After much anticipation and intensive preparation, the Mombasa Jaffery Academy and its sister school in Toronto As-Sadiq Islamic School linked arms across the sea and joined together to partake in the much-publicised and long-awaited three-day charity event in Mombasa, called: Journey Through the Golden Years.
For many who had gone to the Jeffery Academy or its predecessor, the Alibhai Panju Jaffery Primary School, in the early years, the celebration recalled to mind the cherished memories of yesteryear, when they lived in the gulleys and alleys of Old Town Mombasa.
This epic event was directed bringing together in a wonderful charitable cause several players: First, those who had been students at the Alibhai Panju Jaffery Primary School in Mombasa; Second, residents and ex-residents of the Old Town of Mombasa; and, third, supporters and students of the APJPS and As-Sadiq Islamic School in Toronto Canada.
The series of exciting activities that comprised, Journey Through the Golden Years, kicked off on Friday 24th June 2011 with a visit to the Mombasa Jaffery Academy. Here the participants toured through all sections of the school and the Jaffery Institute of Professional Studies. While many alumnae of the Jaffery Academy and its predecessor saw great improvements from their school’s early days, all recognized that – if the school and college were to provide a modern-level education that much support would be needed by the outside world.
In an effort to revive the spirit of decades gone by and to support their alma mater in the future, the Jaffery Academy Alumni Association was officially launched on the 25th of June 2011. Following the launching of the Alumni Association, a few selected former students of APJPS and Mombasa Jaffery Academy shared their thoughts about the past and future of the academy. Dr. Asghar Moledina articulated several instances that brought laughter to the audience. Dr. Amir Lakha spoke of the firm foundation that had been created by the school, a foundation that led him to his successful chosen career path today. Mr. Amir Gulamhussein delved into memories that spoke volumes on how the school had nurtured his formative years in school. Following that, Mrs. Rubab Salim and Mrs. Fatima Fazel recounted their memories of the school which brought warm recollections by fellow alumnai in the audience. Mr. Khandwalla then tickled the crowd with his descriptive narrative of his school days at Jaffery Academy. The speeches and ceremonies were made even more vivid by more than three dozen photographs that were presented to the audience from as far back as the 1950s.
While the speeches and shared memories of the first day were enjoyable and enlightening, the highlight of the Journey Through the Golden Years was a two-kilometer walk that the 300 participants took though Old Town Mombasa. The walk began at Fort Jesus (built in the 16th Century by the Portuguese and filled with historic memorabilia) and continued through the narrow streets and the maze of twisting alleyways, on the morning of Sunday, June 26th 2011. During the walk, participants saw that much of the culture that was once a part of the Khoja Shia Ithna Asheri past still remains amidst the cracked walls, hanging balconies, antique carved doors and paved roads that is the Old Town. The walk through the sprawling labyrinth of alleyways and twisting roads was greatly enhanced by flowing narrative of the gathering’s excellent guide, Mr. Zaheer Bhalloo.
On the evening of 26th June 2011, the entire community assembled at the formidable Fort Jesus, which was aptly chosen as the venue for the finale culmination of the Journey Through the Golden Years. During the evening speeches and presentations were made by the Chairman of the World Federation, Allhajj Dr. Asgher Moledina, Representative and Councillor of the AFED, Allhajj Amir Merali, the MP for the Kisauni constituency, the Honerable Hassan Joho, the director of Gulf African Bank, Mr. Shabaan, and Allhajj Aunali Moledina a well-known Toranto business man.
During the closing ceremonies, the crowd was treated to an exceptional performance in the form of a sound and light show, which vividly illustrated the Fort’s turbulent history. The evening also witnessed the launch of the commemorative magazine for the event, which is also on sale in Jamaats throughout the world. In order that no one forgets that a key goal the entire Journey Through the Golden Years, was to raise money for the Mombassa Jaffery Academy and the As-Sadiq Islamic School in Toronto, organizers reported that more than $250,000 US Dollars were donated through the generosity of the participants. Clearly, the Administration, the students and future students of both the schools owe them a great vote of thanks and appreciation. The majority of the funds will be for use in Mombasa to provide additional student loans for higher education and to improve the facilities at the Jaffery Academy.