Gordon College, Rawalpindi, ‘Seek & Ye Shall Find’

By Tariq Masud

Tariq Masud

Tariq Masud

Editor’s Note: Mr. Tariq Masud studied in Gordon College Rawalpindi during 1952-57. After obtaining a law degree from Lahore, he joined Civil Service in 1960. He held many important positions in AJ&K and Federal Governments, including Additional Chief Secretary Planning, Financial Commissioner and Joint Secretary Economic Affairs Division. After retirement in 1997, he was elevated to be the Mohtasib AJ&K for four years. He has also served as Chairman Pakistan Red Crescent Society, AJ&K Branch and a member of National Oversight Council for Disaster & Crises Management. He lives in Islamabad.
‘Seek & ye shall find’, mentioned in the title, is the emblem of Gordon College, Rawalpindi.

Emblem of Gordon College Rawalpindi

The College

Gordon College, Rawalpindi, established in 1863.

Gordon College, Rawalpindi, established in 1893 (Year written on the building).

Gordon College was established by the American Presbyterian Mission, towards the end of 19th century. It was one of the four missionary colleges established in Northern India, the other three being, Edwards College Peshawar, Murray College Sialkot and Forman Christian College Lahore. There was a consensus that it was the best college in the North west of the sub continent, west of  Ravi. Besides Pindites, it was the first choice of students hailing from Jhelum, Sargodha, Mianwali, Attock, Kohat, Hazara, Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Gilgit & Baltistan.

The Governance of the college was God-fearing, down to earth, dedicated, efficient and liberal. It was a co-education institution but did not tolerate any nonsense. Parents trusted the environment of this missionary college and readily sent their girls to Gordon College. In my class of 1952 alone, there were more than 30 girls out of a class of 70.

Besides providing excellent educational facilities, the college had introduced several measures for character building of the students and widening of their horizons. The college actively sponsored and promoted sports and healthy cultural activities.

Barr and Minerva Literary Clubs

Tariq Masud in 1952

Tariq Masud in 1952

There was no Students Union but instead, all the students were divided into two clubs; Barr and Minerva. Students with odd roll numbers went to Barr Club while those with even roll numbers went to Minerva Club. A senior staff member was the Patron of each one of the two clubs. In our times Prof Khawaja Masud was the Patron of Minerva Club and Prof Azam was in charge of Bar Club. Both these clubs had their separate internal set ups, at the college level as well as at the sectional level. Elections were held to elect office bearers of each club at all levels and effort made to hold regular meetings of each club.

But the main events were the two annual declamation contests between the two clubs, in debating, essay writing, oration and recitation. Every year an inter-club contest took place, one in Urdu and the other in English. It used to be a formal occasion, The contests were spread over two days, one day was allocated  for recitation, essay reading and oration, while the second day was for debate; where each club represented by three speakers spoke as they do in any parliament; For or Against  the “Motion of  the House” decided  earlier.  A VIP presided over and three eminent persons acted as judges. At the end, the winning club would hold  lively celebrations. The slogans usually raised were “Barr Jittay baar baar”, “Barr Haray baar baar”, “Ganjay Ramchand ki jay”, “Pir ka tasma toota”. The following apt couplet was composed by a student when Minerva Club lost, during the leadership of their ace debater Riaz Urfi:-

Couplet of 1950s when Minerva Club of Gordon College Rawalpindi lost to Bar Club

Couplet of 1950s when Minerva Club of Gordon College Rawalpindi lost to Bar Club.

{‘Aye hum nasheen! na pooch Minerva Club ki baat,
Rotay rahe Khawaja wa Urfi tamam raat.’}

There was an active ‘Bazam-e Adab‘ under the patronage of Prof. Qudrat Ullah Fatimi, head of Urdu department, which met every Thursday in the staff room and shared critical appreciation of a piece of poetry or fiction presented by a student.

A new initiative,”Amateur Movie Association” was introduced by Prof. Masood Anwar of Physics, which endeavored to educate students in the techniques of movie making.

“Stewart Biological Society”, “Historical Society”, “Political Science Society” held regular monthly meetings in which professional papers were read.

Dramatic Club

Maria, the heroine of Stage Play Aaina in Gordon College Rawalpindi, 1952.

Maria, the ‘heroine’ of Stage Play Aaina.

Dramatic Club was the most prestigious of all clubs. It staged plays and variety programs which at times were also open to the public. Qudrat Ullah Fatimi again was its patron but Mrs. Cummings, the wife of Vice Principal also took active interest.

In December 1952, the dramatic Club staged  Nicolai Gogol’s famous four Act play “Inspector General” under the name “Aaina”. It was a roaring success and was performed on three consecutive evenings. Irfan Ghazi, Wazir Jaffery, Basharat Shaikh, Raja Akram, Shamshad Lodhi and myself played key roles. Girls were not then allowed to appear on the stage therefore the female roles were also assigned to young male students who performed admirably well. It was Mrs. Cummings who provided invaluable assistance with materials and skill in this prestigious Play, spending hours of her time in preparing the boy who played Maria the heroine.

Editor: The writer played the lead role of Maria. 

Aaina, Stage Play by Gordon College Rawalpindi Dramatic Club - December 1952


Dr. Ralph Randles Stewart, Principal Gordon College Rawalpindi.

Dr. Ralph Randles Stewart.

Dr. Ralph Randles Stewart, Principal Gordon College, Rawalpindi

Dr. Ralph Randles Stewart.

When I joined the college in 1952, Dr. R.R. Stewart was the Principal. Dr Stewart, a world-renowned botanist was a scholar first and last. The mundane duties of administration were performed by the vice Principal Dr. J.B. Cummings who was a pastor and a strict disciplinarian. It was perhaps 1956 when Dr Stewart formally relinquished and handed over charge of the Principal to Dr Cummings but he continued teaching Biology. On that occasion, Prof. Khawaja Masud uttered a memorable sentence:

“ Today, Ladies and Gentlemen ! One who loves God is handing over to one who fears God.”

