Denny’s High School, Rawalpindi of Early 1950’s

By Tariq Masud

Tariq Masud

Tariq Masud

Editor’s Note: Mr. Tariq Masud studied in Denny’s High School Rawalpindi and Gordon College Rawalpindi in 1950’s. He joined Civil Service in 1960 and held many important positions in AJ&K and Federal Governments. He lives in Islamabad after his retirement.

After migrating from Jammu and spending a year in Gujrat, our family moved  to Rawalpindi in 1949. Those days, there were five high schools in Rawalpindi, namely Islamia High School opposite Company Bagh (Liaquat Bagh), Muslim High School in the Banni area, Mission High School near Raja Bazaar, Denny’s High School in Saddar and Cantt Board High School in Lalkurti.

The school, where I was to study was decided by my uncle Haq who was more familiar with Pindi. Denny’s High School, situated on the main Dalhousie Road, at a distance of  more than two miles from Chitian Hatian, where our family lived, was finally selected. Denny’s High School, established in 1861, was managed by a Board of Trustees, which always included a representative of the Bohra community. Bohras were a well-organized, and  prosperous business community, mostly Government contractors, auctioneers and dealers of firearms, who were also active in the social and educational activities of Rawalpindi Sadder.

Denny’s High School, Rawalpindi

Denny's High School Rawalpindi

A view of Denny’s High School Rawalpindi

A view of Denny's High School Rawalpindi

The Head Master

Maulvi Riaz ud Din Sahib Head Master of Denny's High School Rawalpindi in early 1950s.

Maulvi Riaz ud Din Sahib.

Maulvi Riaz ud Din Sahib was the Head Master. There was a consensus that the name of Denny’s High School was synonymous with Maulvi Riazud Di . Maulvi Sahib was of  medium build, had a black rounded beard, wore rimless glasses and was always clad in a white khaddar achkan, white khaddar Aligarh pajamas, a white khaddar turban and canvas shoes or wooden sandals (Kharraon). He taught us English or any other subject where the regular teacher was not available that day, but we daily interacted with him at the morning Assembly, or at the time of opening and closing of the school, when he would be standing near the main school gate, watching boys arriving or leaving. Whenever there was an unusual noise or shouting by the students, he would suddenly and stealthily appear at the scene. Besides being fully involved in the academic life of the school, Maulvi Sahib in his unique method gradually and methodically drilled in our minds the basic concepts of morality and essential practices for leading a responsible and principled practical life. No other ordinary school, I dare say, would have even thought to teach their students such “Out of the course” lessons.

Headmasters of Denny's High School Rawalpindi from 1944 to 1987

(Editor: Photo of board contributed by Lt Col (R) Zahid Mumtaz on 29 June 2015. His father was also Head Master during 1954-56).

How to Operate a Telephone



Maulvi Riaz ud Din Sahib demonstrated to the boys of 9th and 10th class, how to correctly make, and receive a telephone call. A telephone was placed on a table in the open and boys made to stand in a queue nearby. Turn by turn, students would approach the telephone set and were instructed how to dial a number and what to say when the phone was picked up at the other end (obviously by a close associate of  Maulvi Sahib). This part over, the boys, by turn, were then required to lift the receiver as the phone rang and say the right thing; not merely go on repeating the word “Hello” but state the number of the phone he was holding and his name. This exercise would go on for a week and then once again after six months.


Maulvi Sahib exposed the boys to the essentials of a Picnic. Twice, he himself lead and took our class for a picnic to Khanna/Rawalan. Pedaling a bicycle himself, he would lead the group of about 25-30 students, who rode either single or double on a bicycle, each carrying his own food. A couple of outdoor games like rubber rings, cricket bats & balls, ludo and playing cards were taken along. Maulvi Sahib would become informal on such occasions. He would narrate interesting anecdotes and encourage the boys to do the same.

Unsupervised Store

The most impressive and lasting of  Maulvi Sahib’s initiatives was managing an unsupervised store in the school. A small consumer goods store containing toffees, gums, biscuits,  pencils, copies, etc were placed on tables in a school room with tags indicating price of each item. A money collection box was placed next to the goods. Students wanting to buy would turn by turn enter the room, pick up what they wanted and were supposed to drop the right price into the money-box. This exercise continued, every day for an hour or so, for about a month. Before this venture started, Maulvi Sahib spent couple of sessions with each class, explaining the purpose of establishing the store and hoping that the boys will act with responsibility and honesty.

The sale proceeds on the first day of the store, to the best of my memory, were about 70-75% of the indicated sale price. During the morning Assembly on subsequent days, Maulvi Sahib would say few words of encouragement and a few words of admonishment to the boys participating in the operation of this store. In a few days time the recovery rose to 90-95%. If I remember correctly the recovery rate finally went up to 98% .

Corporal Punishment

Maulvi Sahib would sometimes lose patience with habitual offenders. His style of giving corporal punishment was a thapparr (Slap) on the cheek. While doing so, he would raise his hand in a concave shape, and confront the offender to deny or confess his offence, even if he had to repeat the allegation ten times. And then, if the allegation was not denied by the boy, blast! Came the thapparr, right on the boy’s left cheek.

I remember seeing Maulvi Sahib sprinting after a boy and while doing so, throwing  his sandals targeting the boy or violating Rule of “No Go Area “ to a part of  school ground which had a day before been watered.

Preparation for the Board Examination

All 10th class students were required to shift to the school hall a month prior to the Board’s Matriculation Examination. We brought our own bedding and spread them in rows in the school hall. We studied the whole day, only one or two regular classes were held, rest of the time we spent in revising the course, seeking guidance from the teachers, most of whom were available round the clock during that one month. Maulvi Sahib himself stayed in the school premises all the time.

He would walk into the hall at subha-e-kazib, whispering, “Jago! Utho!, Subah ho rahi hai”. The boys were allowed to go home at mid day and return to the school after a couple of hours with a parcel of their evening meals.

