LAHORE - Noted academic Major retired Geoffrey Douglas Langlands laid to rest at a graveyard on Jail Road Monday.

Langlands had breathed his last after a brief illness at a local hospital in Lahore last week. He was 101. The ex-serviceman of the British Army chose to stay in Pakistan after the partition.

Bishop of Lahore Rt Rev Irfan Jamil along with Dean of Lahore Cathedral Rev Shahid Mehraj led the final rites. A number of his colleagues and students attended the funeral. Mian Yusuf Salauddin, Waleed Iqbal, Dr Yaqoob Bangash were among the attendees.

Langlands was laid to rest adjacent to the grave of the fourth Chief Justice of Pakistan Alvin Robert Cornelius. His coffin was wrapped in Pakistan and United Kingdom flags.

The noted Aitchison College teacher served the education sector for 75 years. He is the teacher of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak, former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and many others.

He nurtured generations of Aitchison College students, many of them destined to lead in their own right.

A contingent of Chitral Police also presented guard of honour. Inspector Sher Wazir Khan laid a wreath on the grave of the Langlands, on behalf of Deputy Inspector General Malakand and DPO Chitral.

Sher Khan said: “Langlands Sahib had done countless contribution to the field of education for the people of Chitral. He opened a school in Chitral in 1988. This guard of honour by 16-member contingent is merely a token of thanks to him.”

A brief ceremony was held in Aitchison College where Principal Australian Michael Thomson and students paid rich tributes to him.

Speaking on the occasion, Punjab Assembly Speaker Parvez Elahi said Langlands services would be remembered and on his demise, Pakistan has lost a true friend who steadfast for 75 years in educating youth.

He said that even after his retirement, Langlands has not stopped educating students and contributed to educational institutions in Chitral and in Ramzak Cadet College, North Waziristan.

“His commitment to education and love for Pakistan can be seen in his will, in which he directed to bury him in Pakistan. He declared Pakistan and his students his home,” Pervaiz Elahi said.

Pervaiz Khattak said: “Langlands was a great personality who lived for other people. I once asked him how he managed his households’ expenditures in merely Rs20,000. He replied he did not want more money.”

Langlands had already written in his will to write a stanza of poet Robert on his grave mark that reads: “Woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.”

Langlands was born on October 21, 1917 in Yorkshire, England 10 minutes younger than his identical twin brother John Langlands.

When the World War II broke out in September, 1939, he joined the British Army in the ordinary rank and became a sergeant.

He was commissioned as a captain in 1943 and volunteered for service in the Indian Army. He was transferred to the Pakistan Army. He stayed in Pakistan since 1953 on request of General Ayub Khan.

An admirer of Langlands, Dr Yaqub Bangash said: “He was bestowed top awards from UK government but he never went to London to receive them. The Queen would herself had given him those awards. He preferred to stay in Pakistan”.