Professor Abdul Qayyum Daskwi, the first desi replaced Dr. Cummings as the Vice Principal. He taught Drama to degree classes. Tall and well built Victor Mull was an engaging English poetry teacher. He could be nasty at times. Addressing an habitual non serious back bencher, he once started asking.
What is the theme of “The song of Lotus Eaters?”
On silence of the student, the next question was, “Who is Tennyson?”
Again silence, followed by Mull Sahib’s third question “What is poetry?”
Silence again, and then came the final question “What is your name?”
Finding the boy grinning, he said “Now he is happy. Kya naam paya hai?”
“Yusaf, sir!” was the first answer the boy gave in this conversation.
“Khalo jao zara bench tay, sub tuhaada mukhrra daikh lain, Yusaf jee!”

Dr. Robert Frederick Tebbe

Dr. Robert Frederick Tebbe.

Dr. Robert Frederick Tebbe, Shah Rahman (ex Bodhraj) and Nasim Ullah Khan taught us Chemistry and we took all three seriously. Mahboob Elahi and Nizam were the Physics teachers. Our body chemistry did not positively react with Nizam sahib. Consequently he was fed up with me, Mushtaq and a couple of others. He repeatedly offered us a truce but our problem was that we could not bear his effeminate voice. Eugene Nasir was a senior and cultured person who taught us Biology.

In the B.A. class in 1955-57, we were lucky to have excellent teachers like Raees Ahmad Khan and Waheed uz Zaman. Raees dressed up immaculately, polished and dignified, taught us History. He never took attendance by calling roll numbers. Instead he called our names with the prefix of Mr. or Miss. In 1972, he moved to the Foreign Service. He died 3-4 years ago.

Waheed uz Zaman taught us Political Science and was like a friend to most of us. Once a month we sulked and refused to be taught “Sovereignty” and insisted to hear Dr Sohan Singh Diwana’s “Ambi de bootay thallay” which he recited beautifully well. Waheed Sahib married a student of his (M.A class) and died quite early.

Professors Azam and Aziz did not teach us but were institutions in themselves. Students were overawed by the dignity and aloofness of Azam Sahib. His pet phrase was “You See” which he would invariably pronounce thrice in every sentence, once in the beginning, once in the middle and then at the end of every sentence he uttered, e.g. “You see, Democracy with all its defects, you see, is the safest form of Government, you see.” But nobody dared to even smile at such utterances.

Aziz Sahib, out and out an awami person, mostly clad in militia walking by the side of his bicycle but never seen riding it, taught French and Economics. He had spent umpteen years in France and when in a jovial mood would talk about the cultural difference. He would say “Yeh koi dance hai, tum kahan aur hum kahan, Tum udhar aur hum idhar. Dance dekhna hai tou Paris chalo”. “Tang se tang milaa kay, jang se jang larraa kay”. Brig. Ismail Siddiqui in his autobiography, “Jigar lakht lakht ko” has so vividly described Prof. Aziz Sahib’s character.

Then there was Prof. Imam-ud-Din “Baiza” one of the senior most faculty who taught Persian. Students had since long forgotten his real name and only knew him as “Baiza Sahib”. The story is that many years ago, perhaps in the pre-Partition days, while he was teaching Persian to the class, a vendor in the adjoining mohalla was repeatedly shouting “Anday lay lo, Anday“. The noise was coming into the class and when Prof. Sahib got sick of the interruption, he shouted back at the vendor through the window, “Mian! Yahan Baizay nahi biktay, Kahin aur jao” .From that moment onward Imam-ud-Din became Baiza. Students of various periods in the college have dozens of stories to tell on this topic.

Prof Khawaja Masud of Gordon College, Rawalpindi.

Prof Khawaja Masud

Now I come to the most famous and influential of all Gordon College teachers. The names of Gordon College and Khawaja Masud Sahib were in fact intertwined for about four decades. Not only that he taught Mathematics, but also, provided guidance in all spheres of practical life. He was a friend, Philosopher and a Guide to the students and hundreds of former students spread over in all six continents. After nationalization of the College, he became principal of the College for a few years. He lived a full life even when he was more than eighty years of age.

Lastly Prof. Farman Ullah Khan (F.U. Khan) without whose description, no list of Gordon College teachers can be complete. He taught English and Philosophy. A non conformist, impishly attractive, perhaps more to the opposite sex, a fact he himself knew very well and seldom hesitated to make use of.

In the B.A. class I, along with (late) Mumtaz Abdullah and (late) Jane Najam-ud-Din were the best students in the class. There was a part time student also, Miss Berryl Feathers, an American who attended Political Science lectures. There never was an interaction between her and other students.

Sports and Culture

It is a matter of record that during 1950s, Gordon College had one of the best, if not the best Basketball team in Pakistan. We must salute the Governors of the Christian Missionary colleges in Pakistan, particularly, of Gordon College Rawalpindi, for their genuine and tireless efforts to the building up and promotion of sports and culture in Pakistan.  It was not only Basketball but Cricket and Hockey, and track & field events as well. In which Gordon College excelled. They introduced, encouraged and built up ‘Public Speaking’, ‘Parliamentary norms & practices’,  ‘Music & Dancing’ and ‘Dramatics’.

Tour of Indian Basketball Team



Basketball Court of Gordon College, Rawalpindi.

Basketball Court of Gordon College, Rawalpindi.

It will be of interest to readers that the Indian National Basket ball team toured Pakistan during 1952-53. They defeated Pakistan National team in two formal matches and then they played a friendly match against Gordon College team, in which the Indians were convincingly defeated by the Gordon College team. Indians, if I remember correctly, played a return match also but lost again.

Gordon College gave a warm reception to the Indian team and among other things, organized a variety programme in their honour. It was conducted in the old college hall (Jubilee Hall was not built then). One of the young Indian players, Narindar Singh (Ahluwalia) beautifully sang the Punjabi folk song “Shaunkan melay di, Peyr dhou kay jhanjraan pandi“.  There was a standing ovation followed by the request for a repeat performance.

