Transitions: Dedicated educationist Simon D’Lima passes away at the age of 89

Published: December 12, 2013

Simon D’Lima taught to thousands of students from the 1950s in the St Patrick’s School until his recent retirement as the founding principal of St Peter’s High School.

KARACHI: A dedicated educationist and disciplinarian, Simon D’Lima, who remained associated with the St Patrick’s High School, PAF Model School, and St Peter’s High School during his lifetime, died on December 9, 2013 in the United States. He was 89 years of age.

For nearly seven decades, D’Lima remained an iconic figure in the lives of students as an ace mathematics teacher. He taught to thousands of students from the 1950s in the St Patrick’s School until his recent retirement as the founding principal of St Peter’s High School. “Besides his forte in math, D’Lima was an inspirational leader and a wonderful human being who cared for the poor and under-privileged,” recalled Menin Rodrigues, the general-secretary of the Old Patricians, adding that his tuitions classes from the very beginning comprised of students from all strata of society and those who could not afford to pay, he would tutor them for free.

“He [D’Lima] helped me in Math tuitions in 1968-69 until I managed to get through Matriculation – it was all because of him,” said one of his former students who is settled abroad. “We weren’t financially well-off back then so he took reduced tuition fees. He will be remembered forever.”

Tony Fernandes, an alumnus of the class of 1954, said that he owed his success in life to the wonderful educators at St Patrick’s, and D’Lima was undeniably among those gifted teachers.

D’Lima was also one of the favourite teachers of former military ruler, Gen (retired) Pervez Musharraf, who being an old Patrician got ample opportunity of benefitting from his mentorship.

“My brother was a better student, so I would get punished and be made to kneel outside the class by Mr D’Lima for not scoring high in Math,” the army general had recalled while speaking at his alma mater in 2005. Being the president of the country at that time, Muharraf was invited by the Old Patricians, the school’s alumni group, in appreciation of his interest in de-nationalisation and successful return of St Patrick’s and St Joseph’s Colleges to the Catholic Archdiocese of Karachi after a 33-year span. “Later in life I got around the subject and excelled in it, thanks to those reprimanding reminders I got from Mr D’Lima.”

The late D’Lima also taught former prime ministers of Pakistan, including Mohammad Khan Junejo and Shaukat Aziz, and scores of other luminaries and individuals at the three prestigious educational institutions.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 12th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (38)

  • Tanzeel
    Dec 12, 2013 - 2:23AM

    Respect for this great teacher.

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  • Khurram Minhas
    Dec 12, 2013 - 3:33AM

    He had taught me, and he had my dad .. We owe it to such a legend who saw each student to pitch perfect in english and math. It is such dignitaries who brought out the best in us, and today we believe that if it weren’t his canes, we wouldn’t have been where we are. We seek such for our children!

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  • Amina
    Dec 12, 2013 - 3:35AM

    Sadly we are losing these precious gems who had such profound influence on our lives. I myself have been privileged to be taught maths by teachers like Ms, Eileen Soares at St Joseph’s. RIP Mr d Lima, I can understand the loss that many of your students would feel.

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  • Adil Uddin
    Dec 12, 2013 - 7:29AM

    RIP Sir

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  • Syed A. Mateen
    Dec 12, 2013 - 8:38AM

    Such teachers are born once in life time.

    My highest respects and regards to D’Lima.

    May God rest his soul in peace.

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  • Maroof Hussain
    Dec 12, 2013 - 8:52AM

    A great mentor and a wonderful person, honored to be one of his students. Mr. D’Lima you will always be missed. RIP!

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  • Farhan Baig
    Dec 12, 2013 - 9:18AM

    One who has dedicated his life educating our society, highly determined and sincere with his vision and profession; wealth and fame has never been his objectives rather serving people with social well being and discipline.

    The current state of our country has never been your desire; this world has always been a borderless opportunity for you rather you chose to stay among us in an uncivilized world. We feel sorry our State may have neglected your services and sacrifices but you will be remembered amongst thousands of son of the soil you have produced in many decades.

    A great man, a man of honor, your services to this society will always be remembered Mr. Simon D’Lima rest in peace Sir.

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  • Anon
    Dec 12, 2013 - 9:40AM

    I used to study at St Peters and used to see him everyday.

    This news is quite sad. May he rest in peace.

