and a store cum pantry. The office also stocks a variety of memorabilia from ties and t-shirts to caps and lapel pins. The office is fitted with an overhead projector with the potential to talk to our national and overseas chapters via video link. And old boys visiting the office can now engross themselves in all the old school annuals and OBA Calling by digitally exploring them in an interactive e-book. More content will be added to the database as we mature. This OBA office is genuinely the precursor of new things to come and new horizons to conquer.