The Founder Principal

Mr Eric Sprawson was educated at Rugby School and at Jesus College, Cambridge before joining the Royal Air Force (RAF)as a Pilot. After retiring from RAF as a Group Captain he came to the subcontinent and joined the Indian Military Academy Dehra Dun as an Instructor. After the expiry of his contract at Dehra Dun, he joined the Chiefs College, Rajkot as the Principal. Being a retired Group Captain of Royal Air Force (RAF), he was called up in the later stage of second world war to serve as a bomber pilot. He was awarded the distinguished Flying Cross for his exceptional flying skills during the war. He was also awarded membership of the Royal Air Force Escapers Club, a club restricted to those who escape from enemy captivity. After the war was over he resumed his teaching practice at Rapton School England, and then went out to do some administrative work at Ben Ghazi. In 1952, he was selected by the Air Service Training Ltd Hamble to serve as the Principal, Royal Pakistan Air Force Public School Sargodha for a contract period of five years. He remained the founder Principal till the expiry of his contract on 24 December, 1957. He left the School for London . After a few months stay there , he joined his son in Italy . He died there and was buried in Italy.

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The First Induction

In 1952, the first entry of 100 boys was selected from East and West Pakistan . Of the 100 chosen, 02 boys did not join the School. On the last day of February the first batch of new boys arrived. A large group came on the Chennab Express from Karachi . Others arrived in small groups from other places and 28 came by Bristol Freighter aircraft from East Pakistan .The course beginning from class VII was to be culminated in Senior Cambridge after 5 years from the Overseas Cambridge University, UK. However, the boys were allowed to opt for the National System of Education culminating in Matriculation from Rawalpindi Board. It was decided that the first three entries would not be bonded to join PAF. The present day School Sick Quarters (SSQ) served as the first Academic Block.

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The Odeon Block

Two boarding houses were established in the Odeon Block with the names Tempest and Fury. These were two fighter-bomber aircraft, which then equipped the Royal Pakistan Air Force Bases in Pakistan. A total of 47 boys were allotted the Tempest House on the ground floor, while 51 were allotted the Fury House on the upper floor and two rooms on the ground floor. Mr Godfrey Stott took over as Housemaster Tempest and Mr George Douglas Hamilton as Housemaster Fury House. On 01 March, 1953, Mr G Stott became the Deputy Headmaster of the School, handing over the Tempest House to Mr J C Buckman. Another change took place when Mr Hamilton handed over the Fury House to Mr Kearsley due to prolonged illness. Mr Kearsley, however, left in the summer of 1954, handing over Fury House to Mr Hamilton again. On 30 December, 1954 Mr Hamilton left the school, handing over the Fury House to Harold Bertie Gilbert for some months. In August, 1955 Mr M J Power took over the Fury House from Mr Gilbert.

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The Marble Plaque

On 16 December, 1953, a Speech Day was held at the School. The Guest of Honour, His Excellency Mian Ameen-ud-Din, the Governor of Punjab unveiled a marble plaque on the occasion that commemorated the foundation of the Royal Pakistan Air Force Public School, Sargodha. Air Marshal Sir Hugh Walmsley of the Royal Air Force and high officials of Pakistan Air Force and Army attended the ceremony. The plaque now decorates a wall of the School Headquarters.
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The Chigwell Shield

In 1953 certain friends of Chigwell School, where Mr. Stott had been a Housemaster before coming to Sargodha got together and as a gesture of goodwill sent a challenge shield for all Inter House games activities. The shield carries the Sargodha badge in the top left hand (heraldically the position of the honour) and the Chigwell badge in the right top corner; the latter is the joint coat of arms of an Archbishop of York and the Founder of Chigwell School and dates from 1629, This shield was won first in 1954 by Tempest and Fury Houses together. When the school resumed its old public school role in 1990, the Chigwell Trophy was reserved for Senior Sports. Tempest House was the first to win the shield after revival. Shahzad Nasar (1319-T) "the Best Sportsman of the Year" received it from the then Commandant Air Cdre Syed Imtiaz Hyder (457-T).

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The New Houses

In 1955, four residential blocks were constructed at the School. Two blocks carried the same old names, Fury and Tempest. The other two blocks were given the names Attacker and Sabre.Fury House shed half its members to occupy Attacter while Tempest shed half its members to Sabre. Mr Mr A W Lawrence and Mr. I W G Cameron took over as Housemasters Attacker and Sabre respectively.
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The Caretaker Principal

The first Pakistani Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) of Pakistan Air Force (PAF), Air Marshal Asghar Khan, chose Mr Hugh Catchpole to succeed Mr Sprawson. The C-in-C happened to be an old student of Mr. Catchpole from Prince of Wales' Royal Indian Military College, Dehra Dun. Mr Catchpole , however , could not take over immediately for he was still serving as the Principal Cadet College, Hasan Abdal . Therefore, Mr G Stott, the then School Headmaster was appointed as the caretaker Principal. He continued to fill this position till 19 February, 1958, and then went to join PAF Public School, Lower Topa as the Principal.

