The Bellerive Foundation is an officially recognised N.G.O. presided by Prince Sadrudin Aga Khan involved in numerous public interest projects. The Bellerive Foundation has made it's presence felt in many parts of the world. One such project is the "Conservation of the Alps". The following are edited remarks made by Prince Sadrudin at a meeting of leaders from international organisations, governments, industry, tourism and N.G.O. with scientists, media and students in Geneva, 28/2/89.
"The last of fools is he who indifferently asserts and denies...", prophetically wrote Dante, who probed all man's afflictions, at the dawn of the XIVth Century. Modern society is imbued with a tragic lack of self-confidence and afraid of appearing moralizing or oppressive. In this climate, absolute truth is seldom taken seriously.
Professor Gilbert Murray OM, was of the founder members of the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief and one of its trustees in 1942. In 1950 he made the first Weeks's Good Cause Appeal for the Committee, which raised jus under $18,000.
My father, the late Aga Khan, was born 100 years ago on 2nd November. Though he died in 1957 at the turn of what Winston Churchill aptly termed "this tormented half century", few today can separate reality from myth when looking back on his long and active life.
To many in the West, he remains the religious leader who was weighed against precious stones, the race horse owner who won five Derbies or the man whose eldest son, Aly Khan, once married Rita Hayworth.
On May 14, 1987, my mother, Rita Hayworth, died. The cause of death was Alzheimer's Disease. I recall how utterly lost and confused I felt when I first heard the name, Alzheimer's Disease. I had no idea what Alzheimer's was or what to expect. During the next seven years, I found out. Shortly after the diagnosis, I was introduced to the Alzheimer's Association by some dear friends. It is an organization founded by the families of Alzheimer's patients. The knowledge and help I received from the association ``family'' during the years my mother was ill were invaluable.
The leaders of all African Countries today are faced with the need to raise the living standards of the mass of their peoples from mere subsistence level to a point where men and women can develop the full potential of their minds and bodies. The problem in Africa assumes urgent political dimensions if only because expectations are so much higher than they used to be. This is quite understandable when you remember the hopes that were raised during the battle for independence.
This speech was delivered at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Hyderabad by H.R.H. The Agakhan in December, 1964.
I am grateful and honoured by your kind invitation to me to-night, and I am sincerely thankful to you for having given me this occasion to meet the industrial and business elite of this historical and beautiful city.
"Very few modern African leaders fail to recognise the advantages of continued association with the Commonwealth or in the case of the former French African territories with the French Community.
Mr. Chairman, Chief Minister, Your Worship the Mayor, Sheriff of Bombay, Ladies and Gentlemen:
I would like to begin by thanking the Chairman and Members of the Maharashtra Friendship Society for their very kind address and reception. My visit to Bombay is short and I am, therefore, all the more appreciative that this reception should be on my day of arrival.
It has given me the wonderful opportunity to meet once again the many friends whom I have not seen since my last visit here.
Mr. Chairman, Ladies & Gentlemen:
If I had been the president I would have fined the sergeant-at-arms for being a treacherous feminist and not fining the ladies present today.
May I first say how much I enjoy being back in Mombasa again - a town which I always remember for its friendliness and hospitality, for its welcome and also to the police who have escorted me so faithfully and so resistedly - indeed when I went to Bamburi Beach yesterday afternoon, I had a notion that they might be joining me for a swim.
His Royal Highness Prince Aga Khan on 10 May 1961, speaking as a guest speaker, told the Nairobi Lions Club that he had never thought that it would be possible to create a multi-racial political system in Kenya. "Once independence is achieved, the real and ultimate authority in any truly democratic system is bound to be African" He said.
It gives me great pleasure to be in Oxford this evening. I am most grateful and honoured that your Society should invite me to talk about the Ismaili Community and its contribution to the Commonwealth.
Speaking as a graduate of Harvard and, I have to confess, as one who failed in English at his entrance examination, I have been warned by my British friends that I should have to tread carefully in this most venerable seat of learning.
His Royal Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan inaugurated the Urdu University at Karachi. 80 years old, Dr. Molvi Abdul Haq in his address of welcome recalled the historic occasion which happened 64 years ago at Aligarh when Sir Sayyed Ahmed Khan who was as old as he himself, presented an address of welcome to His late Royal Highness Sir Sultan Muhammed Shah Aga Khan III, who was as young as the present Aga Khan.
In his address, His Royal Highness said:
To the Chairman & Members of the Students Union.
"I should congratulate them most heartily on the occasion of the foundation stone laying ceremony of their new Reading Room. I feel that by having this Reading Room and in this particular locality so close to our Jamatkhana, to our secondary school and to our maternity home, we could not have a better institution in a more appropriate place.
I shall begin by saying how well I am aware of your needs and necessities in this particular school. I do feel that if we are going to proceed on a fairly large scale of development in the future in our education institutions, we must proceed according to certain plans and standards, and for this reason I will probably advise the City Education Board, not to proceed with any development of this building until we know the result of the negotiations which are taking place at this moment.
It is a very happy occasion to open this hospital today and I hope that it will continue to serve My community and other Pakistani residents in this area as it had been doing in the past. I take this occasion to add a point of extreme importance. Dr. Alidina kindly mentioned the hospital in Nairobi and those of you who have been to Nairobi and have seen the institution there know that we have not taken into account expenses in terms of opening first class service.
Mr President, Gentlemen
The topic I have chosen to talk to you about is wide and much too complicated to deal with fully in twenty minutes. I hope, however, to give you a sketch of what has been happening in East Africa during the last year or two, and in particular to give an idea of the role which the Asian communities have played, and the one which they have to play, whether they desire to or not, in the future.
I cannot begin this reply to your welcome address without expressing my gratitude to the leaders and governments of this city, of Bombay State and of all India for the kindness with which they have received me. This is a very special occasion for the Ismailis of India, and I speak for them all when I say how much I have appreciated the friendly co-operation which my community has received in the many details of preparation. I would specially like to thank His Excellency the Governor, the Chief Minister and his colleagues, the Chief Justice and the Commissioner of Police.
Your Excellencies, Your Highness, Ladies and Gentlemen, My spiritual children
May I say how glad I am to be back in Dacca for the purpose of publicly celebrating my installation as forty-ninth Imam of the Shia Imami Ismailis.
Mr Chairman, Mr Commissioner, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen
First let me say how honoured I feel by the reception you have given me this afternoon. I have been most moved by the kindness of your remarks today and by the warmth of this city's welcome to myself and my family throughout our stay in Karachi.
The city of Karachi, as you have observed, has some very special and very beloved associations for me. It has given me the greatest pleasure, therefore, to find the remarkable developments which have taken place since I was here in 1954.