August 20, 2009

Award of Scholarships & Distinguished Publicans Lecture Series


The third programme of the Publican Alumni Trust (PAT) Educational Initiatives Programme was the award of scholarships & the second lecture in the Distinguished Publicans Lecture Series. The programme consisted of awarding scholarships to 120 students, 60 each from the F.G. Boys Public School and F.G. Minwala Girls Public School, followed by a lecture by Shahid Karimullah titled "My days at the Cantt Public School and its impact on my career".


Video of the lecture is available broken into 5 parts. To view any part of the video, please click on the thumbnail below.



Pictures of the event as well as a report on the proceedings by Javed Jabbar are posted below. To view these pictures, click on one of the Library Buttons below.



Report by Javed Jabbar


Dear fellow Publicans,
Assalam-o-alaikum and greetings.


The 3rd major PAT event of 2009 ( which , by another count , is actually the 5th event of this year because the previous event on 7th May 2009 also had two parts to it e.g. presentation of computers and the 1st lecture ) turned out to be a very well-attended and well-liked experience by all on Thursday, 20th August 2009 from about 10.45 a.m. to about 1.45 p.m.


The venue was the newly-partly-refurbished auditorium of the F.G. Minwalla Girls' Public School.


The event comprised two main parts :


Part A :


The award of 120 scholarships to deserving and disadvantaged students (60 from each of the 2 schools) @ Rs.500 per month from August 2009 to April 2010 with generous funding support to cover the total cost of Rs.720,000/- provided by Bank Al Falah Limited. The chief guest of the event was Mr. Sirajuddin Aziz, CEO , Bank Al Falah Limited.


Part B:


The second lecture in the Distinguished Publican Lecture Series delivered by , on this occasion, Admiral (r) Shahid Karimullah, former Chief of Naval Staff, Pakistan Navy, Class of 1963.


Along with the 60 girl students and 60 boy students, also present were at least one parent from each of the students' families, selected other students, teachers, Alumni and Trustees i.e a total of about 350 persons.


The weather had turned exceptionally pleasant earlier in the morning with a light drizzle and a cooling breeze that evoked vivid memories of some of our best School days.


Mr. Zohair Ashir, Convenor, Education Programme Committee introduced PAT and the education programme in brief.


The undersigned welcomed all to the event, gave parents in particular background information on the origins of PAT and its mission, stressed the importance of the home as the most important basis for a child's education and thanked Mr. Sirajuddin Aziz for providing valuable support, despite being a non-Publican.


The exceptional determination with which Khawaja Faridudin, Convenor of the Fund-raising Committee persuaded Bank Al Falah Limited to give funding support was acknowledged , along with the role of other members of the Committee. Publican Asifa Qayyum in London and Mr. Qayyum's original initial help in introducing PAT to Bank Al Falah Limited are also worth remembering.


The extraordinary camardarie and hard work by various Trustees and Committees including the Event Management Committee led by Mr. Shamim Riaz and comprising Dr. Masroor Afridi, Ms. Nudrat Alvi alongwith other active Trustees Vice Chairs Mr. Zaffar Ahmed Khan, Mrs. Nighat Mir and Trustees Mrs. Shirley Hyder Valika, Mrs. Sabiha Pervez, Mr. Ashraf Kapadia, Mr. Zohair Ashir were also acknowledged.


In his thoughtful address on the occasion, Mr. Sirajuddin Aziz stated that he was priviledged to be a simple conduit for the institutional commitment of Bank Al Falah to promote excellence in education. He identified the linkage between the timeless tales and stories that we learn in childhood with equally timeless values of character-building. He emphasized the importance of humility in all human endeavour and appreciated the outstanding alumni produced by Karachi Cantonment Public School.


While affirming Bank Al Falah support, it was also announced that this level of support to scholarships would continue for a 3-year period commencing this year. Thus , with an annual grant of Rs.720,000/- this becomes the single largest contribution by any donor to PAT to date.


About 6 students each from Class 6 up to Class 10 ( Matric ) of each school have been selected.


With a combined total enrolment of about 1200 students in both schools, the Bank Al Falah Publican scholarship programme will thus directly benefit about 10 per cent of all students.


This PAT initiative with the support of Bank Al Falah represents the largest-ever such scholarship programme in the 51-years since the original school began functioning.


Recipients of scholarships were selected for top academic performance, for extra curricular abilities and to help meet economic needs of families.


