Norman- The Man, The Legend



From rocking the 1970s to reaching 70 years of age, this man, the legend, has
played an unimaginable serenading role in transforming the music scene in
Pakistan like no other in his brand of crooning. He is, without an iota of doubt, an
iconic person and the epitome of ‘western music’ phenomenon in Pakistan. He is
And the good thing is, he shares his glorious 70 years this year with
Norman’s contribution to the ‘popular’ variety of music and singing of the 1960s,
1970s and 1980s has been colossal; he is clearly one of the most popular
personalities of his era and continues to mesmerize audiences. As the lead
singer for some of Pakistan’s original live music bands, such as the Moon-Glows,
In-Crowd, Talismen, Keynotes etc; his voice alone could launch a thousand
people tapping their feet at discotheques, clubs and the party-scenes in Karachi.
When singing his favorite songs, his deep penetrating voice, powerful and soul-
searching, is familiar to the vocal chords of legendary artists such as Louie
Armstrong (What a Wonderful World); Frank Sinatra (My Way); Jim Reeves
(Put Your Sweet Lips); Billy Ocean (Caribbean Queen); Engelbert
Humperdinck (Please Release Me) and Tom Jones (Delilah).
Norman was among the first popular musicians to have been interviewed on
television’s mass-appeal ‘Zia Mohyuddin Show’ in the 1970s and also toured
Singapore with the Talismen, playing at the famed Merlin Hotel as the first pop-
band from Pakistan! One of his fans in the Far-East was none other than the
world boxing heavy-weight champion Joe Frazier! (See Picture)
Music and singing keeps him going. His 3-piece band today, including Gerard
Vanderlowen and Clifford Lucas is in great demand throughout Karachi at music
shows, club-evenings, weddings, family gatherings and special occasions. There
is no other group of musicians that can match this trio’s virtuosity in singing the
delightful songs of the golden era of music.
Above all, Norman has been a family man all through his life; his wife Nancy has
stood by him like a rock and his two girls Narissa and Nicole-Ann have made him
proud. I can recall the beautiful rendering of ‘But You Love Me Daddy’ which
Narissa sang as a 6-year old alongside Norman on the guitar. On the other hand,
the 70th birthday party surprise, aptly called “Vintage Dude” by Nicole-Ann was
indeed, very creative, thoughtful and stunning.
Though he is forever performing at some show or the other throughout Karachi,
he is always there in church lending his echoing voice at the daily morning Mass
at 6.30 a.m. and with his Sunday Morning Choir for the 8.00 a.m. service.
God bless you Norman. Keep going.

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Pakistan TV Karachi Shows in 60-70’s


*Raju Jamil*

“Sach Khedoun Aie Barhamin…Gar Tu Bura Na Maanay
Tere Sanam Kadoun Ke Butth Ho Gaye Puranay”

This famous verse of Allama Iqbal had a whole meaning that one of its line was adopted by PTV-Karachi’s GM Aslam Azhar to create a comedy show—the Frost Report of David Frost kind—-in 1969 as “Gar Tu Bura Na Maanay” which had Mohsin Shirazi as it’s “David Frost” supported by a stock cast of four; Zafar Masood, Mohammad Yusuf, Zahoor Ahmed and Shahnaz Ghani (of “BAMBI” child wear outlet since 60’s).

“GAR TU BURA MAANAY” (GTBNM) was hilarious and a parody of many of our customs held during marriages. It was mostly a satire well presented in a formidable style with boxed laughters and sometimes generating a roar of laughter from the viewers of the only network in Pakistan then.

