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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Annexation of Karachi and Battle of Hyderabad


By Dr. Adnan Zuberi


Corruption of East India CompanyB: Politics between British Establishment and East India CompanyC: Role of Major James Outram and Charles Napier It was the last day of 1600 AD when Queen Elizabeth I granted the Royal Charter to East India Company. EIC was a corporate founded by some rich english merchants. They first establish their trade office in Surat( Gujrat). Later they moved to Madras and Calcutta. British Parliament wants to determine the role of this private trading company. Plassey (1757) and Buxxar(1764), now this company successfully in position to control the wealth of Bihar, Bengal and Orissa. The officers of EIC was corrupt right from beginning. Shah Alam II appointed Lord Clive as Governer and authorised him Tax Collection. Lord Robert Clive was also involved in corruption and transfer his wealth back to england.Clive suffered from mental illness, now thought to be bipolar disorder.  Parliament set a committee to investigate and Lord Clive committed ( allegedly)suicide in his mansion in London Mayfair District, not far from Avon field apptt of Mian Nawaz Sharif.

Lord Clive was famous as The Richest man of Europe.In 1772-1785 Warren Hastings , who joined the EIC as a clerk, served as the first GovernorGeneral of India. He looted the tax money collected from India.In 1787 upon his return to Britain Hastings was impeached by parliament. His trial lasted seven years, the longest impeachment proceedings in history, before – astonishingly – he was acquitted of all charges.Many financial irregularities and mismanagement were noticed with time. Bengal famine is one example. In 1773 then PM Lord North suggested that the company should be managed directly by Crown. Therefore they drafted East India Company Regulating Act. With the passage of time EIC became so powerful that it has his own private Army of 260,000 desi soldiers, almost twice the British Army.The politics between the Parliament and EIC continue and the company slowly and gradually annexing neighboring territories. In 1832 Governer General Lord Ellenborough and Charles Napier decided the annexation of Sindh region, against the wish of establishment of British Crown.

Major James Outram, Outram Road in Karachi which connects Pakistan Chowk to I I Chundrigar road via Haqqani Chowk and James abad sindh is named after him, was against this adventure. But he has to take part in this battle because he was junior to Gen Napier. Later he recieved the medal of bravery. According to Major Outram  the Amirs of Sindh of Hyderabad  and khairpur state were friendly to EIC therefore it was unethical to attack on friends. But General Charles Napier was determined and finally decided  to attack. First they attacked Manora Island and captured Karachi and then  in 1843 the success of Battle of Hyderabad completed his mission. Charles Napier explained that he didn’t want the Ranjit Singh Army to attack the Sindh region. Further more he created the “Fear of Bear”. I mean he want a safe garrison near the NW border of India to combat the Russian forces through Afghanistan. I think Pakistani establishment Inheret the Fear of Bear(Russia) from their Ex Colonial Masters. The annexation of Sindh further sharpen the conflicts between the Westminster ( Parliament) and EICFinally in 1857 The Indian War of Independence began when the people rose against the Company’s rule. It was the most strong retaliation of its time from any colonial people. This revolt was severely mismanaged but after huge blood shed they able to crush the independence movement. Enough is enough In 1858 the British government decided and removed the Company’s powers beginning the era of the Raj as the British Crown took direct control over the territories held by the East India Company


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