MY MEMORIES CHRONICLED
Mohammadali Habib, the
founder of Habib Public School, was as much of a business tycoon as he
had the yearning for
for the less fortunate students from the lower strata of society. It was
that the idea of Habib Public School was born. The sight was chosen after
a frantic search and the building was
put up like the one seen
by the founder
Ahmad House, Dawood House, Sharif House and Ghulamali House were the four
wings which were constructed in
L shape in the first instance
students were enrolled from class I to class IX.
mostly drawn from the localities around the school.
teeming fleet of buses, vans and coasters
as we see them clogging the traffic now were non-existent then.
The children of Habib family and others who were
enrolled in the new school would come in their own vehicles and drop at
the gateless entrance to signify the freedom to enter and leave at will, if the
expectation did not measure up to the envisioned level.
Beyond Sharif House there was nothing
but undulating surface whose limit was set by the shack in which
and his family lived. When the tidal water surged with the waxing of the moon,
the ground behind
Sharif House was all slush and the peon would use their muscle power to
throw the water back in the adjoining nullah which drained the sewage water
into the sea.
The well-maintained foreground hockey field was the one where students
and the presence of
stalwarts like Islahuddin, Moti-ur-Rahman and Habib-ur-Rahman would not
be an uncommon sight.
It was here that Mr. Samad, the then Hockey Coach was often found
screaming and squealing with a view to pepping up
the players. These were the days when strapping Firdous Zulfiqar was the
heart throb of
the students and
Abbas Dawood stole the show by scoring a solitary goal against
the opponents in the Inter-School Hockey Final organized on all Karachi
basis. The first batch of students, all from Habib family,
consisted of only three students in 1961.
The next year was a better year when 21 students appeared at Science and
ten at Commerce. Haider Ali Jaffer Ali of the faculty of Commerce, stood first
in the city
and Yadullah Haider and Rashid Zulfiqar
distinguished themselves on the Science side.
Rear Admiral Baqir, COMKAR
today was not far behind.
The first Principal of the School was
Mirza Ashiq Hussain, former Principal of Shia College, Lucknow.
Mr. Bashir Shad stepped into Mr. Shafiq-ur-Rahman’s shoes as the 3rd.
was in his time that the award of
for the overall best student was instituted and the first ever recipient
was Jawed Shahid who has won immense plaudits as a neuro-surgeon in
his home. 1962 was an epoch-making year when Mr. Hasan Akhtar from P.M.A. and
Air Force Public
School, Lowertopa, joined the school as its Principal.
It was still a small school consisting of only 12 staff members on the
secondary side but with the arrival of Mr. Hasan, the school got off to a flying
owing to his able guidance and
vast vision, the school progressed by leaps and bounds.
Mr. R.D. Habib
who was a distinguished
sportsman of his time, took over as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees
right from the very beginning. His passion for education was contagious and the
unstinted support he gave to the uplift of the school paid enormous dividends
when the clutch of Honours started pouring in and the fame of the school
started spreading to the remote corners of the country.
Mr. Yousuf Qasim Mitha, the indefatigable
titan of inexhaustible vitality and verve took the bridles of the school
as its first Managing Trustee with a Master’s degree in Economics from
Cambridge University much before I was born or even my father got wedded. He
looked after the school as a crusader
for a long time and gave it a new dimension.
In 1964, the school was upgraded to a College and the strength of the
school soared to 750.
Meanwhile the sea shied away and we had more habitable land available
through the reclamation from the receding sea. As
time wore on and our need to grab more land from the unsurveyed and
of sea registered an upsurge, we claimed more land and the
College and the Laboratories Block were put up on it.
Other buildings were constructed with the rise in its service and
standard. The auditorium- cum-dining hall was added
in 1963 in which the students are served
mid-day meals during the lunch hour and at other times the hall is
available for speech training, debates, dramatic arts, literary activities,
exhibitions, speeches and organized exams, etc.
Overlooking the auditorium is a Swimming Pool of half
the Olympic size whose sparkling water catches the eye of a visitor
In 1971 Indo-Pak War, two bombs were dropped on our school, one of which
did a greater damage and the upper story of
the Auditorium Block
had to be pulled down and reconstructed. A peon lost his life through the
injury caused by the sharpnels of the bomb.
The steely flagpole through which the shards of the bomb penetrated still
remind us of
occasion and the sad demise
of the victim.
