March 18 - 24, 2011


 Coastweek   Kenya

 HOME - click this banner to return to http://www.coastweek.com


Coastweek -- Mombasa Citizens Club 1958 - Sitting, from left: Najmu Mamujee, Dr. Miller Somji, Sadiq Ghalia (President), Hakim Adamjee (Hon.Sec.), Ameer Janmohamed and Malik Wahidna. Standing, from left: Mansur Satchu, Hamza Anjarwalla, Yusuf Datoo, Taher Anjarwalla, Haider Datoo, Sadrudin Kanji, BT Parkar, Saifu Anjarwalla, Kamru Kasmani, Kurban Karimbhai, Amin Dhala and Amir Cassam.


Sadiq Ghalia Had This Unerring Eye
For Things Of Beauty And Antiquity

He was uniquely placed to indulge his hobby ... and His
Nyali museum bears eloquent testimony to his success!

Coastweek -- My wife Zeenat and I were on holiday in India during February when we learnt from a friend that Sadiq Ghalia had passed away.

Such information is of special poignancy to those of us who are now in what some describe as life's Departure Lounges, waiting for our flights to be called.

We got back to London at the end of the month and my first impulse was to go to my albums and look up photos of some lovely memories we have shared.

For many years now Sadiq and I have shared a common interest in recording and preservation of aspects of the past.

He expressed his interest through his collection of antiques, artifacts and objets d'art.

He was uniquely placed to indulge his hobby.

He had an unerring eye for things of beauty and antiquity, and he had both the means and the ability to go looking for them in remote corners of the world.

His museum in Nyali bears eloquent testimony to his success.

I would urge those who have access to the book 'A Regal Romance' to look up page 32 in which there is a description of Sadiq's museum and how he managed to save some of the original Regal Cinema tiles which now form permanent part of his museum floor.

My quest for preservation of the past manifests itself in a more modest manner.

For years I have sought to preserve memorabilia, documents, manuscripts, photos and the like.

It was a given that Rosemarie and Sadiq would visit us every time they passed through London.

He knew London well and would insist on taking a District Line Wimbledon train from Kensington.

They would get off at Putney Bridge Station and would walk the length of Putney Bridge to arrive at our apartment.

We were frequently able to get other visiting Mombasans to join in when the Ghalias visited us.


Coastweek -- Rosemarie and Sadiq seen during one of their London visits together with Bosco Cardozo, Dhiru and Damu Shah. This picture, taken by Imran, shows one happy occasion in our little patio Garden.


We last met in Mombasa in December 2008 when Rosemarie and Sadiq had us over for our traditional Swahili menu lunch.

This time Imran was with us too.

Sadiq said he was tidying up his collection and had saved two framed old group photos for me.

He acquired them as part of a job lot of stuff he had been obliged to purchase from Datoo's Sale Rooms on one occasion many years ago.

I brought them back to London, and had them digitally tidied up.

One was a 1929 group photo of an Ismaili family, with no other narration.

I emailed the photo to my usual correspondents in the hope that somebody would identify the people in the photo.

In a matter of hours I heard from a delighted Shiraz Alibhai of Mombasa.

(Shiraz is the Managing Director of Coastweek).

He said the photo was obviously taken in Mombasa on the occasion of his uncle Habib Alibhai's marriage in 1929 and present were all the male members of the Alibhai family.

I have since heard from other equally delighted members of the family, from Canada and the US and they all say they hand no idea such a photo even existed.

I hope members of the Alibhai family and friends will spare a thought for dear departed Sadiq Ghalia without whose involvement this photo might have been lost to posterity.

I have forwarded the other photo to Ismaili historians, for it turned out to be a 1936 group photo of Sultan Mohamed Shah in India, surrounded by his Missionaries of the time.

Once again I hope that Sadiq will be remembered when anybody enquires into the provenance of this historical Ismaili archive.

The final photo [at top of page] was taken in Mombasa in 1958 when the Citizens' Club was formed.

Sadiq Ghalia was elected the Founding President.

Zeenat and I stopped over in Dubai on our way back from India and met up with Prem and Amala Prinja.

As we reminisced the talk inevitably turned to our mutual friend and colleague Sadiq, and our thoughts went out to Rosemarie and Salim Ghalia.

I was gratified to learn from Prem that Salim has stepped into his father's shoes.

He has a reputable law practice in his own right and has now taken over the mantle as the Honourary German Consul in Mombasa.

Ameer Janmohamed, London, U.K.



From Coastweek issue 3405: February 04 - 10, 2011


From Coastweek issue 3406: February 11 - 17, 2011

'He was a very distinguished personality'

Coastweek -- Demise of a legend: The sad demise of Sidik Ghalia a prominent Advocate in Mombasa has robbed Mombasa of a very distinguished personality.

'Sidik Uncle' as I always used to call him was a very kind and humble person with a smile on his face whenever I met him.

He always used to share his vast knowledge on Antiques and on the many occasions that he invited me to his house to view his beautiful collection of antiques and artefacts which in my opinion must be one of the finest collections by an individual person.

In his younger days he was a good sportsman and used to play soccer for the Mombasa sports club and squash.

My heartfelt and sincere condolences to his dear wife, his son Salim and the grandchildren.

'Sidik Uncle' you will always remain in our hearts and the fond memories will always linger in our minds.

May The Almighty Allah rest your soul in Eternal Peace Ameen!

Alihusein Namajee, Mombasa.





Copyright '96, '97, '98, '99, '00, '01, '02, '03, '04, '05, '06, 07, 08, '09, '10, 2011.
Coastweek Newspapers Ltd.  All rights reserved.

Comments and questions: coastwk@africaonline.co.ke