|Professor of Mathematics (1962-1977)
Prof. M.S. Toor – 1969
|By Kazi Zulkader Siddiqui
Prof. Muhammad Saleem Toor (known at Petaro as M.S. Toor) was professor of Mathematics at Petaro. He joined the college in 1962 and left in 1977.
He was born on 15 May 1932 at Rahimpur Kichiyan near Sialkot. He was married to the late Mrs. Salima Toor on 13 July 1983. They have three children.
Prof. M.S. Toor – 1966
Toor Sahib’s father was a clerk in the Health Dept in Sialkot. Thus his childhood was spend in that city and he acquired his early education up to secondary school level there. His family home was in Chavinda, and he completed his matric from the Chavinda High School. He then joined Murray College Sialkot from where he completed his FSc in 1952 and BSc in 1954. Moving to Lahore, he then graduated with an MA in Mathematics from Government College Lahore in 1956.
Soon after completing his education, he joined the Agriculture Dept in Lahore in 1956. There had been severe floods in 1954, and Toor Sb was given the task to do research on floods control. He worked as Research Officer and wrote two books on Floods Control and Relief during this period.
In 1962, he turned towards education, and joined Cadet College Petaro as a teacher in Mathematics. He was also appointed the Assistant House Master of Latif House during 1964-1967. In fact, he was our Assistant House Master when I joined the college.
In 1967, when Qasim House was created, Toor Sb was appointed as the first House Master of that house. He remained the house master until 1970.
He was also the In Charge of Aeromodelling Club during 1966-1967.
While still in service at Petaro, Toor Sb was sent on deputation to Zambia on behalf of the Ministry of Education to teach at the Masala Secondary School in Ndola in 1974. He remained in Zambia until 1983 and then returned to Pakistan.
While he was still in Zambia, he officially left Cadet College Petaro in 1977. Thus, upon his return to Pakistan in 1983, Toor Sb moved to Lahore and settled down there.
Between 1983 and 2009, Toor Sb was affiliated with different schools in Lahore as Professor of Mathematics. His last job was with Crescent Model School in Shadman Colony, Lahore.
Finally at the age of 77, Toor Sb took retirement. Throughout his career as a Professor of Mathematics, he was considered to be one of the best in Lahore even today.
I was probably extremely fortunate to have the best of Mathematics teachers. My favourites were Bhatti Sahib and Toor Sahib. It was these two great teachers of mine who I should give full credit for my love for Mathematics and my success in the subject. It was rare that I would not score 100% in the subject.
Toor Sahib had full trust over my command over the subject. Whenever he would mark my examination paper, he would simply mark every question 100% right without even going through the details. And then he would get me to write the answers on the black board after returning the papers.
I realized this when once when he returned my paper, I found out that I had made a mistake in one question for which he should have deducted 2 marks, and he had not done so. I walked up to him and asked him to re-check that question. He smiled and took the 2 marks away, and then gave me one mark for honesty. I got 99.
It was Toor Sahib who forced me to go see an ophthalmologist because I couldn’t see the blackboard clearly although I used to sit in the first row.
Toor Sahib was a feared man. He would not tolerate any nonsense, and quite a few of his students would recall (with great pleasure) how Toor Sahib would box them when he lost his temper.
The uncanny part of Toor Sahib was that he had a squint eye. So you would never know which direction he was actually seeing. This was probably a great boon for Toor Sahib, as he would catch boys when they would least expect him. They would think he was looking at someone else while he would be watching their antics. And he was unforgiving.
He rewarded sincerity and hard work, and was severe with those who played games with him. This is so well reflected in the simple line he wrote for me below.
Toor Sahib has not been keeping good health over the past few years. He suffers from heart disease and is restricted in his travel. May Allah grant Toor Sahib a long life with health!