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Mr Hugh Catchpole Arrives

Mr Hugh Catchpole was born on 26 May, 1907, at Ipswich, a small town of a pretty rural county, Suffolk in England. He did his Masters in History from Oxford University. Before starting his career as a teacher he did some flying in the civil and played cricket for the Suffolk County Eleven. His enviable career in education spanned seven decades in the Subcontinent. He joined Prince of Wales' Royal Indian Military College, Dehra Dun (now Rashtriya Indian Military College (RIMC) in 1928 as an Assistant Master and went on to become the Principal on 01 October, 1948. He stayed back at RIMC even after independence till his contract expired in 1954.

The first Pakistani Air Chief, Air Marshal Asghar Khan and his successor Air Marshal Nur Khan had been his students at RIMC. They requested him to come to Pakistan and become the founder Principal of Cadet College Hasan Abdal. He was still at Hasan Abdal when Air Marshal Asghar Khan handpicked him to join PAF Public School Sarghoda as Principal, in 1958. He stayed there till 1967 and then joined Abbottabad Public School as Head of English Department, a post he held till his very last. He died at the age of 90, on 01 February, 1997, at Combined Military Hospital, Rawalpindi. His funeral service held at Christ Church of Pakistan, Rawalpindi was attended by Rimcollians, Abdalians, Sargodhians, and Abbotonians, whose lives he had touched and profoundly transformed. His body was taken for burial to Cadet College Hasan Abdal in accordance to his will. When his body was being lowered into the grave, three buglers of the Pakistan Army sounded the Last Post. Mr Catchpole was buried with such honours as would be the envy of many.

Besides being an extraordinary educationist, Mr Catchpole was a humanist and philanthropist, who remained a bachelor throughout his life and financed many students' education with his scholarship funds in England, India and Pakistan. In his will he wished to donate all balances of his account to the institutions he had been associated with. Accordingly, all his life savings amounting to more than Rs.8 millions were distributed among Ipswich School, Suffolk, UK, Rashtriya Indian Military College Dehra Dun, Cadet College Hasan Abdal, PAF Public School Sargodha, and Abbottabad Public Schoo. Just 02 months before he died, he had to inaugurate a guest house named after him at Rashtriya Indian Military College, Dehra Dun. He had given a generous endowment of Rs.1.5 million for the guest house and planned to shift there after retiring from Abbotabad Public School. However, life did not allow him to do so.

Honours of Mr Hugh Catchpole

Mr Hugh Catchpole was honoured twice by Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth the Second (full name Elizabeth Alexandra Mary) of the United Kingdom. On 01 January, 1971, he was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE). The British High Commissioner in Pakistan Sir Mac Rae did the honours. On 31 December, 1980, the Queen awarded him Commander's Badge of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) also called the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. On 22 July, 1981, Mr Hugh Catchpole went to Buckingham Palace to receive it personally from Her Majesty the Queen. His niece Helen Catchpole and her son Richard Dodwell accompanied him.

On 23 March, 1979, the President of Pakistan General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq conferred upon Mr Catchpole the award of "Sitara-i-Imtiaz" for his meritorious services in the field of education. Lieutenant General Fazle Haq (Late), his student from RIMC who was then Martial Law Administrator (Governor) NWFP (now Khyber Pakhtonkhwa) did the honours in an investiture ceremony held at Abbotabad Public School.

On 15 June, 2007, the President of Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf conferred upon Mr Catchpole the highest civil award of Pakistan "Hilal-i-Imtiaz" posthumous for his incomparable, selfless and single minded dedication to the cause of quality education in Pakistan. The award was received by his great nephew Mr William Catchpole.

Birth Centenary of a Legend (1907-2007)

The year 2007 marked the birth centenary of the legendary British teacher Mr Hugh Catchpole. On 26 May, 2007, Pakistan Post Office issued a commemorative stamp showing Mr Catchpole wearing "Sitara-i-Imtiaz" and "Commander's Badge of the Order of the British Empire". Same day a documentary "The Life and Times of Hugh Catchpole" directed and produced by Mr Mohammad Shafiq Sultan was also aired by the Pakistan Television. The documentary traced the life of Mr Catchpole through the words and memories of his students. Mr Wayne Christopher Hignett the then Principal PAF Public School Sargodha played Mr Catchpole in the documentary.

Four-day centenary celebrations were also held at Cadet College, Hasan Abdal from 11 to 14 June 2007. His student from PAF Public School Sargodha, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Ehsan-ul-Haq inaugurated the celebrations. On the occasion, a marble bust of Catchpole was unveiled; and a coffee table book "Hugh Catchpole of the Subcontinent"; written by his student from RIMC Commander (Retd) Arun Prakash Bhattacharya was released.

An Inspiration Unlimited

Hugh Cathpole's greatest contribution to the subcontinent is his students who went on to become high achievers in their respective professions. His students are spread across three nations: Pakistan, Bangladesh and India. Together they take pride in calling themselves "Catchpolians". The list of his old students reads like who's who of the defence forces of their countries.

In Pakistan his students from PAF Public School Sargodha include: General Ehsan ul Haq, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (2004 - 2007), General Ahsan Saleem Hyat, Vice Chief of Army Staff (2004 - 2007), and two Air Chiefs, Air Chief Marshals Kaleem Saadat (18 March 2003 - 18 March 2006) and Tanvir Mahmood Ahmed (18 March 2006 - 18 March 2009. In Bangladesh too General Moeen Uddin Ahmed, Chief of Army Staff (15 June 2005 - 15 June 2009) and three Air Chiefs: Air Vice Marshals Sultan Mehmood (23 July 1982 - 22 July 1987), Rafiqul Islam (04 June 2001 - 07 April 2002) and Fakhrul Azam (08 April 2002 - 07 April 2007) had been his students at PAF Public School Sargodha.

