The Third PANA Reunion, Niagara Falls, ON, USA – 25 June 2005
PANA Reunion 2005 – Niagara Falls, ON, Canada
By Ishrat Hasan 7110/ LF
Being assigned the responsibility of day’s event coordinator for the 3rd Reunion, I feel this to be my responsibility to report in details the activities of the reunion day for general information of the Petarian community. I hope this report will become a reason for those who could not come this year to try to make it next year.
The get together time in the invitation was at 10:30 am on Saturday 25th June; giving an hour for meet and greet and socializing, followed by self introduction of the Petarians and presentation of souvenirs, lunch, team building and fun activities, tea and discussion on the future plans and strategies.
The weather was not bad in the morning with clear sky, bright sunshine and temperature in high 20s. Although, the rest of the world can understand °C; but for our American friends its translation is high 80s F. Most of the invitees were there by noon time which included the Petarians, their spouses, children, parents and friends. A total of 38 Petarians were in attendance; 27 from Canada, 10 from USA and one Petarian visiting from Pakistan. The enthusiasm can be gauged by the fact that Aziz Mulji and Bhib flew in from California, Wasif Malik flew in from Texas, Sami Memon drove 12 hours from St. John Canada to Niagara, Brs. Intizar Zaidi and Waris Baig drove 5 hours from Montreal, Brs. Rifaquat and Shahid Mian from Wisconsin which is also over 10 hours drive, Br Najeeb Khan from Minnesota, Ikram Ghani and Naeem Saroya Bhai from Michigan while remaining attendees were from closer distances such as NY and Virginia states and we the 25 locals from Ontario, Canada. We were pleasantly surprised to see Shafqat Sami Bhai who was visiting Toronto from Rawalpindi.
In all there were Petarians from 22 entries; comprising of 57, 58, 64-68, 71-74, 77-83, 86, 88, 89 and 91 entries. The highest attendance was from Liaquat 11 followed by Ayub 9, Iqbal and Qasim 6 each, Jinnah 4 and Latif 2.
After introduction of the Petarians, the two senior most Petarians Brs. Anwar Memon Kit No. 48 and Waris Baig Kit No. 52 were given a plaque to acknowledge their attendance. Our criterion of seniority so far is kit nos. below 100.
Lunch was delicious. Nasir Awan and Javed Khan did a great job of making sure that the variety, quality and quantity is maintained. We enjoyed the cooking skills of Petarian wives with Biryani, Karhai, Cholay, Kabab, Shahi Tukray, sweets and other accessories.
Team building and fun:
After lunch we got together for group photo session followed by team building activity with a Petaro quiz. With the history of Petaro spread over five decades, it was a challenge to design a quiz relevant to all entries. I chose the Petarian web site as the source of information and made about 30-40 questions to test the knowledge of Petarians about their college. Example of some of the questions are:
Name the five teachers who joined the college in the first batch?
Who was the first principal? No! it is not Col Coombes.
Which principal has the longest tenure as a principal?
Which teacher has the longest tenure as a house master?
Name kit # 1?
Which two Petarians were in famous 40s for all three years, 66, 67 and 68?
Guess how many times Petaro cadets secured 1st position in board in matric?
Which house had the highest number of Stick of Honor?
What used to be the Tuesday lunch menu in the mess?
I also tested how much Petarians have shared Petaro with their wives by asking them questions about Petaro. Some examples are:
Where is Petaro?
What is bunk? An interesting answer was a two level bed…
What time of the day the cadets enjoyed extra drill?
Can you name a few teachers in Petaro? Surprisingly some ladies even knew a few nick names as well.
Complete the phrase Chugad Phugad ……….?
It was heartening to see the memory of very senior Petarians still fresh about Petaro and the wives showed even more keenness in answering the questions.
The last activity of the day was a general discussion on the future of the PANA. Getting input from the attendees about the future set up, strategies and projects and asking for volunteers who would be able to devote their time in future. A detailed report on this subject will be separately published later. In the end, Saleh Khan concluded the session with a dua seeking the blessings of Allah for the Petarians individually and as a group, for Pakistan and the Muslims of the world in general. Surprisingly, the weather changed all of a sudden with clouds and heavy downpour cooling down the evening. It seems like a shower of mercy from Allah to bless the get together and Insha Allah a sign of acceptance of our dua.
Everybody was thrilled to see the high turnout and the enthusiasm of the Petarians and their families. I would like to thank everyone who attended and hope to see you all and more Petarians in future reunions. Special thanks go to Adnan, Saleh, Nasir and Javed who were the main organizers of the reunion.
Different groups of Petarians got together over dinner to cherish the old memories. I am sure a day is not enough when you meet old friends after such a long time.
Next reunion will be Insha Allah on Saturday 24th June, 2006
The detailed list of attendees is on the panatalk site and so will be the pictures. I will try to place complete quiz on the pana talk site or those interested can contact me directly.
Notes By Rifaquat Cheema, 722/L
Ishrat is right, we are still recuperating from four days of fun filled activities, that include over thousand miles of driving, three get together, hardly any sleep and discovery of petarian Gem hiding in Pennsylvania.
Party did not end at Niagara Falls, it started there. Real socializing started after that. Each entry had a mini group dinner that evening.
I spent the night at Mississauga. Attended a Alumni get together of University of Engineering & Technology Lahore. We missed Naeem Saroya there.
Sunday we stopped for lunch in Pennsylvania with Shabieh Zaidi. There I met Saeed Bhatti, not just another Petarian, but a well decorated officer.
Bhib was also there, who I guess never ate Kulfi in his life.
