A befitting homage

A befitting homage

Ex-Yangchenphug students regularly paying tribute to the Third Druk Gyalpo

Every year on the 2nd of May, a group of people from all career background congregate at the National Memorial Chorten in Thimphu. They prostrate, chant prayers, offer butter lamps and cuts a cake. They are the members of The Old Students Association of Yangchenphug (TOSA_OY), an alumni formed by the yesteryear students of Yangchenphug High School (YHS) assembling to pay their annual homage to His Late Majesty The Third Druk Gyalpo.

As the school was built under the direct supervision of His Late Majesty The Third King, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, many of the first batches of students had personal contacts with the King, so much so that they addressed HM as Apa (father).   “It indicated that His Majesty expected the alumni to play a very crucial responsibility in the nation building,” said a member of TOSA_OY, the ex election commissioner of Bhutan, Dasho Kunzang Wangdi.

“To honor His Majesty, the alumni worked together to commemorate any national events associated with Drukgyal Sumpa. We had worked in commemorating the silver jubilee and fete on May 2nd to name a few. However due to changing circumstances, we thought best to remember His Majesty on his birthday. So we decided beginning a couple of years back to offer Marmed Tongchoed and recite Moenlams.

Similarly on May 2nd this year, TOSA_OY organized the programme presided over by its new President, Health Minister Tandin Wangchuk. “We are happy today that new president who is also a cabinet minister could preside. School teachers and students could also join the programme this year too as always,” Dasho Kunzang said.

Having realized the need to keep the spirit of Yangchenphug alive by preserving the wonderful past and working on a promising future, and having recognized that this objective can be best achieved through the collective efforts and dedication of a greater number of people, the alumni of YHS decided to form an apolitical and non-profit oriented association with its registered office at the premises of Yangchenphug. TOSA_OY was thus born in January 1989.

In its Articles of Association, it is also clearly mentioned that the members will pay tribute to His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.

Over the years since its inception, the Association has grown to a size of around hundred members, mostly old and senior citizens comprising ex-bureaucrats, politicians, doctors, teachers, armed force personnels, housewives, businessmen, etc.

Some prominent and elite members of the association include His Majesty the Fifth King, Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck, Her Royal Highness (HRH) Ashi Kesang Wangmo Wangchuck, Colonel  Karma Tshering, Brigadier Thinlay Dorji,  Major General Sangay Thinlay, Judge Pema Getshen, Kutshab Dasho Tashi  Phuntsho, Chief Election Commissioner Dasho Kunzang Wangdi, Colonel Ugen Wangdi, Lopon Gem Dorji (Zhung Dratshang), Khenpo Dr Karma Phuntsho, Tenzin Dhendup (former Secretary of Agriculture), and others.

By Tashi Namgyal, Thimphu