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PAGEANT - "Education is the future"

News and Events Archive 2007

Warning - This is an archive. Links to external websites may not still work

News Archive October - December 2007

19 December 2007 - Transplant Titans charity event raises 7000 (more details)

16 December 2007 - 4Ts Itinerary (more details)

10 December 2007 - preparations for the 4Ts Adventure going well (more details)

27 November 2007 - Vivace! concert raises 350 for Pageant (more details)

23 November 2007 - Oliver's page In August, 7 year old Welsh schoolboy Oliver collected a large number of pens and pencils for children in The Gambia. Pippa and Ian have now distributed these to the children of Albion Lower Basic School in Banjul. Oliver has also become pen-friends with Abdoulie, a boy at this school. See Oliver's page for the full story and pictures.

21 November 2007 - the 4Ts Adventure Shap Ahoy (well half the team) is off to Mali again. Tim Lovatt and three friends are driving two Toyota Landcruisers to Timbuktu. This is not a fundraising event, but at the end both cars will be sold and the proceeds given to Pageant. (more details)

14 November 2007 - Ridgemede Junior School now have an excellent Worldclass page on their website, which covers their links with Abuko Lower Basic School.

13 November 2007 - News from Campama Pippa and Ian have just returned from their latest visit to The Gambia. They visited Campama Lower Basic School, which Pageant started to help earlier this year. Chairs and desks for the Grade 2 pupils arrived by container, and desk units for Grade 1 pupils have been constructed by a local carpenter.  (more details)

12 November 2007 - Ethical Gifts for Christmas Today we are launching our range of Ethical Gifts for Christmas in partnership with the Gunjur Environmental Protection and Development Group. See our Gifts Page for the full range.

12 November 2007 - Wheelchairs for disabled students 2500 from the Mayor of Haslemere's charity appeal has been donated to the Foundation for Disabled People in The Gambia, so that they can make a batch of their special 'all terrain' wheelchairs for disabled students. (more details)

8 November 2007 - No sweets please! One of the little sponsored girls Pippa saw in October has all her front teeth decayed to stumps due to sweets! The headteacher at her nursery school says it is a real and increasing problem, particularly if a school gets lots of European visitors. If you are visiting The Gambia, please do not take sweets for the children, take toothbrushes and toothpaste instead. If you MUST take sweets, then how about sugar-free chewing gum.

6 November 2007 - Transplant Titans get their car Hany and Titus have acquired a Toyota 4Runner four wheel drive car. We have also started a Sponsors Page to officially thank people and organisations who are helping Transplant Titans. Also remember their charity event on 28 November.

5 November 2007 - Updated sponsorship enquiry page We have reviewed our list of children and young people in The Gambia who are seeking sponsorship to allow them to continue their education. About 60% on our enquiry page are new entries on our list.

25 October 2007 - Our website has successfully moved to new servers You should not notice any changes in its appearance or the way things work.

15 October 2007 - Transplant Titans charity event - Manchester, 28 November 2007

11 October 2007 - Mellow-Yellow - A third team in the 2008 Plymouth-Banjul Challenge has contacted Pageant with an offer to help carry things to The Gambia. Team Mellow-Yellow, Cillin Whelan & Lindsay Rountree, is in Group 8 which starts on 4 January 2008.  They will be starting from Dublin, but passing through England on their way. They will be driving a 1980 Mercedes 280CE.

3 October 2007 - Millennium Health Microscope - latest update, more funding from the USA.

1 October 2007 - Donation of Scientific Equipment - Derek Walker, who runs djb microtech, has made a generous donation of school science equipment worth 400. It includes equipment to study light, magnetism, solar energy and heat. Pippa will be taking this to kit to The Gambia later this month. Pageant would like to say a big thank-you to Derek for this generous gift.

1 October 2007 - News from Bakalarr - Pageant has received an email from Bakary Gitteh, headmaster of Bakalarr School.

News Archive July - September 2007

29 September 2007 - Foundation for Disabled People is a Registered Gambian Charity, which produces wheelchairs specially designed for use on unmade roads in developing countries. They are looking for financial help from UK organisations to continue and expand their work for physically handicapped people in The Gambia. Find out more about the Foundation, and please read their proposal and get in touch with them or us if you can help in any way.

