BartaBangla Report :: It isn’t everyday a foreigner has a Bangladeshi baby named in his honour. It’s rarer still when he has two!
The winner of this unique accolade is human rights activist and anti-corporal punishment campaigner, Sir Frank Peters.
Mamun and Tanya Ali from Banasree, Rangpura, named their newborn son Frank Peters José Ali in tribute to the well-known ‘foreign friend of Bangladesh’ this week.
Mamun, popularly known as Tarek, is a manager at the Watercress Restaurant at Shanta Tower in Gulshan 1, said his decision to name his first-born boy after Sir Frank goes back more than a decade when he was unmarried and helping Sir Frank distribute chocolates, toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs and pens to disadvantaged children living in the slums of Banani.
“Every time he arrived in Dhaka his luggage would be bursting at the seams with items for the slum children. My job was to organize the children into an orderly line and he would then hand them out,” said Tarek. “Seeing the lovely smiles of appreciation on the faces of the children was something I had not seen in my life before and the experience made a lasting impression. I think it was then I decided I would name my first boy Frank,” he said.
“Knowing him over the years since, his efforts to help the down-trodden and abolish corporal punishment in schools confirmed my decision to be right. My wife Tanya is in total agreement,” he added.
Sir Frank who attended the Farazy Hospital in Banasree for the birth, said having a Bangladeshi carry his name in his honour is something only a foreigner like he could dream about.
“My only prayer for ‘Little Frank’ is that he will be happy and healthy throughout his life. Whether he cleans-up after elephants in a circus or becomes a Prime Minister or President of Bangladesh will be entirely his choice, as long as he is happy and healthy; kind to, respectful, and considerate of all living creatures,” he said.
This is the second child in Bangladesh to be named in honour of Sir Frank and both have been given almost identical names. Last December Gazipur couple Ali Akbar and his wife Poppy named their son Frank Peters Joseph Ali.
“José is Joseph in Spanish and is included in both of their names in tribute to a Spanish Prince friend of mine who is of impeccable character and exemplary good nature,” explains Sir Frank. “It’s sort of like sharing the unique honour that’s been given to me with a deserving friend,” he said.