JAM, a friend of mine, normally very correct and discreet, was feeling little touchy since morning. He thought that the welcome being accorded to the Indians was little too much.  While Narindar was repeating the song and the audience was intermittingly clapping or uttering ‘wah wah!’, JAM suddenly got up and shouted something totally irrelevant . He shrieked, “Oay! Khumb day melay wich kee hoya see? (There was an unfortunate & and unprecedented stampede in Khumb mela in U.P., India, that year, causing hundreds of deaths).  Narindar stopped singing and wanted to know what exactly the question was. A strongly built friend sitting next to JAM caught hold of him and shouted back to the performer, “Please keep singing, you are doing very well. Don’t bother about this man. He is a well known Pagal“.

JAM tried his best to free himself and stand up again but his captor had very strong arms. JAM, in the meanwhile kept uttering breathlessly, “O! Mein Pagal Nahi, Ooay mein Pagal Nahi”, but his protests were drowned in the ovation for the “Shaukan melay di“.

Wahab ud Din Brothers and other Distinguished Sportsmen

Having said that Gordon College had one of the best teams there ever was, I must categorically state that the history of Basketball in Pakistan cannot be complete without mentioning the four WAHAB-UD-DIN brothers; Yunus Wahab ud Din, Amin, Shamim and Salim Wahabuddin were the kings of Basketball (along with another Gordonian, Jonathan, later an army Brigadier). Yunus was the eldest. He had retired from playing active Basketball but was the Coach and the guru of the team. He was Physical Instructor of our College during the 50s. Amin and Shamim were not only front ranking Basketball players of the Pakistan team but also excelled in various other events of track & field at the National level. Amin Wahab ud Din was the Pakistan record holder in Hop-step-and- Jump and Shamim was one of the top National athletes in Pole vault. I forget what the specialty of Salim was.

There cannot be any account of Sports in Gordon College without taking the names of Daniel Austin, the cross country wizard and University champion of his times and of Mustahsin Tirmazi (later retired as a Col) who sprinted 100 & 200 meters in 11.00 and 22.4 seconds respectively. (Abdul Khaliq, champion of the Asian games timed these distances in 10.6 and perhaps 21.5 seconds. Mustahsin was also an expert Bharta Natyam dancer who performed his classical skill, at least twice a year.

Izhar was junior Mr. Pakistan and a dashing batsman. Late Akmal Saeed and Nasir ul Islam were considered most stylish and technically correct batsmen, Mehmood, Munir Malik and Khalid curly made it to the National cricket team. Skippers Shamim Zaidi and Naeem Quraishi (later Head of History Department at Quaid-e Azam University, Islamabad) were the hockey stars.

Musical Talent

Violin Player

A Violin Player.

Khan Sadaqat Ali, a veteran from Wah was an outstanding light classical singer. We would gather in his 9, West Hall hostel room and listen ceaselessly to the melodious ghazals of Kamla Jharia, Akhtari bai Faizabadi and K.L Sehgal. He never performed on stage.

Joseph and Peters had melodious voices and they did often perform on the stage.

NM Khan was the seasoned organ and violin player. Our friend Rauf Alvi also played on the violin. Kazim Balti (Lt. Col Shaheed Kazim, S.J) played beautifully well on his mouth organ, and so did Gomez.  Farhat ( Lt.Col Farhat Hassan, 6 Lancers) had a golden voice but he never sang in front of an audience except close friends.

The First Cowboy of Rawalpindi



I must mention “King Carry” the first cowboy of Rawalpindi. Very few knew that his real name was Akhtar Zaman. Six feet tall, handsome, clad in jeans (which were hardly seen then) a broad brimmed cow boy hat, and a broad cowboy belt around his waist, King Carry saw every single cowboy/ adventure movie that was exhibited in Rawalpindi and had mastered the art of speaking the “Cowboy slang” It was real fun to hear him speak that lingo with his hands ready for a “Draw”. He too is gone.

Miss ‘Brigadier’ and Other Beauties

It might surprise readers to know that the most famous ‘Brigadier’ of 1950s in Rawalpindi was not a regular Brigadier, nor an army personnel, not even a man but was an elegant, pretty and graceful Miss Talat Hussain whom every student of those days knew as ‘Brigadier’. The story goes, that she used to be called a ‘Colonel’ for some time. One day a shy first year student whispered, rather loudly, to his friend, while she was passing by “O! karnel jaa rahi aye”. Miss Talat heard the whisper, turned towards the boy and said, “Don’t you  know, I have long been promoted as a Brigadier?” Since that day onward, she was ‘The Brigadier’ among hundreds of soldiers.

One of the loyal soldiers, Malik AAA, belonging to a rich landed family of Khushab, was very serious; he wanted to marry her. His friends and hangers on suggested that he should write to ‘Brigadier’s’ mother, making a serious proposal. Malik Sahib okay-ed this suggestion. The “Letter Drafting Committee” in its fifth meeting held in Silver Grill, finalized the draft letter after devouring two dozen pastries and equal number of chicken patties. I reproduce below the last sentence of that historical letter:-

“Madam ! If my proposal of seeking the hand of your esteemed daughter finds favour with your ladyship, I assure you that besides other obligations mentioned above, wheat, pulses, ghee and honey will be supplied to your family even in famine.”

Some may argue that Nancy had the most attractive gait, any female east of Suez ever had, or that FB was the role model of an Asian beauty intertwined with modesty and grace, but when you came to judging on holistic basis there could not be a second opinion, ‘Brigadier’ was matchless. May God grant her health and a long life.

Founders’ Day

Every year on first of March, Gordon College observed “ Founders’ Day “ when all the students were taken out for a picnic. Usually a special train was engaged for this purpose and students were taken to a place not far from Rawalpindi, on a day’s picnic, returning home before the sunset. Everybody carried his own lunch. Some activities e.g tug of war or musical presentations were organized but the students were left on their own, most of the time. In 1953, it was the widespread anti Ahmadiya agitation which restricted the movements of the students, therefore instead of a train journey outside Pindi, students were taken in buses to Topi Rakh, now known as Ayub National Park. In 1954, however, we were taken in a train to Sihala and have very fond memories of that trip.

