The Early Years
The Old Boys Association, Sainik School, Kazhakootam (OBA, SSKZM) was formed in 1969 by our NBN Sir of Chemistry Dept. Since then he was the Master – in – Charge and Treasurer. He continued function as the same until his retirement in 1989. Mr K Sudhir (1014/80), Master, took over from Mr NBN as master in charge from 1989-92. Mr K Rajendran, Master, functioned as Master – in – Charge of the OBA from 1995 until his retirement in 2017. The current Master – in – Charge is Mr Arun Kumar MS of the Chemistry Dept.
The founder Secretary was Mr PC Satish Chandran (77/67) and was one of the pioneers of the Association in various capacities. The first meeting was held in the School Mess. Until 1992, the President of OBA had been the Principal and from OB’s side we had the Vice President heading the Association. Roll No 12 Ranjit Sadasivan was the VP from 1969 to 1992. Until 1974, the accounts were maintained by the School.
The OBA as an entity had its bank account opened at CBI, Kaniyapuram in 1974 and from school account Rs 969.38 was transferred to OBA account on 01 Jan 74. The details of contribution and accounts prior to this are not available.
Life Membership, OBA Corpus and Students’ Aid Fund
Initially, the life membership amount was fixed at Rs 150 and Receipt No 1 dated 6/1/74 was issued to Roll No 69 Mr P G Gopalakrishnan, thus making him the first life member of the OBA. The annual membership was fixed at Rs 15 and student membership at Rs 5.
After incurring huge expenditure for the stupa of remembrance, over and above the collection by OBA, financial position of the association worsened in 1996. As per the decision of the General Body, OBA started the 1% (of income) contribution towards a Corpus Fund, till it collected Rs.6 lakh. The OBA could reach the target of 6 lakh corpus in 1997, but the cut in interest rate on bank deposits put further strain on the resources. Hence, OBA started collecting registration fee during the reunion day (Rs200 &Rs 50 for employed persons and students respectively). OBA by then had withdrawn the collection of 1% of income towards corpus fund.
The OBA has gone further by instituting a Students Aid Fund (SAF) from which an amount is handed over to the School each year to be further distributed to needy students on a merit cum financial status basis. In addition, batches and individuals are also undertaking such ventures to assist cadets studying in the School, sponsoring expenditure for SSB interviews etc.
Batch of 2004 was the first batch to enrol the entire batch as life members of the OBA at the time of leaving SSKZM and is being continued since then by each of the passing out batch. These batches thus ensured that not only their commitment to the association at a young age but also generated a steady inflow of fund to the OBA.
OBA Directory and Bulletins
The Silver Jubilee function of the school was held in 1987 and the first edition of the OBA Directory comprising Roll No 1 to 1000 was released. The second volume covering Roll No: 1001 to 1532 was released in 1988. The entire effort was solely of Mr NBN. Apart from the above, the 2nd edition of the directory was released in 1994 consisting of Roll No: 1 to 2534, with the help of Mr SatishBabu (779/77) and his team. The third edition of the Directory was released in 2000 up-to Roll No 3239 which was sponsored by the 1980 batch. The fourth edition was released in 2006 up-to Roll No 4369. This edition was sponsored by the batch of 1981 commemorating their 25th year of passing out from our alma mater.
The OBA brought out three issues of bulletins. The OBA released the editions in 1993 and Silver Jubilee Bulletin in 1994 and 1995.
The OBA’s second decade ended in March1990 with the retirement of Mr NBN who was functioning as Master-in-charge and Treasurer. On 24th of October 1989, Mr NBN handed over the functioning of the OBA to Mr Sudhir (1014/80), Master, PhysicsDept, while Mr NG Thomas, became Senior Master-in-charge of OBA, Treasurer and alsoas auditor.
OBA had its turbulent moments in 1992 when the OBA was asked to step away from the campus. However status quo was restored after some time and OBA could conduct the reunion without any break. This was the beginning of the OBA to start functioning from outside the school campus with a new set of office-bearers and byelaws.
Architectural Elegance and Contribution to the Alma Mater
In 1994, Mr NBN laid the foundation stone for our OBA Guest House- cum- office during the reunion. For reasons beyond control of the association, the project had to be called off. The amount thus collected was used for construction of “Smriti Stupa”, (Stupa of Remembrance located in front of the Academic Block) and was inaugurated in 1997.
