By Al Qalam Reporter
Charity organization, Orient Old Boys, is holding a Gala Dinner this evening to mark its 50th Anniversary – a significant milestone in its history in which hundreds have been helped since the group’s formation in 1967.
The major event is being held at the posh Orient School Hall. It will also be an opportunity for old friends, colleagues and well wishers to meet and reminisce.
In the many projects of the Orient Old Boys, scores of poor, blind, deaf, sick, vulnerable, senior citizens, work seekers and orphans have benefited, thanks to its army of volunteers and supporters.
The organization has also been at the forefront of educational development, having been instrumental in establishing the Phoenix Muslim School, now an icon in that part of Durban.
With extensive involvement in daily sandwich making activities, weekly Soup Kitchens, and annual mammoth hamper packing drives, printing of salaah calendars etc, “the beloved Orient Old Boys have carved out a significant niche in the charitable landscape in our community over the last 50 years,” a spokesman said.
The culmination of the Orient Old Boy’s 50th year celebrations tonight (November 3), guests will be taken on a visual journey of its history and what it has achieved so far – and where it is headed.
The guest of honour is UK based Shabir Randeree CBE (UK), Deputy Chair of Al Baraka Bank (SA).
According to the spokesman, the organization started when on 29th April 1967 a group of young visionaries formed the then Orient Islamic High School Old Boys Club.
“The aim of the Old Boys Association was to encourage and foster closer relationships between and amongst former and present learners of Orient School and the trustees, principal, and teachers of Orient Islamic Educational Institute; to promote, encourage, organize and advance social, sporting, moral, cultural, and humanitarian work amongst its members as well as the disadvantaged and poorer communities; and encourage inter-organizational networking. The constitution makes clear that membership was not restricted to former students of Orient but open to all, irrespective of race, colour or creed. The ultimate aim was to please Allah (SWT).
“The sterling work of pioneer members was continued by a new generation, which was equally dedicated to the goals of the founding members. Some of the stalwarts, of course, remain. Some sadly, have passed on but their contribution will never be forgotten.
“What started off as a social and sporting club to keep a few friends occupied has evolved into a mainstream charity organization geared towards worthy charitable causes such as holding weekly soup kitchens, emergency relief, +- 500 sandwiches daily for disadvantaged school kids, annual Islamic calendars, regular hospital visits, a series of sustained ‘celebratory visits and upliftment projects’ at orphanages, old age homes, blind societies, disabled kids homes etc. the annual 2100 zakaat hamper distribution to 25 organizations with food enough to feed one million mouths has become a much anticipated event in the Durban community charity calendar,” the spokesman said.
The Orient Old Boys have also been consistently involved in extensive general welfare work and psychological empowerment counseling-work deep in disadvantaged communities like Phoenix, Blackburn Village and Waterloo.
Chairperson: Imran Bobat Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone number: 031 201 0060
eFax: 08666 74789