- Radiation Oncology
Born in Mbeya
MD DMRT DABRT FRCPC
Consultant Radiation Oncologist, B.C. Cancer Agency
Clinical Associate Professor, University of British Columbia, Vancouver B.C.
I was in primary school at The Aga Khan School Mbeya, Tanzania when we had a visitor. Missionary Kassamali from Karachi was visiting Mbeya as part of his East African waez trip. He was accompanied by our Mukhi Hassanali Saleh Haji and Kamadia Tajdin Dharsee, My father Rai Fazal Manji was with them as well as he was the Member of the Aga Khan Supreme Council of Tanganyika. During the visit to our class, one of the questions he asked us was "do you know which country Hazar Imam is visiting now and why?" I had a habit of reading Tanganyika Standard regularly and few days before this visit, I had read that Hazar Imam was on a fund raising tour of USA to finance the opening of surgical wing at The Platinum Jubilee Hospital Nairobi and it will include medical research unit. He also was visiting Los Almos Cancer Center. So I gave the answer to Missionary Kassamali’s question. Little did I know that one day I will become Radiation Oncologist and would be treating cancer patients.
I was born In Mbeya, Tanzania. After attending primary education in Mbeya, I attended Aga Khan Boys School, Dar es Salaam for my secondary and high school. Following that I joined Makerere University Kampala Uganda and obtained my medical degree in1971. Because of negative political situation in East Africa affecting mostly Tanzanian Indian population, I had decided to go abroad and specialize. I was a private student at Makerere University and thus had no obligation of doing national service. I initially went to Trinidad, West Indies to do my internship. Following a year there, I immigrated to Canada in July 1972. At that time there were only about 50 Ismailis in Toronto. In summer of 1973, I was privileged to be appointment by Hazar Imam to be the first Member for Health on the first H.H. the Aga Khan Ismaili Regional Council of Ontario and Quebec under President Riaz Jethwani. New immigrants continued to come from Tanzania in the following year. With further arrival of Ismaili immigrants from Uganda, being in the Ismaili Council, I was involved in helping settle them in Toronto and outside Toronto.
Prior to my arrival, I already had a work appointment to join Princess Margaret Hospital Toronto to do my residency in Radiation Oncology. Princess Margaret Cancer Center as it is now called was and is one of the five largest cancer centers in the world. During my residency, I spent a year at Sunnybrook Medical Center, Toronto to do a year in Internal Medicine. I also had the opportunity to do special courses in Nuclear Medicine and Endocrinology at Harvard Medical School in Boston USA. I obtained my U.S. Board Certification (DABRT) and my Canadian Fellowship (DMRT, FRCPC) in Radiation Oncology. I became the first Canadian trained Ismaili Radiation Oncologist in Canada and probably in North America. Joined B C Cancer Agency, Vancouver Clinic in 1977 as a fellow and became a consultant in 1979. Was also appointed on the medical faculty of the University of British Columbia with responsibility of teaching medical students and residents. Presently I am Clinical Associate Professor at University Of British Columbia. I also served as the Director of Radiation Therapy School at BC Cancer Agency from 1988 to 1991, which was involved in training of radiation therapists. I am known as Mo Manji in my field.
My major subspecialty is treating patients with pelvic malignancies i.e. lower gastrointestinal, gynaecological and genitourinary malignancies. In cancer of the cervix patients, I specialised in use of Intracavitary (internal- Brachytherapy) treatments. I have contributed to many peer review publications, abstracts, book chapters and also lecture presentations nationally and internationally. I have also participated in many national and international clinical trials.
Having been also involved in teaching local and international residents and students in Vancouver, I was recruited by King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in Riyadh Saudi Arabia, a major tertiary center, servicing the whole of Middle East in all specialties including Oncology. During my tenure between 1993 and 2005, I was involved in modernising the radiation oncology Department by obtaining state of the art technology and training the staff. Also involved in encouraging and arranging for Saudi residents for overseas training in Radiation Oncology programs. I advocated a change in managing cervix cancer patients (all women were from outside Saudi Arabia) who had unfortunately undergone Female genital mutilation. During my stay in Saudi Arabia, I was invited for presentation at many teaching conferences, in and outside Saudi Arabia i.e. Syria and Egypt. One of the major highlight was meeting President Nelson Mandela on his visit to Saudi Arabia in 1994 and King Abdulla of Saudi Arabia.
