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Speech at the Opening ceremony of Muhammedi Girls’ Academy Karachi 1962-09-02

Sunday, 1962, September 2
Aga Khan IV (H.H. Prince Karim)

(The Ismailia Youth Services Karachi have initiated many projects for the advancement of the community. In Karachi one of these has been the Muhammedi Girls’Academy. Recently a magnificent building has been constructed in the lush green surroundings at Malir on the Karachi-Hyderabad highway. Before performing the opening ceremony of the newly constructed building, His Royal Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan who has been “most impressed by the outstanding high work done by this academy” in a message to them wrote, “On the occasion of the opening ceremony of the Muhammedi Girls Academy, I congratulate officers and members of the Ismailia Youth Services for the truly wonderful work which they have been doing for my Jamats and the youth of Pakistan. The Ismailia Youth Services have set an example in courageous endeavor, single mindedness and ambition to achieve worthy goals. I hope sincerely that the Muhammedi Girls’ Academy is but the first of many projects which the Ismailia Youth Services will create in Pakistan and as long as this organization continues to hold high its present ideals and aims, they may be considered by all other Ismaili organisations in Pakistan as an institution worthy of admiration and emulation.

I send to all the Members of the Ismailia Youth Services my most affectionate blessings.”

Following is the full text of the speech by His Royal Highness on the occasion when he performed the opening ceremony of the Academy on 2nd September 1962

Ladies and Gentlemen, My beloved spiritual children,

May I begin by saying how extremely happy I am to have been able to come here today to perform the opening ceremony of this beautiful Academy. The fact that I have been able to come has a great meaning to me. For two years ago the Jamats of Pakistan and myself embarked on an extensive programme of education and health institutions’ construction.

What is particularly gratifying to all our institutions and myself is the fact that these plans have not remained plans but have actually come into being as you all have witnessed today. It is very easy to talk about bold and grand schemes, it is a different thing to see these schemes come to life.

I would like to take this occasion, therefore, to congratulate the Youth Services for the really wonderful job that they have done. I would like also to take the occasion of reminding you of the appeal which His Excellency the President (Field Marshal Muhammed Ayub Khan) made at the occasion of laying the foundation stone of our Aga Khan III Foundation School.

At that time the President asked that private efforts should take more part in developing the social welfare institutions of this country. I hope that the President can rest assured that we will answer his appeal and for our part we will do as much as we can on the private basis to help the country to develop our welfare institutions. I feel that His Excellency the President’s appeal was more than justified when you think of the innumerable problems facing the Government of Pakistan today.

I would like to take this occasion also to congratulate the Youth Services for the work that they have done in other fields. I am thinking of the Convention of social services which they held some time ago and in which the principal recommendation was the request for a Central Institution to guide our development in social welfare. I have not decided whether it would be wiser to convert an existing institution or to create a new one, but the Youth Services have pointed to a requirement and I hope that within the near future we will be able to fulfil this requirement.

I have thanked the organization which has created this fine institution but they would not have been able to do so without the immense help of the donors who are most of them on my left. I take this occasion to thank them on behalf of all my spiritual children here and to tell them how immensely we appreciate the help which they have given.

May I also take this occasion to thank the Government and Education Department for the full support which we have received.

May I end by saying that though we are all thrilled to see this new building, we must look at the future with our feet firmly on the ground. We now have the problems of starting the building and the running of the institution and I hope that the Youth Services would pay special attention to such small but all important factors as the choice of the staff and the maintenance of the building. These small things can make the success or the failure of such an institution.

Thank you.

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