The ongoing golden jubilee year of television in Pakistan…essentially PTV….has many a tales to talk about and remember–from each of it’s several centres which all–produced some most remembered dramas, talk shows and events which remain as infectious as ever. When the private networks will celebrate their golden jubilee—if they reach that point—all people will remember will be advertisements and political battles with no results they were subjected with …every day but never never on Sunday:)

GTBNM…. ran for several weeks and took a break when Aslam Azhar, the Wizard of PTV left for Islamabad on a higher assignment..later becoming the only and ever MD of PTV and later Chairman of PTV and Radio Pakistan. No one has held such combined assignment at Ministry of in Pakistan. Hail Aslam Azhar! He should be awarded NISHAN e Imtiaz on 26th November, 2014 when (or if) the Ministry of information finds time to celebrate such an important event of this wonderful Nation Pakistan. I am certain to have a million “aye’s” on my recommendation above for Aslam Sahab.

GTBNM…..made a come back in 1970-71 with the same name and this time Neelofer Alim Abbasi, Zeenat Yasmine, Qazi Wajid, Shakeel Chughtai, Khurshid Talat and myself were stock artiste and after a few weeks—my friend the producer Ishrat Ansari told us or rather gave us a surprise that the name of GTBNM has been changed to “Sach Jama Jhoot Battaa Dou” (Truth+Lies/2) which was presented before a live audience at the open air stage of Hotel Metropole. The excitement of East and West separation had gripped the Nation and in order to suitably stage a media war against our neighbours…this stage show turned into a satirical one focusing on our enemy….and indeed it was a success that the live audience was jam packed and the regular telecast was keenly awaited or in today’s nomenclature…the “rating” was very good ( I can never understand this anomaly of the word RATING which appears to be too sacred and pious for some of the networks—:) ha ha ha ha ).

GTBNM….from PTV-Karachi will always remain in the minds and memories of those 50+ who saw that beauty of the sitcom and such sitcom can never ever be produced again…..unless it’s sponsored which is one good thing to mess up something great of the last without risk–:)

Thank you Aslam Azhar Sahab, Mohsin Shirazi (where is he? How is he?) and so fondly the late members of the stock cast; Zafar Masood, Zahoor Ahmed, Mohammad Yusuf remembered. RIP all of them. The then viewers who are around these days do thank you for giving them an entertainment worth every second of watching it.

PTV has carved its name so strongly that it needs to continue with its great deeds well mixed with the achievements of past and the new dawn of current era.

“Sach Khedoun Aie Barhamin…
Gar Tu Bura Na Maanay

Tere Sanam Kadoun Ke
Butth Ho Gaye Puranay”

Raju Jamil,
PTV Drama Debut 2nd Dec-1967

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Minwalla and Avari

By Mr. Sam Mehta

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St. Andrew’s Church of Scotland.

By Dr. Sohail Ansari

St Andrew’s Day – 30th November

St Andrew’s Church of Scotland

Andrew the Apostle, also known as Saint Andrew, was the first disciple of Jesus. He was crucified on 30 November 60 AD.A church was built in Karachi in 1868 by the Church of Scotland for the Scottish presbyterian mission in British India and named after him. Its architect was T G Newnham who was a resident engineer of the Sindh Railway. The foundation stone was laid in February 1867 by Robert Napier, Commander-in-Chief of the Army at Bombay. The building was completed the following year at a cost of Rs. 56,300 of which Rs. 25,000 were contributed by the Government. The church is built in gothic with a blend of Romanesque style with arches. The entrance of the church, by means of the octagonal porch, is unusual in its design. The lighting effect is created by the large rose window, which is eighteen feet in diameter. The nave of St Andrew’s is over one hundred feet long and provides seating for 400 people. The Church is located opposite Jehangir Park (Regal Chowk) in Saddar area and its plot measures 13,723 square yards .It was stated in this property document that land of the church would not be sold in any kind of shape even by congregation or government and that it is totally and finally for Christian prayer services. A letter written by Lamhert Major, the then collector to Karachi to the then assistant chaplain W. Middleton vouches for the mentioned fact, ‘That they will bind themselves forever not to erect any building on the ground except the Church alone, no parsonage or dwelling house of any sort except, if necessary, a gatehouse, and not the latter until after the plan has been approved by the Managing Committee (of Karachi Municipality)’.There is a marble cenotaph in the grounds which commemorates the dead of the Highland Light Infantry stationed in Karachi from 1898 to 1899. Pews in the church commemorate tours of duty of the Royal Scots Fusiliers in the 19th and 20th centuries.Brass plaques, on the back wall of the church, list the names of prominent Scots who died here. Lieutenant Colonel John Stewart Cooper of the Sindh Volunteer Rifle Corps in 1909, James David Wilson in 1919 and Agnes Drummond Carstairs in 1935.The following was a report from 1920:

