CMC Vellore Alumni ​​

​​ NORTH AMERICAN REUNION ​​        [Since 1981]

 37th GOTC: 21 - 24 June 2018: ​TORONTO

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About the Reunion and the GOTC
​ The first GOTC in 1982 at Gatlinburg TN 
​ GOTC 2017: The 50s Classes at Elizabeth NJ 
In the Beginning...
​The first North American reunion of the Christian Medical College, Vellore was held in 1981. Ten families of alumni met at the resort 'The Castle' in Gatlinburg, Tennesse and it was enjoyable enough for the small group to do it again the next year at the same destination. It was at the 1982 meet that it became to be called the Gathering of the Clan (GOTC) as it was indeed a meeting of folks, essentially friends who thought alike, that shared a common past.

The group met to enjoy a look back, catch up and share and also enjoy a song and a dance to remember the good old days.

Over the years it became a larger group that met annually and the event, over an extended weekend got more organized. A CME program was added to enhance the benefits of attendance together with a half day picnic to a place of interest. The family that included children had separate programs during the CME sessions.

The Decision
Surprisingly, at least to some, the younger alumni from the batches beyond the mid eighties appeared to have lost interest in attending or hosting the GOTC. It came to a crunch before the organization of the 35th reunion in 2016, when there were no takers for the event of the following year. The 2016 version was therefore assumed to be the last and attracted a record attendance of 330.

However, during the general body meeting of 2016 GOTC the attendees overwhelmingly supported not only the continuation of a reunion but also voted for the current format.  

This format  that has remained unchanged for over two decades, came under scrutiny when interest among the younger alumni was waning. There were suggestions to make it shorter, meet in smaller groups batchwise and conflicting views on how important the CME program was. There was even a serious discussion on not calling it GOTC thereafter. The 2016 General Body put to rest all the speculation and anxiety. They said 'This is what is working and we don't fix that ain't broke!'

A change for the better has been a very sincere and concerted effort to build a broader and more inclusive group of alumni and friends. Many are working on getting the Nursing and Allied Health colleagues, not only to join in but to partcipate and organize and add to the flavour of the reunion menu.

The Vellore CMC Foudation has also promised to pitch in to help with its good offices towards the orgnization.

​The Program
Typically the extended weekend program begins on the Thursday before the third or fourth Saturday of June, with registration and an informal meet and greet around the registration area. A welcome dinner follows with an introduction of the program by the hosts. Bits of entertainment is included thereafter and often the CMC Director or a designate presents the updates from Vellore. 

Friday and Saturday mornings are for a roughly four-hour CME sessions each. After a snack lunch on Friday the group is off for a half day picnic.

Friday dinner is Indian and everybody is in desi clothes. There are a few items by alumni; songs, instrumentals or skits. Bollywood dancing follows till midnight.
 
Saturday lunch is usually enjoyed batch wise or group of friends together in another restaurant. This is followed by a class wise and 'gumbal' photography session and the grand formal banquet crowns the reunion. The special guests speak sing song, entertainment and dancing follows.

The reunion celebrations end with a service and memorial on Sunday morning. The familar  seven fold amen vesper is something that holds everybody together in spiritual union. Farewell, it is till the following year.

The annual reunion is a wonderful opportunity for old friends to meet and reconnect and indeed to meet new alumni friends. The program has an amazing tradition of camaraderie and many look forward to going every year. In more recent years we have seen the satisfying  growth of a genuinely warm appreciation of  alumni who serve in resource challenged  areas in India. They were invited as special guests to share their  experience to enrich all. It is hoped this will continue

  
   The Pioneering Families that started this all;
   we thank them for their vision and spirit!
   1. Murphy and Indra David
   2. Gandam and Saroja Jayakar
   3. Stanley and Shantha Masilamani
   4. Subash and Mirian Mathew
   5. Victor and Mohini Pavamani
   6. C C and Shanthi Samuel
   7. Dawson and Janaki Theogaraj
   8. Bobby and Joyce Thomas
   9. Eapen and Annie Thomas
 10. M A and Padmini Thomas 
 

The GOTC Baila Session 2017

The Seven Fold Amen 2010