Living legend Geoffrey Douglas Langlands was born on 21st October 1917 in Hull England. When the British pulled out of India in 1947, he stayed on, first as a soldier instructing Pakistan’s fledgling army and then as a teacher to the country’s youth. Generations of Pakistanis owe their education to him.
Orphaned at an early age, Langlands decided to take charge of his life and moved to London in 1935 to start his career as a teacher after completing his A. levels education. When World War II began in 1939, Langlands joined the British Army. In 1942, Langlands became a commander and took part in Dieppe Raid and was later promoted to the rank of Captain.
As an army volunteer, Langlands arrived in British India on a troop carrier. He served for three years as part of a selection board for officer training in Bangalore. During the partition of the sub-continent, Langlands decided to move to Pakistan in 1947 and was transferred to Rawalpindi as a part of the Pakistan army.
After serving for six year in the newly formed Pakistan army, soon the British troops finished their contract with Pakistan. President Ayub Khan offered Langlands a teaching job in Aitchison College, Lahore. Langlands decided to stay in Pakistan working as an English and Math teacher. During his 25-year teaching career at Aitchison College, Langlands first became house master of Kelly House in senior school and was later promoted to head master of the prep school.
In 1979, Langlands was offered the post of Principal Cadet College Razmak in North Waziristan, Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Although he was kidnapped there and had to face many difficulties he stayed firm and served as the Principal of the college for 10 years.
In 1989 the Chitral local administration requested Geoffrey Langlands to open a school in the area which he did by the name of Sayuraj Public School and ever since he has been running the school. Langlands served the school for twenty five years and after suffering a stroke in 2008, took retirement from the school at the age of 94 in September 2012.
Also known as the ‘blue eyed boy’, Geoffery Langlands’ career lasted 60 years. He has sought to maintain the ethos of the English public school in an alien land. Although his age and strength did not allow him to carry on serving the nation of Pakistan his legacy will never be forgotten in the times to come.