It is difficult to make out who was more proud; the students of Catchpole for being taught by him or Catchpole, for having taught boys who later on became so successful. Whatever may be the case, it is obvious that Hugh Catchpole was and would remain an inspiration unlimited.

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Glider Training Starts

In 1960, the School formed No 6 Wing of Shaheen Air Training Corps (SATC) at PAF Base, Sargodha to train the students in gliding. Principal PAF Public School Sargodha Mr Hugh Catchpole was appointed the first Officer Commanding (OC) of the Wing. The glider instructors appointed were Flt Lt M I Beg and Flt Sgt Zahoor. 04 gliders were received from PAF Academy, Risalpur.

Former Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committeee (CJSC) General Ehsan-ul-Haq always wore the "Glider Badge " on his uniform which he earned at PAF Public School, Sargodha. On 19 September, 2007 he paid his last official visit to the institution as CJSC. In his lively, informal chat with the young Sargodhians he said: "It took lots of gut to fly those gliders."

In fact the gliders used in sixtees were essentially human-powered aircraft (HAC). The crew comprised of three: One pilot; who would sit with joystick held with both hands and feet set on pedals; and two assistants; who would push the glider to add thrust while the pilot propelled with his legs.

Those gliders never took off under the pilot's pedal-power alone. An additional thrust by the assisting crew was always required. After the glider had lost touch with the ground the assistants would drop behind. However, the pilot would continue propelling with his legs while pulling on the wings to attain a reasonable height and experience lift from thermals, the rising air currents. The pilot had to do it fast enough to fly. It was as tough as riding a bicycle up a steep hill. Many would land physically exhausted.

Those fully human-powered flights were indeed a test of pilot's strength and stamina. Besides it required a good knowledge of aerodynamics to control the aircraft. The first batch of students successfully completing Glider Training was awarded Glider Badges by the C-in-C PAF Air Mrshal Asghar Khan on the Founder's day held on 18 December, 1960.

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The C-in-C attends the Boxing Final

On 16 December, 1963, C-in-C PAF, Air Marshal Asghar Khan's visit to Sargodha Base coincided with the Inter House Boxing Final at the School. Mr. Catchpole invited the C-in-C to be the chief guest. The C-in-C consented to grace the occasion. He witnessed the final and presented cups to the winners. Tempest House won the competition.







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The Indo Pak War-1965

In September 1965, the historical event of the Indo-Pak War took place. Hence, the School was closed down for about six weeks. The boys from the then East Pakistan and remote areas of West Pakistan were evacuated to Lower Topa and the rest dispersed to their homes. During the 18-day war (from 6 to 23 September), the Indian Air Force carried out 59 air raids on PAF Base Sargodha. However, the school campus, despite being right adjacent to the base, suffered no damage except a few broken windows.
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The Gallant Sargodhians

A considerable number of Sargodhians participated as pilots in the 1965 war against India. Following is a brief account of those who won the coveted Sitara-i-Jurat for their gallantry in air combat.

Flt Lt Mohammad Tariq Habib Khan (118-T)

He was one of the pilots who struck the enemy airfield at Kalaikunda in the first strike mission against India from East Pakistan . In one of the operations he engaged 4 Indian Air Force Hunters thus diverting their attention from the PAF aircraft who were attacking the enemy airfield. Later, he himself managed to evade the Indian aircraft and return home safely in a crippled aircraft. During different operations, he destroyed three Canberras and one C-119 on the ground and one Hunter in the air-to-air dogfight. He was awarded Sitara-i-Jurat by the Commander in Chief, PAF Air Marshal Nur Khan. Flt Lt Tariq Habib was the youngest recepient of Sitara-i-Jurat in 1965 war.

Flt Lt Arshad Sami Khan (136-F)

He flew the highest number of combat missions during the 1965 war with India. His enthusiasm and aggressiveness was a source of inspiration for the other pilots. He never looked tired or apprehensive against heavy odds. Inflicting maximum damage to the enemy was his only objective. He was credited with one aircraft, 2 heavy guns, 15 tanks and 22 vehicles destroyed and another 8 tanks and 19 vehicles damaged. For his exemplary courage and determination and outstanding devotion to duty he was awarded Sitara-i-Jurat by the President of Pakistan, Field Marshal M Ayub Khan.

Flt Lt Saif-ul-Azam (147-A)

He flew 12 ground attack missions against the enemy in Sialkot , Wagah and Kasur sectors. His will to destroy the enemy in face of heavy fire and in total disregard of his personal safety earned him deep appreciation of Pakistan Army. On 19th of September,1965 in spite of having been separated from his formation and bad radio communication, he shot down an Indian Gnat and returned to the base safely. For his exceptional flying skills, courage and outstanding devotion to duty he was awarded Sitar-i-Jurat by the President of Pakistan, Field Marshal M Ayub Khan.

It is worth mentioning that none of Sargodhians lost his life during the September, 1965, war.

