Sri Lanka Memon Family Genealogy

BHOJA - Family #274

The Bhoja family traces its roots to one Moosa Dewalwala who had a son named Rahmatullah Dewalwala. It was Rahmatullah's son, Ghani Bhoja, born circa 1795 who gave his name to the Bhoja clan and ever since his descendants have been known as the Bhoja's. Ghani Bhoja had a son named Ismail Bhoja who was born circa 1820. Ismail had two sons named Jamal, born circa 1849, and Sulaiman born circa 1851. Jamal had four children, viz, Osman, Karim, Abdullah & Mohammed while Sulaiman had four children, viz; Salay Mohammed, Latif, Dada, & Somar.

1  Moosa Dewalwala

    2  Rahmatullah Dewalwala

        3  Ghani Bhoja, b:circa 1795

            4  Ismail Bhoja, b:circa 1820

                5  Jamal Bhoja, b:circa 1849

                    6  Osman Bhoja, b:1873 + Fathima Hajiani Peer Mohammed

                        7  Haji Omar Bhoja, b:1900 in Kutiyana + Hajra Hajiana Katchi, b:circa 1900 d/o Abdullah Katchi & Noorbhai

                            8  Haji Yusuf Bhoja, b:1919 in Kutiyana, educated at the famous Alighar University in India and later went on to establish a textile business in Karachi in collaboration with his brothers. It was, however, not long before he closed down the business and settle in Sri Lanka in the mid 1950's. In 1957, he started his own business, Abdul Sattar Haji Yusuf & Company, a textile firm originally based in Maliban Street, Pettah, which was later shifted to Bankshall Street and again to Prince Street also in The Pettah. In 1965, he embarked on another textile trading venture, Bhoja Stores. This time in collaboration with his three sons. Initially based on Bankshall Street the business later shifted to Keyzer Street in the Pettah where it presently stands. Haji Yusuf's sons have now taken over the business from their father with the Bhoja Stores coming under the control of Abdul Rahim and Abdul Sattar Haji Yusuf & Company coming under Abdul Sattar who also runs Hajras, a shop specializing in artificial flowers located in Prince Street, Pettah.

                                9  Abdul Rahim Bhoja, started the business of Bhoja Stores

                                9  Abdul Sattar Bhoja, started the business of Abdul Sattar Haji Yusuf & Company and also Hajras on Prince Street, Pettah

                                    10  Mohammed Iqbal Bhoja, livewire of the Memon Association for over two decades. Served as Gen Secy of the Association under President Ismail Hingora, President Haji Mohammed Dhedhi, and President Haji Abdul Hafiz Bhuri, before being elected as Vice President for four years from 1997-2000, and serving under the then President of the Association, Haji Hussain Bhaila.

                                9  Mohammed Asmath Bhoja, runs his own business, Masood Traders in 3rd Cross Street, Pettah, dealing in textiles and yarns


                            8  Haji Moosa Bhoja, b:1921 in Kutiyana + Rabia Abubakr Mundhiya

                                9  Yaseen Moosa Bhoja, b:1946, Lawyer specializing in Commercial Law in Colombo and also the first lawyer among the Memon Community in Sri Lanka, having become a Proctor and Notary Public in 1973. Also served as JPUM for the District of Colombo as well as the Special Quazi for the Memon Community in the early 1980's. Appointed Member of the Board of Quazi's, the appellate body of Quazi's in Sri Lanka, in 1990 and served in it for over ten years. Served as a member of the Waqf Tribunal around the same time. Chairman of the Bhoja Foundation, the first Memon Government Approved Public Charity founded by his fathewr, Moosa Haji Omar. President of the Haji Omar Foundation for Peace, Education and Research which he founded in 2000. + Ruby Sulaiman Somar in Colombo and settled in SL