28 September 2007 - Ginger & Turk - We have a second team helping Pageant in the 2008 Plymouth-Banjul Challenge. Team 8928, Ginger & Turk, consists of Michael Shooter and Guven Ozsanlav. They have just acquired a Range Rover in Wales and successfully driven it back to Yorkshire - a good omen for it to make the 4000 miles to the Gambia! They claim not to be good at fundraising, so any money raised for Pageant will be incidental (accidental?) However, they have offered to collect and transport stuff for schools in The Gambia. They already have their own website, and we will soon have a page for them on the Pageant website.

25 September 2007 - Packing Days - On Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 September, a group of Pageant members got together to pack items for Gambian schools, ranging from pencils to furniture. (read more)

24 September 2007 - Transplant Titans to help Pageant - We are please to announce that team Transplant Titans, taking part in the 2008 Plymouth-Banjul Challenge, will be fundraising for Pageant. Hany Riad and Titus Augustine are transplant surgeons at Manchester Royal Infirmary, and as well as helping Pageant, they will be raising funds for transplant research projects. Keep up to date with their preparations and progress on their team web page.

17 September 2007 - Kings Kid News Update - Kings Kid Academy has started the new term with an influx of new children, and has recruited four extra teachers. Read the news update from headmaster Jacob Amadi.

30 August 2007 - Oliver's pen collection - Oliver, a 7 year old Welsh schoolboy, has collected over 1,350 pens and pencils for children in The Gambia. (read more)

25 August 2007 - Millennium Health Microscope - The MHM Foundation has just been awarded a 15,000 grant by the East of England Development Agency to assist the development of the Millennium Health Microscope, bringing the total raised so far to nearly 20,000. Read more about the MHM on our web page and on the MHM website.

18 August 2007 - Plymouth-Banjul Challenge - Preparations for the 2008 Plymouth-Banjul Challenge are now under way. This will be the eighth time the Challenge has been run. A total of 132 teams have entered to drive the 3,700 miles from the UK to Banjul the capital of The Gambia, while another 128 teams intend to drive 4,100 miles to Bamako the capital of Mali. The first group of teams start for Bamako on 12 October 2007, the first group for Banjul start on 19 December, and the last groups for both places start on 11 January 2008. Teams are on their own, with no formal assistance, and there are rules governing maximum costs of vehicles and preparation - which are generally ignored. Two rules which must be obeyed are: All vehicles must be left hand drive and all vehicles will be auctioned for the benefit of local Gambian Charities. In 2007, the auctions in Banjul raised 109,000. Read more on the Plymouth-Banjul Challenge website.

In past Challenges, a number of teams helped Pageant by raising sponsorship, or by transporting things to Gambian schools and villages. If you are in one of the teams in the 2008 Challenge, and are looking for a good cause to help, then please consider Pageant. If you are thinking of taking essential educational items to The Gambia, then Pageant's agents there can help with getting them to the right place. In return for your help, we can provide you with pages on our website to help with your publicity and fundraising. Have a look at the web pages of teams who helped us in previous challenges:
2006 Shap Ahoy, Super Trooper and seven other teams who helped us.
2007 Ibrakeforcake, Desert Mice & First to the bar and Ice Cold Teams

13 August 2007 - Kemo has left Pageant - We are disappointed to have to report that Kemo Ceesay has left Pageant at very short notice and is no longer in our employ. Wandifa Saidykhan is to be commended for the way he has stepped into the breach in Kemo’s absence and we have had several emails from members returning from The Gambia, saying how well he has looked after them. We are delighted to say that one of our longest-standing members, Linda Murgatroyd, will be working in The Gambia from September. Linda, who has great experience of both the people and the education system of The Gambia, has agreed to oversee Pageant business for us until we can make permanent arrangements.

27 July 2007 - Fundraising news - Pageant has recently been the grateful recipient of fundraising. 1000 was raised by Horsham Rotary Club, 3700 was raised by Haslemere's Mayor, Brian Howard, during his year of office and David Harding, landlord of the Boar's Head in Horsham, raised 127 at an 'Out of Africa' evening.

18 July 2007 - JJT Nursery School, is in Serrekunda. Aris Harrison-Price has made helping this school her personal project, enlisting help from many schools, organisations and individuals in and around Leicester. In 2005, this school had over 130 pupils, with just one teacher and a dilapidated  classroom. Aris has organised redecoration, arranged the building of toilets, provided educational equipment and funded a new teaching assistant.