In expressing the sincere thanks of PAT, Khawaja Fariduddin presented on behalf of PAT a special plaque to Mr. Sirajuddin Aziz as a token of our esteem for him , and for the Bank.


All the 120 winners of the scholarships were then presented with scholarship cards especially designed and produced at remarkable speed by Trustee Ashraf Kapadia with individualized names and class details. A sample card is given at the bottom of this page. Mr. Kapadia also provided a multi-media system for visual presentations at the event.


Each of the Publican Alumni present on the occasion stood briefly with the chief guest and their colleagues in felicitating the scholarship winners. The message addressed to each student is attached to this e-mail.


Mrs. Musarrat Aslam, Principal, F.G. Minwalla Girls' Public School and Mrs. Rashida Jalil, Principal, F.G. Boys' Public School spoke briefly to express their thanks to PAT.


Dr. Masroor Afridi, Class of 1971 presented a warm tribute to our late Principal Mr. Aminuddin Alvi. He pointed out that Mr. Alvi had specialized both in Mathematics and in Urdu and would take particular interest in the welfare and progress of each student of the School. Dr. Afridi said that Mr. Alvi's dedication to perpetual learning was evident in the fact that while his son Salman Alvi (who was also present on the occasion) would attend IBA during the day for his MBA studies, Mr. Alvi would attend IBA in the evening programme in order to continue his ceaseless search for knowledge and understanding.


The undersigned lauded the rare virtues of simplicity and humility personified by Mr. Alvi and said that it was this kind of leadership which inspired Publicans to achieve excellence in a wide range of fields.


Vice Chairman, PAT, Mr. Zaffar Ahmed Khan who himself is a distinguished leader of the corporate sector of Pakistan in his past capacities as Chief Executive, Engro, Chairman PTCL, PIA, KSE , then introduced Admiral (r) Shahid Karimullah and invited him to present the lecture. He pointed out that, apart from other honours, Admiral (r) Shahid Karimullah has won all 4 official awards, ranging from Tamgha through Sitara through Hilal to Nishan.


The subject of the lecture was : "My days at Cantonment Public School and their impact on my career".


Listing the different facets of the School that had impacted on him, the distinguished speaker traced the strong impact on his personality of Principal M. E. Hyder and teachers, the excellent learning environment and friendships formed with colleague-students which have lasted over the decades. He recalled the importance of the morning assembly, the respect for discipline and decorum, the virtues of co-education that helped boy students to improve their bearing and their behaviour, the role of his father and family in supporting his progress.


After achieving First Division in School as well as in college and being offered admission in 5 different institutions, he chose to join the Navy for various personal reasons, and never regretted it. He said he is proud to have served his country for over 40 years during which he saw frontline action in East Pakistan in 1971 when he was seriously wounded but survived. Sadly, he recalled the experience of being a Prisoner-of-War in India and emphasized how priceless it is to have our very own Pakistan. After reaching the top of his service as Chief and serving with distinction for three years, he was given the additional honour of representing Pakistan as Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. He said that the values and elements that had been inculcated in him during the School years stood him in good stead throughout his career and he would always treasure his association with the School.


His speech was frequently applauded and was followed by a lively Question and Answer session in which students posed probing and interesting queries , each of which was ably answered.


The event formally concluded at about 1.45 p.m.


Though lunch was served later than scheduled , about 150 students, teachers, staff and alumni enjoyed the delicious simple biryani served by the caterers , selected by Khawaja Fariduudin. Left-over food was donated to the needy and the poor. Earlier , before the start of the event , students were also served the famous "patties " and a soft drink by Mohammad Canteenwala. Mr. Shamim Riaz confirms that Mrs. Sabiha Pervez has generously contributed Rs 20,000/- towards the cost of this event.


As usual security for the event was provided by Mr. Shahid Ejaz Hussain. Other alumni who participated the event included Shirley Valika, Sabiha Pervaiz, Amir Sethi, Waseem Ghani, Yasmeen Kapadia, Farhat Nayyer, Fahim Siddiqui, Khalid Zaki, Syed Tanveer Hussain, and Salman Alvi. Any omission of names of other alumni who were present are inadvertent and sincerely regretted.


We hope more alumni, specially those resident in Karachi will participate in the next PAT events, details of which will be circulated shortly.


Thank you for your attention .


With best wishes ,

Javed Jabbar