Gordonians’ Get Together in 2003

It goes to the credit of Sardar Sikandar Hayat, former Prime Minister AJ&K to have patronized and financed a large get together of the Gordonians in March 2003, when he was in office. It was a great get together. Mr. Shaukat Aziz, then Finance Minister, Lt Gen Iftkhar Hussain Shah, the then Governer NWFP, Federal minister Sheikh Rashid, Justice Farooq Pasha, Chief Election Commissioner, retired judges of the superior courts, a dozen ex Federal Secretaries and Ambassadors, and about the same number of former two/three star generals, were present in the Kashmir House hall, while Sardar Sikandar along with the senior most teacher Khawaja Masud Sahib sat on the dais. Azhar Lodhi and myself had the privilege to act as anchors. There were brief speeches by many distinguished Gordonians including  Irfan Ghazi, Salim Abbas Jilani, late Dr Khaliq and ‘Brigadier’ Talat Hussain.

Gordonians Get Together 2003 participants

Gordonians Get Together 2003 participants.

Citations were read and memorial shields were presented to distinguished teachers or to their heirs, anecdotes of old times were narrated, before the lavish dinner hosted by Sardar Sikandar Hayat was served. No body wanted to leave after dinner was over and the unanimous demand was to hold such events in future as well.

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

Editor’s Note: If you have liked this page, then please share it on FacebookTwitter or any other social media. If it is not inconvenient, please do write a brief comment at the end of this page under the heading Leave a Reply here”. Visitors of this website are welcome to contribute their nostalgic articles about Rawalpindi by sending to: rashid.cheema11@gmail.com


  1. Syed Abid Salam says:

    I studied in Gordon College from 1964-66. My teachers were Nasrullah Malik (History), Tanvir Ahmad (Civics) who joined the Civil Service, Yuhanna (Economics)Jane Najmuddin (English) having complete command on their subjects. I regularly attended the House of Common style debates patronized by Prof Khawja Masood which was participated by the famous debaters at the time Khalil Ramday (Retd Judge of Supreme Court) ,Arshad Nasir (former CEO of Caltex Pakistan), Rahat Kazmi (TV actor, broadcaster), Salik Nazir Ahmad (CSP), Badrul Islam (CSP), Suleman Saleem (CSP), Zaheeruddin aka Babar my class fellow a dear friend who owned the famous shop ‘Modern Radios’ has already mentioned my class fellows at St. Mary’s School Rawalpindi most of them joined me in Gordon College.
    Space does not allow to write more, memories of the finest institution in Punjab.

  2. Khayyam Sohail says:

    What a beautiful piece about an institution that we all love so dearly. Khawaja Sahib has deservedly got a very honorable mention. As some Gordonians have pointed out the other stalwart from a little later was Professor Sajjad Sheikh, what a dashing personality he was, was no doubt very temperamental but that made him even more popular. Even in his later years he had the same demeanor, one can never forget him. Tariq Sahib is very lucky that he was part of the Golden age of this college and we are indebted to him for sharing those beautiful memories with us, makes me even more proud to be a Gordonian, for ever.

  3. Sandeep Chopra says:

    My father went to Gordon College around 1944/45. I was wondering how I could get his residence address as I would like to visit Lahore and see his place of birth. I live in the USA.

  4. Brig Zahur Malik (retd) says:

    The college motto, in its profound wisdom, has been a beacon of guiding light to many an alumni. A Gordonian at heart even now, I was a student of Gordon College from 1955 to 1958, when I left to enter the batch of 22nd PMA Long Course. I was two terms student president of Minerva Literary Club, Khawaja Masood being the faculty patron and J.B Cummings being the college Principal. I, representing the college students, am privileged and have the singular honor to have received the then President of Pakistan Sikandar Mirza, who as the chief guest performed the opening of the newly built Jubilee Hall. The designated reception committee comprised two students, Presidents of both Minerva and Bar Clubs headed by the senior most Professor, Dr RR Stewart.

    Like other alumni, I have many fond memories of college life. I can hardly forget the faculty members like, Capt David, Xavier, Luke, Daskawi, Mutiur Rehman, F.U.Khan, Khursheed, Imam Din “baiza”(an elegant student known as Miss Brigadier), Miss Nasreen Bokhari, a brilliant Sc student and Mr Bilal a student activist ,(here were many more of whom my memory does’t serve me well). How could I forget Ms Khan the custodian of girl’s pavilion, Anwar in College office and Bakhshi at cycle stand. I simply can’t forget the melodious songs and intoxicating tea at Zamzama Cafe. I fondly cherish memories of my college life. Wish to be in touch with contemporaries. Hopefully looking forward.

    Brig Malik Zahur Ahmad, Retd. (aka Zahur Kotla)

  5. Javed Saeed Khan says:

    Respected Tariq Sb,
    Through your nostalgic article, I rediscovered myself as old Gordonian, the cherished memories stayed with me all the times, even in Canada where I am now residing.

    • Ajmal M Shah says:

      A great write up bringing every detail of Gordon College to memory. Thanks for such great contribution.

  6. Hassan Raja says:

    Today I visited Gordon College for the first time in my life.

  7. Sir,Excellent article.I have shared this on previous occasions.Deserves another share on Facebook.

  8. Fozia Altaf says:

    Authentic, nostalgic piece of work.

  9. M. Bilal says:
  10. Zulfiqar Ali says:

    Thanks for writing such a remarkable piece on Gordon College. I am from 1998-2000 session and we were taught by Sir Shahid Rashid who studied and then taught in Gordon College. He was student of V K Mall Sahib and would take great pride and honour in relating to us interesting stories of Mall Sahib. Shahid Sahib himself was excellent teacher.

    • Tariq Masud says:

      Tall, handsome and athletic, Victor Kathu Mall was a a charismatic person and a very interesting and involved teacher. While teaching Wordsworth, Shelly, Keats, Byron and Tennyson he would merge himself (Ashaar many doob ker) with the thought of the poet. What a pleasure it was to study poetry from him.

  11. Tariq Masud says:

    All Gordonians specially classes of 1950-60 are informed that Ms Talat Hussain Rao (known as ‘Brigadier’) passed away in Islamabad a fortnight ago.

  12. Rifat says:

    Most interesting sir. But why no mention of Professor SQ Fatimi?

