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Jai Shri Krishna

Born 1917

Om Namah Shivaya

Demise 2003

SONI SHREE MOHANLAL NATHOOBHAI GHAGHADA


Passing of our President

It is with deep regret and sadness that we record the passing of our past President and a founder member of the Parajiya Pattni Association (PPA) on Wednesday, 22nd January 2003.

 

Born in Bhanvad, Gujarat State, India on 25th June 1917. His childhood years were spent in Bhanvad and Rana Kandorna. Mohanbhai lost his mother early in life and was brought up by his aunt Mrs Kasturben Odhavji in whom he found maternal love and affection. At this time his father, Nathoobhai, migrated to Africa.

 

Life in Africa

In 1938 Mohanbhai, now aged 21, came to Africa and joined his father. He returned to India in 1945 and wed to Kankubai (Kanchanben) Ranchhodbhai Vaya of Haripar. The happy couple came and settled in Jinja, Uganda.

They were blessed with two sons Rajnikant in 1946 and Rameshchandra in 1948. Both Mohanbhai and Kanchanben were very religious and virtuous. He always put his family first, but would go out of his way to help others when asked, willingly and graciously.

A community servant

Community service and working for the greater good was always his vision. In 1950 the family moved to Kampala where he joined the Kathiawad Satsang Mandal. He was at the forefront in the processes that resulted in the building and opening of the Sanatan Mandir in Kampala.  Mohanbhai was well loved in the Parajiya Pattni Community and for that matter within the Asian Community in general.

 

In 1956/57 Mohanbhai took advantage of an opportunity to start a business as a watch repairer in Masaka. Later he acquired Masaka Dairy in partnership with Gokaldas Makecha and the two became life long friends.

 

In Masaka once again Mohanbhai began his work for the community and the pinnacle of his achievements was the building of the Mandir in Masaka where he worked tirelessly in raising funds and overseeing the building work. Mohanbhai laid the foundation stone of the Mandir in Masaka.

 

Mohanbhai met Govindji Madhavji in Masaka and there began a life long close friendship. For Mohanbhai life in Masaka was like Ram Rajya and was the best time of his life.

 

Life in UK

In 1972 Mohanbhai and his family moved to England and settled in Leicester. It did not take long before Mohanbhai saw the need of an Association for the benefit of the growing community of Parajiyas in the UK. His community spirit awakened to form an Association.

 

The first meeting of the Parajiya Pattnis was then held at Govindji Madhavji’s home, and the Parajiya Association was formed. Kantilal Morarjibhai was elected as our first President. The Parajiya Association later changed its name to what we now call Parajiya Pattni Association (PPA). The first PPA gathering was in 1974 at the Holiday Inn in Leicester.

 

The President

Mohanbhai was a pioneering founder member of what we now call the Parajiya Pattni Association (PPA). Mohanbhai took over the role of President and retained the post until 1979.

 

He was an active President and used to attend most if not all weddings, funerals and other social functions in the Community.  His vision of gathering information resulted in the publication of the first census book for the Pattni Samaj. His profound advice to those undertaking work for the PPA was, “never tire of the work and never expect to be rewarded”.

 

A Guardian

Because of increasing ill health, he retired from being an active PPA Executive Officer in 1979. However he always remained a valuable source of guidance, advice and information.

 

His dynamic personality was always felt at functions. A man of wide culture, he had a profound understanding of human problems, which endeared him to all who came in contact with him. He could speak movingly to inspire his listeners with his own deep feelings.  Even if one agreed to disagree he never got angry. His ultimate words would be “Thatu hoi tem thava dyo – Jai Shri Krishna”.

 

To Mohanbhai the joy of having loved and been loved by three generations of his family was the single most important achievement in his life. In his youth, a palmist and an astrologer, Chhaya Joshi, professed that he would benefit in something white, have a family and live a long life. How true were these predictions! His destiny brought him to Masaka, did a business in milk and also had a very happy family. He is survived by his, two loving and respectful sons, three grandchildren two of who are married, three great-grandchildren and countless friends and admirers whose lives have been immeasurably enriched by having known him. He sadly lost his wife Kanchanben in February 1998.   Mohanbhai passed away on 22nd January 2003, aged 85 peacefully at his home in Leicester.

 

PPA News team extends its condolences to Mohanbhai’s family, friends and his colleagues. Our Samaj will miss this great human being for many years to come. Let us pray to God for his atma to rest in peace.…….Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

 

JAI SHRI KRISHNA
 

This memorial was first published in the Sept 2003 Newsletter when I was the editor for the  Parajiya Pattni Association (London) - PPA News. I would like to thank Ashwinbhai Govindji, Rajnikantbhai and Rameshbhai Mohanbhai for their help in compiling this memorial. – Pranbhai Dhanak, Editor