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The School Reopens

The School re-opened on 20 October, 1965. The Founder's Day was held on 26 February, 1966, and for the first time no guests were invited except the Risalpur Cadets. They also could not attend the function due to non-availability of service aircraft. The new C-in-C PAF Air Marshal Nur Khan, another student of Mr Catchpole from RIMC, graced the occasion as the Guest of Honour. In his address, the Chief Guest thanked the Principal for inviting him on the occasion, and particularly mentioned contribution of the Old Sargodhians in the September War. He said: You all here have a fine tradition to live upto... The C-in-C also promised to arrange funds for the construction of a mosque at the School.
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The Beginning of a New Era

The year 1967 was unique in more than one respect. It marked a new era in the history of the School. The name was changed from PAF Public School to PAF College Sargodha. The four houses Tempest, Fury, Attacker and Sabre were also renamed as Younus, Iqbal, Munir and Rafiqui respectively after the names of our great air warriors who laid down their lives in the defence of their motherland during the 1965 War. The name of the School magazine was also changed from "The Sargodhian" to "Shahbaz". A major development was the appointment of the first Pakistani Principal, Mr Abdul Rehman Qureshi. Mr Catchpole left the school after meritorious service of nine and a half years to join Abbotabad Public School as Head of English Department. Now the whole staff of PAF College Sargodha comprised Pakistani teachers. Another transition took place as the Senior Cambridge was replaced by the National System of Education. The School was affiliated with the Board of Intermediate & Secondary Education, Rawalpindi.
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Topians join Sargodha

In August, 1967, the Lower Topa School was also amalgamated into PAF Public School Sargodha. The Topians were accommodated in the Odeon Block and they formed Alam and Allauddin houses. Alam House was named after the living legend of September 1965 War, Wing Commander Mohammad Mahmood Alam (SJ with Bar) who shot down five Indian Hunters in less than a minute, a feat unprecedented and unsurpassed in the history of air warfare. Allaudin House was named after the great air warrior, Squadron Leader Allauddin Ahmed "Butch"(SJ) who laid down his life in the line of duty on 13 September, 1965 while blasting an Indian ammunition train at Gurdaspur. The first floor of the Odeon Block formed Alam House and the ground floor formed Allauddin House.
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Degree Classes start

The College continued to function as a Public School until in 1973. When the requirement at PAF Academy, Risalpur were raised to the degree level; the College started functioning as a Degree College. The College started imparting full military training to the aviation cadets of both the GD (P) and Engineering branches, which was followed by the flying training phase at PAF Academy , Risalpur. However, in 1985, BSc classes were shifted to Risalpur, and once again only FSc classes were conducted at the College. The institution, despite its changed role, continued grooming young boys into men of splendid character and merit. Mr Rehman Quraishi, the Principal, left no stone unturned in keeping the good name and repute of the institution aloft. He made a brave and successful effort to bring military discipline in consonance with the academic discipline. He left the College in January, 1984. Soon after his departure from Sargodha, he took the charge of Aitchison College, Lahore as Principal. He was followed by Gp Capt C M. Latif, Air Cdre M Akram Lodhi and Gp Capt (later Air Cdre) Fareed Ali Shah respectively. The latter was made the first Commandant of the institution in December, 1987. With the departure of Air Cdre M Akram Lodhi the designation of the Principal was kept in abeyance.
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Revival of the Public School System

In 1990, a review of the PAF intake requirements was made, which highlighted the excellent contributions made by this College as a public school. It was, therefore, decided to revive the institution to its previous role of a public school, imparting education from class VIII to FSc to young boys who would join the PAF as fighter pilots and Aeronautical Engineers, and whose expenses would be borne by the PAF. Hence in 1990, the 94th GD (P) and 39 CAE courses became the last entries of aviation cadets to pass through PAF College Sargodha, to join PAF Academy Risalpur for further training.

On reopening of the College as a public school, all the eight student houses were renamed as Attacker, Falcon, Fury, Halifax , Mirage, Sabre, Starfighter, and Tempest. Two entries of 100 students each were inducted in the 8th and 9th classes in January, 1991.The entries were numbered as 23rd and 24th to mark continuation with 22nd, the last entry before transition. Later, the strength of the College was raised to 440.

Air Cdre Fareed Ali Shah (442-T), a former Sargodhian, was appointed as the Commandant to supervise the transition of PAF College Sargodha from a Degree Science College to a typical Public School from December 1987 to April 1991.He was followed by Air Cdre Bilal Ahmad Khan (461-F) from April 1991 to January 1993, and later by Air Cdre Imtiaz Hyder (457-T) from January 1993 to November 1993.

To achieve the objective of running PAF College Sargodha on the lines of a Public School system meeting the requirements of the military training doctrine, the Air Headquarters decided to appoint a very senior Sargodhian AVM (Retd) Raja Aftab Iqbal (119-F ) as Commandant of PAF College Sargodha. He took charge in November 1993 and continued to serve for a record period of eight years till November, 2001. During this time a number of projects were completed, providing the most modern training aids and implements for the College. These new additions included the latest WICOM language laboratory, a modern computer laboratory, an audio-visual room equipped with a multimedia projector, a well-built gymnasium and construction of new buildings for two student houses.

