Glimpses of Events
President Emeritus
MOK - Doyenne of the DSSP
Surprise Lunch for MOK at Ginsoy
Ginsoy Llunch
Special Encounter with a Celebrated Speaker
Extraordinary General Meeting
EGM Registration Desk
Members at the EGM
New DSSP Treasurer
President Cheryl honors Maharukh Bhiladwala with the title President Emeritus
International Administrative Professionals’ Day 2017
Executive Committee posing with Mr. Abbas Husain
Token of Appreciation
23rd ASA Congress Participants
Outgoing & Incoming Executive Committee Members
DSSP Executive Committee 2017
EGM at the Marriott Hotel
At the Registration Desk
Members at the EGM
President Emeritus

At the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of the DSSP held on Sunday May 28, 2017 at Pearl Continental Hotel KHI, Maharukh Bhiladwala was unanimously honored with the title and position of President Emeritus.

Ms. Bhiladwala has been associated with the DSSP at a Senior level for the last four decades. She expressed gratitude to all members upon receiving the honor, “I am overwhelmed”, she remarked towards the end of the EGM.

MOK – Doyenne of the DSSP

It is virtually impossible to think of the DSSP without Maharukh Bhiladwala. The two are inseparable. Consider the fact, for 44 long years, MOK has been affiliated with the DSSP which is in its 46th year. Her life and work remains synonymous with the association. To the outside world, she has been the recognizable face of the DSSP, its compass point, mentor and lifetime guide.

She is the longest serving President of the DSSP serving ten 2-year terms, i.e. 20 years in all, of which for two 2-year terms (1989-90 and 2013-14), she was also the President of ASA. She also held the posts of Editor of the Official Newsletter and Social Secretary.

During her two terms as President, the DSSP hosted two hugely successful ASA Congresses – still remembered by all who attended.

Besides many other laurels, she has been ASA President for two terms and holds a permanent seat on the ASA Council of Presidents. From the 23 ASA Congresses held so far, MOK has attended 11 ASA Congresses where she has represented DSSP in the capacity of President.

She has been nominated to head and be part of Task formed by ASA to set up rules relating to the procedures for future ASA Congresses and the Professional Secretaries Award.

The present Executive Committee celebrated MOK’s elevation to the position of President Emeritus with a surprise lunch at Ginsoy Restaurant. DSSP President, Cheryl Mathew presented MOK with a formal letter of appreciation for her dedicated services to the cause Admin Professionals in Pakistan. MOK expressed her gratitude to the Executive Committee.

Special Encounter with a Celebrated Speaker

The online world is a fascinating place to connect individuals who share the same professional goals and interest. The sense of inter-connectedness is overpowering as it reinforces the belief that we, administration professionals in Karachi are not alone. There are legions of us scattered across the world – striving to make the most of their careers, finding the right kind of training to harness their potential – all the while learning from their mentors and coaches!

In one such search of my own I chanced upon Michele Strickland Thwaits, an experienced and much sought after trainer from South Africa. Ms. Thwaits has been a globetrotting speaker since 2006, when she first began transmitting her knowledge and experience of PA skills. She is an executive committee member at the Women of Stature platform in Johannesburg, South Africa. During my online chats with her, Ms. Thwaits told me that she had visited Pakistan on two previous occasions for Training and would be making a third trip to Pakistan in the matter of weeks, upon hearing that, I invited her to a cup of coffee – in the hope of snagging a useful, interesting interview with her for our newsletter. She immediately agreed to meet. As an afterthought over our online exchange, I realized it would be so much better if I included Cheryl Mathew and Sunnu Golwalla in our coffee meeting at Movenpick Hotel. Ms. Thwaits was so chirpy and obliging, that in a matter of half an hour or so she bowled us with her wit and charm. Her responses to our many questions were spontaneous and packed with information. For instance, when she asked how to boost membership of our Association body (DSSP), she suggested that each member become responsible for at least two potential new members.

She also explained how the Association functions in South Africa – which more or less is the same way how the DSSP works, “What I am doing is socializing with the people”, Michele told us during her interaction with the DSSP President and ASA Coordinator and myself. “Having a new speaker at our event is great – there’s nothing wrong with that” “They want someone to motivate them or someone who has something tangible to share with them”.

We came away from the meeting freely enriched by Michele’s wide and informative chat. Since Michele intends to visit Karachi in the next few weeks/ month, we hope she will spare us few hours and possibly share her ideas in the form of a lecture.

DSSP Leisure Day By The Pool Of Arabian Sea Country Club, Karachi

Smack in the middle of Karachi’s legendary oppressive summer heat, a leisure day was organized in a bid to provide some respite to DSSP members, their families and guests. What better way to escape the heat than to take an invigorating dip into the beaming pool of the Arabian Sea Country Club and stroll along its sprawling grounds. The event attracted three bus loads of members and their family guests and friends.