School Performance

The School performed extremely well in the Board examinations. It was not only the percentage of the students passing, but also, the number of first divisioners as a percentage of the total boys appearing in the examination.

The School had excellent sports standards. Our hockey and cricket teams were one of the best in the Board. I can recall names of at least four cricketers who later played test /first class cricket for Pakistan . These were Khalid curly, the spinner (who got tremendous thrashing from Dennis Compton during 1954 U.K. tour), Khurshid, a member of Pakistan team on Indian tour in early 1950’s scored a century in the opening encounter against Indian Punjab at Amritsar. Munir Malik, a medium fast bowler and Mahmood,a left arm spinner were my class fellows who played  couple of test matches each for Pakistan. Tahir Saith, Mumtaz Shah, Naeem Quraishi, Aqil Mirza and Khawaja were the Hockey stalwarts

Another view of Denny’s High School Rawalpindi

Another view of Denny's High School Rawalpindi

The Famous James

It was usual for me and many others to start walking to the school very early in the morning; during December & January when it was still dark and foggy. A heavy school bag around the shoulder and a tiff-in carrier with lunch in one hand, I would cover the distance of more than two miles in under an hour and then the same drill was repeated on my way  back from the school. My mother who daily witnessed this exercise must have been instrumental in convincing my father about the pressing need and the decision to buy a bicycle for me. It was mid 1951 and the prices of bicycles (all British makes) to the best of my memory were as follows:-


Famous James bicycle

Famous James bicycle.

The Famous James

The Famous James monogram.

Raleigh & Rudge more than Rs. 200 a piece, BSA Rs. 170,  Hercules Rs. 150  and Phillips Rs. 140. Problem was that all these brands were full size bicycles and my legs were not long enough to fully reach the pedals.  A brand not so well-known, “The Famous James” offered a slightly smaller size bicycle. This beautiful bicycle was selling at Rs. 175. So “Famous James” it was that was bought and I became the proud owner of a first class new bicycle. Not only did I use it to go to the school, but also used it to make extensive explorations. Once a week I used to have an hour and a half’s recess, I fully utilized this opportunity to explore various parts of Rawalpindi Cantt e.g. Lal Kurti, Tanch Bata,  22 No Chungi, Westridge, Dalhousie Road, Edwards Road, Canning Road, etc.

My Class Fellows and Friends

From among my class fellows and contemporaries many rose to prominence. Dr Abdul Khaliq was the best student of his time. He took the first position in the Board Matriculation Examination, earned a MRCP from UK and, distinguished himself in the field of medicine but soon joined politics. He was elected as a MPA on PPP’s ticket from Rawalpindi and became Finance and Senior Minister, Punjab. A.R. Siddiqui, not known to me then, became my boss as Chief Secretary AJK and a close friend.

Initially, when I used to walk to the school, it was Fazal Rehman, also a resident of Chittian Hattian, who accompanied me. His family had migrated from Bihar and he had staunch anti India sentiments. He wore shorts but always with a Jinnah cap. I also made friends with Azad Mirza who lived in Workshopi Mohalla but played hockey with me in the afternoon. Friendship with Azad has lasted for more than 50 years He had a chequred career. He was with me in the FSc class at Gordon College, joined Army but was withdrawn from Kakul. Then he, engaged himself in various business ventures, was prosperous at times and penniless at other times. He made many wrong decisions in life, the  last being choice of a wrong surgeon for his Spinal surgery . He is permanently bed ridden now.

Yahya Khizar was with me in School and then in Gordon College. In the Punjab University, he studied Economics while I was in Law college. He competed for CSS and was allotted Military Lands & Cantonments Service. We have remained friends till today. There were several others I came to know. Ahmad Salim a timid and gentle fellow always reminded us that he had lost his mother. Javed Fazal, very energetic and naughty would not spare anyone from his mischief. We were in those days prescribed a Mathematics course book, named “Miftah-ul-Riazi”. A girl named Riazi was his neighbor and he would tease her endlessly, on the pretext of  the name of the text-book. Once his mother came to the school to inquire about his performance. We made him feel embarrassed on that account and gave his victims a chance to get square with him. There was Amjad, the bully who was very fond of showing off his jackets and talking about his boxing prowess. He once punched me with what he called his experimental upper cut. It hurt me but I could not retaliate. Nusrat and Ishrat, sons of “Khan Brothes” the leading wine merchants became my relations many years later. Rehman and Hameed the two brothers from an industrialist family, Amir Alam Pathan, Khawaja of Paper Agency, Mansoor and Mushir Anwar Siddiqui of Railway line bridge fame were my other notable class mates.

A closer look of Denny’s High School Rawalpindi

A closer look of Denny's High School Rawalpindi

Pandit Shoka

Shok, a seat fellow in 10th class was popularly known as Pandit Shoka, rhyming it with Pandit Koka, the legendary author of  Kok Shaster, one of the world’s leading manuals on sex. Shok added volumes of knowledge to my and many other classmates’ meager knowledge of sex. In fact he was unanimously acclaimed by the class as a teacher on the subject. Once or twice he was caught red-handed with pornographic material and had to rub his nose in dust, begging assurance that the matter would not be brought to the notice of Maulvi Sahib.


Among the teachers, Master Misri Khan, was the second master. He was a competent, serious and a kind person. Master Majeed a dandy person who dressed in smartly stitched suits claimed he was the third master, though it was never officially recognized. He had sketchy knowledge of his subject and resented questions from students. He could flare up on a small pretext. He would threaten his potential victim by warning, “I will beat the hell out of you, beat you beyond recognition even by your mother” or “I will keep on kicking you– out of the class room and then further kick you up to the top of that pipal tree and would not allow you to come down till your father arrives”.

Master Sharif Sahib was an excellent and popular teacher. He acted more like a friend and a counselor. He taught us Mathematics.