I was also involved in the planning of Radiation Oncology Department for The Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi. In 2004, I was invited by the Oncology Planning Committee headed by Dr Farat Abbas and at the request of AKU President Shamsh Lakha and later for Nairobi AKU Hospital Oncology Department. With the help of my Radiation Oncology colleague Dr Farrok Karsan and my Medical Physicist colleague Dr Sherali Hussein, we were able to advise in the construction of Radiation Oncology building and department, a very important section in cancer treatment program at the Aga Khan University Karachi for the treatment of cancer patients. I spent about 3 months in 2007 at AKU Karachi and about 3 months at AKU Nairobi in 2012.
I ended up staying in Saudi Arabia for a total of 12 years and then returned to Canada and rejoined BC Cancer Agency in Vancouver BC.
I am now in the field of Radiation Oncology since 1972 and presently still working, this time at BC Cancer Agency Kelowna Clinic, though not full time, as I want to spend more time with my wife Anar, our two sons Jamil and Faisal, our daughters in law Shaila and Tanya, our granddaughter Kayana, and two grandsons Mikhail and Ethan.
Dr. Mohamed Fazal Manji is a recipient of the 2022 Royal College of Physician & Surgean of Canada's 'M. Andrew Padmos International Collaboration Award'
DR. MANJI'S PHOTO GALLERY
- The Aga Khan Regional Council of Ontario & Quebec 1973; 1st one in Canada. Photo: Dr Moh'd Manji collection.
2008 AKU Karachi: Anney Hirji RTT, Dr Farrok Karsan, Head Radiation Oncology Department AKU, Dr Sherali Hussein Medical Physicist AKU, Dr Mohamed Manji Visiting Radiation Oncology Consultant, Dr Nadeem Abbasi Radiation Oncologist AKU. Mr. Sohail Tirmizi AKU Radiation Oncology Manager (presently regional CEO including Afghanistan, Tajikistan)Photo: Dr Moh'd Manji collection.
HAMIR BROTHERS - Chronicle of a Kutch Khoja Family=
By Dr Mohamed Fazal Manji MD. DMRT DABRT FRCPC Vancouver, BC, Canada
Indian Ocean provided the main base linking Arabia, Persia and India with the Eastern Coast of Africa. Movement between these regions was set by the directions of "seasonal reversal of winds" called monsoons The summer monsoon blows strongest from about June to September which allowed sailors a faster trip from East African ports to west coast of India; in winter the winds flow is reversed and in winter monsoons sailors could sail from India's western coast to the east coast of Africa or to the Persian Gulf or the Red Sea. Maritime history shows that there were trade links between Kutch, Gujarat and African coast back to ancient Babylon. Modern day migration of Indians (or Asians as they were called in East Africa) to East Africa started in early 19th Century and then in 1860s, 31,983 workers from Kutch and Punjab were involved in laying a railway line from Mombasa to Kampala. Between 1896 and 1901, 2493 workers died and 6454 became invalid while laying the tracks, After the completions, only about 7000 workers chose to stay back; rest of them returned to India. It is therefore a misconception that the people of Indian origin in East Africa are descendants of the labourers who built Kenya-Uganda railway.
Before, during and after the completion of laying of the railway tracks both in Kenya, Uganda and German East Africa(Tanganyika), Indian traders, mostly from Kutch initially and then Kathiawar had migrated and continued to migrate to East African countries. They helped to established trading posts along the railway routes.. These trading posts called "dukas" were also established in unexplored regions of these countries providing needs of the indigenous population and also to the British and German administrators, living in the towns established by them. One such region was Southern Highland region of Tanganyika, In 1890's the German administration, under Captain Prince established centers called "Bomas". One was in Iringa, home to the Hehe people and Chief Makwawa, built on the hilltop overlooking the Little Ruaha River and second one in Neu-Langenburg (presently known as Tukuyu) a small hillside town that lies about 36 miles (58 km) south of the city of Mbeya, at an elevation of around 5,000 ft (1,500 m) in the highland Rungwe District of southern Tanganyika. This attracted over a thousand traders. One such family was of Hamir Pardhan of Kutch, India from my mother's side and the other family was Lalji Bharmal family of Kutch as well, from my father's side. Pradhan had 2 sons, Hamir and Korji. Korji's son Mohamed settled in India and was quite involved in the Bombay Golden Jubilee arrangement of Sir Sultan Mohamedshah Aga Khan. Korji's second son was Ladak who had a son called Tajdin. Korji's children settled in India while Hamir's children migrated to Africa.
