For two teachers, St Joseph’s Convent to celebrate half a century of dedication today

Published: September 13, 2011
Ms Siddiqui (left) and Ms Soares at Feast Day celebrations in March this year. The school has turned 150 years old and these teachers have been there for half a century. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Ms Siddiqui (left) and Ms Soares at Feast Day celebrations in March this year. The school has turned 150 years old and these teachers have been there for half a century. PHOTO: EXPRESS

KARACHI: St Joseph’s Convent High School will be holding mass and a ceremony today to mark 50 years of teaching for two staff members, Aileen Soares and Sabira Siddiqi.

“Fifty years is a long time – their service to the school should be honoured,” said Cambridge section head, Naseema Kapadia. It has been an eventful year for the school, that turned 150 years old in March.

In addition to honouring these teachers, the school will also be feting eight teachers from the primary, Matric and Cambridge sections along with seven members of the domestic staff who have completed 25 years of service. The programme will begin with a service at the St. Patrick’s Cathedral at 9 am. The teachers, students and relatives will then proceed to the school hall where the teachers will be presented with bouquets and folders

For their part, the students have prepared videos and a presentation of these teachers’ ‘famous’ quotes, some of which have been e-mailed from abroad where generations of ex-students of the school now live.

When Soares, a Math teacher in the Cambridge section, walks to the stage to receive her bouquet, she will be accompanied by an ex-student who graduated in 1968, Parveen Manekjee.

Similarly, Siddiqi, who has been teaching Urdu at St Joseph’s for 53 years, will be accompanied by an ex-student who graduated in 1960, Batool Ali. Manekjee and Ali are the oldest students of these teachers.

(Read: St Joseph’s: Looking back, from Ghalib to graphs)

Published in The Express Tribune, September 13th,  2011.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (42)

  • Silent Spectator
    Sep 13, 2011 - 2:42AM

    Teachers like Ms. Soares are treasures of Pakistan and should be treated as such. Selfless teachers like Ms. Soares have contributed to the goodwill, prosperity, and betterment of Pakistan in ways that no politicians or leaders could ever do. Her apartment overlooking Empress Market was always welcoming even though you had to solve math problems and equations there ;)


  • Talha
    Sep 13, 2011 - 3:23AM

    Amazing achievement.

    We need more of such people.


  • Hina Rashdi
    Sep 13, 2011 - 5:17AM

    I am an ex-student of St. Joseph’s Convent, graduating in the year 1991. I salute Ms. Soares and Ms. Siddiqui for imparting knowledge with such love, care and dedication. We love you, dear teachers!


  • Amina khan
    Sep 13, 2011 - 5:26AM

    I have never forgotten you Ms Siddiqui and Ms Soares and neither have I forgotten all that you two great ladies taught me, which was so much more about life than just Urdu and Maths.Congratulations to both of you. I cherish each and every memory of my wonderful school St Joseph’s Convent.


  • Samiah Ahsan Zia
    Sep 13, 2011 - 8:31AM

    All the maths I ever learnt was from Ms.Soares and owe my love for Urdu to Ms.Siddiqui.What great role models!


  • Sep 13, 2011 - 8:58AM

    Teachers, unsung heroes of our times.


  • Sep 13, 2011 - 9:38AM

    What I am today is the product of dedication of all my teachers. Ms. (Bari) Siddiqui and Ms. Soares, I give you the credit for whatever success I have achieved in my life. I am overwhelmed by your devotedness and pray to Allah that He may give us the same resolve to continue your good work with commitment.


  • Durriya Shabbir
    Sep 13, 2011 - 9:57AM

    The mediocre teacher tells, The good teacher explains, The superior teacher demonstrates,The great teacher inspire.These two stand for inspiration.I cherish those days spent at St Joseph’s. Congratulation, Ms Siddiqui and Ms Soares on reaching this land mark.