He had coined many funny sounding terms to admonish trouble makers in the class. “Bhootan Mutanjan” and  “Kaluntum Niarri” were two of his often repeated terms. In 1986, when I was serving Government off Pakistan in Islamabad, I went to his house seeking his blessings to coach my two daughters Sara & Sabin in Mathematics. He very kindly obliged and the girls obtained good marks in the Matriculation Examination,

Maulvi Nasim Sahib was the Islamiyat teacher and youthful Zeeshan the science teacher. While teaching us Islamiyat, Nasim Sahib was once describing the correct Ruku posture and stated, “Prophet’s back in Ruku was so level that if a cup full of water was placed on his back, even a drop would not spill”. Fazal-e Akbar, brother of Maj Gen Jamal Dar who was a simpleton and blunt Pathan interjected, “Like Zawia Qaima?” Maulvi Nasim Sahib lost his temper on hearing this example and beat him mercilessly, continuously shouting “Nabi ki kamar –e-mubarik  aur Zawia Qaima? Rasulallah’s back and Zawia Qaima.?” We always reminded Fazal-e- Akbar of this incident, when he was in Gordon College and  still later when he was a Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Haj.


On an Eid day in mid 1970’s, I took the initiative of paying a visit to Maulvi Riaz-ud-Din Sahib in his  house in Bhoosa Mandi, Rawalpindi Sadder. Conscience of the fact that there was almost nil chance of his recognizing me, I went all the same, basically to offer my dutiful reverence to the great man who had played a dominant role, in shaping my attitude towards life. I found Maulvi Sahib, much more shriveled and with snow-white hair, teaching Mathematics to a small girl in his court-yard.


I wish to acknowledge the herculean effort made by my friend Khawaja Jamshed Ahmad Manto in locating Maulvi Riaz-ud-Din Sahib’s son-in-law and obtaining from him, a copy of Maulvi Sahib’s photograph.

Editor: Here is a rare photo of Denny’s High School’s Class of 1933. Photo contributed by Lt Col (R) Zahid Mumtaz. His father Sh. Mohammad Mumtaz was Head Master of Denny’s High School during 1954-56.

Denny's High School, Rawalpindi, Photo of Matriculation Class, 1933Denny's High School, Rawalpindi, Names of Matriculation Class, 1933

Related Pages:
Nostalgic Articles about Rawalpindi 
Photos of Rawalpindi 
Rawalpindi Memorabilia
Nostalgic Memories of Rawalpindi

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  1. Wasim Ahmad says:

    Dear Mr. Tariq Masood,
    My name is Wasim Ahmad and I have retired from the Pakistan Navy. I presently live in Islamabad. My compliments to you Tariq Saheb for a wonderful write up on Denny’s High School, Rawalpindi. I passed my matric exam from the Denny’s school in 1954. My batch (the ‘D’ section of class 10 of 1954) had the unique privilege of having been taught all subject by Maulvi Riazuddin Saheb . The ‘D’ section had come into being due to a serious disapproval, on moral grounds, by Maulvi Saheb of the tuition centre Malik Misri Khan had opened. Of course having no legal powers to dissuade Malik Misri Khan, Maulvi Saheb decided to demonstrate what an honest dedicated teacher can achieve without making money. So he collected all the weakest students ( barring a very small number – only 2, of good ones) from all the three sections and formed a ‘D’ section. For the next two years it was Maulvi Saheb and us, the wretched students in the ‘D’ section. There were no summer vacations for us, no Ramazan routine (we were required to report at the school straight after ‘sehri’), We did not even have sundays . At that time most of us must have been cursing Maulvi Saheb for the miserable time we were having. But at the matric exam. (it was Punjab University exam then) out of roughly 50 students, about 36 of us got first divisions, 10 got second divisions, and 3 or 4 remaining got third division. No one failed. Now when I remember that, there is nothing but deep gratitude for Maulvi Saheb in my heart. May Allah rest his soul in the greatest peace in the heavens.
    In later years when many of us had reached high positions, whenever we happened to be in Rawalpindi; a small group would gather to pay our respects to the great headmaster. On one such occasion ,one of us (the Late Zakir Hussain Sayyad) very lovingly reminded Maulvi Saheb : Maulvi Saheb angrezi ke period main aap se bohot maar kkhaee hai. And the great Maulvi very affectionately retorted ” Baita phir angrezi main tou sari umar kabhi maar nahin kkhaee hogi”
    I very much look forward to a grand reunion of the Dennysians if u are working for one.

    • SAT GOEL says:

      I was in the school from 1938 to 1947 and was a student of Master Riaz u Din. Still remember him and his discipline. This helped us to lead a good life.

  2. Nisar Ahmed says:

    I have been out of touch for quite some time. Our dialogue between Yaqub sahib and Rafique sahib has somehow been interrupted. How good would it be if we could revive exchage of posts.

    Nisar Ahmed

    • SAT GOEL says:

      Nisar Ahmed Sahib,

      I was at Denny’s upto 1947 when I was in the 10th class with Mr Anup Chand Nanda as our headmaster.

      I suggest for your consideration a union of our alumni from all over the world. It will be great gathering from various parts of the world, different age groups and different backgrounds in terms of qualifications. It could be held in Nov/ Dec, 2016.

      I live in Delhi, India. I am 85 years old. I am an elect engr with management studies at IIMA and HBS. I worked at an Indian MNC and at the World Bank in Washington DC. Ready to join Denny’s reunion.

      Best regards,

      SAT GOEL

    • Muhammad Yaqub says:

      My Dear Nisar sb.,
      Thanks for remembering. I could not follow regularly for long. Hope you and family are fine. I always pray for pindi wals, my teachers and elders of the city.
      My regards,

  3. malik nisar awan says:

    my name is malik nisar awan and i studied dennys high school from 1980t to 1985 and i passed my matric exame in 1985 at that time shiekh ishaq sb my school principal my classfellows col waqas maj faheem amjed kiani advocate iqbal shah ilyas gias ahmed famous crickter arshed ismaeel

  4. Nisar Ahmed says:

    As always, it attracted my full concentration in journey to the past corridors.