News Archive April - June 2007

7 June 2007 - Ethical Gifts in Action - Pageant's Ethical Gift Scheme has now been in operation for about 18 months. Our new page shows some of the people who have received these gifts. It includes the story of a couple, who at their wedding, decided to give Pageant Ethical Gift Tokens to the bridesmaids, best man, parents, ushers etc as 'thank you' gifts. (page now deleted)

30 June 2007 - IceCold fundraising total - Pageant has just received the final cheque from Ice Cold in Bakalarr for 2677.41, bringing the total raised for Bakalarr BCS to 4,803.19.

29 June 2007 - Bandit back home - Bandit reached Falmouth yesterday. We hope to bring you news of their exploits soon. (see Bandit page)

20 June 2007 - Bandit returning - Bandit reached Ponta Delgada last week, and they are now on their way back to Falmouth. (see Bandit page)

12 June 2007 - Bandit reaches the Azores - Our latest report shows that Bandit was just 36 miles from Ponta Delgada in the Azores at 2pm UK time yesterday, at the end of the outward leg of the Azores and Back Ocean Race. We hope for news and possibly some pictures as soon as they get in touch.
(see Bandit page)

8 June 2007 - Abuko LBS Update - Pageant member Jeannette Mars visited the school to meet the children who write letters to her Worldclass children at Ridgemede Junior School and take them a special gift of ‘Mr Majeika’ books. (more details)

6 June 2007 - Bakalarr Inter School Sports update - Bakary Gitteh writes:
"The competition is over and I am happy to inform you that our school boys beat Essau at the final stage and our girls also did well by going up to final stage by winning all their games but have lost the final one. Generally both boys and girls did very well by coming up to the final stage in the tournament. It was a very tough competition. The competition is now over and the other schools went back to their various schools last Sunday night. We are now preparing for our end of year exams."

2 June 2007 - Azores and Back Ocean Race starts today - read more

31 May 2007 - Bakalarr Inter School Sports - Message from Bakalarr headmaster, Bakary Gitteh
"I am pleased to inform you that our school (Bakalarr Basic Cycle School) is again hosting the inter school sport competition which started last Sunday, 27 May and will end next Sunday. It is not our turn to host but because of our facilities that is why we are hosting it again.
This is because of the good job you have done in the school such as toilets, basket and volley ball lawn and the buildings etc. On this note I thank you very much and may God give you good health and long life and a success in your efforts in helping Gambian people. We are proud of you. NB: Seven schools including Bakalarr are there."

31 May 2007 - Open House for Pageant members, 15 July 2007  - see details

25 May 2007 - 200 Children Sponsored - Pageant now has 200 children and young people who are being sponsored to pay for their educational expenses. Read more about our sponsorship scheme and if you are interested in helping a student with the costs of their education, then see our sponsorship enquiry page.

9 May 2007 - Millennium Health Microscope - Pageant has donated 1000 to this project, and will get 10-20 microscopes for distribution in up-country areas of The Gambia. see MHM page

2 May 2007 - Millennium Health Microscope - A new low cost, compact microscope is being developed, which will revolutionise the diagnosis of infectious diseases, such as Malaria, in developing countries. The Millennium Health Microscope Foundation is currently fundraising for Stage 1 of the project. see further details

1 May 2007 - Gambian Mini Market at Ridgemede Junior School

27 April 2007 - Azores and Back Ocean Race - Mike Martin and Fraser Currie have entered this year's AZAB race with Bandit. They have named Pageant as their chosen charity, and are fundraising to provide desk units for Campama Lower Basic School in The Gambia. see further details about Bandit and AZAB

24 April 2007 - Jurunku visit in February 2007. Pippa, Jon Quinnell and others visited this school again, looking at the progress being made in the school gardens, and also at the next project requiring attention - the derelict kitchens. see further details

12 April 2007 - Shap Ahoy T4 Challenge - We now have the diary of their trip to Bamako and Timbuktu, and all the pictures.

4 April 2007 - Tina's art project brings hands-on art to Kings Kid Academy and KMJ Nursery School, creating a jungle and an ocean.

