“The Inauguration of Basket Ball Courts in Gordon College Rawalpindi in Late 1950s”

By Anonymous

Editor’s Note: The writer, a retired Army officer, wants to be Anonymous, not because of this article but because of his comments about his girl friend in another article  (History of Super’s Restaurant, Bank Road Rawalpindi and Mukhtar, its Bald Owner).

Mr. AnonymousI am a genuine Pindiite and know “who was who” in 1950s and 60s. I knew almost everybody worth his salt in Gordon College and Government College, Asghar Mall, Rawalpindi. Knew all prominent characters of those days, student or otherwise. No big deal. It was a small, neat town then and everybody knew everybody.

Gordon College, Rawalpindi

Gordon College, Rawalpindi

Did anyone on these pages attend the inauguration of basket ball courts of Gordon College? It took place in late 50s or early 60s. I must have been in fourth-fifth class. Just a kid. My elder brother practiced hockey in Gordon College Ground. I used to tag along on the carrier of his “Hercules” bicycle which I inherited in my college days.

While he played hockey, I used to wander in Jubilee Hall which was the center of activities in those days. It had a proper stage and I watched debate competitions and dramas. I was even allowed in the back stage area where I watched actors preparing for their next scene.

I once saw a drama performed by English actors. They spoke Shakespearean English which went way above my head but I enjoyed the waving of swords and the costumes.

Basket ball courts were constructed next to the famous Ladies Garden, separated only by a dirt path. These were probably the first properly constructed courts in Pindi.

Basket ballOne day, I saw a very tall, slim, bespectacled Gora standing in the center of the court and practicing his shots. He had a couple of assistants to hand the balls back to him.

He kept on and on, while I watched. My brother told me that he was the vice principal of the college and was preparing for the inauguration of the courts. I watched him for a long time. He followed the same routine for weeks on end. I was simply fascinated.

On the inauguration day, there was a big crowd and lot of speeches. In the end the Gora positioned himself on the newly marked center line and took his shot and scored on his first attempt. Anybody familiar with basket ball knows that a shot from the center is the most difficult one. At best it is a fluke, but not for that Gora.

Dr. Robert Frederick Tebbe

Dr. Robert Frederick Tebbe.

Even at that age, I was impressed by his persistence and dedication. His name was Dr. Tebbe, later he was principal of F.C.College, Lahore.

Did anyone see him taking that impossible shot while the whole crowd watched?

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

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  1. Lt Col (R) Ajmal Mahmood (30 PMA) says:

    Can any one let me know the phone number of Lt Col (R) Saeed Ullah, Sigs, an ex Gordonian. He is living in Pindi, may be in DHA.
    Lt Col (R) Ajmal Mahmood
    Cell Phone: 0334 7111231

  2. Thank you for the precious contribution Mr. Anonymous, brought back memories reading all those names like Shah Rehman, dr. Tebbe, and others, we might even have crossed paths when I lived in Pindi, my father was the Gordon College doctor. Regards Sonny

  3. Khurram Mughal says:

    I am grandson of Master Khuda Bukhsh of Gown House. My email is:

  4. Each and every word of the writer is a gem or jewel for me. I am a Pindiite since 1952. Studied at Gordon College. When I compare the past of Pindi with the present conditions, my eyes tend to get wet with tears. I can write and keep on writing about Pindi’s past but would narrate just one scene witnessed daily by me in the morning in Lalkurti Bazaar area.

    Sweepers with brooms fitted with long rods would wash the Nalis (Drains) on both sides of the roads, while the Mashki (Waterman) would sprinkle water in the Nali and a Mate (Supervisor) would be standing a few paces away ensuring that the cleaning was of good standard. After that another man would bring a bag full of Chuna (Lime) and sprinkle on the drains. Those were the sweepers of the Cantt Board, Rawalpindi. These days the sweepers are never seen on the roads because they go to the houses of the Cantt Board officers to clean their houses free as they get their salaries from the Cantt Board.

    Woh din bhi kaya din thay!!!

    • Shahid Ihsan Ullah says:

      Dear Sir,
      My father LT Col Ihsan Ullah Khan (Late) also studied at Gordon College. He was from Corps of Engineers, 13 PMA. Probably you knew him !!!
      I miss my parents a lot.

  5. Good article. Reminds me of my days in Gordon College.

  6. Dr. Tebbe was among the few legendary educationists and reformers who would be long remembered for their selfless services.

  7. Maj (R) Khalid Saeed Shah (2nd SSC) says:

    A very good article and appreciated as well. I am not a Pindiite and have neither been to Gordon College but know a few Gordonians. Jub Gordon College ki baat chali hai tou phir ” RAJA KUBBA ” (very famous character of the College) ka zikr na ho tou maza nahi.

  8. Albert Dean, Mississauga, Canada. says:

    An article which brings back golden memories of the Gordon College campus, because I lived in the college campus just next to the hockey field.