  • sophia khan
    Sep 13, 2011 - 10:03AM

    I am so privileged and lucky to have been taught by these two favourite and great teachers who are bursting with knowledge Sophia Khan VII CAMBRIDGE St. Josephs…


  • Jennifer Johnson
    Sep 13, 2011 - 10:24AM

    Ms. Soares and Ms. Siddiqui are the treasure of are nation. We are one of the luckiest who have studied and evolved under their exquisite guidance and have been able to be a small part of their overwhelming shadow of perfection. They are the epitome of mentors and their dedication is a precious jewel. St. Joseph’s is St. Joseph’s because of our teachers. What all I have learned and incorporated in my being is because of my teachers! A prophet to his people and my teachers to me. With all the love and gratitude of the world.


  • Faiza Qureshi
    Sep 13, 2011 - 10:35AM

    Both these amazing ladies taught my mother Nuzhat Asrar who graduated in 1970 from the convent. And needless to say the knowledge imparted from these two legends has been shared by all who were taught by my mother in return :)


  • Aliza Salman
    Sep 13, 2011 - 11:05AM

    I study at St.Josephs and I find myself very lucky being taught by the two teachers.
    thank you Ms. Siddiqui ans Ms. Soares for all the knowledge you have shared with me!


  • Talat Haque
    Sep 13, 2011 - 11:33AM

    Ms. Soares, I love you ! I graduated in 1964 and used to be your “brain box” ………. you were so generous in spirit and never minded that I did an imitation of you at the farewell party we gave to the class senior to ours!!! ……….. what filled me with pride was when I took my daughter in 1985 for the admission interview and you passed by [‘whizzing by’ better describes you!] me in the corridor – you stopped and recognized me by name and said “I don’t forget my brain boxes” ………….. I have cherished every word you said to me ……….. having graduated to be a doctor never gave me as much pleasure as being your student ………… God Bless you !


  • Farhana Khan
    Sep 13, 2011 - 11:43AM

    I have never forgotten my golden days at St.Josephs Convent, my entire personality reflects it an i feel extremely honored to be referred to as a Conventarian!! St.Josephs Convent you will always be a beacon of light for me !!


  • Ramzan Ali
    Sep 13, 2011 - 12:26PM

    This is really a good gesture for these teachers on giving them pride & honor….. U Salute them both a happy life & dedication their life to St. Joesph College !!

    Salaam Ustad !!!

    “I challenge you to make your life like a masterpiece. I challenge you to join the ranks of those people who live what they teach, who walk their talk.”


  • murassa sanaullah
    Sep 13, 2011 - 1:29PM

    congratulations miss Siddiqui ana miss Soares, i am an ex student of St. Joseph’s and am very proud to be a Josephine, miss Soares u will always be my best teacher , teachers like u and your other fellow teachers who taught me have done great work in my charecter building, i sincerely hope our young generation of teachers follow the path of these seniors, who dedicated thier whole lives in teaching and well being of thier they are not like teachers of today (specially our intermediate teachers)whose first preferance is tuition and money .


  • mariam haris
    Sep 13, 2011 - 1:57PM

    God bless both of u and i am proud to be a josephian:)


  • Farhana Pasha
    Sep 13, 2011 - 2:25PM

    The most memorable lessons taught by teachers Like Ms.Siddiqui and Ms.Soares and many other to many of us at the St.Joseph’s Convent have actually made us “well-equipped to meet the calls of life each passing year”. Here we were taught the lesson “how to sift our wrong from right”. Those of us who have sung this school song everyday in the assembly never knew its true meaning then.

    I cherish each and every day I’ve spend in this school. I am who I am today because of the dedication and love of my teachers.

    As Durria said great teachers inspire and these two teachers truly stand for inspiration. I was in grade 9 when we celebrated the 125 years of our school (still have the mug with school picture on it). Mashaallah, its going to be 150 year.