Hamir Pardhan had 7 sons and one daughter called Sikina. She was married but had no children. His sons were Jaffer, Haji, Mohamed, Sachedina(Sachu as he was commonly addressed), Kassam, Jivraj, Ladak and Fazal. Jaffer and Sikina both died in Kutch and never came to East Africa. However it sure was totally different story with other children with the exception of Fazal. There is practically no information about Fazal except he had no children. Jaffer Hamir was married but had no children. He died in Kutch and his widow latter married Mr. Somji Pardhan who also had settled in Iringa, Tanganyika.
It is not clear, out of Haji and Sachu, which brother came to Tanganyika first, though the timing between their arrival was short. It was Haji who was considered to have come first. They came to East Africa at the end of 19th Century or at the beginning of 20th Century.
Haji Hamir worked with Hirji Bhaloo briefly in Bagamoyo and Dar es Salaam, and then settled inland ,in the region of Southern Highlands, in a place called Kilosa. He had his own business. His family also continued to live in Kilosa. He had 3 sons Rajbali, Ahmed. and Sadrudin. and daughter Labai who married Kassam Dhalla (her second marriage; her first husband had passed); Rajbali married Jenna Gulamhussein Shivji and they had a son, Abdulsultan. Jenna passed away and he remarried to Marium Kanji Nanji and had 8 children Roshanali, Gulbanu, Shamshu, Zarina, Farida, Hamida, Amin, Nasir (passed away with Heart attack)
He was in Kilosa in December 1925 when a truck accident took the lives of three Ismailis, namely Missionary Khudabash Talib who was on a waez tour, Amaldari Karmali Daya from Dar es Salaam who was accompanying the missionary and Lalji Ladha, an Iringa resident who had gone to Kilosa to receive the missionary. Mr Haji Hamir is seen in the historical photograph showing the member of Kilosa Ismaili Jamat pictured beside the monument dedicated to these three members who were bestowed with title of Shaheeds.
- A historical photo showing members of the Kilosa Ismaili Jamat pictured beside the monument to the Shaheeds which was built in 1926-27 at the site of the accident . The monument continues to be maintained by the Morogoro Ismaili Jamat. From l to r (Seated): Jaffer Ladha, Kassam Dhalla, Meghji Visram, Hassanali Lalji Hirji Mawani, Janmohamed Dharamsi, Gulamali Karim Khakoo; Standing: Bhimji Hamir, Lalji Ladha Vali, Ladha Nanji, Bandali Haji, Karim Khakoo, Haji Hamir, Razak Kanji Nanji, (Behind the Monument): Abdulrasul Dharamsi, Ladha Mohamed, Rajabali Haji (as identified by my uncle Rai Abdulrasul Meghji Visram). Photo: Sadru Meghji Collection.
Mr Haji Hamir apparently was tragically murdered (as per his granddaughter Gulbanu Badru Parpia) during the early part of Second world War. The story goes that some soldiers came to rob him of his money and he refused.
His brother Sachu(Sachedina) Hamir settled further inland in Iringa, where Germans had established their administration.
The German Colonial Handbook 1908 mentions the firm of "Sachu Hamir" as a merchant in Iringa in 1908.
He had two sons Abdulrasual and Rajabali and 3 daughters Labai (Mr Ladha Manji Haji's wife), Zera and Nuru. Nuru unfortunately died of burn injury. Mr Abdulrasul initially had a shop in Chunya and then moved to Mbeya but latter on returned to Iringa to continue his business there and look after his elderly parents. While in Mbeya, he also served as a Kamadia for the Mbeya Jamat during the period of 1935 to 1937 with Mr Gulamhussein Jiwan as Mukhi.
