At the alumni dinner of St Anthony’s High School on Saturday night the shadow of the former principal and alum loomed large. The school has hosted an alumni dinner almost every year.
Cecil Chaudhry would have been the chief guest. At the low-key event alums spoke of him both as a war hero and an educator.
“I have a vivid memory of the first time I saw Cecil,” said writer Salman Rashid, an alum from the class of 1965. “He visited the campus after the 1965 war. . . . I remember shaking his hand at the time.” Rashid also spoke about his time in the army. He said as a young officer he had decided to race a jeep on the runway. He was taken to meet the group captain who at the time was Chaudhry. “There was Cecil sitting with a hat on. I said, ‘Sir, I am from St Anthony’s.’ He asked me if I was crazy?”
Nawabzada Farooq Ali Khan (class of 1958) said said Chaudhry was a caring man who had touched many lives.
“He was a great friend, war hero, principal, and teacher,” he said. “The thing is he was just so kind-hearted that there really are no words to describe his loss.”
Rafique Ahmed of the Aznic photography studio said both Chaudhry and his father were prominent photographers. He said, “Cecil was a man of principle, very friendly but strict with discipline. He could not tolerate unpunctuality.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 16th, 2012.