    • Tariq Masud says:

      Prof Qudrat Ullah Fatmi has twice been mentioned; Once under the title “Dramatic Club” Secondly,little above on the same page in relation to his role in the ‘Bazam-e Adab. The photograph of the drama “Aaina” carries Fatmi sahibs picture ;infact, the author has the honour to sit next to him.in that group photograph. Lastly, .In the Get Together of Gordonians in Kashmir House Islamabad the list of teachers who were honoured included the name of Fatimi sahib .How could I fail to list his contribution to the college. I suggest you read the article once more please.

  13. Sir,
    Excellent article! I am going to share it with my CGMS School friends, I was a student in that worthy institution from 1967 to 1969 when I completed my FSc Pre Medical.

  14. Afzal Cheema says:

    All Gordonians are again informed that Prof Sajjad Shaikh passed away on 18 March 20014.

    • Maqsood Choudary says:

      Thank you Afzal Cheema sahib. Sheikh sahib (as we affectionately use to call him) was an excellent person, a great scholar, and a wonderful colleague. He will be missed by many his students and colleagues alike.
      Rest in peace Sheikh sahib.
      (Editor: Maqsood Choudary joined Gordon College as lecturer in Political Science in 1973 and was hostel superintendent (Morton Hall) 1978-82.The room above which Morton Hall is written was his room. He livees and teaches in the U.S. now.)

      • Afzal Cheema says:

        I am pleased to read your comments I was student of Sir Sajjad Shaikh in 1992. He was such a nice teacher.I will ever miss him. IT IS really sad that his death went unnoticed You wrote briefly about him. Please write more if possible

  15. Tariq Masud sahib,
    An excellent article, your memory is amazing. I am Gordonian from 1967 to 1969 group and Rehan Azhar is from that group. I completed FSc premedical in 1969. I was in Minerva Club. Victor Mull was principal in my time, Miss Anjum taught English, Mr. Inayat Ullah was chemistry teacher, Christy Munir taught Physics and Mr. Iqbal was Botany teacher.
    Amazing article.

  16. Nadeem Iftikhar says:

    I am a former Gordonion (1966-1970). I really cherish memories of my four year stay in this great institution.During this time, my teachers were mostly dedicated educationalists with a doctorate from the top 5 universities in the US. I really wish that we can refrain from political appointments and revive this institution to what it was. In my days, upon graduation, I was not required to take a GMAT/STAT,etc for admission into the best universities in the US. For once, we have to be grateful to the people who established such a great place of learning in Rawalpindi. I remember moving around in Pakistan, wearing the maroon Gordon College blazer, was indeed a lot of pride.

    I sincerely hope and wish that the government takes adequate steps to revive Gordon College—– if that be it, and dedicated local sources are not available, invite dedicated missionaries.

  17. Faisal Tirmizi, USA says:

    Tariq Sahib,
    Hats off! Dr. Rais Ahmed Khan who later did PhD from Berkley happens to be my father-in-law. He was married to Basirat Afza, another Gordonian who was related to Professor Khwaja Masud. Dr. Rais passed away in 2006. You may also know my uncle Syed Musthasan Ali Tirmizi. My father Syed Mustanir Ahmed Tirmizi was also a Gordonian. I went to Sir Syed College and Government College Asghar Mall where Professor Waseeq Ahmed was my teacher.

    • Tariq Masud says:

      Dear Faisal Tirmizi,
      I attended Prof. Raees’ funeral. He lived in F-10/2, very close to my house and we often came across each other in Fatima Jinnah Park. I also knew Basirat Afza’s family who hail from Jammu. Her father Shaikh Iftikhar was a senior Custom officer in J&K. I also know that Basirats’ other sister was the wife of Late Khurshid Hassan Meer. But I never knew that Basirat was a Gordonian. I remember her as a debater representing Govt Women’s College, Murree Road Rawalpindi.

      I also knew your father who was an Aviator. When ZA Bhutto toured AJK in 1973, Mustanair flew his Puma and a day earlier he flew me and the then Chief Secretary AJK Mr. Ijlal Zaidi all over AJK on a test flight. Col Mustahsan, of course is a friend and his wife Salama class fellow and a friend.

  18. Shaheda Rizvi, Canada says:

    There is nothing that I can relate to personally about this article and yet there is so much to learn and be amazed at what Pindi really was, through the eyes of one who remembers. Extraordinary!! Loved reading every bit of it.

  19. Tauqir Ahmad, Brunei says:

    An excellent and comprehensive article! Although I studied at Gordon College, I didn’t know most of the things mentioned here. The reading invoked feelings of joy and sorrow both: Joy for belonging to an institution having a glorious past and sorrow for having lost those traditions instead of carrying them forward. May Allah bless you and help the current generation bring that trust and beauty back to life.

  20. Farida Rahman says:

    Very well written article, one feels as if looking at this celebrated institution through the time-machine.

  21. Nasir Sultan says:

    Excellent article about Gordon College, a prime institution of Rawalpindi of yesteryears. What an irony we have destroyed such fine institutions, which is indicative of degradation of society on the whole.

  22. Zahiruddin Khan aka BABAR says:

    I never attended Gordon college but its grounds were our playground while studying at St. Mary’s School on Murree Road. I attended Govt. College, Asghar Mall where Gen. Pervez Akmal was my class fellow. Any write up on Gordon College will be incomplete without any mention of the following:-
    a) Zam Zam Cafe (which we were not allowed to visit being too young),
    b) Qaisar Hotel being run by 3 borthers; Qaisar sahib, Munawwar sahib and Sabir sahib (chronic bachelor) and the endless stories about the big fish that got away (Munawar sahib and Sabir sahib) ,
    c) Baba fruitwala opposite the gate next to post office on College Road,
    d) Shabrati with his block of ice filled with “mithas” you don’t see mithas these days,
    e) Munshi’s den next to post office where Prof. Daskawi used to live on top.
    f) Nana sahib physics demonstrator in his ever white kurta pajama (a hafiz-e-Quran converted to Christianity)
    g) Prof Xavier and Mrs. Prof Xavier (I forget her maiden name)
    h) Morton Hall and the other hall besides Gordon Hall the name which I don’t recall
    i) The rope hanging from the tree for weeks to pull it down and make way for Jubilee Hall next to basket ball courts where every passer by tried to pull it down
    j) Mohsin the debater who would pronounce Sir as “Shir” during the lively debates between Bar and Minerva
    k) Gordon College anthem “College walay zindabad”
    l) inaugural ceremony of Jubilee Hall by Iskander Mirza when he was praised so much that he was only 90 minutes late, usually VIPs were 2 hours late in those days
    m) Mrs. Imam Din who also taught us in Station School
    n) Malwa the gangster not a student though lived on the lane next to Prof. Imam din
    o) Emanuel the basket ball player who later became a Reverend(I think)
    p) Physics Prof Masood Anwar’s radio that worked with the heat produced by putting his contraption above a hukka and a very avid historian who informed us all the first time about the remaining remnants of GT Road from the days of Sher Shah Suri near Nicholson monument.
    q) The annual basketball and hockey championships between Gordon College, FC College, Lahore, Murray College Sialkot and CTI Sialkot. A never miss tournament every year.
    All this during the 50s. Others might be able to add more and elaborate on it. Your article is long trip down memory lane.