    I had an exchange of a few mails with Yaqub sb and Rafique sahib. Somehow, I have lost track of Yaqoob sb who never wrote back since my last email to him. Can he renew this series?

    We all owe our special gratitude to the Editor whose efforts in highlighting Dennys School are magnificient. It is an authentic record for the future generations, narrated by those who lived in that era.
    Keep it up.
    Nisar Ahmed

  5. Mehtab Nazir Ahmed says:

    i studied in Denny’s School from 1982-92. Unfortunately, i lost whereabouts of all friends and class fellows. Our principal was Master Ishaq who was also a very dedicated, kind and professional teacher. He used to make us sit for extra hours for studies / exam preparations without any extra fee.

  6. A beautifully written article and a remembrance of ones teachers and childhood!

    Mr. Muhammad Mumtaz, one of the Headmasters listed on the board, a renowned educationist, was my uncle.

  7. Ainee Malik says:

    I have scanned copy of Master Riaz-uddin Sahib’s letter and post card sent to my father. Want to share with you all but there is no option for me to upload an image. Respected Editor, please let me know how to upload an image here?

  8. Ch. Muhammad Yaqub, Karachi says:

    Dear Tariq Masood Sb.,
    I read your post and Rafique Ahmad Khan’s about Rawalpindi and this reminds me a peaceful city. We lived at DAV College Road (now Ghazi salahuddin Road). I studied at Model High School, Bhoosa Mandi which was established under patronage of Moulvi Riazuddin Saheb (R.A). Qazi Ghulam Jilani (RA) was Head Master when school was upto middle and thereafter when status was changed to High School Qazi Razaur Rahman (RA) was Head Master. Moulvi Saheb used to teach Mathematics during Summer vacations. He also established a boarding School, Sehgal Model School in Chakwal area. Qazi Raza ur Rahman was also a very close relative of Moulvi Riazuddin and lived in the compound of Moulvi Riazuddin (called ahaata).
    Naseer Bunda (hero of hockey at Rome Olympics) was a student of Denny’s High School and his three brothers were students of our school. They played hockey for our school and won titles, although school has no playground. The best thing I still remember is that Head Masters (Niaz Tirmizi, Muslim School, Habibur Rahman, Faiz ul Islam School, Khawaja Obaidur Rahman, Islamia School) had close link with our teachers and keen to share the academics and sports enviously.
    If you can share the contact of daughter of Moulvi Saheb, I shall be obliged.
    Please keep on refreshing memories.

  9. Syed Fazal Abbas says:

    Very nice article! I was at Denny’s High School from 1982 to 1989.

    • My Name is Mirza Kashif begg and I was also in this school from 1985 to 1989 Science group with Teacher Rab Nawaz

  10. Shahid Tofiq, Singapore says:

    I am Shahid Tofiq and studied in Denny’s High School from 6th till passed 1oth (section A) in 1993, looking forward to classmates and their contacts.

  11. Ainee Malik says:

    Respected Tariq Sahib,
    May I have any email address or contact number of Molana Riaz ud Din Sahib’s daughter, please?

  12. Nisar Ahmed says:

    This is with specific reference to Tariq Masud Sahib’s description of the bridge (Phurianwala Pull) connecting Saddar with Gawalmandi. We lived in Babu Mohalla and used to frequently shuttle to and fro Raja Bazar via this route. I remember, perhaps during 1955, some fifty persons lost their lives when they were suffocated between the side walls of the bridge on the Saddar side trying to negotiate the stairs. The walls also collapsed resulting in injuries to many more.

    Mr. Ali Zaman, who was a senior officer of National Bank Kirpa Ram Compound (Bank Road) was also amongst the dead. I remember that Mr. Zaman was renowned to have won first prize of around Rs.5,000/- in Shama Moimma (quiz) a popular hobby of the yester years. This amount should be equivalent to about 3-4 million of the current value.

    This is from my memory as a child and may amuse many.

    My gratitude to Tariq sahib for taking us to the Denny’s School of olden times.

    • muhammad yaqub says:

      Dear Nisar,

      Your memory is lively.
      It was on the night of 23rd March, 1956 when the wall of bridge collapsed and tragedy gloomed over the city after celebrations of Islamic Republic Day ( PROMULGATION OF 1956 CONSTITUTION ). There was on interesting thing that boys used to cross the bicycles on a charge of 2 paisas from one end to the other to facilitate the bike owners. With the passage of time beggars, palmist, quakes occupied the steps and messed up.
      It used to be fun having a look on steam engines puffing, and trains coming up and down.
      I studied at Model High School Bhoosa Mandi for 5 years so this was the route. Only when closed after collapse of wall we shifted to under pass at Gowalmandi near army clothing depot. At Babu Mohalla one of my class mates ( from Golra ) had famous milk shop.

      Muhammad Yaqub

      • Nisar Ahmed says:

        My dear Yaqoob sahib,

        Your post took me to the later part of 50’s and it is always so heartening to think of a clean, peaceful, cool, green and elegent Rawalpindi. Some other memories of those times…

        Rawalpinidi Railway station used to be a recreation resort which cost a platform ticket worth an Anna. Like you said there were attractions of shunting/fuming steam engines moving too and fro, “up” and “down” trains arriving at and departing from different platforms and short-lived movement of the passengers coming to the town and moving out. It was all very fascinating for myself and children of my age. On the Railway Station, there was also a ” Shama” Bookstall at platform No.3, where we proudly purchased “Bachon ki Dunya”, Lahore, “Khilona” Delhi and perhaps “Taleem o Tarbiat”, regularly.

        Out of the historic railway station building, one could watch the only metropolitan transport of those days-tongas, plying between the station and other city destinations. This vintage, horse driven ride was a sure and disciplined means of transport; no finacial exploitation, no mauling of passengers, a modern day characteristic, especially of wagon and taxi runners.

        You studied in Model School Bhoosa Mandi. Which year was it? My younger brother Tariq was also there in the late sixties. Did you know that the school does not exist anymore?

