What insect were you?

Cottons in the early thirties had around 100 boys in the hostel and around 250-day scholars. To introduce an element of competition amongst various students they were organized into six “poochi” (insects) teams. They competed against each other for dominance in organized games and athletics. The champion poochi teams as can be expected, changed depending on each one's competence. These teams were

1. White ants (White)

2. Jerry Mangalams (Large spiders) (Yellow)

These were combined to become Pope House in 1935-1936.

3. Mosquitoes (Purple)

4. Blood suckers (Red)

These were combined to become Pakenhamwalsh House at the same time.

5. Cobras (Green)

6. Scorpions (Black)

These were combined to become Pettigrew House at the same time.

In the wake of these regroupings came the House songs:

Tally ho! Pope House…

Pakenham Walsh forever…

And Shoot straight and true

House of Pettigrew…

The words and music were composed by Mr. Maurice Lanyon. The tunes were copied from English Songs or well-known ditties.


Tally ho! Came from a fox hunting song.


Pakenham Walsh has the tunes… So, we’ll all put together- from one of the university boat songs.    


The introduction of the Cock House Trophies was about this time which included scores for weekly tests. 100% scored +10 points, 0% scored -5 points. Swimming, Boxing performances were also evaluated to arrive at the overall championship.


Elphick house and Thomas House are more recent groups.


As may be seen the colours of each house were the Combination of the Constituent “Poochy” teams.


Between 1931 – 1938, some notable “Poochies” were Priestly – White Ants – Great Athlete, Albert Newman, - Scorpion – Ace Bowler, Hobday – Blood Sucker – Number One in Studies, Charles Wilkins – Taciturn Captain of School a paragon of Uprightness – Jerry Mangalam.


Clubs, Scouts, Auxiliary Force of India, Debating/Essay Competitions, Victor Ludorum Awards were not evaluated for the Cock House Championship points, in those years.

K.G. Belliappa (Old Cobra)
Excerpts from The Old Cottonian (97 – 98) VIII