    • Dr. Arif Qureshi ,Dansville, NY, USA says:

      Salaamz Babar Bhai,
      Jazakallah for taking us through so many side streets of our fond ‘nostalgia land’. Having spent only a few months at the Gordon College, many of these are new for me indeed!
      I remember a chaat wala opposite the college gate and a plate was 3 annas and close by Meezban Restaurant had opened and I believe a fancy cup of tea was 4 annas!
      What years were you at St. Mary’s, Murree Road?
      Sub di khair!!

      • Zahiruddin Khan aka Babar says:

        Dr. Arif Sahib,

        Walaikum Assalam.

        I was at St. Mary’s from 1957-62 and when the St. Mary’s Academy started at Lalazar my dad, God Bless his soul, put me in Sir Syed School, the Mall. Some of my class fellows were Shahid Hassan (later joined Police), Shahid Siddique Tirmazy (joined Army), Shahid Naveed (PAF), Shahid Shuja Qazi (Dentist in Army), Ch. M. Azhar (Police), Raffat Pasha (Police), Rizwan Gul Pasha, Fred (son of a US corporal), Desmond Stout, Nowsherwan (Army), Ali Yahya, Barkaat Ahmed, Shahbaz Koreshy (Dr.), Danilo Namas (Philipino musician), Asad Raza (Army) Paracha, Arshad Kitchlew (business), M Assad (Army), Aftab Shaikh (Income Tax), Humayun Gohar, Salahuddin Khan (East Pakistan), Mehfooz, Asif Ayub, Shuja Nawaz, Iqbal maama, Tauheed and I don’t recall any more .

        The Mezban Restaurant you mention had a Students Bakery next door to it, bang opposite the other college gate and next to it was the press for Nawa-i-waqt newspaper. Zam Zam Cafe would play your favourite LP records if you ordered a cup of tea. It only sold tea and carried all the latest hits played on the gramophone where you rotated the handle and energized the spring which ran the gramophone records as they used to call them all 78 RPMs. Yes, you are right, a fancy cup of tea was 4 annas, samosa was 2 annas and a glass of orange juice was about the same, 4 annas, and a glass of raau (gannay ka juice) was also 4 annas and you should seen how much work and strength was needed to get the last drop out of the gannas, with the vendor literally hanging from the handle of that roller.

        “Those were the days my friend, I thought they would never end” ala Mary Hopkins and the most popular western tune was ‘Come September’ and “baray bay Murawwat hain yeh husn walay” by Surayya Multanikar.

        All the best and good to hear from you. ALLAH HAFIZ.

        • Dr. Arif Qureshi ,Dansville, NY, USA says:

          Salaamz Babar bhai,
          Truly impressed by your memories about names of your class fellows! Around class 9 there was a split at St. Mary’s between Jr Cambridge and Matric. Tahir Ayub was in our class and there was another Arif who I heard retired as a Gen from Army.
          “Those were the days” by Mary Hopkins has been one of my favourite songs!
          Sub dee khair!!

          • Zahir Khan aka Babar says:

            Arif sahib,
            Walaikum Assalam.
            There were two Tahir Ayubs. Tahir Ayub and Asif Ayub were sons of Dr. Ayub. I lost touch with Asif after my Bachelors degree as I left for UC Berkeley to pursue my BSEE.
            It was not as easy to stay in touch like today, thanks to internet. Raab Raakha.

  23. I have great memories of Gordon College, from 1967 to 69. I did my graduation when Mr. V.K. Mul was our principal. I was in Minerva Club and was winner of recitation for two years 1967 and 68. My competitor was Mr. Khurram who joined Army after leaving the college.

    Our drama ustaad was Mr. Nasar Ullah Malik. I was leading actor of stage play ‘Aadab Arz’. The then Law Minister awarded me with gold medal for my best acting as Munna, other main actors were Salma Saeed chakoree, Shujat Hashmi and Agha Zia Ullah. Play was an adaptation of ‘She stoops to Conquer’, adaptation done by Naeem Tahir.

    My other favourite teachers were Mr. Zaki, Miss Jane and Khawaja Masood Sahib. When PTV Pindi started, Mr. Aslam Azhar invited me to act in PTV plays. I did a play ‘Clock Tower’, directed by Mr. Yawar Hayat. Second play ‘Surkh nadee kay mor per’, directed by great Aslam Azhar Sahib. I also worked as PTV announcer for 9 months in absence of Mr. Azhar Lodhi. Gordon College had made my life as a confident human being. Thanks to all teachers and friends.

    I can not forget Ladies Garden. Sheikh Rasheed, Pervaiz Rasheed, Azmat H. Bajwa and Ali Yahya (son of ex president Gen Yahya) were with us. Also Mujahid Kamran, Vice Chancellor Punjab University, and Shoaib bin Aziz were our Gordonian friends. My favourite place was canteen and dining room of hostel where we used to be forced guests of Muqsit Nadeem.

