Although the number of Zoroastrians worldwide is small, they have produced outstanding leaders in business, education and banking as well as outstanding philanthropists.
Old Zoroastrian Building (1931-1991)
Zoroastrian Building, 101 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong (Completed 1993)
In Hong Kong, a Once Prominent Parsi Community Faces Demise:
Parsee merchants arrived in China the 18th century, from where they came to Hong Kong with the expansion of the business of the East India Company. The Parsees made great contributions to the city’s development in the early days of the British colony, helping to found such icons as Star Ferry and the University of Hong Kong. The Parsis also played an instrumental role in the founding of theHong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation in 1864.
In Hong Kong, there are now only 232 Zoroastrians, aged from 2 to 97.
Shroff’s of Hong Kong Donate New Facility to Parsee General Hospital, Mumbai, India:
A Parsi couple from Hong Kong, Jal and Pervin Shroff, has donated Rs 135 crore (US$20 million) to south Mumbai’s Bomanjee Dinshaw Petit Parsee General Hospital, hoping to halt its decline. The endowment has been made with the intention to supplement the existing facility with a new 200-bed multispecialty healthcare unit that caters to Parsis as well as patients from other communities.
Jal Shroff is the co-founder of Fossil, an accessories company best known for its watches. According to a 2011 article in the community magazine, Parsiana, Shroff joined his father’s business after studying at the London School of Economics. In 1984, he founded Fossil with a business partner, who would sell the timepieces Shroff supplied in the US. “Jal views himself as a religious Zoroastrian who wears his sudreh-kusti regularly,” says the Parsiana article. His wife, Pervin, started the Healing Circle, which offers studies in yoga and meditation. She also helps cancer patients cope with their illness through meditation and visualisation. TOI was unable to reach the Shroffs for a comment.
Ed Wickins, Pervin Shroff, Jane Wickins, Jal Shroff
Sir Hormusjee Naorojee Mody:
Sir Hormusjee Nowrojee Mody, a Parsi who was the principal donor of funds for the university’s establishment in 1911.
Dorabjee Naorojee Mithaiwala
Dorabjee Naorojee Mithaiwala was an Indian Parsee businessman in Hong Kong. In his early business life, he sold opium from Bombay, India to China.
Naorojee is most recognized for the founding of the “Kowloon Ferry Company” in 1888 for transporting passengers and cargo (especially bread) between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. The company was renamed in 1898 to Star Ferry, which today transports passengers throughout Hong Kong.
The Star Ferry crosses Hong Kong Harbour on May 31, 2013. The ferry service was started in the late 19th century by a Parsi,Dorabjee Naorojee Mithaiwala.
Jehangir Hormusjee Ruttonjee