4 April 2007 - Campama Lower basic School - Pageant gets their toilets back in working order, and is raising funds for new desk units.

News Archive January - March 2007

23 March 2007 - Seminars for Gambian science teachers - Joe Brock, Head of Science at Collyer's Sixth Form College in Horsham, has produced a science handbook for teaching Upper Basic Science (roughly GCSE) and Senior Secondary Science (roughly AS level) in The Gambia. Joe's new book contains 73 experiments and he also designed kits containing items that are inexpensive and readily available, at least in UK, with which to conduct these experiments. 40 of these kits were assembled and taken to The Gambia by Joe, some of his students and some Pageant members. He gave a series of five seminars for science teachers, showing them how to use the book and kits for teaching their students.

14 March 2007 - Update on the Pageant Loan Scheme

12 March 2007 - Exhibition of Ousman's paintings opens

7 March 2007 - Pippa's Gambian Trip Diary - a condensed version covering her recent visit to the Gambia.

7 March 2007  -  Sarjo's new wheelchair - handicapped student Sarjo Badjie gets a new 'all terrain' wheelchair to cope with Gambia's country roads.

4 March 2007 - New Crab Island Page - Crab Island Upper Basic School is about 5km south of central Banjul, and provides education for children aged 13 to 16. Pageant members Brenda and Keith Farrington have helped to set up a computer lab, woodwork and metalwork rooms, a home economic centre and a technical drawing classroom at this school. Read all about it on the new Crab Island page.

3 March 2007 - Exhibition & Sale of Pictures  Pageant is holding an exhibition of paintings in Horsham Library from 10-24 March. The pictures are original paintings in watercolour and gouache on A4 sized art paper by an A-level student, Ousman F Sowe, of Essau Senior Secondary School in The Gambia. Ousman paints pictures based on scenes related to The Gambia and the proceeds of their sale are helping him to continue his education and develop his artistic talents. Ousman's home is close to the village of Kunta Kinteh (of the book 'Roots', by Alex Hailey) and many of his pictures depict aspects of the slave trade of bygone years.

Admittance to the exhibition is free and the paintings will be for sale from the exhibition. The library staff will put the customary red dot on any picture that is sold, but purchasers can arrange collection as soon as they wish, rather than wait until the exhibition ends. We have replacements to fill up any spaces. Very reasonable prices: unmounted picture 10, mounted original picture 12, framed original picture 20. A4 size prints 3.

21 February 2007 - Car Auctions in Banjul - Three of the five charity auctions of vehicles from the 2007 Plymouth-Banjul Challenge have now taken place. (see full auction results) All of 'our' teams vehicles have now been sold. IceCold's Suzuki Samurai Jeep raised 76,000 Dalasis (1,363), Ibrakeforcake's Isuzu Trooper raised 39,000  Dalasis (700), the Desert Mice Jetta raised 57,000 Dalasis (1,022) and First to the Bar's Escort raised 66,000 Dalasis (1,184). All proceeds from the auctions are split between the Association of Small-Scale Enterprises in Tourism (ASSET) and the Gambian National Olympic Committee (GNOC).

8 February 2007 - lots of new pictures on the Ibrakeforcake Plymouth-Banjul Challenge page.

6 February 2007 - Pageant North meeting - Ann Keating has arranged a Northern Meeting on Sunday 25th February at 2-00 pm at 8 Ashling Court, Tyldesley, Manchester, M29 8QS.

3 February 2007 - Science kits for Gambian schools - Joe Brock of Collyer's is going to The Gambia with Pageant, taking science kits for 40 Gambian schools, and running seminars for Gambian teachers.

26 January 2007 - Pictures of IceCold's visit to Bakalarr.

24 January 2007  - The Artemisia Project - We now have pictures of the first training session for villagers on how to cultivate Artemisia, which can be used to combat malaria.
We also have pictures of
Ibrakeforcake's visit to Sinchu Baliya.

Plymouth-Banjul and T4 Challenge updates

23 January 2007 - IceCold - final updates from Banjul, now on their way to Gatwick

22 January 2007 - Shap Ahoy - Tim and Nick have made a donation of 250 to Pageant. We have also added a couple of pictures to the page - more pictures and the full story of their journey soon.