    • Dr. Arif Qureshi ,Dansville, NY, USA says:

      Salaamz Rehan Azhar,
      Nice memories. Are you still acting, I wonder? Its amazing a wonderous article has been surrounded by so many “Wow” comments and additions!! Anyone here from pre-Medical class which started in fall of 1961 at Gordon College or finishing Matric from St. Mary’s Murree Road in 1961?
      Duaaz for all

      • Tariq Masud says:

        Dear Rehan Azhar,
        It is heartening to know from your comments that the Dramatic Club has thrived. The first well known cinema actor, Gordon College produced, was SHAYAM, one of the maitnee idols of 1950s and early 60s.

        Azhar Lodhi was the famous recitationist of our times. In the declamation contest of 1952, he recited “Hum huay, tum huay, kay Mir Huay” a play which had 12 characters, therefore 12 different voices. Zulfiqr Bukhari was presiding. In his Presidential address he said, “Performance of each one of the characters was so real that I am unable to distinguish the real voice of the performer”. He invited Azhar Lodhi to again come on the stage and speak in his real voice. Bukhari Sahib later asked Azhar Lodhi to meet him in his Radio Pakistan office. Azhar got a job. He played a role in our play ‘Aaina’ and had a distinguished career as an announcer, anchor and master of ceremonies.

    • Javed Saeed Khan says:

      Dear Rehan Azhar,
      You forgot to mention the name of myself and my two brothers with whom you mostly hang around with in your memory lane.

  24. Col (R) Abdul Rashid says:

    My dear Tariq Masud,
    You have performed an imaginative feat that lends a lasting grace to your legacy. Your family generations following you will always derive pride from this elegant legacy.
    The problem with the phenomena of nostalgia is its late arrival in life. Had this exercise been initiated by you at some relevant point of time in the distant past, today we would have possessed a priceless treasure in the shape of life profiles of the great Gordonians. But it is never too late. Better late than never.
    I must proffer my profoundest appreciation and felicitations on this remarkable errand. Wish you God speed.

  25. Karamat Choudhry MD, Fort Worth, TX, USA says:

    Tariq Jee,
    I am amazed at your sharp memory of people and places after six decades. I am a Gordonian(52-55) and your article brought back a lot of fond memories and many smiles. You are a good story- teller with superior literary skills. Of special note is the fact that many of our American faculty members and their wives spoke fluent Punjabi!
    I am saving your writings as a reference encyclopedia and can’t wait to get my hands on the next one. Wishing you good health and a Happy New Year.

  26. Yousuf Ibnul Hasan says:

    Many thanks for the article and indeed it will be kept as a record with me.

    Gordon College and Govt College cricket match was always been the hit list of cricket lovers of Rawalpindi. In 1963 I had the opportunity to see the final match between the two prestigious institutions in Pindi Club Ground. It was the match of two colleges but I remember I was at the age of 9 years and I went to see with my elder brother Rizwan Ibnul Hasan form St. Mary’s School as our three uncles were the part of the match, (Late) Masood-ul-Hasan PhD and his younger brother Mohib-ul-Hasan and from the other side their one cousin Late Zaki Ahmed from Govt College. These three were the cream of a cricket team from the two colleges. Three were later tipped for Pakistan team but unfortunately unable to get the selection eye. The day of the match was the festival in the city when the Convent Women College, Sir Syed College. Vaqar-un-Nisa College and I don’t know how many students in their uniform gathered at Pindi Club Ground. I never saw such a disciplined crowd in uniform, specially students.
    I also remember a stage play at the Gordon College which was written by Late Agha Baber “Namrood Ki Khudai”. This comedy play then becomes the talk of the town which was recorded by Radio Pakistan first time from the stage by Late Turab Naqvi who was the uncle of the great singer Late Mehnaz Begum and the younger brother of Late Madam Kajan Begum. The next day the drama was broadcasted from Radio Pakistan at night 9 O’ Clock. It was the coldest night and I was sitting at Dr. Alvi’s clinic in Raja Bazar when doctor Sahib was attending the patients but also listening to the drama. At the adjacent restaurant of the clinic (I do not remember the name of the restaurant), the people standing in the cold night and listening the drama on Radio which was loudly broadcasting. I never saw such an interest in Radio broadcasting except for the speech of President Ayub Khan on 6th September 1965. Gordon College is the part of Pakistan history and definitely the institution had given some of the best citizens of Pakistan.

    Editor’s Note: Mr. Yousuf Ibnul Hasan was born in Rawalpindi in 1953 and shifted to Karachi in 1964. His father Major Ibnul Hasan was the part of ISPR who launched and edited the HILAL magazine of the Army.

  27. Col Arshad Nazir Faridi Chishty (28 Long Course) says:

    I have enjoyed reading it and I shall read it again. Having studied at Cadet College Hassan Abdal (1955-60) quite a lot of my class fellows had joined Gordon College for their 3rd year. I was then in Murray College, Sialkot. I used to pass through and meet them and even would stay in the hostel. I am privy to an oft quoted quip, “Is Daska in America?” This write-up has comprehensively given a good nostalgic account of the college.

    • Tariq Masud says:

      Dear Col Arshad Nazir,
      The story I learnt from my seniors was that Professor Abdul Qayuum Daskawi, third in the line of succession in the college hierarchy, was fond of bracketing himself with the American teachers and often used the term, “We Americans —-“. One student, sick of repeatedly hearing this phrase retorted, “Prof: Daskawi, sir! Is Daska in America?”

      • Sonny Mcauley says:

        I heard this story too from my aunt…a gordonian herself , thanks a million for reminding me this story. Andrew Mcauley

  28. Maj Gen (R) Parvez Akmal says:

    A very nostalgic article, sir; my sincere appreciations for recalling such intricate details so beautifully.

    Having studied at Government College, Asghar Mall, I joined Gordon College in 1966 and left in B.Sc final year, joining PMA in May 1968. Those days the college building didn’t have high security walls around and looked very impressive. Mr. V. K. Mall, the principal, enjoyed a lot of respect from the faculty and students alike. I also have the honour of being Prof Khawaja Masood’s maths’ student. Miss Jean taught us English, Mr. Tausif Tabassum, Urdu and great ‘Nana’, Physics.

    A small observation on the college emblem; it carried a cross then, and not crescent and star. Somehow, I still have my college ID card showing a cross!