AVM (Retd) Raja Aftab Iqbal left the College in November 2001. His successor, another Sargodhian, Air Cdre (Retd) M Abdul Qadir Sargaana (T374-F), took over as Commandant in November, 2001. But soon the designation of Head of the Institution was renamed as the Principal. The present designation is more in keeping with the ethos of a Public School. The institution also resumed its old name of PAF Public School Sargodha. This name is more compatible with its envisaged role: the role of taking good care of the mental and physical growth of young shaheens, whose requirement at this stage is more of a humanistic education than of military regimentation .

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Glider Training Resumes

Glider Training was resumed in 1993 by the then Commandant PAF College, Sargodha Air vice Marshal (Retd) Raja Aftab Iqbal. The functional control of Glider Training remained with the Commandant however; the operational control was shifted to OC No.38 Wing PAF Base, Sargodha.

The major boost was the induction of engine powered gliders. 04 SF-25 C Falke (SF: Manufacturer, Scheibe Flugzeugbau Falke: English, Falcon) German motor gliders were shifted from PAF Academy Risalpur to PAF Base, Sargodha. Of these Tail No 44143 needed major repair and was never used for training purposes. The 03 serviceable gliders Tail No 44140, Tail No 44141, Tail No 44142 were parked in Mirage periodic hangers.

SF-25 C Falke was a state of the art sail plane of its time. It had a forward fuselage with a large canopy and a two bladed propeller. It was a two-seat glider with dual control for the crew. Its 100 hp Rotax 912 S engine was fitted in its nose, and had an electric starter. Its nose wheel was almost double the size of tail wheel. It measured 7.6 m in length, weighed 335 Kg when empty, and had a wingspan of 15.33 m.

As regards its performance SF-25 C Falke could reach upto a speed of 190 km/h and fly upto 3 hours 30 minutes in a stretch. Its climb rate was 2 m/s and sink rate 1 m/s. Its maximum glide ratio was 22.

Gliding was introduced to the students of FSc Classes only. First year students were given theory classes only while second year students were given theory plus flying classes. All sorties were supervised by the Glider Instructor. No solo flying was given. Students were trained to do pre and post flight inspections and taxi out procedures. They were also given controls in air to develop a feel of being air born. However, take offs and landings were performed by the Glider Instructor himself.

Gliding was fun in the hectic routine of the School. Students would always talk lavishly about it on their return from the Base. By the end of 2001, 688 students had done glider training. But then being an old vintage glider, SF 25 C started giving recurrent maintenance problems. Eventually, it was decided that the glider training should be discontinued till the new gliders are purchased.


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School History Room

The School History Room was the brainchild of AVM (Retd) Raja Aftab Iqbal who thought of preserving the glorious past of the School and highlighting the achievements of old and young Sargodhians. On 12 November, 1998, Sqn Ldr M Shahid Hafeez was appointed the Officer Incharge School History Project. He was assigned to compile the history of the School in association with Stenographer (Retd) Abdul Rashid, the first Pakistani employed at the School in 1953. Additionally, he was assigned to oversee the necessary renovation to build a History Room in the Hobbies Club. Two rooms were merged to create space, and show cases were built in the walls to display the assets. Old magazines and Newsletters of Royal Pakistan Air Force Public School times were brought in. Some shields and trophies including Chigwell Shield were also added to the Room. Besides, briefs of Commandants and Principals of the School, and some "Historical Firsts" were collected and engraved on steel plates to decorate the walls of History Room.

To further enrich the Room, letters were written to the concerned agencies, and retired and serving personnel of armed forces and civil service. Many of them responded positively and resultantly a lot of information was gathered. In this connection Sqn Ldr Shahid was also sent to attend Platinum Jubilee Celebrations of Military College, Jhelum (MCJ) from 19 to 20 November, 2000. The visit of MCJ Museum was made part of the celebrations. On his return from MCJ Sqn Ldr Shahid brought home some new ideas for displaying the historical assets. He suggested that the History Room may be expanded and divided into galleries for displaying various eras of the School on the pattern of MCJ Museum.

The first major contribution to the History Room came from the then Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Air Chief Marshal Farooq Feroze Khan (69-Fury). He sent his working uniform and loads of mementos and souvenirs which were presented to him by services and organizations inland and outside the country. He also sent his signed photograph in uniform for the History Room. Things kept pouring in and soon the History Room was packed to the capacity. Hence, it was decided that the History Room should be shifted to the Academic Block and expanded to accomodate ever increasing assets. Meanwhile Change of Command took place and Air Cdre (Retd) Abdul Qadir Sargaana took over as Principal in November, 2001. The decision of shifting and expanding the History Room was held in abeyance.

On 16 June, 2004, Sqn Ldr Shahid handed over the School History Room to Flight Lieutenant (now Squadron Leader) Sabahat Batool. It goes to her credit that she got the venue of History Room changed from Hobbies Club to the Academic Block. The Old Mathematics Lab was transformed with beautiful layout of glass showcases to serve the purpose. All important documents and memorable items of prominent Sargodhians were shifted. Now visit of the School History Room by dignitaries was a made a regular feature.

During the tenure of Air Cdre (Retd) Tayyab Naeem Akhtar, the School History Room was further expanded by merging the old Biology Lab and adjacent room. On Parents' Day held on 19 February, 2011, the expanded History Room was inaugurated by Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman.

