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]

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. [24]

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.[25][26]

Commemoration[edit]

A French marble statue sculpted by Charles Raphael Peyre[27] was erected in Harrogate in honour of Mehroo Jehangir and Lady Frainy Bomanji. It was received by Councillor Mike Newby, Mayor of the Borough of Harrogate.[28][29]

The Pundol Group holds regular religious and social functions to commemorate Sir Dhunjibhoy Bomanji.[30]

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. 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. 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.
  20. ^ "Eugen Sandow: Fakir of Physical Culture". OPEN Magazine. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  21. ^ "Slough Eton & Windsor Observer (Column 6)".
  22. ^ http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/download/meetings/id/21244/relocation_of_earl_haig_statue
  23. ^ Campbell, Donald (2003). Edinburgh: A Cultural and Literary History. Signal Books. p. 7. ISBN 9781902669731. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  24. ^ "FEZANA Journal" (PDF). p. 62.
  25. ^ "The 40-room Yorkshire home frozen in time: Eerie abandoned mansion". The Independent. 17 September 2013. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  26. ^ 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.
  27. ^ "A FRENCH MARBLE LIFE-SIZE FIGURAL TORCHERE, BY CHARLES RAPHAEL PEYRE, FIRST QUARTER 20TH CENTURY". www.christies.com. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  28. ^ "Farewell to a woman who gave much to Harrogate". Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  29. ^ Cook, Tim (26 March 2014). "Harrogate receives bequest of statue 'La Douche' — Harrogate Informer". Harrogate Informer. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  30. ^ "THE PUNDOL GROUP: by Cyrus R. R. Cooper". tenets.zoroastrianism.com. Retrieved 2 June 2018.