                                    10  Farnaz Yaseen Bhoja, Arabic Calligraphy Artist


                            8  Haji Abdul Karim Bhoja, b:1926, first arrived in Ceylon in 1934 as a young lad of 8. Settled down and worked for his fathers textile business in Keyzer Street, Pettah, called "H A K & Company". Set up another business, along with his father and brothers, in 1946 in Main Street Pettah under the name of Haji Omar & Company Limited, claimed to be the first Memon Limited Liability Company in the island. The Company closed down in 1956. Purchased Ceylon Textiles Limited on Second Cross Street, Pettah, in the same year. The new company specialized in Silks, Sari's and Choli's and was reputed for Chiffone printed Georgettes, Nylon Taffeta, and white and colored Poplins. They were also stockists of Bismarck and Joker banians. The Company survived successfully until 1983 when the Black July riots of that year, primarily directed against the Tamil Community, spread to the Pettah. A fire started by an unruly mob engulfed both Tamil and Muslim shops along the street and with it went Ceylon textiles in flames. Haji Karim also owned a rubber plantation known as Hatbawe Rubber Company in Rambukkana in the Kegalle District wich was taken over by the State in 1974 under the Land Reforms Commission. He was one of the few Memons of that time who opted for citizenship of the country under the Ceylon Citizenship Act when he applied and eventually was granted citizenship in 1949 at a time when very few Memons were willing to become citizens of a country they still regard as a home away from home. He also involved himself in a variety of social activities and was appointed a Justice of the Peace by Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaike in 1959, thus becoming the first Memon JP of the Island. Was also appointed the first Quazi from the Memon Community in 1960 and served as the President of the Memon Association of Ceylon from 1960-62. + Mariam, daughter of Mohammed Chana

                                9  Dr Saleem Karim Bhoja, MBBS Hon University of Colombo 1971. FRCS in 1978 Edinburgh, UK. Resident House Officer in Paediatriuc Medicine and Gyn & Obs at the Castle Street Hospital for Women in Rajagiriya and Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children in Borella. Gen Surgeon and Family Practitioner in Melville Hospital Canada in the mid 1980's and is presently a family practitioner in NY City USA.

                                    10  Nihara Karim Bhoja, chose Law for a career. Educated at the Columbia University School of Law and presently (2006) practices law in the USA. A Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, she has authored three books, including "What to do before I do", "The Modern Couples guide to Marriage" and "Pre Nups" in 2004, "The complete guide to divorce law" 2004, and "Parent Savvy straight answers to your families financial, legal, and practical questions", 2005.

                                9  Hameed Karim Bhoja, born in Karachi chose to make Sri Lanka his home and took to the rather unconventional business of running a bookshop "Bibliomania" on Hospital Street in the heart of Colombo Fort. It is supposed to be the nations largest second hand bookshop and continues to be a favorite haunt for Bibliophiles of all ages and from all walks of life. The books sold here covered almost every subject from aeronautics to zoology. Also involved himself in considerable social welfare work and is the local coordinator of the "Gift of the GIvers Foundation", a South African Relief Organization, whose founder Dr Imthiaz Soliman, is a Memon from South Africa. This organization initiated its activity in Sri Lanka immediately after the devastation caused by the 2004 December Tsunami. They have initiated a housing project for the victims of this disaster in Sarvodayapuram in Pottuvil near Arugam Bay in the Amparai District of the Eastern Province.

                                    10  Sa'adiya, qualified AMI Montessori Teacher, completed her Diploma at the Good Shepherd Convent Maria Montessori Training Center. Joined Joyce Gunasekera Montessori House of Children as a teacher. Versatile creative writer having composed a number of short stories such as "Biter Sweet", "Dark Silence" and "A Fervent Plea" which were published in the Daily News, a leading local daily newspaper belonging to the Lake House Group of publishers.                              

                            8  2nd spouse of Haji Abdul Karim Bhoja, b:1926 + Hajara Sopariwala, daughter of Kassam Dada Sopariwala

                                9  Dr Amin H Karim, MD, chose medicine as his career and graduated from Dow Medical College in Karachi in 1977 with Honors in five medicqal fields and was awarded six Gold medals upon Graduation, at that time a record in Pakistan. Member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England and has served in several hospitals including the Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Center, Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, and the Vellore College of Medicine in Huston, Texas, where he holds a Fellowship in Cardiology. Involved in the extensive research in the field of Cardiology having delivered lectures before distinguished medical men and presented papers to learned medical journals. Involved in many charitable projects such as the Safe Motherhood Project of the Civil Hospital of Karachi. = Dr Shahnaz A Karim, graduated from Sind Medical College Karachi in in 1983 is also actively involved for the provision of healthcare for the people of Karachi having established the Zainab Sulaiman Clinic which she personally supervises.


