|An extra short newsletter with nothing but good news. Firstly, that relating to Peter Meadows our Chairman and his wife Azra.|
Pakistan Society Annual Award
Peter Meadows (Chairman, HKCA) and Azra Meadows (Trustee, HKCA) were jointly awarded the Pakistan Society Annual Award at the 60th Annual Dinner of the Society, held on Wednesday 5 June 2013 in the Great Hall of the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn, London. This award is given annually for ‘Significant Contributions to the Advancement of Public Knowledge and Understanding of Pakistan in the United Kingdom’. The UK Guest of Honour was Baroness Warsi PC, Senior Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Minister for Faith and Communities at the Department for Communities and Local Government.
The Pakistan Society is the premier such society in the UK, and was founded in 1951 shortly after the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947. Its patrons are the Duke of Edinburgh and the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The President of the Society is the current High Commissioner for the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and its current Chairman is Sir William Blackburne QC.
Previous holders of the award have included a senior UK diplomat, the UK businessman Humayun Mughal co-founder of Akhter Group PLC, the authors Isabel Shaw and Victoria Schofield, the wildlife expert Tom Roberts, and the legendary Major Geoffrey Langlands.
Azra and Peter’s award citation was presented by Sir Nicholas Barrington KCVO, a distinguished previous UK High Commissioner to Pakistan, and staunch supporter of HKCA since its inception. This is the first time in the history of the Society that this prestigious award has been given jointly to two people. It recognises Azra and Peter’s long term commitment to raising funds for and leading institutional and charitable links between the two countries, including transnational education, environmental sustainability, disaster management, and rural community uplift. The award citation by Sir Nicholas Barrington and the replies by Peter Meadows and Azra Meadows also provided outstanding publicity for a number of institutions and charities including HKCA and donations for the Girls’ School in Birir.
Good publicity did not end there. On Thursday 23 May, Peter and Azra gave a talk to members of The Pakistan Society on “The Kalasha of the Hindu Kush” which was illustrated by a 55-minute film “The Kalash” with English subtitles and made by Gaël Métroz. The Meadows introduced the film and briefly described the environment and lives of the Kalasha and described their current lifestyle in terms of sustainable use of limited natural resources and periodic natural hazards.
I don’t ever remember so well an attended meeting at The Pakistan High Commission nor so many questions. Copies of HKCA’s last newsletter were put out on every seat.
As if all of that wasn’t good enough news, we come to even better. As you will all know from the last newsletter, thanks to an extremely generous donation from Heather Madine, we have been able to complete the year one classroom of what is now the Middle School for Girls in Birir. Her donation also enabled us to cover the salaries of the Primary School teachers in the school.
Attached to our last newsletter were the costs for building the year two classroom for the Middle School for Girls. Our ever generous supporter, Neil Kreitman, has covered the entire cost of this which is simply wonderful. Furthermore funds raised at The Pakistan Society meeting from Jenny Habib and at The Pakistan Society Annual Dinner from the Laurentia Funds Ltd, Sir Nicholas Barrington and the Meadows will cover the costs of the desks and benches and two computers required.
All this is quite wonderful and we have mentioned the names of the major donors. However we do not forget those who give us often monthly smaller sums which literally have kept us going over the years. They are listed at the end of this newsletter along with our appreciation and Maureen’s for their support.
So where does all this wonderful news leave us? With three major objectives is the answer.
- To raise the funds (approx. £2500 per annum) to continue to pay the salaries of the teachers of the Birir School.
- To increase the funds available for helping the chronically sick people in the Kalash valleys. Our modest budget for 2012/13 received a wonderful boost this year of $3,000 from Suzanne Kapoor which has already made a difference to the lives of three patients.
- To pay for the cost of improving the teaching standards of the teachers in Birir. It is one thing providing the classrooms but their value is limited if the standard of teaching is only basic.
So thank you again to all our supporters listed above and below who have donated to HKCA and Maureen over the past two years.