    I would learn much later that Shaukat Aziz was a year senior and Sheikh Rashid, our junior. Whilst I was on deputation, as MD OGDC (2000-2003), the senior Gordonian wouldn’t have known that this ordinary junior didn’t allow him to dole out our largest strategic enterprise; thanks to the dedication and commitment of the company’s officers and staff.

    My respects and warm regards.

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

      Amazing memory and impressive narration.
      Apologies for digressing from the main topic but the nation owes its gratitude to Gen Parvez Akmal for saving OGDC from the avaricious clutches of Shaukat Aziz just as Gen Qayyum and Ex-CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry saved Pakistan Steel Mills from the loot sale planned by that evil incarnate and his sponsors. I wish someone had saved Habib Bank and PTCL also from being sold at ludicrously low prices. It is ironic that today we hear claims of loyalty to Pakistan from those who plundered this poor country’s exchequer unashamedly.
      One is reminded of that age old cliché –“Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels.”

      • Tariq Masud says:

        Reference Maj Gen Parvez Akmal’s query about the college emblem. General sahib is right, the emblem always carried a cross, not a crescent. I am not sure but think the change must have taken place after the college was nationalized.

  29. Lt Col Masood Alam (retd) says:

    Dear Sir,
    I am not a Gordonian but enjoyed your article. It was astonishing to know that your college defeated Indian National basketball team not once but twice. A great achievement when our national team was defeated. You have mentioned Deniel Austin is he the same who was captain of Army basketball team and later retired as Brigadier? Thanks for sharing good old days. Regards

  30. Aslam Malik says:

    Dear Tariq,
    This is very nice piece. Of course, nothing less is expected from your pen.
    Aslam Malik
    Class of 1958

  31. Major (R) Munir Ahmed, 2nd SSC says:

    Dear Tariq Sahib,
    Thank you so much for this beautiful. It is so interesting & absorbing that this lengthy article has been read by me in one breath. Allah has blessed you with excellent memory and the art of playing with the words. All the readers would love to read more from you. Keep sharing & stay blessed.

  32. It is an excellent article.

    Please also follow the link, (http://www.gordonians.org), to land on the ever first alumni website in the history of Gordon College Rawalpindi to get connected with thousands of its former students and teachers worldwide.

    Amad-ud-din Raja
    Founder & President
    Old Gordonians Association (OGA)

    • Dr. Arif Qureshi (USA) says:

      Salaamz Amad Bhai,
      Very few people leave messages there, hope it gets active and reconnects friends.
      Many duaaz.

  33. Azam Gill, France says:

    Thank you, Sir, for such a wealth of nostalgic information. My father was a Gordonian, my mother a Murrayite, and I myself am a Formanite. Our parents used to bicker over which college to send us to! My father, A. P. (Arthur Paul) Gill used to often talk of Drs Stewart and Cummings and Prof Imam Din, whose family later anglicized their name to Dean.

  34. Brig (R) Muhammad Faruq, 13th Long Course says:

    Tariq Sahib,
    God bless you and give you long and healthy life. Amen. One should admire your memory. You have not only described events but also remember all the names. I am not a Gordonian but I wish was one after reading your article. Many of my friends were and always described those days (1952-56) with fondest of memories. Tariq Sahib thanks again.

  35. Shahid Salam says:

    I was curious to find out who the College was named after; I didn’t succeed, but in my Google search what I did find was a very interesting blog initiated by Dr. Stewart’s great-granddaughter’s husband about their visit to Pakistan and to Gordon College:

    • Dr. Arif Qureshi (USA) says:

      Shahid Salam Sahib, thanks for the link.
      Here is a possible source for the name Gordon, I got from one of the comments.

      Rachel Sharp | December 13th, 2006 at 4:46 pm | comment link
      top comment
      I came across this site and was very interested because my ancestors founded Gordon College. My mother’s maiden name is Gordon, and her great grandfather went out to India/Pakistan in 1853, I believe, with the Presbyterian Mission and his son David Gordon and grandson Andrew Walker Gordon (My grandfather) carried on as missionaries there. My grandfather and mother and family left in 1936, I believe. I’d be fascinated in any history connected to them and those early years.

      • Shahid Salam says:

        Thank you Dr. Arif: Re. some of the comments about the alumni, every institution produces it’s share of, shall we say ‘the good, the bad and the ugly'; and Gordon College was no different. However, I think among the things that stand out in the history of the College is the selfless devotion of these Presbyterians and especially Dr. Stewart who gave 50 of the 103 years of his life to serving the College. People like him need to be honoured posthumously and maybe someone from the family can receive it on his behalf.

  36. Maj (R) Shaukat Mahmud, 3rd SSC says:

    Dear Tariq Sahib,
    It’s simply GREAT!! Wonderful!!! It contains cherishing memories of Pindi. My birth place was about a Km from Gordon College.

  37. Dr. Arif Qureshi, Dansville, NY, USA says:

    Salaamz Tariq Sahib,
    Amazing recollection of events from times gone by!
    After leaving St. Mary’s in 1961, I joined Gordon College but after a few months our family moved to Lahore and joined Govt. College, Lahore.Those few months at Gordon College were indeed special and your exquisite narration sort of takes me into those wondrous memory lanes we so yearn for!
    Many thanks and I will certainly re-read your article many times.

  38. Dear Tariq Masud Sahib,
    Though I am not a Gordonian (I’m a Ravian) but I found your ‘marathon’ nostalgic article so absorbing that I read it in one go. I wish I had a memory and writing skill like you to write about my Alma mater, Govt College Lahore.
    Was Malik AAA, the landlord from Khushab, lucky enough to marry Miss ‘Brigadier’?
    I hope you would approve the photos added by me to embellish the article. :)

    • Syed Shahid Salam, USA says:

      @ Editor: I am assuming the marriage offer was declined, because at the 2003 dinner gathering she was still “Brig” Talat Hussain, which was her maiden name.
      If there is one thing that stands out in the story of Gordon College, it is the absence of any religious student organisation in those days; which is how it should be at academic institutions; with the emphasis on learning and sports. Gordon College did have some outstanding faculty members.

      • iftikhar says:

        Latest update of Miss Talat (Brigadier) is that she passed away on 28th April 2014,I attended her funeral at Christ church next to GHQ Rawalpindi.

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