SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2017
Pakistan knows little about them and equally unfortunate that Pakistanis
have no clue whatsoever about their contributions to the country
They were like sweeteners to the warmth of Karachi’s hospitality of bygone days
and the essence of the joie de vivre of a beautiful time – a time now lost into
eternity. They were men and women of character and eminence, leaders and
achievers; many were great musicians and sports-persons, some were rowdy and
animated, but above all, good human beings.
Wikipedia refers the Anglo-Indians as two groups of people, those with mixed
Indian and British ancestry; and people of British descent born or living in the
Indian Sub-Continent. During the centuries that Britain was in India, the children
born to British men and Indian women began to form a new community.
Once upon a time, the Anglo-Indian community of Pakistan was indeed,
distinguished in many respects. The ‘Hall of Fame’ list at the end of this memoir
will tell a tale of their magnanimous contributions to Pakistan. If one fathoms the
positions they held and the powerful institutions they represented, they and their
dependents could have been very wealthy people today. But it was not the case
because they were people with integrity, honest and fair in their dealings. They
retired and faded into oblivion with grace and distinction, finding no place for
themselves or their families in an ever-changing socio-political environment.
This wonderful group of people eventually migrated from their hermitages in
Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Quetta; and has now gone into obscurity. It is
sad, Pakistan knows little about them and equally unfortunate that Pakistanis
have no clue whatsoever about their contributions to the country. The history of
our beloved Pakistan can never be complete without their mention.
Though they ought to be called ‘Anglo-Pakistanis’ post 1947 but we got stuck
referring to these wonderful people as Anglo-Indians or rather, Anglos!
Nevertheless, their considerable role in the making of Pakistan and leading some
of the country’s fundamental departments of good governance, such as the armed
forces, intelligence, railways, telegraphs, police, civil aviation etc has been
A lot of information is available about ‘Anglo-Indian’ folks of India and a great
deal of research has been undertaken to preserve their contributions to pre-
partition India. However, very little or none, has been recorded in Pakistan. I
recently came in contact with a Rawalpindi-born Dorothy McMenamin who now
lives in Christchurch, New Zealand; she has done extensive research on ‘Anglo-
Indians’ of Pakistan which has been published and archived.
She is one of the reasons why I am doing this basic piece because it would have
been unfair and indeed, unfortunate if the ‘Anglos’ of Pakistan were not
remembered for their contributions to Pakistan. Upon further research and
receiving additional information from people at home, abroad and in cyber-
space, I shall conclude a detailed document at a later date for public consumption
and the archives.
The Anglos of Pakistan “Hall of Fame” (In alphabetical order):
This list has been compiled with input from people who knew of them as parents,
siblings, relatives, neighbors, friends etc. If anyone has been missed out, please
write to me at email@example.com so that their names (with designations) are
Alvin Robert Cornelius, Chief Justice of Pakistan/ Law Minister; Bill Harney,
Air Force; Clyde Rose, Athlete (Boxer); Dudley Brooks, Police (Superintendent,
Quetta); Duncan Sharpe, Test Cricketer; Elsie Hunt, Pakistan Badminton
Player; Eric Hall, Air Force (Air Marshal, Vice Chief of Air Staff, DG Civil
Aviation); Fred Innis, Police (Inspector-General, Balochistan); George James,
Police (Sergeant Punjab Police); Harold Meik, Air Force (Flight Lieutenant);
Harold Tate, Army (Colonel, Army Ordnance); Harrison, Army (Brigadier, Army
Supply Corp); Jack Mongavin, Navy (Vice Chief of Naval Staff); Jackson, Navy
(Commodore); Josephine Alexander, National Badminton Player; June Brown,
Miss Karachi 1949; Kenneth Blunt, Police (DSP Punjab); Kenneth Brown,
Army; Kenneth George Bornshin, Police (Additional Inspector-General,
Punjab); Lance Boyle, Police, Intelligence Bureau; Lonsdale R. Niblett, Police
(Deputy Inspector-General, Traffic Punjab); Mervyn Middlecoat, Air Force
(Wing Commander); Mervyn Welsh, Police (Deputy Inspector-General,
Balochistan); Michael O’Brien, Air Force (Air Vice Marshal); Norman
Brinkworth, Athlete (Hurdler); Patrick D. Callahan, Air Force (Air
Commodore); Ralph Brooks, Police (Traffic); Ray Danton, Athlete (High
Jumper); Richard Clements, Athlete (Boxer); Ronald Gardner, Hockey (Gold
Medalist – 1960 Rome Olympics); Sydney Green, Athlete (Boxer); Ted Popley,
Police (Traffic); Trevor Snell, Police (SP Punjab); Walter Bonny Bornshin,
Pakistan Polo Player; Waterfield, Army (Colonel, Army Infantry).
To the best of my knowledge, Goans were Indo-Portugese, not Anglo-Indians. As a matter of fact my neighbor in Canada was a Goan and hated the Britts saying “We Goans always pay for what the Britts did in India. Damn the Britts and damn the ignorant Indians who can’t tell between an Indo-Portugese and an Anglo-Indian. Probably they can’t even tell between a Bhangi and a Goanese”.
That’s right, Goans (and not Goanese) were of Indo-Portuguese origin.