|Presentation Convent School Murree|
|Text and Photos by Dr Ali Jan|
|Established in 1917, the Presentation Convent School in Murree was one of the best boys' boarding schools in Pakistan (formerly undivided British India before 1947). The boarding has been recently closed down and majority of the students today are girls.
Murree lies at approx 7000 ft. at the foot of Himalayas in Pakistan. It is an alpine hill-station in the North of Punjab province bordering the Kashmir region that lies on a horizontal ridge running in East-West direction.
Murree was established as a summer 'hill-station' for the British families in order to escape the heat of the Indian plains consequent to the British annexation of the Punjab in 1849 from Sikh rule. After 1857 when the British Raj formally extended its sovereignty over India, a structured administration commenced in the Punjab. Murree became the summer capital of India and remained so until the end of nineteenth century. The creation of another summer capital at Simla (now in India) in the later half of the 19th century eased the load on Murree hills a bit. However it continued to serve its purpose.
The English had this urge to carve a bit of England in India. It was like any European town. One can still find a number of churches and chapels, 6 cemeteries, convents, a Mall and remains of a club and brewery etc apart from the many cantonments and old English settlements built in and around the town. One comes across many English sounding names of streets and houses. The local buildings and structures were built in typical English taste and many have survived the last 100-150 years. A sanatorium for sick soldiers and many hospitals were also built here.
Holy Trinity Church was one of the earliest buildings to be erected. It stands out as a prominent landmark in almost all the photos of Murree taken before the partition of India. Until 1875, it lay further away from the then main market or "lower bazaar' as it is now known. But when the 'Great Fire' burned down the market in 1875 a new Mall strip was built in its place in an area overlooked by the church grounds and parallel to the 'lower bazaar'. Over the following years, the Mall became the main market place and today has turned into a bustling business centre.
If you are an old student and have a story to share please get in touch with me.
I would be very interested in any photos of the school and to know what was life like back then. Everybody is welcome ofcourse but I am particularly interested in the period before partition of India.
If you have a comment please email me <[email protected]> I would love to hear from any alumni. You have all my gratitude)
1. Dear Ali, i need ur help in finding address of sister puis , i had it but lost some where, my last visit to the school was back in 2001. i am attaching this pic of 1975-76 for ur website , i am in the second sitting row , second from the left. I don't remember the rest of the names except Rahim Gul , but he is either the chap sitting on my left or the one , second from right. Also the first guy in the first sitting row is Sheri or something. Ali Naqvi *****@******* (contact me for details)
2. MY NAME IS SAQIB SALEEM and I attended presentation convent from 1980 to 1984 class 4 to class 6th. I got your email from the webpage on net. I was trying to find few of my friends from that period. If I remember right you have green eyes and belong to Peshawar. If you remember me I was captain of JINNAH HOUSE as well as CAPTAIN OF CRICKET GYMNASTIC FOOTBALL & BASEBALL. I Used to play mouth organ in school band as well SISTER MARTHA AND SISTER EIRLENE WERE PRINCIPALS DURING MY TENURE. If you remember me please call me on 92321*****. FEW FRIENDS NAMES I STILL REMEMBER FROM PESHAWAR WERE ZUBEIR BABAR, HALEEM BABAR, TAZA GUL
If you know any of them or have any information about them do let me know.
IF you have address or contact information of SISTER MARTHA do let me know as well.
3. AOA - Dear Ali jan my name is Ahmad Nawaz. I am on old student of PCSM. I was in murree from 1971-77. My other three brothers also studied at PCSM. Haq nawaz from 1960-67, Sher nawaz from 1964-71 and Asif Nawaz from1973-80. My cousin Obaid ullah jan was with me and one of my nephew Khalid Nawaz with Asif nawaz during their times. May be you remember Asif Nawaz or Khalid nawaz.
I am sending just one picture of my class taken in 1973.I have a lot of pictures but they are in Pakistan. I live in Kingston- Canada. Inshah allah next time when i come to pakistan I will send u all of them.
Right behind miss Mary is a tall guy , his name is Farhat . I am on the right hand side of Farhat.Some of the names I still remember in the picture are nadeem(badami - Kuwati), Sajjad(bughal gum) ,he used to say bughal gum instead of bubble gum because of stuffy nose.Ali, Edward, Zahid Ali from Charsadda.He also had three of his brothers at PCSM named Hashim ali jan and MOhammad ali.In the second row are Sajjad haider.A very good friend of mine Zafeer Berky , his younger brother's nick name was sorry bakry(sorry goat) and an other good friend from peshawar Mr.Usman wadud. In the first row is Andrew and other very good friend Fahim fida('lal topi'- red cap his nick).ok keep in touch - Ahmad Nawaz
4. I was a student in Presentation Convent Murree from 1969 to 1976. Sister Alphonsus was the principal when I got admitted there and Sister Pius when I left the school. Nice to see someone take the trouble to highlight what was at that time the best school in Pakistan.
Regards, Counsellor Pakistan Embassy Washington DC
Additional Links of Interest:
Mystery of the Tomb of Mary by Dr Ali Jan
The English Cemeteries in Murree by Dr Ali Jan
|Click on photos to view in larger size|
|pcm murree old photos photo picture alumni alumnus old students student murree nutwood free masons masonic lodge india cjm official website hill-station|
|Your contributions on this page are welcome. For comments or queries: Dr Ali Jan
|(Formerly St Joseph's Presentation Convent)|
|Aged 5: Receiving my prize as Sister Pius (principal) looks on|
|1975-76:A Naqvi sitting 2nd from left in the 2nd row|
|Nutwood House (built originally by the Murree Brewery Comany in early 1860s, also served as Masonic Lodge Murree|
|1973 photograph with Miss Mary. (Sent by Ahmad Nawaz, Kingston Canada)|