Monday October 18, 2021

US govt to assist in restoring and renovating Frere Hall

September 21, 2021
US govt to assist in restoring and renovating Frere Hall

The new US consul general in Karachi, Mark Stroh, has vowed to support the Sindh government to preserve the cultural sites of historical significance in Karachi, saying that the US government will assist in the renovation and restoration of the Frere Hall as well.

He said this during a visit to the Frere Hall on Monday. He was accompanied by the deputy consul general and cultural officer of the US Consulate, Metropolitan Commissioner Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) Afzal Zaidi, the director general of the parks and horticulture department and Dr Kaleem Lashari. Earlier, Karachi Administrator Barrister Murtaza Wahab welcomed the US consul general and other guests on their arrival at the Frere Hall and visited various parts of the historical building with them.

Stroh took a special interest in the Frere Hall Library and the Saddiqen Art Gallery on the top floor. Dr Kaleem Lashari, cultural affairs specialist, briefed the guests on the historical background of the Frere Hall, and He said the building was one of the important buildings constructed in Karachi during the British rule.

The construction work was started in 1863 and was completed in 1865, he added. Initially, it was transformed into a town hall and library, but later an art gallery was established to display paintings and calligraphy. The building was named after Sir Henry Bartley Edward Frere, British governor, in 1884, in recognition of his services to Karachi and the Sindh province.

After the formation of Pakistan, the Frere Hall Library, which had more than 70,000 books at that time, was renamed as the Liaquat National Library. Consul General Stroh praised the historic significance of the Frere Hall and the KMC's role in maintaining the building, and pledged to work together on bilateral issues and the preservation of sites of historical and cultural significance.

Fight against polio

Wahab, in a message regarding the ongoing polio vaccination drive in Karachi, said the citizens should support the government and Unicef in the fight against polio to protect the future generations from the disease.

“Polio is a disease and a risk that, if left unchecked, can lead to permanent disability,” he said in a message to the citizens. He said that according to doctors, the only way to prevent this disease was the polio vaccine, so all parents should give the polio vaccine to their children.

The administrator said polio vaccines could save children from lifelong disability. "Do your part to make the anti-polio campaign a success, as together we can protect our children, our future generations and their future.”

Wahab said the people had to support the government for a better future of the country and the nation. Earlier, in a meeting with Unicef representatives, Barrister Wahab said the ongoing campaign to eradicate polio should be made successful.

He said more than 2.3 million children would be vaccinated during the campaign, which started in Karachi on September 20. During the drive, he added, implementation of coronavirus SOPs would be ensured. The campaign will involve more than 23,000 polio workers who have been specially trained to implement Covid-19 SOPs. The administrator said the anti-polio campaign was a national goal, and they would continue their efforts to eradicate polio with the cooperation and collaboration of international organisations.