After his father had passed away, Rashid, the spring of 1970, made plans to return to Pakistan after 14 years away. It was an emotional homecoming for Rashid, photographed below. He spent 3 week travelling Pakistan visiting his relatives. He visited Sialkot, Lahore, Mirpur, Gujranawala, Islamabad, Karachi and other towns. Most of all he spent time with him mother, and they talked much about Rashid’s childhood. She was very happy that he and his children were doing so well. She eventually passed away in 1982.
Living in Scotland raised challenges for the moral well-being of his children. There were the dual influences of Christian education and what many Muslims regarded as the immoral standards of average Scots.
However Rashid kept a balance between the good values of Scottish life whilst attempting to keep his children engaged in their Islamic virtues too and encouraged the children to say their prayers (namaz) collectively in the evenings before retiring. He himself, at the time, was not the most practicing of Muslims but he did want his children to know about their faith.
In the early 1970’s Rashid’s photography business increased rapidly with the growing affluence of the Pakistani/Asian community in Glasgow and by 1972 he was attending either a wedding, birthday or VIP function pretty much every week. It meant that the children were also attending with him which is turn increased the family’s social exposure.
In Glasgow at this time in the 1970’s Rashid maintained close contact with his two cousins; Ahmed Hussain (son of Barkat Bibi), who was a local tradesman, and Sharif Minhas. Although there was not a large extended family in Glasgow, regular contact meant that the family felt connected. Additionally Rashid at this time grew close to Dr Nisar Ahmed, a physician at the Hartwood Psychiatric hospital (near Shotts).
In 1971 Shahida completed her secondary education at Bellahouston Academy and started studying at Paisley College, she took Biochemistry. Shahbaz in turn had a great interest in the space race and in 1972 took Aeronautical Engineering at Glasgow University. Additionally Robina was also doing well at Bellahouston.
During this time Rashid not only encouraged them to study but learn about current affairs. It was a turbulent time; Vietnam War, Civil Riots, Racism, etc, Rashid ensured his children were well informed of the events of the day and encouraged reading. Also there were the negative elements of the late 60’s and 70’s rock n’ roll, drugs and promiscuity. It was difficult to maintain this and an Islamic balance, particularly in dress. There were times when the children thought he was too strict. Shahbaz and Shahida were now students at University/ College and were being influenced by the fashions of the day. Rashid wanted a strict moral code followed.
Additionally Rashid would make a point to ensure that the family ate halal meat. The meat was either bought from Anwar butchers in the West End, near Charing Cross. Later on the Rashid would get halal chickens from farms and butcher them in the halal tradition themselves, this was often done with the assistance of his friend, Dr Nisar Ahmed who lived in Hartwood.
In 1973 Shahbaz took a trip to Pakistan, his first after arriving inScotland. It was a memorable experience to meet the cousins he played with as a child.
At around this time Rashid’s company British Rail Parcels privatized to form National Carriers Ltd, and Rashid moved to work at their Logistics Depot on Kilbirnie St, around 2 miles from Leven St. This depot still stands today and was directly across the road from Sher Bros, a large textile warehouse which caught fire and tragically took the life of seven brave firefighters. This event had a profound impact on Rashid as he looked out of his office over the charred remains of the warehouse.
Rashid never had a car, and would walk the 2 miles to the Depot in the morning, walking another 4 miles back & forth for lunch, and then walking another 2 miles home in the evening. Rashid did the total of 8 miles every day for 20 years in all Scottish weather conditions. Later in life he attributed his strong health to the fact that he stayed fit by walking every day.
Throughout the 1970’s Rashid took his children on field trips by train all over Scotland and often down to London and Manchester to visit relatives. Rashid’s cousin Abdul Majid Minhas (son of Fazal Ellahi) lived in Manchester with his young family; Umer, Yasmin and Jamal. Additionally Abdul Majid’s brother Abdul Hamid, had moved to Edinburgh and was often visited by the family.
In 1975 Rashid’s sister Ameena Begum (1935-1999) and husband Arif Chughtai came to visit with the whole family. It was a notable visit as for the first time in many years (since 1962) had there been a visit from Rashid’s own family and the visiting family was made very welcome. Rashid delighted in taking them all around Scotland and visited many distinctly Scottish sites making a memorable visit.
Meanwhile Rashid continued his passion of photography and in 1975 he bought a state-of-the-art Hassleblad camera, a very unique German design that was the Rolls-Royce in cameras and captured extremely high quality images. With his new Hassleblad Rashid became an even better photographer and even more Glasgow families invited him to take wedding and family photographs. Additionally at this time Rashid rekindled his love for Urdu and Persian poetry by engaging in ‘Mushairas’ (poetry sessions) in the community and also listening to Urdu/ Hindi classic songs from Mohammed Rafi, Mukesh and Kishore.
Early in 1975 Rashid had received a request from his brother, Abdul Aziz, to accommodate his son, Tariq, who had recently qualified with a BA from Punjab University to attend University in Glasgow. Rashid accepted and in 1975, Tariq the second son of Abdul Aziz, came to Scotland to live the family and study at Paisley College of Technology. Tariq stayed with the family for two years till 1977 when he took up an apartment in Paisley of his own.
Rashid was extremely proud when his son Shahbaz graduated in Aerospace Engineering in June 1976. Shahbaz, now 22 years old wished to travel to the US to complete his postgraduate education. So in June 1976, Shahbaz set off to the brave new world of the USA. He was to take a MS degree in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Minnesota, followed by further postgraduate study at the University of Maryland.
Shahida, who was studying Microbiology at Paisley University, at this time had met Ron, another student at Paisley College and the two decided to marry in 1975. Robina had also finished high school and went to study graphics technology at Stow College.
While Shahbaz was in the USA, Tariq stayed with the family. Rashid immediately took a liking to his nephew Tariq and felt like he was in own son while Shahbaz was in the US. Tariq become one of the family. Therefore when in 1977 Tariq decided to move away to Paisley and take a place of his own.
The late ‘70’s brought slightly more affluent times for Rashid and family. With the additional income from photography and funds coming from the Shahbaz (when he started working in 1978) the family felt a little more prosperous. However the family was still by no means well off and still crowded into the little flat at 21 Leven St.
Rashid was also a great fan of Indian movies, and this flourished in the 1970’s, when on Sunday afternoons he regularly took the family to Glasgow City Centre to see the latest Bollywood films of the time. The family would take the train from Pollokshields to Central station where the films were shown at the nearby Regent Cinema and LaScala Cinema. The Sunday showings which lasted over 6 hours (normally 2 films) were also a social event for the Glasgow community, and Rashid would meet many friends there.
In 1978 Rizwan visited the USA to spend time with his his older brother Shahbaz; this visit was to be a memorable one for Rizwan. Later in 1978 the son of Abdul Latif, Taseer came to visit his uncle in Glasgow for a week. Rashid enjoyed this visit and took Taseer to see the beauty of Scotland, it also gave him the opportunity to get to know his nephew well.
Rashid actively followed Pakistani politics, and with the rise of the Pakistan People’s Party in the 1970’s, he found a party with a similar ideology to his. He was a great admirer of Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto, Figure. He greatly admiring Bhutto’s firebrand mode of politics with leftist leanings. Rashid was terribly shocked when Bhutto was deposed and hanged by General Zia in April 1979. He despised the interference of the army in the politics of Pakistan and felt that after 1979 that the energy had been sapped out of Pakistan.