We will always remember Dr. Shera as a great friend of Pakistan, a patriot, a gentleman and an impeccable man. He was trailblazer, who by his actions showed what a British of Pakistani origin should mean”; Dr. Mohammad Faisal
The High Commissioner of Pakistan to UK, Dr. Mohammad Faisal along with his wife offered condolences with the family of late Dr. James Shera, former Mayor of Rugby during an impressive memorial service held in Rugby, UK today. Mayor of Rugby, Mrs. Maggie O-Rourke; Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Warwickshire Dr. Eric Wood OBE; Senior officials from Pakistan High Commission, London; family members, and a large number of well wishers & Pakistani diaspora attended the memorial service.
The High Commissioner said, “The death of James Masih Shera has deprived Pakistan and the British Pakistani community of a true friend and a mentor”. He was our very own Dr. James Shera who had a selfless devotion to the cause of Pakistan and the community.
Paying tribute to Dr. Shera, the High Commissioner said that he was a man of great integrity, hard work and interfaith harmony. Dr. James was gifted with impeccable skills as a mediator and always acted as a bridge to bring people together.
Dr. Faisal said that Dr. Shera remained steadfast in public service as Mayor and as a passionate advocate of interfaith harmony.
Dr. James Shera breathed his last while he was on a family visit to Pakistan this January.
Dr. Shera made history in 1988 when he became the first Pakistani to be elected Mayor of Rugby, and four years later he became one of the first recipients of the prestigious Sitara-i-Imtiaz and then Hilal-e Quiad-i-Azam in 2023, awarded by the President of Pakistan for services to community and interfaith relations.
Dr. Shera was made an MBE in 2007 and a decade later was made an Honorary Freeman of the Borough of Rugby – the highest honour the borough council can bestow.
Born in a small rural village in Pakistan, Dr. Shera’s journey towards playing a pivotal role in Rugby’s public life began when he secured a scholarship to study at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium.
Friends in the UK led James Shera to England in 1970 and a job at Rugby station as a railway guard. After completing a post-graduate degree at the University of Warwick, he became a teacher at Newbold Middle School, later joining the county council education department where he worked until taking retirement.