Documentary on the services of Air Commodore W. Turowicz completed
Saturday, October 25, 2008
By our correspondent
A documentary based on the life of a high ranking Polish origin, Air Commodore Pakistan Air Force (PAF), Wladyslaw Turowicz who joined Pakistan Air Force (PAF) as a Squadron Leader in 1948 and rose to the rank of an Air Cdre, serving the country until he got retired in 1967 has been completed.
At a recently held gathering at the Consulate General of Poland in Karachi, Anna T. Pietraszek, a Polish journalist and the film maker, shared with the PAF officers and media how Turowicz and other Polish officers and technicians have contributed in building the PAF soon after independence.
Turowicz was serving in Polish Air Force when the Second World War broke out in 1939. He came to Pakistan in 1948 together with a group of about 30 other Poles and initially based in the Technical Training Section at Drigh Road. He became the Station Commander of PAF Chaklala in 1952. Unlike other Polish contingent who left Pakistan as their contracts expired, Turowicz chose to stay in Pakistan along with his family because of his liking for the country. He served at PAF Kohat from 1955 to 1957 and was then posted to Karachi. Later, he got promoted to Group Captain in 1959 and then to Air Commodore in 1960 and was awarded Tamgha-e-Pakistan, Sitara-e-Pakistan and Sitara-e-Quaid-e-Azam. On retirement from PAF in 1970, he was appointed as Executive Director of SUPARCO.
Air Vice Marshal (retd) M. Akhtar, who had met Turowicz soon after his arrival in Karachi, shared his memories and experiences of working with him and other Polish officers. Akhtar said that the Polish contingent that comprised one-eighth of the total strength of the two main branches of pilots and engineers have contributed greatly to the PAF mission. “Turowicz, stood out for his long standing exceptional services to Pakistan,” remarked Akhtar. He worked devotedly in strengthening relations between the two countries in all spheres of activity, he added. “He has promoted fight against narcotics and had visited Jamia Islamia and discussed the need for harmony between various religions,” recalled Akhtar.
Unfortunately, Turowicz’s later years were shadowed by pain and disability caused by a spinal injury probably during a motorcycle accident during his student days. He died in January 1980 and was buried in the Christian Cemetery. His widow and one of his daughters still lives in Karachi.
“This documentary will preserve and pass on to our future generations the pages of our common history to tell them about our air force officers’ cooperation and the generosity and hospitality of Pakistani people,” said the Consul General of Poland in Karachi, Ireneusz Makles. The consul general believed that the documentary will act to encourage the contemporary activities of the two countries and their future generations. “This is an example of how the two countries can work with mutual efforts to serve our nations,” remarked Makles and wished to enhance the Polish-Pakistani cooperation through such efforts.