The First PANA Reunion, Niagara Falls, ON, USA – 28 June 2003
Weather couldn’t have been better – not too cold, not too hot, not too windy and not
too calm … it was like specially ordered for the day by The Almighty.
Things started at around 11:00 AM by placing a banner and Canadian/ Pakistan flags in front of the pavilion. People started coming. The first guest was Khalid Hashmi with his wife and family, he flew in from Edmonton specially for this gathering. Then there were people from Toronto, Mississauga,
Michigan, Wisconsin, New York and Niagara Falls. The crowd kept on growing and by
1:00 we were quite many.
Pakistani flag brought in by Khalid Hashmi was an official flag given to the high commissioner of Pakistan. It was placed along with the flag of Canada in the High Commissioner’s office for number of years. At the end of reunion the flag was very graciously gifted to Adnan which he highly appreciated.
Expected to be around 30 in all, the turnout was over 50 people. After a never ending
Gup-shup, lunch was served, which included dishes from Biryani, Pakora to sandwiches and Gulab Jamun. Cold and juicy mangoes from Sindh were the speciality item.
This was followed by introduction of the Petarians and their spouses/kids.
Later on some Petarians volunteered to look into the reunion affairs for future. From US it was Rifaquat Cheema and Naeem Saroya and from Canada it was Dr. Javed, Jami and Adnan. Thus PANA [Petarians Association of North America] was formally launched.
For the email exchange of Petarians within North America a new yahoo group has also been formed, [email protected] Please send emails for membership.
Some special gifts were given by Naeem Saroya which included two beautiful mugs with Petaro Insignia and one scarf. First mug went to the Khalid Hashmi being the senior most member of the group and the second was to be given in a draw. Later on that second mug went to one lucky petarian who also happened to be the junior most of the group! At first people thought that it was rigging but later on everybody agreed 🙂 The scarf was graciously gifted to Adnan.
Some speeches were made and it was also decided that every year the reunion will be held on the last Saturday of June InshAllah. One year advance notice should be good enough for people to plan accordingly. The new coordination committee will decide about venue etc. It was also thought that the Association should also try to help the new Petarians coming to Canada and the US. Thus any new person coming to either of those two countries should direct their emails to one of the five members of the new committee for any information / guidance. Or just write to [email protected]
Later on Nasir Awan and Jami Bhai were given the task to prepare BBQ Tea, Nasir soon gave up but Jami somehow took it to a semi-successful completion 🙂 … a group photo was the last item and later it was a free chit chat, stories, jokes, laughter and what not.
Some Petarians came late for some problems of their own, but thanks again for coming.
People stayed until 6 in the evening and finally started leaving after having a wonderful time.
Thanks to everybody. Thanks again