While remembering our school times, the Stylewhack team had their nostalgia about the childhood, the favourite classes, and the favourite subjects. Suddenly, we all started discussing the most easiest and fun subjects we as a child used to like, and then someone mentioned about general knowledge. When you are an Indian, you are a millennial and to that instance, you are an ICSE school product, you can’t afford to not know about the General Knowledge quiz books by Derek O’Brien. His famous way of making the ‘G.K’ learning so interesting and extravagant that it resides till present day.

Today with the sudden news of India’s quizzing pioneer’s demise, we are shunned with one of our jubilant creature who made us proud and contributed very much to India’s development, Neil O’Brien, a pioneer of quizzing in India and leader of the Anglo-Indian community, passed away here today, in Kolkata.

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Quizzing in India is quite popular, and has developed its own, unique flavour. Quizzing in India is different from American and British quizzing in that it is diverse, with different genres catering to different geographical regions, age groups, interests, etc.

Neil O’Brien was an early pioneer of quizzing in India. He conducted the first well-organized, formal quiz in 1967 at Christ the King Church Parish Hall in Calcutta (now Kolkata). He, who had recently returned from England and had been exposed to the pub quiz culture there, brought quizzing first to the Anglo-Indian community before it became popular among a wider audience. O’Brien remained active in quizzing, later hosting popular quiz show broadcasts, including the “North Star Quiz.”

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Brien is survived by his wife Joyce and three sons, Derek, Andy and Barry. The news of his demise was given by his son Derek O’Brien , who is the famous quiz master known for “Bournvita Quiz Contest” series who tweeted saying:

Saddest tweet I’ve ever written. Dad Neil O’Brien gone. Passed at home Kolkata, quiz pioneer, ex ICSE chief, AI community icon, educationist”

— Derek O’Brien (@quizderek) June 24, 2016

“When the Great Questioner in the Sky asks u that Final Question even a quiz legend does not have an answer. Neil 0’Brien my dad. My champion”

— Derek O’Brien (@quizderek) June 24, 2016

A former member of Lok Sabha, Neil O’Brien an educationist was also a three-time nominated Anglo-Indian MLA in West Bengal. He was the chairman of the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) and managing director of Oxford University Press, India. As a leader of the Anglo-Indian community, he was the president-in-chief of All-India Anglo-Indian Association and headed the Frank Anthony group of schools.

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