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Haneef Awan



Syed Kamran Bashir



Since june 2006

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 School Construction

The School House - 1859
In 1859 the Karachi Parsi Balakshala was housed in the residence of one Mr. Dadabhoy Palanji Paymaster. As the Parsi population had increased by 1863 the school was shifted to a bunglow where the present Seth Hijikaka's Daremeber stands on Frere Street. A small rental of Rs 20/- per month was levied. But on petitioning the Cantonment authorities, on whose lands the school stood, the rental was remitted after ten months.

1869 the school going community seems to have outgrown its building, for it is noted that a Building Fund was started and a sum of Rs. 1,680/- was collected from the members of the Parsi Community. An anonymous well-wisher sent Rs. 500/-. To this Seth Shapurji added a sum

The School House
In of Rs. 820/-. This brought Building Fund to Rs. 3,000/-. A sum of 3,000/- from the sale of buildings on the Agiary site, received from the Trustees of Hirjibhoy Jamshedji Fire temple, was added to the Fund.
Bai Virbaiji School - 1870
On the fourth Gatha in the year 1869 Seth Shapurji lost his beloved wife, Bai Virbaiji in May 1870 Seth Shapurji, who had been so far the greatest benefactor of the school, offered the autorities the use of his one-storedyed house on Frere Street valued at Rs. 10,000/- to be used as a school in lieu of his donation of Rs. 8,000/- towards the Building Fund in commemoration of his late lamented wife. On 24th September 1870 the School House was removed from the old Line Sergeant's Bungalow in Saddar Bazaar (Hirjikaka's Agyari) to the new upper storyed splendid building presented by Seth Shapurji on condition that the School was named the Parsi Virbaiji School. The indentures signed on the occasion are shown in the Appendix.
The opening ceremony was performed on 24th September 1870 by the Commissioner in Sind, Sir William Mereweather. On that occasion in the presence of distinguished visitors and guests the Hon. Secretary of the School, Seth Edulji Fakirji Bharucha, read a report on the foundation and progress of the school. After this, the Parsi Prakash reports, Seth Phirosha Pestonji Dubash delivered a speech in praise of the founder of the School, Seth Shapurji Hormusji Soparivala, and the Headmaster Seth Jamshedji Faramji Master. On declaring open the new school the Chairman of the meeting presented a "Shawl of Honour" to Seth Shapuril on behalf of the Parsi Anjuman of Karachi. The meeting terminated with a speech by the then Educational Inspector Mr. J. G. Muir appreciating the educational efforts of the Parsis of Karachi.
Current Building - 1906
The great founder retired from active service, traveled widely and died gloriously at Karachi, on 25th March 1895 at the age of seventy-two. With the march of time the 1870 building was found insufficient.

By 1904 all negotiations about the piece of land measuring 7324 sq. yards near the Artillery Volunteers Head Quarters on the Victoria Road for the School Building and 2400 sq. yards for recreation purposes was secured.

It was resolved to hold the "Foundation Stone Ceremony on Monday, 10th October, 1904 at 5 p.m before the members of the Managing Committee, by Seth Khurshedji Shapurji Soparivla whose late lamented father was the Founder of the School (it being New Moon) Parsi Roj ASMAN Mah FARVERDIN 1274 YEZDEGERD SHEHENSHAI.

School Building - 1906
This was completed on 24 March 1906, the 11th death anniversary, of the founder. The opening ceremony was solemnly performed by Seth Khurshedji in the presence of a distinguished gathering.

The architect in charge was the famous Member of the Society of Architects, Mr. Moses Somake, and the building contract was given to Messr's Abdulhusein Alibhai. The M. C. appointed 'Mistry Noor Mahommed Abdulla on Rs. 40/- per month.

It is rather strange that the new building bears the date of 1905 on the outer frontage and also the same date is carved in the Christian and Yezdezerdi Era on the Assembly Hall Arches. One is at loss to explain this anomaly as the building was started in 1904 and completed and opened in 1906 as is borne out by all available records.
Records of Building Fund
But the greatest contribution towards the building fund again came from the Soparivala Family. The sons of the Founder Seth Khurshedji and Jamshedji made an offer of Rs.10,000/- (Ten thousand) and the community raised moneys as under:
Parsi Punchayat Garden Fund Rs. 3,000
Parsi Community Mr. B. J. Padshah Rs. 2,352
Mr. Jamshedji Tata Mr. B. J. Padshah Rs. 1,000
M. K. & J Soparivala (Besides the 10,000) Rs. 2,000
Daughters of the late Shapurji Soparivala Rs. 500
Loan from P. V. School Fund Rs. 4,000
Baliwala's Victoria Theatrical Co. Benefit Performance Rs. 500
Naoroji's Theatrical Co's Benefit Performance Rs. 118
Mrs' Soonabai Pocaji Jeejihoy Rs. 1,500
Rs.2,768-3-2 were obtained from interest on funds collected, and Rs. 521-4-0 were again generously paid by M/s K. & J. Soparivala towards the settlement of the contractor's claim. Mr. Somak elso credited Rs. 28/- towards " sale of some iron stanchions."
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