Tributes to Sister Mary Emily

Sister Mary Emily

I remember Sister Mary Emily as ever humble and a sympathetic figure in the St Joseph’s College and Convent.     Dr Hamida Khuhro

My association with her goes back to the fifties when I joined the SJC as a student. Then after finishing with the University I came back to join the college as a lecturer. I was always so impressed by Sister’s efficiency and thoroughness in every thing that she did that probably some of it rubbed off on me as well and has stayed with me all my life unto this day..  That is the greatest tribute to sister Emily that any student can give. On learning of her passing away last night I spent a long time pondering over my association with the college and with Sister Emily and felt that they had been such wonderful years. May her soul rest in peace.  Rashida Wasti (nee Hasan)

It was SO sad to hear about Sister Mary Emily who was in scholl after she left college. As a child I remember her as being so soft-spoken and gentle. Huma Fatema Mustafa

I too remember Sister Emily very well. She was dedicated to the College and an institution herself. Khawar Mumtaz

(Your article) Reflects the thoughts of all who remember Sister Emily. One of my abiding memories are of Sister Emily bringing out a rubber band from the stock in her pockets and offering it to a first year student with a gentle admonishment to not leave her tresses open. Yasmin Zaidi

Thank you for your article on Sr. Mary Emily. I was privileged to have been one of her students from ’79-’83. Through your article I learned about her background, which I did not know before.

Sr. Emily’s demise took me back to some of the best years of my life, as I am sure it did hundreds of alumni all over the world who heard about it.  It also made me realize the influence of St Joseph’s and some of its iconic teachers’ and administrators’ on me, and on thousands of girls who became leaders in their fields of choice all over the world.

A friend and fellow Josephian recently commented that it would be nice if there was a directory of active Josephians who would be willing to guide, mentor and network with other Josephians.

I thought a good way to accomplish this would be to form a St Joseph’s Alumni Association.

Since my friend and I both live outside Pakistan, we thought we would reach out to you to see if you could point out some alumni in Karachi who would be willing to take on this project.

I am in the field of education and have experience working with professional organizations. I would be happy to provide any information, guidance or help in this regard.       Bushra Rizvi

It is a long time and my memories of Sister Emily are overlaid in the palimpsest of life. But one memory does stand out: I had been reading a fascinating book recommended by a brilliant classmate and could not put it down. Taking advantage of an unforeseen delay in the start of a class I huddled under the staircase with the book, hoping to become invisible to passing spies.

Along came Sister Mary Emily and peered at me. I knew exactly what was on her mind, that I must be ‘bunking’ my class. And knowing that I had not intended to do so, I still quivered under the powerful gaze of my Principal.

‘Why aren’t you in class?’

‘The class has not started’, I muttered, forgetting that it must have started by then.

‘But it has started!’

How on earth does she know everything! I thought.

Then, noticing the book in my hand she asked sternly, ‘What are you reading? And extended an arm, believing no doubt that she was going to impound a Mills and Boons or some other romance. I could read her displeasure in her eyes.  She looked at the cover and read the author’s name: Aldous Huxley. Immediately her expression softened. ‘Do you like Huxley?’

‘This is the first time I’ve read a novel by him.’ I replied.

‘Well we have more of his books in the library. You will like him. Excellent writer.’

Meanwhile I couldn’t believe my good fortune.

‘Run up to your class now, she told me, almost tenderly. Amina Azfar

Sister Mary Emily was a great woman of much substance! Masooma Alibhai

Sr Mary Emily was a  great educationist an icon who influenced the lives of many girls at St Joseph’s College. Sr Emily was also principal of St Joseph’ Convent School for a short period will be remembered always. May she rest in eternal peace. Naseema Kapadia

May she Rest in Peace. Fondly remember her from my brief stint at St. Joseph’s college, where she was Principal during the time we were there, doing a shortened Intermediate Science after O Levels from the school. Ghazala Aziz
An icon! Brilliant memory-strong yet gentle , a lovely person. I was very fond of her. May her soul rest in peace. Zaineb Zaman
A truly Giant of her time. Many a motto did she instill in us the most popular being ” simple living high thinking”.Suroor Akbar
I remember her with a great deal of affection. May her soul rest in peace.
Zeba Arif
Very sad. I remember her so well. May her soul rest in peace. Rasia Siddiqui

On my mind today is the passing away of the Principal of my Alma Mater, my College, My institution of learning, both School and College ,St. Josephs—and our very own Sister Mary Emily. She was not just a Principal to me, but someone who I looked up to as my Icon, my ideal, my mentor and my guide!
She was not only affable and kind to me but to each and all of her many many students down the years.She was like a Lighthouse which stood tall despite her diminutive frame and emitted light to all of us who had the good honour and fortune to have been blessed with having her as the Principal of our College for four long years.It seemed very long then, but now as I look back it seems like a fleeting moment !
The one quality of Sister Emily which set her apart from her contemporaries was her amazing memory ! She remembered each and everyone of us by name.There were thousands and thousands of her students ; how on earth did she recall us? I often wondered.
She was not only managing the running of the College but also chose to teach English to the Arts Students.Being a nerd of the Science Section, I was not a beneficiary but my siblings older to me were blessed and raved and ranted about her outstanding knowledge of the English Language.
Sister Mary Emily was also big on humanity and took us in her cudgels when we were down and under. I remember, when I lost my Dad of a massive heart attack, she turned up with other teachers and Nuns to my home to condole with my Mom. She was very disturbed at our plight.
Her presence gave us a lot of solace. She was firm yet soft in the heart.
Years later, I met her in the College premise at the Karvaan Karachi Festival. She seemed older, very frail but still had her wits about her.
Only the other day, I asked my Goan Secretary Anna, who frequents the Church about her whereabouts.She told me Sister Emily comes to Church on a wheelchair, and has a failing eyesight.
Last night I read of her passing away through a good friend Menin Rodrigues.
Sister Mary Emily F.C. lived her life. She was 97 years old.
We should not mourn her passing away, but celebrate her very well lived life.
She was not just our College Principal. She was an Institution of Learning and Education.
Rest in eternal peace dear Sister Emily.
May the Almighty look after you and grant you Heaven in its many splendours and glory! Amen.  Talat Rahim

Sister Mary Emily, Principal of St. Joseph’s College, my alma mater passed away. she will live in the hearts of thousands of students, including my self, who were taken care of by her. Shamim Akhter

Rest in peace Sister Mary Emily. St Joseph’s College will never be the same without you. Sadiah Ahsan Pal

A great educationist, an icon who influenced the lives of many girls at St. Josephs College.She will be missed tremendously. May her soul rest in eternal peace. Fawzia Muzaffar

So sad. So many going. And the year has just started! First Habib Fida Ali. And now Sister Mary Emily. Nighat Mir