Dhunjibhoy Bomanji

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Sir Dhunjibhoy Bomanji (1862 – 1 April 1937) was a British Indian Parsi shipping magnate, socialite and philanthropist.[1]

Bomanji was one of a wealthy family based in Bombay (now Mumbai), who eventually settled in England, becoming a pillar of British society. He divided his time between India and a house in Windsor and estate in Harrogate.[2][3] Pineheath, the Bomanji's Harrogate house, was sold in 2013.[4][5]

Family[edit]

His wife was the Lady Frainy Bomanji (14 September 1893 – 1986) [6] also known as Lady Harrogate and his adopted daughter Mehroo, a niece of Lady Bomanji[7] (died 12 July 2012).[4][8][9] Lady Bomanji founded The Friends Of The Festival and was its president (1971-1973). [10][11][12] Notable portrait painter Trevor Stubley's portrait of Lady Bomanji is held by Sheffield City Art Gallery.[13][14]

Philanthropy[edit]

Bomanji gave generously to charities which supported ex-servicemen and war widows following the First World War,[15] and included Field Marshal Douglas Haig (1861–1928), Queen Victoria's granddaughter, Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone amongst his social circle. He also kissed Greta Garbo's forehead after outbidding everyone for charity.[16]

In 1892–93, he established Olympia Race Course in Matheran, Maharashtra.[17]

In 1906, he bought lease of 161 (formerly 61) Holland Park Avenue for Eugen Sandow (1867–1925), a Victorian strongman who was colossally famous in his day and possessed what was deemed to be the most perfect male body. This grand four-storey end-of-terrace house was named Dhunjibhoy House – was his home for 19 years. [18][19][20]

In 1922, he built a model of Rotten Row, Hyde Park on his estate in Windsor to provide work for 250 unemployed men. [21]

In 1923, he gave a statue of Field Marshal Douglas Haig, by George Edward Wade to Edinburgh Corporation. It is now in Edinburgh Castle.[22][23][24]

In 1929, Zoroastrian House was purchased at 11 Russell Road, Kensington for £7500, with major donation of £6,000 from Sir Dhunjibhoy and Lady Frainy Bomanji. [25]

Death[edit]

He died in Bombay on 1 April 1937.

Knighthood[edit]

He was knighted in 1922 after using his enormous wealth to support Britain’s fight against Germany during the First World War.[26][27]

Commemoration[edit]

A French marble statue sculpted by Charles Raphael Peyre[28] was erected in the public gardens on Montpellier Hill, Harrogate in honour of Mehroo Jehangir and Lady Frainy Bomanji. It was received by Councillor Mike Newby, Mayor of the Borough of Harrogate.[29][30]

The Pundol Group holds regular religious and social functions to commemorate Sir Dhunjibhoy Bomanji.[31]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Obituary: Sir Dhunjibhoy Bomanji – An Indian Patriot". The Times. The Times Digital Archive. 2 April 1937. p. 14.
  2. ^ "Pineheath: the Bombay Connection" (PDF).
  3. ^ Archives, The National. "The Discovery Service". discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  4. ^ a b Cook, Tom (16 September 2013). "Lady Bomanji's opulent family home acquired in multi-million sale — Harrogate Informer". Harrogate Observer. Archived from the original on 25 March 2018. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  5. ^ "Dhunjibhoy Bomanji Stock-Fotos und Bilder | Getty Images". www.gettyimages.de (in German). Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  6. ^ Archives, The National. "The Discovery Service". discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Bombaywalla". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  8. ^ "Farewell to a woman who gave much to Harrogate". Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  9. ^ "Mehroo Jehangir". Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  10. ^ "LOT:43 | HARROGATE FESTIVAL 1971 - a leather bound copy of the Festiv". www.morphets.co.uk. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  11. ^ "Pineheath: the Bombay Connection" (PDF).
  12. ^ "PATRONS & SUPPORTERS". Harrogate International Festivals. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  13. ^ "The Royal Society of Portrait Painters - Trevor Stubley, RP, RBA, RSW…". archive.li. 2 January 2002. Archived from the original on 2 January 2002. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  14. ^ Lester, Steve and Clare. "Artist and Painter Trevor Stubley: Landscape paintings and commissioned portraits - Profile". www.trevorstubleygallery.co.uk. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  15. ^ "Slough Eton & Windsor Observer (Column 7)". 6 November 1920.
  16. ^ "UK house of 1920s Indian perfectly preserved". www.sunday-guardian.com. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
  17. ^ Keith., Kennedy, Dane (1996). The magic mountains : hill stations and the British raj. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 206. ISBN 0585069875. OCLC 42922469.
  18. ^ "SANDOW, Eugen (1867-1925) | English Heritage". www.english-heritage.org.uk. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  19. ^ 1962-, Waller, David (2011). The perfect man : the muscular life and times of Eugen Sandow, Victorian strongman. Brighton. p. 200. ISBN 9781906469252. OCLC 774635051.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  20. ^ "Eugen Sandow: Fakir of Physical Culture". OPEN Magazine. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  21. ^ "Slough Eton & Windsor Observer (Column 6)".
  22. ^ "Relocating the statue of Earl Haig". The City of Edinburgh Council. 23 June 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 July 2019.
  23. ^ "The Real Monuments Men". Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  24. ^ Campbell, Donald (2003). Edinburgh: A Cultural and Literary History. Signal Books. p. 7. ISBN 9781902669731. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  25. ^ "FEZANA Journal" (PDF). p. 62.
  26. ^ "The 40-room Yorkshire home frozen in time: Eerie abandoned mansion". The Independent. 17 September 2013. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  27. ^ Waller, David (2011). The Perfect Man: The Muscular Life and Times of Eugen Sandow, Victorian Strongman. Victorian Secrets. pp. 270 note 126. ISBN 9781906469252. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  28. ^ "La Douche, BY CHARLES RAPHAEL PEYRE, FIRST QUARTER 20TH CENTURY". www.harrogateinbloom.org.uk. Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  29. ^ "Farewell to a woman who gave much to Harrogate". Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  30. ^ Cook, Tim (26 March 2014). "Harrogate receives bequest of statue 'La Douche' — Harrogate Informer". Harrogate Informer. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  31. ^ "THE PUNDOL GROUP: by Cyrus R. R. Cooper". tenets.zoroastrianism.com. Retrieved 2 June 2018.