    I was also a student of Gordon College from 1960 to 1964 and during this time I was a member of the college basketball team. Dr. Robert Fredrick Tebbe was the head of the Chemistry department and vice principle of the college and he was my chemistry teacher for four years, he passed away in February 2010 in Florida, USA.

    I did not witness the inauguration of the basketball courts. It is highly possible that I might have seen or met Mr. Anonymous in the Gordon College campus at some point in time.

  9. Tariq Masud says:

    I was in Gordon college from 1952 to 1957. Dr. Robert Fredrich Tebbe was one of my chemistry teachers. He rose to be the vice Principal of Gordon College. Other Chemistry teachers were Shah Rehhman Khan Bodheraj and Nasimullau Khan. Shah Rehman, a prosperous Pindiite Hindu converted to Islam during late 1940s. Dr. Tebbe held the degrees of BSc and PhD and we always wondered how could one obtain a doctorate without earning a masters. He died in 2010 at the ripe age of 89.

    I do not remember participating in the opening ceremony of the new basketball courts. This must have been done later than 1957, but basket ball courts always existed in the college and players practiced every day.

    Editor: Tariq Masud’s further comments have been converted into an article. Please wait for it.

    • Dear Tariq Masud Sb,

      Correct, the basket ball courts already existed but they were properly renovated. New poles erected or the old ones repaired and repainted. Court No.1 was cemented and Court No. 2 was layered with bricks. After the opening, a match was also played.


  10. Zia Sharif says:

    Pindi has to have its own charm, and specially for Army Officers, the career also takes birth from here and also faded here!

    Its incredible to recollect old bygone days with such details and express the same splendidly ~ Keep it up Pindiites, as each article is really written with feelings.

    Thanks you Col Cheema for writing to Major Siraj, who a dear friend since early fifties, I’d lost track of, (For almost three decades) and could not even contact him from Denver, Colorado while we were on our way to Rocky Mountains via Boulder. The contact now will be welcome ~ Thanks to your good self.

    Profound regards.

  11. Syed Haroon Wasti says:

    Such articles must have clear info about dates and time and names for record sake or else those are just idle personal thoughts.

    • Dear Mr. Wasti,

      I wish I had sharper memory or had maintained a diary, then and only then, I could have provided the details like exact dates, time and names. Moreover, I am not a historian.

      I was just a kid then, I did remember the name of the hero though, only the spellings were wrong. For your record, Dr. Robert Fredrich Tebbe is the correct name.

      Some memories/incidents are simply engraved on one’s mind. For instance, in mid 60s, I witnessed the head of a small school boy being squashed by the rear tyre of a Double Decker Bus on Murree Road. His skull popped open with a terrible sound and contents were literally splattered on the road.

      I don’t remember the name of the boy or that of the driver, nor the number of the bus. I just remember his grey matter spilled on the road. I also remember that I vomited and couldn’t eat anything for a day or two.

      I believe everybody has such memories of unforgettable incidents. Surely, there is a difference between memories and idle personal thoughts.


  12. Hasan Jawaid (USA),1st SSC says:

    Very interesting, I am from Karachi but my friends from high school days had attended and played hockey from Gordon College team. My friend’s name was Muzaffar Tahir who later on went to play for Pakistan, his elder brother also attended Gordon College who later joined Navy and went pretty high. I played hockey on Gordon College grounds for two summers in 70s and I was impressed as my friends took me around the campus. Good memories, please keep writing.

  13. Maj (R) Arshed Ahmed Butt , Sigs (1st SSC) says:

    A very well narrated nostalgic account of Gordon College, Rawalpindi. My dear Sir, you must disclose your identity now with your photo. Jub piyar kiya tou darna kaya…. Chupp chupp kay abb likhna kaya!!

    • Lt Col (R) Ajmal Mahmood says:

      Dear Maj Arshed Butt,
      In case you know, can you tell me the phone number of Lt Col (R) saeed Ullah, Sigs? He lived in Askari 2 a few years ago and then he probably shifted to DHA. I want to contact him, Thanks.
      Lt Col(R) Ajmal Mahmood
      Cell Phone; 0334 7111231

  14. Azam Gill, France says:

    Thanks for another fine piece of writing. The Gora’s name was Dr. Tebbe, and when I saw him as principal of FC College, Lahore, he had a tick in one eye and wasn’t as fit as he must have been when you saw him.

    My father graduated from Gordon College, my older brother represented Murray College in a debate in Jubilee Hall, and I myself had the honour of representing FC College in the same place.

    My father also served on the Board of Directors of Gordon College.

    Since ‘Pindi was such a small place, any news of Master Khuda Bakhsh of Gown House and his descendants, and my ‘Uncle’ Ashraf, his relative who ran a furniture business that supplied GHQ?

    Also, any news on the whereabouts of Major Munir Rafiq of village Moga (or Monga?) of 28 Cavalry convicted in the 1973 so-called Attock Conspiracy Case?

  15. Dear Anonymous,
    Good article. You have a sharp memory. Keep contributing more nostalgic articles about Rawalpindi of yesteryear.

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