On December 18th 2016 Pakistan Post issued a special commemorative stamp to honour the life and work of Dinshaw Byramji Avari, the pioneering hotelier and philanthropist.
COMMEMORATIVE POSTAGE STAMP
December 18, 2016
Size of Stamp: 50.5 x 35 mm
Size of Print: 47.5 x 32 mm
Number of Stamps in a sheet: 5 x 3 = 15 stamp
Perforation: 13 c
Denomination: Rs. 8/-
Colours: Multi Colour
Printing Technology: Litho Offset
Paper: 100 GSM Crescent and Star Water Mark Paper
Quantity: 0.2 Million
Designer: Adil Salahuddin, Sitara-e–lmtiaz I Pride of Performance
Printer: Pakistan Security Printing Corporation Karachi.
Born on 22nd August 1902, in a humble family, Mr. Dinshaw Byramji Avari studied in an orphanage as his mother had passed away and his father had to work during the day. He passed his Matriculation exam studing on the light of a candle and passed his B. Com studing on the light of a hurricane lantern and became the first person of his village to have become a B.com graduate. He paid for his college education by giving tutions. He then joined the Sunlife Insurance Company of Canada working as a clerk while at the same time working as an Insurance Agent.
His determination to succeed was exemplified by becoming the highest selling insurance agent of his territory, while simultaneously holding a day job with the same company. This showed his perseverance which resulted in his being appointed as Manager of Sunlife for Karachi and with record business having been achieved, he became General Manager for Sindh, Balochistan, NWFP, Punjab and Afghanistan.
An additional accomplishment was his becoming the first Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) in Asia.
When he could no longer progress, being Asian, he switched careers to become a hotelier, investing his savings and borrowing the rest to purchase Bristol Hotel Karachi, on the condition that he and his wife Khorshed be trained in the business.
This remarkable ability of changing course at age 42 to learn a new trade is a lesson in adapting to changing times and multifarious circumstances. Proving there is no substitute for hard work, he was at the Empress market in Karachi daily at 4:00am, virtually forcing the hotel venture successful! through sheer force of will, sweat and industry.
Within a few years, realizing the scope for first class hotels he built Beach Luxury Hotel Karachi, in barren, marshy grounds. The first Governor of Sindh Sir Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah, told Khorshed that Dinshawji needed his head examined for building a hotel in such a locality. However the move was a huge success and from 35 rooms the hotel grew to 150 rooms, with banquet halls, swimming pool and other luxuries unknown in Pakistan. He proved wrong his friend the Governor and all who laughed at him for investing in this venture, while being responsible to turn around this marshy land into an elite locality known as New Queens Road (now M.T. Khan Road), which is today the prime area of Karachi.
The highly dynamic Dinshawji, brought many firsts to Pakistan. He introduced buffets which we take for granted today, but at the time was criticized for treating guest like dogs, making them stand and eat. He introduced Chinese food, Lebanese Shawarma, the subcontinent’s first Japanese restaurant, and hotel swimming pools. This innovativeness manifested itself many times in business, social community work.
While still building a business Dinshawji was deeply involved with social causes, like the war effort, he was decorated by the British Government, a founding member of Rotary and trustee of many Parsi trusts including Karachi Parsi Anjuman. Apart from numerous other social activities, he was also:-
- Trustee BVS Boys & Mama Parsi Girrs schools, and BMH Parsi Hospital
- Deaf & Dumb Center- founder and president
- Pakistan Sea Scouts- founder member
- Member Society for prevantion of Cruetly to Animals
- Hotels Association of Pakistan – founder president
- Member Sind Red Cross I Red Crescent Society
Having gained experience of hotels. and even operated Pines Hotel Nathiagali for a few years, he purchased Nedous Hotel Lahore, renaming it Park Luxury. Subsequently, he built the 5 Star international standard hotel on this site and opened the Lahore Hilton in January 1978, dedicated to his late wife Khorshed, who passed away the previous year. It was renamed Avari Lahore in 1988.
Anecdotally, the president of Hilton reffered to Dinshawji as “not a very young man who is most dynamic and young in spirit, thoughts and ideas”. This attribute to his dynamic, young thinking spirit spoke volumes for his attitude to life, ability to clinch new ideas, and openness to listen to all as he believed everyone has something to contribute. Believing in the Zoroastrian motto ”content with what I have but discontented with what I am”, he planned the tallest, grandest Karachi hotel. During construction, problems of Rupee devaluation, cement & steel shortages contractual problems and floods were overcome with his determination and wisdom and Avari Towers opened in April 1985. As hotel accommodation was declining at this time, he wisely developed plazas at the hotels to provide quality office space, providing steady income.
Being a self made man he never forgot the down-trodden and poor. His doors were open to all 24 hours a day. His motto was to trust everyone at face value unless they proved him otherwise. With these principles his strength gave strength to others and his love and kindness have been felt by all and sundry.
He passed away on December 18, 1988. However his legacy continues to this day his principles and philosphy institutionalized forming the foundations of the Avari family and Group.
On Death Anniversary Dinshaw Byramji Avari (Philanthropist), a Commemorative Postage Stamp of Rs.8/- denomination is being issued by Pakistan Post on December 18, 2016.
TERMS OF SALE
The Commemorative Postage Stamp will be available for sale from December 18, 2016 at all important Post Offices in the country.
Overseas orders for Stamps, First Day of Issue Covers and Leaflets should be addressed to the Manager, Philatelic Bureau, Karachi GPO or Manager, National Philatelic Bureau, Islamabad GPO, accompanied by a Bank Draft or Crossed Cheque encashable in Pakistan.
THE DIRECTOR GENERAL, PAKISTAN POST, ISLAMABAD.