                        7  2nd spouse of Haji Omar Bhoja, b:1900 in Kutiyana + Mariam (India), b:1930

                            8  Mohammed Haji Omar, established Feroze Limited, a textile trading house in Pettah in 1969 which over the years grew from strength to strength finally evolving into Phoenix Venture Limited, one of the countries largest industrial and trading conglomerates which owns Phoenix Industries, a pioneer in qality and plastic products and Brandix, the country's single largest exporter producing high quality garments for the export market. + Zahara Moosa, m:1953, took the business empire founded by her husband to greater heights.

                                9  Aslam Haji Omar, joined Firoze Limited as Managing Executive in 1984. Took over the supervision and management of the emerging group a year later. In 1986 he took on the role of MD of Kurivita Textile Mills and spearheaded three key joint ventures to strengthen the backward integration of the apparel business, viz; American & Efird, a sewing thread manufacturer, T & S Buttons, a polyester button manufacturer, and A & E Brandix Hangers, a plastic garment hanger manufacturer. MD of Phoenix Ventures in April 2004. Was responsible in forming alliances with Tyco A&E (USA), America & Efird (USA), and T&S Buttons (HongKong), leading up to successful joint ventures. He holds the position of CEO of Phoenix Ventures Ltd, the holding company of  Brandix Group, and also thge MD of Phoenix Industries Ltd., the largest plastic manufacturer in Sri Lanka. A Fellow Member of the Sri Lanka Institute of Chartered Accountants and a Member of the Institute of Certified Management Accountants of Australia.

                                9  Ashroff Haji Omar, began his career as the Managing Executive of Lux Shirts a family owned garment manufacturing concern that focussed on woven tops. Spearheaded several acquisitions including GIL Garments and Phoenix Fashions, and, in 1993, established MAS Lanka, the Groups Garment Trading HOuse now known as Brandix Apparel, the single largest exporter of garments n Sri Lanka with a turnover exceeding US $200 Million. Took the Group Overseas in 1996, establishing its first garment manufacturing facility in the Maldive Islands. Formed the Brandix College of Clothing Technology and Finitex Textile Finishing in 1996. Appointed CEO of Brandix Lanka in April 2004.

He spearheaded the Groups first joint venture with Mast Industries, the first of sixteen such operations that followed and several other strategic acquisitions within the apparel industry. His entrepreneurial spirit and strategy of vertical inregtarion has resulted in the success of Brandix. A frequent spokesman for the apparel industry, he is also the former Chairman of the Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters’ Association and the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) – the apex body of the apparel industry, primary;ly involved in driving strategy for the industry and lobbying on its behalf. He is also a Steering Committee Member of the European Commission – Sri Lanka Joint Study, and is also responsible for negotiating with the European Union for added benefits for the apparel industry in Sri Lanka. He serves as a Non-Executive Member of the Board of John Keells Hotels Limited and the Colombo Stock Exchange.


                            9  Firoze Haji Omar, began his career as Managing Executive of MKC Industries, the Groups first foray into the manufacture of knitted undergarments. Responsible for converting a greenfield site into Kurivita Manchester Textile MIlls, which is today one of the leaders in fabric manufacture with a customer base that spans the region. Spearheaded several other group ventures, including the formation of Ocean Lanka in 1996 and Quenby Lanka Prints in 2000. Recently entrusted the responsibility of managing the operations of Columbia Clothing, which is one of the Groups Joint Ventures in Madagascar. 


                        7  3rd Spouse of Haji Omar Bhoja, b:1900 in Kutiyana + Turkiya Khanum Safadi, b:1912 in Damascus, Syria, d/o Thowfeek Safadi & Resmiya Samman

                            8  Hadiya Omar Bhoja, born n Damascus, Syria. Contested Negombo electorate elections in 1967 becoming the first Memon woman to enter into politics. She lost and migrated to the USA in the mid 1970's along with her husband. + Abdul Ghaffar Sattar Dhedi m:1959 (273)

                                9  Aamer Ghaffar Sattar, Computer Programmer, settled in Switzerland + Jasmin Pirin

                                    10  Maya Aamer Sattar


                            8  Zahara Omar Bhoja, started Pop Chicks in the 1960's producing top of the line children's and women's garments which at one point were being sold by Harrods of London. Heads Tallman Tours, well known local Travel Agency she set up in 1976. Started recruitment agency under the name of ZA Cader & Company in 1978. Embarked on the garment trade in 1986, selling stock lots under Pop Chicks Ltd. and Cada Collection. President of SKAL Club of Colombo in 1991 as well as President of PATA Sri Lanka Chapter. Involved in considerable social service having involved herself in the Muslim Women's Social League.

