Mama Parsi School 90 years | St Joseph's Convent bids farewell
Mama Parsi School celebrates 90 glorious years
Karachi, April 02, 2008: Educating girls was a priority of the progressive Zoroastrian
community of the city and it has been proved by the 90 glorious years of the
school that has chartered the educational course in a magnificent way.
Z T Mavalvala, Principal of Mama Parsi School, proudly claimed the distinction
on Tuesday - the occasion of the celebration for completing 90 years of its
existence. The school was founded on April 1, 1918 to cater to the needs of
Parsi girls of Karachi. She was proud of the fact that her school had struggled
hard to maintain its high standards and produced students who were asset to the
country and pride to their parents. She acknowledged the contribution of her
devoted staff and the students who were keen to acquire the
They had a boys' school, the BVS Parsi School, which was
founded in 1870, but since there wasn't a separate school for girls, the
founding fathers of The Mama School decided to open a girls' only school.
Initially, classes for girls started in 1918 in BVS School, but after a year the
girls' school moved to Mama Mansion opposite Zainab Market. This building is
nowadays known as the Haq Building. The school was shifted to the present
location on M.A. Jinnah Road on April 1, 1925 with 70 girls on its roll.
Quaid-e-Azam requested the school management to open the gates of the school for
Muslims too. From that time onwards, the school has been educating girls of all
faiths without any bias or prejudice.
A 'Mehfil-e-Milad' was organised
for the Muslim staff and students of the school, while the Parsis attended a
'Jashan' (a religious ceremony to celebrate an auspicious occasion.) The Jashan
was attended by the Chairperson of the School, Dr Banoo Mama, the Principal, Ms
Z T Mavalvala, the members of the School's Managing Committee, the Parsi staff
and students and the guests. A documentary on the achievements of The Mama
School was shown to everyone present at the celebrations. Gifts were given to
every student, and the guests were served with refreshments.
included the Chairperson of the School, Mrs Banoo Mama; Mrs Dinoo Mistry,
ex-Principal of the B V S Parsi School, Mr Behram D. Avari, Chairman of the
Parsi Anjuman Society, Mr Ardeshir Cowasjee, the renowned columnist and Mrs
Kermeen Parakh, Principal of The BVS Parsi School. Members of the Parsi Banu
Mandal Society were also present to witness the celebrations. The News
St Joseph's Convent bids farewell to stalwart custodian after 44 yrs
Karachi: St Patrick's Cathedral filled with the nuns from St Joseph's Convent
High School, its staff, alumni, and the family and friends of gatekeeper Francis
Barkat to bid him a final farewell Tuesday afternoon. He passed away at the age
of 69 Sunday night after a prolonged illness.
"If he didn't show up for
work or mass, we knew it was only because he had fallen ill," said STJ Principal
Sr Julie Pacheco while eulogizing his 44-year-old services at the school. She
recalled how he knew each and every schoolgirl, her class, her parents and even
their drivers. Their safety was ensured as long as Francis was at the
It was under his hawkish eye that thousands of school girls have
streamed past the gates of the convent. Once, in an isolated incident, one
student tried to leave in a burqa after changing out of her uniform. But for
some reason Francis knew something was amiss and he stopped her at the gate.
"Once a girl's new driver came to get her but because Francis didn't
recognize him he refused to let her leave school," recalled senior English
General and Literature teacher Faiza Kazi after the funeral. The student assured
him that the driver was indeed hers but Francis would not budge. It was only
after she was marched to the office and a phone call was made to her parents
confirming the man's identity that Francis relented. "The CIA should have hired
him," Kazi quipped, "they would have found Osama bin Laden."
said during the service that Francis had been like a "walking talking
encyclopedia", which is how Kazi also describes him. Whether it was help going
to the police office, passport office or simply to call a linesman, Francis was
the right person to ask as he seemed to have the answer for any kind of problem
in which someone needed to be contacted.
His tall loping frame was a
fixture at the gate for years and the thousands of hours in the sun had left him
with deeply grooved chestnut tan. He managed traffic before the first policeman
was ever assigned to the neighbourhood and he bore the madness of chutti time
with patience few gatekeepers have today. "He never lost his temper," recalled
Durriya Kazi, adding that she also admired how he was never rude in all the
years she had seen him. And despite knowing the influential parents of many
students, he never demanded favours. "At the most, he would call out, 'Mithai
nahi khilai?' as we passed by," Durriya Kazi said, referring to how he would
jokingly ask them to treat him for exams passed and the small successes of life.
Even if he didn't know a girl's name, he would know her by some other
marker, perhaps her father's profession or her mother's name if she had been a
student there as well. According to Durriya Kazi, Francis would refer to her
daughters as 'Durriya' as well. Two alumni, Zairah and Sanam, who went to St
Joseph's with their three sisters, recalled how he would call all five of them
'Doctor Saheb' because their father was a surgeon.
After the funeral,
senior teachers Shafiqa Fikree and Fawzia Fikree joined the Kazi sisters Muna
and Durriya to recall how the younger grounds staff at the convent looked up to
Francis as a role model. "They have all been sad since he fell ill," Ms S Fikree
said. They are perhaps wondering how they will fill his shoes. And if any
schoolgirl or alumni were asked, they would probably say St Joseph's Convent
will never again have a custodian as protective as Francis Barkat. Daily Times
"I LOVE MY SCHOOL AND MY TEACHERS.IWISH I COULD SEE MY SCHOOL AGAIN.MANY TIMES I SAW IT IN MY DREAMS,WHERE I USE TO SIT BREAKTIME,MY TEACHERS,MY CANTEEN.ETC ."
Name: MUNAZZA ZAHEER
City, Country: khi pakiatan
"I have no more information about this school but i wish i coud work there."
City, Country: karachi, pakiatan
"I LOVE MY SCHOOL VERY MUCH!!!ITS TOTALLY AWESOME....I LOVE ALL MY TEACHERS AND SISTERS MOSTLY SR.JULIE PACHECO....IF I WOULD START PRAISING ABOUT MY SCHOOL THEN IT WOULD NEVER EVER FINISH THATS ALL I CAN SAY IS...!!! "
Name: rabia asrar
City, Country: karachi, pakiatan
"oh imiss my school days there is nothing much more worth missing thoes days and friends "
Name: humera nawab
City, Country: saudi arabia
"I love my school more than anything else in the world. Our school is the best in the whole of Pakistan.:) "
Name: Hafsa Ishaq
City, Country: Karachi, Pakistan
"i want phone number of your school[mama parsi]"
City, Country: Karachi, Pakistan
"I JUST ST.JOSEPHS! ITS THE BEST SCHOOL IN KARACHI! I JUST WANNA SAY THAT I DONT HAVE WORDS 2 DESCRIBE IT! AM PROUD 22 B A JOSEPHIAN! I JUST PRAY 2 ALLAH THAT MY SCHOOL B ALWAYS THERE 2 EDUCATE THOUSANDS OF PAKISTANI GIRLZZZ!"
City, Country: KARACHI, PAKISTAN
"i just love my school....hoping for more good progress in future"
Name: anusha syed
City, Country: karachi,pakistan
"I love my school, its the best school for girls in history. I am glad I studied in this esteemed school and so are my proud daughters...love you St. Josephs"
Name: Tania Lobo
City, Country: Khi, Pakistan