20 January - Shap Ahoy - Tim returns to UK.

19 January 2007 - Shap Ahoy - Tim and Co back in Bamako, and preparing to return home.

18 January 2007 - Shap Ahoy - Tim and Co are now in Segou, on their way back to Bamako.

17 January 2007 - IceCold have crossed into The Gambia, and are at the Barra ferry. Latest news is that they have reached the Safari Garden Hotel in Banjul, so they have completed the Challenge. They quickly called in at Bakalarr on their way, and are meeting the headmaster on 18 January. they will be returning to the UK on 23 January.
Shap Ahoy - Tim is in Mopti on his way to Djenne.

16 January 2007 - IceCold reached Zebrabar campsite yesterday, with the ambulance crammed with survivors from the cars which didn't make it through the desert. They have now left for the Gambian border and Banjul.
Meanwhile in Timbuktu, Tim has sold the
Shap Ahoy car and is travelling back to Bamako with Ray and John in their Landrover.
Ibrakeforcake have now returned to the UK. They will soon be posting their story and photos on their blog.
P.S. if you wondered if Dave and Linda of Iron Mighty got hitched, just see
their website.

15 January 2007 - Desert Mice and First to the Bar! have now returned to the Netherlands and Wales. They have raised over 1800 for renovations at Kings Kid Academy. See full report and pictures.
IceCold are probably now at Zebrabar campsite.

14 January 2007 - Shap Ahoy progress Tim has reached Timbuktu (Tombouctou).
IceCold break their radio silence.

13 January 2007 - Shap Ahoy progress Tim and Co have now got as far as Tonka on the way to Timbuktu (Tombouctou).

12 January 2007 - Shap Ahoy progress. Nick has now flown home, so Tim travelled in convoy to Niono, and will try to make contact with the other group.

12 January 2007 - Plymouth-Banjul teams visit schools
Kemo phoned Pippa yesterday to tell us that PBC teams had been visiting some of Pageant's schools:

  • Desert Mice and First to the Bar! had visited Kings Kid Academy. The staff and children had welcomed them with a one-hour presentation and everyone was very happy! Jacob Amadi (Headmaster of KKA) wanted to thank us personally for suggesting that his school should be one to receive support from rally teams. He said he was truly grateful for the assistance they are receiving and that the children were very excited about seeing the rally teams (and vehicles, I expect!).
  • Ibrakeforcake had visited Sinchu Baliya LBS earlier in the week (probably Tuesday) and had also been welcomed with a full presentation by the children, which Kemo said went very well. Both these presentations will have involved singing and dancing and probably a short drama enacted by the children. We will bring you pictures as soon as we have them.
  • Kemo had also met up with Iron Mighty and helped them to distribute all the sportswear and kit that they were carrying. This included a special Pageant consignment of two large filled kitbags for the Gambian national cricket team (cricket is now starting up in a big way in The Gambia) - Ram International have most generously provided bats, pads, gloves, balls and stumps as well as a complete team set of shirts, trousers, caps etc, all embroidered with the Gambian team badge. We will make sure we see the team in action while we are there in February - many of the cricket matches are played at the Independence Stadium in Banjul, which is a short walk from our hotel. Iron Mighty also featured on page 23 of the Guardian on 11 January. (link)

11 January 2007 - IceCold have crossed into Mauritania, and started their trek across the desert.
Shap Ahoy have reached Bamako

11 January 2007 - Horsham Inner Wheel Fund Raising for Pageant
Pippa and Ian gave a talk to the Horsham Inner Wheel (Inner Wheel members are generally females who are or were related to a Rotarian or former Rotarian) in November 2006. They were invited to do so by Sue Cato, current President of the club, who has adopted Pageant as her chosen charity for the year. Since then, funds have been raised for Pageant as follows:

  • 260 was raised at a private party where no presents were wanted but instead items were auctioned and the amount raised was given to the charity of the successful bidder's choice.

  • A staggering 600+ was raised from a Christmas lunch open to Inner Wheel and Rotarian members, hosted by Sue Cato.

Sue says that 'every member who attended your inspiring talk was greatly impressed...' - we also are impressed by their efforts and would like to take this opportunity of saying a public 'Thank-you' to Sue and all the Inner Wheel members who have been so generous in their support of Pageant.

