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     Jaya Shri Krsna

3 - 11 - 1958
Mombasa, Kenya


Om Namah Shivaya

21 - 11 - 2007

Mombasa, Kenya

Shree Harshadbhai Himatlal Hirji Lakha

It is with deep sadness that the Lakha family announce the tragic death of Shree Harshadbhai Himatlal Hirji Lakha, aged 49 in the early morning of Wednesday, 21st November 2007 Kartak Sud Ekadasi (11), 2064 in Mombasa

The cremation was held on Friday, 23rd November 2007 at 4.00p.m.(local time) at the Hindu Crematorium in Mombasa


Sog Sabha (Memorial Service)  was held in London on Friday 23rd November 2007

We wish to convey our sincere gratitude to all our relatives, friends and well wishers for their support, sympathy, and condolences by personal visit, telephone and by signing the book of condolence.


Jai Shree Krishna

Lakha Family

Harshad, born in 1958 was the second child of Haribhai and Bhanuben.  He started schooling at Kikowani Primary School and then onto Oshwal High School which he left in 1976. He followed this by studying accounting at a college in Nairobi before joining the family business. He married Darshna in 1984 and was blessed with three children, Radhika, Harshil and Priyanka.


Between 1983 and 1990 he learned his trade by working between the two shops in Mombasa and Nairobi, constantly travelling between them. From 1990 he took full charge of the shop in Mombasa and commenced his expansion programme.


He was also conscious of the long-standing relationships the family had built with members of other communities and indeed the business world. After Haribhai passed away in 1991 the entire weight of running the family business as well as representing the family socially and maintaining those relationships fell on Harshadís shoulders. This was no easy task for someone who by nature sought to avoid any type of controversy, foster unity and had an inherent desire to see people happy. He would therefore always seek to ensure that people were happy with what he was doing. He felt genuine sadness at the plight of the poor and the sick and set up a number of charities in memory of his father including a blood donor clinic at Likoni in 1992. He was also elected as the Vice Chairman of the Hindu Council of Mombasa.

This however did not mean that he was any less focused on his business. Realising the impact that the Indian migration out of Mombasa was going to have on the jewellery business he began a programme of diversification into other trades and investments. His attachment to the jewellery trade however was deep within his soul and he had long cherished a dream to build the best jewellery showroom in East Africa. In April this year he finally achieved his dream when he opened the new showroom in Nyali with great fanfare and celebrations. To plan and execute the project had taken over two years and the final result was one to be proud of. Never one to celebrate alone, in true tradition of his father, he lay on a lavish opening party, inviting guests from all over the world.


He was deeply conscious of the proud heritage of community service first started by his grandfather, Hirji Lakha along with his brothers Samjibhai, Purshottambhai and Damjibhai, who had worked tirelessly to lay the foundation for the first Parajiya Pattni Samaj outside of India. His father Haribhai wholeheartedly continued this dedicated service to the Samaj when the rest of the Lakha family had either migrated to the UK or sadly passed away.


Harshad was instrumental in reviving the Parajiya Pattni Samaj in Mombasa, Kenya. The Samaj had been in a gradual long-term decline with the emigration of a large part of the community to Nairobi and the UK from the 1970ís. The Parajiya community has been established in Mombasa since the late 1890ís when the first pioneers arrived from Gujarat in sailing boats. From these modest beginnings the community became a major Parajiya centre outside of India. Just after the Ugandan exodus in 1972 the community gradually began to emigrate to the UK and Nairobi leaving a handful of families in Mombasa. The numbers had dwindled to 75 from around 600 during its heydays. Most people accepted as inevitable that the Samaj had no viable future. Harshad however was determined that the Samaj should not only survive but should thrive. A passionate promoter of the Parajiya identity and traditional values, he embarked on his mission to revive the Mombasa Samaj.


To achieve this without loosing the values that endeared the Samaj to the community required a true appreciation of those values and why they mattered. Harshad was appointed a trustee of the Samaj and after almost two years of planning he presided over the 50th anniversary celebrations with guests from far and wide including Nairobi, Tanzania, UK, Middle East and India arriving to join the celebrations. Once again giving Mombasa, a prominent place on the Parajiya map.


Harshad was a man of principle, refusing to take part in any exercise that was morally wrong, unjust or meant that some innocent person would suffer. He had a strong sense of moral duty and would usually be the first to offer help when someone had any trouble in Mombasa. Frequently he would spend a day or several days trying to resolve the problem and ensure that the personís family had support.


A strong follower of Lord Shiv, he was very religious, never missing the daily prayers or failing to observe the prescribed rituals of worship. He arranged for and personally oversaw the refurbishment of the Ghaghada Kuldevi shrine in Upletta.


He was a man who inherited his love for Mombasa from his father and despite having travelled the world; despite all our entreaties to come to the UK he had made his mind up that Mombasa was his place on earth. The place where he grew up lived and died. Harshad, who died tragically at the age of 49, will be fondly remembered and missed by all who knew him.

Om Shanti: Shanti: Shanti:


Tribute paid by Vinay Surubhai Pattni at the Sog Sabha