by Father William Falcao for BISMumbai

Meeting friends of long past, sharing stories, reliving nostalgic memories, and having some jolly good fun, is one of the surest ways of aging graciously. The 1st weekend of the New Year 2020, January 04-05, was just that kind of an opportune occasion to rewind, for the 35 almuni of Don Bosco Lonavla of the years 1968-1973.

Silver-haired, frail looking, yet robust of heart, visibly cheerful with eyes still sparkling and mischievous grins, the air was unmistakably Christmassy and reinvigorating. Having arrived at twilight, warmly welcomed by Father Blany Pinto-Rector of Don Bosco Lonavla and Father Royal Dabre-Administrator, on a second such homecoming to their alma mater in recent years, the group partook of piping hot tea, before proceeding on 'an evening in Lonavla' whirlwind darshan.

As night crept up on the adventurous sightseeing company of Salesians, classmates with their spouses and the Salesian superiors of those initial Lonavla years, the 'we're Bosco boys who will always be the same' settled down in the superiors' refectory for an energetic jam session intoning the nostalgic songs of their boyhood. The refectory reverberated with such fiesty energy, that Father Pinto had to pop in, and genially, in typical Salesian fashion, whisper a word in the ear, reminding the raucous group to tone down the decibles to help the apostolic boys and aspirants focus on their exam preparations. After indulging in a sumptuous dinner with gusto, the night wore on spiritedly with many a tale of years gone by and adventurous escapades of post-DBLNL experiences doing the rounds.

Father Boniface D'Souza presided at the Sunday Epiphany Eucharist with the jubilarians concelebrating the gift of Salesian Vocation in gratitude to the God who called, consecrated and commissioned them to be signs and bearers of His love to scores of young people in varied settings. Felicitations, photos galore and profuse appreciation for the community at Don Bosco Lonavla ensued, with a sumptuous lunch spread and a revitalising cup of tea, after which the jubilating crowd beagan tge long journey back home, vowing to regroup in the year to come.

Clifford Martis assisted by Glenn Brass, Father Diego Nunes, Mumbai Province Delegate for the Salesian Family and Father Elson Barretto former MumbaiSalesian Provincial Economer, were appreciated for the meticulous planning and execution of this memorable reunion.