        We can exchange some more memories in the days to come. Such an exercise can help build a first hand record of the city history.

        I matriculated from Denny’s High School and have been sharing my experiences and expressions of my school at this site during the past.

        My kind regards to you and my Rawalpindi contemporaries.


        • SAT GOEL says:

          There was a mention of the railway station. It was and still is an imposing building and the platforms used to be very neat and tidy. My father was a station master before 1947 and I used to regularly visit this place. Bang opposite was the DS office and bungalows for railway officials.

          • Nisar Ahmed says:

            Dear sir,

            Yes those buildings are still there and it is always nice to pass through the railway estate. However, with the enormous population growth over the past fifty years or so and the resultant increase in the mechanised traffic, one cannot expect this place to be exactly the same as it used to be. The railway station is as elegant as before with its same vintage look.



        • muhammad yaqub says:

          My Dear Nisar,
          Thanks for reply. Excellent you follow the things regularly. I passed out from Model High School in 1959. Some of my class fellows living in sadar area were Iftekharuddin ( grandson of Moulvi Riazuddin sb) , Naeem ul Haq ( photo shop ),
          Javed ahmad khan,hockey players Munir Ahmad ( Naseer Bunda’s brother), Khalid Kamal, Ahmad Zubair, and Fazal, Umer Khan, Qamar uz zaman, Salmanul Moazzam ( later joined Radio Pakistan ). Last time when I visited the streets, the school was no more, only a black board was on the wall of nearby house. Do you know if school is functioning at some other location or merged. There was an office of Boy Scouts Association nearby, school children were motivated join as members.
          The school had no ground so we were taken by PT master Raza to Dawn Hotel, adjacent to Capital Cinema. Kaleem ul Haq and Waseem ul HAQ ( sons of Proprietor of Dawn Hotel ) were also my class mates.
          Master Abdul Aziz ( Urdu / persian ) Qazi Ghulam Jilani, Altaf sb ( Maths Teachers ) are laways in my prayers. The school at that time was always trying hard to win Hockey and have students on toppers list. Extra classes were conducted without any extra charges.

          Arshad Butt ( his father Sh. Inayatullah Butt was a member of Cantt Board ) and Akhlaq ( Kasmir Hardware ) were also my class mates. Living in the past rekindles lovely people ( may Allah bless them all ) who have some contribution to the making of a man.

          We saw cool drinking water machines installed at Railway stations which was an added attraction.
          In 1961 exhibition train was parked at Rawalpindi railway station and opened to the public. There for the first time we saw live television operating, a start of new era. Then another science exhibition 9 atom for peace programme by USA ) off Islamia School Murree Road where for the first I saw the solar cells.
          At Eid Mela in Liaquat Bagh where Circus, live theatre ( by Inayat Bhatti ) and different types of rides were piece of attraction and amusement for about two weeks.

          Kind regards,

          • Nisar Ahmed says:

            Dear Yaqub sahib,

            You really took me on a round to past and it was so exciting to recollect those days.

            I did not know about the exhibition held in Islamia School, but do remember a road-side nuclear exhibition that was organised somewhere near the current location of PC hotel. I do not recall in which year, but I was then not eligible to enter the tents without being escorted by an elder. So I requested a visitor for help and he obliged. I did not understand a pixel of what was on display but thought everything was astounding.

            My father used to run a shop opposite to the present Kashmir Paints; remember
            S.A. Khaliq Watch Store? He also had his business share in Capitol Cinema for some time. I and my younger sister would watch every old Indian movie regularly and repeatedly. We had been instructed to watch the movies from the gallery, but would wonder why couldn’t we enjoy the “12 Anne wali class”- the front section rows were known as. Another attraction was to have a free ride on a tonga which my father would hire for the publicity of movies displayed in the cinema.

            Of the names you mentioned! I had a close interaction with Ikhlaq bhai and a brief one with Salman sahib, when he was in Radio Pakistan and I had gone to him for narrating a short story on air. I would though hear about him occasionally from his friends, Muntazir Abbas Naqvi and some of his other class fellows. Ikhlaq bhai is in USA these days as I learnt from his son when I went to their shop a couple of weeks ago.

            What have you been doing in your life sir and where are you living?



            • muhammad yaqub says:

              My Dear Nisar saheb.,

              Thanks for reply which connected me closer.

              I joined Govt Degree College Said puri Road after matriculation from Model High School in 1959. I was the monitor of my class. After matric exam our Head Master Qazi Razaur Rahman ( RA ) called me to teach and use the library. As a child then this was disgusting not to enjoy free time, but later on my grooming of those few days is still with me. I pray always for my teachers. After passing my inter in 1961 I moved to Karachi and worked for Pakistan Refinery for four decades. Post retirement I work as a consultant on my expertise earned during my career. We still own a small house at DAV college Road as my mother did not allow us to displace her from Rawalpindi. So I remained connected to the soil.
              Hope this brief speaks volumes.

              I have in mind your shop. Then I believe you knowing Jaffer ( my class mate ) as his father also had a shop. Then I mentioned about my class mate Ghulam Rabbani ( not Jilani as mentined earlier. His father had milk shop in Babu mohalla ad they belong to Golra.

              I asked about relocation of Model High School. Are you connected to Salman. Can you get me the address of Salman and Akhlaq.

              Please feel free to ask me anything from Karachi.

              Prayers and regards,


              • Nisar Ahmed says:

                My dear Yaqub sahib,

                Good to know about you.

                Yes teachers like you had are the real architects of the nation. May Allah reward them for their astounding contributions.

                I may be able to identify Jaffer if you could tell me about the name of the shop his father used to run.

                I have no contact of Salman sahib, but shall post to you Akhlaq’s address after I go to Sadar one of these days. I shall try to find out and tell you if Bhoosa Mandi Model School still exists at a different location. I am also an old Kohsarian and studied in Government College Ashgar Mall between 1965 and 1967 for my Masters in Economics.

