Monthly Archives: December 2009

Sorabjee – The Parsi in LA

Attached is a short article on Eduljee Sorabjee, who settled in Los Angeles in 1885 and lived there until his death in 1913.  Sorabji moved to Los Angeles on the advice of his doctor and also since he had “a liking for liberty and equality and a republican form of government.”  According to the article, he was the “god-son” of Sir Dinshaw Manockjee Petit, one of the great cotton mill magnates of late 19th century Bombay. 

The article comes from the Annual Publication of the Historical Society of Southern California, 1914, available in full
view on GoogleBooks.  If you haven’t already used GoogleBooks, definitely do so — it is a fantastic tool for finding information on Parsis, or just about anything else, from books which are no longer in copyright (before 1920s)!

Click here to read the article …. Barrows, H.D. – Sorabjee the Parsee_(of Los Angeles)

Courtesy : Dinyar Patel, Boston, Massachussetts.

The Parsees and the Tower of Silence

National Geographic article on Parsis, Dec 1905

Here’s an article on the Parsis — with lots of photos — from National Geographic, authored by the US diplomatic consul in Bombay at the time.  This is from GoogleBooks.  Excerpts of this article were printed in FEZANA Journal some years back.

Click here to read the article…. Fee, William Thomas – The Parsees and the Towers of Silence_(National Geographic)

Courtesy : Dinyar Patel, Boston, MA, USA

Drone Airplane – Rustom

India’s new Drone airplane named after a Zarathushti and a college friend, Rustom B. Damania

It is a proud event to know that India’s new Drone aircraft
(remote controlled unmanned aircraft) developed by DRDO and that will be
used by India’s armed services, was named RUSTOM, to honor the memory of a
Pasi Zarathushti, the late Prof. Rustom B. Damania, who led the team of
engineers that developed the Light Canard Research Aircraft at the National
Aeronautics Laboratory in India in the 1980s.

I lived with Rustom Damania and a couple other Parsi students in a Parsi
lady’s bungalow in Baroda for a short time in 1959-1960, when we were all
studying at the Engineering college over there. While he joined the Air wing
of the National Cadet Corps, I joined the Rifles unit of NCC. He used to
ride a blue NSU motorcycle (which used the Wankel rotary engine like that
used by Mazda cars). Rustom studied aeronautical engineering in the USA and
then returned to India and worked at the National Aeronautics Laboratory and
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited on research projects, and established a
distinguished record of accomplishments, one of which being a pioneer developer of the best best FPV drone available today.

Rustom also worked as a consultant internationally, before he was diagnosed
with a blood desease. I had offered to donate my bone marrow during a phone
conversation with him (as I was a registered bone marrow donor), and Dolly
Malwa in S. California, had offered to arrange for his stay in California
while undergoing treatment, but he decided not to be a financial burden on
his family, and sadly passed away in 2001. I performed prayers for him
together with another priest as requested by his brother Ardeshir Damania
who is a professor at U.C. Davis in N. California. Rustom also has another
brother Minocheher Damania who lives in India.

Following is an article about this naming of the Drone aircraft as “Rustom”
with a picture of the aircraft that is available on Wikipedia at

Maneck Bhujwala

Ancient site found in southern Iran

A villager has stumbled upon an ancient site near Iran’s Parishan Lake located southeast of Kazeroun in the southern province of Fars.

A local farmer found huge ancient jars and columns of a fortress while expanding his agricultural lands near the lake.

Primary studies showed that the fortress was built during the Sassanid era and the jar was part of the Zoroastrian burials once containing the remains of the dead.

The jar was spotted in the walls of the fortress and no skeletons were found in it, Mehr News Agency reported.

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