A special service was held in St. Andrew’s Church of Scotland, on Sunday in commemoration of St. Andrew and those Scotchmen who gave their lives in the war. Masons of the local Lodges under the Scottish constitution attended with regalia in a procession. The service was conducted by Rev. C. C. Pitcairn Hill, who preached an eloquent sermon. The band of the Border Regiment assisted in the service. A large collection was taken in aid of the Orphanage for Scottish children at Bombay, and the Lady Dufferin Hospital at Karachi.Generations were also christened at St Andrew’s. The last name in the cradle roll is a David Malcolm Reed who was born or christened on December 20, 1965.It ceased to be their responsibility in 1970 when Pakistan’s protestant churches united to form the Church of Pakistan. However the Scottish church, as it is locally known, is a monument to its former congregation.

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Sind Medical College 1973

By Dr. Sohail Ansari

Army barracks constructed in 1865 got occupied by Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre in 1959. There arose a need for another medical college in Karachi. The search for someone to convert the idea into reality led to Dr Khawaja Muin Ahmed. He was appointed as the head hunted Project Director and the first Principal of Sindh Medical College. SMC started functioning on 7th April 1973 in those army barracks in an old building of paediatric ward. He became a driving force in developing various dimensions of student life in SMC: education, social activities, political activism and students union.Born in Panipat, India, on 26 October 1929, Prof Khawaja Muin obtained MBBS in 1952 from Dow Medical College, securing third position. He proceeded to UK in 1959, completed MRCP in two years and returned to join DMC in 1961 as Assistant Professor of Medicine. In 1965, he served Pakistan Navy as Lt. Commander at PNS Shifa. He was transferred to Liaquat Medical College, Jamshoro, in 1969, before leading the new medical college. Later, he returned back to Dow Medical College and Civil Hospital Karachi where he served as Professor of Medicine. He had a heart attack and whilst awaiting to proceed for a by pass surgery, he passed away on 23th November 1981.The Auditorium of DMC was named and dedicated to him.

(Photo credit: Ghulam Nabi Kazi and thanks to Shah Muhammad Vaquas)

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Faster Than Dust Storms of Karachi

By Menin Rodrigues

Tony CastellinoThank you for sharing this.He was travelling in a railway carriage with his head sticking out of the window and hit an electric pole on a railway platform. He died on the spot. This is not written any whereI heard this from my dad.

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Sir Seth Jehangir Hormasji

By Dr. Sohail Ansari

Sir Seth Jehangir Hormasji Kothari

(Born: 9 November 1857 – Died: 1 November 1934)

His grandfather was Charles Napier’s agent who came to Karachi from Surat. Had basic education at Karachi High School. Karachiites will remember him for his donation of Jehangir Kothari Parade. He was a noted philanthropist.This is how the press reported about him:He devotes his life largely to the welfare of the British Empire. During the war he maintained a large staff at his own expense to conduct patriotic work and contributed £175,000 to the British World War Loan. He has also made large gifts to his native city, Karachi. He has presented the citizens of Karachi with a fine parade, pier, school for the blind, and sanatorium. He is well known in society circles in England, and is an intimate friend of the King and Queen.Sir Jehangir Kothari, the greater portion of whose estate of £150,000, it was disclosed the other day, has been left for the benefit of orphans and the poor and suffering throughout the world, died with every appearance of poverty at Trieste on November 1, 1934.