As luck would have it, a sudden downpour on the eve of our leisure program gave our could-be participants quite a scare, setting off fears of a cancellation of the event. But fate was smiling down on everybody, making the weather pleasant. The next morning – ideal conditions for the picnic getaway prevailed at the Arabian Sea Country Club.

By the time the three buses set off on the cloudy morning of Sunday July 16, a powdery gentle rain began falling to everybody’s delight lifting the spirit of all. The Social Secretary, Valentina Fernandes, intrepidly commandeered the bus, and guided the driver of Bus No. 1 to find its way to our destination, with the other buses trailing close behind.

As soon as we reached the club, members of our party were served cool welcome drinks and sandwiches/ cakes and biscuits. The sandwiches were generously replenished!

The more energetic ones among us rushed to explore the beautiful surroundings and check out the spacious pool and nearby. Refreshed and rejuvenated, most of us found ourselves drawn into the pool or Jacuzzi built in the centre.

Few could resist the tempting waters. It was perhaps hardest for children to get out of the pool by the time lunch time came around.

Lunch was served in separate sessions upstairs in the dining hall. Those who missed the session that began at 01:00 p.m. joined the next one at 0130 p.m. Scrumptious dishes themed Continental, BBQ, soups, appetizers and salads with an assorted bread display, delectable cakes and desserts. The varieties of food dishes were superb and so tasteful.

After lunch some people preferred to play chess and card games. Some carried mats to sit on but preferred to sit on tables and chairs already set up. While the youngsters rushed back in the pool. While some ventured onto the grounds while others relaxed in the quiet and vast grounds of the club where swings, rides/ slides and seesaws invited children to enjoy!

The program was capped by a hot cup of tea/ coffee, biscuits and the popular sponge cake slices. All enjoyed sitting on cane chairs/ furniture placed and round tables in the peaceful environment of the club.

Subsequently, all headed towards our rides back home nearly on the dot at 05:00 p.m. as scheduled by the DSSP Executive Committee. The weather was cool. We came back home talking, laughing and singing all the way.

Take a bow Execucom for another successful event!

70th Independence Celebration of Pakistan

Call it fate or a divine numbers conspiracy, the 70th Independence Day of Pakistan was attended by 70 members of the DSSP.

Our reception committee, as usual, had some surprise gifts for the attendees – most of whom wore pretty green and white dresses to mark the occasion. The glass bangles and the Pakistan flag broaches distributed were mementoes for the day – uniting us all in a bond of patriotic fervour.

In her welcome address, DSSP President Cheryl Mathew congratulated all the members over the 70th Independence Anniversary of our beloved country, Pakistan. She also remarked how it would be useful for all the present members to assist in the membership drive undertaken by the DSSP. She announced waiver of Admission Fee (Rs. 3000) for new membership applications for 1 year i.e. up to 13 August 2018. She also said that we need more members and this should be considered as an investment.

At the event we also announced donation of Rs. 50,000 from DSSP funds. A donation box was placed next to the main stage where people were encouraged to contribute funds for the poor. This box will be set-up at each event henceforth up to December 2017. Donations will be collected up to then, and then dispersed at the discretion of the Executive Committee.

The Qaumi Tarana (National Anthem of Pakistan) also known as Pak Sarzamin was played – lifting up the hearts of all members.

Next, Sunnu Golwalla appeared on the dais to conduct a game of Best Patriotic ideas – if one is elected Chief Minister for a day. Ten contestants were chosen from amongst the audience to share their vision in two minutes flat. Two of them captivated the audience with their proposals. Tazeen Aziz of who was eventually declared runner-up in the competition, unveiled a number of interesting measures – from cleanliness on the roads to restrictions of VVIP Movements along the main roads and from ensuring clean and drinking piped water supply to all households rich or poor to legislation baring sexual harassment in the workplace in all intended to improve civic interest of the public and guarantee a higher quality of life to citizens.

Maharukh Bhiladwala, who was popularly chosen as the competition winner and Mayor for the day – revealed the need for better traffic management and a stringent enforcement of regulations for traffic rules including confiscate of licenses and other penalties. Some of the other contestants broached the subject of corruption and nepotism and measures to root them out, while others proposed steps to lift the standard of education and make it accessible and compulsory for all. MOK, the Mayor for the day and Tazeen Aziz, runner-up, was handed dinner vouchers and a designer outfit sponsored by Tarzz. (Tarzz is a brand origin in culture, customs and traditions. It is what sets them apart in this world and regardless of passage of time, their traditional ways still feel good and light).

