St. Joseph's College, Nainital has been one of the premier schools in the country since its inception in 1888. The school is now 125 years old and during these years, a very distinguished list of Old Boys have been through the portals of the school. Over the years the need of a body to bind and bring together the Old Boys under one umbrella was felt. This body would not only give us the opportunity to relive the good old days spent in Sem, but also provide us with a platform to network and use the forum for our personal advancement.
SEM celebrated its Centenary in 1988 with a week-long celebration held in the school. In order to make these celebrations, the great success that they were, the first Sem Old Boys Association was set up. The founder members were Tariq Qureshi (1965), Arun Sahay (1963), Kamal Sehdev (1970), Arvinder Singh (1971) and Ranvir Singh (1968) amongst a host of other ex-students. This association did yeoman service in reaching out to the ex-students spread all over the Globe, raising funds for the school and getting souvenirs ready. There can be no doubt that the OBA was the single main factor behind the success of the Centenary Celebrations. Unfortunately, with the conclusion of the Centenary Celebrations, the OBA went into hibernation. It was as if the very reason for its existence had ceased to exist.
Thereafter, in 2005, another concerted effort was made by Subhash Mehta (1961), Capt. Vijay Chandra(1962), G.S.Bindra (1965), Rakesh Chopra (1971), Harsh Chauhan (1975), Sunil Sahai ( 1978) and Neerav Mallick(1984) to revive and start the OBA. With Upender Taneja (1980) working out all the legal nitty-gritties, the efforts finally took shape in the formation of a registerd society called "St. Joseph's College Old Boys Association". Capt Vijay Chandra, Gurpreet Singh Bindra, Rakesh Chopra and Sunil Sahai were appointed President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer respectively. Unfortunately in May 2006, Capt Vijay Chandra was unable to continue owing to personal circumstances, and in his place, Gurpreet Singh Bindra (1965) took over as the acting President until the first elections of the OBA.
The OBA is a democatic body, with the office-bearers enjoying a two year term. After the revival, Gurpreet Singh Bindra, Rana Roy (1961) Arun Sahay (1963) have served as Presidents, before handing over the mantle to the present team headed by Ranvir Singh (1968). The accounts are audited and approved by the general body in the Annual General Meetings. The OBA, today, is a vibrant body working towards its goal and trying to live upto the expectaions of the ex-students. Regular get-togethers have been held to expand the group and build up a corpus to be able to help our alma mater, thereby giving us a sense of belonging and togetherness. We would urge all ex-students to visit the OBA website www.semoba.in regularly and give their inputs. In an important initiative, the OBA has started honouring retired teachers with one-time financial assistance as an acknowlegement for their selfless sacrifices in shaping up our lives.
Having been able to establish a foot hold in NCR, the OBA now has members from Nanital, Haldwani, Bareilly, Kashipur, Mumbai, Pune Chandigarh, Bangalore, Kanpur, Lucknow and even from other parts of the globe. Efforts are on to increase its membership and open chapters in towns which have a fair number of ex-students. The website would serve as a source of ex-students' information. Finally, it can only be stressed that this is our OBA and everyone needs to contribute in making it a success. It is imperative that all ex-students join the OBA and help us realise the need of an even stronger and more vibrant OBA.
As we are all aware, 2013 marks 125 years of Sem. The OBA has accepted the challenge of organising a couple of events, besides assisting the school in their events. We are confident of living upto the challenge. We appeal to all the ex-students to attend this memorable event from 2nd to 6th October 2013 and make the OBA a force to reckon with !