Plymouth-Banjul and T4 Challenge updates

10 January 2007 - The IceCold teams are on their way towards the Mauritanian border. No mention of the ambulance brakes, so I guess they are fixed.
A later field report says they have reached Mauritania with no trouble.
Ibrakeforcake have posted a late update about the last stage of their journey to Banjul.

9 January 2007 - The IceCold ambulance has suffered more mechanical trouble in Dakhla, with the brakes failing. They hope to source the required spares locally, and then continue. However, it seems that the other teams at Dakhla have snuck off across the border without them.
Shap Ahoy and three other two wheel drive cars are now heading for Bamako, and the other five T4 cars (4wd) are taking a more westerly route.
Desert Mice and First to the bar! have finally arrived in Banjul, after a long wait at the Barra ferry.

8 January 2007 - Shap Ahoy have crossed into Mali.
The
IceCold teams arrived at Tan Tan last night without further problems. Latest news is that they have arrived at the campsite at Dakhla. They are almost back on schedule despite everything!

8 January 2007 - Brian Howard, the new Mayor of Haslemere, Surrey has named Pageant as one of his two charities for the coming year. A Burns Dinner is being held at Wispers School in Haslemere on 20 January as part of the Mayor's fund raising in aid of his charities. The cost of the dinner is 40 per head, which includes ALL drink - no canny Scot can afford to miss this one!!

7 January 2007 - Pippa has just spoken to Dave Wells from Iron Mighty! He is at present in the Safari Garden Hotel (rally HQ) drinking Gambian Julbruw (beer)!! They arrived yesterday after a nightmarish time at Barra, where there was a 3-day queue waiting to cross to Banjul - no ferries had been running during the festival!! He has seen Ibrakeforcake on the Banjul side, and has heard rumours that Desert Mice and First to the bar are still in Barra waiting to cross. The line was very bad, so she did not get any more details from him - he is now mostly concerned with getting all his sports kit distributed and then getting married!! Date fixed for wedding on 10 January, as far as I can remember - we helped him get the papers sorted before he started off on the rally.

Further news from Kemo: He is meeting up with Dave Wells from Iron Mighty tomorrow to distribute the sports kit, and has also arranged with Ibrakeforcake to visit Sinchu Baliya LBS to take their materials, plus some more materials for GTTI (the auto engineering department). He has not yet heard from Desert Mice et al... but confirms that the ferries are having to deal with huge amounts of vehicles. He says that he, Wandifa and Alimatou will all be VERY busy for several days!! The container that was being driven down with a lot of Pageant stuff in has also just arrived, adding to their workload!! He says he is sure they will be able to manage.....

Shap Ahoy have now sorted out their money problems, and are setting off for Nema.
IceCold's ambulance is now in good health again, and the latest news is that both teams are getting close to Laayoune where they will spend the night.

6 January 2007 - The IceCold ambulance has suffered more problems. At first they thought it was gearbox trouble, but the latest diagnosis is a dead fuel pump. Hopefully, when this is replaced they will be on their way. Latest news is that the ambulance is fixed, but they are not sure what the problem was!
We have had no news from any of the Group 1 teams for a while now. We assume that they headed into the desert on about 28 December, where mobile phones don't work, and landlines are rare. They should reach more civilised parts in about 7 days - so anytime now there should be some news.

5 January 2007 - both IceCold teams have reached Marrakech, where they will be having a rest day.
Shap Ahoy are at Nuoakchott.

4 January 2007 - Shap Ahoy have arrived at Dakhla in the south of Morroco.
IceCold spent the night in Rabat, and progressed as far as Khenifra, where the ambulance's universal joint failed. They have made repairs and are now on their way to Marrakech.

3 January 2007 - More details on IceCold's ambulance customs saga.
Shap Ahoy spend the night at Laayoune.

2 January 2007 - Shap Ahoy left Marrakech on 31 December, spent New Year's Day on the beach at Sidi Ifni, and are now on the long drive through the desert towards Laayoune.
IceCold's ambulance has now been released by customs after 27 hours.

1 January 2007 - IceCold arrive at Tangiers
We haven't heard from the other teams for a bit, but they are probably in the middle of the desert, and will get in touch again when they reach civilised parts.

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Pageant is a UK Charity - Registered No 1093963
Pageant is a UK Charity - Registered No 1093963