57 years of service as Catechist
What is nation building and what is community service? There are many living examples of people who humbly served all their lives and remain unsung. Younis Ferozddin is one such person who has served the congregation of Lahore Cathedral for many decades in a humble position as Catechist. He never got promoted but has no regrets because he lived a fruitful life.
Younis did not fall prey to any disease. He is neither diabetic nor hypertensive. The only problem he has is that with age he has become weak. Multivitamins are the only medicines that he takes.
Eighty-five years old Younis served as Catechist for more than 57 years at Lahore Cathedral. The commitment, dedication and determination to his work earned him respect and love in the Christian community.
Younis was commissioned in Pakistan Army in 1953. He fought 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak wars. He served in the Water Tank Transport Section in Kasur sector, near Halla, Pattoki area where transported water cans to the combat area.
In 1971 he was posted at Rajasthan Sector where he was deputed to transport water to soldier on the front.
This year Younis is celebrating the 85th Christmas at his home adjacent to Saint Andrew’s Church, Empress Road.
“In 1971, I served at Deharki area of Rajasthan. We started our duty in wee hours of the day during the war and worked till 10 am. No one can travel after that due to intense heat,” he said.
He began serving the church under British Bishop Woolmer. “The British bishops were very down to earth. They had missionary spirit. They had made a work frame and within that system they worked and served the community. I visited the homes of congregation members.
“I also worked with the first Pakistani Bishop Inayat Masih. I served under Bishop Alexander John Malik for a long time. I never had the ambition to rise in rank and continued to work as Catechist. I was given many chances of promotion on the condition that I must work outside Lahore at other stations. I felt more comfortable here and never left Lahore. All my life I have lived near a church and even now I have been blessed with this house which is beside the church as well,” Younis said.
People like him are the true unsung heroes who remained strong footed in every condition. “I am a proud Pakistani and proud Christian who served my country and fellow Pakistani with utmost dedication and tried to improve the working conditions of the community with my humble contribution,” Younis Ferozddin concluded.