In the recent years some unique souvenirs have been added to the Room like uniforms of former Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Kaleem Saadat (697-Fury), Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Ehsan-ul-Haq (589-Fury) and IG Police, Bangladesh; Commemorative sword presented by General Ehsan and a dagger presented by the former Vice Chief of Army Staff General Ahsan Salim Hyat (447-Sabre) are also showcased there. Arun Prakash, the celebrated writer from India during his second visit to the School presented his coffee table book "Hugh Catchpole of the Subcontinent". The accompanying Commandant, Rashtria Indian Military College, Dehradun, Colonel Prem Parkash presented his College Crest to the School. All these souvenirs are on display in the History Room.

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The School Auditorium Renamed

After the Kohat tragedy, it was named after Air Chief Marshal Mushaf Ali Mir Shaheed and was called Mushaf Hall.

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The Golden Jubilee Monument

PAF Public School Sargodha completed its 50 years in 2003. To commemorate this landmark achievement a monument was erected at the School. The site selected was exactly where the millinium court of basketball used to be: adjacent to the Canteen. The Civil Works Organization (CWO) under the able guidance of Lieutenant General Khalid Ahmed Kidwai (615-S) and Begum Lubna Kidwai completed the project. Inauguration ceremony of the monument was made part of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations held from 11 to 13 October, 2003.

On 11 October 2003, the President of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharaf unveiled the inauguration plaque. The School Head Boy, Mohsin Javed, recited few verses from Holy Quran and offered Dua on the occassion.

The Golden Jubilee Monument is a superb piece of architecture erected in an exotic landscape. Inspiration of the monument comes from the Quranic Verse (Surah Ar-Rum : Verse 30)urging man to mould himself in the nature of Allah. The verse set in Thatta stone against the fountain wall gives a deeper meaning to the School's motto "Aim High". The central art piece designed by world renowned sculptor, Anjum Ayaz, symbolizes the School's motto with a pen (Qalam) and a bird in flight. The central space is an octagon depicting the eight Houses of the School.

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The New Gate of the School

On 04 November,2004, Air Cdre(Rtd) M Abdul Qadir Sargaana, Principal PAF Public School Sargodha, inaugrated the new impressive gate of the School. The new entrance has given a majestic look to the institution. It is dual gate which provide one way movement for incoming and outgoing vehicular traffic. A visitors' room and provision of parking space near the security staff office have also been made available. A large Punjgula(five lamps) has been errected in front of the gate to provide spectacular view in the night. The 40th Entry of Sargodhians was the first entry to cross the gate in April, 2007.

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Revival of the Brotherly Bond

On 22 August, 2005, Shahir Allawi (2777-M), Ahmed Inan Mussadaque (2778-Hf) and Tahrim Ishrak (2779-M) from the brotherly country Bangladesh rewrote history by joining the School with the 38th Entry. It was after the lapse of 40 years that some students from Bangladesh had joined the School. The idea was floated by Air Cdre (Retd) Moinul Islam (86-S)who was leading Bangladesh Chapter of Sargodhians during Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the School.

Since Bangladesh has a considerable number of illustrious Sargodhians who have been serving their motherland at different key posts, it was thought prudent to reconnect with the School and bring in fresh blood in the depleting line of distinguished Sargodhians. The School on its part was only too willing to accept the challenge. The three cubs of Bengal were received warmly; Every young Sargodhian thought it to be a religious duty to welcome the happy entry of their brothers from Bangladesh.

So far two batches of Bangladeshi students have graduated from the School. The highest appointment held by any Bangladeshi student so far is the Deputy Head Boy. That was Atiqur Rehman (2865-Attacker, 39th Entry) who belonged to the writer's House, Attacker.

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Bangladesh Air Chief Visits

On 11 September, 2005, Chief of the Air Staff, Bangladesh Air Force, Air Marshal Fakhrul Azam visited his almamter. The young Fakhrul Azam (694-Tempest) left the School after completing his Senior Cambridge in 1965. A dashing gentleman wh Mr Catchpole, the then Principal, thought was "a man of character and personality". True to his Principal's insight, he persued a brilliant career and rose to the status of Air Chief.

To relive the cherished memories of his golden age, he visited his House, Tempest. Later on he had tea with the School at the School Mess where he mixed with the young Sargodhians and exchanged pleasantries with them. He aslo had a detailed discussion with the newly arrived Bangladeshi students and boasted them to perform well. The writer had the honour to present the visiting dignitary his digitally improved photograph of his School days.

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South African Air Chief Visits

Lieutenant General Carlo Gagiano, Chief of the Air Force, South Africa visited PAF Public School, Sargodha on 12 November, 2005. The distinguished visitor was given a detailed briefing by the Principal Air Cdre (Retd) Abdul Qadir Sargaana and taken for a thorough round of the institution. The honourable guest told the Principal that they are exploring the possibilities of establishing a similar sort of institution in South Africa to tap and nourish young South African talent. He expressed that he was taking with him a very pleasant and useful impression of an efficient set up of the School.