For years he had been travelling about the globe, and had been round the world nine times. He returned only for the briefest periods to Karachi, where lay the bulk of his property (says the Karachi correspondent of the ‘Daily Mail’), Sir Jehangir was a soured man. Following the death of his only son, and later that of his wife, he developed a dislike for India and Indians, adopting European ways.His eccentricities included the lavish entertainment of friends at famous hotels in London, while he lived in some mean, backstreet boarding-house. First charges on his estate are £30,000 to his son’s widow, annuities totalling about £300 and other family allowances.

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Mules Mansion

By Dr. Saad Bashir

This building has been mentioned before.The family of a boyhood friend of mine lived in an apartment in this building for nearly 40 years – till 1985.On the roof at the seaward corner of the building was a bunker – the remains of which can be seen. Till 1947 it housed a cannon which was supposed to shell any ships attacking Keamari harbour.During WWII, the building functioned as a hospital and therefore was built in such a way that the apartments on both floors were interconnected and if they opened their doors one could walk from one end to the other.The building was named after Charles Mules, the 4th Chairman of the Karachi Port Trust (1902).In July 1947 Yousuf Haroon arranged to rent apartments in this building for 7 Dawn reporters who had migrated to Karachi. My friend’s father was one of them. He later became the founding editor of the Sun newspaper which inaugurated a new era in print journalism in Pakistan.

Let me add to the list of other lumanaries of this building since 1947: Mohammad Ashir (I think he was associate editor of Dawn), Sultan Ahmed (Editor of Daily News and Morning News and a regular contributor to Dawn), M.A. Zuberi (started with Dawn, later founder of Business Recorder), I H Burney (Dawn and Outlook),Minai family who lived there (Ishaq, Suleiman). Pirzada Qasim (the VC of Univ of Karachi and poet) and many more.

  • Edwin FigueiredoThe Architect was Moses Somake2
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The R101 Crash

By Dr. Adnan Zuberi

The ‘Largest Airship’ Destined for Karachi Crashed in France
The Air Disaster which Shook the British Aviation
Karachi was Ready to Welcome the World’s Largest Airship
Mooring Mast for R101 was already build to Receive ( Docking) at Karachi Airport

Lord Thomson were among the unfortunate passengers who killed in crash
Today is the 90th Anniversary of crash of R101.

It was a major set back to British aviation when the airship R101 crashed and burned in France on October 5th, 1930, on its maiden overseas voyage. R101 was headed to Karachi, the Gateway to South Asia, then part of the British Empire as part of a project to serve long-distance imperial routes. Two rigid airships were authorized in this programme, both publicly funded, and effectively in competition with each other.
This airship ( R01 ) was designed and built by an air ministry-appointed team under Lord Thomson, the Labour Secretary of State for Air.
I am going to present some excerpts of an investigation report by ADAM SMITH INSTITUTE.

“”The R101’s trials had not met expectations. Its lift was nearly 3.5 tons lighter than anticipated, and its weight was over 8.5 tons heavier. Moreover, because of much heavier than expected tail surfaces, the ship was nose heavy. The ship was modified as a result, lengthened by 45 ft to add another gasbag, making it the world’s largest aircraft at 731 ft in length. The modifications caused new problems. The hydrogen-filled gasbags could rub against the frame, with risk of tearing, and there were problems with the covering skin.

The ministerial team had made bad decisions in introducing new and untried technology. The diesel engines and the frame were too heavy, and the servo motors that steered the rudder were excessively complicated.. There were too many untested features, and to meet political pressures, the ship was making VIP joyrides before it had been properly tested, and before it had gained an airworthiness certificate.
The R101’s tragic crash in France killed 48 of the 54 people it carried, including many VIPs. Lord Thomson, the Air Minister, died along with senior government officials and most of the Air Ministry’s design team.

The subsequent Enquiry concluded that one or more of the forward gasbags had probably torn, leaking hydrogen and making the ship too nose-heavy for its elevators to correct. On impact the escaping hydrogen had ignited, possibly from a spark, or perhaps from a fire in one of the engine cars that carried petrol for the starter engines. The death toll exceeded that of the later Hindenburg disaster of 1937, and was among the highest of the decade.