Mr. S.S.Bilgrami succeeded
Mr. Hasan Akhtar who was elevated as Director of Habib Education Trust.
Mr. Bilgrami served the school for six years and then Dr. A.H.Rizvi took over as
the Principal. On his moving to U.S.A. as a Professor, the mantle fell on Mr.
Ishrat Hussain followed by Wing Cdr. Rehan Naqvi and then me.
I served Habib Public School
for 33 years out of which 9 years were the period of my headship
and the rest I served as
Mr. Iqbal Ahmad, the present Principal
joined the school as far back as in 1964 but then he left to proceed
On return from Nigeria after an elapse of 16 years, he elected
to join us again.
After a brief spell as
Headmaster, he became the Principal on my retirement, the post which he
continues to hold even today.
The history of Habib Public School is the history of half my life.
I have witnessed some very outstanding students come and go.
Since the major intake
of students is at class I level, the students remain with us for ten long
formative years. They enter the school as toddlers
and go out as young men of muscle and might. During the decade they pass
in the school their mental faculties, personality and character are moulded by
the school to fit them well for any walk of life.
inception, Habib Public School has been known not only for academics but
also for co-curricular activities and the school prides itself on adding
behemoths to the tall list of magnificence amassed already. Honours accruing to
through the remarkable performance of the students would not be possible
without the unflinching support from the management, teachers, and the
parents who have always given unqualified co-operation
for the good of the school.
Habib Public School
has the galaxy of luminaries.
It is not possible for me to recall
all the names which deserve mention. It does not mean
that the names which do not enter
of my wakeful memory are any less important.
the unforgettables are some of
my loved ones, such as
Hussain Haqqani, who needs no introduction in Pakistan, Raza Rabbani, the
PPP leader and the former Federal Minister
who is remembered
by all of us for his debating skill, sunny disposition and polished
Junejo for his
vivacity and refiness, Khursheed Hasnain for his serious looks and still more
seriousness in studies, Ayaz Toosy
with his immaculate dress and bearing, Aamer Nadeem Shaikh
for his scholastic excellence, Shujaat Hussain, now a senior army officer
for his high
qualities of head
and heart, Junaid Ahmad for his superb scholarly ability, Mustafa Master
and Arif Usmani
for being extraordinary bright in studies, Salman Shakir for his ever
smiling face, Shabbir Sherali for his recitude, Shoaib Muneer for his linguistic
ability and brightness in studies, Noorani and Ziaul Hasan for their excellence
In games and
sports Habib Public School has an unenviable record. Some of the players,
athletes, sportsmen and swimmers have unparalleled records and possess national
and international stature.
Hassan Sardar, Qamar Ibrahim, Zahid Maqbool, Ayaz Mahmood, Ahmed Alam,
Safdar Abbas and some of the younger players including Sohail Abbas need special
cricket, Shoaib Mohammad and Asif Mohammad will neither be forgotten by us or by
Pakistan. Among the champion swimmers Aun Qasim, Sarfraz, Nisar Dawood, Saleem
Raza of the byegone days
can never be forgotten. Ali Kamani
and Meesaq Rizvi, Shakeel Paul, Anwar Hussain, Ali Haroon come to my mind
as great athletes.
Public School has produced excellent debators both in English and Urdu. Starting
from Javaid Shahid down to Amir Hashmi brothers, Naveed Baig, Adnan, Sarfraz
have a long list of powerful debators who were unmatched in their times and will
be remembered for a long time to come.
On the faculty we have had some very illustrious teachers.
Among them Mr. Naqi Akhter, now a Professor in U.S.A., Mr. Shabahat Ali,
a big name in Computer in NewYork, Mr. Naeem, a prosperous businessman now in
Baltimore, Mr. Ghaffar Shaikh, a retired MD of National Cement, Mrs. Jafri, Mrs.
Hasnain, Mr. M.B.Ahmad, Mr. Ali Irshad should be paid due tribute for yeoman’s
service to the cause of education.
After the death of the great benefactor Mr. R.D. Habib, his son Mr. Muslim Habib who has inherited the same zest for education as his father’s is now looking after the premier institution as the Managing Trustee. Being an alumnus of this institution he knows very well what the institution has stood for all these years and he is very ably supported by Mr. Anwar Abbas, the Administrator in his endeavor. Based on the criteria of their own, this institution was christened as one of the “Eighty Better Schools of Pakistan” by the Ministry of Education, Islamabad and we hope that the unique position enjoyed by this institution will endure for ever.
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