COURAGE (1st Generation)
COURAGE, to forgive, to tolerate, to express gratitude, to be generous, to share & to lead.
Khan Sahab Yusaf Ali, who was bestowed with the title “Khan Sahab” on January 1, 1919, got his first of many commendations for his contribution to the field of education for the academic year 1907-08 (ending January 31, 1908). During the next two decades, he relentless pursued this cause with two notable events. First, he took it upon himself to use his influence and personal financial resources to expand education in the Toba Tek Singh district by first providing a rent-free house for primary education, then setting up a scholarship for exceptional students to pursue middle school and later establishing a school in every village of the district. Finally, he funded the First and Only Regional High School, located at Maurusipur, in 1921. Second, not content with this alone, in his capacity as Zaildar, he initiated a unique and bold step, for the first time ever in the British Ruled India, of making it mandatory for every child in the district to attend primary school. Courage, as a value, got embedded in 1924.
RESPECT (2nd Generation)
RESPECT, for time, for people, for the environment, for discipline, for hard work, for perseverance and for yourself.
On March 1, 1929, Khan Sahab Yusaf Ali, was present at the ceremony where the title “Khan Sahab” was to be bestowed upon his son Nur Din.He was being honored for his exceptional commitment to the community welfare in the fields of education, agriculture & law enforcement. As things happen at such ceremonies, there were three high chairs on stage for Khan Sahab Nur Din and two senior Viceroy of India representatives, for bestowing the award. Khan Sahab Nur Din, on seeing this, told the Government representatives that since his father was also sitting in the audience, he could simply not sit ahead of him. If the ceremony was to go ahead, his father must be shown the respect and honor of being on-stage for it was his upbringing and values that had resulted in K.S. Nur Din being considered for the honor at 44 years of age. A fourth chair was added. Respect, as a value, got embedded in 1929.
INTEGRITY (Every Generation)
INTEGRITY, demonstrated by honesty in our dealings, truthfulness of our words, delivery against our commitments, and ''doing the right thing even if nobody is watching".
While the role of integrity has been a continuous thread across the five generations, it got firmly defined by a specific event. Mian Abdus Sattar (3rd Generation), aged 20, took it upon himself to “physically punish” a house servant for refusing to obey an order and demanding higher wages. K.S. Nur Din, on his return from Lyallpur, found the servant distraught but would not speak. Mian Abdus Sattar volunteered to narrate the event and also showed remorse for his actions. On hearing this, K.S. Nur Din gave two responses. He said, “It is shameful to use force on the poor who are helpless and reliant on the good manners of their masters for respect and you must never do so again”. Then he added, “However, you being forthcoming and your self-reflective identification of error in your personal judgement and behaviour is a virtue that will stand by you for the rest of your life”. Integrity, as a value, got defined in 1931.
Mian A. Sattar never forgot this value. He was celebrated for his integrity, honesty and righteousness and was honoured by naming a railway station, “Sattar-Wala”, in 1955.
OPTIMISM (2nd & 3RD Generations)
OPTIMISM, if your mind can conceive it & your heart can believe it, know you can achieve it.
“I am too positive to be doubtful, too optimistic to be fearful and too determined to be defeated” – K.S. Nur Din (2nd Generation), in 1923, showed this by defying all odds to defeat Sir Syed Mehdi Shah, backed by the British Raj, to become Member Legislative Council (Punjab) from Toba Tek Singh, in 1923 elections, as he was committed to making a difference.
“A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one makes opportunities of his difficulties” – Abdul Ghafoor Sethi (3rd Generation), father of Nasrin Tariq (4th Generation Founder of Silver Oaks School) was born in Sagri village, about 40 Kms from Pindi, in challenging circumstances. Not educated but determined to make a go of life, he went on to become a very successful businessman, married a doctor, and to ensure that illiteracy is not suffered by the next generations, donated his personal land to set up the First Girls School in Sagri, in 1972, which is now a college. Optimism, as a virtue, started making an impact on the family since 1923 and has never stopped since.
CREATIVITY (3rd & 4th Generations)
CREATIVITY, imagine what you desire, will what you imagine; & create what you will.
History of the name “Silver Oaks School”:
Mian Abdus Sattar (3rd Generation) & father-in-law of Nasrin Tariq (4th Generation founder of Silver Oaks School), constructed the building at 33-Civil Lines in 1959-60, and named it “Aashiana”. It became a boarding home for students, excelling at Maurusipur High School, to move to Rawalpindi for higher education. They were provided shelter and food in this building while they got educated. A Silver Oak tree was planted at the gate of this building.
In 1992, at the same building that had been a house of learning since 1960, when Nasrin Tariq decided to start an institution for foundation building of children with the singular intent of educating and as “our own” while focusing on developing enlightened leaders of tomorrow, naming the school was the first task. While trends suggested fancy names, her focus was to give a name that reflected the virtues and values of the institution. Observing the tree (in picture), she realised that Silver Oak Trees, when nourished with proper care and attention at the foundation building stage, grow tall, straight and strong - hence the name “Silver Oaks School”.
Oakian Values are embedded in tradition and are defined. The journey and heritage in education that started in 1908 got formally named in 1992 and continues with the 5th generation of the family, Hassan Sattar, carrying on the over a century old commitment to education.
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