List of Mukhis & Kamadias of Mbeya Jamat Photo: Dr Moh'd Manji collection
Rajbali joined his brother Abdulrasul in Chunya. After his brother moved to Mbeya, Rajbali moved to Kyela where his brother in law Ladha Manji Haji and his sister Labai had settled. He opened a shop in Kyela called "Mamba Store" and was dealing with crocodile hides and other general items. He had three daughters, Sultan, Shahla and Dilshad and two sons Fateh and Farid. Fateh in mid 1950's died in a drowning accident in Lake Nyassa (presently called Lake Malawi). He was a good swimmer but it was not clear what happened. Rajbali was a very sophisticated and a confident man, always well dressed. He and all his surviving children and their families, moved to USA in early 1970's. Sultan lives in Atlanta Georgia; Dilshad lives in Toronto Ontario and Shahla lives in Nairobi. His 2nd son Farid, after his stay in USA, moved back to Kenya. Rajbali and his wife lived in Atlanta and after his wife's passing, he moved back to Nairobi. He passed away there and is buried in Nairobi (as per his daughter Sultan, who lives in Atlanta Georgia)
Mohamed Hamir, my maternal grandfather. followed his brothers Haji and Satchu around 1905-1906. He had to work as a masonry in Bombay for about six to eight months to earn his fare to Africa. He joined and worked with his brother Haji in Bagamoyo/Dar es Salaam and then worked briefly with his brother Satchu in Iringa before he decided to go on his own. In his first year he traded further inland, used to be called "Whiteman's grave" region and travelled by foot to remote areas of Langenburg (Tukuyu) and Maya (Kyela) at the shores of Lake Nyassa (Malawi) He would have a native (Pagazi-carrier) to accompany him; they would carry on their backs, 2 bundles each of cotton clothing called Mirikhani. The journey would take 12 to 24 days, depending on the weather, to reach a distance of about 300 miles. The route was from Iringa to Tosmaganga, Madbira, Malangali, Makambako, Isangu, Igali and end at Tukuyu and Masoko After about 6-7 trips, he decided to open a "dukha" in Iringa; he rented a "Tembe" (native hut), at 3 rupees a month rent. A year later, he bought a plot near the present Jamatkhana in Iringa and he also sent a word to his wife Bachibai to travel to Tanganyika. She with their first daughter Fatma then travelled to Bagamoyo and they stayed there 6 months before proceeding to Iringa when the house Mr Mohamed Hamir was building got completed.
Over the next two decades, he was successful in his business. During and after First World War, he was able to establish very good relationship with the German and later with British admistrators in Iringa and benefited from the war economy. He bought properties in Dar es Salaam, Dodoma and Iringa. He also went into partnership owning a sisal farm near Morogoro.
My grandparents Mohamed and Bachibai Hamir had four daughters Fatma, Sikina, Jena and youngest Rhemat and one son Akber. My aunts Fatma married Mohamed Ladha, Sikina married Bhimji Assar Sachedina, Jena married Ramzan Parpia. They all continued to live in Iringa and were in retail business.
Mohamed & Fatma Ladha's oldest son unfortunately died of "black water" fever; remaining children were three daughters Kulsum, Khatijha and Malek and surviving four sons Nazarali(Naji),Sadrudin, Mehdi and Amin. Kulsum married my father’s first cousin Mohamedali Abdulla Walji (Dr Hassanali Walji’s elder brother). Khatijha (Khatibai, as she was popularly known) was married to Karim Manji's son Hassanali, well known prosperous family in Iringa. The third daughter Malekbai got married to Abdul Hassam who became a manager of a car company in Iringa. The sons Nazarali(Naji), Sadru and Amin went into retail business in Iringa, while Mehdi , after marriage moved to Mwanza.
Bhimji & Sikina Assar Sachedina had 2 sons Fateh and Kabirdin and 3 daughters Roshan, Kulsum and Zaitoon. Elder son Fateh married my sister Kulsum; they initially had retail business in Iringa, Mbozi and finally in Dar es Salaam. Kabirdin and his mother had retail shop and also went into farming business.
Ramzan and Jennabai Parpia had 3 sons Badrudin, Sadrudin and Akber. They were in retail business run by Badrudin and his wife Gulbanu; Sadrudin worked as an accountant in Assar Moloo firm, a prominent family's business in Iringa and Akber, the youngest son and his mother bought a tobacco farm and ran it. Akber, later moved to Mombasa Kenya and became the manager of one of the largest bus company in Kenya, called Akamba Bus Service.
