KARACHI – On the eve of completion of hundred and fifty years of Bai Virbaiji Soparivala Parsi High School, Karachi, the Pakistan Post has issued the commemorative stamps of Rs. 5 each. The stamps will be available in the markets from today (23rd May 2009). The designer of the stamp is Faizi Ameer Siddiqui and its format is rectangular in shape.
Not only the Parsi community of Karachi but the entire city is indebted to Seth Shapurji Hormusji Soparivala and his family for laying foundation of the respected and prestigious school in 1859. It was a small Parsi Balakshala housed in the residence of one Dadabhoy Palonji Paymaster.
As the school going community increased, it outgrew the building. In the year 1869 Shapurji was deprived of his beloved wife Bai Virbaiji. In May 1870 Shapurji who had been so far the greatest benefactor of the school, donated a sum of Rs. 10,000 on the condition that it should be named after his late wife. The opening ceremony was performed in September 1870 by the then Commissioner of Sindh, Sir William Mereweather; and Jamshedji Framji Master was nominated as the Headmaster of the institution. During the formative years, Gujrati was entirely a co-educational institution.
In October 1904, the eldest son of the Founder, Seth Khurshedji Soparivala laid the foundation stone of the present school building on Victoria Road. In 1909, the school observed its Golden Jubliee.
In 1919, 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 was momentous. The school was raised to the status of High School, saw the extension of building. It boosted the motto ‘Towards that Best Light’.
In 1947, at the request of M.A. Jinnah to the community and the Principal Behram Rustomji, the school opened its doors for the very first time to non-Parsis.
Hence as of today, 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.
Original article in the Nation, Pakistan