The Old Sanawarians have long been a traditional part of Sanawar and its Founder’s celebrations. The OS Society was founded by Rev. George Barne in 1914. After 1947 the OS at Founder’s were fewer and the AGM was held inside the Staff Club, with the Headmaster presiding and Senior Master (DHM) keeping the minutes. The OS Dinner was at Parker Hall followed by the Dance at Barne Hall.
OS Reunions and Associations were started in UK (’40s), Delhi (’50s), Defence centres and Chandigarh(’60s), Bombay, Calcutta, Shimla, Canada, Dubai, USA and Europe. To unite the large, widespread fraternity for the benefit of the OS and Sanawar, the OS initiated the inclusion of one OS member on the School’s Board of Directors and in 1978 decided to reform the OS Society itself. An adhoc committee of OS under a Chairman drafted the Memorandum of Articles and Rules & Regulations, in consultation with OS, former Headmasters and Staff, and Registration formalities were completed (though actual Registration was not possible for many more years).
The first President of the OS Society was elected at Founders 1979. A year-of-leaving wise 1947-79 OS listing was soon printed, correspondence initiated to get updated addresses, bank account opened at Sanawar and the Associations within India regularised as Chapters. By 1982 an initial directory was compiled, old staff contacted, Delhi reunion dinners enlarged, OS gifts for all stage performances at Founders and fund raising for Sanawar systemised.
From 1985, initiatives accelerated: the first cross-reference computerised Directory (like this one, but briefer); an OS Newsletter; the highly outstanding and acclaimed OS Polo-playing fraternity moved to include a Sanawar Polo match in the Indian Polo Association’s annual calendar (with sponsorships, trophies and brochures); OS Career Counseling at Sanawar; formalising of Sood’s annual Cricket match; Cricket-cum-counseling by the St. Stephen’s College faculty; interaction with Lawrence School Lovedale and the London OS; identity tags and vehicle parking labels at Founders; and Souvenir production for the Tuck Shop.
A major innovation came in 1989 with the formation of the Nominating Committee. Elections were held separately within each 5-year block, guaranteeing involvement and participation by all OS age categories.
The first Presidential “nomination” was in 1989 and the Society’s new, comprehensive and cohesive structure immediately proved a success. Fund collection and aid to the School, grew to great heights, high-profile sponsored events raised Sanawar’s image, Delhi’s Dinner locations now included Discotheques, traditional OS functions and Founders became more organised. OS started participating in the Trooping of the Colours, Parade and Directory data collection accelerated.
From 1991 Directories/Supplements were annualised, the Society’s Rules & Regulations updated, society registration process revived, coordination set up with Sanawar parents, recomposition of The Lawrence School Sanawar Society and Board of Governors initiated with the Government of India Ministry of Education. Founder’s programme finalised annually in consultation with The OS Society, and communication started with OS abroad and directly with Present Sanawarians through The Sanawar Newsletter.
From 1993 responsibilities for the now wide scope of OS activities were delegated on a continuous basis with much success, e.g. Career Counseling, Directories, Polo match, Souvenir/Memento production, Communication with Sanawar.
From 1995 the OS Society gained new momentum, a fresh perspective and direction. The issues looming in front of the society were very large and the time had come to tackle these immediately. At the same time the School’s sesquicentennial year was drawing close, an event that required a herculean effort to ensure its successful conclusion. The OS Society rose admirably to the occasion.
The OS Society was eventually registered as a formal body in 1996. From 1995 onwards the School with an OS as a headmaster and the OS Society pulled together for the greater good of the School and the Society.
With renewed vigour the OS Society took on major issues facing the Society and the School. Of immediate concern was the long standing issue of the registration of the Society itself. This was achieved by early 1996, simultaneously the new executive took on the task of broad basing the nominating committee of the OS Society, as well as motivating the members of the Society to play an active role in the affairs of the Society.
A large scale fund raising drive for the renovation of the School was undertaken. The Society set up various committees for ensuring the success of the School sesquicentennial celebrations in Oct ’97. Due to these unrelenting efforts, the turn out of OS at founders ’97 was enormous and the event was an unmitigated success.
The Lawrence School Sanawar Society which manages the School through its Board of Governors was reconstituted on September 9, 1997.