It effectively ended Britain’s airship programme. The R100 was grounded and retired, and work was stopped on the planned R102. The Air Ministry concluded, somewhat belatedly, that hydrogen was just too dangerous a material for airships, and stopped all subsequent development, just as the Germans later did after the Hindenburg disaster.It was an unhappy episode, costly in lives, but it ultimately led to safer and less weather-vulnerable passenger aircraft. Airships may make a comeback, probably as heavy lifters for such things as transformers within city construction. They may carry passengers across oceans for luxury flights with bedrooms, restaurants and glittering ballrooms, as zeppelins once did, and just as the Orient Express takes passengers on nostalgic train journeys across Europe. If this happens, it is to be hoped that they will be designed and constructed by private firms rather than by government committees.””
Photos: R101 Docked at Mooring Mast, Flying over Cardington, Bedfordshire , Hanger at Cardington Airfield and Wreckage.

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O.B. Nazareth: The All Time Favorite Teacher.

By Menin Rodrigues

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Mickey Correa: A Karachi Goan Boy Who Became India’s Greatest Jazz Musician

By Menin Rodrigues


28 August 2020

Mickey Correa was born in Mombasa (Kenya) in
1913 before moving to Karachi in 1924 where he spent most of his
childhood, attending St. Patrick’s High School and playing on the
streets of Saddar. His penchant for music and Jazz was evident
from an early age, as he was adept in a range of instruments
(piano, violin, clarinet, banjo, guitar, and accordion). He died on 22
September 2011 in Mumbai.

I had the privilege and honor of interviewing Mickey Correa in Goa
on 28 December 2010.

Music came naturally to him and both Mickey and elder brother
Alex, and their ensemble “The Correa Optimists Band” mesmerized audiences in the swinging Karachi of the early 1930’s. Mickey and his band played at the city’s top night clubs entertaining people and playing alongside some of the great jazz musicians who stopped by in Karachi. His popularity as a master jazz musician spread across the country before All-India Radio Bombay invited him for a recording in 1936. There was no looking back, the Karachi-maestro was offered several opportunities to play in a thriving foxtrot city, and at the Eros Cinema (1936) where he displayed his dexterity in churning out a repertoire of classical and contemporary music. He was destined to be a terrific musician.

After much convincing Mickey and his brother Alex moved from Karachi to Bombay in 1939 where he was fated to make an indelible mark on India’s jazz music scene. Mickey’s band played at the city’s celebrity hotspot, the Taj Mahal Hotel in Colaba, for 21 consecutive years (1939-1960), a record for a single band to have played for so long at one venue. People from all over India and faraway lands came to Bombay to see Mickey perform and dance away into the wee hours of every other new day!
In his interview, Mickey fondly remembers the best years of his life as a budding musician, his time at school and playing on the streets of Karachi, one of the cleanest cities at that time. ©

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The LightHouse Cinema Karachi.

By Dr. Sohail Ansari

Following the arrival of the British, growth in Karachi was regulated as new developments arose. Old parts of the town were Kharadar and Mithadar. Wadhumal quarter, named after a sahukar, was one of the new developments and was well planned for its time. It was populated by rich Hindu merchants and considered modern. At its edge developed the first formal theatre of Karachi, the Parsi Theatre. I am not sure exactly when it was set up but it was one of the four theatres in the city in 1921. The last drama to be staged there was in 1928. The following year it turned into Globe Cinema. It was in 1946 that its name changed to Lighthouse Cinema. The cinema belonged to Memon family of whom Farooq Memon was a doctor qualified from Dow Medical College. His brother Sharfuddin Memon (nicknamed “Bobby”), who qualified as an engineer, owned a construction company.In our youth Lighthouse was famous for Lunda Bazaar on the next street.As you know, the cinema doesn’t exist anymore.

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