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History of Parajiya Pattnis in Mombasa

To: Editor -Pattni
From: Jitu Jayantilal Ladha Patt

I read the History of Parajiya Pattni with interest and would like to add following :-

According to my knowledge and belief, the First Pattni Shop in Mombasa Kenya was of Shree Parmananad Dosa in 1910 followed by Shree Ladha Jasa & Co in 1912.

Shree Ladhabhai Jasa Patt (my grandfather) came by dhow to Mombasa in 1908 and worked with Nurmohmed Haji Elias (Sonara Buddha). The third shop was established in 1915 by Merambhai Govind (Ashok Bros) and than followed by Hirjibhai Lakha & 1925.

I do agree that First President of our Parajiya Pattni Samaj in 1936 was Shree Parmananad Dosabhai and Secretary Shree Hirjibhai Lakha.

Today the President of our Samaj is Harshadrai Haribhai Hirji Lakha. Shree Hirjibhai Lakha & Family have great inspiration towards serving Community since the opening of our Motibai Parajiya Pattni Samaj. Further to my knowledge Shree Shamjibhai Lakha (Bapu) first launched census of all Pattnis in East Africa, followed by second census together with 25th Annivarsary magazine by Shree Kesavlal Damjibhai Lakha

I will forward you the articles and books whereby you'll have all information of our Pattni Samaj in Mombasa and Nairobi. One more interesting information or coincidence is that the foundation stone of Mombasa Pattni Samaj was laid by Shree Kanjibhai Meghji and in Nairobi Pattni Samaj foundation stone was laid by Jasuben Shashikant Jutha (daughter of Kanjibhai Meghji).

Hoping the said information will be useful but however please note that the said is my knowledge and belief.
Jitu Jayantilal Ladha Patt

Thank you Jitubhai, for your contribution. This shows that the Parajiya Pattni history has not been properly recorded for the past century. It is only by such contribution that we shall eventually get the complete history. Any contribution to this interesting history is welcomed. - Editor

Re: History of Parajiya Pattnis in Mombasa

I read the History of Parajiya Pattni by Jitu Jayantilal Ladha Patt with interest.

Jitubhai has good knowledge of Mombasa, however I feel that the first shop that was established in Mombasa was that of Shree Samat Bhim (my great grandfather) in 1908. Due to new legislation, all business's had to be registered and Shree Hirjibhai Lakha was then asked by Shree Jeram Samat to go and register the family business; thus the name Hirji Lakha & Bros came in existence. During & after the first world war Goldsmith business was in poor state due to lack of gold supply, the family (Samat & Lakha Bhim) went into transport business. The shop was kept but the trading was minimal. Bullion licence was awarded to Hirji Lakha & Bros who were the among the first Bullion dealers along with Merambhai Govind (Ashok Bros) & Shree Parmananad Dosa.

If my memory serves me right, the main bullion dealers who supplied gold to fellow goldsmith were Ashok Bros & Hirji Lakha & Bros, who both had large quota granted by licensing authority. Hirji Lakha & Bros was re established in 1925 as Goldsmith & Bullion dealers. To present day I believe Harshadrai Haribhai Hirji Lakha holds this licence.

Shamji Lakha opened shop in Tanga & Dar-es-Slaam; Purshottam Lakha in Kampala; and Shantilal Hirji Lakha with Abi(Tribhoven) Shamji Lakha in Nairobi. Hirji Lakha & Bros were the first Multiple Goldsmith in East Africa. Today only shop in Mombasa exists.

In August of 2000 I had the pleasure to see some of this history well preserved by Harshadrai Haribhai Hirji Lakha alond with original work of My father Anandji Jeram (he was the craftman of the family)

Re: Re: History of Parajiya Pattnis in Mombasa

It was great to read the points enlighted by Jitubhai on the history of Mombasa and wish to add the following:

Shree Anandjibhai Jerambhai was not only the greatest goldsmith craftman in East Africa but was also a perfect valuer of diamonds and other gemstones.In those olden days there were no Gemologist and all our pattni bros used to go and take his advise and valuation of the products.He also had taken an active part during the opening of our Samaj building in 1952. If i am not mistaken Shree Anandjibhai's residence was behind our samaj building.

I consulted few of our Community members(old age Shree Maganlal Muljibhai Ghaghada and Shree Kantilal Morarjibhai) and also made reasearch in Mombasa through Bhagwanji Hansraj (Mithai shop)established in 1896 run by third/fourth generation and came up that Hirji Lakha & Bros shop was registered and established in 1925 and Parmanand Dosa was the first goldsmith shop opened in Mombasa.
As per the Gold allocation Quotas i found out that every year the Government used to allow all the shops to import Gold according to the status of the shop i.e. how many workers do the shop have, turnover of the shop etc. Mainly all our pattnis used ABN AMRO bank to import through Mombasa Goldsmith Assocoition whose first President to my belief was Ahmed Haji Elias.