In 1995, in memory of our gallant hero, Col N J Nair, AC, KC a bust was unveiled. Bust of CaptHarshan R, AC was unveiled in 2008 in memory of the brave soldier. The ‘Hut of Remembrance’ and bust of 2nd Lt Radha Mohan Naresh were unveiled during the golden jubilee celebration of SSKZM. The Harshan Pavilion was a gift to the School by the batch of ’97 in 2008 and had been one of the major projects undertaken by any batch at such a young phase of their career.
The reunions used to be held on the first Saturday of July and accounts maintained from May to June as a calendar year. Later on it was decided to have it during the term breaks of training institutions of armed forces so that trainee OBs could also be part of the reunion. Of late, this has been revoked and more or less it’s been done as per the convenience of the sponsoring batch.
Due to the fund position deteriorating, a decision was also taken to sponsor the OBs’ reunion batch by batch. This took off with the 1965 batch sponsoring the reunion in 1997, 1966 batch sponsored the OBA in 1998 and so on. This not only helped the OBA but also enabled the batches to trace their friends who were in long absentia with their batch.
1974 batch conducted their 20th& the 25th anniversary get-togethers in 1994 and 1999 respectively. Similarly, 1979 batch had their silver jubilee get together of joining school & leaving the school in 1996 and 2004 respectively. Young batches started a new tradition of reuniting at SSKZM to celebrate their 10th year of passing out from School.
Batches continue to do the batch reunions commemorating their 25th year of passing out from SSKZM. And in the latest edition of the silver jubilee celebrations of batches passing out from alma mater, the 1994 batch is hosting the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the OBA.
Projects and Endowments
Numerous projects were donated to the school. 1977 batch sponsored 2002 donating a 10 kVA generator set for the school. The 1978/79 Batch sponsored the fibre glass boards for the basketball court & paintings in the Mess Hall, 1972 batch provided the new look to the Motivational Hall, 1975 Batch provided the Computer systems, 1970 batch provided Water Coolers, 1976 Batch constructed the Pavilions for Basket Ball Court, 1969 Batch provided the handicam.1981 batch donated 5 water coolers in 2006. During the memorable 37th reunion on 7 July 2007, the Central Clock Tower was dedicated to the School by 1982 Batch which provided the finances to construct it. The batch went one step further by contributing 1.5 lakh to repair the clock and getting into an AMC for the next five years from 2018 onwards.
“Guruvandanam” paying respect to the past and present teachers of SSKZM, adds colour to the reunions that goes by. Sponsoring batches providing mementos on the reunion day adds colour every year.
The OBA had developed a website in 1999 (sskzm.org) which is maintained and sponsored by Mr Dennis M Paul (1034/80); ably assisted by Mr Ceejo Thomas (2183/91) and his team. The discussion board has always been active with lively interactions. The Web continued till 2011. The new web (sskzmoba.org) with more features is expected to be launched during this years’ GJ celebrations. There are two e-groups being followed by the OBs across the globe(firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com started by the younger batches). Besides these, various WhatsApp and Telegram groups are in place based on batch and locations of the alumni.
The OBA has numerous chapters functioning effectively in various parts of the country and across the globe.
Outstanding Contributions to OBA
Sri G Jayakumar (892/79) served the association as Gen Sec, Org Sec and Treasurer for 25 years and has been the pillar of the OBA until his retirement in 2012. All documents of the OBA were under his custody at his residence since the retirement of Sri NBN. Sri Rajookrishnan (563/74) also served association for a longer stint until he too took retirement from OBA EC in 2009. Sri RanjitSadasivan (12/65), Capt (IN) LG Meprath (Retd) (642/72), Sri VipinaChandran (432/72), Sri Prem C Pillai (763/77), Sri Sanil Kumar (777/77), Sri Gopi Krishna (942/79) and Sri Suresh Baskaran (117/68) were other OBs who served the OBA for long period.
PC Satish Chandran (77/67), for his contribution to the OBA (Founder Secretary) andfor his contribution to his profession, the Association has instituted OBA Lifetime Achievement Award in his memory, to be given to OBs who had excelled in various walks of life.
OBA has honoured Mr TKChandramohanan (64/66) and Dr Mohanachandran(428/72) with the OBA PC Satish Chandran Lifetime Achievement award for their outstanding contribution to the OBA.
(With inputs from Sri G Jayakumar (892/79) who served the Association for 25 years until his retirement in 2012)