  • Hadia
    Sep 13, 2011 - 3:56PM

    I am not a student of St Josephs but 50 years is a life time and this says it all!You two indeed are an asset for the entire nation!Recommend

  • Sep 13, 2011 - 4:16PM

    Thank you for your articles in the paper for these selfless dedicated teachers who have been in
    St. Joseph’s Convent for one third of the institution’s existence. Great icons who have been role models for students and us teachers.They believe in what Bertrand Russell said

    No man can be a good teacher unless he has feelings of warm affection toward his pupils and a genuine desire to impart what he himself believes to be of value
    strong text


  • Yusra Azmi
    Sep 13, 2011 - 5:31PM

    Ms. Soares is one of the most inspiring and strongest women i know. and i am so indebted to her for teaching us math beautifully, and more so for tapping the potential in each one of us. Potential that neither we, nor our parents knew existed in us. It built a stable and logical foundation for our careers, our minds, and our hearts. God bless you!Recommend

  • Cynical
    Sep 13, 2011 - 5:40PM

    An inspiring story.


  • Shehlah Zahiruddin
    Sep 13, 2011 - 10:32PM

    I am so lucky n blessed to have been taught by both these teachers from class 8 through 11. I m sure Ms. Soares would never believe I run my own business and do all my math in a jiffy! And thanks to Ms. Bari Siddiqui I have a love for Urdu poetry and prose. I just wish Ms. Shafiqa Fikree was with us too :(Recommend

  • Pakistan One
    Sep 13, 2011 - 10:48PM

    I will be very sad the day these two teachers depart from us. I no longer find such teachers expect in old schools like Bai Virbaiji Soparivala Parsi High School and Mama Parsi Girls Secondary School. Every where else I go, I see more of a fashion show among teachers rather than doing their job which is to impart knowledge to the younger generation.

    Its really sad that these teachers are not presented with any civil service award which have so generously been awarded to guilty and absconders.

    Dear Teachers, forgive us for we have not learned your value. You are our best strategic asset.


  • Saman
    Sep 13, 2011 - 10:59PM

    Proud to b a josephian


  • Anonymous
    Sep 13, 2011 - 11:56PM

    Both of them look so CUTE!


  • mehrunissa
    Sep 14, 2011 - 12:19AM

    i can never forget the devotion of both these teachers who taught me and my daughter rabale noorani.i had great regards for both of them


  • -____-
    Sep 14, 2011 - 1:14AM

    i hated SJC,worst days of my life,the quality education was for limited rich students and the teachers were mean and materialistic.


  • Azra Abbasi
    Sep 14, 2011 - 1:18AM

    Congratulations to Baree Ms. Siddiqui and Ms. Soares !! I graduaded from the school in 1988, but the values taught by these teachers (and others like them) will always be a part of me and simply define me…….so actually the school never left me. Lucky are those students who have teachers like these.


  • Nali
    Sep 14, 2011 - 2:47AM

    I studied at st josephs for only a year, but was lucky enough to be taught by both.. At the time one doesnt realise the life lessons being taught indirectly by these teachers.. All we see is the strict demeanour and scoldings.. I realised what a gem of a person ms soares was much later on, and still havent been able to forget all i learnt from her.. Ms siddiqui was also a sweetheart, letting me off the hook so many times as urdu was new to me then.. Truly great teachers, feeling so proud :)


  • Sabina Halai
    Sep 14, 2011 - 4:15AM

    Ms. Aileen Soares and Ms. Sabira Siddqui, two icons, two legends and two living examples of knowledge, enthusiasm, discipline, positive thinking and patriotism. One a Mathematic teacher par excellence and the other an Urdu Scholar, both setting high bench-marks for their students, to live up to the top standards of education, then and now and forever. May our beloved teachers Ms. Soares and Ms. Siddiqui live for hundreds of years to shape up the intellectual lives of many many more girls to come. Having learnt from them has left an impact so strong on me that I am indebted to them from the bottom of my heart. They personify learning and teach their students to excel, they leave behind footprints of good memories, on the Sands of Times, for all their students.