Valentina Fernandes prepared a quiz about famous Pakistani and their achievements. Each member was asked to fill out their quiz answers, which was then swapped around, so that the responses be checked/ verified by others. Noureen Rodrigues emerged as the quiz winner, scoring the highest number of correct responses.

A Sing-along session of National songs was conducted by Caroline Charles followed which elicited a great response. She started with Jeevay Jeevay Pakistan and the audience sang along and took it from there. More than five songs were sung loud and beautifully and songs mixed well with the audience. A group photograph was taken just before the service of a scrumptious hi-tea at Marriott Nadia Coffee-shop. Finally after hours of Independence Day fun, laughter, lots of table talks, national songs and music, everyone had to say, “So long for now”. Hence, Our 70th Independence Day Bash event came to an end at around 06:00 p.m.
EGM at the Pearl Continental Hotel KHI

An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of the DSSP was held on Sunday May 28, 2017 at the PC Hotel KHI. Registration of members began at 05:00 p.m. and the meeting commenced on time.

Cheryl Mathew, President, was in the chair along with Clara Lidwina D’Souza Secretary, Mahnaz Irani, Treasurer and Natasha Mavalvala, IPPXO. MOK shared a moving and inspiring poem entitled “God is with me” on the occasion.

The following resolutions/decision were passed:

  • Confirmation of the minutes of the last AGM held on October 30, 2016.
  • Appointment of Treasurer – July 01, 2017 to December 31, 2018
  • Lifetime Membership category was introduced
  • Past President ASA/DSSP, Maharukh Bhiladwala, was honored for her services to DSSP over the past 45 years; she was conferred with the title “President Emeritus”

The program ended with Hi-tea.

International Administrative Professionals’ Day 2017

Administrative Professionals Day is perhaps the most eagerly awaited event for secretaries and administrative professionals in the world. More so, in Pakistan where under the aegis of the DSSP, Secretaries receive their richly deserved recognition as the movers and shakers whose presence ensures both efficiency and success in an office. This year’s Secretaries Day event held on Sunday 23rd April at the Avari Towers Hotel brought a cornucopia of delights ranging from an insightful session to entertaining games and from a comedy sketch to a bonanza of prizes. There was some impromptu dancing as well – and our DSSP members were at their sporting best, living in the moment and letting their hair down.

Upon entering the main hall after completing their registration, each member was presented a memento for the day, a USB device; itself is an icon of back-up storage, as a token of tribute. By the time all our admin professionals filed in, a head count showed that 75 Secretaries were in attendance. DSSP President Cheryl Mathew, presented the introduction and spoke about the evolutionary changes in the office and how computers had made typewriters and devices obsolete. She introduced the guest speaker, Mr. Abbas Husain, a well known International trainer and motivational speaker and read out his rich list of credentials. Mr. Husain gave a lecture on the 21st Century Quest for work-life balance and how to achieve the same while making it meaningful. In the rat race to earn money and achieve a certain status in life, many sacrifices have to be made. But these pursuits should not be made at the expense of personal fulfillment and family. Using the paradigm of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, he explained how each of these elements presents the context in which organizations view their current and future state. At the end of this talk, Mr. Husain was presented with a token gift in appreciation.

A group photograph was taken just before the service of a scrumptious lunch. Immediately after lunch, Natasha Mavalvala, Past President read out the prelude to a comedy sketch. Limited to six characters, the play left the audience to stitches. The confusion over the use of words was a source of laughter and fun.

A lucky draw session followed, in which there were prizes galore. Another segment that brought rip-roaring and hip-busting fun was the musical chair game. Everyone from the oldest members to the youngest were coaxed into participating and showing nimble footedness and their skill at finding a seat where there were none. In the battle royale, two ladies emerged as winners.

The next game Encore, Antakshri-DSSP Style, was enjoyed by many. Everyone knew the drill; President Cheryl provided the cue word and each table was given 15 seconds to pick up the cue word and sing at least two lines of the song. We had successful four rounds of evergreen songs sung by members. The table number 1 was the lucky winner to this game and all 10 members on that table were rewarded prizes.

Finally, after hours of fun, laughter, lots of table talks, music and dancing, everyone had to say, “So long for now’. Hence, Our Secretary Day 2017 event came to an end at around 04:00 p.m.

International Women Day 2017
Women Health Awareness Programme-March 12, 2017

In our debut event, the new Executive Committee of DSSP celebrated International Women's Day with an awareness programme focusing on the health of women. The event was held on Sunday March 12, 2017 at the Pearl Continental Hotel in Karachi. DSSP President Cheryl Mathew welcomed all the respective members and introduced the theme “Be Bold for Change”. She encouraged women to rise up to the challenge and help support the poor and needy in various ways. At the same time she urged fellow DSSP members not to neglect their health. All the Committee members were individually introduced and called on to the stage, so that the other members would become more familiar with them and interact with them in future.

