A Carved Diamond
Faustin Elmer Chaudhry is A Carved Diamond from Christian Community. If we enlist some of the purest souls of our country, F.E. Chaudhary was ranked on the top. He makes us proud despite being a Christian in this humongous Muslim polity. And why aren’t we? He elicited so much selflessness for not just the journalist fraternity but for the whole nation. Still, many called him of as Chacha. Let’s lookout!
Early life of Faustin Elmer Chaudhry
Probably the word Chacha is stuck in your head, right? Let me clear this fog! So, Majid Sheikh’s father Abdul Hamid Sheikh, a known journalist of the Pakistan Times gave Faustin this beloved. Faustin was born in a Christian (Naru) Rajput Family of landowners, who were settled in Saleempur village in Hoshiarpur District on March 15, 1909. His grandfather Ghulam Ghaus Khan was the numberdar of the village as well as the sufaidposh of the area. In an interview conducted by Munir Ahmad Munir in an Ab Woh Lahore Kahan illustrated that his grandfather converted to Christianity and therefore his father Yuhanah Khan was a Christian by birth. He was the eldest of his five siblings who rose to the position of a Professor of Theological seminary in Saharanpur (in U.P.).
Education of Faustin Elmer Chaudhry
His father resided at Mission Road, Lahore as Padre in Naulakha Church. He took his early education from Municipal School Shah Alami. His parents passed away while he was studying in that school. After that, his uncle became his sole guardian and take care of his education and holistic brought-up. His uncle admitted him to Sir Francis School where he lived in a hostel and then to Mission High School Dalwal, Jhelum for his complete schooling. Dalwal was the place where he hands picked photography as a hobby. But who knows that this hobby became his future and the reason for knownness? He did his bachelor’s from FC College, Lahore.
His contribution as a professor and photojournalist
Afterward, he became the professor of Science and Urdu at Saint Anthony College for 15 years (from 1934-1949). With that, he also did freelance for The Civil & Military Gazette, The Illustrated Weekly of India, The Statesman Delhi, and The Hindu Madras. In 1935 the day came when Civil and Military Gazette published his first news photographs. People say that his photography mapped out Pakistan’s lifelong history through its highest and lowest points. Whether it is the times of Jinnah, the political uprisings during Ayyub’s military takeover, Bhutto before his execution, and others. He captured the lost yet important moments of history with his camera eye.
He once said that: When Quaid-e-Azam came to Lahore in February 1936 in a bid to resolve the Masjid Shaheed Ganj issue, which had driven a divisive wedge among the Muslims, on that occasion he made a speech. I took his picture which is the biggest honor for me.
He was the novel full-time press photographer of Pakistan. Faustin’s contribution couldn’t be ignored as he was the one who brought innovative techniques and methods to photojournalism. Basically, he was a pioneer in such realms as cricket action photography, pictorial and artistic studies of birds and animals, photographs of natural and cultural scenes, which subsequently became standard items of contemporary photojournalism.
His multi-talented kids
One of his sons, Cecil Chaudhary was the hero of the 1965 and 1971 wars. His other son Anthony Chaudhry also joined Pakistan Airforce and rose to the rank of Wing Commander. Then he started a career as a Chief Flying instructor at Lahore Flying Club. Cyril Chaudhry, his third son works for Bata Shoe Company. His daughters are Dr. Stella Khan and Ms. Sheila Rais.
Due to his commendable contribution, he was the recipient of 27 awards including the President’s Pride of Performance, Sitara-i-Imtiaz, and the Tehreek-i-Pakistan Gold.
He died on March 15, 2013, at the exact age of 104. Indeed, he’ll be remembered for many years to come.