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Warmth of Mushaira at the School

The first Mushaira after revival of the School was held in Mushaf Hall on 17 December, 2006. The Mushaira started with traditional kindling of the candle by famous Urdu poet, Amjad Islam Amjad. At the jam-packed Mushaf Hall of the School, the first session belonged to the young students who came up with their youthful passion and bagged lots of appreciation for their creatively poetic flights. Umair (2516-S), Zahid (2542-A) and Adnan (2608-M) were the lucky ones to recite their poems in front of the big wigs of Urdu poetry. In the second session, the staff members of the School presented their creative efforts.The third session was of the local poets from Sargodha. The fourth and last session of reciting poetry belonged to the guest poets. It was a fascinating mix of serious and seriously humourous verse. Famed for the vividly pleasing humour, Khalid Masood and Dr Inamul Haq Javaid brought tears of laughter to the wildly responsive audience's eyes. Finally, Amjad Islam Amjad gave befitting climax to the night with his peculiar mesmerizing style of reciting poetry.

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Rimcollians Visit the School

On 17 June, 2007, on their way back to India, the students of Rashtriya Indian Military College, Dehradun (known as Rimcollians) along with their Principal and some of the staff paid a brief visit to PAF Public School Sargodha. The Old Rimcollian and writer of the book "Hugh Catchpole of the Sub Continent" Mr Arun Prakash accompanied. The contingent was in Pakistan in connection with Mr Hugh Catchpole's Centenary Celebrations held at Cadet College Hassan Abdal.

The Rimcollians were housed in Mirage House where they interacted with young Sargodhians. Surprisingly, both the sides found many aspects of their training and set up common. As Arun Parkash tells us: "I have come to the conclusion that the school in Uttarkhand has a veritable twin across the border in the plains of West Punjab. The only perceptible difference apparently is that buildings in PAF Public School Sargodha are red and that the campus reverberated with sounds of screaming jets in the air, whereas those in Rashtria Indian Military College, Dehradun are white and all one gets to hear are birdsongs every where one goes. Of course when jets fall silent birds come alive in Sargodha too."

Next day in the morning, the contingent was given a circular round of the campus and briefed about different departments of the School. The celebrated writer, Arun Prakash, presented his Coffee Table Book, "Hugh Catchpole of the Subcontinent" to the School. The Principals of the two institutions, also, exchanged souvenirs. With a hope to see more of each other in future, the visitors were seen off warmly.

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Tradition of British Principal Reborn

With the departure of Air Cdre (Retd) M Abdul Qadir Sargaana, the tradition of British Principal at PAF Public School Sargodha was reborn. Mr Wayne Christopher Hignett arrived on 18 March, 2007. Born in 1956 in Liverpool, Mr Hignett gained his first teaching qualification from the University of Sussex in 1979. He later studied for his qualification to be a Principal at the University of Liverpool. In addition, he gained an MBA in Information Technology from University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). Mr Hignett had a vast experience of teaching in Britain and elsewhere. He had taught briefly in Turkey before gaining promotion to a school in Saudi Arabia where he taught children of the Saudi royal family.

Early Departure of the British Principal

Mr Hignett had to leave in December, 2010. However, a sudden change took place and Air Cdre (Retd) Tayyab Naeem Akhtar, SI (M) was appointed the Principal, PAF Public School Sargodha on 01 November, 2009. Like Mr Catchpole, he was handpicked for the School by the Air Headquarters while still serving as the Principal Cadet College Hasan Abdal. Air Cdre (Retd) Tayyab matriculated from our sister institution PAF Public School Lower Topa, Muree in 1964. He did his FSc Pre-Engineering from the reputed Government College Lahore and then joined GD(P) branch of PAF on 30 June, 1968. He had been an accomplished fighter pilot, who had flown almost all the aircraft held on the inventory of PAF including F-16.

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Oratory Reverberates the School

The oratory serves as a light, a guide to those who cannot themselves make sense of the chaos and look to a leader to point the way. Greeks considered the mastery of oratory an essential part of being a well-rounded man. They considered it the highest art which encompassed all other disciplines. They used it to portray their noblest sentiments, stir passions and emotions, and inspire virtuous actions. In order to ignite a desire for learning the art of oratory in young Sargodhians an All Pakistan Declamation Contest (APDC) was held on 10 November 2010 after a break of more than 20 years.

The APDC was a mega event that involved a lot of planning and ground work. Different committees were set up with specific tasks assigned to them. A grand looking panaflex replica of one of the paintings of great aviation artist of Pakistan Air Force (PAF), Group Captain (Retd) Hussaini, was prepared to adorn the entire backstage and the insignias of participating institutions were placed symmetrically to decorate the front walls of the stage. The School played host to the representatives of 16 distinguished institutions from all over Pakistan. Attacker House being the School Declamation Champions for the year 2010-2011 was given the honour to conduct the English and Urdu round of speeches. Muhammad Umer (2834-A) conducted the English round whereas Muhammad Waleed Shams (2782-A)conducted the Urdu round.

There were moments of great oratory that had an appreciative audience clapping like thunder. Military College Jhelum lifted the trophy while PAF Academy Risalpur emerged the runners up. Air Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, HI (M), TBt, Vice Chief of the Air Staff graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. He encouraged the venture and hoped that the tradition would continue.

