US-Based BVS Alumni Celebrate Reunion in California
By Afshad Mistri

Irvine, CA: They came from all over California, Nevada, Arizona, Florida and even Pakistan for the Second B.V.S. Virbaijeeite (alumni) Reunion in Irvine, California. The first reunion was held in Houston, Texas on June 30, 2007.
B.V.S. Parsi High School is one of the most prestigious high schools in Karachi. It was established in 1859 for the growing Parsee community at that time. In 1862, Seth Shapurji Soparivala donated his own house, that was used as the first school building. Later in 1905 the grandsons of Seth Shapurji Soparivala built a new building on Abdullah Haroon Road, which still stands as one of the most beautiful and historic buildings in Karachi.
In 1947 Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah approached the Managing Committee of the school to request them to open its doors to all faiths due to the shortage of schools in Karachi. That request was granted and today over a thousand children get quality education at B.V.S.
To get the US-based alumni together, organizing teams in Houston and Los Angeles worked for months to connect with local alumni to inform them of the get-together through the alumni website: www.bvsvirbaijeeites.com


Pictures above: Glimpses of the BVS Alumni Reunion in Irvine. Top left: Mr. Pervaiz Lodhie and members of his family with Mrs. Mistri

Over 136 friends and families attended the reunion at the beautiful Irvine Community Center on Saturday, 28 July. Awards were given to Virbaijeeites who are now leaders in their fields.
The first award was given to Mr. Pervaiz Lodhie (class of 1960) for his leadership and contribution to Pakistan. Pervaiz is one of the founding directors and trustees of President Musharraf’s Pakistan Human Development Fund. Pervaiz launched the Humanitarian Poverty Alleviation programs in the poorest Pakistani villages, providing them sustainable solar powered LED light bulbs and solar powered drinking water pumps. Pervaiz is an inspiration to us all and it was an honor to have him at the event.
The second award was given to Ardershir Jehangir Sidhwa, PhD, (class of 1983) for his leadership in the processing engineering field. Ardershir holds four US Patents and has another four pending. He has co-authored over 60 engineering publications. He and his wife traveled from Arizona for the event.
Baber Sultan Syed was honored for his dedication in leading and helping the California event. But he was not the only one on the organizing committee. Alams and Pervaiz Lodhie, Anila and Karim Ali and their families were all recognized for making the event a huge success.
Recognition and award was also given to Mrs. Mistri. She received a standing ovation from all of her students for her long service to the school. She started teaching English to the secondary classes at the B.V.S. in 1951. She was the first lady teacher to teach the secondary classes during those days. Thanks to her sustained hard work, thousands of her dear students have made their mark in various fields.
Mrs. Mistri was given the "Pride of Performance" award by the President General Pervez Musharraf on 23rd Mach 2002 in recognition of her valuable services in the field of education. Many of her students who came to the event were overjoyed to meet her after many years.
The most senior Virbaijeeite, who lives in Karachi and studied under Principal Dr. Pithawala, was Abdul Razaq Diwan, who had joined the school in 1948. In contrast Mohmmad Ali Sharif was the youngest who graduated in 1996 and is now living in LA.
The food was delicious, the music brought back some old memories, and the short presentation, was enjoyed by all.
In 2009 the school will celebrate its 150 years and plans to have a mega reunion in the US and one in Karachi.
We thank everyone who came from all over the world and specially the organizing committee for making this event a success. For more information about the B.V.S. and the Alumni Association please visit: www.bvsvirbaijeeites.com

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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