The youngest daughter Rhemat (my mother) got married to my father Fazal Manji (Lalji)(used Manji as his surname) from Tukuyu in 1931. This marriage was made to fulfil and honour the promise my father's uncle Kanji Lalji and his wife Sikina had made to Mohamed Hamir that one of the sons in their extended family will marry one of Mohamed Hamir's daughter. After her marriage, she moved to Tukuyu. Fazal & Rehmat Manji had retail business in Tukuyu and also went into partnership with his uncle Hussein Lalji forming a company called Hussein Lalji & Co. After the birth of their second child in mid 1930's they moved to Mbeya and went on their own. They were very successful in retail and wholesale business; also went into transport business which became 2nd largest private transport company in Mbeya Region. One of the activity of the transport business was involved with coffee transportation, after its harvest and drying process, in the month of June to September of each year. My father also had wholesale business, dealing in various produce; He had Caltex(petrol) agency and a gas station. He had Karimjee Jivanji & Co( most prominent family business company in East Africa) agencies dealing with insurance, Hamam soap and Michelin tyres etc.. He also acquired many properties in Mbeya, Mbozi Iringa and Dar es Salaam.
They had a total of 6 children; 3 sons Nurdin, Shamshudin, Mohamed and 3 daughters Kulsum, Malek and third daughter, a female infant who was stillborn. Nurdin and Shamshudin joined my father's business in which my mother Rehmat played a full part in its success. I, Mohamed, was named after my maternal grandfather Mohamed Hamir and I became a medical doctor, moved to Canada in 1972 and specialised in cancer treatments as a Radiation Oncologist at the prestigious Princess Margaret Hospital (now called Cancer Center) in Toronto.( see Khojawiki write up). My sister Kulsum married my cousin Fateh Bhimji Assar and my second sister Malek married Sadrudin, son of Mohamed Dewshi, one of the early famous business pioneers in Dar es salaam.
My father Fazal Manji served as a member in The Aga Khan Supreme Council of Tanganyika, representing Sothern Highland Province of Tanganyika, for nearly 10 years in late 1950's and early & mid 1960's.
My uncle Akber got married to Kulsum Hirji Bhimji from Dar es Salaam. They were address by everybody as "mama and mami" They had 4 children; 3 sons Nizar Mohamed and Diamond and a daughter Yasmin. Uncle Akber looked after his father's properties, after his father's death; in 1960's he with his son Nizar opened a Lumber and hardware business. Like his father Mohamed Hamir, Akber Mama was dedicated to the community of Iringa. He oversaw the maintenance of Iringa Jamatkhana and as Iringa Ismailis were increasing in number, he undertook the expansion of the Jamatkhana building to accommodate population growth. He served as Mukhi of Iringa with Fateh Karim Lalji (my father Fazal Manji Lalji's first cousin) as Kamadia. They were honoured with the visit of Hazar Imam to Iringa in November 1966. After the acquisition of the properties in Tanzania by the Tanzanian government, he and my aunt Kulsum, their children and their families moved to Canada and USA. He and my aunt Kulsum passed away in Vancouver BC Canada.
Mohamed and Bachibai Hamir's children and their daughter's and son's children are very proud of his gift of an iconic Khoja Kutchi landmark, the Iringa Jamatkhana, to Mowlana Sultan Mohamed Shah. He financed the building of this Jamatkhana with his own money and built it in late 1920's and early 1930's during the recession of 1929 time,.( see Khojawiki write up: Iringa Jamatkhana. The life story of Mohamed Hamir, "a small man from Kutch with giant dreams for his community). He had hired a "Mistry" (which colloquially approximates to an engineer) by the name of Devji Dahya Visrolia. According to Devjibhai's son Jagdish Devji Visrolia (who was born in Iringa, still alive in his 90's and he used to accompany his father to the construction site of the Jamatkhana; this information received from him directly), his father "Mistry" Devji was the main person in charge of the building construction, including the foundation and building aspect, and modification changes to the Jamatkhana plans. Mistry Devji also was responsible for installing the clock mechanism within the clock tower. My nanabapa Mohamed Hamir did an impressive masonry work in the Jamatkhana building himself in this project. This Jamatkhana has served the Ismaili community and all the peoples of Iringa, Tanzania since then. The town people of Iringa still keep their time as per the Jamatkhana clock. It is considered as one of the most beautiful Jamatkhanas in the world.
All Mohamed and Bachibai Hamir's children and their families relocated to Canada and USA after the building take over by the Tanzanian Government in 1971. His grandchildren are well settled and successful
Ladak Hamir and Jivraj Hamir also followed their brothers (the exact year is not known). Ladak Hamir had a shop in New-Langenburg (Indians were calling it as "Langbose"),present day Tukuyu. It also had German administration there. His brother Jivraj Hamir was looking after that in early 1910's.
