BY SAMIR GHOSE- FATHER OF APEX INDIA
Bangalore, a picturesque city in the Southern parts of India, had the privilege of being the birth place of Apex Movement in India in the year 1959. The next club emerged in Bombay in South West Coast of this country. Soon after this the third club was founded in Allahabad, an important city of Uttar Pradesh. Calcutta Apex Club is the latest of all the clubs which came in to existence.
The end of Bangalore Club, to the utter sorrow of all the Apexians, came too soon. The Apex movement in Allahabad was also nipped in the bud.
Samir Ghose who just returned from Australia was sent to Allahabad on behalf of the then Zone 8. to Chair the Inaugural Dinner Meeting of Apex Club of Allahabad. Since landed in Allahabad he had the apprehension that the days of the club were numbered. Lack of Apex education i.e. lack of proper understanding of the Ideals and Objects of Apex was the root of failure of the aforesaid two clubs. Bombay club was struggling hard for existence but failed to continue.
Jack Love of Echuca in Victoria, Australia was pen friend of Samir Ghose from India since 1952. Jack was a member of Echuca Apex Club in Victoria State which the then was the no.11 club under Zone 7 in their Association. Samirs cousin who was doing PHD at Melbourne University, under UNESCO scholarship met Jack Love and Jack wanted an Indian stamp collector as pen friend. Samirs cousin gave the name and address of Samir. Their common hobby was postage collections. Jack was much older than Samir, yet their friendship grew stronger and stronger day by day. When Samir completed his training period in Indias largest Printing House, Jack proposed to Samir to come down to Australia to gain further knowledge in his own trade. Jacks proposal was that he will try for a job for couple of years and pay passage money from Calcutta to Melbourne. Samir agreed immediately. But Jack Love never knew their Government had strict White Australian Policy for Immigration including stay for some time. Only non-Europeans were allowed to visit for limited period under Colombo plan, UNESCO and other exchange system. Jack went to Melbourne Immigration Department and somehow got permission for Samir to go to Australia provided he gives written bond that from arrival to return in India he will undertake responsibility of Samir. It took long time to get the Visa to go to Australia. Jack Love also applied for job with Melbourne Master Printers Association.A Large Printing House seeing the qualification, immediately sent appointment letter direct to Samir Ghose.
Thou hast made me known, To friends whom I knew not,
Thou hast given me seat, In homes not my own.
Thou hast brought me distance near, And made a brother of the stranger
Any way Samir reached Melbourne in sometime September 1959. Since Jack Love was living 160 miles away from Melbourne Samir had to stay near his work place as a paying Guest. Samir used to visit jack Loves House in the weekend and attended many club meetings, District Conventions with him. However Samir was interested in club activities and he was the first Indian who was inducted on 29thMarch 1960 in Echuca club which was the then no. 11 club of Australia where Jack Love was zone 7 IR Chairman.
However Samir was transferred to Mordilloc club near city so that he could attend club meeting regularly and took part in their Service activities. When Samir returned to India in early January 1962. An Australian Mr. Jack Hooper from Melbourne arrived in Calcutta at the same time on a contract job in Calcutta for three years. Hearing Jack Hooper coming to Calcutta, he was inducted in Melbourne Apex club so that he may help Samir to open an Apex club in Calcutta. Jack Hooper was the first President and Samir was the Secretary as well as International Director. After failure to get Charter for a longtime, we started informal meetings and several service work but were very cautious and proceeded slowly. Samir was away from Calcutta for a longtime so his brother Subir Chandra Ghose was helpful to bring likeminded boys suitable for this type of Service club. Finally we applied for Inauguration of Apex Club of Calcutta. The permission to form the club under Zone 8 was granted immediately. The inauguration took place in Boxing day-in December 1962. After wards we were granted Chartered, which was handed over by Apex Australia Extension Chairman Bruce Lee in September 1963
Apxn. Jack Love of Echuca, Australia, who was lovingly known as the Grandfather of Apex India with Apxn. Ian Willy Oates
In 1962 an Apex Club was formed in Calcutta under the leadership of Mr Samir Ghosh (known as the Father of Apex India) under the aegis of Apex Club of Melbourne, Australia. The club also received the patronage of the late Mr. Jack Love of Echuca, Australia, who was lovingly known as the Grandfather of Apex India.
The dedicated and selfless services of the Apex Club members attracted many more enthusiastic young people to the movement. Consequently more and more Apex clubs were formed.
On a regular basis all the clubs began to engage themselves in organizing blood donation camps, medical check-up camps, building orphanages, schools, multi-facility health centres, cricket matches for the visually impaired, providing scholarships to needy meritorious students and funds and clothes collection drives during natural calamities.
The attraction of the Apex movement spread to West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, Punjab and Rajasthan. These Clubs were looked after by Zone VIII of Apex Australia.
In 1975 the Zone VIII Convention of Apex Australia was held in Calcutta where the National Association of Apex Clubs of India was formed.
ZONE 8 CONVENTION CALCUTTA , 1975