The Women Health Awareness Program was 100% sponsored by Jubilee Life Insurance, courtesy of Sunnu Golwalla, one of our Execucom members. Thanking Jubilee Life Insurance Company for its generosity, Ms. Mathew voiced appreciation for the company’s support for women.

The main feature of the Women’s Day programme was a lecture by Obstetric Gynecologist, Dr. Luna P. Vellozo.

Dr. Luna lucidly outlined all the health issues that women face from puberty to menopause. She explained in detail the different threats to women's health. Such as Thyroid Disease, Diabetes Risk factors, Complications, Food Pyramid for Diabetes & Treatments. Breast Diseases, Risk factors Signs & Symptoms, Screenings, early detections, List of various cancers and their treatment.

Once the presentation was over, Dr. Vellozo fielded a flurry of questions from different women in the audience. In addition, she patiently answered all the queries posed anonymously through the questions bowl placed at the programme's reception desk.

Next, Ms. Mathew invited Jubilee Life Insurance, Mr. Ali Shahzad, Marketing Executive - Corporate Business Distribution to take the podium and explain the benefits of insurance schemes for women. Mr. Ali Shahzad’s presence created a stir - as women participants showed keen interest in some of the insurance plans.

A photo session was organized at the end of the lecture. All Executives along with the guest speaker and the Sponsor posed for a group photograph.

Immediately after, the organizers invited participants to a delectable Hi-tea served at Chandni Restaurant. A smorgasbord of dishes was available on offer to the delight of all. The view of the restaurant was thoroughly enjoyed. The ambience from Chandni Restaurant was captivating and its service was appreciated.

Another Torch Passes at the DSSP

Transitions are usually bitter-sweet but, in the case of the DSSP, they are also smooth and celebratory in nature. One legendary executive committee steps down to make way for another in lockstep fashion. What binds them together is their allegiance to the welfare of the institution and their resolve to emulate the spirit of the outgoing committee members. Thus continuity is assured in the life of the organization. Movenpick Hotel's Bela Room served as the venue of the simple yet touching transition from the outgoing 2015-2016 executive committee to the incoming 2017-2018 executive committee.

Before the programme could begin, Charmaine, Arnawaz and Persis navigated all the members through the registration desk, the process made more exciting by allowing members to pick lucky numbers from two bowls. Everyone was a winner, drawing gifts _ one a glass dish/bowl as well as giveaways from the 23rd ASA Congress _ against their numbers.

Natasha Mavalvala, the outgoing president, was unstinting in her praise for her executive committee members, recalling their hard effort and dedication during their tenure. A minute of silence was observed for Gool Driver, a senior DSSP member, who passed away on 25th January.

As the doors were shut, MOK steered through the official programme, with the president honouring the Execucom 2015-16 with certificates of service. Each of the outgoing members then lit a candle and held it up in a style reminiscent of the lamp lighting initiation of Florence Nightingale-nurses. As the 2017-18 committees joined the others on stage, the outgoing members handed their lit candles to the incoming members. Many a tear rolled down the cheeks of old and new committee members as ceremony continued.

Natasha administered the oath of office to the incoming president Cheryl Mathew and her committee. They jointly pledged to work towards the promotion and enrichment of the secretarial position in Pakistan. In a solemn and moving ceremony, the DSSP flag was folded by Liana Lobo and Zainab Hakimuddin with Goretti Ali's assistance and handed over to new president Cheryl Mathew along with the office keys and USB. The doors were then swung open and the entertainment began. Members were engaged in an enjoyable quiz in which they had to identify a series of pictures of landmarks. Francesca Fernandez picked up the first prize while Goretti Ali was the runner-up.

The video of a comedy skit "The Hapless Robber" which was presented by the DSSP on the closing night of the ASA congress in Manila was screened to the delight of the members. The skit was written by MOK and starred Natasha, Liana, Natalia Fonseca, Marina Fernandez and Afroze Tungekar.

A scrumptious hi-tea followed at the Al Bustan, capping the event.
For previous Events, please check Archives
Glimpses of Events
Leisure Day
Leisure Day
70th Independence Celebration of Pakistan
Sri Lanka Residential Seminar in Passikuddah
Extraordinary General Meeting
After Iftar Hi-tea
Busy Counting Votes
Committee Posing
Delectable Iftar Hi-tea
Women Health Awareness Programme-March 12, 2017
Women Health Day Programme - Execucom Members with Dr. Luna Vellozo & Mr. Ali Shahzad from Life Insurance
The Audience listening attentively to Dr. Luna Vellozo lecture on Womens' Health
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