                Yes I clearly recall Ghulam Gilani. His father Ghulam Rabbani (Malik Bani) with his other son Multan used to run their milk shop in Babu Mohalla on the GF on the same building in which we lived. Incidentally, my grand parents also belong to the same village.

                I do not visit Karachi very often these days but shall make it a point to call on you whenever I happen to be there.

                Stay blessed and pray for us.

                My regards,


                • Muhammad Yaqub says:

                  My dear Nisar sb.,

                  You mentioned about kohsaians, that reminds me of teachers G.Ahmad,principal, Noor ud din maths, zafar Ahmad chemistry, M.A.Qureshi, Saeed sb English hafiz Nasim Arabic, Yamin accountan,Amin Qureshi proctor and PTI. you may have seen them as your period is near. All were excellent,ardent people. My prayers for all.
                  Pakistan book depot was the place where our teachers used to sit for a while. About the business of jafer’s father I am not clear. One old man haji sb with a type writer used to sit on your or some other shop is in my mind. He used to type applications and documents etc. then a dry fruit shop at the corner. One of my mates was Muhammad Ali who started tailoring.
                  Balbir singh was also a student of our school who used to live at gurdwaras near paradise hotel owned by Akhlaq family.

                  My prayers an regards


                  • Nisar Ahmed says:

                    Asalam o alaikum,

                    Thanks for your mail sir.

                    Since we were in the Economics department, I cannot recollect interaction with any of the teachers you have mentioned, except G. Ahmad sahib, whom I had once met a couple of years before I got admitted in the college. He was said to have a queer habit of washing hands every time after he touched an object or shook hands with someone. In our times a Mathematics teacher used to be the college Principal; I am not sure if it was Noor uddin sahib.

                    You mentioned Pakistan Book Depot. There was this long bearded owner sitting on the front counter, talking at a fast pace. All our school days, we purchased text as well as note books (copies) and other stationery items from this store. During our Primary classes, we also bought holders with G, I and Z nibs from there. It was difficult to write with this hardware as it did not facilitate a fluent writing. Yet a fairly good hand writing, that most of our generation has, may be by virtue of these tools. Later on, a new outlet by the name of New Pak Depot was also established in front of this shop but never gained popularity amongst the students.

                    The Haji sahib you mentioned typing out applications, was Haji Khalil sahib whose rental furniture shop was adjacent to my father’s. However, he did not have a son by the name of Jaffer. I know all his three sons. Two of them, Abdul Rehman, an NBP officer and one nicknamed Makki have died. The youngest, Ehsan who was my friend, is living. The poor clan faced a tragedy some twenty five years ago when their house located on the corner of Urdu Bazar collapsed, resulting into the death of over a dozen family members. The disaster was reported in the newspapers; therefore you may have known about it.

                    Memories keep re-kindling with the mention of small occurrences and incidents that we have been through, experienced or observed. And they have an archive value. Good, these are being recorded for the coming generations and our own children to relish and learn from.

                    Kind regards,


  13. Salams,
    I want to knw about my father Seth Mazhar Husain Khas hockey player. He studied at Dennny’s High School and at Gordon College. My dada ws famous as khas master in Denny’s High School. Plz I really wn to knw anythng, he left us when I was 6 years old.

    • Tariq Masud says:

      I knew Seth Tahir who played hockey; was one of the best forwards I have ever seen. I also knew Najam uddin Seth who was Tahir’s cousin and my class fellow. I have passed on your query to my friend Naeem Quraisi who played hockey for Denny’s High School as well as Gordon College and asked him to throw some more light on the subject.

  14. Nisar Ahmed says:

    It is for Rafique Khan sahib in particular.
    I am Nisar Ahmed and did my Matric from Denny’s High School in 1961.
    What interests me is that my father Late Abdul Khaliq also did his Secondary School in 1935 and so you should be his contemporary or class fellow. Can you recall him? It will be wonderful if you could recollect some of your experiences with my father. Abajee used to tell us about Bawa Mota Singh whom I had always perceived to be your Headmaster during that period. Moulvi Naseem Sahib was yet another teacher, who was 25 years later, my teacher also.
    I shall be anxioulsy looking forward to your reply, sir.

    • Rafique Ahmed Khan says:

      Dear Mr. Nisar Ahmed Saheb,
      I studied in the Denny’s High School during 1931 to 1935 (Class 1 To 5). Was your respected father in the same cadre as mine. By the way where was your residence in Pindi? I may recollect something to your interest.
      Thanking you,

      • Nisar Ahmed says:

        Dear sir,
        Thanks for the reply. My late father did his Matric in 1935 ; so he should have joined the school somewhere in the late twenties. As a student he used to travel (on foot) from Maira Jaffar, a village near Golra, now in G-12 sector of Islamabad. He later on shifted to Babu Mohallla where myself and my three siblings were born.
        It will be of great interest for me to know about you sir.

        • Rafique Ahmed Khan says:

          Dear Mr Nisar Ahmed Saheb
          I wanted to know the name of your Late father, which you did not mention. This may help me recollect my memory if he was my class fellow.
          With Blessings,

  15. Khalil Ahmed says:

    Plz all of you give comments on Malik Noor Muhammad, Canteen owner, he is providing his services since 1963 till today. He is a very kind and honest man.

    • Ayaz Akhtar says:

      I studied in Denny’s High School from 1975 till 1983. I remember the Canteen was run by SETH, not Malik Noor Muhammad who at that time used to sell “DAAL SAVIAN” on a hand cart, later after the death of Seth he took over the Canteen. I last met Malik Noor Muhammad some where in 2001 or 2002.

  16. Sat Goel says:

    I was a student of Denny’s High School from 1938 to 1947 when we left for India. In 1947, the Headmaster was Mr Anup Chand Annanda. Before him was Bawa Moti Singh. Master Riaz-ud-Din was senior most teacher who ensured that we were a disciplined lot.

    I visited the school early this month when I was invited to a conference in Islamabad. I was given a visa for Rawalpindi so that I could visit my home and my school. I was very well received and shown around. I have come back with great memories.