  • Sep 14, 2011 - 8:22AM

    I’m sorry but SJC was the one school that was not just limited to rich people. Coming from a middle class background, I know half my class mates had a similar background… Congrats Ms Soares and Sr Ms Siddiqui. We would not be where we are today without your guidance and inspiration. Thank you SJC for everything you have done for us.


  • Humaira
    Sep 14, 2011 - 12:49PM

    Assisting my 2 younger children with their maths & urdu lessons makes me realise what a diference teachers like Ms. Soares & Ms. Siddiqui made in my life and that of all other students they taught. My eldest daughter Samra was also lucky to be their student. She recently graduated from Smith College MA. To quote her “my maths foundation was laid by the best teacher ever”, “enjoying reading urdu literature would have been unimaginable had it not been for Ms. Siddiqui & my grand mother”.


  • Kiran
    Sep 14, 2011 - 11:02PM

    Ms Soares and Ms Siddiqui.. both were my teachers. So so proud of them… Ms Soares I miss the “you look look and see nothing!” Fond regards, kiran


  • Areeba Jawed
    Sep 15, 2011 - 3:35AM

    Sjc was the best thing to have ever happened to me, so much that I feel iv never really moved I’m extremely proud to be a josephian and to have been taught by Ms.Soares and Ms.Siddiqui. Many many congratulations! I wish I was in karachi and could wish you in person!


  • fariha nasim
    Sep 15, 2011 - 12:08PM

    I’m proud to be a St Josephian. SJC’s extremely high reputation has been built by teachers with long years of dedication and passion for teaching particularly Miss Soares and Miss Siddiqui. May Allah give them both long lives with good health so that SJC continues to shine because of them!


  • Javed Sadiq
    Sep 15, 2011 - 9:49PM

    A Sufi once commented “I have not come here to teach you anything. I only show you what I know.”


  • Sadiah Ahsan Pal
    Sep 18, 2011 - 8:09AM

    Ms Soares has taught me and my daughter as well. I went on to teach as well and realized that it is no big deal to teach intelligent pupils, they can mostly excel without your help. To make somebody who is not interested in a subject excel at it, is the mark of a great teacher. I hated Maths, & took up medicine to avoid it. Ms Soares with her unique teaching style & 5 minute tests, converted me into one of her “Brain Boxes” (as she called her best pupils). It was great to attend the well deserved tribute paid to her & Ms Siddiqui for their dedicated work at St Joseph’s Convent School for. A school that did not care whose daughter you were, only if you were bright enough to be there. I am proud to have been there with such dedicated teachers. They are the ones who truly deserve a “Tamghai Imtiaz” from Pakistan


  • KolachiMom
    Sep 25, 2011 - 12:39PM

    Mrs. Soares was renowned for coming down hard on less capable students, regardless of their problems. She berated (mostly the lower class Christian girls) and pandered to the elite, as was the case with many SJC teachers of our time. Bluntly telling children they had no potential in their formative years was the route she chose. And, while I’m certain 50 years is a long time to dedicate to service, it was in no way a volunteer service. Yet, the SJC motto was ‘ eternal gratitude’ regardless of any error on the part of the faculty. Consistent brainwashing and here are the results.


    Oct 4, 2011 - 9:00AM

    ohhhhhhhhhhhh its so great to see my urdu teacher , as an x student as usual i ws horrible in urdu . i reallyused toshier in her class thoughshe was so loving to e , and she evenknew how bad iwas in urdu , and i can never for get the sentenceshealways said to me , HAVE U JUST LANDED FORM THE AIR PORT , YOUR URDU IS HORRIBLE . i never felt bad at all becox i knew it . any way GOD got me throw and i did my graduation . i love u .


    Oct 4, 2011 - 9:06AM

    soooooooooo sad dear how can u say such things . it was , is and inshalla the best . college still.


  • -____-
    Oct 7, 2011 - 6:38AM

    it’s not even a college,it’s a school!


More in Pakistan