Nowadays many colleges have their day or reunion every year. It is for old students a day of happy memories; or present students, a day to look forward to. On this day, old teachers and students of the college are invited guests; the present staff and students are as hosts. If it is a college with a long tradition it becomes as an assembly of a man of all ages; hoary-headed gentlemen mingle with the urchins of today, and for a while shaking off the burden of perhaps half a century form their weary shoulders. Many come and look for old family faces: they are sad when they do not find them, and ecstatically overjoyed when they do.
A college reunion is a mixture of formality and informality. Some observance of form is necessary, a general meeting of ‘old boys’, an address of welcome by the principal on behalf of the college; suitable speeches by distinguished well-wishers and also by present teachers and students and then replies by some ‘old boys’ who delight the audience by giving them glimpses of the past when they were students. There may also be perhaps election of office-bearers for the ensuing year, and other allied matters.
Thereafter, the proceedings pass into informal talks over cups of tea and cakes or sands. Old boys sit together in small groups and indulge in reminiscences of the past. The hosts are busy looking after them. There is a general atmosphere of pleasantry and goodwill. As the shades of evening darken, the guests leave the college one by one, and so the function comes to an end.
Reunions are not only pleasant functions; they have their utility. They bring bits of the past into the present, and it these ways create a continuity of tradition. ‘Old boys’ have genuine affection for the institution that had a shaping influence on then in the formative period of their lives. There goodwill and advice are an asset to be sought and preserved. In difficult times, their support is a source of strength to strength to the institution.in normal times their association is a privilege to be prized. Hence such unions should be utilized to devise ways and means for giving the ‘old boys’ a permanent interest and status in the college that grows into something very much more positive than mere sentimental attachment.
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