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  • Yousuf Pishori
    Dec 12, 2013 - 9:45AM

    Sad to hear about the death of Sir Simon D’Lima. Indeed a great teacher.Recommend

  • Anon
    Dec 12, 2013 - 10:11AM

    May he R.I.P.

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  • Dec 12, 2013 - 10:27AM

    I am an old Patrician. And can remember fondly [now!!]
    of being punished, and made to kneel in the back of the
    class, for the duration of the lecture. Facing the blackboard,
    so as to not miss one iota of the lecture.
    Or getting palms whacked, 5 on each, for infractions. Those
    were the good old days.

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  • Faiza Yasir
    Dec 12, 2013 - 11:35AM

    With higher respect, he was one teacher who taught us more than education! I still remember his “puppy love” story. RIP Sir…with all respects

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  • Certitude
    Dec 12, 2013 - 12:13PM

    Inna Lilla Hi Wa Inna Ilaihi Rajioon

    Mr. D’Lima had been principal of St. Peters where I studied, and I must say that the discipline he inculcated in those days maintained the education standard at the school back then. Mr. D’Lima you will be missed. RIP, May God Bless You.

    Ameen

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  • Khurshid alam
    Dec 12, 2013 - 12:17PM

    A great teacher and a source of inspiration. Saw him everyday for 10 years during my time at St Peters high school. May he rest in peace.

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  • tariq maqsood
    Dec 12, 2013 - 1:40PM

    i was in 6th class in PAF model school drigh road,he used to be the principal with lot of terror,carried a cane but hardly hit anyone,still have nice memories about my school and Mr d”lima.
    Rest In Peace

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  • Dec 12, 2013 - 2:05PM

    This is a very sad news.He taught me and my siblings.Its an honor to be a student of Mr. Simon D’Lima.He was a powerful person,posses knowledge about the subjects and a great administrators.Still remember and discuss the good old school days and have fond memories of Mr. D’Lima. It is people like Mr. D’Lima who used to run school with the sole purpose of imparting education.He not only imparted education but also played significant role in devolving & grooming his students. I salute you SIR and offer my wholehearted gratitude for your decades long effort for the cause of education. We will miss you. May your Soul Rest in Peace

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  • Faiza Raza
    Dec 12, 2013 - 3:11PM

    I studied under his guidance for 11 years at St. Peter’s and news of Mr. D’lima’s death is very sad. I owe all my success in life to him. The values that he imbibed have helped me become a better human being. May his soul rest in eternal peace

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  • Arsalaan Haleem
    Dec 12, 2013 - 3:15PM

    A great principal! Was at St. Peters during early eighties, and will always remember his stern look.

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  • samiullah
    Dec 12, 2013 - 4:06PM

    I did matriculation under his great supervision and mentor-ship. Today my all achievements belong to Sir Simon D Lima. He made me disciplined so my today and prospect is disciplined. Proud to be the student of sir D Lima. Sir you died but your name will NEVER die. May his soul rest in Peace.

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  • Hira Agha
    Dec 12, 2013 - 4:19PM

    He was the best teacher and principal anybody could have! He taught us discipline,manners and etiquettes! He will truly be missed! There can never be a person like him! God bless his soul!

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  • Rakshinda
    Dec 12, 2013 - 6:35PM

    I remember in Ramadan, I used to bite my finger nails when Sir Simon D’Lima paused during his english lecture and furiously scolded me and said “i am a cristian but i know that you muslims are not supposed to bite nails while you’re fasting”
    Sir, i will always remember what you taught.

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  • uzair
    Dec 12, 2013 - 8:52PM

    you are yawning in class? get out of class and kneel down with your hands up..I heard these words very often.

    when I was a kid in st Peter’s I was absolutely terrified of him. I had to make sure my nails are cut ..shoes polished, uniform is clean and well pressed with hair in short length.

    I was not a great student actually was at the bottom in the earlier days of my school. the way he ran the education system was marvelous. my the time I graduated I had one of the highest scores that were needed to get into college in us. I am well settled Here in us as a VP level position at the top biggest bank in the world and I am in my early 30s
    not only that even today my manners and person I am today is because of you
    thank you sir Simon. rest in peace and my prayers are with you

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  • Shuja Naqvi
    Dec 12, 2013 - 9:10PM

    May God have mercy on his soul and grant him the abode of the virtuous.

