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Sunday, May 31, 2009

On The Eve of Completion 150 Years of Bai Virbaiji Soparivala Parsi High School Karchi (1859-2009):- (2009-4)

The Parsis of Karachi are eternally indebted to Seth Shapurji Hormusji Soparivala and his family for sowing the seed of Bai Virbaiji Soparivala Parsi High School in 1859. It was a small Parsi Balakshala housed in the residence of one Mr. Dadabhoy Palonji Paymaster.
As the School going community increased, it outgrew the building. In the year 1869 Seth Shapurji lost his beloved wife, Bai Virbaiji. In May 1870 Seth Shapurji, who had been so fr the greastest benefactor of the shool, donated a sum of Rs.10,000/- on the condition that the school be named the Parsi Virbaiji School. The opening ceremony was performed on 24th September 1870 by the then commissioner of Sindh, Sir William Mereweather. Mr. Jamshedji Framji Master was the Headmaster at that time.
The Balakshala which began in 1870 remained a Vernacular School for Parsi children, teaching Gujrati, Arithmetic, Writing, History, Geography and some needlework up to 1875.
In 1875 the School reached the status of an “Anglo-Vemacular Institute” (Until 1875 all the teaching was done through the medium of Gujrati). In 1875-76 the school was officially ranked as 2nd grade “Anglo-Vernacular School”.
The Student strength till 1878 varied between 112-116 and was co-education. The desire of Parsis to improve their English was evident even in those days. In 1908, the Headmaster sought permission of the Managing Committee of the school to use the school premises, before and after school hours to teach English by Direct Method to Parsi children.
On 10th October 1904, the eldest som of the Founder, Seth Khurshedji Soparivala, laid the foundation stone of the present school building on Victoria Road. This was completed on 24th March 1905 and the opening ceremony was performed by Seth Khurshedji himself.
In 1909 the Cowasjee and Virbaiji Variawa family set up a trust fund to feed and cloth the poor Parsi students and to date the “Bhojan Fund” does just that.
The period from 1920-1946 the second story of the building was completed. By this time numerous other donors helped build the newer section of the school. Golwalla Dining Hall (1932), the Limbuala classrooms and Drawing Hall (1935-37) and the Dadbhoy Mama Workshop Building (1946) were built. The Nullah Land was purchased in (1941) due to the efforts of M.R.K Sidhwa. Dr. H.B. Pithawala who took over from Mr. Sidhwa proved to be a dynamic Principal.
Again through the generosity of the Fakirjee Cowasjee Family, in 1940 the school secured the spacious playing field on Sangster Road.
In 1947 at the request of founder of the nation to the community and the Principal Mr. Behram Rustomji the school opened its doors for the very first time to nom-Parsis.
For co-curricular activities the school has a cricket team, hockey team, swimming team, table tennis team, a volley ball team, basket ball and football team. The school arranges the inter-house tournaments with the students representing the four houses.
Soparivala (Light Blue)
Lancelot (Red)
Quaid-e-Azam (Dark Blue)
Rezashah (Green)
The school has a very active scouts Organization. The school is proud to have the Cowasjee Variwa School Band, where besides the percussion instrument, trumpets and bugles are also taught.
The BVS Parsi High School thus holds the distinction of being one of the oldest and prestigious institutions for young boys in the city of Karachi.
On the eve of Completion 150 Years of Bai Virbaiji Soparivala Parsi High School, Karachi, Pakistan Post is issuing a Commemorative Postage Stamp of Rs.5/- denomination on May 23, 2009