To beat the heat, Bhabi Sahiba made wonderful Kulfi and Bhib called it Ice cream. That was an insult to the effort which goes in making the kulfi.
Coming back to Niagara Falls Family oriented gathering, and that is exactly what it was. All official work of organizing PANA and its structure was assigned to a working Committee. We did not want this decision making process to shadow or dampen our fun of family gathering.
General consent was that PANA will be a standalone Chapter and work both independently and in conjunction with other chapters.
Fund raising and organization structure will be developed by this committee.
We are not against or in favor of any other group or chapter.
All petarians living in North America are assumed to be the member of this Association, unless someone opts to be otherwise.
We support the idea of TPA membership to be open to all Petarians, irrespective of their affiliation to any yahoo group.
PANAtalk will be our source of communication for all official correspondence. Other than that we may join any Yahoo group for Grassy Field taste.
If a non PANA member wants to stay in touch with our developments, he is free to join our PANAtalk group.
( I think this should come from Adnan’s mouth and don’t consider it final)
We have a long list of agenda for our Committee to work at, which include but not limited to
Registration of chapter / chapters
Project list and management,
Interaction and working with other chapters,
Global Body Structure
We will try to keep everybody updated with our developments.
This is my opinion and I am writing all this in my own capacity, please don’t consider it as official word of PANA.
I just started a response to Arif and expressed my feelings.
Notes By Adnan Qureshi
Thanks to Ishrat Bhai to putting up the story for us and Rifaquat Bhai for extending it.
People coming from far apart arrived a day earlier. They came from all across USA – from the states of NY, MN, WI, MD, MI and CA. So, the parties started a night earlier when Naeem Bhai, Dr. Najib, Adnan and Fahed Riaz gathered together and talked about the day ahead of them. While Wasif bhai patched up with his class fellow Saleh Khan to discuss hot issues.
For some, the day of the reunion started early. A Petarian flag was brought in from Michigan by Naeem Bhai, his wife was kind enough to take the effort of getting the right colored clothes and having the logo printed on it. It was a big flag which fluttered in the air all day long and it remained the attraction of the day.
The Pakistani flag was donated to the association by Khalid Hashmi who lives in Edmonton. He was one of the first ones to bring up the idea of such reunions and remains a Patron of the association.
The banner was printed from Pakistan in the local market the cost of such a banner was not less than $250!
Nasir Bhai came with a brilliant idea of sticking these clothes to the front facade of the canopy rather than tying it with ropes – this idea worked very well and everything looked aligned and straight. For some reason Nasir Bhai’s mind was working very fast that day.
The tables were also covered by clothes matching the Petarian colors – once again Naeem Bhai’s wife took the effort of bringing clothes which matched exactly the colors of Petaro.
Kids were made to blow up the balloons and once again Nasir Bhai came with the idea of how the balloons should be hung from the flags and their formation [That day Nasir Bhai’s IQ was double than normal] Soon the stage was all set and people started coming in.
Mashhood Bhai broke all previous records and was one of the first ones to arrive with his family. He was accompanied by Kazi Habib. Naeem bhai remained the most sought after photo personality of the day perhaps because he was wearing the most attractive T-shirt in the whole party.
Saleh Bhai was at the registration kiosk, no Petarian or a guest was left unattended, for some reason he asked Ikram Bhai to show his Petarian ID before giving him the badge.
Commandar Shoaib came with his family, he seemed to have lost almost 100 pounds since the last time we saw him around 02 years ago. Friends advised him to call some AD agency to hire him as a model for a weight loosing pill. He looked almost 10 years younger that day.
The Tunio brothers were also the most sought after group in the party. They were given the task of guest registration. They boasted that they had a majority of Petarians right in the comfort of their home [all 04 brothers are Petarians and live in one home in Toronto] they boasted that their majority can outweigh the entire membership of PANA in at least the state of MI.
Sami Bhai drove all the way from St. John, NB. He was also one of the most interesting guests of the party. He came with a smile and left with a smile.
This time Petarians followed the time deadline and reached and by around Noon. Anwar Bhai [No. 48] met with his long time buddy Waris Ali Beg [No. 52] at that day. Both were spotted chatting for a long time. Can anyone beat their companionship?
The gathering began with an official announcement and each and everybody introduced themselves.
Souvenirs were given to both seniors from the Working committee of PANA. Anwar Bhai and Waris Bhai were happy to be honoured and didn’t hold back their smiles.
Lunch was served, lots to eat and drink. The specialty of the day was the sweets brought in by Anwar Bhai including Gulab Jamun and Jalebi.
The arrival of a visiting Petarian from Pakistan [Shafqat Sami brought ‘char chand’ to the reunion.
Suddenly we realized that disposable stuff was getting short – Asif Bhai of 72 batch wasted no time to rush to the shop and bring a bag full of disposable cutlery and plates. No one might have waited for Asif bhai to show up so badly as we did that day.
Finally it was the group photo time – all together .. Dhanay Saff seedhaa … Ladies had a different group.
Ishrat bhai prepared a interesting quiz for everybody which everyone enjoyed.
Jami Bhai, Zia Bhai were greatly missed that day.
Finally people started departing. It was a day full of fun and happiness. It was a great show of Petarian unity and brotherhood.
Those who attended this gathering
Abdul Sami Memon
Abdul Qadir Shaikh
Juzer Ali Basrai
Mohammad Nasir Awan
Mohammad Kaigohar Kayani
Naeem Ahmed Saroya
Mohmmad Najeeb Khan
Syed Ishart Hasan
Waris Ali Baig