                            8  Bilkis Omar Bhoja, started Pop Chicks with her sister in the 1960's.

                            8  Nizar Haji Omar, achieved distinction in sports since his school days at St Peters' College and later went on to Captain Sri Lanka against Bosuns, a visiting Rugby Team from the UK in 1969. First Memon to head a National Team. Captained Sri Lanka in the All-India Tournament in the same year where Sri Lanka won as well. Captained SL in the Asian Rugby Tournament held in Bangkok in 1970. Played in the next two Asian Rugby Tournaments in 1972 (HK) and 1974 (Colombo). Represented SL in almost every match of that time playing against ball visiting teams that toured the country. Elected President of CR & FC in 1981 and President of the SLRFU for 1983-84. Presently (2006) serves as a Managing Partner of STR Salay Mohammed & Company, a long standing textile firm on Main Street, of which he is a co partner with his sister Hadiya and her husband Ghaffar Sattar.

                                9  Ayesha Haji Omar, degree in International Business & Marketing from the Albright College in Pennsylvania in 2000

                                9  Nadia Haji Omar, gained admission to Bard College in NY State (2006) where she is currently studying for a degree in Art.


                        7  Hoorbhai Bhoja + Abdul Rahman Sangani (276)

                            8  Mohammed Sangani, educated at Aligarh University, Ahmedabad, India.


                    6  Karim Bhoja

                    6  Abdullah Bhoja

                    6  Mohammed Bhoja


                5  Sulaiman Bhoja, b:circa 1851

                    6  Salay Mohammed Bhoja

                        7  Abdul Sattar Bhoja, + Haleem Bhai

                            8  Haroon Abdul Sattar Bhoja, reached the pinnacles of the religious establishment in Sri Lanka. Involved in Islamic work he passed away early at the young age of 38 years. Great Islamic Scholar, graduated from the Bin Noori Madarasa in Karachi. Well recognized Theologian in the island. Fondly known as Moulana Haroon. Served Islam for 12 years. Delivered Friday Sermons and urged his fellow Muslims to live a life dedicating themselves to God in the Holy Month of Ramadan. His discourses also dealt with the need of the Muslims to conduct their business dealings in conformity to the Shariah and to refrain from un-Islamic business practices. His last sermon was delivered at his favorite Mosque on Abdul Hameed Street, the Muhiyadeen Jumma Mosque. In it, which took place on 20 Sep 2002 only a day before his sad demise, he stressed on the importance of devotion to Allah and cautioned his congregation to spend more time in the Path of Allah. He also recited the following Quranic Verse before commencing what turned out to be his final sermon. "Verily, man is in loss, except such as have faith and do righteous deeds". Summing up his last sermon said that sudden death is one of the signs of the Last Day, and, it is said by many of the congregation that they felt and believed that he may have had a premonition of his death. The following day, Moulana Haroon, having offered the Dhur Prayers, sudddenly fell ill and passed away. Thus passed unto the Mercy of Allah one of his noblest creations. His sad demise was felt, not only by the Memon Community, but also by the rest of the Muslims in the country in general, who flocked from all parts of nthe island to pay their last respects to the man they loved so much.

                            8  Name Not Known

                            8  Name Not Known

                            8  Name Not Known

                            8  Name Not Known

                            8  Name Not Known

                            8  Name Not Known

                            8  Name Not Known

                            8  Name Not Known

                            8  Name Not Known


                    6  Latif Bhoja

                    6  Dada Bhoja

                    6  Somar Bhoja



Compiled by the Webmaster of the Sri Lanka Genealogy Website from available data in Sri Lankan archives together with data extracted from "Memons of Sri Lanka" - Men Memoirs Milestones, by Asiff Hussein & Hameed Karim Bhoja, May 2006, iSBN 955-1408-00-4, Published by The Memon Association of Sri Lanka