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Bhanvad, India


6th September 1979

Mombasa, Kenya




25th March 1918

Manderda, India


23rd October 2006

Oxford, UK


Late Santokbai Kanjibhai Meghji Dhanak


It is with great regret that we inform members of our community that Mrs Santokbai Kanjibhai Meghji Dhanak, aged 88 years (originally from Mombasa) passed away peacefully on Monday 23rd October 2006 at 2.00pm (Indian calendar – Kartak Sud Padvo 1) in Oxford, U.K.


The funeral took place on Friday 27th October 2006.


Late Kantibhai Kanjibhai


Late Santokbai Kanjibhai Meghji Dhanak


Santokbai was born in Manderda, Gujarat on 25th March 1918. Shree Kanjibhai Meghjibhai Dhanak was born in Bhanvad in 1909.


They got married in India and in 1941 migrated and happily settled in Mombasa, Kenya. The couple were blessed by four children - The eldest daughter Lilaben, son Kantibhai and then two daughters Jasuben and Ramaben.


Son Kantibhai tragically passed away at a tender age of 25 on 1st February 1970 due to illness.

Memorial - Shree Kanjibhai Meghji Dhanak

Brief history of Mombasa Soni Samaj and the pivotal role played by Kanjibhai.



Our community’s foundation in Mombasa was laid on 5th June 1938 by Parajiya Pattni youth league. Shree Kanjibhai Meghjibhai was one of the founder members.


On the auspicious day of 10th July 1937, Shree Parajiya Pattni Samaj was officially inaugurated. At the general body meeting on 24th June 1939, it was decided to raise funds and the Samaj bought a plot for our community, near the Railway station (near the current Brahma Samaj). The Second World War had started so the work of the building construction was stalled. The war had posted the prices sky high and the Samaj had insufficient funds for the project, so the Samaj committee had to revise the funds once again. All other communities were also going through rough times at that period and the general development was at its lowest.

Later on, the Samaj had given the contract for the construction but it was realised that with the change in growing number of our community members, the plot was too small thus the date of the construction was delayed. This decision turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the Samaj and we thank the almighty God for it.


To discuss the matter further, from the above situation a general meeting was called on 21st July 1950 when it was being decided to sell off the plot the Samaj had purchased and then plan to find a larger plot. The question came up as to how to finance such a bold move.

Magnificent Kanjibhai


Shree Kanjibhai Meghjibhai came up with a magnificent generous gesture. He agreed to match the sum, which the community already had allocated for the project and also the sum, which they will collect through fund raising!  All the members were elevated and a new vision of life was injected among all to work hard and with renewed confidence for the betterment of the community.


During the AGM of 8th August 1950 the plot of 100 X 200 on Makupa Road, where our Samaj hall now stands, was bought for Shs38,000/=  and it was decided that the plot near the Railway Station be sold off. A general board meeting was held on 30th September 1951 to formalise this decision.


Once again, Shree Kanjibhai surprised all by his unique suggestion. He agreed to bear the total cost of the construction of the building, whose plan was approved during the meeting! He promised that he will hand over its keys to the community upon its completion.


To ease the Samaj’s cash flow, he also agreed to buy the plot near the Railway Station for 20,000/=. This was greeted with joy and the work on the project started with lots of enthusiasm. However, there was one snag. In the plan, there was no provision for a kitchen!!!


A meeting was again held to discuss where to build and how to finance a kitchen and the dining hall in the Samaj plot. Those who attended and remember the atmosphere at that meeting will still be overwhelmed with ardent feeling and emotions. Kanjibhai just stood up and said “it shall be built…..just tell me where you want a kitchen?” 


How can Samaj ask for more funds from a person who had already donated Shs160,000/= . That was a very large amount of amount in those times. Kanjibhai enthusiastically said “I’ll donate it on behalf of my elder brother Ramjibhai so go ahead and build that kitchen and dining hall.”!! His generosity knew no bounds.


Thus property was completed on 2nd April 1951. The Samaj building was named after Kanjibhai’s mother – Shree Motibai Parajiya Pattni Samaj. It was formally opened on the auspicious day Saturday 2nd August 1952 with great fanfare by Shree Kanjibhai.


Tributes to Kanjibhai at the Golden Jubilee (50 years) by Mombasa Pattni Samaj committee on 2nd August 2002


Fond remembrance of Late Shree Kanjibhai Meghji was echoed during the opening and concluding ceremony when Mombasa Samaj celebrated Golden Jubilee anniversary in 2002.


Despite his old age, Kanjibhai continued at the post as a chairman for ten years after the Silver jubilee celebration.  His charitable works have been a legend, not only he contributed so much for our community but also gave to other institutions as with, for example the Gita Hall at Hindu Union and also to Jain Derasar.


Unfortunately the shock of loosing his only son Kantibhai on 1st February 1970 who died at a young age of 25, his health faltered and worsened the condition as he sadly passed away on 6th September 1979


Mombasa Samaj saluted the gentleman for his contribution and love for our community.


The End of an Era


The passing of Kanjibhai and now his wife Santokbai Kanjibhai Meghji is considered by many, especially Pattnis from Mombasa, as the end of an era. 


'A wife can either make or break a husband.'  Santokbai proved to be that type of wife with qualities to make a husband when he could have been so easily broken. In the darkest moments, especially after financial losses in his business and in ill health, she always brought the light of hope. She was the pillar of strength to her husband Kanjibhai and a great example/role model for our community.


Kanjibhai was a great businessman, a great community leader and a great philanthropist. He is known not only for his generosity and business-savvy, but for his humility. Kanjibhai made invaluable contributions to the Parajiya Pattnii community. He was indeed a pillar of our community.


His generosity knew no bounds; his philanthropy knew no limitations. His benevolence extended even across the other organisations. He was a true gentleman who had a burning desire to serve our Parajiya Pattni Samaj. We salute him who embodied the leadership qualities so difficult to find in current times.


Pran Chhaganbhai Arjan (Dhanak)


Pattni Connection


(Tribute was written with the information supplied by Kanjibhai’s daughters and from the Silver Jubilee (25th) Souvenir produced by the Mombasa Soni Samaj)