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The Petticoat Government

Flight Lieutenant (now Squadron Leader) Azra Malik went into the History of the School when she was assigned the additional duty of the Assistant Housemaster, Starfighter House with effect from 23 September, 2004. The land mark appointment opened new horizons for the lady officers in the School.On 01 February, 2011, Flight Lieuteant Rehana Alam (now Squadron Leader)took over as Assistant Housemaster, Halifax House.


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A Distinction

PAF Public School , Sargodha houses, grooms and produces modest people who believe that action speaks louder than words. At ISSB the School has the highest rate of selection amongst the leading cadet colleges of the country. At the Academy, Sargodhians have outshone others by achieving maximum top positions, prizes, trophies and swords of honour. Also they hold key appointments in the cadets' hierarchy. The ones who fail to make it to the PAF Academy prove themselves to be an excellent breed of men wherever they go. Sargodhians have made their presence felt at prestigious institutions like the GIKI, NUST, UET, PMA, etc. Hearing about their continued story of success gives a supreme satisfaction to the dedicated staff who maintain and inspire an academically competitive environment at the School. The excellence of Sargodhians will always be credited to this rare breed of teachers.

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Illustrious Students

Air Chief Marshal Farooq Feroze Khan, NI(M), SBt enjoys the unique honour of being the first Sargodhian to become a four star General during his career in the PAF. Besides being the Chief of the Air Staff from 1991 to 1994, he also rose to the position of the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC). In this capacity, he served from 1994 to 1997. To show his affiliation with PAF Public School Sargodha, after retiring from the prestigious post of CJCSC, he presented his uniform to the School as a souvenir to be kept in the History Room of PAF Public School Sargodha.

On 19 March 2003, another Sargodhian, Air Chief Marshal Kaleem Saadat (697-F), joined the galaxy of four-stars and became Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force. On 20 March, 2006, Air Chief Marshal Tanvir Mahmood Ahmed (767-F) became the third Furian to have reached the status of Chief of the Air Staff. Air Marshals Masood Hatif, Shafique Haider, Aliuddin, Shahid Zulfiqar, Saeed Anwar, Pervez Akhtar Nawaz, Sarfaraz Arshad Toor, Tanvir Mahmood Ahmed, Arif Pervaiz, Masood Akhtar, Raashid Kaleem, Hifazat Ullah Khan and Tahir Rafique Butt are a few of the old boys who attained the three star status and formed a luminous chapter in the history of PAF Public School Sargodha. Amongst them Air Marshals Masood Hatif, Shafique Haider, Aliuddin, Tanvir Mahmood Ahmed, Raashid Kaleem, Hifazat Ullah Khan and Tahir Rafique Butt have the distinction of becoming Vice Chiefs of Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force.

On 18 March, 2009, Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman, HI (M), S Bt (851-Sabre/Rafiqui) was designated as the new Chief of the Air Staff, Pkaistan Air Force. He joined PAF Public School Sargodha through 17th Entry in 1967 and passed out in 1973. On 04 October, 2010, Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman was succeeded by yet another Sargodhian, Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt (895-Sabre/Rafiqui). The later joined PAF Public School Sargodha through 18th Entry in 1968 and passed out in 1977. His was the first entry that did its B Sc from the institution. He is the second consecutive Sabrite to have risen to the status of Chief of the Air Staff. During his stay at the School he led his house dynamically as a House Captain and Squadron Under Officer. His career progressed from strength to strength after joining Pakistan Air Force in 1977. He has been decorated with the awards of Nishan-i- Imtiaz(Military), Hilal-i-Imtiaz (Military), Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Military)and Tamgha-i-Basalat for his meritorious and dedicated services.

Also, in Pakistan Army Sargodhians have kept up their exalted record of excellence and proved that their quest for the extra ordinary is their ordinary business. General Ahsan Salim Hyat (447-S) and General Ehsanul Haq (589-F) rose to the coveted rank of four star General on 7 October, 2004 and were appointed as Vice Chief of the Army Staff and the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee respectively. Additionally, Lt Gen G M Malik (57-A), Lt Gen Humayun Bangash (102-S), Lt Gen Khalid Ahmed Kidwai (615-S) Lt Gen Arif Hayat Malik and Lt Gen Safdar Hussain are some of the inspiring Sargodhians whose glorious achievements the young lot would love to emulate if destiny desired so.

Sargodhians in Bangladesh too have added proud feathers to their alma mater. Four of them, AVM (Retd) Sultan Mahmood (267-F), AVM (Retd) Mumtazuddin Ahmed (295-T), AVM (Retd) Rafiq-ul-Islam (693-T) have the distinction of being the former Air Chiefs of Bangladesh Air Force while AVM Fakhr-ul-Azam (694-T) is the present Air Chief. Maj Gen Amjad Khan Chaudhry (61-A), Maj Gen Muzzamil (65-F), and Maj Gen Moeenuddin Ahmed (815-F) are few other Sargodhians who have risen to prominent positions in Bangladesh Army. Maj Gen Moeen was elevated to the rank of Lt Gen and appointed as the Chief of Army Staff, Bangladesh Army on 15 June, 2005. He later on added one more star to his uniform. He is the first Army Chief to have risen to the status of four-star General in Bangladesh.

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About the Writer

Sqn Ldr M Shahid Hafeez joined PAF Public School Sargodha on 15 March, 1992. He pioneered the School History Room in 1998. He has been writing and updating the School History for the School Website since 2002.

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