Moving farewell and hearty welcome for John and Belinda
It was indeed a memorable evening. A select gathering of eminent personalities of a city, known for its warmth, hospitality, and full of life, even during worst of times were present. The occasion was a reception hosted by the outgoing British Deputy High Commissioner, John Anthony Trucknott and welcoming simultaneously his successor, a charming Bilenda Lewis. John a “jolly good fellow” as they in English, is always smiling, friendly, and hospitable, but was rather glum at leaving Karachi, of which he had “fond memories”, but which he has to leave now, like all other civil servants, finally after a memorable tenure.
In brief speech at the Empirical Acton House, official residence of the of head of diplomatic mission in Karachi, he hosted the reception inside the house to avoid inconvenience to guests in case of rains, which has now finally set in.
He tried to be in his own, smiling and jovial, but could not hide his sorrow for leaving large number of friends, which he had won here, and with which he had some lovely time of his life. Karachi, he said, was a “wonderful, wonderful” city, and Pakistan a lovely country, bound to rise to its potential of being a really great country in Asia.
Belinda, coming fresh from London, has served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and is familiar with Muslim and regional traditions, psyche of its people, and felt at home, her face glowing with happiness for being among such lovely gathering, and hoping to continue the mission of building ties with Pakistan like his predecessors. “Even if if could achieve half of what John has achieved in promoting bilateral economic, political ties and building British investment here, I will feel happy” she said, a remarkable smile lighting her face.
Prominent among those present were Senior Sindh Minister Nisar Khuhro, Tehrik-i-Insaaf MNA Dr Arif Alvia, and his wife, entrepreneur of repute Byram D Avari, his son Dinshaw and wife, Pakistan’s former permanent representative at the UN, Hussain Haroon, former ambassador Zia Ispahani, Consuls general of United States, France, Bangla Desh and Indonesia, Brian Heath, Francoise Dolloross, Noore-Helal Saifur Rehman, and Hadi Santoso with his pretty wife, Wati, the number two at US consulate Chad Peterson, and his counterparts at German and Swiss consulates. Among the entrepreneurs were Kalim Farooqui, Wajid Junejo from Engro and quite a few other dignatories, John will fly out of Karachi Sunday, but will keep coming back on private visits, for, he loves Karachi and its people. He can not forget his friends in Karachi and Pakistan, he said.