Professor of Wood Work (1960-1979)
Mr. Fida Hussain Shah
by Kazi Zulkader Siddiqui, 671/Latif
Mr. Syed Fida Hussain Tirmazi (commonly known as Mr. Fida Hussain Shah) joined the college in 1960 as teacher of Wood work. He retired from the college in 1979.
He was born on 11 January 1919 at Lahore during the British rule, and got married to Mrs. Syeda Irshad Begum on 1 January 1939. They had 5 children – Ali Aqdas (late), Zubaida (late), Tauqir Aqdas kit no. 242/Ayub, Syeda Malka Tabassum (late), and Tanvir Aqdas kit no. 7229/Iqbal.
Fida Sb completed his B.A. degree with specialization in metal crafting and wood working from MAO School of Arts, Lahore (presently known as National College of Arts) in 1937. He was awarded the bronze medal for metal crafting and cabinet designing.
After graduation, Fida sb got involved in cotton business with other partners at Pattoki. In those days, Pattoki was the heartland for cotton growing, and was considered to be the queen of cotton.
Just before the partition of India as refugees started pouring into Pakistan, he left his business in the hands of his partners and moved to Rawalpindi to work with the refugees who were devastated. He devoted himself totally to the rehabilitation work for refugees by arranging and distributing clothes and other relief items for them. He remained in Rawalpindi for several months for this cause.
Eventually when he returned to Pattoki, he discovered that his partners had sold his business and pledged all the cotton to banks for the sake of credit. They even sold off the building which was allotted to him and the company was bankrupt. He was left with nothing.
In order to rehabilitate his income, he then joined the Dept of Technical Education as Teacher and Superintendent sometime in 1948 or 1949, and remained with the department until 1960.
Col. Coombes was able to discover him and got the Minister of Education to transfer Fida Sb to Petaro. Fida Sb was not really willing to move from Faisalabad where he was posted at that time. He was on vacation – boating in Ravi – when he got the news. He then approached the minister and requested that the posting be cancelled and he be allowed to remain in Faisalabad. His request was rejected. Col. Coombes then talked to Fida Sb and was able to attract him to join Petaro. Thus he moved to the college in 1960.
He remained a teacher of wood work at Petaro until his retirement in 1979. His work was appreciated to the extent that Col. Coombes said to him “Fida Hussain, if you die before me, I will make sure that your statue is placed in front of the main gate of Petaro. I am indeed proud of you.”
After his retirement, he moved initially to Karachi where he assisted his son Tauqir Aqdas in his business Eastern Engineers (Pvt) Ltd. He remained in Karachi until 1987 when he finally moved back to Pattoki, the place where he had started his career. It was like a full circle.
The reason for his shift back to Pattoki was that his youngest son Tanvir left Karachi for Pattoki where he was planning to set up a college. His older son Tauqir was also planning to move Lahore. Thus, the family resettled in Punjab.
For the rest of his years, he did not take up any work for income. But he kept himself busy with Tanvir’s college and its woodwork interiors. He kept his hobbies alive. He was the best of friends for his own sons who grieve for him even to this day.
Fida Sb expired of cardiac arrest at his home in Pattoki on 28 July 1996 at 2pm. May Allah grant him jannatul firdaus. His wife Mrs. Irshad expired also of cardiac arrest on 10 March 2014 and is buried at Lahore.