Jivraj Hamir initially settled in Tukuyu with his brother Ladak Hamir. They were together in small business but their partnership did not last long. Ladak Hamir moved to Bagamoyo and Jivraj Hamir moved to Dar es Salaam as his brother in law Mr Karim Janmohamed (used to be a farmer in Kutch) had settled in Dar es Salaam and had gone in to business there. Their wives were sisters. Jivraj Hamir had 3 sons, all born in Dar es Salaam. Akber Nurali and Kassamali. These 3 brothers unfortunately lost their parents at a very young age. They initially spent some time with their uncle Satchu Hamir but after a short time they moved back to Dar es Salaam to be under the care of their uncle Karim Janmohamed. They were educated in Dar and Mombasa. Janmohamed's family also came from Kutch and Karim Janmohamed brother Ismail Janmohamed's wife (from Hirji Bhaloo family) was related to Hamir Pardhan's family. ( information from Nurali Jivraj Hamir)
Akbar and Nurali were sent to continue their education in Mombasa and were accommodated in a private boarding house run by Mr Mohamed Premji and his wife. They stayed there for about six years. After Dar es Salaam boarding house was established, they moved back to Dar es Salaam to continue their education staying in the boarding house. They were also joined by their younger brother Kassamali who was living in Mbeya with is cousin Abulrashul Satchu Hamir.
Akber was married to Shirin and they had a daughter Yasmin and 2 sons Aminmohamed and Zauher. Aminmohamed moved to India ( his wife's relations were living in India) and Zauher has settled in Edmonton. Nurali Jivraj Hamir, on his guardian Karim Janmohamed advice, opened a leather shop in Dar es Salaam called Tanganyika Leather Mart. Karim Janmohamed's brother had a leather shop in India. It was a successful business and they ended up constructing a nice 2 story building. Following building nationalization by the socialist Tanzanian government, Mr Nurali and his wife Nurubai moved to the UK first for a short period and then emigrated to Montreal. Quebec Canada in 1976-1977. He got an employment in a clothing store and his wife worked in the garment factory. After retirement in Montreal in 1992, they decided to move to Toronto because their son Shiraz and their Dar es Salaam friends had settled there. Their daughter Gulshan and her husband Mirza Meghji emigrated to USA and have been well settled. Their oldest son Amir, after his education in Veterinary Science in Kenya, left East Africa and lived in Canada initially and then went to Australia and obtained his PhD in Veterinary Pathology. He 2009 joined University of Texas, M D Anderson Cancer Center Houston Texas as Professor to continue his pathology research. He passed away in 2012 in Houston, Texas.
Kassamali Jivraj Hamir, after his marriage to Roshan moved inland and open a shop in Magole, sisal estate region. Later he moved to Kilosa. He has three children. Oldest is Aminmohamed, followed by Anisa and then Karim. The family moved to Canada and are well settled in Alberta. Anisa after her marriage to Nasir Merali Juma moved to Toronto.
Ladak Hamir settled in Tukuyu and then Bagamoyo and had 2 sons. His first son died at the age of 3. His 2nd son was born in Bagamoyo and named Hassanali. Unfortunately his wife died during delivery. Ladak Hamir was greatly affected by the death of his wife. He left his 3 months old son with his brothers' families to be looked after and he disappeared. It is not known what happed to him; whether he returned to Kutch or settled elsewhere in another country is unknown. His son Hassanali grew up in other Hamir Brothers' families. According to his son Alnoor, his dad Hassanali worked as a labour on farms near Kilosa township, owned by the Europeans. When he became of age and when he was living in Iringa, his uncles arranged his marriage to Mr. Merali Shivji's daughter Nurbanu. Mr Merali Shivji had big business involving dealing with bees wax, Ghee and Gur (Jaggery) etc and thus he got Hassanali Hamir and his wife Nurbanu to open a branch in Rugewa (close to Mbeya Tanganyika) so that basic commodities to produce the items listed can be bought. In 1952 they were blessed with the birth of son Alnoor, their only child. In 1960, Hassanali Hamir was involved in bus service and automobile spare parts businesses. Alnoor after moving to Canada bought an auto spare shop in Burnaby, which he presently is running. Hassanali and his wife Nurbanu stayed in Iringa. In 1991, Hassanali Hamir died of a heart attack and is buried in Iringa. Nurbanu moved to Vancouver to be with her son and daughter in law Rosmin. She passed away in Vancouver in 2006.