    The discipline I have in my life found its roots during my school days. The fear of Late Sir Simon D’Lima and the respect that we had for him in those days was enough to keep us away from distractions. He was a considerate person and possessed an eagle eye with an acute memory. You could not fool him no matter how hard you tried. He maintained equilibrium at all costs and educated us in the best possible way. I will never forget his booming voice that still resonates in my ears.

    My late grandfather had a very cordial relationship with him. An outstanding mathematician and a par excellent English teacher; he will not be forgotten. I thank God for I gained a lot from Simon D’Lima.

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  • Shahzad
    Dec 12, 2013 - 9:13PM

    Great man, wonderful personality and amazing fashion sense. Has taught more than three generations of students and hopefully we can educate and discipline our children according to the way D’Lima disciplined his students. I hope he RIP, you will be greatly missed.

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  • owais ikram
    Dec 12, 2013 - 9:37PM

    He was not only a great teacher but He also a great principal of pur school (St.Peter’s High School)…Sir,you will always present in my heart…R.I.P.Sir D’lima

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  • Ali
    Dec 12, 2013 - 9:44PM

    @Uzair: Your anda paratha rocked man!

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  • manika
    Dec 13, 2013 - 4:44AM

    He (sir simon d’lima) a man of discipline!
    A mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.Thats how sir was!
    A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning. Thats how sir was!
    He was a good entertainer who would first hold his audience’s attention & then teach his lesson.

    I was his student in St Peter’s high school! He used to teach mathematics & English language.
    He’s a great loss to the educational department!
    Loved u sir, u will always be missed…. may your soul rest in peace Amen!

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  • Evarist Correa
    Dec 13, 2013 - 5:53AM

    My deepest condolences to his dear family. He was my math teacher and a well respected man in Karachi. God bless him and his dear family.

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  • Shadman Ishrat
    Dec 13, 2013 - 3:54PM

    Rest is Peace Sir. I still remember you walking around with your cane giving us on our little bottoms when we were late – all that disciplining has turned I am sure a lot of us into successful men. God Bless You

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  • Fahad
    Dec 13, 2013 - 11:15PM

    RIP sir ……

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  • Fahad
    Dec 13, 2013 - 11:23PM

    He was a great man,i had done matriculation under his supervision ….we can’t forget u sir…….

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  • mrs catherine
    Dec 15, 2013 - 11:41AM

    He was a great person because he was a TEACHER, who for years was civilizing the youth of our nation.I was his employee at st.peter’s school I had the honour to work under a great human being his voice still remain in my mind that go on catherine i am always there for u.ALMIGHTY GOD BLESS HIS SOUL n he may rest in peace.I’II miss u sir…………

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  • Adeel
    Dec 17, 2013 - 11:02AM

    I had the privilege of studying in St. Peter’s High School for 9 years. The tutelage of Sir D’Lima was certainly an unforgettable experience of my life. My time at St. Peter’s assuredly went on to shape the rest of my life. For that I will always be indebted to all my teachers, particular Sir Simon.

    Sir: I hope you know that you will be remembered by several generations of students that benefited from your efforts.

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  • Saleem Husaini
    Jan 17, 2014 - 2:12AM

    A wonderful teacher and educationist. Cannot forget the cane he used to carry around the school walking with Sergeant Aquil who was heading PT.

    Is anyone here from the class of 1976-77 who remembers Mazhar Alvi and Rizwan Akhtar?

    Regards

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  • Saleem Husaini
    Jan 17, 2014 - 2:14AM

    Akhtar is this you?

    Saleem Husaini

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  • kashif alam
    Jan 17, 2014 - 5:54PM

    He was a great source of inspiration for me and had a good memories about him.

    In discipline I think I have never seen a teacher like him in my life.

    he will be remember in my who life

    may rest his soul in peace

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  • sheikh omair
    Jan 28, 2014 - 10:07AM

    r i p sir.. i was ur student since kg one class i founded u always big hearted your school is one of the top school in karachi m proud that i studeid in your school under your managment you are the best teacher best principle i always miss u sir .. god bless his soul ameen

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  • denaz
    Feb 6, 2014 - 1:15PM

    RIP sir I use to teach at ST PETER’S in late 80′s very strong personality and a good adminstrator

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