UK Time: 19:23

PK Time: 00:23

Pakistan lost a friend and an impeccable community leader; Dr. Mohammad Faisal

The High Commission of Pakistan, London expresses deep sorrow and grief over the sad demise of Dr. James Shera, the former Mayor of Rugby who breathed his last while he was in Pakistan on a family visit.

In a statement, the High Commissioner said, “The death of Dr. James Masih Shera has deprived Pakistan and the British Pakistani community of a true friend and a mentor”. Has was our very own Dr. James Shera who had a selfless devotion to the cause of Pakistan and the community.

Paying tribute to Dr. Shera, the High Commissioner said that he was a man of great integrity, hard work and interfaith harmony. Dr. James was gifted with impeccable skills as a mediator, bringing people together from across the political divide to find common ground and a way forward.

Dr. Faisal said that Dr. Shera was a ‘lifelong’ friend to Pakistan and the British Pakistani Community. He was revered by all and sundry owing to his selfless and unwavering support to the cause of Pakistan and its People.

Dr. Shera made history in 1988 when he became the first Pakistani to be elected Mayor of Rugby, and four years later he became one of the first recipients of the prestigious Sitara-i-Imtiaz and then Quiad-i-Azam Hilal Award Star of Pakistan in 2023, awarded by the President of Pakistan for services to community and interfaith relations.

Dr. Shera was made an MBE in 2007 and a decade later was made an Honorary Freeman of the Borough of Rugby - the highest honour the borough council can bestow.

Born in a small rural village in Pakistan, Dr. Shera's journey towards playing a pivotal role in Rugby's public life began when he secured a scholarship to study at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium. He hitch-hiked through Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Greece and Yugoslavia before reaching Italy, where he caught a train to Brussels to start his studies.

Friends in the UK led Dr. Shera to England in 1970 and a job at Rugby station as a railway guard. After completing a post-graduate degree at the University of Warwick, he became a teacher at Newbold Middle School, later joining the county council education department where he worked until taking retirement. In 2022, he was presented with an honorary doctorate from Coventry University in recognition of his outstanding contribution to inter-faith harmony and multi-cultural education.

Published on : January 15, 2024

Last Update : January 15, 2024