Kassam Hamir settled in Dodoma, Tanzania. He had three sons, Shamshudin(commonly known as Babu), Kamrudin (commonly known as Bachu), Juma (commonly known as Jimmy)and daughter Zera. With information obtained from Aminmohamed (Bachu) Hamir is as follows.
Babu with his brother Jimmy worked for East African Railways as heavy-duty truck mechanic. After leaving East African Railways, joined Bagwandas Bus Service of Arusha. He with his family came to Canada; he initially settled in Toronto and then moved to Edmonton Alberta. He had 2 sons Salim & Alnoor (who passed away) and 2 daughters Fatma and Shairoz. Babu passed away in Edmonton.
Bachu who had his own Automotive Garage business in Dodoma; came to Canada with his wife Sakerkhanu and children Aminmohamed, Riaz, Al-Karim and Shabir. They settled in Toronto. Aminmohamed and his wife Arzina( Kanji Kachara's daughter of Singida) served as Mukhi/Mukhiani of Don Mills Jamatkhana. He also is an established real estate agent in Toronto. Bachu and his wife Sakerkhanu both have passed away in Toronto.
Jimmy(Juma) Hamir moved to Canada and was living in Vancouver BC. His sons Farid lives in Vancouver; Karim lives in Houston USA and Shiraz passed away. Jimmy also passed away in Vancouver. Kassam Hamir's daughter Zera has 2 sons Amin & Mehboob. She also passed away.
Hamir Pardhan's sons moved to Tanganyika as it was called then (presently Tanzania) at a time when crossing the Indian Ocean from Kutch India was dangerous; the country of Tanganyika was not developed; settling in the interior of the country was like putting a noose around your own neck; thus it was called "The Whiteman's grave" region. But these hard working, committed and resilient Hamir Brothers managed to do all this. Lots of other brave Indian families, at the beginning of 20th Century, did the same. They became integral part of Tanganyika which became Tanzania after independence. These kind of families developed the interior, contributed to the economy of the country, invested in land and houses, participated in building schools and other projects. It unfortunately all came to an end in early 1970's when the socialist Tanzanian government nationalised their properties, in most cases without paying compensation. The children and grandchildren of Hamir Brothers had to leave the country which they felt they were part of, and settled in Western countries. Some of them had to cross another ocean, this time the Atlantic Ocean. With their inherited genes from their grandfathers - Hamir Brothers, of resilience, commitment, hard-working and strong community involvement, , they also have done similar things in whatever Western country they have settled and have become very successful.
Acknowledgement: Author like to acknowledge his late mother Rehmat Fazal Manji(RIP) and his late great aunt Mrs Sikina Kanji Lalji(RIP), who had moved to Tanganyika in early 20th Century, for providing most of the information over the years for this article. Thanks to Mr Jagdish Devji Visrolia for providing an invaluable information of his father Mistry Devji and Iringa Jamatkhana construction; also thank, Gulbanu Badru Parpia, Badru Ladha Manji Haji, Sultan( Rajbali Hamir) Premji, Uncle Nurali Jivraj Hamir, Gulshan (Hamir) Meghji, Anisa(Hamir)Juma , Alnoor H. Hamir and Aminmohamed (Bachu) Hamir for providing photos and further information
Author: Dr Mohamed Fazal Manji, who is originally from Mbeya Tanzania, is a cancer specialist and is a Consultant Radiation Oncologist at BC Cancer Agency of British Columbia, Canada. He is also a Clinical Associate Professor, University of British Columbia. He is the grandson of Nanabapa Alijah Mohamed Hamir and nanimaa Alijahbanu Bachibai Mohamed Hamir; son of their daughter Raibanu Rehmat Fazal Manji and son in law Rai Fazal Manji (Lalji) of Mbeya Tanzania. Dr Manji immigrated to Canada in mid 1972 when there were about fifty to sixty Ismailis in Toronto. In summer of 1973, he was appointment by Hazar Imam to be the first Member for Health in the first Aga Khan Ismaili Regional Council of Ontario and Quebec under President Riaz Jethwani for a period of 3 years. After specializing as Radiation Oncologist at Princess Margaret Hospital (now known as Cancer Center)in 1977, he moved to Vancouver BC.