    • Yash Pal POberoi says:

      Goel Sahib,
      I was student of Denny’s High School from 1st to 5th class before leaving in 1947. You were lucky to visit again the school and home. We lived in Saddar, 1725 Saddar Bazar (Probably at Gali Sita Ram). Now I am at Delhi, I have always been dreaming of visiting Pindi, but only satisfied by seeing these sites. Shall welcome to communicate with any other from school around that period. In primary, I adore strict master Gulzar.

      • SAT GOEL says:

        I am also in Delhi. After leaving Rawalpindi in 1947, I was able to visit in 1989 on a Rotary Exchange Programme and then again in 2014 as an HBS group to attend a seminar. Both times I went to my school and was well received and shown around. We lived in Nazir Street in Saddar near the Capital Cinema and Saddar Police Station.

        • Yash Pal POberoi says:

          Goel Sahib,
          I remember the area very well, as my father worked in Capital theater as an accountant. Wish we could meet in Delhi. My name Yash Pal and contact- 9958849798.
          Call me,

          • SAT GOEL says:

            It was very nice talking to you about Denny’s High School and Rawalpindi. Hope to meet you one of these days.

            • Ainee Malik says:

              My father (Safdar Mahmood Malik) has also been a student of Denny’s High School Rawalpindi in 1940s. Moalana Riaz-ud-din was his teacher. It feels me very very nice to hear from people who belong to Denny’s High School. I will try to bring post cards on this forum from Moalana Riaz-ud-din Sahib sent to my father very very long ago.

              • Great to hear from you. I was also a student of Master Riaz u Din in the 9th and 10th class. Looking forward to seeing your photos.

  17. Very absorbing and refreshing to read the account.

  18. A wonderful read. Very articulate with an absorbing narrative. I lived in Rawalpindi much later, in 80’s and 90’s, but find the description of Danny’s school and the people in it extremely interesting. Looking at Maulvi sahib’s picture I can see the grace and dignity that he taught his students. You are lucky to have had teachers like him.

  19. Mushir Anwar says:

    Dear Tariq Masud,
    As far as I can recall master Sharif Sahib taught us English, not Maths, but then who taught Maths? I can’t recollect. There was a tall man with a black French beard who joined the school staff late in the years who taught us Maths and also invited students to his house for extra help but I can’t recall his name.

    What was the name of that very interesting man, our mustachioed PT master? He was replaced by an Army Havildar. “kheri na pichkur sakht, maal godaam band!” was his favourite caution, do you remember?

    You referred to my ‘railway bridge fame’, what was that please? I can’t recall. You forgot to mention Al-Riaz, the school magazine that was started during our time, and the school exams without invigilation. Then Mauvi Riaz-ud-Din Sahib used to live in a narrow lane off Chota Bazaar that ended in koela Centre, Saddar, not in Bhoosa Mandi. I wish we could have his photograph from our days, its only his eyes I am able to recognize in the picture you have used, but thanks and sweet remembrance.

    • Tariq Masud says:

      Dear Mushir
      What a pleasure to be in touch with you again, after more than half a century.Thanks Dennys School.
      Your memory seems better than mine as you have reminded me of the P.T Master,the school magazine and school exams without invigilation but I just can not recall the tall man with the french cut beard. Now I am reminded of the Drawing master and Master Bukhari sahib.also and the seth who sold Aloo cholay . Again no clue to the puzzle of who taught us Maths? Any possibility of Master Sharif teaching us both English and Maths?Because none else fits in. Misri Khan ?Majeed ?or Maulvi sahib himself ?
      Now let us deal with the case of Railway bridge.. I am surprised that you don’t recall it yet. Will it ring a bell if I translated name of venue from ” Railway bridge ” to “Paurrian wala pull” For our readers not fully familiar with the geography of non fashionable Pindi .There was a pedestrian bridge over the Railway tracks less than a k.m away from the Railway station linking saddar with Gwalmandi. Stairs (Paurris) on both sides of the bridge provided access to the flat top. Besides being a land mark, the stairs of the bridge served as a favourite place for the beggers. On Thursday afternoons,the ferver of the philanthrapists was very high and there was a reciprocal increase in the number of recepients of langar/niaz.etc.That afternoon besides the professional beggers some casual participants were also seen on the spot . It was on one of such Thursday afternoons that Maulvi Riazud Din sahib allegedly saw you in that vicinity and kept on enquiring jokingly in the class ,the reason for your being there that afternoon. Tariq.

      • Yash Pal Oberoi says:

        Tariq Sahib,
        The bridge you have described has taken be back to my younger days spent around that area before 1947, when we migrated to India. I was 10 years at that time and was in 5th in Dannys High School. We lived in a long street complex (probably Gali Sita Ram) between Railway station and this bridge on opposite side of road. We often used to cross the bridge on Gawalmandi side to visit some cinemas. Latest Cinema built in 1945 or so was Novelty. I dream of my childhood and the area of Sadar and Capitol Theater, Lansdown, Victoria statue, Mall Road etc. Thank you and warm regards.

  20. Lt Col Masood Alam (retd) says:

    Dear Tariq Sahib,
    Thanks for sharing such rich experiences. The Head Master Maulvi Riaz ud Din Sahib seems to be a character out of a story book. So selfless, caring and full of devotion. Such great person is hard to find now. His simplicity and devotion has impressed me a lot. Now a days teachers impress their students not by their knowledge but by show of wealth (dress, talking, car, etc). Regards.

  21. Dear Tariq Sb,

    I have some photos of Denny’s High School from the 50s..coutersy of Sheikh Muhammad Mumtaz, who was my Urdu Teacher, later in St. Mary’s Academy, Lalazar. Thought you would remember them. Please find them at my blog:

  22. Maj (R) Khalid Saeed Shah says:

    Many thanks for sharing your golden days. I really enjoyed it.
    I sincerely thank the Editor as well, he is my Course mate. :)

  23. Farida Rahman says:

    Very entertaining, especially the part about the teachers.

