Rati Cooper was a legendary educator and teacher at the Rajkumar College in Rajkot. Over the decades she taught and made an impact on thousands of students who studied under her. Rati passed away a few years ago.
On 15th August, 2022 the Old Boys of the Rajkumar College honored the memory of Rati Cooper with the unveiling of a bust carved in her likeness. The ceremony began with eulogies delivered by various alumni in the College’s Bhavsinhji Hall. This was followed by the unveiling of the Bust in the Rati F. Cooper Kala Bhavan.
Rati was born in Bombay (now MUMBAI) on 6th January, 1930, the daughter of Framroz and Maneckbai Cooper of Lahore. She went to school at Auckland House, Simla and graduated from the Sacred Heart Convent, Lahore. At the age of six she began attending piano classes and ultimately became an accomplished pianist, qualifying as a Licentiate of the Trinity College of Music, London. In the late 1950’s she won a Fulbright Scholarship for studies at the State College for Teachers, New York and the Aspen Institute of Humanistic Studies, Colorado, USA.
In 1958, Rati Cooper joined the Rajkumar College, Rajkot, India, a Public School for Boys, as Headmistress of the Junior School. She was to spend a lifetime in the service of Education at the College, ultimately assuming charge as Warden Principal in 1991. She retired in the year 2000 and was honored with the title of Principal Emeritus. A building dedicated to activities relating to arts, crafts and Music was named the Rati F. Cooper Kala Bhavan in her honour.
Rati Cooper passed away peacefully in Lahore on 8th March, 2019. She lives on through the lives and memories of a host of loving RkCians, colleagues and friends.
In January 2016 on a visit to Lahore, Pakistan; I had the privilege and fortune to meet Rati Aunty and her sister Perin Aunty. They were amazing hosts and they took me all over Lahore to take in the sights and sounds of that amazing city. Through conversations with them, I also got a glimpse into the small Parsi community that had been in Lahore for over a century.
Below is a picture from that trip. In the picture below Perin Aunty is at the left and Rati Aunty on her right.