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Late Shree Bhaskarbhai Rambhai Patel (1936 – 1993) Bhaskarbhai was born in Kenya on the 27th August 1936. The eldest son of Rambhai Shivabhai and Surajben Rambhai Patel, was schooled in Dharmaj and matriculated in Mumbai. At the age of 18, he came to London to further his studies where he graduated as a Pharmacist in 1962 – 63 from the London School of Pharmacy. He returned to Kenya in 1963 to re-join his family temporarily; due to the unfavourable political climate developing in Kenya, he decided to return to London in July 1965 for a permanent settlement.

He married Bhartiben in 1966 and together they happily accepted the responsibility of looking after the well being of his retired parents and education and needs of younger siblings. This was carried out with full zeal and enthusiasm and he worked hard to provide for the well being and prosperity of his family. He always maintained good terms with all persons and was very well respected and acknowledged in the community as a thorough gentleman by all those who met and knew him. Whether at work or socially, he was always willing to help people in all walks of life. No one was too big or small in his eyes. He was a religious man who was honest and humble, who spoke his truth quietly and clearly.

Bhaskarbhai was one of the key members with whose strong sense of belief, encouragement, enthusiasm and guidance, DHASOL was founded in 1968. Initially, all meetings and correspondence was carried out from his residence in Raynes Park, London SW20 an address that remained as the official address for the Society for many years since its inception.

The Society was initially modelled as a ‘working men’s’ association’ so that people with common culture and background could socialise and network for mutual benefit in a newly adopted country’s environment. He had realised that members would benefit from such an organisation and also had a long term vision for the Society.

From the very early days he encouraged the committee to adopt disciplined formalities for an effective and accountable management of the Society. He had learnt from others how well Dharmaj Samaj was organised in Kenya and wished to replicate the success experienced by members there, many of whom had recently migrated to London to seek fresh starts in life. He recognised the need for loyal workers, some of whom he head hunted and encouraged to join the Society, offering them responsible roles. Today, we still have members on the Executive Committee, such as Manharbhai and Bhupendrabhai who joined the Society under his influence and who have continued to contribute in the Society’s progress to achieve an enviable position held in the community.

Bhaskarbhai was truly fond of Dharmaj Society of London and proudly coined the abbreviation DHASOL with which we are proudly known all over. He was quick to realise the need for regular and effective communication with members and had begun to edit our initial newsletters that were first circulated to general members nearly 20 years ago.

He was very keen for DHASOL to acquire a freehold property that could be used for holding our own functions as well as for the general community as a whole. The committee had identified a suitable property for purchase, which he whole heartedly supported and was the first to lead by example and pledged a substantial figure towards the deposit without worrying about his poor health at the time. Although the purchase did not materialise he continued to play an active role in the Society’s affairs, despite having undergone a heart by pass surgery.

Under his leadership, the Society continued to develop and progress. Bhaskarbhai stepped down from his second term as President due to poor health. Sadly, shortly after his retirement from DHASOL, he passed away in October 1993, during the Navratri festivities at the young age of 57, when he still had a lot to offer and look forward to.

He now rests in peace knowing both his children, daughter Sheetal and son Mayank have attained the professional qualifications that he had dreamt about and are both happily married and well settled, just as he would have wished for.

In accordance with Bhaskarbhai’s dream, DHASOL has now acquired its own property for community affairs. Late Shree Dinubhai Ambalal Patel Dinubhai was a passionate founder member of the Society and had immigrated to London in early 1960s for betterment in standard of living for his family. He was married to Shardaben and was a simple, modest and sincere person initially employed as a factory hand at Stewart Plastics in Croydon as was common for early migrants arriving in London during early sixties. Having established his footings, he established his own news agency businesses in South London before deciding to move on to USA for betterment in prospects for his children.

He always had a smile on his face and enjoyed working hard for development of Dharmaj Society of London. A number of our meetings and preparatory work and cooking for our annual events etc. took place at his residence / business premises.

Dinubhai knew many members from his contacts in Kenya and quickly established a data base of contacts and was a keen co-ordinator of events and was helped throughout by the Late Vipinbhai Raojibhai Patel (Ramol) both of whom practically worked and stayed together all the time helping each other. He worked very well with Late Shree Haribhai Chunibhai Patel and they became very good friends and remained in constant touch with each other even though they have been oceans apart. Indeed they passed away within a few days of each other and both rest in peace knowing that they have left the Society in capable hands for onwards progress. Shree Manubhai Chunibhai Patel Manubhai Chunibhai was amongst the early founder members of the Society. Manubhai is the younger brother of late Shree Haribhai Chunibhai Patel and had arrived in London towards late 1960s having lived in Nairobi and now seeking betterment for his family.

He had assisted in running of Dharmaj Samaj in Kenya and therefore had knowledge of how the Samaj operated and had personal acquaintance of many members. He helped in organising events and collection of donations etc. He was the first President of DHASOL and continued to play leading role in the development of the Society for many years until his retirement prior to moving out of London.

However he has remained a keen supporter of the Society and always encourages us to move forward. We are indeed very fortunate to be able to still call upon him for advice and moral support whenever required. Late Shree Manibhai Maganbhai Patel Shree Manibhai Maganbhai Patel was one of our popular initial founding members of Dharmaj Society of London.

He was a keen and enthusiastic member of the society and motivated all of the members to work together and held various posts, including that of President. He was very well respected within our community for his successful business and his contacts, which he was always willing to share with his brothers to establish them into business and purchase their own houses.

Manibhai was amongst the very few handful of Gujarati individuals involved in successful business ventures during the 1960s and he had acquired a particular expertise in selling life assurance policies and had quickly became a number one agent for Abbey Life. He later expanded his business into significant general insurance brokerage. He brought his business expertise to DHASOL to provide an effective management with total accountability.

He was very proud for his involvement in successfully establishing DHASOL and was always willing to support all of our projects. He wanted to contribute a lot more to the further development of DHASOL but sadly he was taken away from us at premature age some 16 years ago. He would have been very proud of our progress in recent years.

These profiles of DHASOL founder members have been put together by some Trustees and other members of DHASOL. Any mis-statements or omissions are not deliberate.