  24. Maj Gen (R) Parvez Akmal says:

    Dear Tariq Masud Sb,

    Thanks for excellent description of the historic Denny’s. Back in 1962, when I was studying at Kohinoor Colony High school, this great institution was my exam centre for the 8th grade, which was then known as ‘vernacular final’. Besides the first impact left by its graceful red brick facade, I was impressed by its general state of discipline and fine organisation, even as a child.

    Education having been reduced to an ‘industry’, one only finds a sprinkle of great ‘Riaz ud Dins’ in the dust of ‘Master Majeeds’!

    Prayers and regards,

  25. I found this map from the 20’s which has Deny’s School shown.

  26. Azam Gill (2nd SSC), France says:

    Tariq Masud Sahib,
    Thank for meticulously recording past events that have now been archived for us and for succeeding generations. I am sure many readers like myself will fell inspired.
    Now a word for the Editor.
    And Cheema Jee, Thank you for dedicating your retirement to such a selfless venture (Native Pakistan).

  27. Lt Col (R) Zafar Mustafa (6 OTS Course) says:

    Dear Tariq Masud Sahib,
    While reading absorbing account of your school days, two of the names mentioned, struck me. Was AR Siddiqui, your CS in Azad Kashmir the same Ahmad Rashid Siddiqui, CSP who retired as Federal Establishment Secretary and was later made Chairman CBR by the first government of Benazir Bhutto? I ask because the one described by me was my class-fellow in Govt College Lahore in 1949-51 and was a brilliant student. He lives in Karachi now. Second is about Khawaja Jamshed Ahmad Manto. Is he the one called ‘Jimmy’ right from his childhood and his older brother was named Javed Manto. Although Jimmy was younger, yet we enjoyed Murree’s summers together (where Mantos had a family home) during mid-fifties. He used to be a jolly good fellow and was related to one of my aunties.
    Best regards.

    • Tariq Masud says:

      Reference Col Zafar Mustafa’s querry. The A.R. I have talked about is Ashraf Rashid Siddiqui. Ahmad Rashid Siddiqi is another person.
      Yes sir! We are talking of the same obliging and charming person “Jimmy”. His brother Javed Manto passed away about 4 years ago. Jimmy still works in Insurance and has an office in Kirpa Ram Compound, Bank Road, Rawalpindi Cantt.

      • Lt Col (R) Zafar Mustafa (6 OTS Course) says:

        Thank you Sir for the prompt response. I had learnt of the sad demise of Javed from family sources. Kindly convey my regards to Jimmy when you meet him next; wonder if he still remembers me after almost 58 years. It might help him remembering me if you tell him that I am married to the sister-in-law of late Rauf Kitchlew.

  28. Rafique Ahme Khan, Dubai says:

    Dear Tariq Masud Sahib,
    I studied in the Denny’s High School from 1931 to 1935; Master Nisar was the Headmaster of the School. Maulvi Riazuddin was 2nd
    Master then. Master Nisar was one of very outstanding personality in Pindi. He was very graceful, imposing and dignified person. Maulvi Riazuddin took over after Master Nisar; but was not upto that standard on which Master Nisar ran the School. Maulvi Sahib was very soft spoken, polite without any ego; and would usually give in after receiving some pressure from the higher ups. But Master Nisar was very tough, strict disciplinarian, reserved and always behaved like an officer. The School further went down during the tenure of Master Misri Khan who could not maintain the discipline and standard like it was under Master Nisar. He used to wear shalwar Kameez and once I saw him sitting on his chair un-officerlike. The difference between the grandeur, prestige and high class position of the School can only be felt by the persons who witnessed the School’s affairs during pre thirties period.

    • Sat Goel says:

      I was in the school from 1938 to 1947. First, the Headmaster was Bawa Moti Singh and then Anup Chand Nanda, who used to be our science teacher took over as Headmaster. Only then Master Riaz-ud-Din became the second master.

      • Rajesh Bali says:

        Respected Goel sir,
        My grandfather Late Sh. Bodh Raj Bali was Persian teacher in Danny’s High School. He expired before my birth. I heard the name of Maulvi Riazuddin from my grandmother, she is no more now. If any one knows my grandfather kindly share some information.

        • SAT GOEL says:

          I remember the name Master Bodh Raj but I was never his student as I was a student of Sanskrit. Master Riazudin was the Dy Headmaster in 1947.

  29. Ali Khan says:

    I lived next door to Denny’s for decades. All Denny’s students used to pluck lime fruit from our house trees. I don’t know of anyone who has not. :-)

  30. Dear Tariq Masud Sahib,
    It’s a wonderful article about the good old days. The Head Master Maulvi Riaz-ud-Din Sahib’s efforts to inculcate character values are commendable. His method of teaching honesty through ‘Unsupervised Store’ was unique and marvelous.

    When we were in PMA in 1971-72, we used to get our monthly pay in the same manner. The entire amount was put on a table in an unsupervised empty room and the Gentlemen Cadets used to go in one by one and take their pay. There was no hanky-panky as the Commission in the Army was at stake.


    • Tariq Masud says:

      While digging for background information about Denny’s School from the Internet, I had come across a pre- Partition document describing the visit of a luminary old boy, a kind of a Hindu saint to the school. Somewhere in that connection, I read that Raj Kapoor, the famous Bollywood hero had also attended Denny’s School.
      Can you request one of your younger and patient readers to follow this lead and find out more facts. It will be a thousand dollars discovery, I am sure.

      • Sat Goel says:

        I was a student from 1938 to 1947 and never heard of Raj Kapoor as a student at Denny’s. Since his family hailed from Peshawar, he could have studied there.

      • Rafique Ahmed Khan says:

        Dear Mr. Tariq Masud,
        An enquiry can be made from the present administration of the Denny’s High School, Rawalpindi giving details with regards to the name of the student, his father’s name the particulars of the relevant class & period of study.
        During 1980s I once obtained the particulars of a student studying in the Denny’s High School during 1930s.

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